Sunday Reads: Hoods in the Hood…

Good morning…

I am just too disgusted to write much this morning. The KKK was in town yesterday, and of course it created a scene in my home. Sorry, but I am very vocal about things…and like many of you know, I get very passionate about what I think is right.  The same goes for what I think is wrong. And hate, bigotry, racism and intolerance are wrong. Especially when they come under the cowardice of a white hood. So I will speak my mind, and if it upsets anyone, so be it.

The KKK in Union County Georgia…Blairsville.

This image is not, LOL funny. And  to see it being “liked” by my kid’s school friends is too disturbing for me to let pass without making a comment on what these hoods represent.  I should not have to apologize for simply putting a link on a facebook photo to educate these kids as to what the KKK stands for.   If you sit back and ignore it, simply because it does not affect you personally, then you are complacent in the hateful actions this group participates and supports.

So, with that said…here are your morning links.

Let us start of with a bit of history. Annals of Settler Colonialism: British Atrocities in Post-War Kenya | Informed Comment

The anti-colonial movement in Kenya of the 1950s was mythologized by the British as a shadowy ‘Mau-Mau,’ an irrational outbreak of aimless hatred.

In fact, the movement was protesting the confinement of Kenyans to ‘reserves,’ their crowding into urban slums, the privileged position of white British settlers, and the latters’ plan to go on ruling over 6 million Africans with an iron fist.

From colonial Kenya to the Viking explorations: Explaining Viking Expansion

Abstract: Current scholarship regarding Scandinavia has neglected to give all but a cursory glance at the factors involved in Viking expansion. This thesis studies and explains employment opportunities, political motives, and societal norms as separate, individual motives that perpetuated Scandinavian migration, conquest, and adventure from the eighth through the eleventh centuries AD. Afterwards, these investigations are used to describe the various and sometimes conflicting forces of expansion that led to the formation of the Danelaw in England circa AD 870. Over time, the eventual adoption of Christianity and feudal relationships within Scandinavia would bring expansion as well as the Viking Age to a close.

In another section of Medieval History, this time The Fall of the Angevin Empire

On July 30th, 1202, King John was at Le Mans when a messenger arrived bearing desperate news. His mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, the grand old lady of twelfth-century politics, had been trapped at Mirebeau and was on the point of falling into the hands of his enemies, headed by his nephew, Arthur of Brittany. Between Le Mans and Mirebeau in Poitou lay nearly 100 miles of twelfth-century roads. Forty-eight hours later, at dawn on August 1st, Arthur and his followers, having forced their way into the castle and driven Eleanor back into the keep, the last refuge, were enjoying a relaxed breakfast – pigeons were on the menu that day- secure in the belief that John was still far away, when their quiet meal was rudely interrupted by the sudden arrival of Eleanor’s royal son. They went for their weapons and did their best to put up some show of resistance. But it was too late. The cat was already among the pigeons.

By thinking and acting faster than they had imagined possible, John had turned the tables on his enemies. Now it was they who were in the trap and not one of them escaped. More than 200 knights were captured, half a dozen barons and, best of all, Arthur himself. John Lackland, once the runt of the Plantagenet litter, had defeated his enemies more decisively than ever his father or even his warrior brother, Richard the Lionheart, had been able to do. It was a magnificent victory. ‘God be praised for our happy success’, he wrote in exultation.

Click here to read this article from History Today

In Russia, an 11-year-old  boy stumbles upon woolly mammoth find of the century:

A handout photo provided by the International Mammoth Committee shows the remains of mammoth found a few kilometers away from the Sopkarga polar station in the Taimyr Peninsula.  (AFP Photo)

An 11-year-old boy from Russia’s north has stumbled upon a well-preserved woolly mammoth, in what scientists describe as the best such discovery since 1901.

Yevgeny Salinder, whose family lives near a polar station in the northern Taimyr Peninsula, discovered the frozen animal when he was strolling along the banks of the Yenisei River in late August.

“He sensed an unpleasant odour and saw something sticking out of the ground — it was the mammoth’s heels,” said Alexei Tikhonov, director of the Saint Petersburg-based Zoological Museum, who rushed to the tundra after the boy’s family had notified scientists of the historic find.

Tikhonov said the mammoth had died aged 15-16 around 30,000 years ago, adding his tusk, skin, an eye and an ear were clearly visible.

“His one-metre-long penis is also intact so we can conclude that this was a male,” Tikhonov told AFP.

Tikhonov said it was the best preserved adult mammoth discovered in more than 100 years.

