Friday the 13th Reads: “They were warned… They are doomed… And on Friday the 13th, nothing will save them.”

Good Day Sky Dancers!

The news appears to be all over the place today. I’ll see if I can sort through it.  Meanwhile, it’s Fanart Friday and Friday the 13th, and I’m still stressed by the headlines and life circumstances.  It’s always good to curl up with a good horror movie. Enjoy these fan takes on Jason Vorhees from the franchise and the slasher that never seems to die.

My mother was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and I consider the city my second hometown. We spent most weekends there or in small neighboring Kansas towns with my grandparents. It was the place I always wanted to live because “Everything is up-to-date in Kansas City.”  I’d prefer to stay on the Kansas Side of State Line Road today, where most of my cousins have settled.  Missouri has lost its mind.

This is from the Washington Post as reported by Timothy Bella. “Missouri Republicans adopt stricter House dress code — but just for women.” WTAF?

The Republican-controlled Missouri House of Representatives used its session’s opening day Wednesday to tighten the dress code for female legislators, while leaving the men’s dress code alone.

The changes were spearheaded by state Rep. Ann Kelley (R), a co-sponsor who was among the Republicans seeking to require women to wear a blazer when in the chamber. She was met by swift opposition from Democrats who called it “ridiculous.”

The state House eventually approved a modified version of Kelley’s proposal, which allows for cardigans as well as jackets, but still requires women’s arms to be concealed. Missouri Democrats tore into Republicans for pushing the new restrictions on what women in the chamber could wear.

“We are fighting — again — for a woman’s right to choose for something. This time, it’s how she covers herself — and the interpretation of someone who has no background in fashion,” state Rep. Raychel Proudie (D) said in a speech on the floor. “I spent $1,200 on a suit, and I can’t wear it in the People’s House because someone who doesn’t have the range tells me that it’s inappropriate.”

While previous rules said that “dresses or skirts or slacks worn with a blazer or sweater and appropriate dress shoes or boots” were allowed to be worn by female lawmakers, Kelley, one of the co-sponsors of H.R. 11, said Wednesday that women needed to wear jackets on the floor as “it is essential to always maintain a formal and professional atmosphere.”

Paging Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kyrsten Sinema, and Lauren Boebert! Any fashion tips?  I remember being forced to wear nude hose, low heels, and a suited skirt through much of the 80s and 90s.  I couldn’t even wear pants to school until 8th grade.  Do we really need to be monitored, and for what reason?

There is some justice left in the world for Trump.  This is from the New York Times. “Trump Organization Fined $1.6 Million for Evading Taxes”.  Will have to borrow from some of his friends or grift his followers for the sum?

Former president Donald J. Trump’s family real estate business was ordered on Friday to pay a $1.6 million criminal penalty for its conviction on felony tax fraud and other charges, a stinging rebuke and the maximum possible punishment.

The sentence, handed down by a judge in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, caps a lengthy legal ordeal for Mr. Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, which was convicted in December of doling out off-the-books perks to some of its top executives. One of the executives who orchestrated the scheme, Allen H. Weisselberg, pleaded guilty and testified at the company’s trial. He was sentenced on Tuesday to serve five months at the notorious Rikers Island jail complex.

The financial penalty is a pittance to the company, and the former president, who collected hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year while in office. But the verdict branded the company a lawbreaker, exposed a culture that nurtured illegality for years and handed political ammunition to Mr. Trump’s opponents. Prosecutors also continue to press a criminal investigation against the man himself.

The Trump Organization’s lawyers on Friday sought a smaller penalty, pinning the blame on an outside accounting firm, Mazars USA, which they said should have halted the wrongdoing. They also blamed Mr. Weisselberg, who they say carried out the scheme without intending to benefit the Trump Organization. But Joshua Steinglass, a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, argued that the company carried out “a multidimensional scheme to defraud the tax authorities.”

“To avoid detection, they simply falsified the records,” he explained. “This conduct can only be described as egregious,” adding that although the maximum fines may have limited impact on the corporation, “this court should nonetheless impose such fines.”

