Monday Reads: A Reptile DysfunctionPosted: August 29, 2016
Eleven years ago, Honey, Karma, Miles and I were sharing a small pink futon on the floor of a Lake Charles motel between the beds of a Chinese and Japanese Graduate student from UNO. I had told all of our foreign grad students in our doctorate program to get hotel rooms and get the heck out of Dodge about 5 days before. I was going to stick it out but didn’t and wound up be very thankful to join them. There’s was nothing to do but to watch CNN and hook up the internet.
It was a day that changed many lives including mine. Honey and Karma, my French Quarter Dogs, have since crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Miles and I are a little worse for the wear and frankly, so is the Kat House. My insurance company never really did pony up enough money to cover the damages and I never took the Road Home Funds because I had–and still have–survivor guilt. My house didn’t flood. But, one of the residuals is that I have a $10,000 deductible for named storms and live in constant fear of anything with a name on it now. Then, of course, we’re still reeling from the post-hurricane damage of 8 years of Bobby Jindal and the continued encroachment on the wetlands by oil companies and housing developers. The last set of floods is just the most recent display of what happens when you really don’t take care of your Mother Earth.
At least this year, I don’t have to hear the word resilient.
Here’s some linky goodness and badness from me, the dakini of the swamps. I’m in wrathful form today so enjoy some pictures of Naginis.
Here’s a wonderful and ominous post recommended by General Russell Honore about the issues with our Louisiana Wetlands. I hope you can take some time to read it all.
We need a massive reforestation of Louisiana. Mature, native, water-loving trees like Live Oaks and Bald Cypress drink up to 1,000 gallons of water per day and should be as common and beloved a site in our urban and rural landscapes as Saints bumper stickers. One huge impetus behind founding SOUL is the very large goal of replanting New Orleans, the most deforested city in the U.S.! But rural Louisiana suffers from deforestation as well, largely due to short-sighted development of subdivisions and commercial areas that raze the forest and level the land before construction. Trees are essential to our resilience as they absorb stormwater into their root systems and transpire it back into the air. A mature tree produces enough oxygen for ten people, and can lower our air temperatures by up to two degrees. The benefits of trees are endless, and our futures rely on them.
It’s time to respect the gravity of gravity. It there’s one thing we can always count on, it’s that water will always travel downhill. Thus, it is vital that water has an unobstructed path to its nearest floodplain or basin. Rural Louisiana has many flood plains and small water bodies like creeks that are bisected by roads. During heavy rains these spots turn into dams and cause massive flooding as water seeks a lower point of gravity.
New construction should be raised to a level accommodating a 2,000-year storm.Considering how quickly our disasters are growing in intensity and frequency, it only makes sense that we should build new homes and businesses according to future storm levels. We’re recovering from a 1,000-year flood, so let’s rebuild to a 2,000-year disaster this time. Many of the structures that were damaged were built at grade on slab. Cities must stop allowing development that ignores our hydrology and natural history, for the sake of developers maximizing their profits.
We need to integrate “green infrastructure” into every aspect of our lives. If you’re not already familiar with this term, it refers to infrastructure that mimics natural systems and harnesses stormwater at its source. Essentially its goal is to get water back into the ground and into the water table.
There’s a developing tropical storm that’s due to enter the Gulf. It’s supposed to turn back on Florida at this point. However, you never know and we would be on the wet side if it gets too close for comfort. People south of us already have a lot on their plate and any kind of drenching of the area would be really bad. Thankfully, the winds aloft are not particularly friendly atm. I just hope it doesn’t get a name if it pours on the Kat House and that it misses the folks in the flooded area completely.
So, onward with today’s theme of snaky people.
A white male radical christianist was plotting a ” mass shooting to protect 2nd Amendment from ‘f*ggots’.” This guy sounds like a good Trump supporter, doesn’t he?
