Posted: March 3, 2016 Filed under: 2016 elections | Tags: Detroit Michigan, Fox News, live blog, Republican Debate
Ladies and Gentlemen! Go find your Antacids!!!
It’s yet another ghastly hatefest that FoxNews calls the Republican Presidential Primary Debate. Live from Detroit! It’s the Xenophobia/Racism/Misogyny/White Male Anger Party!!!
There aren’t many left standing but I can’t imagine even trusting any of them to walk my dog or feed my cat, let alone run my country.
Carson bailed this week. The pundits believe that Rubio’s path to an outright victory has disappeared.
Marco Rubio’s path to the Republican nomination short of a contested convention has narrowed to nearly nothing as his campaign and allies reboot their strategy to prepare for months of guerrilla warfare to deny Donald Trump a clean, pre-convention victory.
The math for Rubio is daunting. After getting thoroughly routed on Super Tuesday, Rubio is in so deep a delegate hole that he would now need to win roughly two-thirds of all the remaining delegates to guarantee his nomination ahead of Cleveland, according to a POLITICO analysis.
That is an enormously difficult, if not impossible, climb for a candidate who has so far won only a single state, Minnesota, and especially one who is not predicting victory in any of the next dozen states and territories that cast ballots, until his home state of Florida votes on March 15.
“It’s fair to say that Rubio’s path to 1,237 is shot,” Dave Wasserman, an analyst with the Cook Political Report who closely tracks the delegate race, said of the threshold to secure the nomination.
“There’s virtually no chance for Marco Rubio to get to a majority prior to the convention,” said John Yob, who served as a top delegate strategist for Rick Santorum in 2012 and John McCain in 2008.
Even inside the Rubio orbit, there has been an acknowledgement that as long as Ted Cruz (and John Kasich) stay in the race, they have virtually zero mathematical chance of securing the nomination. Asked directly by Fox’s Megyn Kelly on Wednesday night if it was now “mathematically impossible” for him to be the nominee, Rubio dodged.
My thought is that Rubio was basically a VEEP and not much else. He’s not too bright and he really doesn’t appear to enjoy working at anything. However, he’s managed to totally cut himself off from that path having been replaced by the Chris Christie lapdog and Mr. Slave act. Rubio’s made far too many penis size jokes for that now and his Senate seat is as good as gone.
Romney is looking to block the Trump at the Convention.
Others are looking at a (GAG) dream unity ticket of Cruz and Rubio.
This is the National Review and a Cruz advisor so please don’t go there without Peptobismal close by.
In the immediate wake of Super Tuesday, each has much to gain from such a deal. As the candidate currently with more delegates, Cruz would love to get enough support from Rubio’s delegates to secure the nomination. For Rubio, currently in third place, for whom holding his home state of Florida has now become a do-or-die situation, the idea of securing the vice presidency would be a valuable insurance policy. As a young man, he would have an inside track to the presidency in eight years. Our current immigration situation would likely be addressed by a Cruz-Rubio administration to the degree that the issue would no longer be any obstacle for him in 2024. The beauty of this arrangement is that the primary voters would be the ones to decide which candidate will be at the top of the ticket. And voters could freely vote for their favorite with much less concern that failing to rally around the other would be helping Trump. Let Ted compete with Trump in the states with electorates like Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Alaska. Let Marco compete with Trump in states with electorates like Florida and Minnesota.
Kasich seems to be holding out for Ohio and the rest of the Great Flyover to weigh in.
So, I’m voting on Saturday and phonebanking. I’m also planning to go see the Big Dawg tomorrow morning so I’m either live blogging that or going to be late with my impressions.
Meanwhile, grab the popcorn and the antacids! It’s FOX NEWS and Republicans!
Yes, it’s another Trigger Warning cause this goes to (GAG) FOX news. The debate will be held in Detroit, Michigan.
If you don’t have the stomach for the TV, you can watch on the internet.
The debate tonight will feature Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich. With only four candidates on the stage, this will be the smallest debate yet. The event begins at 9PM ET/6PM PT tonight on Fox News. Here’s how to watch it online:
If you do have a cable subscription, you can also watch on your Android oriOS mobile device with Fox News Go. Unfortunately, Fox isn’t offering a ton of options to watch online without cable, but if you can borrow a login from someone then you’ve got mobile covered.
The Fox News Election HQ
app for Android
can’t stream the debate, but you can use it to grade the candidates as you follow along. At the end of the debate, it will give you a “debate scorecard” to show you which candidate you align with the most.
Here we go folks!
It’s another LIVE BLOG with the Fascist Party of America!!!
Posted: August 23, 2015 Filed under: morning reads, Republican politics, U.S. Politics, Women's Rights | Tags: abortion, Barack Obama, Fox News, Hillary Clinton, rape, Sexism
Because this sexism shit has got to stop.
This story of sexism from Great Britain’s soccer elite is an example of how professional women are treated with an utter lack of respect.
We see it with Hillary. We see it with journalists who have the audacity to ask questions of presidential candidates.
Check this out:
Manager shows sexism is alive and well in soccer
To say that sexism exists in soccer is like saying that leaves grow on trees. The average female player’s salary in the United States is about $15,000 per year, while the average for men is $155,000. Considering that women’s sports generally have a smaller audience, that gap can make sense. But given the numbers from July 5, it’s harder to make that case. And unfortunately, the inequalities don’t stop at salaries.
Consider the unfolding dispute between José Mourinho, manager of the Chelsea club, one of the top teams in Britain’s Premier League, and Eva Carneiro, Chelsea’s first-team doctor and assistant medical director.
The dispute stems from an Aug. 8 match between Chelsea and Swansea. With two minutes to play, Swansea captain Ashley Williams crashed into Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s forward. The referee called a foul on Williams and immediately beckoned for the medical team – which included Carneiro and Jon Fearn, the first-team physiotherapist – to enter the pitch and treat Hazard. Unsurprisingly, Fearn dashed onto the field, Carneiro hot on his heels. What was surprising was the reaction of Mourinho, who leapt forward angrily, shouting obscenities and gesturing wildly at his medical staff.
It had been a difficult game. The score was locked 2-2, and there were only 10 players left on Chelsea’s side of the field, since the goalkeeper had been sent off. The moment Fearn and Carneiro stepped on the pitch, the rules dictated that Hazard would have to be taken off.
Mourinho later defended his outburst, stating that the medical team had acted incorrectly in entering the pitch and leaving the team with nine men. “Without a doubt, if you are involved in the game, you have to understand the game,” he said, calling his medical staff “impulsive and naïve.”
In fact, Carneiro has been a part of Chelsea’s first team for four years. Also, with 90 seconds left in the game, and Chelsea poised for a free kick that Hazard was unlikely to have a large role in, Mourinho’s anger was both misplaced and inappropriate. Nevertheless, Carneiro has since been banned from matches or training sessions, as well as entering the team’s hotel.
It turns out, however, that she does understand the game. The Premier League Doctors’ Group released a statement declaring that “a refusal to run onto the pitch would have breached the duty of care required of the medical team to their patient.” Carneiro was beckoned onto the field by the referee. Her response was appropriate, and her punishment does not correspond with the performance of her duties. So the question is, why was she punished?