“So far we can say it is the mammoth of the century,” Tikhonov said.

I am so upset about this KKK thing that I can’t even make a joke about a 3-foot long penis.

This next link is particularly interesting, because it deals with film and fashion. The Victoria and Albert Museum: The Fantasy and Frippery Inside the World’s Greatest Wardrobe

V&A Costumes
From the exhibition “Hollywood Costume,” at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Cate Blanchett’s regalia from Elizabeth, Charlie Chaplin’s getup from The Tramp, Kate Winslet’s ship-boarding ensemble from Titanic, Christian Bale’s Batman suit from The Dark Knight Rises, Meryl Streep’s coat from Out of Africa, Brad Pitt’s Fight Club outfit, Ginger Rogers’s dress from Lady in the Dark, Marilyn Monroe’s fur stole and sequined shift from Some Like It Hot, Judy Garland’s “Dorothy” dress from The Wizard of Oz, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Elizabethan frock from Shakespeare in Love.

‘You can’t have a great movie without the costumes’ being great,” declares costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis, the senior guest curator of the exhibition “Hollywood Costume,” which opens this month at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London. Landis and her team have spent more than five years searching out and gathering together 130 of the most unforgettable costumes designed for characters over a century of filmmaking. “Hollywood Costume” explores what an essential tool costume is in cinema storytelling and how intricate the relationship is between designer, actor, and director from script to screen.

“We most succeed when we’re most invisible,” explains Landis. “I want the audience to be fully immersed in the movie. I’m so not interested in the clothes—they’re so surface. I only care about the characters.” The exhibition will unite classics from the golden age, including iconic looks such as Scarlett O’Hara’s green velvet “curtain” dress from Gone with the Wind and Dorothy’s blue-and-white gingham pinafore from The Wizard of Oz, designed by Adrian (and made on a treadle sewing machine, as if by Auntie Em).

Read more and watch a video of the exhibit at the link.

One more, this is an update on the Voyager 1 probe, by Eric Berger SciGuy » More evidence that Voyager has exited the solar system

Something very, very interesting is happening with Voyager 1, the human probe that’s the very farthest from Earth.

New data from the spacecraft, which I will discuss below, indicate Voyager 1 may have exited the solar system for good. If true, this would mark a truly historic moment for the human race — sending a spacecraft beyond the edge of our home solar system.

The visual graphs on this article are amazing…check it out:

there has been a dramatic and sustained drop in charged particles (principally protons) originating from the Sun that have struck the spacecraft.

And by dramatic, I mean dramatic. Here’s how it looks:

Rate at which Voyager 1 is being bombarded by particles such as protons. (NASA)

See what I mean, isn’t that impressive. The graph even looks like a barrier of some sort. Please, go to the link and look at more information and possible proof that Voyager has moved on out of our solar system.

Just a side note… the link was picked up by Drudge, and it is unfortunate that these right-wing assholes have to make they typical comments.  You can see how the discussion is ruined by these people ugh…anyway…

I will try and post some morning news links in the comments. Maybe I will be more calm and collected in the morning when I wake up…but I am not guaranteeing it.

Well, it is almost 6 a.m. and I still feel grumpy. However, there is hope because I found something to laugh at.  SNL had a couple of good skits last night. I have to post this one with Big Bird, Big Bird Responds To Mitt Romney On SNL video at the link.

And this promo for the special Bond disk set, including  Highlights Some Of The Lesser Known Bond Girls.

Penny Marshall in Quantum of Leap, “I’ve been waiting all afternoon for you…Unzip my fly and go to town.”

Evening Labor Day News De jour: Requiem for Obama Jobs and Remembering Lee Roy

Happy Labor Day, it has been a soggy one for us in Banjoland. A few links for you to chew on this evening.

At Detroit rally, few signs of Obama-labor rift – Matt Negrin –

President Barack Obama’s Labor Day speech to workers in Detroit wasn’t an official part of his reelection campaign, but that didn’t stop a fiery crowd of supporters from chanting “four more years” throughout it.

Obama was expected to preview the jobs speech he’s scheduled to deliver later this week, though he told his supporters on Monday that he “didn’t want to give everything away right here, because I want you all to tune in on Thursday.”

Four more years, ah…idiots on parade! Don’t think the country can take four more years of “heck” as Obama calls it.  My, he is sounding like one of the “good Christians” that don’t curse.

Obama is also setting up to fail, as usual.  I still say that he may blame the GOP all he wants, he is still doing exactly what he wants to.  He is no Democrat.  Obama: Times are tough “but we’re tougher” – CBS News

President Barack Obama called for an end to “Washington games” and for Congressional Republicans to support initiatives to promote job creation benefiting the middle class.

