Sunday Reads: Neon Jesus Open Thread

Here is an open thread for now…I’m working on a post and it will be a while before it is up. 

Holy Hell, Wednesday Afternoon

Today is Wednesday, and it is a day of most importance to all “Gawd Furrin'” good xtians in Banjoville….it is a day that you will find most businesses closed. Yup…can’t even get you a new confederate flag or a can of lighter fluid down at the Local Red KKK Convenient Store because Wednesday is a day of rest and reflection and prayer for bigoted racist in this quiet red-neck backwoods mountain town.

I wonder if the talk at church this evening will be about the historic moment from yesterday’s DNC in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton: The First Lady to Become the Nominee – The Atlantic

In a historic moment, the Democratic Party formally nominated Hillary Clinton for president Tuesday, making her the first female nominee for the nation’s highest office in 240 years.


I am so grateful for Boston Boomer, for putting up a thread this morning…as you all may know, we are in the process of moving to a new house…and today we are moving the big items. So again this is an open thread. Here are a few links to get you started:

Here is the transcript of the speech last night by Bill Clinton. I didn’t even get a chance to see it. We cannot even get satellite service here…the new house is that far into the mountains that the trees block all line of sight to the satellites above! From what I understand, it was a knockout:

Transcript: Bill Clinton’s DNC speech –

And next, a few links on Trump:

Trump Says Russia Will Be ‘Rewarded’ For Hack, But Pence Promises ‘Serious Consequences’ | Mediaite

In a bit of mixed messaging,Donald Trump promised mighty rewards to Russia in exchange for interfering in the election, while his VP pick promised “serious consequences.”

At a press conference Wednesday morning Trump encouraged Russia to release State Department emails in order to injure Hillary Clinton‘s campaign. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he said.

Shortly afterward, his Vice Presidential nominee, Indian Gov. Mike Pence issued a statement saying that, rather than rewards, there would be “serious consequences” to Russia if it was behind the hack of the DNC emails released to the public last Friday. (Expertsbelieve that Russia is responsible.)

Pence’s statement reads in full:

The FBI will get to the bottom of who is behind the hacking. If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences. That said, the Democrats singularly focusing on who might be behind it and not addressing the basic fact that they’ve been exposed as a party who not only rigs the government, but rigs elections while literally accepting cash for federal appointments is outrageous. The American people now have absolute and further proof of the corruption that exists around Hillary Clinton. It should disqualify her from office, if the media did their job. [emphasis added]

Not backing down, Trump tweeted, “If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!”

Shakesville: What Donald Trump Just Did Is Tantamount to Treason

At a press conference earlier today, Donald Trump said: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the thirty thousand emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.”

Holy fuck!

To put that in perspective…take a look at this headline:

Donald Trump To Begin Getting Intelligence Briefings : NPR

Now, let all that sink in a bit, and tell me if you don’t feel ill right about now.

More links to ponder:

From Wonkette: Donald Trump Wishes Democrats Would Maybe Use Some Patriotic Imagery, The Commies

Cheering crowds greet Pope as he arrives in Krakow – BBC News

Pope Francis calls for solidarity with refugees during speech in Kraków | World news | The Guardian

Column: What we need to do to prevent food shortages on a global scale | PBS NewsHour

Hey, It Was Hard Not to Cry at This Historic DNC — Vulture

The glass ceiling: a metaphor that needs to be smashed | US news | The Guardian

I hope everyone has a smashing afternoon!

Sunday Reads: The Run Around Open Thread 

Oh boy, what a night…

We had to unexpectedly drive to Atlanta International Airport last night to pick up a couple of Bebe’s friends who otherwise would have been stranded for who knows how long. 

They were flying in from Florida at midnight and originally planned to meet up with their mom who was supposed to be already there and waiting…having caught an early international flight after visiting family in Haiti. 

During one point of the journey we found ourselves in a busy section of Atlanta directly next to the airport. Running low on fuel, we pull over in my mom’s Mustang and I ran into the gas station to pay…waiting in line, not realizing the bullet proof glass barrier had two windows open for convenient and expedient customer service. (I must say, that fill-up went as fast as I could go…)

When we got back on the road, it was a lesson for Bebe…she witnessed her first solicitation by a prostitute. Two women in fact. It was very overtly obvious too, moving their arms our way…as if to get us to pull into the parking lot where they were standing.  I guess they saw the big Mustang engine hood vent and dark tented windows and figured….this dude is overcompensating for something. Easy target for sure. 

A few moments later…. Bebe witnessed her second proposition. This time by a “hooker” and her “pimp”…who were both dressed in what looked like white linen. Something snazzy and islandish    that you would expect on Miami Beach. He even has a suave white cabana hat tilted just right. 

Like the two previous women…these offers or suggestions were as bold and went so far as the man even hollered out, pointing to the drive way next to the woman in white. I guess it was the usual turn off for clientele? 

