Sunday Reads: Put the clock back…and shake a tail feather?

871feea0f3f2230ebd5195db612a464bGood Morning

Hey, did you remember to turn your clock back an hour?

This “fall back” time change is always much easier on me personally…springing ahead for daylight savings time in Spring is a living hell that first 48 hours.  I really wish we could remain like this always, but whatever…let’s just get the post started already.

Hey, since I’ve started with the clock thing, this cartoon that was used over at Daily Banter seemed like a perfect choice: Turn The Clocks Back |


Artist – Tom Stiglich

If you want to check out the latest info on the LAX shooting, that link to DB refers to this article from the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Hatewatch Exclusive: Alleged LAX Shooter Referenced ‘Patriot’ Conspiracy Theories | Hatewatch

The 23-year-old man who allegedly killed a TSA official at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday was carrying a one-page “manifesto” that included references to the “New World Order,” the Federal Reserve and “fiat currency,” according to a knowledgeable source with ranking law enforcement contacts.

Paul Anthony Ciancia, who allegedly wounded three other TSA workers before being shot and critically wounded himself, also expressed antagonism toward the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its chief until she resigned in August, Janet Napolitano, the source said. Ciancia’s note called former Secretary Napolitano a “bull dyke” and contained the phrase “FU Janet Napolitano,” the source said.

Ciancia’s language and references seemed to put him squarely in the conspiracy-minded world of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. The New World Order refers to a longstanding conspiracy theory that today, in its most popular iteration, claims that global elites are plotting to form a socialistic “one-world government” that would crush American freedoms. Often, the root of the alleged conspiracy is traced to the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve and the adoption of fiat currency — paper money that is not backed by gold, as it was once was in the U.S.

More details at the link.

Other recent updates on the LAX shooting:

LAX Suspect Set out to Kill Multiple TSA Officers – ABC News

At Los Angeles International Airport, Two Lives Collide in a Fatal Instant –

It sounds like Ciancia was part of the crazy that can be found in the following links:

Conspiracy Theory | | Liberal Politics Blog and Podcast | We Cover the World

Apparently the San Antonio Tea Party is convinced that designating the Alamo as a World Heritage site actually means the U.N. is going to take over.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson had to calm fears this week after the former president of the local Tea Party warned that the U.N. may usurp their beloved landmark.

George Rodriguez, former president of the San Antonio Tea Party, stirred up rumors in a piece titled ‘The New Battle of the Alamo.’

Rodriguez said Wednesday that he never stated that the U.N. would take control, but that he merely provided a “cautionary tale.”

“I’m just constantly saying ‘may’ or ‘might,’” he explained. “I’m never once saying that this is going to happen. We need to be aware.”

The U.N. ‘may’ or ‘might’ take over the Alamo. And monkeys may or might fly out of Rodriguez’s ass. We need to be aware.

Let’s assume for a moment that the U.N. actually was poised to take over the Alamo.

What would they do with it? Would they plant a Mexican flag on top of it just to stick a finger in the eye of Real Americans as the U.N is wont to do?

Where did Rodriquez get these crazy ideas?

A similar version was posted Tuesday on, a website linked to radio talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who spoke at an Oct. 19 gun-rights rally at the Alamo.

That would be the same Alex Jones who influenced the LAX shooter (New World Order phrases and other connections coming to light.) There is also some info about Beck influencing Ciania as well…but to get back to the other crazies.

This next link is via Susie Madrak » Blog Archive » Hot Springs, Arkansas :

You have to read this entire post to fully appreciate it. I will post the last paragraph…but go read the whole post. Bilgrimage: How’s That Shutdown Thing Playing in the Heartland? I Have a Story for You

If you think that Republicans have learned their lesson from the recent shutdown and now understand that pulling ugly tricks like shutting down the federal government to score political points is immature, irrational, dysfunctional, and harmful even to those who wanted the shutdown, I suggest that you think again. And that you visit the springs at the national park in Hot Springs, and listen a while to the hair-raising earful you’ll hear from the very angry, out-of-control white christianists who form the backbone of the Republican party now in places like Hot Springs, Arkansas.

You might learn something. Though you might not like what you learn.

