On this Fourth of July weekend, I wanted to bring some crime stories into focus. Various cases that recently have come to pass with no justice or punishment that seemed to spit in the face of the “people.”
I will get to mention this a bit further down in the post, because as usual…tRump has dominated the news cycle again this morning. This time with an absurd Tweet, or should I say twit.
In case you cannot see that tweet (tRump has since deleted it) here is a photo of it:
In President Donald Trump’s arena, this is how you shift the American attention away from a feud with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” crew:
From the Associated Press on the wrasslin’ video:
It’s not clear who produced the brief video, but it was posted from Trump’s official Twitter account.
Trump’s been stepping up verbal attacks on the media — and cable networks particularly. But an adviser thinks “no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t.”
White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert also tells ABC that he thinks Trump’s “beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said last week Trump “in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence.””
Well, many around the wires were making statements and comments about the wrestling twit…
CNN had this to say:
"The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary." – @SHSanders45 6/29/17
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) July 2, 2017
A few more reactions for you to look at here:
CNN on Sunday called President Donald Trump’s tweet of a video of himself attacking a figure whose face was obscured by the CNN logo “juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office” and suggested Trump “start doing his” job governing instead.
In its full statement, CNN said Sanders “lied” and accused Trump of encouraging “violence against reporters.”
“Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office,” CNN said. “We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
As a prominent conservative senator accused Donald Trump of “trying to weaponise distrust” in his attacks on the media, the president tweeted a video of himself, starring at a pro wrestling event, body-slamming to the floor a man with a CNN logo for a head.
A director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) told the Guardian “charged rhetoric online”, issued by the White House, “undermines the media in the US and emboldens autocratic leaders around the world”.
The president’s tweet was issued on Sunday morning, hours after Trump used a speech honouring veterans in Washington to say: “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president, and they’re not.”
The tweet contained doctored video from a Trump appearance on Wrestlemania XXIII in 2007, in which he “body-slammed” – and subsequently shaved bald – Vince McMahon, the WWE promoter and husband of Trump’s Small Business Administration chief, Linda McMahon. Trump is a member of the WWE hall of fame. The video appeared to have been taken from Reddit, where it was reportedly posted by a user named “HanAssholeSolo”.
Please, can anyone stop this OrangeAssholetRump from being president?
As Americablog points out, it is not the first time tRump has called for violence.
Donald Trump today posted a tweet encouraging and promoting violence against CNN reporters.
This comes on the heels of Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee claiming falsely that Trump has never called for violence.
In fact, Trump repeatedly called for violence during the presidential campaign, and was routinely criticized for it.
It also comes on the heels of Trump’s misogynist tweets about “Morning Joe” cohost Mike Brzezinski, that were so mean and sexist it has led many to question Trump’s mental health.
Mashable has a mash up of Trump’s repeated calls for violence:
Go to the link to see the video. But back to the Americablog:
And just this morning, Trump joked to his 30 million followers about beating up CNN reporters, when we are already in a climate where reporters are routinely threatened.
A CNN reporter tweeted me this morning, concerned that I was mischaracterizing Trump, and that my story is part of the “outrage machine.” In fact, CNN’s PR dept. responded to Trump’s post by quoting Sarah Huckabee’s lie about Trump never promoting violence. Their clear point: Trump just promoted and encouraged violence against CNN reporters. And that’s exactly what I wrote. I just don’t see a qualitative difference between “calls for” and “encourages or promotes.”
ABC’s Martha Raddatz said this morning that the tweet “seems like a threat.” Raddatz continued, “you don’t think that’s a threat to anyone, you don’t think that’s sending a message ‘do that to the media, do that to CNN’?”
Remember, this comes after recent elections put a GOP dickwad in office, who violently assaulted a Guardian reporter. From the Guardian link above:
In an atmosphere of swirling distrust between journalists and the politicians they cover, “body-slamming” became a loaded term in May when a Republican congressional candidate in Montana slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs to the floor.
Greg Gianforte pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to community service. After donating $50,000 to the CPJ, he was sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives. Jacobs’ glasses, broken in the assault, are now on display at the Newseum in Washington.
In its statement on Sunday, CNN said: “It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Clearly, [deputy White House press secretary] Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so.
Courtney Radsch, advocacy director for the CPJ, told the Guardian: “Singling out individual journalists and news outlets creates a chilling effect and fosters an environment where further harassment and even physical attacks are seen to be acceptable.
“We are already concerned about physical attacks on reporters and clearly the White House’s charged rhetoric online undermines the media in the US and emboldens autocratic leaders around the world. We already saw that there has been at least one serious attack recently, on Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, and this does not create a positive environment for the press online or offline.”
Read more at the Guardian link.
Just a few more reactions to the tRump twit:
The president’s latest outbursts suggest the social-media platform imposes no editorial standards. But should it?
The rules are simple, okay? No threats of violence. No targeted abuse or harassment. No inciting anybody else to engage in targeted abuse or harassment. No hateful conduct.
Now think about Donald Trump’s the tweeting habits. Is he breaking those rules, which come from Twitter’s terms of service?
- Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
- Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
- if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
- if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
- if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
- if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
- Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.
Trump has long been criticized for his impulsiveness, but less than six months into his presidency, alarm over his Twitter conduct has hit fever pitch.
Beginning on June 29, Trump began tweeting repeated insults at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the hosts of the MSNBC talk show, Morning Joe. Trump’s treatment of Brzezinski was particularly strange. In addition to calling her “dumb,” “crazy,” and “low I.Q.” in three separate tweets, he claimed that she and Scarborough traveled to Mar-a-Lago for New Year’s Eve and insisted on seeing Trump while Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” (Brzezinski and Scarborough published a rebuke in The Washington Post, calling the president’s claim “a lie.”)
In true Trump fashion, the president doubled down, calling Scarborough “crazy” and Brzezinski “dumb as a rock.”
Does that constitute targeted harassment? And given Trump’s huge following—more than 33.1 million Twitter followers on his primary account—does a string of attacks against the same two individuals constitute inciting harassment? “We don’t comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons,” a Twitter spokesperson told me on Saturday. Twitter also declined to tell me whether, when considering the question of a user inciting harassment, it takes into consideration that person’s number of followers or public status—a movie star or politician, for example.
Twitter’s website does offer some clarification on how it assesses abusive behavior. The company says it assesses whether the primary purpose of an account is to harass or send abusive messages; and it looks at whether the reported behavior is “one-sided.”Setting aside Twitter’s notoriously bad track record for actually enforcing its own standards on harassment, the question of one-sidedness poses an interesting problem here.
When one of the people involved in a Twitter fight isn’t just a public official but also the president of the United States, is it fair to consider anyone he’s attacking an equal player in a fight?
Actually, I reported tRump’s last tweet about Mika to twitter..I got this from them saying my report was under review.
What is funny, is that about twenty minutes after I got that notice from Twitter, I received another Twitter notice. My account had been suspended for 24 hours. Connection? I think so.
But back to the Atlantic article:
But Trump’s Twitter conduct also raises a question about what Twitter is, and what it should be. Often, the service is treated as a new kind of public square, a place for the unfiltered exchange of ideas (and, clearly, hurling of insults). Silicon Valley has rarely stepped in to correct the persistent cultural conflation between the actual right to free speech—that is, the constitutionally protected right that says the government cannot make a law that inhibits people’s freedom of expression—and the idea that people should get to say whatever they want wherever they want to without consequence. (Complicating things further, Twitter must answer to its shareholders, and having the president use its service so routinely—and so bombastically—certainly keeps the service relevant.)
In reality, though, Twitter is a media company. Just like CNN and The New York Times are media companies. Except, unlike in a traditional model where publishers and readers are distinct groups, everyone can be both on Twitter. So what’s a company like Twitter to do when one of its users—who is also the president of the United States, by the way—incessantly publishes attacks against individuals? Nothing, apparently. At least nothing yet. The thornier question is: What should it do? Only rarely would any news organization turn down the opportunity to exclusively print or broadcast a message from the president. (U.S. senators and presidential candidates, however, are another story.) Though it’s not like the president doesn’t have plenty of opportunities for his voice to be amplified. He has said he likes Twitter because it’s a direct channel to the American people, but he has his own website where he could be live-streaming or blogging, for instance. He is also a constant subject of media attention; his press conferences—when the White House permits it—are broadcast over cable and network television.