Carneiro – one of three women on Chelsea’s 13-person medical and fitness staff – is a prime example of what happens when a woman gains a position of power usually reserved for men. Last year, on the sidelines during matches, she faced obscene chants from fans. It seems her gender controls her career. Type her name into YouTube, and the first clip is titled “Eva Carneiro Hot Chelsea Doctor.” It’s just a video of her doing her job.
Considering that Carneiro was only performing her duties in the match against Swansea, Mourinho’s overreaction – especially his claims that she is naïve and ill-informed when he himself didn’t know the rules – clearly demonstrates that some people in authority in the world of soccer are not prepared to treat women equally. It’s bad enough that so few women can attain positions in the sport, but this rash and unfounded demotion indicates that Mourinho does not consider her valuable, despite a positive injury record and years of service to the team.
Mourinho has never apologized for his actions, and even with the League doctors supporting Carneiro…no official action, fines or sanctions were taken against Mourinho. Even though there is an actual rule against the sort of conduct Mourinho exhibited toward Carneiro.
BBC Sport – Jose Mourinho: Chelsea boss will not face action over criticism
Rule 7 of the Premier League’s Code of Conduct for managers states: “A manager shall not make public any unfair criticism of any match official or any other manager or any player, official or employee of his or another club.”
But the Premier League says it is a:
The Premier League said it considers the situation to be a “club matter”.
My god, it is like some kind of domestic dispute. WTF?
So what did the asshole say to Carneiro?
Eva Carneiro row: Jose Mourinho’s tantrum shows sexism in football – Telegraph
Dr Carneiro was lambasted by Jose Mourinho for running on to the pitch to treat player Eden Hazard during stoppage time of the club’s 2-2 draw against Swansea City.
Never mind that she was doing what she gets paid for. Never mind that she wasseemingly summoned on to the pitch twice by the referee Michael Oliver and that physio Jon Fearn went on to the field alongside her.
Cue major Mourinho tantrum on the sidelines.
After the match on Saturday, the Chelsea manager explained:
“I wasn’t happy with my medical staff because even if you are a medical doctor or secretary on the bench, you have to understand the game.”
“If you go to the pitch to assist a player, then you must be sure that a player has a serious problem. I was sure that Eden didn’t have a serious problem. He had a knock and was very tired.
“My medical department left me with eight fit outfield players in a counter attack after a set piece and we were worried we didn’t have enough players left.”
Take key note about the dig….regarding whether you are a medical doctor or a secretary…you have to understand the game.
And Carneiro, 41 who was born in Gibraltar, posted a message on Facebook:
“I would like to thank the general public for their overwhelming support. Really very much appreciated.”
How depressing, that one of the women at the forefront of football in this country feels she has to thank the public for encouraging her to simply do her job.
Women firefighters douse flames during the Pearl Harbor attack.
The sexism is strong with Mourinho….
Chelsea fans are upset, criticising Mourinho for ‘blaming anyone but himself’. While others are accusing
him of sexism, following an earlier incident this month where he ranted at the wife of Real Madrid manager Rafael Benítez, saying she should ‘occupy herself’ by ‘taking care of her husband’s diet’.
Now this is where that crack about understanding the game comes into play:
There are also those asking that we leave Carneiro’s gender out of the equation – but I’m afraid that’s impossible.
By saying that she doesn’t “understand the game”, Mourinho has made this all about her gender. The insidious narrative he’s perpetrating is that, as a woman, Carneiro couldn’t possibly grasp the complexities of football. It’s the old, sexist joke about women not getting the offside rule, on a massive scale.
Such comments, coming from a highly respected football manager, are dangerous. They give fans the impression that it’s OK to make Carneiro’s sex an issue. That maybe they were right to treat her differently. That she really in an outsider.
He has sanctioned their sexism, as the below tweets (just a sample of the comments Carneiro receives on social media) show. And one can’t help but speculate that Carneiro might agree.
Seriously, I bet there are more disgusting tweets out there and you can be sure she gets horrible sexist shit yelled to her at the games as well. (Go to that link, middle of page, and see the sexist abuse Carneiro received from fans as she took to the field.)
Last year, at an FA sports medicine conference in Sweden, the Chelsea doctor made a rare public speech:
“Women want to be leaders, we just put them off as we go along,” she told the audience.
“In every programme I’ve watched in my life, the female doctor is either hyper-sexualised or she’s not present. This needs to change. Women are discouraged at a young age.
“As a male you can aspire to having a successful professional life and a fulfilling personal life. Women are told that if they want to have both, at best it’s going to be difficult and at worse it’s going to be a disaster. Ninety percent of the mail I receive is from young women wanting to perform the same role. We need to tell them it’s possible and that their presence will improve results.”
Carneiro doesn’t need special treatment. She has, to my knowledge, never asked for it.
U.S. 1st Womens Liberation March, 5th Ave, New York City, 1971
But nor does she need a boss who tells her how to do her job, when she’s already playing by the rules – those set by football’s overwhelmingly male governing bodies (that Mourinho admitted he knew Hazard wasn’t properly injured only highlights where the grey area really lies here).
For this talented doctor to be demoted, simply for performing her job as asked, shows the sexism that flows through the veins of the beautiful game.
And I, for one, am calling foul.
Oh, yeah…and what is more disgusting is the reports that Mourinho called the doctor a slut. Which, I have looked and have been unable to find the original transcript for btw:
Mourinho insulted Eva Carneiro by calling her a “slut” – MARCA.com (English version)
According to Sky Sports,José Mourinhoinsulted theChelseaclub doctor,Eva Carneiro, labelling her a “slut” during their row in thePremier League openerlast weekend.
Sky Sports have published a transcription of the exchange, which took place in Portuguese and includes two insults directed towards Carneiro by Mourinho. In addition to yelling “slut” in her direction, the Chelsea boss calls for the medic to stop offering Hazard treatment whilst waving his arms theatrically and shouting,“stop, for f*ck’s sake”.
Not only do these reports indicate a massive lack of respect on Mourinho’s part, but what must not be neglected is the fact that Carneiro had no option but to enter the field of play after having been waved on by the referee.
In the aftermath of this incident, Mourinho has been heavily criticised by the English footballing world and this saga could very well impact on his relationship with the club owner,Roman Abramovich.
Anyway, more on that here:
Eva Carneiro a ‘SLUT’: Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho RANT REVEALED | CaughtOffside
Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro responds to Jose Mourinho criticism with subtle message – Telegraph
Who is Eva Carneiro? All you need to know about Chelsea’s club doctor – Mirror Online
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho avoids punishment for Eva Carneiro comments
Eva Carneiro: Video emerges showing full extent of Jose Mourinho’s angry tirade against Chelsea doctor and physio Jon Fearn – Premier League – Football – The Independent
Other very interesting articles about this story, read them in full:
Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro: the key questions answered | Football | The Guardian
You need to shout for Eva Carneiro and every silenced sports woman – Telegraph
This next article talks about the ethics involved in the demotion and mistreatment of Carneiro. My question is, but….would the situation have turned out different if Carneiro was a man? I don’t know.
The case of Chelsea’s Eva Carneiro shows how hard it is to be a sport doctor – Telegraph
(Yes, there is another link dump ahead…but please take a look at these stories, they are important.)
