May 252014

I’m writing for tomorrow.  It’s safe to drink Portland water again, without treating it with alcohol. ;-)  I’m surprised that I functioned at all yesterday, as tired as I was.  Today, I still am a bit foggy.  It can be difficult to find interesting material on a holiday weekend.  Day 33.

Late (early) update:

I overslept again.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In April, the Mustang, Oklahoma school board announced they had voted to to implement a Bible course developed by the president of Hobby Lobby, Steve Green.

Daily Kos user ProgLegs shared the news report:

Mustang will be the only public school district in the state to pilot the program.  Green hopes the course, which teaches about the "narrative, history, and impact" of the Bible, will be in "hundreds" of schools in 2015 and thousands the year after.

Now new information has come to light that Hobby Lobby president Steve Green met privately with school board members, which appears to be a clear violation of the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act:

Authentic Christians respect the law. If their conscience demands they break it, they do so openly, standing ready to suffer the consequences for their protest, just as Jesus did. Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians consider themselves above the law they demand everyone else follows, while they violate it themselves in secret.

From NY Times: A man who had shot to death his four young children, for reasons known only to him, sat in the wooden chair reserved for him at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. His body was strapped tight and his head was freshly shaved, to enhance the conductivity.

I could see him, but he could not see me. We sat perhaps 30 feet apart, on opposite sides of a one-way glass partition that separated those who would walk away that September night in 2007 from one man who would not.

The electric chair had not been used in Tennessee since 1960, a reflection of a nation’s discomfort with a procedure that had come to be seen as gruesome, if not cruel. But the condemned man, Daryl Holton, 45, had been given a choice between lethal injection and electrocution. To the dismay of prison officials, he had chosen the latter — again, for reasons known only to him.

Perhaps he preferred the quicker torture of feeling his eyeballs fry and pop out to the longer term torture of feeling like his body is on fire for several minutes. What does this say about those who debate how we torture people to death instead of joining the civilized world community that has evolved beyond such barbarity?

From TPM: Earlier this week Rep. Ted Yoho’s (R-FL) 2012 comments surfaced. "I’ve had some radical ideas about voting and it’s probably not a good time to tell them, but you used to have to be a property owner to vote," he told a cheering audience.

Alexander Keyssar, Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard University and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network, weighed in on the multitude of reasons why Yoho (pictured, right) is just plain wrong:

Congressman Ted Yoho’s interest in re-imposing property requirements to vote is yet another sign of his party’s interest in rolling back two centuries of progress in American political life. Property requirements were, indeed, the norm for the first several decades of our history (as were gender and racial restrictions), but they were overturned almost everywhere by the middle of the nineteenth century.

Today’s Republican Party would like nothing better than kick both civil rights and voting rights back into the 1800s.



How long must we wait before more Republican 1% criminals are convicted?


  25 Responses to “Open Thread–5/25/2014”

  1. 3:05 I guess I took a tern for the worst or is it an erne?

  2. Glad you can drink the water safely again. Congrats on Day 33! You've made it over a major hump.

    Daily Kos ~ They hide their sins under the cover of darkness. They sneak around because they know what they're doing is wrong.

    NY Times ~ Who knows?

    TPM ~ They would also like to roll back workers' rights to the 1800s.

    Cartoon ~ Their punishment didn't really fit their crimes though.






    • It was actually day 34.  I missed a day.  Sadly, the cravings remain undeminisheds from day one.

      • There are actually some foods which help the cravings diminish. You can research it on the interwebs. Stay away from spicy foods. They increase cravings. Sunflower seeds abate them.

        I have a book "The Stop Smoking Diet" which is a great help.

  3. 4:49  Since it's a close cousin of the bald eagle, perhaps it was selected for Memorial Day weekend.

    Daily Kos – TC, your analysis is right on.  Not only Jesus but many of the apostles, some of whose stories we have in part, made that good.  This guy probably feels so persecuted he thinks he has a right to skulk in the catacombs.  But I suspect even then the catacombs were for cowards, or at most a temporary resting place.

    NY Times – I can't finish reading this, and I have no personal standing.  Other comments including those on Care2 are all good.

    TPM – Yes, and they gave away free land (tautology, I know, but for emphasis) to increase suffrage.  Is Yoho prepared to give lamd away?  Bur you can't say it was consistent.  Women who owned proprty in their own name still couldn't vote.  And once you start restricting voting to property holders, what's to stop you from couning the votes proportionatly to the amount of property owned?  Pfui. (But the Franklin quote is the best.)

    Cartoon – I'm not sure it could ever have been enough.

  4. Daily Kos – you've hit the nail on the head again TC "Authentic Christians respect the law. If their conscience demands they break it, they do so openly, standing ready to suffer the consequences for their protest, just as Jesus did. Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians consider themselves above the law they demand everyone else follows, while they violate it themselves in secret."  That is one of the defining differences between us and them. 