The judge overseeing the case, Juan Merchan, agreed, imposing the maximum $1.61 million.

“These are arguments that were made throughout the trial,” Justice Merchan said about the defense’s contention that Mazars and Mr. Weisselberg were to blame. “This is not what the evidence has shown, and it is certainly not what the jury found.”

Jason Voorhees, 2017
by Kid-Eternity

This story hits home for me and other cancer survivors and their friends and family.  It’s from the BBC. “US cancer death rate drops by 30% since 1991 .”  There some interesting sidenotes to these findings.

The research found that “at least 42% of the projected new cancers are potentially avoidable”, noting that 19% of cancers are caused by smoking and 18% of cancers are “caused by a combination of excess body weight, drinking alcohol, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity”.

The report also examined racial and economic disparities in cancer outcomes.

The Covid-19 pandemic added to already existing difficulties for marginalised groups to get cancer screenings and treatment.

For nearly every type of cancer, white people have a higher survival rate than black people. Black women with breast cancer face a 41% higher death rate than white women.

One bright spot was that cancer death rates in children and adolescents have seen large declines. Since the 1970s, cancer death rates in children have declined by 71% and by 61% for those ages 15 to 19.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death, after accidents, for children one to 14 years old.

Some cancer progress in children has lagged behind adult research due to “lower enrolment in clinical trials, differences in tumour biology and treatment protocols, as well as treatment tolerance and compliance,” according to the report.

New York Representative George Santos just keeps giving the Trump Family Criminal Syndicate in the Grift business. This is from CNN: “George Santos said accused ‘Ponzi scheme’ he worked at was ‘100% legitimate’ when accused of fraud in 2020.”

Republican Rep. George Santos, said a company later accused of running a “Ponzi scheme” was “100% legitimate” when it was accused by a potential customer of fraud in 2020, more than a year before it was sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Once the company, where he worked, came under federal scrutiny, Santos claimed publicly that he was unaware of accusations of fraud at the firm, a CNN KFile review of Santos’ social media and statements found.

Santos, the embattled freshman Republican, faces growing pressure to resign after he lied and misrepresented his educational, work and family history, including falsely claiming he was Jewish and the descendant of Holocaust survivors. Santos admitted to “embellishing” his resume, but has maintained he is “not a criminal.”

Santos worked at Harbor City Capital Corp. in 2020 and 2021, a company the SEC said was a “classic Ponzi scheme” in an April 2021 complaint against the firm. A Ponzi scheme is a type of fraud where existing investors are paid with funds from new investors, often promising artificially high rates of return with little risk. Santos was not named in the SEC complaint.

As I recall, Nixon was the last Republican to say “I am not a crook.”  How’d that work out for him?

Here’s some reads if you want to get caught up with the Russian attacks on Ukraine.

New York Times: Western Tanks Appear Headed to Ukraine, Breaking Another Taboo

BBCSoledar: Russia claims victory in battle for Ukraine salt mine town

CNNPutin burns through another top Ukraine commander as armed forces chief is handed ‘poisoned chalice’

NBC NewsSatellite images show staggering destruction from bitter fighting in Ukraine’s east

Breaking Defense: How to re-arm NATO for the post-Ukraine future

Well, that’s it for me today!!  Don’t go camping today!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Late Night: Friday the 13th

Good Evening!

In case you hadn’t noticed, today is Friday the 13th. Therefore, this post has a horror theme. Lately I’ve been feeling that the news has become a horror show anyway, what with the candidates for President–Horrendously-Horrible (Mitt Romney) and Slightly-Less-Horrible (Barack Obama)–and the ongoing war on women and the war on the poor and middle class.  So why not wallow in horror on this supposedly unlucky day?

First up, where did the idea that Friday the 13th is unlucky come from? I found a 2004 article at National Geographic that offers some background from Donald Dossey, a psychologist who treats phobias and is also a folklorist. He says that the Friday the 13 phobia is based on ancient mythology.