12 Historical Women Who Gave No F*cks
“FEMINISM AT WORK,” Pays Tribute To Pioneers Who Moved Women’s History Forward
Periods make you good at bowling?
Seriously…take a look at that video.
Tatiana Maslany on Facing Sexism in Hollywood — Vulture
When we are all allowed to fail like white men: Here’s a practical model to solve Hollywood’s diversity problems – Salon.com
Women in Film, Arclight launch new film series – Hollywood Reporter
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show – Home News – UK – The Independent
Female Bikers Use Instagram to Connect and Inspire Each Other
Remember that awful dude who video taped telling his wife she was pregnant, only to have a video a week later saying she suffered a miscarriage?
Sam Rader who told wife she was pregnant revealed as Ashley Madison user | Metro News
Addicting Info – Anti-Gay Evangelist Christian Vlogger Caught With Ashley Madison Account, Says God Forgives Him (VIDEO)
Abortion and the myth of ‘protecting’ women – LA Times
Here’s What An Unsafe Abortion Environment Does To Women’s Health
SD lawmakers will hand anti-abortion bill to high court
How False Narratives of Margaret Sanger Are Being Used to Shame Black Women
The Definition of ‘Fuckboy’ Is Not What Bad Trend Pieces Are Telling You
What Beauty Means To Black Women In Different Countries
Mystery of Mona Lisa’s smile ‘solved’ as experts say Da Vinci used the same illusion years before – News – Art – The Independent
Now this next link is for the story, but check out the sexism in the comments:
The Princes in the Tower: Will the ultimate cold case finally be solved after more than 500 years? – Home News – UK – The Independent
School Board Member to Female Colleague: ‘The Only Thing You Know is Laying on Your Back’
What Do You Do When Your Lady Friends Say Sexist Things?
Dispatches: Saudi Women Registering to Vote is a Start | Human Rights Watch
Ranger School Grads Join Long History of Warrior Women
FOX News Co-Host Explains Why Women Shouldn’t Be in Combat | Styleite
Hillary Battles the GOP Hate Machine | | Observer
Undercover Anti-Abortion Video Showed Images of Stillborn — Not Aborted — Fetus
Simplest Ever Explanation of Hillary’s Emails – In a Tweetstorm — #HillaryMen
Clinton Campaign Alerted To Undercover Conservative Sting | Crooks and Liars
Judge in StemExpress case refuses to renew injunction against release of videos, citing First Amendment – The Washington Post
Did James O’Keefe Send His Goons To Smear The Hillary Clinton Campaign? | News Corpse
Girl Reporters Should Shut Up and Not Ask Important Men “Hard Kwestionz” | hecatedemeter
This next link is a pay per view, but if you subscribe it looks good: Kadner: ‘Horrific’ toll of unsolved Robbins rape cases – Daily Southtown
Female Employee Told to Lose 20 Pounds Because She’s a “Distraction to Males” | Styleite
I’m Tired of Being Kind to Creepy Men in Order to Stay Safe | Alternet
Read this next link with the story about being nice to asshole men in mind.
Dear Men, Women Don’t Owe You An Explanation For Rejection
Man gives attention to a woman. Woman expresses her lack of desire for said attention. Man immediately turns hostile.
Unfortunately, it’s a dynamic as old as time — or at the very least, as old as Internet chat rooms. And anyone looking at BuzzFeed staff writer Grace Spelman’s Twitter feed on Monday saw said dynamic play out as Spelman tweeted her unsolicited, increasingly hostilecorrespondence with former “MuggleCast” host Ben Schoen.
Schoen initially tweeted at Spelman on August 5 after finding her Twitter feed funny. She “favorited” at least one of his tweets, but didn’t respond. He then sent her a lengthy Facebook message (see below), calling her a “special soul,” to which she responded kindly, but informed him that she had a boyfriend. She then blocked him on both Twitter and Facebook.
Yeah, take a look at that post, and see why it makes sense…a victim is trying to be nice to the attacker so that the violence does not get even more out of control…there are so many abused women who fit that mode. That assholes don’t see this, and will use it against the woman…saying her behavior asked for it. Bullshit!
Anyway, this is a shitload of links I know, hope you take your time and read them.
What is going on in your part of the world today?
Posted: August 6, 2015 Filed under: Republican politics, U.S. Politics | Tags: Fox News, Happy Hour Debate, live blog
Fox News is calling the warm-up debate among the Republican presidential candidates who have poll numbers from around zero to three percent the “Happy Hour debate.” It begins at 5PM Eastern, and the participants will be Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, and Jim Gilmore.
‘Happy hour’ debate holds big potential for GOP ‘underdog’ to shine.
It’s been called the “happy hour” debate — the 5 p.m. face-off that precedes the prime-time showdown among the top-polling Republican presidential candidates in Cleveland.
But the stakes for those invited to “happy hour” could be even higher.
Seven lower-polling candidates were invited to the 5 p.m. ET Fox News/Facebook debate stage. The smaller pond, it’s an opportunity for at least one of the candidates to make a big splash — and start the buzz that builds a fledgling bid into a serious campaign.
“An underdog is going to emerge from this first debate,” Craig Shirley, a conservative strategist and Reagan biographer, said.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who flamed out of the 2012 race after an infamous debate gaffe, is looking for redemption. Former New York Gov. George Pataki, even though he won’t be on the big stage with Donald Trump, appears poised to hammer the billionaire front-runner. Former HP exec Carly Fiorina has been blunt in saying that, as the only woman in the field, she would be a potent adversary against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Any of the seven could have a break-out moment Thursday afternoon that catapults them into the upper mix of the 17 candidates now on the field.
I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine any of those losers breaking through. But another conflict could be between Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham over this claim from Santorum:
Santorum told Fox News on Thursday he plans to just be “authentic.”
“I did this 22 times the last time around,” said the former presidential candidate.
He said he’ll be able to stand out by pointing to his legislative record as a former senator, fighting to ban partial-birth abortions, enact welfare reform and impose Iran sanctions.
“They’re really isn’t anybody else up there on the stage who has a record of accomplishment in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
Graham has been in Congress a lot longer than Santorum was. He must have a few accomplishments.
I hope I’m not going to be alone in watching this thing. If you’re doing so, please share your observations in the comment thread below.
I’ll put up a separate post for the 9:00 main event.
Posted: April 4, 2015 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: anti-gay legislators, Crystal O'Connor, Fargo Forum, Fox News, Gluten Free Museum, gluten-free art, Heidi Harris, Hillary Clinton, Jon Fugelsang, Joni Mitchell, Memories Pizza, Morgellons, Robert De Niro
Boston Common in Spring 2012
It’s not quite as nice here yet as it was when that photo of Boston Common in the Spring of 2012 was taken, but we’re making progress. Yesterday it got up to 70 degrees! All that snow we got in January and February is almost gone, although there are still piles of it here and there. Spring rains will soon wash the rest of it away, and it will be only a memory. I can’t wait for trees to start budding and tulips and daffodils to start popping their heads up. But if the trees grow too much, there’s nothing to worry since there are tree service largo fl who can do trimming and removal.
So what’s happening in the news? Today I found myself focusing on more lightweight stories. I hope you don’t mind. I just loved this article at Slate that pokes fun at the “gluten free” fad that has gotten manufacturers putting labels on things that never contained gluten to begin with. No offense intended to anyone here who actually has celiac disease.