Bryce Cuellar, 24, was arrested by Las Vegas police after they were notified by Interpol in July about Cuellar’s video. In the video, Cuellar stated that he is tired of the government trying to take away his First and Second Amendment rights and planned to go on a killing spree.
Calling himself a “Christian warrior,” Cuellar bragged that he would use his weapons as the Founding Fathers intended, killing,” gays, faggots, lesbians and satanists.”
According to Las Vegas police, Cuellar reportedly beat his wife hours after posting the video on YouTube, where he displayed his weapons while wearing a Kevlar vest and sporting night-vision goggles.
A review of Cuellar’s YouTube page reveal a collection of conspiracy-minded videos including ones that question what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, support for the Bundy family’s war on the government, the threat of the Illuminati and proof that angels and demons are real. Investigators say the timeline of his videos suggest that he has sunk deeper in the world of conspiracy mongering over the past three years.
This is pretty scary. Foreign hackers have gotten into the state election databases according to the FBI.
The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials.
The FBI warning, contained in a “flash” alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.
Those concerns prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to convene a conference call with state election officials on Aug. 15, in which he offered his department’s help to make state voting systems more secure, including providing federal cyber security experts to scan for vulnerabilities, according to a “readout” of the call released by the department.
Johnson emphasized in the call that Homeland Security was not aware of “specific or credible cybersecurity threats” to the election, officials said. But three days after that call, the FBI Cyber Division issued a potentially more disturbing warning, entitled “Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems.” The alert, labeled as restricted for “NEED TO KNOW recipients,” disclosed that the bureau was investigating cyberintrusions against two state election websites this summer, including one that resulted in the “exfiltration,” or theft, of voter registration data. “It was an eye opener,” one senior law enforcement official said of the bureau’s discovery of the intrusions. “We believe it’s kind of serious, and we’re investigating.”
The bulletin does not identify the states in question, but sources familiar with the document say it refers to the targeting by suspected foreign hackers of voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. In the Illinois case, officials were forced to shut down the state’s voter registration system for ten days in late July, after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters, Ken Menzel, the general counsel of the Illinois Board of Elections, said in an interview. The Arizona attack was more limited, involving malicious software that was introduced into its voter registration system but no successful exfiltration of data, a state official said.
A huge amount of hoopla has surrounded the 49ers Quarterback who has refused to stand for the pre-game playing of our national anthem. My 10 year old self would actually have a crush on this guy. I refused to say the pledge in classroom at that ripe old age, was nearly kicked out of Girl Scouts and was asked why by the Principal who couldn’t understand why mass symbolic recitations of anti-communist loyalty shows would disturb me. I basically said it was pretty meaningless and why didn’t we just read the preamble to the Constitution instead. Actually, the District wound up taking this activity out of the daily classroom and never said another word to me. I think it was because the Constitution was behind me and the District Lawyer figured it out. I never heard back why but was relieved to not have to go through a rote, meaningless exercise every day to prove I wasn’t a communist. I am not nor have I ever been a communist or a member of the communist party. Now, can I quit the loyalty oath shit?
But, Colin Kaepernick has stated his reason as a protest of national oppression of racial minorities. The NFL is actually giving him quiet consent. I say more power to him.
San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Sunday defended his decision not to stand for the national anthem at a game two days earlier, saying he is protesting on behalf of people oppressed because of their race.
“This country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all — and it’s not happening for all right now,” Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick did not stand as the national anthem played before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. The move sparked criticism, and some fans posted videos of themselves burning Kaepernick jerseys and other apparel.
Actually, if you read the real history of this anthem and the racist who wrote it and an abhorrent additional verse that is totally racist, you’d be asking them to switch our anthem to something like America the Beautiful where I could substitute something creative for the current head nod to the angry sky fairy.
The story, as most of us are told, is that Francis Scott Key was a prisoner on a British ship during the War of 1812 and wrote this poem while watching the American troops battle back the invading British in Baltimore. That—as is the case with 99 percent of history that is taught in public schools and regurgitated by the mainstream press—is less than half the story.
