Friday Reads: Put on a Happy Face!!!

there was always light by Amanda Blake (contemporary), American

Good Morning Sky Dancers

I wish I could be your little ray of sunshine this morning but I don’t know how that’s possible given the utter daily chaos and destruction that the 2016 election brought us.  The chickens are definitely coming home to roost and the banty rooster is a crazy and mean little bird.

I woke up today to the sad news of a second celebrity suicide.  First, we had Kate Spade whose handbag designs were wonderful.  Now, it’s Anthony Bourdain. Both have left behind young daughters.

Celebrity suicide always starts a conversation that never reaches the ears of the our policymakers who could provide necessary things to solve problems but instead choose to exacerbate them. But more about Trump and the Republicans in Congress and the yanking of funds from the Children’s Health Program last night in a stealth, decidedly one sided vote. Any one with young ones in their life should spend time with them now.

According to several studies, publicity surrounding a suicide has been repeatedly linked to a subsequent increase in the act, particularly among young people.

After Marilyn Monroe died in August 1962, the cause listed as probable suicide, the nation mourned — publicly. In the month that followed there was sweeping news coverage, public memorials and a 12% increase in suicides. That month saw an additional 303 suicides in comparison to the year prior, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

When Robin Williams died in 2014, the world reacted similarly. The comedian’s image was everywhere, details of his untimely passing spawned countless news articles and think pieces. His death is also similarly associated with a 10% increase in suicide across the United States in the five months after his passing, according to a study published in the journal, PLOS ONE, in February.

The phenomenon is often referred to as “suicide contagion,” defined by the Department of Health and Human Services as an increase in suicides due to “the exposure to suicide or suicidal behaviors within one’s family, one’s peer group, or through media reports of suicide.”

And the overwhelming influence of a celebrity or high-profile suicide is far from a new discovery. Following the 1774 publication of Wolfgang Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther” — a book in which a young man ends his life after a failed love affair — Europe also saw a spike in suicides, particularly in men the same age as the protagonist.

The outbreak prompted the novel to be banned in several European locations.


PAUL RAFFERTY, American (contemporary)
Hydrangeas Contre Jour

Suicide, however, has been on the rise in the US since 1999.  Like most mental illnesses, it receives less preventative attention than it should.  It does, however, generate a lot of revenues for pharmaceutical companies.  It’s less likely the pills are accompanied by human help and counselling.

I’ve struggled with depression for like 50 years. Some of my youngest memories are of my dad, my baby sister, and me in Kansas City waiting in the car outside a small hospital while my mother sat with her mother during her shock treatments. My mother lived with it too. They put her on antidepressants the last year of her life and I saw a happy, cheery woman I had never known before.  I personally rely heavily on my Buddhist practice which grew from my adult-in-process practices of the relaxation response and positive affirmation. I hurl mantras like I live in a gompa some where up in the Himalayas with shaved head and nun vows. I only wish more people had access to learning meditation. It also helps me to stay away from mean, nasty people which is proving challenging in the Trump era.

But, actual science and properly funding and staffing the CDC is not a priority at all right now.

Suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016, according to research published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds.

More than half of those who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.

“These findings are disturbing. Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it’s one of three causes that is actually increasing recently, so we do consider it a public health problem — and something that is all around us,” Schuchat said. The other two top 10 causes of death that are on the rise are Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdoses, she noted.

In 2016 alone, about 45,000 lives were lost to suicide.

“Our data show that the problem is getting worse,” Schuchat said.


surprise!! chickens!  roosting!  crazy ass rooster!!!

The Daily Wire has some more of these stats.

Bourdain is just the latest in a string of prominent celebrities suffering from depression who have taken their own lives. Last week, Kate Spade committed suicide; she was reportedly fixated on Robin Williams’ suicide. And suicide rates across America have been spiking: as of 2014, American suicide rates had skyrocketed to their highest rate in three decades, all the way to 13 people per 100,000, even as death rates from other causes declined markedly. Suicide was particularly common among middle-aged white people. The overall suicide rate climbed 24 percent from 1999 to 2014; in 2014, over 14,000 middle-aged white Americans committed suicide. Between 2006 and 2016, the suicide rate for white children jumped 70 percent, and the suicide rate among black children (while lower than that of white children overall) jumped 77 percent. According to USA Today:

A study of pediatric hospitals released last May found admissions of patients ages 5 to 17 for suicidal thoughts and actions more than doubled from 2008 to 2015. The group at highest risk for suicide are white males between 14 and 21.