Finally, We Can Enjoy Our Greatest Works of Art Without Gluten.
Gluten is by now firmly cemented as our most infamous nutritional bête noir, even ifmost people can’t actually explain it. But even the staunchest gluten-free evangelists have, up til this point, missed another carb-contaminated industry: art. Luckily, a Gluten Free Museum has been created on Tumblr for those who just can’t stomach the idea of gluten in their favorite works of art.
In photos that span the worlds of high art, television, film and even advertising, Gluten Free Museum rids cultural artifacts of their carbs.
Here are a couple of examples: That nasty gluten on the left and gluten-free on the right. Check out the links to see more gluten vs. gluten-free images.
Years ago, millions of people thought they had hypoglycermia. Now it’s gluten intolerance.
Speaking of questionable health issues, singer Joni Mitchell has been in the hospital for three days with a disease that doctors say isn’t real.
Hollywood LAist: The Story Behind Joni Mitchell’s Mysterious (And Possibly Fictional) Condition.
It’s still not clear what caused Joni Mitchell to faint in her Bel Air home earlier this week, sending her to the hospital. But the legendary 71-year-old singer has said in the past that she suffers from a rare and mysterious condition called Morgellons, something that has been a subject of debate on whether it’s a real illness or not.
Scientists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are skeptical that Morgellons is an actual medical condition and believe it’s more of a psychological problem. The people who believe it’s a real illness say that it has some scary symptoms, including fibers (or even “specks, dots, granules, or worms“) coming out of the skin causing tingling sensations that sometimes leads to lesions and scars, fatigue and problems with short-term memory, according to the New York Times.
In a 2010 interview with the L.A. Times,Mitchell said she has this “weird, incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space.” She added, “Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral. Morgellons is a slow, unpredictable killer — a terrorist disease: it will blow up one of your organs, leaving you in bed for a year.”
I think I heard something about this on that weird radio show Coast to Coast AM. They also discuss things like alien implants, bigfoot, and ghosts. It’s kind of fun to listen to in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep.
From Vox: Joni Mitchell suffers from a disease most doctors think isn’t real.
The 71-year-old singer-songwriter has often complained of her battle with Morgellons, a medical mystery that has stumped the scientific community for years.
“I couldn’t wear clothing. I couldn’t leave my house for several years,” she described in her 2014 book Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words. “Sometimes it got so I’d have to crawl across the floor. My legs would cramp up, just like a polio spasm. It hit all of the places where I had polio.” (It’s unclear if Morgellons was related to her recent hospitalization, but she has certainly brought attention to the issue over the years.)
Sufferers of Morgellons report itching, biting, and crawling sensations. “Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin,” Mitchell has said. “They cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral.”
They say their skin feels like it’s erupting from underneath, infested by insects, worms, or mysterious fibers. Like Mitchell, they say their symptoms are debilitating: they point to lesions that won’t heal, and say the biting and stinging that afflicts them every day leaves them fatigued and depressed, even affecting their memory.
It sounds awful, whatever it is.
For the past decade, researchers have searched for a biological cause or single underlying factor that might explain the suffering. But they have mostly concluded that Morgellons is “a psychosis or mass-shared delusion.”
In one of the most comprehensive studies to date, published in the journal PLOS, researchers from the CDC collected detailed epidemiological information, medical histories, and skin samples from 115 Morgellons sufferers in Northern California.
“No parasites or mycobacteria were detected,” they reported. The researchers also couldn’t find any environmental explanation for patients’ suffering.
The fiber-like strands on sufferers were mostly just cotton debris, probably lint from clothing. Their skin damage seemed to be caused by nothing more than sun exposure. While some patients had sores, these appeared to have arisen from chronic picking and scratching.
Interestingly, a large number of people in the study had a psychiatric or addictive condition, including depression and drug use. Among half of the participants in the study used drugs, but it wasn’t clear whether the drugs caused the symptoms or whether they were being used to deal with the disease.
I don’t know what to think. They used to say chronic fatigue syndrome was imaginary, and now it seems to be an accepted diagnosis. I just hope Joni feels better soon.
Via Raw Story
Comedian Jon Fugelsang came up with the perfect response to anti-gay “christian” fanatics.
From Raw Story: John Fugelsang zings conservative radio host: ‘If you don’t like gay people, take it up with the manufacturer.’
John Fugelsang clashed with conservative radio host Heidi Harris on Friday when Harris questioned the need for sexual orientation to be covered under anti-discrimination statutes.
“Being gay is what sets a person apart from straight people,” Fugelsang told Harris on MSNBC’s Ed Show. “If you don’t like gay people, take it up with the manufacturer, because God keeps creating them around the world.” . . . .
Harris argued that in the workplace, only a person’s behavior could set them apart, proving that non-discrimination statutes like one that was voted down by North Dakota legislators on Thursday were unnecessary.
“Why are we protecting a certain group of people because of their behavior?” Harris asked at one point, causing Fugelsang to facepalm. “Not only that, but how do you prove someone didn’t get hired because they were gay? You can’t prove that any more than you can prove somebody didn’t get hired because of their age or their sex.” . . . .
“You might not realize this, but sometimes straight people are mean to gay people,” Fugelsang said to her. “That’s why gay people have needed more protection.”
I posted something about that North Dakota law yesterday in a comment, but I’m going to post it again here. I really like the way newspapers are started to highlight the horrible lawmakers who support discrimination. In this case it was The Fargo Forum.
Talking Points Memo: Newspaper Front Page Shames North Dakota Lawmakers Over Anti-Gay Vote.
A North Dakota newspaper on Friday plastered across its front page the photos of every state lawmaker that voted down a measure that would have protected LGBT individuals from discrimination.
Fargo-based The Forum’s provocative front page was published amid national outrage over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics argued would allow business owners with religious objections to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Legislators in the Hoosier State later agreed to alter the law to specify that it cannot be used to defend discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
A bill that would have outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation failed to passThursday in the North Dakota House by a vote of two to one, according to local TV station WDAY.
View the front page below.
Good for The Forum! That makes me proud to call Fargo my birthplace. I want to see North Dakota and Indiana go back to being states with sane governments where Democratic Senators can be sent to Washington. Just a short time ago, North Dakota had two Democratic Senators.
Can you believe that a so-called “news” site (The Blaze”) raised $800,000 for that pizza place in Indiana that say they’d never cater a same-sex wedding?
From GayStarNews: Now nearly $800,000 richer, Indiana pizzeria co-owner is ‘sad, very sad’ for gays.
Flush with nearly $800,000 in donations from supporters, the owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana, aren’t through talking about gay people.
‘God has blessed us for standing up for what we believe, and not denying Him,’ Crystal O’Connor tells Fox News.
She also said her family ‘doesn’t hate gays’ but simply would not deliver pizzas to a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs….
Memories Pizza was so besieged by phone calls and online comments that they temporarily shut their doors. This resulted in a Go Fund Me campaign that as of Friday afternoon was closing in on $800,000.
Of the LGBTI community her family has offended O’Connor says: ‘All we can do is pray for them, and truly, we’re not really angry at them. We’re sad for them. Very sad.