My mom was amazed at how brazen they all were…so out in the open. (You see, by this time another “lady of the night” made the same gestures of companionship. )

When we finally got to a red light, I thought for sure…the parties standing on the corner would be just as attentive to us…and you bet your ass they were. I mean, was it a Saturday night on the main drag near the Atlanta International Airport….or a Tuesday evening around the RNC in Cleveland? 

But this time we actually heard what the kind-hearted, helpful prostitutes and pimps were trying to alert us to!!!!

My mother drove away from the gas station, and never turned on her head lights. She had been driving that whole time without her lights on…and all those people were trying to tell the dingbat old lady cruising the strip after midnight to…turn on her lights!

The moral of the story being….ah, don’t jump to conclusions when it comes to a ho’s propositions in the night. They just might be trying to save your life. 

Oh boy, what a night…

Long story short, we left Banjoville around 6:30pm….did not get back in town and into bed until 5:58am. 

 I feel like the happy little handsaw has done a number on me, but I am still able to walk on my own accord. My mom’s hip went out and by the end of the excursion….she had to be escorted into the house by the three girls. (The evening was just too much for her old bones.) 

So today, the post is an open thread. 

Lazy Saturday Reads


Good Afternoon!!

This post is extra late, because my internet has been down all morning. I can’t believe how isolated I feel without it! Thank goodness it’s working again.

This morning Donald Trump finally announced that Mike Pence will be his running mate. NBC News:

Extolling Donald Trump as a “good man who will make a great president,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence took the stage Saturday at a New York City hotel to accept the real estate mogul’s invitation to be his vice presidential running mate on the Republican ticket.

Pence, speaking in a plaintive and almost folksy language, said of Trump that he was “grateful to this builder, this fighter, this patriotic American who has set aside his legendary career in business to build a stronger America.” ….

Just before formally unveiling Pence as his pick Saturday following an earlier announcement on Twitter on Friday, Trump spent much of his introduction pivoting from topic to topic about religious freedom, ISIS, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and manufacturing jobs — while occasionally mentioning the Indiana governor.

Pence will help “fix our rigged system,” Trump said, adding, “He’ll fight for the people, and he’ll also fight for you.”

I wonder who “you” is? He’ll fight for “the people” and also “you?” Trump also said that Pence was his “first choice from the start,” even though everyone knows that he spend 2 days waffling about it.

Philip Rucker at The Washington Post: Trump picks Pence after late hesitation, hoping for a steadying influence.

Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a strait-laced and seasoned conservative, as his running mate Friday was designed to be a soothing overture that could repair the fractured Republican Party and signal a newfound discipline in the celebrity billionaire’s bid for the White House.

But Trump’s apparent 11th-hour indecision and private hesi­ta­tion about Pence, coupled with a delayed and fitful introduction, threatened to undercut part of the rationale for Pence joining the ticket: steadying a turbulent general-election campaign.

Trump announced Friday on Twitter that he had chosen Pence and that they would make their first joint appearance at a news conference Saturday in New York. The social-media proclamation capped a period of extraordinary uncertainty and mixed signals about the selection, just days before the Republican National Convention is set to open here in Cleveland.

Rucker suggests that Pence’s far right wing stances on social issues could shift the focus of Trump’s campaign.

In Pence, Trump has a classically credentialed if generic campaign partner. Trump, 70, will rely on the 57-year-old Midwesterner to shore up support where Pence has nurtured deep relationships, such as on the Christian right and with the conservative movement’s moneyed establishment. A former chairman of the House Republican Conference, the ideological purist was embraced by many corners of the Republican coalition Friday that had been cool to Trump’s candidacy.

But there were also immediate signs that Pence could shift the focus of the overall debate in ways Trump may not intend. Pence brings a visceral ideological edge to what has been a populist campaign centered on economic grievances and strident nationalism.

While Trump mostly avoids social issues on the campaign trail and his positions have evolved over the years, Pence has a history of vocally promoting a hard-line conservative agenda — from opposing same-sex marriage and abortion rights to defunding Planned Parenthood.

We’ll see. Meanwhile liberals are having a field day digging up dirt on Pence’s many horrible actions as governor of Indiana like defunding Planned Parenthood, signing draconian anti-abortion laws, trying to block Syrian immigrants from settling in the state, and, of course, signing a “religious freedom” law to allow businesses to discriminate against gays.

Elizabeth Warren weighed in on Twitter:

Read more of her tweets from this morning here.

The coup in Turkey is apparently over, according to CNN:

Turkey’s government said Saturday it was firmly in control after a coup attempt the night before sparked violence and chaos, leaving 161 people dead.

Friday’s uprising by some members of the military is the latest worrying example of deteriorating stability in a country that a few years ago was being promoted to the wider Muslim world as a model of democratic governance and economic prosperity.
Some 14 years after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political party swept to power in elections, Turkey once again teeters on the brink.
Clothes and weapons belonging to soldiers involved in the coup attempt lie on the ground abandoned on Bosphorus Bridge.
The turmoil exposes deep discontent within the military ranks and a defiant Erdogan has vowed to purge those traitorous elements. But less than 24 hours after the attempted putsch, questions remained about who masterminded it and why they decided to act now.
Turkish military authorities, meanwhile, closed the airspace around Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base — the site Turkey allows the United States to use for operations related to its air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq — a U.S. defense official told CNN on Saturday.
This has led to a halt in U.S. airstrike missions from that location, the official said on condition of anonymity. Turkish officials told the United States that the airspace has been closed until they can make sure all elements of the Turkish air force are in the hands of pro-government forces after Friday’s coup attempt, the U.S. official said.


