Once again…today’s thread will be a short one. Springing ahead…time change, is always a difficult one for me to handle. I wish Georgia would take a leap from Florida and make this latest time spring forward…the last.
Lawmakers in Florida are tired of the whole “fall back” and “spring forward” rigamarole. So they’ve approved a bill to keep Daylight Saving Time going throughout the year in their state.It took the state Senate less than a minute Tuesday to pass the “Sunshine Protection Act.” There were only two dissenters. (The House passed it 103-11 on February 14.)The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott — but it’s far from a done deal after that,Even if the governor approves, a change like this will literally take an act of Congress.But if all is approved, Floridians — who’ll set their clocks ahead one hour this Sunday when Daylight Saving Time begins — won’t have to mess with it ever again.
Act of Congress or not…Scott signed a bill last week bringing the legal age to buy a rifle in Florida up from 18 to 21. And now the NRA is suing.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is suing Florida after it passed a gun control law in the wake of a school shooting that left 17 people dead.
Governor Rick Scott, a staunch ally of the gun lobby, enacted the bill, which the NRA says violates the constitution.
The law raises the legal age for buying rifles in Florida, but also allows the training and arming of school staff.
It does not ban semi-automatic rifles like the one used in the 14 February massacre in Parkland.
But it does introduce a three-day waiting period on all gun sales and a ban on bump stocks, a device that enables semi-automatic rifles to fire hundreds of rounds a minute.
What’s in the new law?
- It raises the minimum age for buying rifles from 18 to 21 in the state – although 18, 19 and 20-year-old police officers and members of the security forces will still be able to buy rifles and shotguns
- It bans bump stocks – devices that raise the firing speed of semi-automatic rifles
- It introduces a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases (previously this only applied when people bought handguns)
- It makes it easier for police to confiscate weapons and ammunition from people who are deemed to pose a threat of violent behaviour (a measure that has been proposed by five other states in the last month, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)
- It allows school staff to carry guns, with the agreement of their school district authorities and sheriff’s department. This is already allowed in the states of Wyoming, South Dakota, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas and Texas
NRA filed a lawsuit within an hour from Scott signing the new law…you would think that the bloody bloodthirsty gun lobby would be ecstatic about that last part of the new legislation. The bit about school staff being able to carry and lock and load.
According to this article from The Tampa Bay Times, school districts are too big on arming their staff: Florida’s biggest school districts may skip out on armed ‘guardians’ program, even if Rick Scott signs it | Tampa Bay Times
“I believe the people carrying weapons should be law enforcement officers and not our employees,” said Seminole County school superintendent Walt Griffin, echoing comments of his large-district peers.
The Legislature’s new plan to arm school employees as a last line of defense to an active shooter might never get tested in Florida’s biggest school districts.
Officials in 10 of the state’s largest systems, which educate nearly 60 percent of all Florida school children, said they have no intention of giving teachers or other staff guns to carry into classrooms.
“I believe the people carrying weapons should be law enforcement officers and not our employees,” said Seminole County school superintendent Walt Griffin, echoing comments of his large-district peers. “I do not support our hard-working teachers having the responsibility of carrying a weapon.”
The Broward, Duval and Hillsborough county school boards adopted formal statements Tuesday opposing the idea of arming school personnel, and calling for adequate funding to support sworn officers in the schools instead. A day earlier, Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho made clear his district’s position, saying anyone who thinks arming educators is a solution is “absolutely out of their mind.”
Also this week, a majority of Pasco County board members have signaled their dissent, as have officials in Pinellas County.
“What’s the liability on that?” Pinellas board chairwoman Renee Flowers asked in an interview. “We’re here to educate our students. Everyone has their own area of expertise. Cafeteria workers, maintenance people, librarians. … That’s not what they were hired for.”
This is good to hear…I am glad that question on liability is being brought up.
Remember this victim of gun violence, from Alabama?
That “accidental” shooting?
A 17-year-old high school junior was charged Friday with manslaughter and illegal firearms possession in a classroom shooting that killed a fellow student at an Alabama high school.
The charges against Michael Jerome Barber were announced after authorities interviewed witnesses and reviewed video in connection with the shooting at Huffman High School in Birmingham. Courtlin Arrington, 17, a senior who had dreams of becoming a nurse, was killed in the shooting.
Barber recklessly caused Arrington’s death after bringing a gun to school, prosecutors said. They did not release details of the shooting.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Ms. Arrington, all of her friends, and those whose lives would have been changed through her nursing dreams had this event not occurred. This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton said in a statement.
The shooting took place Wednesday as school was dismissing for the day. Police initially said it was possible the shooting was accidental.
It is so disturbing…
Arrington’s mother, Tynesha Tatum, was quoted by al.com as saying that she told her daughter she loved her and to have a “blessed day” as she left for school that morning. The next time she saw her was to identify her body at a Birmingham hospital.
Arrington was a caring and fashion-conscious teen who was determined to become a nurse, her mother said.
“Whatever she put her mind to, that’s what she was going to do,” she told the newspaper.
Her funeral will be held the same weekend as what would have been her senior prom.
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring this week described Arrington as a bright student “lost to senseless gun violence.”
“She was friendly, energetic and well-liked by peers and teachers alike,” Herring said.
Barber is a junior who plays on Huffman’s football team and has posted recruiting videos online. Court records were not immediately available to show whether Barber had a lawyer to speak for him.