What’s causing this uptick? Traditional theories regarding poverty don’t seem to hold much water – the economic recovery was well underway by 2014, and more poverty-stricken demographic groups in the United States had lower suicide rates than whites did on a consistent basis. And theories regarding bullying don’t seem to solve the question either – bullying isn’t worse in 2017 than it was in 1999, and studies seem to show that once depression and delinquency are factored out, bullying does not rate as an independent variable changing suicide rates.

Suicide is a complex social phenomenon, and it’s difficult to pin down cause and effect. Surely rising rates of opioid abuse have contributed to the suicide increase, but that wouldn’t explain the jump among young people. There’s a case to be made that decline of religiosity in wealthier societies has led to an uptick in suicide(poorer societies tend to have far less of a suicide problem than wealthy societies, so religious differences matter less statistically). We are suffering a crisis of meaning in the West, and it’s having a significant impact on suicidality.

Hendrick ter Brugghen, Old Man Writing by Candlelight, c. 1626-27, Dutch Baroque painter and leading member of the Utrecht followers of Caravaggio

I don’t think religiosity necessarily connects to leading a meaningful life. But, I’d say constantly be sent off to war is one factor because suicide rates for Vets is off the wall.  I’d also say feeling helpless to change things in your work life and community leads to some of that too.  (From Foreign Policy, September, 2017)

Veterans are about 20 percent more likely than nonveterans to kill themselves, according to a Veterans Affairs press release issued on Friday afternoon at the close of business. (Traditionally, that’s when Washington public affairs types put out bad news they don’t wish to discuss. Mainly they hope to see it tucked into Saturday newspapers that no one reads.)

Also, the suicide rate for female veterans is 250 percent that for female non-vets.

Then, there’s death by abhorrently racist federal policy.  There’s a surge in that.  From the daily paper of my childhood days The Des Moines Register: “Des Moines DREAMer dies within weeks after being sent back to Mexico’s violence.”

Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco should have graduated from high school in Des Moines last month. The oldest of four siblings should have walked across a stage in a cap and gown to become a proud symbol to his sister and brothers of the rewards of hard work and education.

Instead, Manuel died a brutal death alone in a foreign land, a symbol of gang supremacy in a country plagued by violent drug cartels. It happened three weeks after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement returned him to Mexico, a country he had left at age 3 when his parents brought him here without a visa.

The fact that America was the only home he has known made Manuel eligible to apply for and be granted DACA status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program initiated by former President Barack Obama. It exempted from deportation certain young people, referred to as DREAMERS, who were brought to the U.S. without papers as children.

But that status didn’t protect Manuel when he came to immigration authorities’ attention after being stopped for speeding last fall and charged with driving under the influence. An ICE spokesperson said in a statement that ICE officers arrested him in Polk County Jail and a federal immigration judge terminated his DACA status because of two  misdemeanor convictions.

The statement from Shawn Neudauer, ICE public affairs officer, also said Manuel wasn’t technically deported, but was escorted to Mexico by ICE deportation officers at the Laredo, Texas border this past April 24. He called it a voluntary departure process that doesn’t carry the penalties of a formal deportation. But  the impact was the same: Manuel had no choice but to go back, either as a deportee or in a “voluntary departure.” He chose the “voluntary” route.

The Glasgow Rose, Charles Rennie MacIntosh, Scottish, Glasgow School

You may read more about this young man’s short life at the newspaper’s link.

Other Republican policies will be cutting the lives of children short if this bill passes the US Senate. It moved through the House like a stealth fighter. Funny, how Republicans can get it done when it involves propping up their give-aways to the rich and powerful.

The House voted along party lines late Thursday to pass a White House proposal that would claw back nearly $15 billion in previously approved government funding.

The House approved the measure in a vote of 210-206, with conservatives calling it a step in the right direction after they ripped into the price tag of the $1.3 trillion spending bill President Trump signed earlier this year.

“President Trump and this Administration are fully committed to protecting taxpayers, and Senate passage of this legislation is critical to reducing wasteful, unnecessary spending and making our Federal Government more efficient, effective, and accountable,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement late Thursday.

Trump had pushed lawmakers earlier this week to vote in favor of the clawback plan, known as the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, which GOP leaders have been working on for two months.

“The HISTORIC Rescissions Package we’ve proposed would cut $15,000,000,000 in Wasteful Spending! We are getting our government back on track,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

The push to slash spending stemmed from conversations between Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in April, weeks after Trump signed the omnibus into law.