Presidents have historically made good use of new media platforms. Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats may seem quaint to us now, but they were a revolutionary experiment with a nascent media platform when they began in the 1930s. But, as with all things Trump-related, looking to norms and historic conventions can only get you so far. Imagine if Roosevelt had used his radio access to relentlessly criticize individual Americans by name. Trump knows that his critics are disgusted by the way he represents the country on Twitter, and he trusts that his supporters delight in their disgust.
Well, I think all that is moot when it comes to bullying and obstructing justice.
I guess I will bring up the crime and punishment in another post…but here is an update on a recent case of road rage:
A Pennsylvania man was in custody Sunday for what a prosecutor called the “savage” and “senseless” death of a recent high school graduate shot in the head during a road-rage confrontation as the two tried to merge in a single lane.
David Desper, 28, of Trainer, turned himself in accompanied by an attorney early Sunday, and police said he was charged with first- and third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and reckless endangering in the death of 18-year-old Bianca Roberson in West Goshen Township.
Desper and Roberson, who had just graduated from Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester and was planning to attend Jacksonville University in Florida this fall, were trying to merge into a single lane Wednesday as a two-lane road narrowed, Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said.
“They jockeyed for position, and he wasn’t happy, so he pulled out a gun and shot Bianca in the head, killing her instantly,” he said.
After Roberson was shot, her car veered off the road, struck a tree and was found in a ditch. The shooter fled in a red pickup, driving partly along the shoulder of the highway until exiting the road. Authorities tracked the suspect vehicle on surveillance video and sorted through hundreds of tips from the public, calling on the suspect to turn himself in for his own sake and for the sake of the family.
This is an open thread.
This little section of delight in the North Georgia Mountains…I’ve spoken before of the cross-section of folks who live and breed in the town of Banjoville. Simple kinds of folk, why the sign welcoming people to our county states as much:
I’ll give them the “Scenic Beauty” but as far as the “Friendly People” …that is open for debate.
I’ve noticed the Trump situation has made the bold hateful comments more mainstream. it is acceptable and standard and now common place to find this shit among the facebook pages of the typical Banjoville resident.
(One of those comments is written by a superintendent of schools…more on that later in the post.)
But there is something more to it than all this hate, which is deep seated in the back mountain town mentality that populates so much of the nation. The Trump Nation. It is a nation that would never support a Cruz or Rubio, because when it comes down to it…they have Latino blood.
There was a tweet I saw yesterday that sums the whole thing up perfectly.
What Jerry Falwell did today, in endorsing Trump, is show the world that when choosing between whiteness & Christianity, whiteness rules.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) January 26, 2016
Yes, when it all comes down to it, White always wins.
And this is what I see everywhere I go in Banjoville.
A White Right Wing Christian Hate that is prejudice against any and all who is not “one of them.” Living in a town like that is hell. My family has experienced the discrimination first hand many times. To this point I bring you the reason for this post. The Trump Nation embodied in Banjoville, what does this mean for society.
We live in a town where the Sheriff’s Office is so blatant about their total embrace of the practice of Separation of Church and State. This is the painted image that greats you as you walk into the Sheriff’s Office:
It is a picture by an artist, Beth Sweigard, known for painting fetuses and a sad Jesus…
….or Jesus at the Jewish Peoples’ Wall…
When I first saw that Patriotic Jesus poster in the sheriff’s department, I immediately thought about that other spectacular artist…Jon McNaughton.
Yeah, he is the artist who immortalized Clive Bundy above as some kind of western hero for the nation….
You want a real laugh, take a look at the gallery of patriotic work here jonmcnaughton. com /patriotic/
I’ve seemed to have gotten carried away there, I need to get back to the Banjoville Sheriff Dept.
Everywhere you look there is proof that the Sheriff is a holy man, even a plaque that states he has been to church more times than any other man alive on the planet. ( I kid you not.)
Tell me that a person who is not a “real” Christian will have a equal chance at justice in that building. (The color of their skin goes without saying…back before the State of Georgia forcibly frightened all the immigrants out of town, the officers made most of their arrest by stalking the Spanish Sunday Mass up at the Catholic Church…and pulling over any car leaving the church.)
How about the fine Doctors in the area? Who proudly display their affiliation in The Oathkeepers…Oh yeah, we even have one who is a leading authority member of the affiliation. How does this affect his service to the public…the entire public. (Well, I guess since he is in private practice that is not a legitimate question, but if he is the only doctor your insurance plan accepts what then?)
Then you have the teachers and administrators at the schools, counselors who are partial to the local Banjoville White Christian. Coaches who are prejudice against players… teachers who will penalize a student if they are the wrong” color or even the wrong Christian faith. (Y’all remember Catholics are a no go as well.) This is not something made up…this really happens and it effects the future lives of students.
This is the view of a Trump Nation from my little Banjoville. The hate and bitterness is nothing new, it is just becoming bolder in its execution.
Donald Trump might actually be able to pull it off. A new, nationwide poll from CNN/ORC shows that Trump’s lead in the Republican polls has grown even stronger going into the Iowa caucus, which kicks off the primary season. He’s reached 41 percent support amongst Republican voters, which is more than double what his closest contender, the even more ridiculous Ted Cruz, has. Even more startlingly, Trump’s supporters seem more assured of their votes than the supporters of any other candidate. It seems Trump might do what seemed to be impossible: Overcome the resistance of party leaders to grab the nomination.[…]…things are looking a lot better for Trump than anyone could have predicted. Part of the issue is that his closest contender, Ted Cruz, hasn’t made the progress he clearly thought he would at this late stage.
Mea culpa time. I’ve long thought that Ted Cruzhad a strong chance of knockingTrump out of the race, and that Cruz would either win the nomination or at least winnow it down so that Rubio could sneak up and grab it. In my own defense, the theory was pretty sound. I argued that Christian right voters would move away from go-nowhere candidates like Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson and coalesce behind a single candidate. It seemed that Cruz, who is an even nastier bully than Trump but speaks fluent evangelical-ese in a way that Trump can’t master, was well-positioned to suction up those Christian right voters.
The evangelicals did abandon the smaller candidates but, in a somewhat surprising twist, they flocked to Trump. Cruz’s once robust support amongst evangelicals is plummeting. He now has only 20 percent of the evangelical vote, whereas Trump has 37 percent of their support.
And now Jerry Falwell Jr. is endorsing Trump. This is doubly huge because Cruz used Liberty University, which Falwell is the president of, as the stage to announce his run for presidency. But such is the Trump-momentum that Cruz is getting left behind even by those whose support he thought he could count on.
Trump’s ability to win over evangelical voters is the surest sign yet that his campaign will not collapse as quickly as every predictive model imaginable suggested it should. Prying Christians off Trump should have been easy! He’s been married three times and literally cheated on his first wife in a church. His attempts to pretend he cares about religion have been limp and unconvincing, and yet, his base of support with evangelicals is only getting stronger.
The best explanation for why comes from Adam Lee of Daylight Atheism, who points out that “evangelicalism isn’t especially concerned with beliefs, nor has it ever has been.”
“Whether it’s Prohibition and communism, dancing and divorce, or abortion and gay marriage, evangelicals’ pet causes have changed radically over the decades,” he adds. “The issues themselves have only ever been important as a boundary marker, a way to delineate Us from Them.”
Trump fails comically to convince anyone he’s ever even cracked a Bible, he is the master at the “us vs. them” narrative. It turns out this is actually all the majority of Christian conservatives needed. All that stuff about Jesus and family values was merely window dressing. All that really matters is being told that people like them are better and more worthy than other people, and whoever can do that the most effectively — turns out that’s Donald Trump – will beat out the competition.
The us vs them….no that is not the right way…it is more like I said above, Trump pulls this “he is one of US” or “they are not one of us”… is more like the wording to me. One of Us being the key phrase. Us being only White Caucasians, accepting Jesus as your Savior kind of Christian, Us.
Anyway, that is my observations of Trump supporters, for another look, take a gander at this: The Return of the Middle American Radical An intellectual history of Trump supporters.
Trump not only got Jerry Falwell yesterday… Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. endorses Trump – The Washington Post . He also got: Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Endorse Donald Trump in Iowa – First Draft. Political News, Now. – The New York Times and today: Donald Trump wins John Rocker’s endorsement | www.ajc.com
A long read here: How Trump Happened – WSJ.com
However, I think the reason Trump happened is because of the media’s lack of calling Trump out for his racism, sexism, and every other thing the bigoted asshole has done. Of course the Media isn’t only to blame. I think the corporate powers are a YUUUUGGGEE part of the problem too.