Huffman High School has metal detectors but they were not in use on the day of the shooting, school officials said.
Herring said the school has increased security and is reviewing safety procedures and protocols.
More on Courtlin Arrington here: Mom, family heartbroken after daughter’s promising life ended in shooting at Huffman High | AL.com
What a beautiful young woman, such a tragedy.
I am so glad that the students are standing up to the NRA and gun lobby lovers…
The survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida, have inspired us with their determination, grit, and relentless courage. We owe those brave students more than awe and admiration; this moment of national outrage must become a moment of national action. Right now, powerful special interests are betting against them and cynically speculating that the urgency will pass and America will return to business as usual. The National Rifle Association (NRA) underestimates the power of young people. In doing so, they are fools.
There is a new “old” language afoot….it is taking some fucked up folks by storm…I should say “stormfront.” Check this article out, By Ryan Lenz at Southern Poverty Law Center: White Nationalists Are Pushing for a ‘Blue-Eyed’ English | Alternet
They call it Anglish.
White nationalists have gone looking for a mothertung. No, that isn’t a misspelling; rather, it’s how the word would look for white nationalists obsessed with seeing Anglish in widespread use.
Anglish? I must mean English, right? Nope.
Derived from “linguistic purism,” an idea that dates to the 16th and 17th centuries, Anglish is the English language either expunged of words with Latinate or Greek origins, or with those words completely reimagined with deference to Germanic roots. In the 19th century, writers such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy favored the style, even introducing words like “birdlore” instead of ornithology and “bendsome” in place of flexible.
But in the last year, as the so-called “alt-right” has moved further into the mainstream, this old idea has seen some newfound enthusiasm. (Maybe racists have come to realize that if a white ethnostate can’t be built on a gene pool, grammar will do.)
As early as 2010, Anglish was casually discussed in places such as Stormfront, once the largest white supremacist website in the world. Last summer, someone with the username Hail Britain, lauded Anglish after someone posted a YouTube video exploring the question, “What if English were 100 percent Germanic.”
“Good to see this sort of thing circulating,” a user named Branmakmorn wrote. “Hopefully it’ll spur a few normies to start asking more questions about their white identity.”
More recently, last November, an author revisited the idea of Anglish in the Renegade Tribune, an online anti-Semitic newspaper that has dabbled in Holocaust denial and featured headlines such as, “The jewish [sic] Plans for 2018: Immigrant Invasion, Miscegenation, and White Genocide.”
“How is that White countries with languages derived from Latin fell easier to Jewish universalism than Germany? Of course language is not the main reason but it is certainly related to it, and it had its own contribution,” an author last opined last November for the Renegade Tribune.
He added, in a comment to his own post: “Latin is a slave language because it is intended to be universal, to facilitate the breeding together of different humans.”
While the idea is bizarre, there have been discussions about pushing Anglish into the mainstream on Reddit and online forums elsewhere dedicated to Anglish.
Read the rest at the link above…I doubt the new “anguage???” will take hold…as it is way too difficult for these racist shitasses to learn something new.
Here is something to ponder: Colombia’s Farc: Choosing the ballot box over violence – BBC News
In the Colombian town of Fusagasugá, about two hours from the capital, Bogotá, Senate hopeful Julián Gallo Cubillos is on stage for the close of his campaign.
It is pouring down with rain but for a man used to living in the jungle, it is hardly a problem.
Better known by his nom de guerre, Carlos Antonio Lozada, he fought for three decades with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the left-wing rebel group better known as Farc.
I remember Farc, and Colombia and all the shit that was going down when I was in high school in 85/88 and college in the end of the 80’s and early 90’s and when I was getting my second degree in the mid 90’s. If any of you have seen the series Narcos…I am sure it will be fresh in your minds.
The Farc started life in the 1960s as a Marxist-inspired rebel group demanding land reform.
The guerrillas soon became a key player in a conflict involving the government, right-wing paramilitaries and other armed groups, which left an estimated 220,000 dead and millions displaced over five decades.
The turning point was the peace agreement signed between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Farc in 2016.
As part of the deal, the Farc were given 10 seats in Congress up until 2026, regardless of how many votes they received.
Same name, different game
After the Farc rebels disarmed last year, the group announced its new party. It kept the acronym Farc but changed what the letters stand for to the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force.
“We had to maintain our name because it’s linked to our history of struggle and resistance,” explains Mr Lozada.
“It wouldn’t have been ethical to hide behind any other acronym.”
But the new political party is having trouble convincing the general public of its new role.
“How are we going to pardon a group who has spilt so much blood and is now expecting us to put them in power?” asked Alejandro Castañeda, who was walking through Bogotá’s main square, Plaza Bolívar.
It seems there aremany who feel this same way, but to them I would ask…how many deaths can be linked to a corrupt government that continued to propel a drug war and its devastating violence.
Colombians are not against the idea of peace but they are divided about how to go about it.
And for many, it is hard to forget the crimes the Farc committed during more than five decades of armed conflict.
One of the biggest criticisms of the deal was allowing Farc members to run for office without having to serve prison time first.
“They get seats with no votes and they aren’t facing justice,’ says 24-year-old Nicolás Ordoñez Ruiz, who is part of Colombia’s main opposition party, Democratic Centre. “It’s an irresponsible message. It will create more violence in the future.”
That, says conflict expert Jorge Restrepo, will be reflected on voting day. “People won’t want to vote for them because they were not punished,” he says.