“The President’s rescissions request is a straightforward approach to begin cleaning up a bloated federal budget and respecting hardworking taxpayer dollars,” McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday.

While the move was welcomed by fiscal hawks, Democrats and a handful of moderates argued it could hinder future budget negotiations and drain unused funds that may prove necessary for programs down the road.

Opponents blasted the administration’s decision to target unobligated funds within the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) –– which make up nearly half of the $14.7 billion in rollbacks –– alleging the cuts could lead to a loss of coverage if enrollment is higher than expected.

“The nearly $15 billion in rescissions cut numerous efforts to create jobs, grow our economy, and strengthen our communities. It cuts funding for the economic development administration, and for community development financial institutions. Both of which create jobs in rural areas and distress communities,” Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, said on the floor.

Officer with a Laughing Girl: ca 1657, Johannes Vermeer, Dutch Baroque Painter

Then, there’s a stab at Obamacare again. This time it’s by the Oldest Living Confederate widow as she attempts to get people with preexisting conditions thrown out and re-establish womanhood as a preexisting condition.  From Forbes Magazine: “The Trump Administration Is Using a New Tactic to Dismantle Obamacare. What You Need to Know About It”

The Trump administration is trying out a new tactic to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare): calling at least one provision of it unconstitutional.

In a brief filed Thursday, the Justice Department sided with Texas and a coalition of other Republican-led states that had filed a suit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. While it is uncommon for the Justice Department to go against federal law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he acted with the “approval of the President of the United States.”

Here’s their argument, and what they want.

The filing declares unconstitutional the so-called individual mandate—which requires almost all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a “tax” if they don’t—and calls for several elements of ACA to be invalidated. These include a “ban on insurers denying coverage and charging higher rates to people with pre-existing health conditions.” The Justice Department reportedly also wants to repeal limits on insurance costs based on gender and age.

Nevertheless, the Justice Department’s position did not go quite as far as the Texas suit. In it, the states deem the entirety of Obamacare and its regulations invalid.


Childe Hassam, The Goldfish Window, 1916,

The DOJ will not defend the cases brought by GOP state.  This why we have a spate of crazy obviously unconstitutional shit coming up from the states. The DOJ is deciding which cases to defend based on religious and ideological whims instead of actual legal grounds.

The Trump administration said Thursday night that it will not defend the Affordable Care Act against the latest legal challenge to its constitutionality — a dramatic break from the executive branch’s tradition of arguing to uphold existing statutes and a land mine for health insurance changes the ACA brought about.

In a brief filed in a Texas federal court and an accompanying letter to the House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Justice Department agrees in large part with the 20 Republican-led states that brought the suit. They contend that the ACA provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance soon will no longer be constitutional and that, as a result, consumer insurance protections under the law will not be valid, either.

The three-page letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions begins by saying that Justice adopted its position “with the approval of the President of the United States.” The letter acknowledges that the decision not to defend an existing law deviates from history

Horse’s Skull with Pink Rose
Georgia O’Keeffe (United States, Wisconsin, Sun Prairie, 1887-1986)
United States, 1931 

 but contends that it is not unprecedented.

Stacking the benches with unqualified judges is a good way to get a decision based on total ignorance of law and precedent and even the Constitution.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a report Friday accusing their Republican colleagues of conspiring with President Donald Trump to reshape the federal judiciary by appointing judges whose only qualifications are youth and conservative ideology.

“President Trump and Senate Republicans are stacking our courts at record-breaking speed,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee and one of several signatories on the report. “Nominees have been largely controversial and incredibly young, allowing them to shape our courts for generations.”

The 61-page report titled “Review of Republican Efforts to Stack the Federal Courts” details both the pace and volume of the nomination and confirmation process, as well as the obstruction and filibustering of President Barack Obama nominees that afforded Trump the opportunity to shift the balance of federal courts.

“President Trump entered office with 112 judicial vacancies, compared to just 53 vacancies when President Obama entered office,” the report states. “To fill these vacancies and change the nature of the federal judiciary for decades, President Trump and Senate Republicans have been rushing nominees through the Senate at a breakneck pace by changing the process for consideration and eliminating traditions that had been followed for over a century.”

The “blue slip” tradition referred to in the report is an unwritten rule in the Senate process, honored by both parties for decades, meant to simultaneously preserve a more bipartisan approach to the judicial nomination process and make sure both home-state senators approve of judicial nominees.