‘We have to accept them, and we just ask they accept us.’
What a pathetic excuse for a human being she is. I don’t know who she’s praying to all the time, but she’s certainly not following Jesus’ teachings.
Now for some positive political news.
From The New York Daily News: Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign signs lease for Brooklyn Heights headquarters.
The former Secretary of State’s team signed a lease Wednesday to house its headquarters in a Brooklyn Heights office building, a move indicating Clinton will launch her second presidential campaign within two weeks.
The Federal Election Commission gives candidates 15 days to create a campaign committee after “campaign activity” — which includes leasing office space.
Sources said Friday that Clinton’s camp has leased two floors, totaling about 80,000 square feet, at One Pierrepont Plaza.
The offices are near a dozen subway lines. The building touts itself as “Modern Offices. Brooklyn Cool.”
But the location, just across the East River from downtown Manhattan, is about as corporate as Brooklyn gets.
It is located in a building where Morgan Stanley and employees of the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney, currently Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, have offices.
That sounds promising.
And from The Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern, Robert De Niro is backing Hillary.
On Wednesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of sitting down with De Niro and his Tribeca partner Jane Rosenthal to discuss the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, which this year boasts a very formidable lineup including live events, star-studded film premieres, and talks featuring the likes of George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, the Monty Python crew, and a 25th anniversary Goodfellasdiscussion with the cast moderated by The Daily Show’’s Jon Stewart. Our talk eventually veered to his prophetic 2006 Hardball appearance, and whether or not he’ll be endorsing Hillary Clintonfor president in 2016.
“Hopefully it will be her, yes,” said De Niro. “I think that she’s paid her dues. There are going to be no surprises, and she has earned the right to be president and the head of the country at this point. It’s that simple. And she’s a woman, which is very important because her take on things may be what we need right now.”
“She’s smart, has run things before, and knows how government works and how to get things done,” added Rosenthal. “She’s watched it from the sidelines, and the frontlines.”
Now it’s your turn. What stories have caught your interest today?
Posted: March 5, 2015 Filed under: Foreign Affairs, Hillary Clinton, Media, morning reads, Republican politics, Surreality, The Media SUCKS, U.S. Politics | Tags: Benghazi, Fox News, House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, New York Times, State Department emails, Washington Post
I can’t figure out if the corporate media wants to stop Hillary Clinton from running for president or if they desperately want her to run so they can figuratively flog her with a cat-o-nine-tails and then put her in stocks in front of the Capital building.
The story about Hillary using a private email domain when she was Secretary of State has reached the point of ridiculousness, but the media can’t help themselves–they are and yet the coverage continues to get more heated by the hour. The Hillary haters in the media see blood in the water and they’re circling in hopes of getting their teeth into her.
Sorry for the tortured metaphors, but seriously, what does the media want from this woman?
Check out this story from The Hill reporting on remarks by House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah. (Chaffetz and former Chairman Darrell Issa have been the leaders of the “investigations” of the Bengazi, IRS, and Fast and Furious non-scandals.)
Asked on “Fox and Friends” whether Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email address during her time as secretary of State raised national security concerns, Chaffetz said, “It does beg the question: Were there any sort of classified pieces of information that were flowing through her personal email account?”
“Which is something you can’t do and something yesterday Gen. Petraeus had to plead guilty to, or was going out in a deal, dealing with his personal email and interaction with somebody who didn’t have a classification,” Chaffetz added….
Petraeus reached a plea deal, the Justice Department announced Tuesday, over charges he failed to turn over for archiving small record books kept while commanding U.S. forces in Afghanistan, instead providing them and their classified information to his mistress, Paula Broadwell, who wrote a biography of the Army general.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Tuesday, “we have no indication that Secretary Clinton used her personal email account for anything but unclassified purposes,” adding that Clinton used secure phone calls, aides or took other steps to send sensitive messages and has turned over some emails for archiving.
But the Committee will investigate anyway, and yesterday, according to the WaPo, the “Select Committee on Benghazi”
subpoenaed all communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to Libya and to the State Department for other individuals who have information pertinent to the investigation,” according to a statement by committee spokesman Jamal Ware. “The Committee also has issued preservation letters to internet firms informing them of their legal obligation to protect all relevant documents.”
Back to The Hill article (emphasis added):
Earlier this week, Chaffetz said his committee would join the House Select Committee on Benghazi to further explore Clinton’s use of personal emails. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of that committee, said Clinton might have to testify several times before the panel, even into 2016.
Chaffetz himself lists a personal gmail address on his “official House card,” according to ABC News, but Chaffetz says that’s different. According to the Hill, when he was asked about the comparison between his use of email and Clinton’s, Chaffetz said, “Well that’s like comparing apples to a boat.”
Read more about the House efforts to bring Hillary down at Bloomberg Politics: House Oversight Committee to ‘Explore’ Clinton’s E-Mail Use, Chairman Says.
At New York Magazine, Frank Rich is deeply concerned.
Do the Democrats Need a Backup Plan for 2016?
Are Clinton’s email shenanigans a federal offense? Probably not. But we still don’t know the whole story, and it seems to be thickening by the minute — notably with a new report from the AP that she was protecting her email by cycling it through her own private email server out of Chappaqua. But the more important question is why the Clintons, who more than anyone in American politics understand the high risks of perceived improprieties, have left Hillary’s campaign so vulnerable even before it is officially out of the gate.
Why in God’s name did they change the name of the Clinton Foundation to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation? That gives Hillary full ownership of a stream of potential conflict-of-interest revelations that have been emerging ever since, notably in the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Politico: that the foundation solicited funds from at least 60 corporations that were lobbying the State Department during her tenure as Secretary of State; that the foundation quietly resumed soliciting donations from foreign governments once she left the State Department; that an Obama Administration ethics framework established to monitor potential conflicts of interest between Bill Clinton’s lucrative foreign speech engagements and State on Hillary’s watch was less-than-exacting.
And one imagines this is only the beginning. At the Post, a lead reporter on the Clinton story is Rosalind S. Helderman, whom some may recall was the dogged investigative journalist whose forensic journalism helped expose the pay-for-play scandal that brought down Bob McDonnell, the former Virginia Governor, and his wife Maureen.
You can check out Rich’s links for more background. Both the Post and the NYT are really pushing this story, but the Post seems even more worked up than the Times. Rich points out that Democrats really don’t have any legitimate alternatives to Clinton. Who are they going to run instead? Martin O’Malley? Jim Webb? Give me a break. And sorry, Emo-Progs,, Elizabeth Warren is not running.
At least one Joe Biden backer sees this new “scandal” as a golden opportunity, according to the Washington Post.
Top Biden backer: Hillary Clinton will ‘die by 1,000 cuts’ on e-mail story.
Dick Harpootlian, a former Democratic Party chairman in South Carolina, home to an early and important presidential primary, said recent reports about Clinton’s use of private e-mail to conduct government business and her family’s charitable foundation accepting donations from foreign governments while she was secretary of state could be damaging to her likely 2016 presidential campaign.
“There’s always another shoe to drop with Hillary,” Harpootlian said in an interview Wednesday. “Do we nominate her not knowing what’s in those e-mails?… If the e-mails were just her and her family and friends canoodling about fashion and what they’re going to do next week, that’s one thing. But the fact that she’s already turned e-mails to the Benghazi committee because she was doing official business on it means she’s going to die by 1,000 cuts on this one.”