The BBC has a feel-good story following the terrible attack in Nice, France: Attack in Nice: Missing baby boy reunited with his family.

A baby boy who went missing during the lorry attack in Nice on Thursday has been reunited with his family after a Facebook appeal went viral.

The child and his parents had become separated during the Bastille Day incident.

Yohlaine Ramasitera, a friend of the boy’s parents, posted a picture of herself with the missing baby on Facebook, and included her phone number in the post.

Yohlaine’s appeal was spotted by her friend Rebecca Boulanger a pastor at Nice’s Victory Christian Church. She was at home with her husband Phillipe and their 18-month-old daughter.

Boulanger wrote a Facebook post in English appealing for help to find the child….

Within two hours Yohlaine was contacted by a local woman who had seen her Facebook post. She said she had taken the baby to her home and he was safe and well.

“It was a miracle.” Boulanger said. “A picture of the child was requested from the woman to ensure that it was him, and then finally the baby was reunited with his worried parents.”

I’m so glad this one little boy was found safe after all the horror stories we’ve heard.

I want to share a couple of articles that demonstrate what a long way we still have to go to deal with the misogyny and sexism in our society.

Natalie Kon-yu of Victoria University

Natalie Kon-yu of Victoria University

From Literary Hub: On Sexism in Literary Prize Culture: Men’s Writing is Just Writing and Everything Else is a Sub-Classification, by Natalie Kon-yu. It’s a very long piece; so if you’re interested, please go read the whole thing. An excerpt:

For more than a decade, I’ve been researching women’s writing—the assumptions about it and its reception. Lately, I’ve been focusing my academic research on literary prize culture, as I think that prizes show us, quite clearly, whose work we value and whose we don’t. Part of this was the result of reading Evie Wyld’s All the Birds, Singing. I was unsettled that the novel won the Miles Franklin, not because the writing isn’t beautiful or the story isn’t urgent, but because the book features a female protagonist who, for most of the novel, could have been a male character.

When a woman wins a national writing prize, we, as a culture, are prompted to see that as a major achievement for women, an indication that we are living in a meritocracy. So it is troubling when a female-authored book occupies hard-worn male territory, and when it is rewarded for precisely that reason. The novel’s protagonist, Jake, is moody and insular and lives on her own with her pet, Dog, for company. Praised for her physical skills, Jake—already masculinized through her name, short hair and manly clothing—is told by one of the shearers she works with that she is “a good bloody bloke.” In his review, Geordie Williamson writes that “wearing a self-cut fringe and habitually clothed in grimy dungarees, Jake has so successfully erased her gender that the reader is driven to confused re-reading.”

Even more troubling to me, though, is the praise that Wyld’s book elicited from the Miles Franklin judges, who begin their citation by characterizing the book as a “road-movie-in-reverse.” This reading of masculine tropes within the text continues: the novel is also labeled an “upside-down pastoral elegy” and as being “replete with adrenaline-fuelled escapades;” all characteristics that have historically been used to describe men’s, rather than women’s, fiction. This is echoed in the reviews for the book: the Sydney Morning Herald praises Wyld for her skilled use of the “aesthetics of omission” à la Ernest Hemingway, ending the review by stating that “Evie Wyld can look forward to a career as successful and distinguished as that of old Papa himself.” To proclaim this as a victory for women, or for women’s writing, seems highly problematic.

Compare this to Olive Kitteridge, the novel that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2009 (unfortunately the Pulitzer doesn’t publish detailed judges’ reports). The New York Times opined that Olive wasn’t a nice person, citing passages from the book—”Olive had a way about her that was absolutely without apology”—yet the review also noted that as the novel progressed “a more complicated portrait of the woman emerges.” Olive is a complex woman, emotional yet acidic, large and yet fragile. She has a husband and son; she lives an ordinary, yet completely intriguing, life in small-town USA. That Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer for this novel-in-stories about the eponymous Olive can, I think, be seen more clearly as that rare and tricky thing: a win for women writers.

But more often than not, when a woman wins a major literary award, she wins for writing like a male writer, for writing about men, or for setting her work in an unmistakenly masculine environment.

That should give you a sense of what the article is about. It’s both fascinating and discouraging.

Samantha Bee and her team

Then there’s this from Fansided: #EMMYSNUBS ‘Full Frontal’: The Variety Talk Series Category Still A Boys’ Club.

TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee is more than anyone could have hoped for of the Daily Show alum. When Trevor Noah took up Jon Stewart’s mantle, it was clear that the only way there would ever be a woman in Late Night was if someone took it upon themselves to break that barrier. And the venture has been a successful one, gaining the show at least an Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series nod.