Watch this interview from The Young Turks that touches on the media and corporate sponsors.
Oh, the other points of the interview are very well taken, but y’all get the message here.
Just take a look at the headline from The Washington Examiner: Why can’t Donald Trump handle Megyn Kelly? | Washington Examiner
WTF is that?
Maybe I am being sensitive?
Although the article is not as bad as the headline makes it…
This feud has gotten ridiculous. Republican front-runner and businessman Donald Trump is now threatening to boycott the upcoming GOP debate if host Fox News doesn’t remove Megyn Kelly as a moderator.
I don’t usually like the argument that takes the form of, “if candidate can’t stand up to X, how can they stand up to the Islamic State?” But I do wonder how Trump will be able to handle anyone as president if he can’t take the sort of pointed questions about his weaknesses that originally soured him on Kelly.
It all started last August at the first GOP debate, when Kelly asked Trump about the New York businessman’s comments toward women in the past. The question was one of the most memorable of the debate, and prompted Trump to later claim: “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes … Blood coming out of her wherever.”
Kelly has recently poked fun at former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump, and hosted National Review editor Rich Lowry, whose magazine has come out against the Republican front-runner.And here we are. This insignificant back and forth has caused Trump, for the fourth time this cycle, to threaten to boycott a debate. Trump said he would boycott two CNN debates if CNN President Jeff Zucker didn’t donate money to charity. He also threatened to pull out of the CNBC debate if the format wasn’t changed (rival Ben Carson made a similar threat as well).
This makes Fox News spokesperson Irena Briganti’s statement all the more relevant: “Donald Trump is just trying to build up the audience for Thursday’s debate, for which we thank him.”
Trump is unlikely to actually boycott the debate and host his own town hall for rival networks, as he has claimed he would do. But if he has no plans to actually do this, his ongoing comments and actions toward Kelly are troubling.
How will Trump handle a hostile press if he is president? We know the press will be more harsh toward a Republican president, and that the press is especially hostile toward Trump, so will he just shut them out? And does Megyn Kelly, on a right-leaning network, really need to be public enemy number one to the Trump campaign?
I realize that this, like everything Trump does, is for attention, but it ultimately brings into question his ability to handle adversity and criticism.
That and imagine his fat sweaty fingers on the button of our nuclear arsenal.
On Cruz and Rubio, Jesus thumping there way to Iowa:
Well what do you expect when you have GOP politicians like these:
In other news:
That is all, more updates and links in the comment section below.
This is an open thread y’all….
It is an afternoon on Sunday. I have not checked online since early Friday Morning, (Wait, do I have the times right?) Oh well, whatever the hell the time frame is…I can always tell the passing of the hours by my Newsblur reader.
<———– See, all the big numbers of articles I have to go through. And yes, I do name all my folders “Minx Crap” because that is my way. I have a sense of humor that some would get offended by, but who gives a fuck right? It is my personal way to deal with things. (For fucks sake…)
Quick example, one of my friends got a kick out of the name of the town I was in this weekend, for my daughter’s State Honor Choir…Cumming, GA. “Was I joking?” he asked…nope, would you believe I was not…joking.
He then said to me, that a friend just told him of an Intercourse, PA. Which I replied, yup…there is a Bird-in-Hand and a Tickle-me-Balls, Pennsylvania too! (The first one is a real town, the second one is something I made up.) I wonder if he believes both are somewhere on a road map of PA? Gawd, I hope I don’t offend those folks who live in the State of Pennsylvania. Eeesh….
Anyway, you see the numbers by the folders…those are the unread articles within the feeds I subscribe to.
It says a lot without even looking at the stuff behind the folders. Ah, shit went down alright, but not shit that the right wing was too excited about. Per the 3 Minx Crap RWN (aka Right Wing Nuts) folder after all that time, the 25+ sites I follow were relatively quiet.
My main crap blogs were busy, but not scandalously busy. These are the left wing blogs…
And a shitload of Main Stream Media news…(BTW, no Fox News Feed in any of my folders, the only right leaning news feeds I have in my main stream folder are NYTs, CNN, and WaPo…uh…The Hill. A few border main stream, right leaning…Politico, FiveThirtyEight, Memeorandum etc.)
The point I am making here is that I have no clue what the fuck happened this weekend. Looks like something big, which the right did not want to get involved in, and the left was fine touching with a 25 foot pole.
As far as my Medieval/Science/History folder and my “Other” folder, which is mostly Classic Movies, technical movie stuff and fine art, photography, music, ballet etc. Seems to me that it was a busy weekend for the Humanities.
So due to this extreme situation, and my extreme laziness…tiredness. This will be an open thread. Otherwise it will be another 48 hours to get a proper post up here.
Dumpage of links:
Police in France are asking the public for help in identifying a man they say was involved in the Nov. 13 assault on the national stadium in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris.
— Police Nationale (@PNationale) November 22, 2015
They’re both basically toast.
The few polls that have trickled out since the last Republican debate have shown somesoftening of support for the good doctor, but as long as Ben Carson is doing well in Iowa, there’s no real reason to panic. Within the past month, Carson has opened up leads over Donald Trump as wide as 14 points in the state, while dancing around the national lead. The surest sign that Carson’s fade might show some durability came Sunday morning with therelease of a CBS News poll that shows Carson not only falling well behind Trump in Iowa, but also now trailing Senator Ted Cruz:
Donald Trump has returned to the lead in Iowa while Ted Cruz has now surged past Ben Carson into second place. Carson has slipped from a first-place tie into third.
While Iowa’s Republicans generally feel Trump is ready to be commander-in-chief, Cruz scores even better on this measure, boosted by support from very conservative and Tea Party Iowans who feel he is ready to assume the post. That’s more than say so about Trump, Carson, Rubio and Jeb Bush.
A CNN reporter captured video of the Saturday incident in which a protester was reportedlypunched and kicked after he was tackled to the ground by attendees or security at Trump’s rally. At least one onlooker yelled, “Don’t choke him! Don’t choke him!” according to The Washington Post.
Trump is heard in the video yelling, “Get him the hell out of here!”
If that isn’t enough to ruin your appetite.
In other news:
A few links from Mediaite:
All that above…wow…just wow….this has truly been a hellish weekend. And to see the shit these candidates are saying, makes me so ill. To know I had to stand up, against the GOP candidates positions, and lost a troubled friendship for good over it, it still is bothersome. But I feel a relief.
I can’t take the crazy talk from those bigoted/right-wing politicians, blowhards, talk show/radio host and “religious” leaders…and it hurt to see someone I know who used to be so caring and considerate of all persons, totally become changed over the years, to the point where they out right tell me, no amount of cited sources/articles/commentary/direct quotes from right or left leaning news/media/etc could change their mind or make any difference to them.
Onward, because I am done with all that other stuff.
November 22, 2015– Day in photos via VOA
And this last link, is a bit frightening: Apple CarPlay Corvette review – Business Insider
Oh…..that is just the comparison to finish on, don’t ya think?
This is an open thread.
It is crazy, when you get an idea and then spend time looking for pictures or creatures or artist to see the thought through.
That said, you will obviously guess the theme of the post as you go along…
The articles for today really do not have anything to do with beards, even tho you do need to learn how to take care of it Manly Matters style.
Anyway, this first image is an illustration from Aubrey Vincent Beardsley. I love the expression on the fetus face. It looks like it is about to put the smack down on someones ass.
Check this out: The problem with rating people on the new app Peeple
The web is bemused and irate about an app that will let people rate other people as if they were baubles purchased on Amazon.
Its cofounders, Nicole McCullough and Julia Cordray, plan to launch the app in November. They trace its origins to a conversation about McCullough’s frustrations with finding a reliable babysitter. Although inspired by a prosaic concern, their intentions are grander. Their motto is “character is destiny,” and, in interviews, Cordray says that she wants “character to be our new form of currency.”
If legitimate, it sounds as if their app is to serve as the digital equivalent of the ancient Fates. Whereas the three Fates controlled destinies by way of the threads of life, Peeple aims to shape destinies by way of professional, personal and romantic ratings. Supposedly, employers and romantic interests will be able to search for people of good “character,” and the company plans to charge for searches beyond a single daily freebie.