Harpootlian — who has been an active and outspoken booster of a Biden 2016 candidacy — said the foundation donations and e-mail stories have sparked chatter among South Carolina politicos about drafting other candidates into the Democratic primary. Referencing Biden specifically, he said, “I’ll tell you this: He ain’t got no e-mail problems. He ain’t got no foundation problems. What you see with Joe is what you get. There’s nothing hidden there.”
Harpootlian added, “The chatter down here is, ‘Is this the best we can do?’ Certainly everyone wants to give a woman a chance to lead this country, but is [Clinton] the woman? There are plenty of other women who would be competitive, whether it’s Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar or Kirsten Gillibrand.”
Sorry, Dick, those women aren’t running and they wouldn’t be any more competitive than your pal Joe Biden–who has his own past scandals to worry about.
The Wall Street Journal says “some Democrats” are “troubled” about the new Hillary “scandals.” Yes, I’m sure they are. Sometimes I think there are more Clinton-haters among Democrats than Republicans. WSJ reports:
Some Democrats are uneasy about the reports involving Hillary Clinton ’s use of a private email account during her time as secretary of state and her foundation’s fundraising practices, calling on her to break her silence and personally address the two controversies.
Some party figures say the recent disclosures show a need for Democratic rivals to step forward and challenge Mrs. Clinton for a nomination that has long seemed to be hers for the asking.
At least one of these “uneasy” Democrats was willing to use his name.
Don Paulson, chairman of the Muscatine County Democrats in Iowa, said he was disturbed by the Clinton Foundation’s practice of accepting donations from foreign governments at a time when Mrs. Clinton was preparing a campaign for the White House. He saw that as one reason why the party should vet her and other candidates in a competitive primary, rather than allow her to coast to the nomination without a real fight. “It’s a healthier thing all around if there’s competition,” he said.
I’m sure Muscatine County Chairman is a Very Important Job, so we’d better being paying close attention to Mr. Paulson. Or not.
The WSJ admits that “Mrs. Clinton’s email arrangement…was legal while she served as the nation’s top diplomat,” but never mind that. It’s still so “troubling” and it makes people so “uneasy.” They do include the names of two more disapproving Democrats:
Tad Devine, a Democratic strategist who has worked on six presidential campaigns, said of the email account: “She needs to explain why she did what she did. I do think it’s a real issue, and I think it’s an issue that has to get dealt with on a serious level.”
“I don’t think it’s something a junior staffer can put out a statement and expect the thing to go away,” he said.
Kim Weaver, chairman of the O’Brien County Democrats in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first presidential contest, said: “The questions need to be answered.” She added she would like to hear whether the personal email system Mrs. Clinton used carried adequate security protections. “If it’s no big deal, why not just come out and say what it is.”
It seems that Iowa Democrats are particularly upset.
But will any of this matter to voters in November of 2016? Brendan Nyhan of the NYT blog The Upshot doesn’t think so. He notes that most Americans aren’t thinking about the 2016 presidential campaign yet, and when they do, attitudes toward toward the “email furor” will likely break down along partisan lines.
Of course that won’t stop his newspaper from running story after story about it on their front page while they ignore the potential loss of health insurance for 8,000,000 Americans along with other important world events.
One more from Business Insider:
Former State Department officials explain why the Clinton email ‘scandal’ is ridiculous.
According to the State Department, Hillary Clinton’s use of a personalized email address during her time as secretary of state was no secret.
“The State Department has long had access to a wide array of Secretary Clinton’s records — including emails between her and Department officials with state.gov accounts,” State Department Deputy Spokesperon Marie Harf said in an email to Business Insider….
Business Insider reached out to Clinton’s representatives. They put us in touch with two former State Department officials who argued that Clinton was careful to use the address in a manner that went above and beyond regulatory requirements and ensured her communications were preserved.
The former officials, who requested anonymity to freely discuss Clinton’s emails and State Department policy, echoed the notion the former secretary’s personalized email address was not kept secret. They said she used it to communicate with over 100 department staffers, other officials, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill….
Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill issued a statement in response to the article wherein he argued Clinton corresponded with people on their government account whenever she conducted official business….”Like Secretaries of State before her, she used her own email account when engaging with any Department officials. For government business, she emailed them on their Department accounts, with every expectation they would be retained,” Merrill said.
Guess what? John Kerry is the first Secretary of State to use a government email account! Colin Power also used a private account during the Bush Administration.
The two former officials said efficiency was one reason Clinton set up her own address. At the time, State Department policy would not have allowed her to have multiple email addresses on her Blackberry. Because of this, the officials said, she opted to have one address for both personal and governmental communications. They echoed Merrill’s statement and said Clinton took care to correspond with other State officials exclusively on their governmental addresses. The officials said this meant all of her emails and those sent to her were immediately preserved on government servers.
According to the two officials, regulations discouraged the use of personal email but did not prohibit it. Merrill also argued that Clinton’s use of private email was not against the rules.
“Both the letter and spirit of the rules permitted State Department officials to use non-government email, as long as appropriate records were preserved,” he said.
So far, Hillary herself has only responded on Twitter:
So . . . . there are lots of important stories out there today. Which ones are you following?
Posted: February 25, 2015 Filed under: Hillary Clinton, morning reads, Republican politics, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics, Women's Rights | Tags: Fox News, intersectionality, patricia arquette, wage equality
This is just going to be a link dump, I am not feeling quite up to the task of writing a post today, maybe it is the frustrating tiresome week…I don’t know. It gets exhausting spending so many hours snowbound with a man who is your total polar political opposite.
Anyway, for now I hope you find the following links interesting.
There has been quite a lot of “talk” about Patty Arquette’s backstage comments regarding various groups and their need to support Woman’s Rights.
See these two articles, or op/eds from Reality Check:
First: Patricia Arquette’s Spectacular Intersectionality Fail by Andrea Grimes
Intersectionality – Geek Feminism Wiki
(I had to look it up…good thing Grimes put up a link.)
And secondly: The Road to Structural Erasure Is Paved With Well-Intentioned White Ladies #ABLC by Imani Gandy
Then this later response by Gandy: The Funny Thing About Privilege #ABLC
Give all those a read and then take a look at this:
Patricia Arquette responds to Oscars feminism controversy, and Hillary Clinton supports her – People – News – The Independent
I am glad Hillary backed up Arquette…
Hillary Clinton: It’s Time For Wage Equality ‘Once And For All’
Hillary Clinton lamented the number of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math at a Silicon Valley women’s conference on Tuesday, and called for more action to close the wage gap.
“Sixty percent of college graduates are now women, yet they earn only 18 percent of computer science degrees. That’s actually less than half of what it was in the 1980s, when women earned 38 percent of those degrees. We’re going backwards in a field that’s supposed to be all about going forward,” Clinton said in a keynote address at Lead On Conference for Women in Santa Clara, California, for which she was reportedly paid a whopping $300,000.
The former secretary of state addressed an overwhelmingly friendly crowd made up of many employees from Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies, including Intel, Oracle and Cisco. Introduced as a “modern day suffragette,” Clinton empathized with the audience by noting the difficulties women still face in male-dominated Silicon Valley.