Which is why this snub is not as severe as it could have been but that doesn’t diminish that she was still left out of the top prize. And it’s not just calling into question the fact that the only female late night host was excluded but why?

The real question is not why she wasn’t nominated for an Emmy but what exactly does she have to do to get nominated?

The author suggests that Samantha Bee’s problem is her “lack of a penis.” You can watch some great bits from Full Frontal at the link.

What else is happening? Let us know in the comment thread and have a terrific weekend!


Friday Reads

Take by Brianna Paciorka for The Advocate at the funeral of Allton Sterling on the campus of SU.

 Taken by Brianna Paciorka for The Advocate at the funeral of Allton Sterling on the campus of SU.

C’est meme pas une chanson triste

It’s one of those days where you begin to wonder if having all this information and connectivity is good for your mental health.  You hear and see things first hand that make you sad and make you cringe.  The sad headings today include the memorial service for Alton Sterling and the horrible slaughter of innocents by a mentally anguished man driving a truck through the busy, celebrating streets of Nice, France.

The worst thing was the sheer number of children coming in, the nature of their injuries – serious head trauma and broken limbs – and the emotion felt by the children and their families,” said Frederic Sola, a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon who worked in the hospital emergency room through the night. “The children were physically very injured but also emotionally very hurt.”

Some relatives were in such shock they were unable to talk. “The psychologists have heard terrible things, there are awful stories that children are telling,” said Stéphanie Simpson, head of the hospital’s communications team.

She said 39 people hit in the attacks had been brought to the children’s emergency department. A total of 30 children were treated at the hospital after the attack – the youngest only a few months old and the oldest was 18. Two children died in the night after being admitted. Several children were still in intensive care on Friday.

That is a horrible thing to have to witness and see.  A French student teacher taught at my high school when I studied there. He lived with two of my best friends’ family and I’m in contact with him still.  He and his family run a small restaurant in Nice.  His son witnessed some of aftermath; the carnage.  The glorious bastards known as the right wing are taunting people that the weapons remained in the car while the truck mowed down people simply celebrating Bastille Day. There is some debate on the motivation for the attack as the man was experiencing a number of personal difficulties.  The driver was a 31 year old native of Tunisia.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and authorities did not release information about a motive. But Molins said Friday that the attack fits with calls that “terrorist organizations regularly give out on their videos and elsewhere.”

Bouhlel was known by police because of allegations of threats, violence and thefts over the last six years, and he was given a suspended six-month prison sentence this year after being convicted of violence with a weapon, Molins said.

But he was “entirely unknown by the intelligence services, whether nationally or locally,” Molins said.

“He had never been the subject of any kind of file or indication of radicalization,” Molin said.

The attack was launched on a popular street that would normally be packed with tourists and residents on a sunny afternoon in July.

Miles gets a Pikachu (Polygon) Emily got this for me a long time ago because she knows I adored the spunky little beast.

Miles gets a Pikachu.

Eighty Four people have died as a result so far and as mentioned above, many of them were children enjoying a day of celebration.  Why is it that when men melt down they feel the need to take so many others with them?  Can’t they just go jump off a bridge or something?

Meanwhile, I did sign up for Pokemon Go last weekend and went out last night for my first Pokestop to pick up some of those pesky free balls.  Yes, I was out trolling the streets for balls and critters. The game is one of those things now that can only be described as a phenomenon.

I can explain it because I’m one of those parents of a kid of a certain age that obsessed about taking pictures of Pokemons on their primative Nintendo.  Youngest Daughter is an avid player as is her friend from here that’s now chasing them around the Jersey Shore.  An entire new bunch of kids and parents are out chasing them around parks and neighborhoods confusing many “get off my lawn” types.    I had a friend whose game of Golf was interrupted at city park by a group of Pokemon chasing children. Frankly, I think that’s cute and healthy.  Better outside gaming like this than on the couch.  Right FLOTUS?

Now, you shouldn’t be doing this while driving a car or in the middle of some one’s funeral at a cemetary.  There’s also some question as to the level of identity theft that might be attributable to the ap.  I don’t really care.  I’ve always been up for a good scavenger hunt and I’m an Anime fan from way back.

To fully understand Pokémon Go, you have to go back to the canonical beginnings of Pokémon. Around 1990, a video game designer named Satoshi Tajiri began hammering out the concept of Pokémon, which combined his childhood hobby of insect collecting with his love for video games.

“Places to catch insects are rare because of urbanization,” Tajiri told Time in 1999. “Kids play inside their homes now, and a lot had forgotten about catching insects. So had I. When I was making games, something clicked and I decided to make a game with that concept.”

Six years after Tajiri came up with this initial concept, with the help of Nintendo and designer/illustrator Ken Sugimori (Sugimori drew the initial 151 different Pokémon himself), the first Pokémon game was released on Game Boy.