    TPM – Yoho does indeed sound like a yoyo – what is he doing, running on fumes?  The times that people had to be property owners (and all male and white) in order to vote were in the mid 1800s.  Earlier today I was looking up suffragettes on the net having just learned from watching Sir Tony Robinson's recent series 'Time Walks' around cities in Australia that Adelaide allowed women to vote earlier than anyone else – I think it was 1895 – patently yoyo wants us to go back to before those times, back to sweat shops for just about everyone, no free education for children and no health care, freely adulterated food… strewth!



  5. NY TIMES:
    George Carlin – Death Penalty in 1996, 18 years ago.

    Text & video:

    VIDEO only:


    May 25, 2006: Enron Execs Guilty
    Enron execs Ken Lay (L) and Jeffrey Skilling (R) are convicted of fraud and conspiracy.

    ARTICLE: Enron Chiefs Guilty of Fraud and Conspiracy:

    HISTORY text: Trial of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling


  7. Puzzle — 2:55  My meditation guide is a bald eagle, a close cousin to this sea eagle.  I have actually, through meditation, ridden on the back of an eagle as it soared over a river valley, lush with tall pines and fir trees. Very cool experience.

    Daily Kos — This course of Green's, so surreptitiously slid under the school room door, in my mind violates the first amendment providing for the separation of church and state.  So, if a child refuses to participate in this "unconstitutional course", could they be failed?  Not only did Green violate the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act, but he appears to have violated the US Constitution as well.  I'd love to see this guy up on charges but I doubt that will ever happen.  So Republicanus/Teabaggerish!

    NY Times — The situation beggars the question "Why?"  But there will never be any answers now.  There is no question that killing is barbaric, whether done as a crime or done as a punishment for a crime.  In December 1962, Canada executed it's last felon.  After that, there were no executions and capital punishment was abolished in July 1976.  Between those 2 dates, all capital punishment cases were commuted as a matter of policy.  In total from 1759 until 1962, 1,481 people were sentenced to death, with 710 executed.

    There is a petition for a moratorium on capital punishment in the US at

    "Many human rights activists are seeing the death penalty as capricious and cruel after witnessing Lockett’s death. If you believe the United States Supreme should place a moratorium on the death penalty, sign this petition."

    TPM — Republicanus/Teabagger = DINOSAUR!  (My apologies to animals called dinosaurs!)  Paleontologists will probably hang me from my heels for that comparison.  The GOP would I think jump with glee at the social order being moved back 200 years.  It is time for a big change . . . vote out all Republicanus/Teabaggers possible in the 2014 midterms!  The only good Republicanus/Teabagger is a permanently politically unemployed one.

    Cartoon — Ah, the bad boys of Enron . . . executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were found criminally guilty for their role in the demise of the now-defunct energy-trading firm. 

    From Wikipedia

    "At the end of 2001, it was revealed that its reported financial condition was sustained substantially by an institutionalized, systematic, and creatively planned accounting fraud, known since as the Enron scandal. Enron has since become a well-known example of willful corporate fraud and corruption. The scandal also brought into question the accounting practices and activities of many corporations in the United States and was a factor in the creation of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002. "

    I remember the fall out from this fraud all too well — it kept me employed!  I was in charge of reviewing and implementing changes to our processes and procedures in our large department so as to be in compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley.  All Canadian firms doing business in the US had to comply or risk criminal charges. 

  8. Just a note WRT the sad – very sad – mass shootings in Santa Barbara.

    No matter how you slice it or dice it, once again, as always …


    It comes back to GUNS


  9. I hope you get some rest soon. You have to  with COPD.

    Daily Kos:  As a former patron of Hobby Lobby, I am appalled at their behavior. I really liked their store, but will not buy from them again.  While they were protesting having to provide birth control for their employees being against their religious convictions, they failed to report that they owned stock in companies that make Abortion supplies. Hmmm.  Don't prevent them from getting here, just get rid of them if they do, and certainly don't take care of them after they are born.  Now let us indoctrinate school children in our beliefs, too.  Good grief.

    NY Times:  The death penalty needs to be ended, period.  We cannot cry about other countries who commit atrocities agains their citizens as long as we are putting ours to death.

    TPM:  Why else would Citizens United be in existence?  The Republican aim is for the elite, 1% to contol all the rest of us, just as royalty controlled serfs in the middle ages.  How anyone who is poor or middle class could vote Republican just boggles my mind.

    Cartoon:  It looks like we will be waiting a long time for any more of them to be convicted.  Our courts are balanced in their favor.  Re;  a recent child molester not sent to prison because his life style was not conducive to it, and a rich teen who was released because his wealth made him incapable of realizing he was doing wrong.  How did we got to this point?

    • QAmedn to all here too, Edie!

    • Edie, your summary on the rich teen is right on, but on the child molester, though I can't prove it, I believe the judge made that decision with extreme distaste because she did not want the state (meaning ALL the taxpayers) to become financially liable when (not if) the offender was raped and murdered in prison and the very wealthy family sued with all the resources at their disposal.  Not such an easy decision and I suspect she has nightmares.

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