I have to agree with that statement…because I may not be living in Hot Springs, but here in Banjoville I hear the same thing…the Republicans have not learned a thing from the shutdown. And every word spoken from those assholes at that park could have come from the mouths of the folks that live around here in my redneck of the woods. It is a scary thing.

One more link on the GOP: Scrooge Republicans prefer Pentagon White Elephants to Food Stamps for Poor Children | Informed Comment

As of today, Republican cuts in food stamp support present a challenged nearly 23 million American households in keeping their children from hunger. Some 76% of SNAP or food stamp-receiving households include children, the elderly or a disabled person, and 83% of all SNAP assistance goes to such challenged households. The image of a single male lying on a couch drinking beer bought with food stamps is just cheap Scrooge propaganda.

Note that these families are in dire straits not because they are lazy but because Republican lawmakers reduced regulation and oversight of Wall Street banks and investment companies, who promptly engaged in unwise or illegal practices that crashed the US economy in 2008 and after. There has been no recovery to speak of for the non-rich since. Americans who resort to food stamps have increased by 25% in the past four years. So these struggling American families are being punished by the GOP twice– many of them lost their jobs because of bad banking practices or because the Bush economic downturn. And now the minor amelioration of their condition offered by the US government has been cut back.

These are the actions of a Scrooge ruling class, of mean rich white people (though in fact the majority of recipients of food stamps are also white). The same GOP congressmen ran up huge budget deficits for the benefit of their constituencies in the Bush era, and wasted over a trillion dollars on wars of aggression abroad, but now all of a sudden are interested in balanced budgets and austerity.

No surprise with that one, Juan Cole continues that post with breakdowns on just where Congress could have found the money to avoid the cutbacks on SNAP funds.

I think we should take a page out of the history books and pick some new nicknames for these assholes in Congress. Alfonso the Slobberer and Ivar the Boneless: Worst Nicknames for Medieval Rulers

Medieval kings and rulers often got nicknames. If you were lucky, you would be called the Good, the Great, or the Hammer (honourable mention goes to John II, Duke of Cleves, who got nickname the Babymaker for having fathered 63 illegitimate children). Those monarchs who didn’t perform as well might get the name the Bad, the Cruel, or the Mad.

However, a few men from the Middle Ages had rather unusual nicknames, and probably ones they really didn’t want. Here is our list of the top ten worst nicknames given to medieval rulers.

Alfonso the Slobberer

Alfonso IX, King of León and Galicia – he was a fairly successful ruler of the northern part of Iberia during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, managing to stay on the throne for 42 years. However, the North African scholar Ibn Khaldun noted that he was called Baboso or the Slobberer because he would foam at the mouth whenever he got upset.

That is funny…There are some good names to choose from, my favorite has to be this one, for say Ted Cruz:

Constantine the Name of Shit

Constantine V was the Byzantine emperor from 741 to 775, but his harsh stand against the use of icons in the Christian church earned him many critics. They gave him the nickname Kopronymos, which means ‘Name of Shit’, allegedly because when Constantine was an infant be defecated in the baptismal font.

Although, it would not be from shitting in the bath water…it would be from spewing so much bullshit from his mouth!

Okay, one more “history link” for you, this time from LG&M: Mapping Civil War Syphilis

This 1875 map charting syphilis in the Union during the Civil War is awesome. Not sure what was going on in upstate New York, but it seems like a scary place to have sex in the 1860s.

Damn, high numbers upstate New York and in areas of Kentucky. More here: Syphilis: A map of the disease during the Civil War.

This map, printed in 1875 by the Army’s Provost Marshal General’s office, uses data gleaned from the Union Army draft during the Civil War to show the prevalence of syphilis across various Union states. An early attempt to track disease using cartography, the map took advantage of the wealth of data provided by conscription examinations. It cannot trace causes of outbreaks but does succeed in highlighting the locations that yielded up highly syphilitic male populations (Waukesha, Wis.; Lexington, Ky.; and Boston, among others).


An 1864 Manual of Instructions for Enlisting and Discharging Soldiers, issued by the assistant surgeon of the U.S. Army, instructed examining physicians to reject all sufferers who had shown signs of syphilitic infection through “eruptions of the skin and mucus membranes.” “The constitutional infection,” the surgeon wrote, “is almost never cured, and will be surely roused into activity by the exposure and unfavorable hygienic conditions to which the soldier is subjected.”