“That lack of justice, that need for revengeful justice, has not been satisfied in Colombia.”
More at the link…I don’t know, I just find it all very fascinating.
Coming up to the end of the thread…just a few more links.
These next two video embeds are from Facebook. If you cannot see them, just click the links I’ve provided:
She’s a 91-year-old practicing physician, granddaughter of a slave, and one of the first doctors to treat women with opioid addiction. #InternationalWomensDay
Activist Fraidy Reiss On Ending Forced Marriage In AmericaChild marriage is still legal in all 50 states — but this activist doesn’t want any girl to go through what she experienced
Speaking of Child Marriage. I wanted to share this letter/email I received from Rachana this past week. I am so honored to be connected to this woman. The plans are shaping up for her school for girls…and now they are getting down to the point where they can begin the fund raising.
Dearest JJI wish you a happiest day on this beautiful occasion of international women’s day. I wouldn’t lose this moment to think of women whose are special to me and who have potential to change the world. I’m blessed to be in touch with such an amazing, bold, creative, generous women over seas.I’m very grateful for what I have got and very optimistic for the future that will bring us together to fix things and fight for human rights.It’s been a long time I was trying to reach you out since my sister in law was in the hospital plans got changed.finally I managed to tell the things i was keeping in my heart.Hope you’re having good time there.Here i have a good news to share.Last week our team members have planed to open a kindergarten in Surkhet from May.The idea behind of opening a kindergarten1: provide childcare, good education2: to raise children in respectful, peaceful and in friendly environment.3: to generate young mothers, give them life skills, training, parenting skills and income opportunity4: to make healthy and happy livelihood5: to give second opportunity to child bride to continue their school and free time to set their carrier.6: to end violence against women and children.These are our goals to achieve from the small step towards changing the bad train by educating children and women.What do you think of It?I would like to invite you to Nepal someday to help in our plan. We need people to bring different ideas, methodology and strategies.For this difficult but beautiful missions we need money• To build the house• rent for the land• For furniture•For teaching materials• playing toys and children books• food and nutritionWe also need fund for organizing different events and activities for young mothers.What are your thoughts on this? Do you think can we make this mission as our mission? Can we be a part of this dream project? I feel there is something really connected with you. I get good vibes when I think of you.Could it be possible to donate us to make our dream come true?I’m passing this email holding my heart with big hope.I believe investing in education today will empower our next generation tomorrow.I wait for your responseOnce again happy women’s day.Cheers for us.Warmest thanks regards
It is thrilling to be a part of this movement in Nepal. I feel like this can be a chance to actually do some good and see it come to fruition. In a small village…for a small group of young girls, women and mothers. It will be an opportunity to give aid and watch the empowerment work through the daughters of this amazing corner in our world.
This is an open thread.
Yesterday evening Time Magazine broke a news story about Carter Page. Carter Page Touted Russia Contacts in 2013 Letter | Time
Apparently Page had written a book on his “academic” views of Russia, and in trying to get the book published…actually bragged about being a spy. However, in the last paragraph of the article, the editor who has remained anonymous summed up his opinion of Carter in very much the same way that most people view Carter:
“I just came to see him as a kook”
Yeah, I think that we all can agree about that…
From the link above:
Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years.
The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.
As anyone reading or watching the goings on with Page, it doesn’t take much to see how bumbling a fool he was…maybe that was the main attraction for the Russians? (That is my own question to ponder, as you know Putin wants to create chaos.)
As this excerpt from the book COLLUSION by Luke Harding in Politico describes…the two Russian spies who recruited Page described him as an “idiot”:
As FBI wiretaps showed, the techniques for meeting with Buryakov were distinctly old-school. Typically, Sporyshev would ring Buryakov and tell him he had to give him “something”—a ticket, a book, a hat, an umbrella. The two would meet outdoors. This sometimes happened outside Buryakov’s bank office on Third Avenue—an inconspicuous brown tower with a 1960s abstract sculpture at street level opposite the foyer. They would exchange documents.
Sporyshev’s biggest headache was finding Americans willing to become intelligence sources for Russia. This was tough. He had approached two young women working in financial consultancy who had recently graduated from a New York university. Sporyshev told Podobnyy he was skeptical anything would come of it. Or, as he put it in chauvinist terms: “In order to be close you need to either fuck them or use other levers to execute my requests.”
The Russian spies, however, had one promising lead. This was a guy—an energy consultant based in New York City. Unlike the women, he was eager to help. And, it appeared, keen to make money in Moscow. There was a drawback: The source—whom the FBI called “Male-1”—was something of a dimwit.
The FBI intercepts record:
PODOBNYY: [Male-1] wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am. Plus he writes to me in Russian [to] practise the language. He flies to Moscow more often than I do. He got hooked on [the Russian state energy company] Gazprom, thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, but it’s obvious he wants to earn loads of money.
SPORYSHEV: Without a doubt.
On a little more about Page:
In a blog post for Global Policy, an online journal, he wrote that Putin wasn’t to blame for the 2014 Ukraine conflict. The White House’s superior “smack-down” approach had “started the crisis in the first place,” he wrote.
Page’s rampant pro-Moscow views were at odds with the US State Department under Clinton and with almost all American scholars of Russia. After all, it was Putin who had smuggled tanks across the border into eastern Ukraine. Not that Page’s opinions counted for much. Global Policy had a small circulation. It was edited out of Durham University in the north of England.