Much of the response to the app is negative and ill-informed. The negativity arises because this is a platform through which we might be negatively evaluated (at best) or harassed (at worst) without any say other than to buy into their system. The confusion arises because it’s not yet released and their website was inaccessible much of Wednesday – an indication of popularity or the consequence of a denial of service attack.
McCullough and Cordray speak of personal ratings as a positive – even virtuous – undertaking. They say Peeple is a “positivity app for positive people.” In “An Ode to Courage,” a defensive note posted on Peeple’s website, the cofounders declared:
We know you are amazing, special, and unique individuals and most likely would never shout that from the rooftops. The people who know you will though…. As innovators we want to make your life better and have the opportunity to prove how great it feels to be loved by so many in a public space. We are a positivity app launching in November 2015. Whether you love us or our concept or not; we still welcome everyone to explore this online village of love and abundance for all.
I am Sicilian, we are a negative people…we are born that way. But I don’t see anything positive about this website. Do you?
Okay, now…on with something positive that kicked some real ass, and was something that should be getting more attention.
…students at Charleston County School of the Arts in North Charleston, South Carolina wore red A’s last week to protest the school’s dress code policies (which you can read here). About 100 students took part, and also shared their As with the hashtags #NotADistraction and #NotADistractionSOA. Reese Fischer, a student at CCSOA and organizer, also started a change.org petition to protest the dress code. She emphasizes that the issue they want to combat is not dress codes themselves, but rather the ways in which they’re enforced. Junior Peyton Corder told Post and Courier that a counselor “told her that heavier girls needed to wear longer skirts.” Fischer also points out that boys wearing muscle shirts, sagging pants, and other violations rarely face consequences.
Principle Robert Perrineau’s response seems supportive of the initiative. He states:
This is just a reminder of what was is already in place, that we need to be consistent and be equitable and be fair to everyone. We do want to make sure that we’re all giving that reminder and giving attention to any individual student situation in the same way. We want the point to be made, but we want to be respectful.
Read more at the link, including the full statement from Fischer.
Other social media shit, well… not “shit” but newsy shit: Margaret Cho Destroys Biblical Arguments Against Abortion With One Glorious Tweet
Comedienne, Margaret Cho, has been very vocal on twitter in her impassioned defense of Planned Parenthood in the wake of the GOP’s relentless assault on women’s rights. Well, she has taken that a step further, and tweeted out the ultimate defense of a woman’s right to choose — with a tweet that uses the one book today’s Republican Religious Right uses to defend every one of their positions, including their rabid opposition to abortion: the Bible.
Cho tweeted out a link to a Bible verse that completely eviscerates the idea of life beginning at conception, and, further, it shows that the Religious Right’s belief that the Bible opposed abortion is beyond false, to put it mildly. Here is the tweet:
— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) October 3, 2015
That’s right. Not only does the Bible not oppose abortion, it gives a how-to on how to make it happen. Further, the anti-choicers’ favorite book actually says life begins with the first breath, not conception as they would have us believe.
There is another bigot making headlines, this one is in Alabama: Alabama judges stop issuing marriage licenses altogether to avoid gay marriage – CSMonitor.com
As Alabama’s all-white Legislature tried to preserve racial segregation and worried about the possibility of mixed-race marriages in 1961, lawmakers rewrote state law to make it optional for counties to issue marriage licenses.
Now, some judges who oppose same-sex marriage are using the long-forgotten amendment to get out of the marriage business altogether rather than risk issuing even one wedding license to gays or lesbians. In at least nine of Alabama’s 67 counties, judges have quit issuing any marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions in June.
And fuck it if the excuse is these assholes are falling back on is Religious Freedom.
Nick Williams, a Baptist minister who also serves as probate judge in Washington County, is among those who have left the marriage license business. He says issuing a license for a same-sex union would violate his Christian beliefs.
Like Davis, Williams said he would go to jail before he would approve a marriage license for a gay or lesbian.
Three of the counties near Washington County are also no longer issuing marriage licenses…for the same reason, they also have hateful bigots who won’t do their jobs.
…creating a region in southwestern Alabama where marriage licenses aren’t available for 78,000 people. As a result, Bo Keahey and fiance Hannah Detlefsen will have to spend nearly two hours on the road traveling to and from Monroe County before their November wedding because their native Clarke County has quit issuing licenses.
“I pay taxes here and it’s kind of ridiculous that I can’t get a license here,” said Keahey, an attorney.
Whether it is creating a vacuum of healthcare for women…or a fuck you to anyone wanting to get married, these people really know how to make functioning in this world, actual living in this world…impossible.
Now here is the truly bad news, stuff that I have nothing to say about, except silence:
Weather related news:
Hundreds of people are still missing but chances of survival are low after massive landslide killed at least 86 people.
In related news, Climate Change:
No, it isn’t love that moves mountains. Climate change does and scientists have evidence that could prove it.
Global warming has caused erratic weathers and is responsible for rising sea levels that threaten coastal communities. Now, a new study has revealed that climate change can also alter the shape of our planet.
In a five-year study published in the journal Nature on Oct. 1, Michele Koppes, from the University of British Columbia, and colleagues compared the glaciers in Patagonia and in the Antarctic Peninsula.
They found that the glaciers moved faster and caused more erosion in warmer Patagonia compared with those in Antarctica as warmer temperature and the melting of the ice contribute to the lubrication of the glacier bed.
Koppes said that the glaciers in Patagonia erode up to a thousand times faster than in
Antarctica but as Antarctica warms up and moves to temperatures over 0 degrees Celsius, glaciers now all start to move faster.
The researcher said that they have already seen ice sheets that start to move faster and become more erosive, which creates deeper valleys and pour more sediments into the oceans.
Read about how that affects the landscape at the link.
This next story is not good. (And that is putting it mildly.)
Air strikes on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz that killed 19 people were “tragic, inexcusable and possibly even criminal”, the UN human rights chief says.
A U.S. airstrike in the Afghan city of Kunduz hit a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Saturday, killing at least 19 people at the medical center, the medical charity said.
In a statement, MSF said the “sustained bombing” took place at 2:10 a.m. local time and continued for 30 minutes after staff raised the alarm to U.S. and Afghan military officials. Three children are believed to be among the dead.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the United States still was trying to determine how the airstrike hit the hospital. “A full investigation into the tragic incident is under way in coordination with the Afghan government,” Carter said in a statement.
Okay, now a few more stories and we are done for the day.
If micromini-pigs aren’t your thing, maybe a firefly theme park is?
The headline to this next article:
Made me think of this:
We’re all gay, and it’s okay
‘Cause gay means happy and happy means gay.
We’re not sad anymore, cause we’re out the closet door.
It’s okay, hey, to be gay!
Some weird pictures of beards there.
And now a couple of videos, yeah they deal with beards…of the metaphorical kind. It goes one of two ways, either you are a wizard and can grow large beards with a wand or you use the top beard oils and products.
If y’all catch my meaning…
-Don’t move or I’ll blow your goddamn brains out!
-Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! I’m just a beard.
-You’re making a mistake. He’s just a beard!
-Don’t tell me you’re the beard, you goddamn little rat.
-Run, Tina, run! He’s outta bullets!
It’s our chance! Tina! It’s our chance!
-All right, I’m coming!
-You little rat! You’re never gonna get outta here! I’ll find you.
At Jerry’s apartment.
Jerry: Look at you. Why don’t you use a fork? You’re no good with the sticks.
Elaine: I know. I need a lesson.
Jerry: You stink. You know you stink. What is this?
Elaine: Oh. My ballet tickets.
Jerry: Oh. Your ballet tickets.
Elaine: Hey, have you ever been to the ballet?
Jerry: No, but I’ve seen people on tiptoes.
Elaine: You know, I’m going as a beard.
Jerry: A beard?
Elaine: Yeah. This friend of a friend knows this banker guy, he’s, I don’t know, 30 years, unbelievably
Elaine: So anyway his boss has a box at the Met and he invited us to see Swan Lake, which is fine, but he’s
afraid that his boss can’t handle his orientation, so I’m going along as his date.
Jerry: Why are you doing this?
Elaine: Swan Lake, at the Met.