To understand the full “Star-Spangled Banner” story, you have to understand the author. Key was an aristocrat and city prosecutor in Washington, D.C. He was, like most enlightened men at the time, not against slavery; he just thought that since blacks were mentally inferior, masters should treat them with more Christian kindness. He supported sending free blacks (not slaves) back to Africa and, with a few exceptions, was about as pro-slavery, anti-black and anti-abolitionist as you could get at the time.
Of particular note was Key’s opposition to the idea of the Colonial Marines. The Marines were a battalion of runaway slaves who joined with the British Royal Army in exchange for their freedom. The Marines were not only a terrifying example of what slaves would do if given the chance, but also a repudiation of the white superiority that men like Key were so invested in.
All of these ideas and concepts came together around Aug. 24, 1815, at the Battle of Bladensburg, where Key, who was serving as a lieutenant at the time, ran into a battalion of Colonial Marines. His troops were taken to the woodshed by the very black folks he disdained, and he fled back to his home in Georgetown to lick his wounds. The British troops, emboldened by their victory in Bladensburg, then marched into Washington, D.C., burning the Library of Congress, the Capitol Building and the White House. You can imagine that Key was very much in his feelings seeing black soldiers trampling on the city he so desperately loved.
A few weeks later, in September of 1815, far from being a captive, Key was on a British boat begging for the release of one of his friends, a doctor named William Beanes. Key was on the boat waiting to see if the British would release his friend when he observed the bloody battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore on Sept. 13, 1815. America lost the battle but managed to inflict heavy casualties on the British in the process. This inspired Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” right then and there, but no one remembers that he wrote a full third stanza decrying the former slaves who were now working for the British army:
Read the comments there to fully embrace the number of white folks that want the revisionist version of history and their comments. It’s pretty revealing of a few nasty natures. Speaking of which, RUN HUMA RUN. Anthony Weiner has done it again. Huma actually has decided to separate from the man now so evidently, he’s worked her last nerve.
Just two weeks ago, when he was asked if his sexting days were behind him, he seemed to deflect. And now we know why: On Sunday night, the New York Post reported that Weiner had recently been sexting with a woman who is not his wife. Making the story even more cringe-worthy, the New York Post reports that Weiner sent a suggestive photo of himself while his toddler son was in the bed next to him.
Weiner didn’t deny any of this. He told the New York Post that he and the woman “have been friends for some time.”
“She has asked me not to comment except to say that our conversations were private, often included pictures of her nieces and nephews and my son and were always appropriate,” he said. By Monday morning, Weiner had deleted his Twitter account. By Monday afternoon, his wife, Huma Abedin, announced the two were separating.
At least he’s not shooting up malls of innocents but wow, the dude has major issues. He had so much going for him. What accounts for such self-destructive behavior?
Is it just me or is the entire national discourse today turning into some display of things that require medication and the help of a a good psychiatrist/psychologist? One more story about the nation’s top pathological liar and I’m going to make more coffee and listen to some nice music. Trump has turned into a whirling dervish on the immigration issue.
The real reason Trump is now shifting away from mass deportations is almost too obvious to restate: It is probably alienating the college educated whites and white women — swing constituencies — that he simply must improve among if he is to have a chance at winning. And so, Trump is now downplaying this goal, by saying that his priority is to remove “criminal” illegal immigrants. The game here is to sound more reasonable to swing voters who are horrified by mass deportations and generally support mass assimilation, by projecting a recognition that not all of them are full blown criminals. He compassionately understands that many of them are “good ones,” believe me! But in so doing, Trump is still preserving his underlying stance that all the 11 million generally remain targets for removal. He eventold CNN that there’s a “very good chance” that all the rest would be deported later. This isn’t as crazy as vowing proactive, immediate mass deportations. But it still is not an actual solution. At best, it is tantamount to leaving them all in the shadows for an indefinite period, or a reversion to Mitt Romney’s absurd “self deportation” stance. In reality it probably means they’ll all have to go.