“You bump your heads on the glass ceilings that persist in the tech industry today,” she told the attendees.
Clinton framed the need to empower women as beneficial to America’s economy as a whole, and in so doing paid deference to one of Apple, Inc.’s biggest slogans.
“There are lasting consequences for them, their families, and our economy,” she said of women left out of the STEM fields. “We cannot afford to leave all that talent sitting on that sidelines. To borrow a familiar phrase, it’s time to think different.”
In advocating for closing the pay gap, Clinton also endorsed the impassioned plea for wage equality made by Patricia Arquette in her Oscars acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress.
This is what she said:
“Up and down the ladder many women are paid less for the same work, which is why we all cheered at Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscars — because she’s right, it’s time to have wage equality once and for all,” Clinton said.
Damn right. I made some comments on the first post written by Imani Gandy, after that I just got tired of the whole thing. So tired of fighting for every little bit of something that is right and is deserved. Fuck it.
The rest of the links, coming at ya:
Another look at Clinton’s speech: SANTA CLARA, Calif.: Clinton to women: It can still feel like 1955 out there | Elections | McClatchy DC
Which is the most sexist national anthem? | News | The Guardian
Italy and Turkey are the sexist…US is in the orange range…
Roman Polanski Appears in Court in Extradition Hearing – NYTimes.com
I wonder if he will ever face justice.
SHOCKING New Poll Shows Majority Of GOP Total Idiots | Wonkette
Brace yourselves for some stunning, shocking, jaw-dropping, too-amazing-to-believe-yet-totally-believable news! According to a new poll from PPP, the Republican Party is overflowing with morons. It’s true. In fact, it’s SCIENCE! Or MATH! Or some kind of liberal hoax thing!
Let’s nerdsplore how goddamned dumb Republicans are, shall we?
If you think that’s depressing, well, OK, you’re right, it is depressing. But it gets worse:
Didn’t Republicans used to more or less accept that basic science was real, scientifically speaking? Yes, but that’s before the entire party adopted the official “I’m not a scientist” platform, thanks to Fox News teaching the “controversy.”
Hey, but you know…they do love them some fetuses! At least until they are born: Republican lawmaker: It’s OK for children to die in the name of God – Salon.com
In a deeply religious section of Idaho, a Republican state representative says that the state has no right to protect children from their parents who refuse them needed medical treatment in favor of faith healing.
“Children do die,” says Rep. Christy Perry. And it’s fine with her if Idaho children die in the name of God. Perry’s district includes many followers of a religious cult, Followers of Christ, that eschews medicine. She says that the sect’s members are more comfortable confronting death when it happens to their children.
“I’m not trying to sound callous, but [people calling for reform] want to act as if death is an anomaly. But it’s not. It’s a way of life,” she says.
Again, I am so sick of this shit. And I really don’t feel like arguing about it.
An Italian cemetery may provide clues on cholera’s evolution-Medievalist.net
The site contains victims of the cholera epidemic that swept the world in the 1850s, said Clark Spencer Larsen, professor of anthropology at Ohio State University and one of the leaders of the excavation team.
Archaeologists and their students have spent the past four summers painstakingly excavating remains in a special section of the cemetery used for cholera victims. About 20 to 30 skeletons have been excavated during each of the past four field seasons.
Finding traces of the pathogen that caused cholera among the human remains could reveal details about how people lived – and died – in this region of Europe. “To our knowledge, these are the best preserved remains of cholera victims of this time period ever found,” Larsen said. “We’re very excited about what we may be able to learn.”
On the move: The impact of economic migration – Al Jazeera English
Urbanisation is rapidly picking up pace. We hit the tipping point in 2009, when there were more people living in urban areas than in rural ones.
The United Nations believes an additional 2.5bn people will live in urban areas by 2050, which is only 35 years away.
Many of the rural poor come to the cities and end up living in sub-standard housing. It is estimated that 863 million people now live in slums. And China alone, according to the UN, will need to spend $6.8tn over the next two decades just to integrate rural workers.
Counting the Cost examines the challenges of economic migration.
Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown reports from China; and Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, joins us from New York to discuss migration and the issues behind it.
Mysterious East Coast flooding caused by ‘unprecented’ surge in sea level – The Washington Post
Here’s a Satirical Take on the 40 Things the News Wants You to Be Afraid Of – Truthdig
5 Lessons Fat Albert Should Have Taught Bill Cosby | Cracked.com
Sicilian mafioso who lived incognito in Britain for 20 years to be extradited | World news | The Guardian
New Research Into Indo-European Languages – Archaeology Magazine
Brilliant Fireball Wows Skywatchers, Rattles Windows In Florida
and this last link:
Where Do Sesame Seeds Come From, Anyway?
Let’s treat this as an open thread…what are you reading about today?
Posted: December 23, 2014 Filed under: Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, morning reads, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics | Tags: "white" Southerners with black ancestors, Christopher Manney, Civil Rights, Department of Justice, Dish Network, DNA, Dontre Hamilton, Fox News, gas prices, GDP growth, internet outage, North Korea, police involved shootings, police unions, Racism, Stock Market
I finally arrived in Boston yesterday after driving for three days. With the days so short, and the nights so dark, I ended up having to stop for the night earlier than I would have in the summer. I was tired last night, but I’m even more exhausted this morning. Everything hurts, and my brain isn’t working properly. I’m supposed to drive up to New Hampshire for Christmas, and I have no idea how I can do that.
I’d like to write a beautifully organized post, but I don’t think I’m capable of it. So here are some news stories that caught my flawed attention this morning.
Another police officer gets away with murder, this time in Milwaukee. From the Journal-Sentinel:
In one of the most highly anticipated legal decisions in recent memory, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced Monday that former Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney will not be charged in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton at Red Arrow Park.
Chisholm determined that Manney’s use of force was justified self-defense.
Hamilton’s family has repeatedly called for Manney, who has since been fired, to face criminal charges.
Speaking to supporters outside the federal courthouse in Milwaukee, Hamilton’s brother Nathaniel said he and the other family members would not waver in their determination.
“We deserve justice,” he said. “Justice is our right.”
As you’ve probably already guessed, Dontre Hamilton was a black man, and Christopher Manney is white. This is getting to be a regular thing, and it’s really getting old. The police unions can complain all they want. The simple truth is that police officers are killing a hell of a lot of black men.
The NY Daily News reports that the Department of Justice will review the shooting to determine whether Hamilton’s civil rights were violated.
There’s been some pushback on the claims by police unions that protesters of police-involved deaths like those of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and government officials who sympathized with their families are responsible for the recent murders of two NYPD police officers in Brooklyn. Here’s an essay by Kareem Abdul Jabbar in Time Magazine: The Police Aren’t Under Attack. Institutionalized Racism Is.
According to Ecclesiastes, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose.” For me, today, that means a time to seek justice and a time to mourn the dead.
And a time to shut the hell up.
The recent brutal murder of two Brooklyn police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, is a national tragedy that should inspire nationwide mourning. Both my grandfather and father were police officers, so I appreciate what a difficult and dangerous profession law enforcement is. We need to value and celebrate the many officers dedicated to protecting the public and nourishing our justice system. It’s a job most of us don’t have the courage to do.