And last video clip:
Hillary Clinton made her return to Saturday Night Live and delivered a dead-on impression of GOP rival Donald Trump as she played a bartender commiserating with herself as played by Kate McKinnnon.
Watch the video at the link.
I think the bit about Hillary being real nice in person was genuine. You will see what I am talking about when that part of the scene comes around in the clip.
Well, that is all folks. Have a wonderful day and please comment below.
What a fabulous week it has been for those of us with GLBT family and friends. It does feel good to know that my uncle…my friends here on the blog, my good friends from high school…my daughter’s best buddies, my son’s friends too…can legally gain the rights, respect and dignity that they deserve…as human beings.
This is the point of all these rainbows innit? And here we are days after the ruling, and still people are posting hateful shit on social media. They don’t get it.
I want to share something with you, written by one of my daughter’s very good friends…Her name is Jemha, it was written last week but it still does make a huge point:
Smart cookie isn’t she.
And what about all the fuss doing with flags, black ones with dildos…confederate ones? This is another point that bothers me, as I look around at social media (Facebook) because this is where my “friends” are mostly found hanging out.
Again, I am amazed at how many people don’t “get it” but I will use Jemha again as an example…she is half-black, half-Haitian. When my daughter is enjoying a Blizzard in a Blue Ridge Dairy Queen with Jemha, and they actually feel so intimidated…they are all afraid, because of the racist assholes glares and scowls and threatening looks…with the confederate flag on display everywhere. This is Hate. And it is directed at both girls.
That is a reality, that is what so many don’t understand, and it is so frustrating for me that many of my friends who are very intelligent…don’t get it. Yes, freedom of speech is one thing. But there is a line that is crossed when freedom of speech becomes: hate motivated intimidation, terroristic threats, hate crimes, etc.
The actions and statements made by assclown right-wing religious racist bigots of late hurt my family and friends. And I do not like to see my people treated unfairly, unkindly or disrespected.
Am I going to stand up for my friends and family? You bet your fucking ass I will…
I am so sick of folks using religion as an excuse to discriminate and spread their hate and racist agenda against people of color (Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, Green, whatever.) And….when they plead religious freedom as an excuse to manipulate and control women and deny us reproductive healthcare, or scream religious liberty against GLBTs to avoid following the law of the land….this is not what the Constitution is all about.
They preach their righteousness and pass judgement when hypocrisy is the cornerstone of everything they stand for….This does not sit well with me. Whatever the religious folks want to do in their own private lives within their own house is their business….but do not come and force their version of religion liberty upon everyone else, by taking away the liberty of those they hate and despise.
Anyway, that isn’t anything new for you all to read. Boston Boomer said the same thing last week. Now, here are your links for today.
Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, a prominent African-American church in Greeleyville, S.C., caught fire late Tuesday. It is the eighth black church in the southern U.S.A. to burn in 10 days.
Mount Zion was burned to the ground by the KKK in 1995, part of a string of 30 fires in black churches that spanned two years.
An investigation into the fire’s cause will begin after it is safely extinguished, chief of the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division Mark Keel told the Post and Courier. He noted that that the thunderstorm that pounded the town of 375 Tuesday evening could have ignited the church. Meteorologist Pete Mohlin of the National Weather Service told the paper there was a lot of lightning in the area around 7 p.m. but he could not say if it had caused the fire.
Parishioners across the south are surveying the damage a string of similar fires has caused this week, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports, starting in Knoxville, Tenn. on June 21 and moving to Macon, Ga and Gibson County, Tenn on June 23; Charlotte, N.C. on June 24; Elyria, Ohio on June 25; and Tallahassee, Fla. and Warrenville, S.C on June 26.
Three of those fires have been ruled arson, one was determined to be caused by a falling branch and faulty wiring, and the others remain under investigation. Several have been blamed preliminarily on lightning; weather in the south this week has been turbulent.
The Rev. Nelson Rivers said Tuesday night that he worked closely with ATF while they investigated a string of arsons at black churches in the 1990s.
“My prayer is that we’re not having a repeat,” Rivers told ABC News 4. “But we’re not going to take chances and we are plotting where the churches have burned so far, reaching out to the pastors and the congregations, and also talking to the authorities in those areas to see what they think.”
A federal law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said a Friday fire at a church in Aiken County does not appear to have been intentionally set. The official had direct knowledge of the investigations but spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the official was not authorized to discuss them publicly.
The official said another fire Wednesday at a Charlotte, North Carolina, church appeared to be set by vandals, and investigators have found no graffiti or other evidence that it was racially motivated.
In Georgia, FBI Special Agent in Charge Britt Johnson said Monday that authorities are also looking into whether a June 23 fire could be a hate crime, which is common practice for fires at houses of worship.
“Opening a preliminary inquiry doesn’t suggest that a hate crime has occurred, but rather ensures that it is getting additional scrutiny for hate crime potential,” Johnson said in a statement.
Another fire was reported at the College Hill Seventh Day Adventist church in Knoxville,Tennessee, a predominantly black congregation. Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk had said previously that the fire was not being investigated as a hate crime. Authorities have said bales of hay outside the church were set on fire, and a church van was damaged in the blaze.
Federal investigators are tracking the Knoxville blaze and several others in an arson database to determine whether there are any trends or similarities, but none of the fires appear to be related, said Michael Knight, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Tennessee.
In Elyria, Ohio, arson has been ruled out in the burning of the College Heights Baptist Church, fire Chief Richard Benton told The Chronicle Telegram newspaper.
Okay, when “vandals” are burning down black churches in the South, after the murders of 9 black people, inside a Southern black church…when the confederate flag is under threat of being banned…to say that there is no evidence of racial motivation. Or…that lightning is the cause of eight black churches burning down? Come on…seriously.
More links on this story:
Just a few more links on white supremacist.
After the horrific massacre at Charleston’s historic black church, Americans are slowly realizing the threat posed by white supremacist and neo-Nazimovements. But few know that their presence has grown within one of the most powerful institutions in America: the US military.
According to the FBI, there are hundreds of white supremacists in the US army or in the veteran community. Some analysts even estimate the number is in the thousands. In America, 203 white supremacist “extremist cases” investigated by the Bureau from 2001 to 2008 involved veterans. The problem hasn’t gone away. Neo-Nazi veteran Wade Michael Page attacked six worshippers at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in 2012.
I spent a number of years investigating how neo-Nazis and white supremacists had infiltrated the US military, with very little push back from the Pentagon, which was desperate to keep the supply of troops flowing for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
As part of my research, I spoke to veterans who had become white supremacists before service and joined to gain access to weapons and training, as well as veterans who had been radicalized after returning from the war.
Charles Wilson, spokesman for the National Socialist Movement, one of the top neo-Nazi groups in America, was frank about his attempts to populate the US armed forces with extremists: “We do encourage [our members] to sign up for the military. We can use the training to secure the resistance to our government. Every one of them takes a pact of secrecy … Our military doesn’t agree with our political beliefs, they are not supposed to be in the military, but they’re there, in ever greater numbers.” He claimed to have 190 members serving.
Read the rest at the link, it is fucking scary.
And then think about how many former military are in the police force…
This map by Jody Sieradzki of Dadaviz shows which flag people in different states searched more on Google Shopping between January 2008 and June 2015: the U.S. flag or the Confederate flag. The states in black — most of them — shopped more for the American flag. The states in red — Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Illinois and Texas — searched more often for the Confederate flag.
Hmmmmm, notice that one state there in the middle, near the one of the Great Lakes?
Yes? Yeah….and what would be in Illinois that would make confederate flags so fucking popular?
This next link is a couple of days old, but: KKK plans SC Statehouse rally, says Dylann Roof ‘was heading in the right direction’
North Carolina-based Ku Klux Klan group announced plans to hold a rally in front of the South Carolina Statehouse on July 18, the Charleston Post and Courierreported on Monday.
State officials confirmed that the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which calls itself the “largest Klan in America,” filed a permit saying they expected between 100 and 200 people to attend the event on the north side of the building, where the Confederate battle flag is currently being flown. If the permit is approved, the event would be held between 3 and 5 p.m. on July 18.
The South Carolina Budget and Control Board approved the application Monday, and spokesman Brian Gaines explained that space to demonstrate was provided at the site when not already reserved.
“This is our state, and they are not welcome,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement. Haley called for the flag to be removed from outside the building in the wake of the terrorist attack committed by 21-year-old Dylann Roof earlier this month. Lawmakers will discuss removing the flag on July 6.