Elsewhere in the report that contains this map, a chart compared draftees’ syphilitic status to other factors, some of them seemingly more related than others: “social condition” (many more single men than married were sufferers); “complexion” (“light” was more syphilitic than “dark”); age (those between 20 and 25 were most at risk); height (incomprehensibly, being between 63 and 67 inches was a slight risk factor); and “nativity” (South Americans, “Spanish,” and Mexicans were recorded as most commonly infected).


Another blog post of interest for many of you: Cross Post – 13 Myths Hollywood Uses to Hide Discrimination Against Women Directors | Women and Hollywood I will just put up the last five…

5. It’s okay for women to direct small, independent femme-themed films, but men can handle all genres. And women certainly can’t be trusted with big budget features or episodic television, even if they are female driven stories.

Women can too! It’s risible and hypocritical that almost all female driven stories are directed by men.

6. It’s okay to say “We don’t hire women on this show” (we hear it all the time), but it’s not okay to say “We don’t hire African Americans/Asians/Latinos, etc… on this show.”

Just think about that for a minute…

7. Women studio executives are helping hire more women film and television directors.

There are more women studio executives today than ever, but fewer women directors. Sony’s Amy Pascal could only conjure up the name of ONE women director when asked recently, and even remembering Kathryn Bigelow seemed to require some strained mental effort.

8. The Director’s Guild of America really wants to help increase employment opportunities for its women members.

That’s why the ratio of male to female directors has remained in stasis for over two decades. The DGA is the organization charged with oversight of studio compliance of studio agreements to hire more women in accordance with U.S. civil rights laws.

9. In America, we protect freedom of speech–women can speak out about discrimination in the film & TV industry without FEAR of reprisals.

The #1 reason women do not speak out about discrimination in Hollywood is that they are afraid of getting BLACKLISTED.

10. America has a higher ratio of women directors than other nations around the world.

Almost all other countries in the world honor women directors more than the United States of America.

11. Women directors are not successful because they don’t know how to get organized.

That sometimes seems true. But women did manage to get the right to vote in America after several hundred years of fighting for suffrage.

12. Hollywood has lots of wonderful diversity programs that help women break in to directing.

Not true. And over 20 years of failed Guild diversity programs have resulted in NO CHANGE in the ratios of women directors.

13. Women directors succeed or fail based on merit and their films will get good reviews and big budgets for marketing & distribution if their films are good.

Not true. Recent studies prove that since 80% of film critics are males, reviews of women’s films are disproportionately harsh. Women’s features suffer from disproportionately low P&A budgets, and on average, open on many fewer screens.

Oh wait, that was seven…couldn’t help it, as those were the big ones in that important list.

The last link for today deals with dog tails…Wag The Dog: How Your Pet’s Tail Gives Clues To His Mental State

You might think a dog with a wagging tail is always a happy dog, but it might not actually be that simple. New research suggests that dogs react differently to other dogs’ tail wags, depending on if the tail flips primarily to the right or the left side.

What seems like a subtle difference, as shown in the video below, may end up carrying a lot of meaning:

A new study from a group of Italian researchers, published on Thursday in the journal Current Biology, builds upon the authors’ previous work on tail-wagging. In a 2007 study, the researchers examined the difference between a dog’s tail-wagging responses when confronted with his or her owner, an unfamiliar person, a strange and dominant dog, and a cat. They noticed that the dogs tended to swish their tails more to the right when interacting with people, or a cat; when interacting with a strange dog, they tended to wag to the left. The researchers suspected that dogs wag to the left when experiencing negative emotions (anxiety at being confronted with a dominant dog) and wag to the right when experiencing more-positive sensations (excitement at seeing their owner or a cat to potentially chase).

It is a bit difficult to determine the left or right tail wag, but if you go to the link and read on it describes how the scientist did the study and explains more about their findings.

What I want to know is, what if you have a pug…that has a tight curled-up ball of a tail? My pug Brutus would hardly wag his tail, it would just barely move…like someone stuck a Cinnabun on his ass and it would pathetically limp over a centimeter from side to side once in a while.