And this leads to the ultimate point: Donald Trump’s deportation problem is the GOP’s deportation problem. Many Republican lawmakers — including GOP leaders — generally support the goal of legalization. They recognize that the most realistic solution for the 11 million — the one that would best serve the national interest — is some kind of path to assimilation, combined with penalties and increased border security. They also recognize that long term demographic and political realities compel this stance.
But the party has refrained from embracing that solution, because the base won’t allow it. For years, that forced many Republicans to continue saying the 11 million should be subject to removal, but when pressed, they tended to fudge on whether this means they all should be deported right way, since that’s politically and substantively untenable. Instead they took refuge in the platitude that we should merely “enforce the law,” without saying exactly what that should mean. What it really means is, leave most of them in the shadows indefinitely.
Trump is now being forced to sever himself from his explicit mass deportations pledge. And this is forcing him to adopt the GOP’s platitudinous “enforce the law” position. We’ve come full circle: On deportations, the GOP nominee is now pretty much where most Republicans have publicly been. Thus, in his speech, he will probably revert to a vow to target criminals first while more generally promising to “enforce the law” to deal with the rest. But Trump — as the GOP nominee and as someone whose entire campaign is built on the idea that illegal immigrants are nothing more than criminal invaders — is facing a much higher level of media scrutiny on this issue than GOP lawmakers have to date, rendering that long-held GOP position untenable for him in a way it wasn’t for other Republicans.
Serpent Cults have been a part of human history for some time. Many religious myths embrace the serpent concept as symbolic of a number of things. As I look at the many stories I’ve gathered today, I can only think of our folksy renderings of calling a man a ‘snake in the grass’. We also have the imagine of woman as a siren or mermaid or woman turned temptress by snakes and apples. It strikes me that we never really truly forget our ancient mythos and their identification of the many aspects of our human nature.
In mythology, the serpent symbolises fertility and procreation, wisdom, death, and resurrection (due to the shedding of its skin, which is not akin to rebirth), and in the earliest schools of mysticism, the symbol of ‘The Word’ was the serpent. The ‘light’ that appeared was metaphorically defined as a serpent called ‘Kundalini’, coiled at the base of the spine to remain dormant in an unawakened person. Divinity or awakening one’s Godhood and latent abilities came with the rituals and teachings brought by the serpent people.
To understand them, we must look at the original ‘serpents’. In China, it was a male and female pair with human heads and serpent bodies named Fu Xi and Nu Wa who created humans. In Sumer, it was the Annunaki Nin-Khursag and her husband Enki who were given the task of creating workers. Enki is known to us as the serpent in Genesis—the one who gave us the ability to think and reason and so was cursed by his brother Enlil for it. To the Hindus, it was the cosmic serpent Ananta who created us. So, if, at the dawn of man’s creation we have a pair of serpent-like beings who created us, then those of the serpent cult must have been their direct descendants, either by blood or by spirit.
Government has been designed with the idea that you can punish or circumvent aspects of human nature with the rule of law and the force of the will of the many. Still, we get Snake Oil Salesmen like Donald Trump and guys that can’t get past their basic anatomy and their urge to think with their littlest head or use other phallic symbols like missiles and killing projectiles to take out the creative and intelligent forces that stymie them which, mostly tend to be women and small children when you think about it. The Trump CEO–Steven Bannon–is like the walking symbol of all things snaky. Here’s the latest op research his life of evil doing.
Donald Trump’s campaign CEO fired a new mother suffering from multiple sclerosis while she was on maternity leave, according to a lawsuit obtained exclusively by The Post.
“Julia Panely-Pacetti, a new mother who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was terminated by defendants from her position as head of public relations and corporate marketing because of her sex and her disability,” states the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court in September 2005.
I wish there was a better tradition of snake handling in this country. Maybe we could learn something from the ancients. Maybe that medieval guy with the bow has the right idea.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?