His relationship with the journal fizzled out when he wrote an opinion piece lavishly praising a pro-Russian candidate ahead of the U.S. presidential election—Trump.
And then something odd happened.
In March 2016 candidate Trump met with the Washington Post’s editorial board. At this point it seemed likely that Trump would clinch the Republican nomination. Foreign affairs came up. Who were the candidate’s foreign policy advisers? Trump read five names. The second was “Carter Page, PhD.” Given Trump’s obvious lack of experience of world affairs, this was a pivotal job.
One former Eurasia Group colleague said he was stunned when he discovered Page had mysteriously become one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers. “I nearly dropped my coffee,” he told me. The colleague added: “We had wanted people who could engage in critical analysis of what’s going on. This is a guy who has no critical insight into the situation. He wasn’t a smart person.”
Read more at the link…some insight as to what Page spoke of while he was in Russia, and how
Page’s loyalty to the SVR was breathtaking. Podobnyy wasn’t an “imagined bogeyman” but a career operative working against the interests of the United States. And, moreover, one who had bad-mouthed Page behind his back, calling him “a bit of an idiot”.
Whatever Page’s motives were for helping Russian intelligence—greed, naivety, stupidity—his actions surely justified the FBI’s interest in him. There was a simple way of avoiding U.S. surveillance and a FISA court warrant. It could be summed up like this: Don’t hang out with Russian spies.
All this talk of Russia, it may be a good time to watch Stanley Kubrick’s classic, Dr. Strangelove….
The Trump administration released a report on the state of America’s nuclear weaponry on Friday. The assessment, known as a Nuclear Posture Review, mainly concerns U.S. nukes and missiles.
But buried in the plan is a mention of a mysterious Russian weapon called “Status-6.” On paper, at least, Status-6 appears to be a kind of doomsday device. The report refers to it as “a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.”
“The radius of total or near-total destruction is the size of a pretty large metropolitan area, actually,” says Edward Geist, a Russia specialist at the Rand Corp. who has spent time looking at the weapon. “It’s difficult to imagine in normal terms.”
If it sounds somewhat familiar…the Status-6 has made an appearance before…
Status-6 made its first public appearance in 2015, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting with his generals in the city of Sochi.
Russia state television reported on the visit. The camera shows Putin seated at a long table. Then it cuts to a shot over one of the general’s shoulders. He is looking at what appears to be a drawing of a new nuclear weapon called the Oceanic Multipurpose System Status-6.
Here is the main point:
Status-6 would launch from beneath a Russian submarine. It would shoot at a depth too deep to be intercepted and travel for thousands of miles. Upon reaching its target along the U.S. coastline, it would detonate, swallowing up whatever city happened to be nearby.
“The only possible U.S. targets are large port cities,” says Mark Schneider, a senior analyst with the National Institute for Public Policy, wrote in an e-mail. “The detonation of Status-6 in any of them would essentially wipe out their population into the far suburbs.”
“The detonation would cause a very large amount of radioactive fallout,” adds Pavel Podvig, an arms control expert who runs a blog called Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Podvig believes the weapon could potentially bathe the entire Northeast Corridor in radioactive soot.
Status-6 would probably be used as a “third-strike” weapon of last resort. If Russia fell under attack from the U.S. and couldn’t retaliate with its missiles, it might trigger Status-6: a doomsday machine. Or at least a doomsday-ish machine.
Did you all see the tweet from Paul Ryan before he deleted it yesterday?
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan deleted a tweet on Saturday cheering a $1.50 increase to a Pennsylvania school secretary’s weekly pay because of a $1.5 trillion tax cut after it drew criticism that he was out of touch with ordinary Americans.
Ha, no shit!
The Trump administration and Republicans have cast the massive tax cuts, which came into effect in January as creating jobs and boosting economic growth. But critics have argued that they benefited the rich and would blow up the national debt.
Some social media users accused Ryan of being out of touch, with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom posting on Twitter that “Guess someone told Paul Ryan you shouldn’t go around praising yourself for giving a working person an extra $1.50 a week — because he deleted this tweet.”
On Saturday, Ryan tweeted a link to an Associated Press story with a summary that said, “A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week … she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year.”
Immediately after Ryan tweeted the story, many left-of-center critics pounced on the speaker for praising the minuscule raise — given that annual Costco membership are only $60 — while many corporate higher-ups have gained a much more substantial amount from the GOP tax bill. The Wisconsin Republican was then pressured to delete the tweet.
Specifically, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed Ryan for the tweet. “Paul Ryan deleted his embarrassing tweet of a blatant admission because he and Republicans don’t want you to know the truth: the #GOPTaxScam is a gift to corporate America and the top 1% at your expense.
He also doesn’t want you to know he got $500.000.00 from the Koch family,” tweeted Pelosi.
There was a horrible racist attack in Italy: At least 6 people injured by far-right shooter in Italy – Axios
It comes as more ultra-right only white political parties become more popular in Europe.
And for the last of today’s post, updates on the latest train wreck:
CBS News is reporting that the Amtrak train was on the wrong tracks….
At least two people were killed and 116 others injured when a train traveling from New York to Miami struck a freight train Sunday morning, authorities said. The crash left thousands of gallons of oil spilled at the scene near Columbia, South Carolina.