The word Pokémon itself is the Americanized/Westernized contraction of “pocket monsters” — which, yes, can sound sort of inappropriate — and the original first-person game centered on a young trainer capturing 151 different types of Pokémon, ranging from ones that vaguely resemble turtles (Squirtle) to humanoid ones (Jynx) to the most recognizable Pokémon in the world, Pikachu.

That this combination of Nintendo 8-bit processing magic and lack of color was so magical is a testament to the ingenuity of Tajiri’s initial idea.

So, I’ve battled a few of the wild pokemon.  Visited a pokeman stop and know where the local gym is by looking at my ap which connects with the local GPS and Google maps.  There are some interesting stories coming up about the game from all over.  Here’s a few to get our minds to the idea that we can move around our neighborhoods, interact with our neighbors, and have some good clean fun while forgetting there are crazy people out there that wish us harm.  My favorite story is that Hillary Clinton is “using Pokemon to get votes.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mallorie Sullivan reports that Clinton’s Ohio staff spent the past weekend going “from Cuyahoga to Athens to seek out players in their communities to register them to vote.”

There’s even an official Hillary event scheduled in Lakewood, Ohio, pegged to the game. “Join us as we go to the Pokestop in Madison Park and put up a lure module, get free pokemon, & battle each other while you register voters and learn more about Sec. Hillary Clinton!!!” the event description says. “Kids welcome!”

Lure modules, for context, are items in the game that attract a large number of Pokémon to a given area. You can acquire them for free, but to use them for any length of time usually requires shelling out for additional lures, meaning the Clinton campaign could be spending funds on attracting Pokémon (and players) to its events.

Clinton has even mentioned it in campaign speeches. She suggests we Pokemon Go to the Polls!

pokeman go

I battle a wild pokemon on the streets of New Orleans with the virtual “help” of a neighbor.

There is even a really lame  attack ad on Hillary now from “millenials for Trump” with a player named “crooked Hillary”.  It’s not particularly clever and probably isn’t going to gain any kind of real attention.

Well, it was only a matter of time before the U.S. presidential candidates started trying to capitalize on the nationwide phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. A new attack ad posted yesterday by Donald Trump imagines his opponent, Hillary Clinton, as a Pokémon to be captured and, presumably, locked away forever.

Clinton’s Pokémon name is, of course, “Crooked Hillary,” and she’s listed as a Career Politician-type creature with a CP (combat power) rating of 1. The clip describes her as “often found lying to the American people, rigging the system, and sharing TOP SECRET emails.” The ad also imagines Clinton’s next evolution as “unemployed.”

To be clear, while Trump posted the brief video on his Facebook page, it does not appear to be an ad that his campaign created. The required “I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message” notice is nowhere to be found, and the video doesn’t say that it was paid for by the Trump campaign.

What’s far more likely, considering how much time the candidate spends retweeting messages from his supporters, is that one of the Trump faithful — someone who’s a bit more savvy when it comes to social media — made the video. We’ve reached out to the Trump campaign for clarification, and will update this article with any information we receive.

In what is perhaps a coincidence, Trump posted the video on the same day that Clinton herself invoked the name of Pokémon Go. During a campaign stop yesterday in Annandale, Virginia, Clinton joked that app developers could make a mobile game to increase voter turnout: “I don’t know who created Pokémon Go, but I’m trying to figure out how we get them to have Pokémon Go to the Polls!”

So, I’m not sure how long this is going to be a big deal, but for the moment it’s a good distraction and I’m really curious to just observe the entire thing from both the standpoints of a business product, strategy and marketing and a psychological thing.   Perhaps it’s a Michelle Obama conspiracy to get people moving?

Pokemon Go has gained massive popularity lately for its fun interface and use ofaugmented reality. But the app is also providing a few unexpected health benefits for gamers.

While playing video games is typically a sedentary activity, Pokemon Go requires users to walk around and explore their real-life surroundings in search of Pokemon to capture. This has apparently inspired gamers to get outdoors and get moving.

There’s some anecdotal evidence that suggests the game is promoting more physical activity (and some people are even reporting spikes in activity on their fitness trackers). The app’s users are taking to social media to share their experiences of getting exercise while playing …

There have also been some Pokemon mishaps.  This includes car wrecks. 

Tuesday, Texas A&M University Police tweeted that on Monday, an illegally-parked car was hit from behind, causing the second car’s airbags to deploy. Police say the driver of the illegally-parked car had left it to catch a Pokemon.

Just before that post, UPD sent another tweet noting that Monday, a suspicious vehicle was reported to them about 1:00 a.m. driving on campus. Police responded, and found the occupants were playing Pokemon Go.

In addition to traffic concerns, law enforcement has asked people not to go to unsafe or unfamiliar areas to play the game.


There is something on my desk! Wait! Don’t I have two cats that are supposed to deal with this? No wonder today’s post is so damned late!!!

This also includes a few inventive robberies, a found dead body, and a fall from a cliff.  I did have a friend venture out into the street last night with my phone but we were watching out for traffic and him even if he wasn’t.  I got in the middle of a long discussion about the PokeStops last night at J&J’s Sports Bar up the street from the kathouse. The stops seem to be located in the places most likely to be the busiest in the neighborhood.  They must’ve been chosen on the number of folks on line there at some point or doing reviews or something.  The places are free now, but will the company try to monetize this access eventually and change stops based on cash payments?