Speaking to a Labor Day rally in Detroit, a city he said had been “to heck and back,” Mr. Obama challenged Congressional Republicans to put the country ahead of party.

In a preview of his speech Thursday to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Obama proposed boosting construction and infrastructure projects – and included some finger-wagging at critics. “We have more than one million unemployed construction workers ready to get dirty right now,” he said. “Labor’s on board and businesses [are] on board. We just need Congress to get on board.”


“After all the unions have done to build and protect the middle class, you have got people trying to claim that you’re responsible for the problems middle class folks are facing. You have got some Republicans saying you are the ones exploiting working families. Imagine that! The fact is, our economy is stronger when workers are getting paid good wages and good benefits. Our economy is stronger when we have broad-base growth and broad-based prosperity.”

He promised to continue to fight for workers’ rights. “Having a voice on the job and a chance to organize and a chance to negotiate for a fair day’s pay after a hard day’s work, that’s the right of every man and woman in America – not just the CEO in the corner office, but also the janitor that cleans that office after the CEO goes home. …

What a load of BULLSHIT! But wait it gets better…

“You ask somebody here if times are tough, they’ll say, ‘Yeah, it’s tough, but we’re tougher,'” he said. “Yes, times are tough. But we’ve been through tough times before. I don’t know about you, but I’m not scared of tough times. I’m not scared of tough times because I know we’re going to be all marching together and walking together and working together and rebuilding together and I know we don’t quit. I know we don’t give up our dreams and settle for something less.”

Settling for something less, for the working man, is what Obama does best.  His record on those rich CEO’s is well documented, for those “Fat Cats” are what Obama’s dreams are made of.

Obama says Congress must pass job program – Connecticut Post

Obama’s remarks came as he has been under heavy criticism from Republicans for presiding over a persistently weak economy and high unemployment. Last Friday’s dismal jobs report showed that employers added no jobs in August, the first time since 1945 that the government reported a net job change of zero. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, held steady at 9.1 percent.

We all have read personal stories of the tough times people are experiencing, I don’t think Obama really gets it.  Makes me think back to the that “slip” during the 2008 Primaries, but of course I think it was a true and accurate example of Obama’s real beliefs showing his elitist attitude…

At a San Francisco fund-raiser last week, Obama said voters fed up with the economic climate “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or antiimmigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

And remember what Hillary Clinton said about the “bitter” remark?

“Sen. Obama’s remarks were elitist and out of touch,” she said. “They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans.

“People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich,” said Clinton, whose campaign later rolled out a team of Pennsylvania mayors to bash Obama via conference call. “People don’t need a President who looks down on them.”

On to some weather news, Forecasters: Texas Wildfires Could Worsen Monday

Out-of-control wildfires burning in central Texas could spread Monday, officials warned, and weather conditions were ripe for new blazes to erupt.

The state saw cooler temperatures over the weekend than it had during its historically hot August, but strong, gusty winds and low humidity from Tropical Storm Lee caused numerous wildfires to spread rapidly Sunday. Forecasters said the outlook for Monday was just as dismal, or even worse.

“The combination of the dry brush, gusty winds, and low humidities will once again promote the fast growth and movement of wildfires,” the National Weather Service said in a statement.

The Texas Forest Service reported that it responded to 63 new fires — including 22 large ones — that burned nearly 33,000 acres (13,350 hectares) in total on Sunday alone.

I found these next two articles about Uganda and Kenya that may alarm some of you. Uganda: Parents Launch Bid to Pass Shelved Gays Bill

Parents under the Family Life Network and Uganda Coalition for Moral Values (UCMV) have opened a fresh campaign to force the government abandon economic and foreign policy considerations and pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.

Mobilising under the ‘Uganda National Parents Network,’ the “Pass the BILL Now Campaign” the parents addressed journalists in Kampala yesterday and outlined their course of action, following revelations lately that Cabinet had abandoned the bill owing to international pressure from donor countries.

“We urge you to do what is right even if it is not politically correct. Remember that your first obligation and loyalty should be to the citizens of Uganda and our children who are our future,” they urged government in a statement signed by Mr Steven Langa, the executive director Family Life Network.

I had hoped the lack of reporting on this Coalition for Moral Values meant that the group caved under pressure, of course I was wrong.

Mr Langa noted that they were dismayed to read in the press that Cabinet had succumbed to international pressure to drop the Bill. Mr David Bahati, the Ndorwa West MP, was the brainchild behind the private member’s Bill that eventually became a thorn in government’s foreign policy as donors opposed it.