Dossey traces the fear of 13 to a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.

“Balder died and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day,” said Dossey. From that moment on, the number 13 has been considered ominous and foreboding.

There is also a biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.

Meanwhile, in ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.

A number of other experts are quoted in the article as well, if you’re interested.

Today Mitt Romney gave a speech to the National Rifle Association. If there’s anything to the Friday the 13th myth, perhaps bad luck will come to both Romney and the NRA. One can only hope. Naturally Romney, who used to be pro-gun control, is now claiming to be the ultimate Second Amendment wacko. From HuffPo: You’ll Have To Pry Mitt’s Gun From His Warm, Probably Manicured Hands.

WILLARD, A FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR, IS JUST CRAZY ABOUT GUNS – Can’t get enough of ’em! Mike Sacks: “Speaking at the NRA national convention in St. Louis on Friday, likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney warned that re-electing President Barack Obama would lead to an ‘unrestrained’ assault on freedom with decades of repercussions. Romney, whose record on gun rights is hardly rock-ribbed, tried to convince a skeptical audience that he would fight for its interests upon entering the Oval Office. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney in 2004 extended the state’s ban on assault weapons and small handguns. Less than a year later, however, he designated May 7 “Rights to Bear Arms” day in Massachusetts and became a lifetime member of the NRA. ‘The right to bear arms is so plainly stated, so unambiguous, that liberals have a hard time challenging it directly. Instead, they’ve been employing every imaginable ploy to restrict it,’ Romney said.”

Romney claimed that “re-electing President Barack Obama would lead to an “unrestrained” assault on freedom with decades of repercussions” despite the fact (Romney doesn’t believe in facts) that Obama has done absolutely nothing to promote gun control. In fact, in 2008, Obama showed himself to be a better friend of the NRA than Romney ever was.

Romney’s statement refers to the fact that if re-elected, Obama may have the opportunity to appoint up to three justices, including filling the seats of two justices — Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy, both turning 76 this year — who were in the court’s 5-4 decision establishing an individual right to keep and bear arms for self defense in the home.

Responding to the landmark 2008 case that first articulated the individual right, Obama applauded the ruling. “As president, I will uphold the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun-owners, hunters, and sportsmen,” he said in a statement just as his campaign against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was heating up.

See? Horribly Horrible vs. Slightly Less Horrible.

Here’s a little of what Charlie Pierce had to say today about Willard’s NRA performance:

I have come to conclusion that the key to understanding Willard Romney, foof-dauphin of the Republican party, is to understand an old vaudeville joke. (This is the key to understanding many things, as Woody Allen demonstrated in Annie Hall.) Two women are sitting at a bar. One talks like the young Lauren Bacall. The other one talks like a duck. When the bartender talks to the former, he sounds like Clark Gable. When he talks to the latter, he talks like a duck. The second woman gets fed up. “Are you making fun of me?” she quacks at the bartender.

“No, ma’am,” he quacks in reply. “I’m making fun of her.”

Having lived in the Commonwealth (God Save it!) under the barely perceptable leadership of Governor Willard, I have spent the campaign wondering if the Governor Willard is the sham or Candidate Willard is the sham. I wonder no longer. He wasn’t making fun of them. He was making fun of us.

He’s gone so fully wingnut that the only conclusion that any of we veteran Romneybot watchers can come to is that his whole governorship here was a riff. He’s shucked off all the “moderate” camouflage that so fooled us that it can never have been stuck to him that solidly. Take today, for example. He went and spoke to the National Rifle Association and he vigorously stroked that group’s most deeply masturbatory fantasies…

That was followed by quotes from Romney’s ludicrous speech.

This week notorious murderer Charles Manson came up for parole for the 12th time and once again his petition was denied.

A prison panel denied parole Wednesday to mass murderer Charles Manson in his 12th and probably final bid for freedom.