I told my friend that owns the BBQ Joint which is the Gym for a huge swath of the game zone that he should try to figure out if he can monetize it first to determine if it’s worth paying a fee eventually should that occur. My friends at the bar where I hung out last night have already been celebrating their stop status on their social media.  I did watch a bunch of tourists stop  on their way places last night.   There are also local, more public things like statues, historical signs, and churches–all outside of buildings–that are designated stops too.  You really can walk around your neighborhood and hit a stop every five or six blocks somewhere.  I live in an urban hood though.  I’m sure it’s different if you’re out in the boonies somewhere or burbs.

Some unlucky Pokémon GO players are getting more than they bargained for when they fall off cliffs, get mugged, or even find a dead body while searching for Pokémon.

Here’s a round-up of some of the biggest Pokémon GO-related incidents so far:

7/13/16 Encinitas,CA CA -0.31%: Two Men Fall From Cliff While Playing Pokémon GO

Two men fell 75 feet from a cliff while playing Pokémon GO,local news reports say. The men apparently became distracted while attempting to catch a Pokémon. A rope team was involved in the rescue of at least one of the men, neither of whom was seriously injured.

7/13/16 Anaheim, CA: Man Stabbed Multiple Times While Playing PokémonGO

A man playing Pokémon GO followed the game right into Schweitzer Park around midnight Wednesday morning, only to be set upon by multiple attackers and stabbed in the torso, according to NBC Los Angeles. It does not appear that the attackers used the game to lure the man to that location, but rather that he was distracted and unaware of his surroundings when the attack occurred.

7/13/16 Lake Ronkonkoma, NY: Teen Playing Pokémon GO Robbed By Three Attackers

A 19-year-old man was playing Pokémon GO when three men, at least one of whom was armed with a handgun, pulled up alongside him in a sedan and then robbed him and stole his phone, local reports say.

So, this is a weird, shortish open thread post for a weird, longest Friday. If you’re gonna catch them all, or if you gonna walk the streets for any reason, be careful out there!!!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?



Tuesday Reads: The Hillary and Bernie Show and Other News

The scene at the site of the Hillary-Bernie rally in Portsmouth, NH Tuesday morning.

The scene at the site of the Hillary-Bernie rally in Portsmouth, NH Tuesday morning.

Good Morning!!

Bernie Sanders will supposedly endorse Hillary Clinton this morning at 11:00 at a joint rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I’m not sure if I can bring myself to watch it, but I’ll give it a try. I’m still not convinced he will actually “endorse” her, and I’m afraid he’ll manage to say something nasty. From what I’m seeing in the news and on Twitter, this is going to be more of an anti-Trump thing, rather than a feel-good unity appearance.

Politico: Sanders to join Clinton for New Hampshire rally.

Sanders will campaign with Clinton, and is expected to endorse her, at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, less than two weeks before the Democratic National Convention begins in Philadelphia.

The Vermont senator’s campaign announced his participation minutes after the Clinton team’s email hit inboxes, with both announcements sharing the same language that the two former primary rivals will “discuss their commitment to building an America that is stronger together and an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.”

“Expected to endorse her.” See what I mean? No one seems to know for sure if he really will.

People beginning to gather for the event in Portsmouth, NH.

People beginning to gather for the event in Portsmouth, NH.

Also from Politico: Clinton and Sanders unite for the war on Trump.

For weeks now, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been engaged in a project to win over the staunchest and loudest of Bernie Sanders’ supporters in the places where they’ll matter most in November.

Using one-on-one meetings, social gatherings, and public campaign events, Clinton’s operatives have been quietly working to court his backers in battleground states Sanders won during the primary or where they fought in especially contentious contests — in some cases relying on personal appeals from staffers as senior as campaign manager Robby Mook.

The first return on that investment comes Tuesday when Sanders joins Clinton on stage here for the formal display of unity the party’s been waiting for in advance of the July convention….

Even with the specter of Donald Trump looming, however, in states like this one where Sanders beat Clinton by 22 points five months ago the unification effort hasn’t been easy. It’s been an even tougher challenge in states where the primary was particularly tense — places like Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, and Colorado, where in some cases suspicion still lingers.

But defusing those tensions has been a focus of top party brass ever since the Nevada Democratic Party convention exploded into chaos in May, and the Clinton team’s efforts — often run out of the local offices, but occasionally escalating to the Brooklyn headquarters — have ramped up since the last primary vote was held in June.

Read more about the completely one-sided “unity” efforts at the link above. Here’s another hint about how much unity there will be:

I don’t recall Hillary having special speakers at her New Hampshire unity rally with Obama in 2008, do you? Maybe I missed that.

It sounds like Al Giordano agrees with me.