The collision occurred in Cayce around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Lexington County spokesperson Harrison Cahill said. He said the injuries ranged from scratches to broken bones.
The two people killed were later identified as Amtrak personnel, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in a news conference Sunday. McMaster said the CSX freight train was on the right loading side track “where it was supposed to be” before the collision and the Amtrak train was “on the wrong side.” He did not elaborate.
There were approximately 148 people aboard the train, including 139 passengers and 8 personnel.
The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.
The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”
“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.
In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.
It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.
More updates on the train crash in the comments below…this is an open thread.
The quick storyline of the film which this poster above is portraying is spectacular:
A superstitious middle-aged woman falls in love with a taxi driver, while trying to learn the identity of the unseen person tossing eggs at her.
Honestly the plot to, Too Afraid of Life or Splat, seems to make more sense than the reality we are experiencing now…
Tabio’s screwball soap opera takes us into the lives and loves of a family in the middle-class suburbs of Havana. It’s tacky, it’s wacky, it’s, well, serious too. Widowed Concha (Granados) distrusts the alliance of brawn and brain when her beloved baseball-player son marries a girl engineer with her own ideas (about bureaucratic impedimenta, the role of women, and Concha). Concha has problems enough: made wary of men by the philandering of her dear departed, she distrusts the charms of taxi-driver Tomas, so is forced to take comfort in the spells of a Santeria-cult priestess. When the young marrieds move in, splat! – eggs start to fly. Tabio leaves no doubt that this is farce, not so much admitting the presence of the camera as flaunting it. Every mirror reveals the camera crew, props are thrown onto the set, the film cranks to a halt for apologies about missing scenes. The sight gags, absurd histrionics and hyperbolic use of sound communicate an infectious sense of fun, but the film can’t quite hide a deathly conventional morality which, sadly, hauls it back into sanity and nauseating good faith.
If only there was a mirror to reveal the true farce behind the facade…meaning that this past year is all just some crazy ass twisted fraud of a disaster film that has been in production…simply to run out of money.
Now we are at an end, with the reality finally at hand; that it is over…sorry about the missing scenes, especially the last act that included the impeachment.
(Honestly, I still thing the asshole will get away with it.)
But, on with the cartoons:
Oh, and please…why hasn’t it happened yet!
Again, many of these cartoons above are foreign press.
The following is exactly what the GOP wants you to believe:
I had to end it with Luckovich…fucking awesome.
This is an open thread!
An estimated 5 million people (5 crore) came together to create a #BiharHumanChain2018 in the Indian State of Bihar to bring awareness against child marriage and dowry.
Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, on Sunday thanked the people of Bihar for participating and forming the largest human chain against child marriage and dowry practices.
Earlier in the day, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar shared a message on Twitter, saying that collective effort is required to eliminate practices of dowry and child marriage in the country and a human chain event will be organised to to show our commitment towards the cause.
Millions of people from all walks of life, age groups and professions joined hands on the streets across Bihar on Sunday to form what officials claimed was the world’s longest human chain against dowry and child marriages — the twin social evils gripping Indian society.
Authorities said more than 40 million people came out on the streets in the bone-chilling cold and stood in queues for about 30 minutes Sunday to demonstrate their resolve against the two social evils. The participants included schoolchildren, college students, teachers, officials, social activists, common men and politicians.
However, two main opposition parties in the state, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, boycotted the initiative, claiming the programme was simply a ploy to help chief minister Nitish Kumar boost his image. They said they could not show solidarity with a man who had brutally “misused the people’s mandate” by going back to partner the BJP and form a new government with its support, while the mandate was given to the erstwhile ruling Grand Alliance comprising the RJD, Congress and the Janata Dal United (JD-U) headed by Nitish Kumar.
Kumar who was the man behind the idea refused to comment on the boycott by the main opposition parties, but said the programme was against social evils in which participation of everyone was solicited. “There are already laws in place yet the twin evils continue and our purpose is to make the people aware about them,” the chief minister told the media on Sunday.
Just a few more links on this human chain…
Bihar set a record of sorts when around five crore people joined hands to form a 13,668-km long human chain in here on Sunday.
The human chain, in which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi also participated, was formed to spread awareness about two social evils – child marriage and dowry.
Apart from ruling party legislators and bureaucrats, lakhs of school and college students, teachers, lawyers and academicians took to the streets, where they lined up forming a human chain from 12 noon to 12.30 pm.
The entire event was captured by 40 drone cameras. A documentary film about the human chain will be shown in 127 cinema halls across Bihar.
This human chain has broken the record set in January 2017, when a human chain of 12,417 km was formed by around four crore people in support of the prohibition implemented by the Nitish regime.
RJD, Cong absent
The only stark difference this year was the absence of RJD and Congress leaders from the event. Only one leader from the parties – Congress MLC Ram Chandra Bharti – attended the event, making Nitish’s former partners in the Grand Alliance conspicuous by their absence.
“Nitish is one chief minister who spends crores in image-branding,” said RJD vice president Shivanand Tiwary.
Congress spokesperson Prem Chandra Mishra demanded a white paper on the exorbitant expenses incurred in organising such an event.
This year, the main function was organised at Gandhi Maidan in Patna, where Nitish flagged off the event.
Similar human chains were formed in the 38 districts of the state.
Bihar’s two main opposition parties -RJD and Congress – on Sunday said that the state government’s much-trumpeted human chainagainst dowry system and child marriage turned out to be “super flop” as participation of common people could not be seen anywhere across the state.