The tradition is named after a blue form that is given to the two home-state senators asking for their assessment of the nominee. If the senator has no objection, the blue slip is returned to the committee chairman with a positive response. If they don’t approve of the nominee, the blue form is withheld or returned with a negative response.

Friday’s report says Republicans used blue slips to block 18 Obama court nominees, including six nominees for federal appeals courts, which rank just below the U.S. Supreme Court and have a huge hand in determining some of the most important matters of law in the nation. 

After Trump was elected, Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, eschewed the blue-slip tradition, according to the report.

Michael Brennan was confirmed to the Seventh Circuit on Thursday over the objection of Tammy Baldwin, the home-state senator from Wisconsin. Similarly, Ryan Bounds was nominated to fill a vacancy on the Ninth Circuit over the objections of Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Democratic senators from Oregon.

Republicans can only get things done by sneaking stuff through in thoroughly undemocratic and crooked ways.

And here’s why Germaine Greer is trending.


Speaking in a BBC documentary that will be aired on Saturday, called Germaine Bloody Greer, and reported in the Sun and the Mirror, she says: “Someone like Beyoncé – who I think is a fantastic musician, a beautiful voice as true as a bell – why has she always got to be fucking naked and have her tits hanging out? Why?

“I’m not saying you have to keep your clothes on, but why is sexual display part of the job? I might as well ask that question to a barmaid who says she doesn’t get any tips if she doesn’t show cleavage.”

Greer also criticises female athletes, saying: “Why do women athletes have to be naked? I watched bloody figure skating and the woman is virtually naked. She has got a few wisps of cloth and the man is in evening dress. You think nakedness is usually a sign of submission, it’s a sign of inequality.”

She describes her own nude photos, taken for Suck magazine in 1971, as “revolutionary” and a “disruptive gesture”.

Accused of transphobia having repeatedly declared that people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery are not women, Greer caused further outrage recently when she said that “most rapes don’t involve any injury whatsoever”.

Oh, yeah there’s more. She’s written a book “Rape” due out in September.  I actually think she and Bernie Sanders should take up knitting. Oh, and Susanne Sarandon can join them too!

I think I’ve had enough sunshine for one day!  Did the paintings help?

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


57 Comments on “Friday Reads: Put on a Happy Face!!!”

  1. dakinikat says:

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. renxkyoko says:

    I LOLed at that part * Bernie Sanders and Susan Sarandon should take up knitting *

    • dakinikat says:

      Thx. I strongly feel it’s the best use of their time! 😉

      • NW Luna says:

        Knitting is probably too complex for them. You need some mathematical and engineering abilities, and patience, to do much knitting. It’s been traditionally undervalued the last few centuries because it’s thought of as a women’s occupation, even though men did much of the knitting earlier. There are still some cultures where most men do knitting; for example in Peru. The colors and patterns the men and women knit there boggle my mind. (Says someone who can’t quite figure out knitting.)

        • lililam says:

          I agree. My sixth grade teacher taught us how to knit, informing the boys that a Frenchman invented it (I am sorry to say that I never confirmed or denied this.) I am still working on a complex baby blanket for the birth of my 36 y.o. son.

        • Delphyne49 says:

          Without the LIKE emoji, I hereby 👍 and 👏 and 😂 this comment!

  4. dakinikat says:

    Good News Every one!!

    • dakinikat says:

      ormer Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been hit with new charges filed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

      Mueller filed a superseding indictment Friday in a D.C. court that brought two new accounts against Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort aide.

      The two new counts, which layer onto five previously issued charges, accuse Manafort and Kiliminik, who ran the Kiev office of Manafort’s political consulting company Davis Manafort Partners, of obstructing justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

      Manafort and Kiliminik “knowingly and intentionally attempted to persuade” two unidentified persons with “intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding,” according to the new court filing.

      Kilimnik had previously been mentioned, but not named, in court documents as a “person A” with ties to Russian intelligence.
      In March, documents filed by Mueller’s team had alleged that Manafort and his longtime business associate Richard Gates, were aware that an unidentified associate “was a former Russian Intelligence Officer.”

  5. bostonboomer says:

    I have to agree with Germaine Greer about the way women athletes are forced to dress. It’s gotten to the point where women runners are practically wearing bikinis.

    • dakinikat says:

      Germaine Greer calls for punishment for rape to be reduced
      Feminist academic tells Hay festival that ‘most rape is just lazy, careless and insensitive’

      • bostonboomer says:

        Most men who commit rape don’t get punished at all.