In other news, the Republican National Convention begins next Monday in Cleveland. I wonder if Donald Trump will be able to find enough speakers to fill the TV time. Ted Cruz has agreed to speak, but not to endorse Trump. Apparently Trump is planning to have his current wife and his children give speeches. Joni Ernst has been given a prime-time slot, according to The New York Times. I suppose Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie will speak. And yesterday Paul Ryan agreed to give a short speech.

The Salt Lake Tribune: Part-time Trump critic Paul Ryan to speak at Republican convention.

Although we don’t yet know who else will fill out the Republican National Convention speaker list, we now know one: The speaker himself. Paul Ryan, who has not been the biggest Donald Trump fan, will speak in Cleveland next week, offering what an aide says is “the sharp contrast between Republican ideas and four more years of Obama-like progressive policies; and the need for conservatives to unite around Republican candidates in advance of a critical election.” [Politico]

Most Republican office-holders and operatives seem to be trying to find excuses not to attend the convention and many are trying to avoid even saying Donald Trump’s name.


Politico: GOP operatives dread Trump convention.

Many GOP regulars are skipping Cleveland entirely. (“I would rather attend the public hanging of a good friend,” says Will Ritter, an up-and-coming Republican digital strategist who worked on the three previous conventions.) And among those who are making the trek, there’s an overwhelming sense it won’t be fun at all. At a time when many Republicans are deeply dissatisfied with their nominee, pessimistic about their prospects for victory in the fall and alarmed about the direction of their party, there’s a reluctance about attending the convention more typically reserved for going to the DMV, being summoned for jury duty or undergoing a root canal.

“This is the first year in the past two decades that Republicans aren’t excited about attending the convention. Normally, we’re all jazzed up about getting together and celebrating our nominee,” said Chris Perkins, a GOP pollster who has attended every Republican convention since 1996. “There’s nothing to celebrate this cycle. I’m going because I have to, not because I want to.”

Those who are going often say they’re doing so out of a sense of obligation — to meet with clients or to hold meetings before making a beeline back to the airport. As the Republican Party prepares to nominate a figure who is registering historically high disapproval ratings, some don’t want to advertise their presence in Cleveland. “Don’t use my name,” said one senior party strategist. “I don’t want anyone to know I’m there.” (A few days after the interview, the strategist got back in touch, having decided not to go, after all.)

More embarrassing details for the GOP and Donald Trump at Politico.

Quicken Arena in Cleveland, site of 2016 GOP National Convention

Quicken Arena in Cleveland, site of 2016 GOP National Convention

This is interesting from NBC News: Federal Judge Rules for Anti-Trump GOP Delegate.

A federal judge blocked enforcement Monday of a Virginia law binding delegates to support the primary winner at the nominating convention.

It was a victory for Carroll “Beau” Correll, a delegate to the Republican national convention who argued that the law violated his First Amendment rights to vote for his preferred candidate. Correll supported Ted Cruz in the primary, while Donald Trump received the most votes in the state.

Correll said in an interview that the Trump campaign got “morbidly humiliated” by the outcome of the case.

“They put all their chips on the table and they lost all of them — if I were them I’d go hide in a closet in Trump Tower,” he said.

In a follow up statement, Correll made a plea to the like-minded, writing:

“To national political figures that are on the sidelines and awaiting your calling, I implore you to take a step forward from the darkness and into the light. Show us that you have the courage to stand for leader of the Free World, appeal to the better angels of our nature, and to deliver this Republic from the abomination of a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency.”

As a practical matter, the decision appeared to affect at most only some of Virginia’s delegates. Some legal experts even said the ruling may apply only to Correll himself, though it was filed as a class action on behalf of all the state’s Republican delegates.

The truth is that delegate cannot be legally bound to vote for the candidate who won their state. I wonder how many will try to avoid voting for Trump?

 In this April 8, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama embraces Scarlett Lewis, mother of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Jesse Lewis, after speaking at in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Susan Walsh)

In this April 8, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama embraces Scarlett Lewis, mother of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Jesse Lewis, after speaking at in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Susan Walsh)

President Obama will be in Dallas today to honor the five police officers who were murdered by Micah Johnson. The Washington Post reports:

Obama will try Tuesday to help grief-stricken Dallas begin to heal less than a week after its officers were killed and others wounded by an Army veteran-turned-sniper. Obama has denounced the shooting as a “vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement” by a “demented” individual.

Just a few weeks ago, Obama spent hours in Orlando, Florida, consoling the loved ones of 49 people who were killed in a shooting rampage at a nightclub.

In what has become an unwelcome but regular duty of his presidency, Obama was preparing to address an interfaith memorial service in Dallas for the officers. They were killed last Thursday while standing guard as hundreds of people peacefully protested the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier in the week….

Portions of both shootings were videotaped and broadcast nationwide, leading to fresh outrage, protests and scores of arrests. The killings also put the country on edge, heightened racial tensions and pushed the issue of the use of deadly force against black males by white police officers to the forefront.

Obama will seek to bridge those issues with his tribute to the fallen five, which include a former Army Ranger, a Navy veteran and a newlywed starting a second family.