“Only school children who were called by opening their institutions despite being Sunday, their teachers and a section of state government employees were seen standing in the human chain that remained broken here and there. Common people didn’t turn up anywhere to participate in the chain. Participation of common villagers could not be seen anywhere,” RJD’s state president Ram Chandra Purbey said, adding, “The non-participation of common people shows that CM Nitish Kumar has lost peoples’ faith.”
Last year, the same chain was formed in awareness of the campaign to ban alcohol. Only there was cooperation from among all sides of government. I have not followed the situation enough to fully grasp the entire nuance of the political climate…but I wonder just how much the actual subject of this year’s campaign…being tied to an issue like child marriage and dowry, could be a reason for the lack of full support.
Bihar has it’s problems with child marriage. Human Chain 2.0: After Battling Liquor, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Sets His Sights on Dowry – The Wire
A look at the statistics from Bihar prove just how serious and deep-rooted these issues are. According to the 2011 Census, around 3% of girls get married before the age of 14. Figures for under-age marriages from the National Family Health Survey 4 say that 39% of girls become child brides. When it comes to atrocities against women, the state ranks 26th in India, but is no. 2 in dowry-related crimes.
Between 2000 and 2015, out of total 1,15,374 dowry death cases registered in India, 17,257 cases were registered in Bihar. Beyond just cases that pertained to deaths, 18,462 cases were registered under the Dowry Prohibition Act during the same period.
The root of the problem
A complex relationship between child marriage and dowry exists in the state. Among well-to-do families, there is a growing emphasis on educating girls and letting them work. As awareness of social ills continues to grow in these circles, cases of child marriage have dropped drastically, but dowry continues to be a problem. In fact, not only is it still followed, the sums exchanging hands are astronomical at times.
Among financially weaker sections, instead of investing to educate girls, families save to pay dowry. Then, in order to not pay a heavy dowry, they opt to marry off their girls early. There is an added problem that arises from this practice: if underage brides become pregnant, there’s a heavy risk of death during the delivery of both mother and child.
More than that, there is also a market opportunity here. Every year, when the wedding season swings around, advertisements spring up everywhere indirectly indicating what would make for a good dowry present. In fact, as Geetanjali Mukherjee wrote in her book Dowry Death in India, published in 1999, advertisements even advise families on how to save on dowry. The book noted that “until recently, billboard advertisements in Bombay, for instance, made an unabashed appeal to pregnant women to take the expensive and somewhat risky amniocentesis test. It importuned them to spend 500 rupees now on the test in order to save 50,000 rupees in future on a daughter’s dowry”.
In contrast to Nitish’s earlier campaign against liquor where the administrative and legal measures worked quite well, in the case of dowry, there is not much space for the police to act proactively. Data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) tells us that approximately 60% of the dowry-related cases which reach the police are those where there has been a death. This means that most victims avoid going to the authorities, which is why despite strict laws against this practice, dowry-related crimes continue unabated, be it in Bihar or India. The number of cases of dowry deaths in India stood at 6,851 in 2001. That figure jumped to 7,634 in 2015. The same trend was observed in Bihar. During the same period, cases in Bihar increased from 859 in 2001 to 1,154 in 2015.
According to the article in The Wire, unlike the banning of alcohol…the issue of ending child marriage must deal with changing the mindset of people…
More than a law, what is required is changing personal opinions.
Nitish appears to have understood that this is the battle that matters. His campaign against dowry and child marriage will see him act more like a reformer working to swing a big changes in the opinion of the masses more than a chief minister taking the administrative route to fix the state of affairs. This is why he is personally visiting the homes of those who are getting married without the dowry angle. Along with Nitish Kumar, Sushil Kumar Modi, the deputy chief minister, used the marriage of his eldest son to set an example of a dowry-free marriage.
Nitish has undoubtedly taken on a herculean task, but there are certain doubts in the minds of the public. Is this another tactic to keep cadres busy, much like the plantation drive?
With assembly elections just a year away, there is little scope that the anti-dowry campaign will bear any electoral fruits. But if Nitish’s latest battle bears even some fruit, it’s still a step ahead in the fight for gender justice.
All the same, I feel that bringing awareness to the crisis of child marriage goes far in helping create a dialogue about an issue that will not go away any time soon.
Here are some tweets with images of the day, #BiharHumanChain2018 :
Last week Human Rights Watch came out with their World Report 2018: Fighting for Rights Succeeds | Human Rights Watch
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, carries his mother, Alima Khatoon, to a refugee camp after crossing from Burma into Bangladesh on Sept. 16, 2017.
© 2017 Dar Yasin/AP
In the 643-page World Report, its 28th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that when leaders push back strongly against politicians who demonize minorities, attack human rights, and undermine democratic institutions, they can limit the advance of populists. But where mainstream politicians capitulate to a message of hate and exclusion, the authoritarian populists flourish.
“The past year showed the importance of pushing back against the threat posed by demagogues and their abusive policies,” Roth said. “As we mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018, the best way to honor its principles is to vigorously defend them against those leaders who seek political advantage by depriving marginalized groups of the rights guaranteed for all.”
Please go to this link World Report 2018 | Status of Human Rights Around the World to read more and to look up how each of the 90 countries square up…
You may find the United States quite interesting:
The strong civil society and democratic institutions of the United States were tested in the first year of the administration of President Donald Trump. Across a range of issues in 2017, the US moved backward on human rights at home and abroad.