“He was heading in the right direction; wrong target,” Jones told the Post and Courier.“He should have actually aimed at the African-American gang-bangers, the ones who are selling the drugs to white youth, the ones who are robbing and raping every chance they get.”
You can see more about how the history books are mistreating the KKK and Confederacy at the link…if you like.
About this rally in South Carolina: South Carolina approves KKK’s pro-Confederate flag rally at capitol | New York Post
But according to the newspaper, the South Carolina Budget and Control Board approved an application filed by the “Loyal White Knights” chapter of the Ku Klux Klan for a July 18 rally in favor of the flag.
Budget and Control Board spokesman Brian Gaines told the newspaper that space to demonstrate was provided at the site when not already reserved.
And this…which has nothing to do with white supremacist. It does deal with Jeezus freaks, but how one preacher is reacting in a positive way: Read what this Christian pastor promises to do if his children are gay | Gay Star News
It is a long open letter, just go and take a look. It is no way a blanket acceptance of all religious actions, but it is a good response, one that illustrates how the mass christian right should act.
The rest of the links in dump format:
That is a sad situation, and it looks like it will only get worse as the story develops.
A woman fought off bees, started a fire and survived on apples — all after giving birth in a lonely stretch of Northern California forest, she told a Bay Area TV station.
The woman, Amber Pangborn, 35, of Oroville, made a hasty decision to take an unfamiliar shortcut while driving to her parents’ house after going into labor Thursday.
Instead, she got lost.
“I thought we were going to die,” she told KCRA-TV. “And there was no cell service, there was no … there was nothing.”
But Pangborn’s baby wouldn’t wait and she had no choice but to give birth alone. She named her daughter Marisa.
I think it is ironic that the woman’s name is Pangborn…which is the Norse/Celtic term for labor pains…in childbirth.
This will probably be big news today: Greece, Missing I.M.F. Payment, Is Called Effectively in Default – The New York Times
And if you want proof of PLUBs Pro-Life-Until-Birth…especially for those GOP ultra conservatives in the South:
This next story is amazing news, and at the same time…puts things in perspective:
The World Health Organization on Tuesday declared Cuba the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child.
The WHO said in a statement that an international delegation that it and the Pan American Health Organization sent to Cuba in March determined the country met the criteria for the designation. In 2013, only two children in Cuba were born with HIV and five with syphilis, the statement said.
“Cuba’s success demonstrates that universal access and universal health coverage are feasible and indeed are the key to success, even against challenges as daunting as HIV,” PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said in the statement.
Shit that should scare the hell out of the GOP.
Last few links for you:
An interesting read: The Moment I Knew I Had To Break Up With My Best Friend especially with all the back and forth and disagreements on Facebook…over gay marriage rights.
And last Sunday I posted a link to a story about Misty Copeland, the first African American lead in Swan Lake in ABT history…well, check it out:
Misty Copeland made history Tuesday, becoming the first African-American woman to reach the top rank of principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre.
Her promotion, announced by Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, marks a significant milestone for diversity in ballet.
“So many young dancers of color stop dancing at an early age because they don’t think there will be a path for them,” Ms. Copeland said at a news conference following the announcement. “I hope this will change that.”
She had said this was a dream for her…to become a principal dancer.
Copeland, the author of a best-selling memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina” and the subject of a documentary film, “A Ballerina’s Tale,” has been a supporter of diversity in ballet. She had also been open about her goal to be lead dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT).
“My dream has been ABT since I was 13,” she said fighting back tears. “I’m excited to continue to grow as an artist and hopefully see more brown dancers come into the company in my lifetime.”
Copeland has already been credited for being an inspiration for younger dancers and for bringing in more diverse audiences to ballet. In her best-selling memoir, she recounted how weird it was for minorities just to buy tickets to the ballet.
Copeland has also appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Earlier this year she took on the lead role in the American Ballet Theatre production of “Swan Lake.”
“It’s been a long journey but it is just the beginning,” she added.
Misty Copeland was fast becoming the most famous ballerina in the United States — making the cover of Time magazine, being profiled by “60 Minutes,” growing into a social media sensation and dancing ballet’s biggest roles on some of its grandest stages. But another role eluded her: She was still not a principal dancer.
Until Tuesday, when Ms. Copeland became the first African-American woman to be named a principal in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater.
“I had moments of doubting myself, and wanting to quit, because I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level,” Ms. Copeland said at a news conference at the Metropolitan Opera House on Tuesday afternoon. “At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it’s not me up here — and I’m constantly saying that — it’s everyone that came before me that got me to this position.”
Fittingly, the moment of her promotion was captured on video andshared on Instagram. “Misty, take a bow,” Kevin McKenzie, Ballet Theater’s artistic director, could be seen saying, before colleagues congratulated Ms. Copeland, who seemed to be fighting back tears. Her promotion was lauded on social media by, among others, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Prince, who had featured her in a video.
Over the past year, whenever Ms. Copeland, 32, danced leading roles with Ballet Theater, her performances became events, drawing large, diverse, enthusiastic crowds to cheer her on at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. After she starred in “Swan Lake” with Ballet Theater last week — becoming the first African-American to do so with the company at the Met — the crowd of autograph-seekers was so large that it had to be moved away from the cramped area outside the stage door.
Read more at the links, there are videos too…she is an amazing artist…and now Principal Dancer of ABT! I think it is about damn time!
Have a great Wednesday, and share your thoughts with us. What are you finding interesting today?
The photo at the top of the page was taken on Mystic Street approaching Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center, Arlington, Massachusetts. I’ve lived in this town since the 1970s. The population in 2014 is less than 43,000. The Center has some stores, but it’s not really a shopping district. There’s a Starbucks, the public library, the main Post Office, a number of restaurants, that sort of thing. We don’t have a mayor. There is a town manager and a town meeting with elected members. Basically, Arlington is a small town, but it’s also part of Greater Boston. It’s a close suburb to Boston, situated between Cambridge and Lexington.
Arlington has always been a safe place to live, and I still feel that way about my neighborhood. But recently, big city crime has arrived here, and I’m kind of shocked. In September, the Arlington Police Department was involved in a sex trafficking case involving men from Rhode Island and Massachusetts who exploited a teenage girl and forced her into prostitution. Also in September, a man who worked for Arlington’s Department of Public Works was charged with “upskirting” in a local restaurant bathroom. That’s a crime I hadn’t even heard of before. It when someone uses a camera to look up women’s skirts. Ugh, how creepy. And this morning I woke up to this from The Boston Globe:
An Arlington-based video game developer said she and her husband had to temporarily leave their home after they received graphic threats of sexual assault and death on Twitter—a response, she believes, to her online activism on behalf of women in the tech industry
Brianna Wu, head of development for the indie video game publisher Giant Spacekat, contacted Arlington police Friday evening after a Twitter account named “Death to Brianna”—whose profile description read, “I’m going to kill Brianna Wu and her husband Frank”—posted a number of graphic death threats.
Read some of the tweets at the link.
Arlington Police confirmed that the department is investigating the origin of the message. Twitter has since suspended the account.
Wu said she is “harassed on a daily basis,” often receiving rape threats and unwanted pornographic images, but that Friday night’s messages “crossed a line to the point [she] felt scared.”
“I left the house because I felt unsafe,” Wu wrote in a Facebook message to Boston.com. “I told the officer, and he felt that was reasonable.”
There’s no truly safe place left in America these days, I guess. Maybe it was always like that, and I just didn’t know it. At least we don’t have any Ebola cases yet.
Here’s the latest from Dallas.
AP, via the Seattle Times, About 70 hospital staffers cared for Ebola patient.
About 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were involved in the care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was hospitalized, including a nurse now being treated for the same Ebola virus that killed the Liberian man who was visiting Dallas, according to medical records his family provided to The Associated Press.
The size of the medical team reflects the hospital’s intense effort to save Duncan’s life, but it also suggests that many other people could have been exposed to the virus during Duncan’s time in an isolation unit.
On Monday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the infection of the nurse means the agency must broaden the pool of people getting close monitoring. Authorities have said they do not know how the nurse was infected, but they suspect some kind of breach in the hospital’s protocol.
According to the AP, the hospital shared medical records with the news agency, but “the CDC does not have them.” WTF?! Why?
The CDC has not yet established a firm number of health care workers who had contact with Duncan.