Manson, now a gray-bearded, 77-year-old, did not attend the hearing where the parole board ruled he had shown no efforts to rehabilitate himself and would not be eligible for parole for another 15 years.

“This panel can find nothing good as far as suitability factors go,” said John Peck, a member of the panel that met at Corcoran State Prison in Central California.

Also playing heavily into the board’s decision was something Manson had said recently to one of his prison psychologists that Peck read aloud.

“‘I’m special. I’m not like the average inmate,'” Peck said. “‘I have spent my life in prison. I have put five people in the grave. I am a very dangerous man.'”

Charles Manson and Matthew Roberts

But what about the children that Manson fathered during his few years of freedom in the late 1960’s? What has become of them? One young man who claims to be Manson’s son has been in the news again this week.

Matthew Roberts, 44 — who says he was conceived at a San Francisco orgy attended by Manson in 1967 — is worried that two inconclusive DNA tests were his last hope to confirm whether his father is the infamous cult leader, CNN’s Miguel Marquez reports….

Roberts says that unless he sees “somebody scrape a piece of skin off [Manson’s] ass and bring it to a lab,” he can’t be sure if Manson is his father, he told CNN….

Roberts, whose mother put him up for adoption shortly after he was born, tried twice to confirm his true identity with DNA tests. But the results revealed that Manson’s samples were contaminated. The New York Post reported that even Roberts’ mother admits her son bears a striking resemblance to the incarcerated murderer.

It’s well known that Manson fathered several children while living with his followers at Spahn Ranch near Death Valley. Here’s a site with some research on where those children are now.

What could be worse than being one of Charles Manson’s offspring? How about being the child of Adolf Hitler?

The results of new testing support the story of a French man who said he was the illegitimate and only child of the German dictator.

Jean-Marie Loret had said his mother told him that she and a young Hitler dated while he was stationed in Northern France during World War I and she was a teenager.

Before Loret died in 1985, he shared his story with a lawyer; the sensational and history-defying details of that conversation — plus new evidence to support the claim — were just published in the French magazine Le Point. Loret also wrote a book titled “Your Father’s Name Was Hitler” in 1981….

Loret says his mother first revealed the identity of his father in the 1950s, triggering the kind of reaction you’d expect from someone who just learned their father was a genocide-perpetuating mass murderer and one of the most awful people in history.

“In order not to get depressed, I worked non-stop, never took a holiday, and had no hobbies. For twenty years I didn’t even go to the cinema,” he wrote in his book.

Loret had a son named Philipe and six other children. One day as the family was sitting at the dinner table,

“Suddenly my father said, ‘Kids, I’ve got something to tell you. Your grandfather is Adolf Hitler’, ” explains Philippe.

“There was stunned silence as no one knew what to say. We didn’t know how to react.”

That was 40 years ago, yet there is a sense that Philippe, 56, still doesn’t know how to react.

He has never spoken out about that conversation or the fact he may be the grandson of the most infamous dictator in history.

A former plumber for the plumber largo fl at the French air force, he has kept it a secret from all but his closest friends, never telling his colleagues or even his partner’s family.

Closer to home, the American Nazi Party now has a registered lobbyist representing them in Washington, DC.

John Bowles, the National Socialist Movement’s presidential nominee in 2008, registered Tuesday, U.S. News and World Report notes. He stated on his registration form that he intends to lobby on the issues of “political rights and ballot access laws.”

Asked by U.S. News and World Report if he thought an avowed Nazi would actually be able to secure meetings with politicians, Bowles responded with confidence:

“I don’t see why not,” he says, adding that he knows lobbyists rely on their credibility. “Of course I won’t approach anybody in Congress unless it’s a very interesting issue or law,” he promises. “I’m going to be very careful about the issues I choose for this.”

He might get a friendly reception from Paul Ryan or Allen West.

Have you heard about the “luxury ‘Doomsday’ shelters” in Kansas?

Tucked deep beneath the Kansas prairie, luxury condos are being built into the shaft of an abandoned missile silo to service anxious — and wealthy — people preparing for doomsday.