        • NW Luna says:

          True, and usually the sentencing is ridiculously light. I don’t agree with Greer that rape isn’t a serious crime.

          I do agree with her about the discordance between what so women and men are expected to wear. Why is it the norm for men wear comfortable baggy shorts to go swimming (unless in competitive swimming) when women should wear skin tight, skimpy, uncomfortable swimsuits? Look at how silly most women’s shoes are — painful, terrible to walk in, flimsy. (Orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists love women’s fashion shoes — those sprained or broken ankles and deformed feet.) And no pockets in most women’s garments!

          Years ago after taking women’s self-defense and karate classes I decided not to wear any outfit in which I couldn’t run or kick. Sometimes I don’t follow that guideline but I always feel more vulnerable then.

          I want to be comfortable in my body regardless of what I wear, but don’t want to be ogled. In certain environments and temperatures I don’t want to wear much in the way of clothing. But unfortunately in this current society the reality is that barely clothed women symbolize something very different than do barely clothed men.

      • NW Luna says:

        Greer is right that a man “claiming his conjugal rights” when the woman does not want sex is indeed rape. But then she either linguistically fumbles or just plain doesn’t get it when she says that most rape is just “bad sex.” It is true that most rapes do not mean beatings and stabbings to the woman, but rape is physical invasion and causes very serious psychological damage. Never mind if there are obvious bruises or not — rape does cause significant injury.

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      My girlfriend and i were watching the NCAA track and field championships last night and I ask the question, why are the women in panties. Basically bikini bottoms and t-shirts.

      In international competition it is usually bikini bottoms and sports bras.

      What can it be other than to make then look sexy?

      It cannot be for competitive advantage or men would be wearing similar outfits.

      It is absurd.

      • dakinikat says:

        yeah. Was telling BB that it’s one thing for Bey to make her decisions on costumes and for the Wiliams sisters to design and wear their own uniforms but it’s completely another thing when you force young athletes into skimpy wear with no say …

        • RonStill4Hills says:

          Something else that I have noticed is that the “mainstream media” is extremely fickle in terms of how they treat celebrity women in regard to their image, particularly as it pertains to sexuality. Single woman half-naked and writhing around on stage- Rihanna – “Disgraceful!” Married woman half naked and doing the exact same dance – Beyoncé – “Fierce and powerful!”

          I am not going after Queen B, but there is a marked difference when it comes to women on their own (or with other women), versus women with a male “sponsor”.

          Just something I notice.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Interesting point.

          • dakinikat says:

            Now that you say that … I wonder if they will let up on Miley Cyrus once she takes the plunge …

          • RonStill4Hills says:

            Miley is a great example. When she was a juvenile, under Billy Ray’s rule she was used by the family values crowd to beat bad girls Britney and Christina about the head and shoulders with her wholesomeness.

            After she gained her majority and her own agency she was thoroughly reject as foul and unlovely.

            I don’t remember who it was that they said, “Why can’t she be sweet like Britney” about when Britney was still a little girl but There is a pattern. It repeats over and over.

            Half of the energy of the “system” is dedicated to sexualizing and exploiting our girls and the other half is dedicated to demonizing them after we do it.

          • NW Luna says:

            Half of the energy of the “system” is dedicated to sexualizing and exploiting our girls and the other half is dedicated to demonizing them after we do it.


        • bostonboomer says:

          I think her views on transgender men are a little more complex than people are giving her credit for. She’s obviously struggling to work this out in her own mind, and think that’s a legitimate thing for people to do. Another headline at the guardian says that older women should just shut up on the subject. It appears that ageism is pretty powerful too, and no one seems to care about that.

          • NW Luna says:

            Ageism is so prevalent — many people don’t realize that until they get older and they’re targets themselves. #Stereotypes.

          • NW Luna says:

            Well, I still don’t understand why changing your body shape artificially from male to female makes you a woman anymore than artificially changing your body from white to black would make you part of the black community. Either way it’s changing the outside and not one’s lived experience in a female or black body or whatever up to that point.

            I think if people want to, they should be able to use plastic surgery and medication to change whatever aspect of themselves they please, if they’re fully informed of the risks/benefits (as for any other medical choice) and are mentally competent. But I don’t understand why it would truly make the person any different.

            How this culture treats women and men, and darker- and lighter-skinned people, is yet another subject.

          • quixote says:

            Very good article by Glosswitch (Victoria Smith) on Greer and how not agreeing with some of what a person says doesn’t invalidate everything else. And on the ageism, which, as you say, nobody seems to give a flying hoot about.