“If this one individual was infected — and we don’t know how — within the isolation unit, then it is possible that other individuals could have been infected as well,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. “We do not today have a number of such exposed people or potentially exposed health care workers. It’s a relatively large number, we think in the end.”
Caregivers who began treating Duncan after he tested positive for Ebola were following a “self-monitoring regimen” in which they were instructed to take their temperatures regularly and report any symptoms. But they were not considered at high risk.
Typically, the nurses, doctors and technicians caring for a contagious patient in isolation would be treating other people as well, and going home to their families after decontaminating themselves. The hospital has refused to answer questions about their specific duties.
Jesus. It sounds like the hospital is still trying to protect itself rather than doing everything possible to keep this disease from spreading.
This story from Reuters is a must read, Following the mistakes in the Texas Ebola story. As we all know now, Thomas Duncan, the Ebola patient who died at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital initially went to the emergency room with a fever of 103, and he openly told heath care workers he had recently arrived in Dallas from Liberia. But they sent him home anyway. You’d think his family would be able to sue the hospital for millions, but they probably can’t.
As this Reuters report notes:
Texas tort-reform measures have made it one of the hardest places in the United States to sue over medical errors, especially those that occurred in the emergency room …. To bring a civil claim in Texas over an emergency-room error, including malpractice, plaintiffs have to show staff acted in a way that was “willfully and wantonly negligent,” meaning that the staff had to have consciously put Duncan or others at extreme risk by releasing him, rather just having made a mistake.
In other words, tort reform in Texas means you can’t sue a doctor or nurse for making a mistake, even a stupid, fatal one. Or even one that might end up causing multiple fatalities if Duncan gave the virus to others after he was allowed to leave the emergency room.
The author of the article, Stephen Brill is currently “researching a coming book on the economics and politics of U.S. healthcare,” and he has some interesting questions based on the Ebola case. He has found that in the U.S. expensive tests are frequently used–supposedly to protect against malpractice suits. Questions:
Have hospitals tightened their own quality-control and disciplinary processes because they know that doctors don’t have to worry about lawsuits and, therefore, want to add accountability measures of their own to deal with staff mistakes?
Or have they loosened discipline because they don’t have to worry about being sued for their staffs’ mistakes?
Brill also wonders why the hospital hasn’t named the nurse or doctor responsible for sending Duncan home after his initial visit to the hospital.
Yes, I would like to read a story about the person who made the mistake. What is his or her record? Was the emergency room busy when Duncan showed up? Or was the staff sitting around with little to do, yet still failed to react carefully enough? And were policies, explicit or implicit, in place encouraging them not to admit uninsured patients whose bills are likely to go unpaid?
What disciplinary action did, or will, the hospital take? What usually happens in a situation like this at that hospital and at hospitals generally?
But more than that, I would like to see a story exploring the issue of personal responsibility and public accountability when private people make mistakes that have huge public ramifications.
I’d like to read a story like that too.
In more positive news, a man who survived Ebola has donated blood plasma to the Dallas nurse who is sick.
The Rev. Jim Khoi, pastor of the Fort Worth church attended by Nina Pham’s family, said she received a transfusion of plasma containing Ebola-fighting antibodies Monday afternoon.
Samaritan’s Purse confirmed the plasma came from Dr. Kent Brantly, the Texas doctor who survived Ebola. Brantly contracted Ebola while working with the nonprofit medical mission group in Liberia.
Samaritan’s Purse spokesman Jeremy Blume says Brantly traveled to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas Sunday to donate the plasma.
Brantly said in a recent speech that he also offered his blood to Thomas Eric Duncan, but that their blood types didn’t match. Duncan died of Ebola on Wednesday.
In politics news, it looks like we won’t see a third Romney presidential run, because Ann Romney has laid down the law.
From the New York Daily News, Ann Romney quashes rumors of Mitt 2016: ‘Mitt and I are done’.
“Mitt and I are done. Completely,” the wife of the two-time Republican presidential candidate has said to quash rumors that another campaign is in the works.
“Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done. Done. Done. Done,” she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Mitt Romney, 67, has said repeatedly he wasn’t interested in running again, but in recent weeks he’s been seen as flirting with the prospect.
With no clear Republican frontrunner for 2016, he has taken to the campaign trail to support Senate hopefuls, including Joni Ernst in Iowa on Monday, and has also kept up relationships with key GOP donors.
But his wife, Ann, seems to think a third time is not the charm.
I hope she really means it!
Another potential 2016 candidate, Hillary Clinton spoke about a number of current issues yesterday in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a Las Vegas crowd Monday night that more needs to be done to ensure young people can achieve their dreams and free students from onerous college debt “that can feel like an anchor tied to their feet dragging them down.”
Later, talking about the American public’s possible reluctance to get involved in conflicts around the world, Clinton referred to the threats posed by the Ebola virus and the Islamic State militant group.
“They want to bring the fight to Europe and the fight to the United States,” she said of the terrorist group.
And Ebola is not going to stay confined, the former first lady said.
Read more about her remarks at the link.
The New York Times has an article about the latest protests in Ferguson, Missouri. I can’t excerpt any of the text, because the Times has found a way to prevent it on some stories; it’s a good article and worth reading at the link. Here’s another report from the AP via ABC News: More Than 50 Arrested in Ferguson Protests.
Pounding rain and tornado watches didn’t deter hundreds of protesters Monday outside Ferguson police headquarters, where they stayed for almost four hours to mark how long 18-year-old Michael Brown’s body was left in a street after he was fatally shot by police.
Organizers of the four-day Ferguson October protests dubbed the day “Moral Monday” and committed acts of civil disobedience across the St. Louis region. In addition to the initial march on Ferguson police headquarters, protesters blocked the entrance to a major employer, held a loud rally inside St. Louis City Hall, disrupted business at a Ferguson shopping center and three Wal-Mart stores and tried to crash a private fundraiser for a St. Louis County executive candidate where U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill was scheduled to appear.
At the Edward Jones Dome Monday night, protesters briefly draped a banner over a Jumbotron video board that read “Rams fans know on and off the field black lives matter.”
More than 50 people were arrested, including scholar and civil rights activist Cornel West.
West was among 42 arrested for peace disturbance at the Ferguson police station. Some protesters used a bullhorn to read the names of people killed by police nationwide. Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy members — some of whom were among the first arrested — led a prayer service before marching to the station two blocks away.
I’m very glad that the protests are continuing. I’m afraid Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson is going to get away with killing Michael Brown, so I think it’s important to keep the story in the nation’s consciousness.
So . . . what stories are you following today? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread, and enjoy your Tuesday!
Hillary and Bill Clinton are grandparents!
The couple’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, has given birth to her first child, a daughter named Charlotte.
Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the former president and ex-secretary of state, announced the baby’s birth on Twitter and Facebook early Saturday, saying she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are ‘‘full of love, awe and gratitude as we celebrate the birth of our daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.’’
Clinton spokesman Kamyl Bazbaz said the child was born on Friday but did not immediately provide additional details. The couple lives in New York City. The Clintons quickly retweeted their daughter’s message on Twitter but did not immediately comment on the baby’s arrival.
Now that the announcement is out of the way, the media demands to know if Hillary will now announce she’s running for president.
The baby has been eagerly anticipated as Hillary Clinton considers her political future — she has called the prospect of becoming a grandmother her ‘‘most exciting title yet.’’ She even has picked out the first book she intends to read to her grandchild, the classic ‘‘Goodnight Moon.’’
She has said she didn’t want to make any decisions about another campaign until the baby’s arrival, pointing to her interest in enjoying becoming a grandmother for the first time. If Clinton decides to run for president, her campaign would coincide with the baby’s first two years.
The Christian Science Monitor even put the demand in their headline to the AP story: Chelsea Clinton now a mom. Will Grandma Hillary announce run for president?
Sigh . . . Yes, I’m sure Hillary is planning to ruin their daughter’s and son-in-law’s celebration by rushing out and the media’s wish come true. Why don’t they hound Mitt Romney instead? He already has so many grandkids he probably can’t keep their names straight; and Ann Romney has been out and about in the past week.
Ann told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that if only Mitt had been elected in 2012, there wouldn’t have been so many problems in Iraq and Syria. According to Ann,
I think he would have had a status of forces agreement on — in Iraq. I don`t believe ISIS would have had the invasion that they have — they’ve had. They wouldn’t have had the ability to — I think he would have tried to arm the moderates in Syria. I think there`s other things that would have happened that would have made the equation a little bit tilted in our favor.