“We sound a serious warning that we will recall any MP who betrays our children, our people and our nation,” Mr Langa warned, promising that parents would be organised for recall of MPs who betray this cause.

The just won’t give up will they?

In other disturbing news, Kenya: Visiting Doctor Alarmed By Cancer

Fifty out of every 100,000 Kenyan women die of cervical cancer each year because of lack of finances and proper sensitisation. In US, only two women die from cervical cancer in a year.

A US doctor Kay Taylor Gyn of Prevention International No Cervical Cancer said her country records the small number because there is a proper sensitisation mechanism. She was speaking at Kisii Level 5 Hospital during a screening exercise of 180 women.

Dr Gyn said the hospital had in partnership with PINCC been working to see that women are properly sensitised on the importance of early cervical cancer check up. “It is saddening to see 50 out of 100, 000 women in Kenya die from cancer annually compared to the US which records only two in the same period,” she said.

Sad indeed…

Back in the US, there is a growing concern among parents of those who have used sperm donors in their decision to have children.  One Sperm Donor, 150 Sons and Daughters –

Today there are 150 children, all conceived with sperm from one donor, in this group of half siblings, and more are on the way. “It’s wild when we see them all together — they all look alike,” said Ms. Daily, 48, a social worker in the Washington area who sometimes vacations with other families in her son’s group.

As more women choose to have babies on their own, and the number of children born through artificial insemination increases, outsize groups of donor siblings are starting to appear. While Ms. Daily’s group is among the largest, many others comprising 50 or more half siblings are cropping up on Web sites and in chat groups, where sperm donors are tagged with unique identifying numbers.

Now, there is growing concern among parents, donors and medical experts about potential negative consequences of having so many children fathered by the same donors, including the possibility that genes for rare diseases could be spread more widely through the population. Some experts are even calling attention to the increased odds of accidental incest between half sisters and half brothers, who often live close to one another.

“My daughter knows her donor’s number for this very reason,” said the mother of a teenager conceived via sperm donation in California who asked that her name be withheld to protect her daughter’s privacy. “She’s been in school with numerous kids who were born through donors. She’s had crushes on boys who are donor children. It’s become part of sex education” for her.

Wow, 150 kids and counting from one man…it is something to think about.

I want to end this post with a tribute to a man who passed away this weekend.  Remembering Lee Roy Selmon, Hall of Famer –

Lee Roy Selmon was one of the best all-around defensive ends in N.F.L. history. He excelled against the run and the pass, and did it modestly, without bringing attention to himself. Selmon died Sunday, two days after a stroke on Friday at his home in Tampa, Fla. He was 56.

“At halftime I told the coach my deepest secrets. I said I never wanted to be buried at sea. I never wanted to get hit in the mouth with a hockey puck, and I didn’t want to go out and play that second half against Lee Roy Selmon.”

Ted Albrecht, offensive tackle, Chicago Bears (from Paul Zimmerman, “The New Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football”, Simon and Schuster, 1984)

Lee Roy was a very good person, my father used to work for him for many years when we lived in Tampa.

Selmon was genuinely modest and humble. In accepting his many honors and awards, he always shared the credit with others. At his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where he was presented by his brother Dewey, Selmon looked out at his former teammates and said: “I know it’s not me. It’s an us and a we.”

Selmon was also an important contributor to my alma mater’s football team, he was part of the reason USF has the successful football program it has today.  An emotional USF win, for all kinds of reasons |

USF athletic director Doug Woolard stood and talked about his friend Lee Roy Selmon, about a one-hour chat they had Thursday afternoon. Lee Roy was excited.

He never played at Notre Dame, or against Notre Dame, when he was at the University of Oklahoma

“He was really excited about coming here. And he was planning on coming up today to be part of this,” Woolard said. “When he was talking about how excited he was, how glad that we had the opportunity to schedule this game, I said, ‘Lee Roy, I couldn’t have schedule this game without Lee Roy Selmon, as we probably wouldn’t have had football at USF without what you did to bring football here.’ ”

South Florida football came into being 14 years ago. It came to South Bend on Saturday. It beat Notre Dame.

The Bulls did it for themselves, and their head coach, and their fans and their school.

And for that number on their helmets. After all, Lee Roy wanted them to win.

Here’s to Lee Roy… I hope his spirit continues to inspire more USF wins, I hope the Bulls “do it” for the big man, Lee Roy Selmon.

I hope everyone is having a safe day today.