At the same time, however, we need to understand that their deaths are in no way related to the massive protests against systemic abuses of the justice system as symbolized by the recent deaths—also national tragedies—of Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and Michael Brown. Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the suicidal killer, wasn’t an impassioned activist expressing political frustration, he was a troubled man who had shot his girlfriend earlier that same day. He even Instagrammed warnings of his violent intentions. None of this is the behavior of a sane man or rational activist. The protests are no more to blame for his actions than The Catcher in the Rye was for the murder of John Lennon or the movie Taxi Driver for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Crazy has its own twisted logic and it is in no way related to the rational cause-and-effect world the rest of us attempt to create.
Those who are trying to connect the murders of the officers with the thousands of articulate and peaceful protestors across America are being deliberately misleading in a cynical and selfish effort to turn public sentiment against the protestors. This is the same strategy used when trying to lump in the violence and looting with the legitimate protestors, who have disavowed that behavior. They hope to misdirect public attention and emotion in order to stop the protests and the progressive changes that have already resulted. Shaming and blaming is a lot easier than addressing legitimate claims.
More at the link.
The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have each editorialized on the issue.
WaPo: The blame game over police deaths in New York goes too far.
LA Times: Protesters didn’t cause slayings of New York police officers.
The Daily Beast: The NY Police Union’s Vile War with Mayor De Blasio.
And from HuffPo: Police Unions ‘Standing Down’ After Controversial Comments In Wake Of NYPD Shooting.
Despite all the complaints about Obama’s leadership from Republicans, the economy is growing; and wealthy Americans sure seem to be doing okay.
The Hill, GDP grows by 5 percent as US economy picks up strong pace.
The economy grew at a 5 percent rate from July to September, the fastest pace in 11 years.
The strong growth recorded by the Commerce Department adds to the sense that the economy is approaching full speed for the first time since the recession of 2008 — and since President Obama was first elected….
The government found consumer spending grew by 3.2 percent from July to September, compared to 2.5 percent in the previous quarter.
The Commerce Department also shifted its estimate for the second quarter, finding strong growth of 4.6 percent between April and June. That’s up from its previous estimate of 3.9 percent.
Reuters, Dow Tops 18,000 for First Time on Upbeat GDP Report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through 18,000 for the first time Tuesday, propelled higher by a better-than-expected report on the economy in the third quarter. If the Dow closes above 18,000, it will have taken the index only six months to climb there from 17,000.
It took only seven months to get from 16,000 to 17,000.
The independent living in chula vista has been good news for Americans who own shares, including the wealthy, corporations, financial firms and workers with retirement funds and pensions invested in stocks. For those who don’t own shares, it could mean a widening wealth gap, however.
How much wider can it get?
But there’s also good news for us ordinary folks. From CNN, 89 straight days of lower gas prices.
The streak, the longest on record according to AAA, has shaved nearly $1 off the national average price of regular gas, taking it to $2.38 a gallon for the first time in five years. September 25 was the last day prices were higher for drivers. That day they increased by only a tenth of a cent. Prices have tumbled 36% since the high of the year, which was back in late April.
Not only have they been falling, but the plunge in gas prices has been picking up speed, tumbling nearly 2 cents between Monday and Tuesday.
Prices were 15 cents higher only a week ago and 44 cents higher a month ago. In numerous cities — including Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Topeka, Kansas — the average price now stands less than $2 a gallon, according to AAA. Springfield, Missouri became the first state to break the $2 average price last week. Missouri drivers are enjoying the lowest statewide average price at $2.05 a gallon.
The plunging price of oil — a 50% drop off the cost of barrel of crude since April, is the main driver in the gas price slide. But there are many other factors also affecting prices. Weakening economies in Europe and Asia, as well as more fuel efficient vehicles worldwide, have all cut demand for gasoline.
Unfortunately, I can testify that gas prices on the New York Thruway are still very high, with regular priced at close to $3.00 a gallon.
North Korea suffered a major internet breakdown yesterday. Was the NSA responsible? The CIA. If so, good work! From Reuters, North Korea’s Internet links restored amid U.S. hacking dispute.
North Korea, at the center of a confrontation with the United States over the hacking of Sony Pictures, experienced a complete Internet outage for hours before links were restored on Tuesday, but U.S. officials said Washington was not involved.
U.S.-based Dyn, a company that monitors Internet infrastructure, said the reason for the outage was not known but could range from technological glitches to a hacking attack. Several U.S. officials close to the investigations of the attack on Sony Pictures said the U.S. government had not taken any cyber action against Pyongyang.
U.S. President Barack Obama had vowed on Friday to respond to the major cyberattack, which he blamed on North Korea, “in a place and time and manner that we choose.”
Dyn said North Korea’s Internet links were unstable on Monday and the country later went completely offline. Links were restored at 0146 GMT on Tuesday, and the possibilities for the outage could be attacks by individuals, a hardware failure, or even that it was done by North Koreaitself, experts said.
Matthew Prince, CEO of U.S.-based CloudFlare which protects websites from web-based attacks, said the fact that North Korea’s Internet was back up “is pretty good evidence that the outage wasn’t caused by a state-sponsored attack, otherwise it’d likely still be down for the count”.
Almost all of North Korea’s Internet links and traffic pass through China and it dismissed any suggestion that it was involved as “irresponsible”.
So what happened then, I wonder . . . . ?
Here’s a story that should please JJ: Dish Network dumps Fox News, setting off social media war on Facebook.
Satellite-TV provider Dish Network dropped the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network on Saturday night after the companies couldn’t come to terms on a new distribution contract, reports TVNewser.
According to Fox Executive Vice President of Distribution Tim Carry, contract talks have broken off and nothing is happening, depriving Dish’s 14 million subscribers of Fox News’ “fair and balanced” approach to current event coverage.
“Our phone line is open, we’re willing to talk,” Carry said. “Am I negotiating right now? I’m not.”
Executives at Dish say Fox is playing hardball with them by attempting to use the news channel as leverage to increase fees for their sports and entertainment channels normally covered by separate contracts.
“It’s like we’re about to close on a house and the realtor is trying to make us buy a new car as well,” said Warren Schlichting, Dish Network’s Senior Vice President of programming. “Fox blacked out two of its news channels, using them as leverage to triple rates on sports and entertainment channels that are not in this contract.”
Hahahahaha! The Fox fans in Banjoville must being going nuts. But at least they can watch Turner Classic Movies.
And here’s some even more scary news for racist Southerners. From Raw Story: Southern whites have more black DNA than whites in the rest of US: study.
Some of the states with the most racially charged attitudes towards African-Americans are also the states where the most whites have black ancestors, according to a recently released study.
Researchers examined 145,000 DNA samples provided to genetic testing company 23andme for ancestry analysis to determine that at least six million Americans who called themselves white had 1 percent or more African ancestry.
The study published this month in the American Journal of Human Genetics found that whites in the South were far more likely to have at least 1 percent black ancestry than any other part of the country.
“European Americans with African ancestry comprise as much as 12% of European Americans from Louisiana and South Carolina and about 1 in 10 individuals in other parts of the South,” the authors wrote….
And black Americans living in the South also had more African ancestry than any other region of the country. African-Americans in West Virginia and Oregon had the lowest percentage of African ancestry.
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