Those people are not going to go away. This is a generational problem. And the sooner we realize, I think, as Americans, that it`s not an easy solution and it`s not going to go away, but to be really aware of how dangerous the situation is — I think Mitt was very aware how — how precarious it was.
As for Mitt giving running for president a third try, Ann hinted that it will depend on what Jeb Bush decides to do.
One scenario out there, Mrs. Romney, is that Jeb Bush doesn`t run after all, and your husband has sized up the landscape and that a lot of his supporters, past and present, said, you have the name recognition, you have the Reagan example of the third time was the charm for him, and that it`s been done before.
[ANN] ROMNEY: Mm-hmm.
CAVUTO: And — and that would be appealing.
ROMNEY: Well, we will see, won`t we, Neil?
I think Jeb probably will end up running, myself. I think, you know, he — people probably are looking at it, that he`s probably looking at it very carefully right now.
CAVUTO: But why would his entrance in the race matter to — to your supporters or not?
ROMNEY: Well, I think, you know, he would draw on a very similar base that we would draw on.
Andrew Prokop at Vox thinks another Romney run could happen: It’s not crazy for Mitt Romney to run for president again. Prokop, reports that according to conservative columnist Bryan York, Jeb is unlikely to run in 2016.
“Romney is said to believe that, other than himself, [Jeb] Bush is the only one of the current Republican field who could beat Hillary Clinton in a general election,” York writes. So there seems to be at least one candidate who would definitively win Romney’s support.
But while there have been several trial balloons for a Jeb Bush candidacy floated recently, there are reasons to be skeptical he’ll actually pull the trigger. First of all, he’s been out of politics for years and focused on making money. For now, Bush has every reason to encourage speculation that he’s running. It gives him increased media attention, perceived clout, and it makes him more valuable as a speaker and rainmaker. But he’s at odds with the GOP base on issues like immigration and Common Core, and he’s suggested that concerns from his family could be an issue. So Bush might well opt against a run, and Romney could feel that he’s the party’s only hope.
After all, writes Prokop, Romney is a known quantity and he’s popular with GOP donors. On top of that, Chris Christie has lost his luster as a candidate.
Read more details at Vox.
But what about Mitt’s problems with women? Ann says that’s nonsense, according to Politico.
Ann Romney on Tuesday skewered Democrats’ claim that there’s a GOP “war on women,” calling the accusation “offensive” and saying it won’t work as a campaign tactic.
“It’s ridiculous, honestly, I mean I don’t think they’re getting very far with that, by the way. It’s not going to work. I think women are a lot smarter than that, and that’s kind of offensive to me, to tell you the truth,” Romney said in an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News in response to a question about both the so-called “war on women” and DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s recent comments about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
“Scott Walker’s a good guy, and he’s got a wonderful wife, and he values women and that just doesn’t fly,” Romney added.
She was responding to Wasserman Schultz’s remarks earlier this month, when the Florida Democrat said Walker “has given women the back of his hand.”
Well that’s the end of that then. Scott Walker’s wife (does she have a name) is “wonderful,” so women should just shut up and deal with having limited access to birth control, abortion, and child care, and lower pay than their male colleagues.
Wonkette responds to the Politico story with appropriate sarcasm: Ladies, Stop Offending Ann Romney With How Stupid You Are.
How many times does Her Royal Horse-Riding Majesty Ann Romney have to explain this to YOU PEOPLE? Sheesh! This so-called “war on women” claptrap Democrats can’t stop blah blahing about is so dumb and so 2012 and so not even real anyway, so why are women — who are so much smarter than Democrats think they are — so stupid as to keep falling for it?
Obviously, talking non-stop about the Republican Party’s non-stop assault on women will never work. Ann knows. She’s an elections expert. That’s why the gender gap in 2012 was only 18 points. Practically a draw! No wonder the whole Romney clan was so very shocked and awed that Ann’s 2012 pitch failed to sway the lady voters:
“Women, you need to wake up,” she urged them. “Women have to ask themselves who’s going to have and be there for you. I can promise you, I know, that Mitt will be there for you. He will stand up for you, he will hear your voices.”
Maybe it had something to do with how some of the things that spilled out of her face hole were kind of … oh, what’s the word? Offensive? Like when she said, “I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids.” Those hard-working women out there were such an inspiration to her because she also had suffered and struggled and worked really hard at never having a job, scraping by on nothing but her husband’s daddy’s stock portfolio.
How the heck did that not work with voters?!? Especially after she told YOU PEOPLE to stop being so dumb already, jeez, and vote for her hubby. And some of YOU PEOPLE even whispered in her ear that you totally agreed with her (and yet did not vote for Mitt anyway, weird!), and even ladies who usually don’t worry their pretty little heads about important issues — that’s Man’s Work, after all — were finally, for the first time ever, thinking about really important stuff, like the economy and “their husbands’ jobs.”
For heaven’s sake, ladies. Mitt had all those binders full of women, remember? Now get over it and go vote Republican!
Of course Mitt wasn’t included in the Values Voters Summit this weekend. That could mean he’s not running or maybe that he thinks the Tea Party vote won’t matter. The usual suspects were there though.
Despite Ann’s claims that the Democrats are getting nowhere with the “war on women” talk, the “values voters” speakers appeared to tone down the anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage rhetoric, according to ABC News: Republicans Rallying Behind Religious Liberty.
Fighting to improve their brand, leading Republicans rallied behind religious liberty at a Friday gathering of evangelical conservatives, rebuking an unpopular President Barack Obama while skirting divisive social issues.
Speakers did not ignore abortion and gay marriage altogether on the opening day of the annual Values Voter Summit, but a slate of prospective presidential candidates focused on the persecution of Christians and their values at home and abroad — a message GOP officials hope will help unify a divided party and appeal to new voters ahead of November’s midterm elections and the 2016 presidential contest.
“Oh, the vacuum of American leadership we see in the world,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz declared Friday in a Washington hotel ballroom packed with religious conservatives. “We need a president who will speak out for people of faith, prisoners of conscience.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul echoed the theme in a speech describing America as a nation in “spiritual crisis.”
“Not a penny should go to any nation that persecutes or kills Christians,” said Paul, who like Cruz is openly considering a 2016 presidential bid.
The speaking program included such potential 2016 candidates as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Several possible Republican candidates — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush among them — did not attend. The group has positions on social issues across the spectrum — from the libertarian-leaning Paul, who favors less emphasis on abortion and gay marriage, to Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist pastor whose conservative social values define his brand.
Here’s a lovely little homily from Bobby Jindal:
Jindal, who is also weighing a White House bid, seized on what he called Obama’s “silent war” on religious freedom.
“The United States of America did not create religious liberty,” Jindal said. “Religious liberty created the United States of America.”
Anyone know what he means by a “silent war?” I have no clue. What a charlatan Jindal is!
The ABC article didn’t mention Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin, but they were there too.
From Mediaite on crazy Michele’s speech: Bachmann Rouses Values Voters Crowd with Calls to ‘Kill’ ISIS Until They Surrender. See video at the link.
Talking Points Memo notes that Sarah Palin doesn’t know the address of the White House. I wonder who lives at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue?
Palin Goofs: Truth Is Endangered At ‘1400’ Penn Avenue. Watch it:
I wonder if the “values voters” liked Palin’s biker chick get-up?
And, of course, Ted Cruz was his usual loony self. Salon: 5 craziest things Ted Cruz just said at the Values Voters Summit (including the full video of his “deranged” speech.
Quick News Headlines:
The Boston Globe, 7 Questions We’d Ask Ferguson’s Chief of Police.
A man set a fire at an air traffic control facility at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, but it’s not being called terrorism–maybe because the guy isn’t an Arab American?
The Texas State Board of Education is at it again. Now they want teachers to tell kids that Moses is an inspiration for the U.S. Constitution (very interesting and detailed article at The Daily Beast).
AP, via Yahoo News, Police: Woman beheaded at Oklahoma workplace.
Discovery News, Japanese Volcano Erupts: Hikers Missing.
The New Yorker on the newest social media entry, Ello’s Anti-Facebook Moment.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links on any topic in comment thread.
Have a great weekend, everyone!