So far, four buyers have plopped down a total of about $7 million for havens to flee to when disaster happens or the end is nigh. And developer Larry Hall has options to retro-fit three more Cold War-era silos when this one fills up.

“They worry about events ranging from solar flares, to economic collapse, to pandemics to terrorism to food shortages,” Hall told AFP on a tour of the site.

These “doomsday preppers”, as they are called, want a safe place and he will be there with them because Hall, 55, bought one of the condos for himself. He says his fear is that sun flares could wipe out the power grid and cause chaos.

He and his wife and son live in Denver and will use their condo mostly as a vacation home, he says, but if the grid goes, they will be ready.

Here’s a guy who lives in a similar missile silo in Texas.

Those are my offerings for tonight. Friday the 13th will soon draw to a close. I hope you made it through the day safely!

SDB Evening News Reads for 051311

Friday the 13th, 1980. (Photo: CTV News)

It is Friday the 13th, and as Dakinikat posted in the comments section on this mornings reads, the word for fear of Friday 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia.

I wonder what the fear of long ass words is?

On to this Friday the 13th evening reads….Gaddafi has issued a radio statement that he is alive and well.  This dude could use a Jason hockey mask, he would be a hell of a lot less scary with it!   Gaddafi dismisses claims he was injured – Africa – Al Jazeera English

Libyan state television has aired what it says is a statement by Muammar Gaddafi, in which the Libyan leader denies reports that he has been wounded.

In the audio message, broadcast on Friday evening, Gaddafi said he is alive and well despite air strikes from the NATO military alliance on his Bab al-Aziziyah compound in the capital, Tripoli, on Thursday.

Gaddafi said he is in a place where NATO bombs can not reach him.

“I want to tell you that your bombing will not reach me because millions of Libyans bear me in their heart,” Gaddafi said, thanking heads of state who had asked about his health after the airstrike.

What the AJE article fails to mention is after Gaddafi said he was in a good hiding place, where NATO can’t find him…a loud wet dictatorial raspberry sound was heard over the airwaves.

Speaking of Friday the 13th scary…I’ve got some links below that are really frightening. Only instead of a big kitchen knife, just imagine Jason wielding a wire hanger. But first, a few articles that came out today about media bias…

This recent scientific study from North Carolina State University shows that Perceived media bias can lead to political action,

…but only on specific issues. When there is a general perception of bias in the news media it actually results in increased apathy among citizens.


The researchers found no direct evidence of a connection between perceived bias and political engagement, but did find some evidence that perceived bias undermined both people’s trust in government and belief that they could influence government. Ultimately, this indirect influence also undermined their likelihood of engaging in political behavior.

That comes as no surprise, but when researchers asked the survey respondents about a specific and controversial issue, they found a direct link between “perceived media bias” and becoming involved as an advocate for their particular views on the issue. For example:

“The people who perceived the most media bias on stem cell research were also the most willing to join a demonstration or take other political action,” Binder says. “I think this shows that people are more likely to get involved in the political process if they do not feel their views are represented by the media on specific issues.

And if there is one media network that continues to present the news according to its own political agenda, it is Fox News.  MoJo’s Kevin Drum discusses a recent article from the blog Monkey Cage that analyses Fox and CNN’s coverage of the tea party tax day rallies from 2009 in a sociological point of view.

Fox News as a Social Movement | Mother Jones

The nickel version is that CNN gave the rallies a lot of coverage on the day of the events plus a little bit of followup the next day. In other words, they treated the rallies as a news event. But Fox’s approach was a wee bit different:
FoxNews has explicitly mobilized its viewers by connecting the Tea Party to their own brand identity. … Rather than serving a journalistic, or even a propagandistic function, Fox News in effect acts as a “national social movement organization,” as described by sociologist Debra Minkoff in studies of liberal identity movements.