            Kind of ironic, really. Everybody (if they’re lucky) will grow old. A low single digit % are transgender.

            Greer made huge contributions, still makes contributions in centering women, and it makes me angry to see her treated with so little respect. So she has some dotty opinions. Ross Douthat and David Brooks and dozens of others have nothing but stupid opinions, but never seem to get that treatment.

          • NW Luna says:

            Thanks for that link, quixote. Glosswitch is an insightful writer. Spot on with her comment on women being told to shut up and not have opinions once they’re no longer baby-incubator age.

          • dakinikat says:

            Quixote that’s my take … mixed bag … some points valid and others wtf?

  6. dakinikat says:

  7. bostonboomer says:

    TransCanada’s New ‘Best-In-Class’ Gas Pipeline Explodes in West Virginia, Causing Fiery Blast

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. dakinikat says:

    Trump is leaving the G-7 early … he certainly must be giving Putin a hard on …

    By pulling out early, Trump will skip sessions focused on climate change, the oceans and clean energy. He will also miss the traditional group-photo opportunity among fellow heads of state. The president may also miss the opportunity to host a summit-ending news conference, something world leaders traditionally do. The leader of the host nation, in this case Trudeau, also takes questions and gives closing remarks. Trump chose not to hold a news conference last year, becoming the only G-7 leader not to do so before leaving Italy, according to The Hill. He opted instead for a speech at a nearby naval air station.

  10. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Love it!

      I had to look up the song. Wiki has an English translation. Interesting origin:

      The song has much older origins though in the hardships of the mondina women, the paddy field workers in the late 19th century who sang it as a protest against harsh working conditions in the paddy fields in North Italy.

    • Delphyne49 says:

      Hope lives here….

  11. bostonboomer says:

  12. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Real representational crowd of Americans there — all white. Well, of course; that’s Trump’s version.

  13. NW Luna says:

    Putting this excerpt from a different Glosswitch article down here since the indenting was making the lines really short up above.

    This is about an uproar from conservatives on a new gender-neutral kids’ clothing line. I’ve always thought the whole feminine vs masculine clothing was weird. Sure, allow for valid anatomical differences, but otherwise why can’t we have a wide range of clothing options for anyone to wear without stereotypes. Same with makeup and hairstyles, shaving or not shaving. And it would be more fun for everyone (except hung-up patriarchal men and their brainwashed women).

    …the gender-neutral clothing debacle reminds us that eradicating sexism isn’t just a matter of educating the ignorant. If sexists already know that gender is a social construct, it’s more a question of persuading them that the benefits of equality outweigh those of patriarchy. The trouble is, for men such as Piers Morgan, it may well be that they don’t.

    Gendered clothing differences are ridiculous, but they are effective in maintaining a hierarchy which benefits some people while disadvantaging others. As this excellent thread on school uniform by @honeypsquared shows, so-called “girls’ clothes” are often uncomfortable and impractical, limiting freedom of movement and leading to broader, lasting changes in how girls behave.

    An alternative world – in which girls move as freely as boys – is one which many people fear. Telling them “it’s only clothing” isn’t enough. They know it’s more than that.

    • quixote says:

      Too true. Editorial cartoons used to be something I enjoyed. Now? Kids are being separated from parents, families broken up, women being stuffed into Kinder-Kirche-und-Kuche boxes, destruction of religious places, people being seen as vermin, and it just gets worse and this shit ain’t funny anymore. I still get a one-sided grin from the cartoons, but they’re all too true.

  14. Minkoff Minx says:

    tRump is making an unscheduled speech at the G7.
    Geez, what the fuck is he going to do now!

    • NW Luna says:

      Humiliate the U.S. and suck up to Putin.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      He has dyed the squirrel on top of his head back to red.

      My god the asshole mouth is spewing shit.

      United States treated unfairly. He doesn’t blame the other leaders. Blames the past leaders of US. Said other foreign leaders took a great advantage. But he said that was good for them.

      First question is fucking laughable. Does tRump have nerves of steel in his upcoming meeting with Kim Jung Un.

      “Something happened and Russia was no longer a part of the G8”

      I feel sick.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      • dakinikat says:

        Omg. He’s insane. I daily wish he steps in to traffic and some one pushes him under a speeding semi
        … I am personally afraid of what he’s going to do in Singapore and my guess is we’re being unofficially tossed out of the G7. He’s a freaking toddler with absolutely no knowledge of anything. He’s doesn’t understand the rudimentary stuff in business even!