Trump has targeted refugees and immigrants, calling them criminals and security threats; emboldened racist politics by equivocating on white nationalism; and consistently championed anti-Muslim ideas and policies. His administration has embraced policies that will roll back access to reproductive health care for women; championed health insurance changes that would leave many more Americans without access to affordable health care; and undermined police accountability for abuse. Trump has also expressed disdain for independent media and for federal courts that have blocked some of his actions. And he has repeatedly coddled autocratic leaders and showed little interest or leadership in pressing for the respect of human rights abroad.
The individuals most likely to suffer abuse in the United States—including members of racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, children, the poor, and prisoners—are often least able to defend their rights in court or via the political process. Many vulnerable groups endured renewed attacks on their rights during the year. Other longstanding US laws and practices—particularly related to criminal and juvenile justice, immigration, and national security—continued to violate internationally recognized human rights.
Lots and lots more at the link…reading it is like going through an abbreviated list of shithole actions taken by a shithole president.
Before I end with pictures and tweets from yesterday’s marches…
One year ago Sunday, the largest single-day protest in U.S. history took place. The Women’s March, which followed the inauguration of Donald Trump, consisted of over 650 marches of roughly five million participants. The organizers were women, most protesters were women, and the targets were the misogynists of the Trump administration and their repressive policies. Protesters warned of the new government’s autocratic tendencies and planned persecution of the marginalized. Their warnings were not heeded by pundits clinging to the illusion of “checks and balances” or the “presidential pivot,” but they were right.
One year later, women remain the backbone of the opposition to President Trump, and those opposing him comprise the majority of the electorate. You would not know this from reading many U.S. media outlets, which focus disproportionately on Trump voters, with papers like the New York Times even surrendering an op-ed page to them. On Saturday, an enormously popular second women’s march caught the country by surprise, as there was little media attention to it paid beforehand despite the massive amount of preparation and participants involved.
I wanted to show you this little bit of the anti-women’s march protest going around today:
Heimbach’s Nazis are returning to Tennessee to protest the Women’s March taking place in Knoxville on Sunday. The Nazis plan to attach themselves to a competing anti-abortion “March for Life” rally. How this will pan out for the fascists is anyone’s guess, but back in October, things didn’t go well for them in the Volunteer State. Heimbach’s crew started a fight with a biracial couple in a Brentwood pub. And their two rallies only put a spotlight on the weakness of their movement and the strength of their opposition. The second event, in Murfreesboro, was a total flop. Heimbach’s Nazis bailed, scared off by hundreds of counter-demonstrators who descended on Murfreesboro’s main square.
It makes me sick.
This is an open thread…what are you reading about today?
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
Well, it’s another week in Drumpfistan where most of us–including the news media–can’t keep up with all the craziness that’s going on because there’s an insane person wankering his way through the presidency. How could any one not see this man is a moron with more personality disorders than listed in DSM-5. The weather is crazy too but don’t blame climate change whatever you do if you want to be a good Republican Stooge and justify opening up all the coasts and national parks of the country to massive extraction exploitation.
While Americans on the East Coast are battling a bomb cyclone, a recent NASA image shows quite a different weather scenario out west—one bathed in excessive heat. Comparing the current scenario to the past eight years—which is exactly what this striking new image does—shows just how drastically the weather has changed.
The image was taken by NASA’s terra satellite and is based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), an instrument onboard the satellite that takes readings of the Earth’s surface. To create the visual map, NASA used land surface temperatures from December 26, 2017, to January 2, 2018, and compared these with average temperatures of the same time period over the past 8 years ago.
Red represents areas that were hotter than average and blue areas were colder than average. (White represents normal temperatures and gray represents inadequate data.) The vast amount of color on the map show just how distinct this year’s temperatures are compared to that of the past.
Well, that explains why we’re colder down here in the South than Alaska. The oldest living confederate widow has laid claim to her new priorities. We must see that state’s rights only apply when we’re talking taking rights away from Black Americans, the GLBT community, and women. States must follow his lead on weed. Also, the FBI must go back to investigating the Clintons at any cost!!!
The Justice Department sent a shiver of uncertainty through the now-thriving legal marijuana industry Thursday by rescinding Obama administration policies not to interfere with state laws allowing people to use pot for medical and recreational uses.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions characterized the dramatic policy shift as a “return to the rule of law” in a memo outlining the change. But federal officials could not answer whether people selling or using marijuana – in certain states where it’s considered legal – would now be more at risk of prosecution.
Senior Justice officials said the previous administration’s position, mainly drafted by former Deputy Attorney General James Cole, had provided a “de-facto safe haven” for a now thriving weed industry.
“This (Sessions) memo has no de-facto safe haven in it,” said the officials, who briefed reporters under condition of anonymity because the memo had not yet been circulated to U.S. attorneys across the country.
The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the foundation complied with applicable tax laws, the officials said.
One witness recently interviewed by the FBI described the session to The Hill as “extremely professional and unquestionably thorough” and focused on questions about whether donors to Clinton charitable efforts received any favorable treatment from the Obama administration on a policy decision previously highlighted in media reports.
The witness discussed his interview solely on the grounds of anonymity. He said the agents were from Little Rock and their questions focused on government decisions and discussions of donations to Clinton entities during the time Hillary Clinton led President Obama’s State Department.
Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the White House to denounce this act of terror in Nebraska. I doubt it’s coming because this dude is undoubtedly part of Trump’s White Supremacist base. How on earth do you board a train carrying an arsenal? Why are guns allowed?
The FBI says an armed 26-year-old Missouri man who breached a secured area to stop an Amtrak train in southwest Nebraska in October has links to a white supremacist group and expressed an interest in “killing black people,” according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.
Taylor Michael Wilson, of St. Charles, Missouri, is charged in U.S. District Court in Lincoln with terrorism attacks and other violence against railroad carriers and mass transportation systems.
In an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint, FBI Special Agent Monte Czaplewski said there was probable cause to believe that electronic devices possessed by Wilson and firearms owned by him “have been used for or obtained in anticipation of engaging in or planning to engage in criminal offenses against the United States.”
Just before 2 a.m. on Oct. 22, an assistant conductor felt the train braking, searched for what was causing it and found Wilson in the engineer’s seat of the follow engine “playing with the controls,” Czaplewski wrote.
The conductor, and others, subdued Wilson, then held him and waited for deputies from Furnas and Harlan counties to arrive in Oxford, 23 miles southwest of Holdrege, where the eastbound California Zephyr with about 175 people aboard stopped.
No injuries were reported.
Czaplewski said Wilson, who has a permit in Missouri to carry a concealed handgun, had a loaded .38-caliber handgun in his waistband, a speed loader in his pocket and a National Socialist Movement business card on him when he was arrested.
He also had a backpack with three more speed loaders, a box of ammunition, a knife, tin snips, scissors and a ventilation mask inside.
Michael Wolff’s book has been released early. The DC crowd lined up at midnight in bookstores every where.
The wind chill hit minus-3 degrees the night “Fire and Fury” came to town.
But neither polar vortex nor “bomb cyclone” nor gloom of night could keep Washington’s political gossipmongers from lining up at Kramerbooks Thursday night for the midnight sale of Michael Wolff’s newly published romp through the Donald Trump White House.
“This is a D.C. moment, and I wanted to be a part of it,” said Steve Dingledine, a fifth-grade teacher who showed up shortly after 11 p.m. and now held the pole position in a line that snaked through the Dupont Circle bookstore/cafe. And it was definitely a D.C. moment: Dingledine found himself flanked by a cluster of cameras — the BBC, Fox News, someone conducting interviews in Turkish, and emissaries of various local TV channels. Reporters from BuzzFeed, HuffPost, the Weekly Standard and Vice News hovered nearby.
Dingledine was not fazed. This was not his first D.C. moment.
“Mark Halperin came to my classroom last year to film his show, ‘The Circus,’ ” he said, laying down two tens and a twenty before tucking his purchase under his arm and exiting into the cold night air.
Meanwhile, back in the craziest wing of the party of crazy, Bannon is as much a target as Wolff. He’s a man without a country or sponsor or friends. Here’s some delicious words from Never Trumper Rick Wilson.
Bannon wasn’t just one of Trump’s most senior aides and an architect of the destruction of the Republican Party; he was the multi-shirted, red-eyed White House troll, leaking tales of his brilliance to a constellation of reporters in the ostensibly hated mainstream media. His house organ Breitbart and a host of Trump-right websites and news outlets sang praises to his dank genius. Bannon, they proclaimed, was Trumpism in its distilled essence: revanchist, ahistorical, racially inflected, and consumed with an imaginary war on the media and America’s broader society.
Now, like two rats in a bag, Trump and Bannon are tearing at one another in a delicious public spat that has every possible bit of drama, except Bannon drunkenly bellowing for a round of fisticuffs with all comers and Trump offering to compare the length of their relative manhoods on live television. They deserve one another in so many ways.
Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury (President Postliterate Bestwords is waiting on either the audio book or for Kellyanne to organize tableaux vivants of the various chapters) is blowing Washington apart today, and the biggest rift is between Trumpism and Bannonism. I’ve written before about the inevitable, tragic dynamic of this brokeback bromance; Trump needs a mindless cheering section screaming hosannas no matter how often he stumbles toward the nuclear and political precipice. Bannon needs an avatar for his Alt-Reich national socialist—oh, sorry, I meant populist—fantasies.
Speaking of White Nationalists and other full blown racists and Trump, here’s another bit from the book via The Daily Beast, Oh, and don’t forget the misogyny!
Michael Wolff’s infamous Fire and Fury alleges that President Donald Trump privately rationalized “why someone would be a member of the KKK.” According to Wolff’s reporting: “As [Trump] got back on Marine One to head to Andrews Air Force Base and on to JFK and then into Manhattan and Trump Tower, [after addressing the Charlottesville murder,] his mood was dark and I-told-you-so. Privately, he kept trying to rationalize why someone would be a member of the KKK—that is, they might not actually believe what the KKK believed, and the KKK probably does not believe what it used to believe, and, anyway, who really knows what the KKK believes now?” The book, which is still making waves after three excerpts and its release at midnight Friday, contends the White House is particularly hostile toward what it calls “D.O.J. women”—women who work in the Justice Department. Earlier this week, an excerpt revealed that Trump specifically reviled former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Wolff wrote that Trump at one point called her “such a c—t.”
So, I could go on about a bunch of stuff but frankly my fingers are still quite cold, stiff, and sore and I’d rather head back to bed to read what you’ve come up with. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?