Since the graph clearly shows what most of us already knew, click the link to Monkey Cage and read more of the analysis.  It sure is a different way of looking at the media bias on Fox News.

Mitch McConnell

This next article is from last night, I just think it is exactly what we have come to expect from the GOP in a “schoolyard bully” way: Mitch McConnell: Agree to Cut Medicare or I Will Destroy the Economy | FDL Action

The cynicism of American politicians is a strong and persistent theme, but this most recent move by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell takes it to a whole new level. A mere six months after Republicans won big by attacking Democrats for “cutting Medicare,” McConnell is now demanding cuts to Medicare or else he will do serious damage to the American economy. From the Washington Post:

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told President Obama on Thursday that he must agree to cut spending on federal agencies over the next two years and make significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid as part of a deal for raising the legal limit on government borrowing.
During a White House meeting with the entire Senate Republican caucus, McConnell (Ky.) told the president that the battle over the debt limit is a critical opportunity to overhaul the popular health-care entitlement programs, which are projected to be the biggest drivers of future borrowing.

This is chutzpah in its purest form. McConnell went from great defender of Medicare to threatening to take down the whole economy unless Democrats allow them to cut the program in the political blink of an eye.

I will say this, McConnell is another dude I would rather see wearing a hockey mask as well.  He just looks to me like an aged Chucky doll.  What do you think?

This next link is one way the Republicans can completely wipe out American History in schools instead of rewriting it…. House Bill Introduced to Eliminate Teaching American History Grants | History News Network

On May 13, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives that would eliminate the Teaching American History (TAH) grants program at the U.S. Department of Education. The bill (H.R. 1891), the “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act,” would terminate 43 K-12 federal education programs the House Republican leadership contends are wasteful, ineffective and duplicative.

Yup, give a Republican a knife and they will chop Kevin Bacon to pieces faster than Jason Voorhees did in the 1980 movie, Friday the 13th.

And here is the two articles that I referred to up top…wire hangers indeed!

Minnesota Planned Parenthood Condemns Proposed “Gag Rule” | RH Reality Check

The Minnesota legislature is continuing its efforts to defund reproductive health services for poor women. First trying to deny state-funded abortion coverage by pulling funds from Planned Parenthood, and now introducing a gag rule that would not only remove state funds from any abortion provider, even if the funds were not used for abortion, but would deny funds to any group that so much as gives a referral for or even mentions the word abortion.

Kansas Legislature Votes To Take Title X Money From Planned Parenthood, Give It to Pregnancy Centers | RH Reality Check

The Kansas legislature has passed a bill meant to defund Planned Parenthood by removing $334,000 in Title X funding meant to help low income women access reproductive health screenings and birth control.  The measure, as well as a full ban on any abortion coverage in any insurance policies in the state, continue to establish Kansas as one of the most anti-women’s health states in the country.

Alright, y’all know what I would say about these anti-woman bills in Minnesota and Kansas…I am just too tired and annoyed to type it out now.

Just a couple more…talking about Fox News, I wanted to bring this article from MoJo about foxes, to your attention.  Fantastic Foxes | Mother Jones

This species success story is therefore best seen outside of cities, in the remote habitats where the variations in fox’s biology can really be seen and appreciated. Though you may have to look hard to see them, as these “true foxes” of the deserts, mountains, tundras, and frozen worlds are kings of being coy.

Of the 37 species referred to as foxes, only 12 actually belong to the Vulpes genus of true foxes. One that fits into this category (but also that of its own genus) is the Arctic fox.

The Tibetan Fox is characterized by its soft, thick, red fur and long bushy tail with white tip.

…the Fennec fox. The smallest canid in the world, this animal’s entire body has adapted to cope with the extreme nature of its environment.

That Tibetan Fox sort of looks like McConnell too…

Okay, before I go…did you hear that Bush has talked about where he was when he got the call from Obama about Osama? It seems he was at a restaurant with Laura and some friends, chowing down on a cheese souffle.

Have a good Friday Night…and be sure to post any news links ya want to.