As Dakinikat wrote yesterday, we are seeing Ferguson-like events in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The situation is similar in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Philando Castile was killed by police after being stopped for a broken taillight. From Fox News 9, July 10: Protest shuts down I-94 in St. Paul: 21 officers injured, 102 arrested.

Hundreds of people protesting the shooting death of Philando Castile gathered Saturday night at the Governor’s Residence on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, Minn., then marched onto Interstate 94, shutting down the highway for more than 5 hours. Sunday morning, St. Paul police confirmed 21 officers from multiple agencies were injured, and 102 people were arrested. None of the injuries were serious.

Around 8 p.m., the crowd marched onto the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-94 at Lexington Avenue, forming a wall. Police closed the interstate from Highway 280 to downtown St. Paul, then reopened both directions by 1:49 a.m. Sunday. A total of 50 people were arrested on I-94, booked into Ramsey County Jail on third-degree rioting charges. State Patrol officials said at least eight people arrested were from outside Minnesota.

A second clash with police on Grand Avenue at about 4 a.m. led to 52 arrests for public nuisance and unlawful assembly. Those individuals were booked and released.

Sunday morning, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell confirmed 21 officers were injured by projectiles, including fireworks, rocks, bricks, concrete chunks and glass bottles. An officer now has a broken vertebrae after being hit by a concrete block in the head. At the height of the confrontation, police said some people started arming themselves with rebar from a nearby construction site. Police then used smoke and to clear the crowd. After the freeway was cleared, one officer was hit in the face by a bottle thrown by a protester on a St. Paul city street.

A couple of updates from NOLA on Baton Rouge:

Police advance on peaceful protesters in Baton Rouge, LA

Police advance on peaceful protesters in Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge police tactics in Alton Sterling shooting protests questioned.

Baton Rouge police are facing criticism for the tactics used to deal with protests in the wake of Alton Sterling’s officers-involved fatal shooting, with groups like Amnesty International questioning whether police are committed to protecting First Amendment rights.

Protests on Sunday (July 11) have become a flashpoint for those criticisms after police ordered protesters off the street, then arrested people standing on private property when they refused to leave the area.

Police have said the group was targeted because they blocked a residential street hours before, but most of the arrests on Sunday were made while people were on private property — some with authorization of the owner.

Jamira Burley, a senior campaigner for Amnesty International, was in Baton Rouge over the weekend observing the protests and said she was deeply concerned about several aspects of the police response.

She said police responding in heavy military-style gear and vehicles, their decision to arrest people during an otherwise peaceful protest on private property, and the high number of arrests all appeared to be aimed at scaring protesters into not returning to demonstrations.

More at the link.

Baton Rouge DA recuses himself from Alton Sterling shooting investigation.

Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III recused himself from the ongoing investigation into the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling during a press conference Monday (July 11).

Moore said he is stepping down because of a personal relationship with the parents of one of the officers involved in the shooting. He said a new prosecutor will be appointed to oversee the pursue of any criminal charges for officers Howie Lake II and Blane Salamoni.

Again, read the rest at NOLA.

This is an open thread. If you’re planning to watch the Bernie and Hillary joint appearance this morning, you can use this as a live blog. Feel free to post links on any other topics you are following today.


Sunday Comics: Relief 

After getting through the violence and horror of last week…

We all can do with a laugh.

So today’s post is devoted to political cartoons…granted many are not “laugh out loud” per say, but they are on point.

Starting with Pat Bagley, as far as cartoonist go…in my opinion…Bagley is up there with Luckovich as one of my favorite political cartoonist of today.




Next up…Luckovich!

07/10 Mike Luckovich: I have a scream. | Mike Luckovich


07/08 Mike Luckovich: Punishable by… | Mike Luckovich



Nick Anderson…

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Dallas Police Officers: 07/10/2016 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Dallas Police Officers

07/10/2016 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

07/10/2016 Cartoon by Nate Beeler

Cartoon by Nate Beeler -

Senseless Killings: 07/10/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Senseless Killings

Gun epidemic: 07/09/2016 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Gun epidemic

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 07/09/2016 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

07/09/2016 Cartoon by Joel Pett

Cartoon by Joel Pett -

07/09/2016 Cartoon by Chan Lowe

Cartoon by Chan Lowe -

07/08/2016 Cartoon by Kevin Siers

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -

Good Cop, Bad Cop: 07/08/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Good Cop, Bad Cop

07/08/2016 Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez

Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez -

07/08/2016 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

07/07/2016 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

07/07/2016 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -

07/06/2016 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump vets Veeps: 07/08/2016 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump vets Veeps

Declaration of Trump: 07/03/2016 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Declaration of Trump

Running Mate: 07/08/2016 Cartoon by Paul Fell

Cartoon by Paul Fell - Running Mate

07/07/2016 Cartoon by John Cole

Cartoon by John Cole -

And the last cartoon for today:

WHAT tRUMP SEES: 07/07/2016 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - WHAT tRUMP SEES

This is an open thread…