Y’all have a great Sunday, and tell us…what’s going on in your world this morning?


Sunday Reads: Quick Picks

il_fullxfull.304431111Good Morning

Oh, what a wonderful lunch I had yesterday with that most awesome Wonking woman Mona! In fact, the day was filled with so much energy and enthusiasm, it was difficult to fall asleep…as you can see…I ended up sleeping late…so I will just give you two quick links now and  post another thread later this morning.

I mentioned this article to Mona yesterday during our lunch, but I could not remember the name of the douche-bag who was talking up the benefits of selective breeding at this latest Tea Party meeting: That Awkward Moment When The Tea Party Rally Gets Overtly Racist

Earlier this week, tea party activists and GOP lawmakers gathered near the Capitol to rail against an immigration reform bill passed by the Senate.

While the event was linked to a number of controversial figures, including an organizer who has argued for eugenics and called African-Americans a “retrograde species,” that didn’t deter Republicans like Rep. Steve King (Iowa) and Sens. Jeff Sessions (Ala.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) from showing up to join the chorus against a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

When Ken Crow — a co-founder of the Tea Party Community — stepped up to the microphone, however, George Zornick of The Nation said he was taken aback by the talk of “breeding” and racial purity that followed.

You can actually watch the video of this crap at the HuffPo link above, but here is a little transcript to give you a taste:

The transcript:

From those incredible blood lines of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and John Smith. And all these great Americans, Martin Luther King. These great Americans who built this country. You came from them. And the unique thing about being from that part of the world, when you learn about breeding, you learn that you cannot breed Secretariat to a donkey and expect to win the Kentucky Derby. You guys have incredible DNA and don’t forget it.

Click over to The Nation for more.

UPDATE: The Center for Immigration Studies, the nativist group that organized Monday’s rally, has posted Crow’s entire speech online. It includes a reference to the Bill Pullman’s iconic speech in the 1996 blockbuster “Independence Day.” Watch it here.

Ah…yup…the douche-bag was Ken Crow…damn, I should have remembered that shithead’s name.

Over at Gin and Tacos, please read this post, it is interesting as hell, about where all the unclaimed dead get buried in New York City… NPF: POTTER’S FIELD | Gin and Tacos

We don’t like to think of things concerning death very often, especially the nasty technicalities of disposing of human remains. A few years ago I read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (10/10 should read) which offers a good deal of insight on this morbid topic. I was reading it on a flight to New York City; as we were landing, a fellow passenger pointed out the gargantuan Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, once considered the largest man-made structure on Earth. It was aerial sightseeing at its finest. It struck me just how much garbage a city the size of NYC must produce.

And then I thought back to Stiff and wondered, with its enormous and highly transient population, how many dead bodies New York generates. Processing the dead probably happens there much as it does anywhere else, with the vast majority ending up in cemeteries, crematoria, and so on. But certainly big cities must have to deal with an above-average number of unclaimed and unidentified bodies as well. So I did a tiny amount of research and learned about Hart Island, which is apparently the largest publicly-funded cemetery in the world. Hart Island is where all of the unclaimed (or indigent) dead in New York City end up for more than a century.

It’s not in the tourist guides.

It is estimated that Hart Island contains well over 1 million bodies, having been used to inter bodies from the public hospitals and morgues since 1869, when it was sold by the Army (who were also using it as a cemetery) to the City. Until 1913 remains were buried in mass graves. Today they are buried (by Riker’s Island inmates, formerly conscripted but who are now paid prison wage for the labor) in rows of 25 in thin pine boxes. These “trenches” are re-used after forty to fifty years, by which time the previous boxes (and occupants) have decomposed almost completely. That’s 140-plus years of New York City’s dead, literally buried atop one another. If you’ve ever wondered what hospitals do with amputated limbs, well…in New York they end up on Hart Island. In special small boxes marked LIMBS. I’m not suggesting that this is inappropriate; personally I don’t think it matters what is done with the remains of the dead. I’m simply amazed by the quantity of people who have ended up in this one modestly sized cemetery – and the literal layers of social and human history found on that island.

More at the link, and this G&T post also has links to other websites and books where you can find more information.

Okay, see you a bit later on this morning…just treat this as an open thread.