Aug 212016
 

It looks like we have three days in the high 70°s, before the excessive heat returns to Portland on Wednesday.  We had our blog’s fantasy football draft yesterday.  By lot, I drafted last.  Even though, it was the worst position, I think I did well.  Wendy just left, and I feel so clean.  I was getting really stinky.  Tomorrow I have a routine appointment with my Podiatrist, so please expect no more than a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:23.  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Donald Trump is heading to November like a certain zeppelin heading to New Jersey, in a darkening sky that crackles with electricity. He is fighting crosswinds and trying new tacks — hiring the head of Breitbart News to run his campaign, trying on a new emotion (regret) in a speech on Thursday night, promising to talk more this week about immigration, his prime subject. There’s still no telling what will happen when the gasbag reaches the mooring.

It could be that the polls are right, and Mr. Trump will go down in flames. But while that will solve an immediate problem, a larger one will remain. The message of hatred and paranoia that is inciting millions of voters will outlast the messenger. The toxic effects of Trumpism will have to be addressed.

In this case, I disagree with the Gray Lady. Trump is the symptom, not the disease. Racial hatred is not Trumpism, nor is Rump Dump even it’s messenger. Racial hatred is Republicanism. And Trump is just the disobedient parrot of that message, as he squawks when he’s supposed to be dog whistling.

From PoliticusUSA: Yes. It is true. Conservatives are freaking out because lesbians can be farmers too. And apparently there is something wrong with that. What has them all worked up is the “Iowa LGBT Rural Summit,” which took place on August 18 at Drake Law School. To make matters worse, the summit was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which joined with the National Center for Lesbian Rights…

…So yeah. Pretty scary stuff for right wingers who can never find enough stuff about which to be frightened. Rush Limbaugh launched into one of his famously incoherent rants over it, exclaiming,

“Have you heard the latest Democrat scam? Have you heard about the Agriculture Department’s financial grants to lesbian farmers? You think I’m making this up? See, this is how they do it.”

Dang!! I’d better check to make sure my breakfast cereal doesn’t have a wet spot! Seriously, I could not make this stuff up!!!

From The Oregonian: It looks like Donald Trump won’t be coming to Portland, after all.

The Republican presidential nominee on Saturday canceled his plans to appear at a fundraiser in the city and a public appearance that was slated for the same day. Trump’s Oregon campaign manager, Jacob Daniels, told OPB that the nominee’s schedule was adjusted to omit the Portland appearance after a visit to Louisiana.

Woooo Hoooo!! This proves that there is a God!! Winking smile

Cartoon:

0821Cartoon

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 12:04 am  Politics
Aug 202016
 
furies

I have two items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

First stop Raleigh, North Carolina, where a family in the Neuse Crossing neighborhood was having a y'all come party, and a neighbor (and probable Trump voter) named Chad Copley was having hallucinations.  If our nation had appropriate understanding of mental health issues like hallucinations, and adequate ways to treat said hallucinator without continuing to endanger the neighborhood, I might not be telling this story to the Furies.  But, with things as they are, I see no alternative.

So let's talk about Copley's hallucinations.  To begin with, he hallucinated that there was a Neighborhood Watch program in his neighborhood, and that he was in it, and on duty,

…residents and a manager of the Neuse Crossing Homeowners Association say the neighborhood where the fatal shooting happened does not have a neighborhood watch. And police say that where homeowners do organize neighborhood watch programs they are told to call 911 when they see suspicious or criminal activity, rather than take matters into their own hands.

Then, he hallucinated that guests at the party two doors away were "racing up and down the street," that they were armed, and that "there's some devil in them."

Jalen Lewis, who hosted a party at his home, two doors down from Copley’s, on the night of the shooting, said the victim was one of roughly 50 guests at the party, he told CNN affiliate WTVD.

He didn’t know Thomas personally, he said, and he didn’t see anyone armed or causing problems outside his home that night. Lewis told WTVD he has never interacted with Copley in the seven years he’s lived in the Raleigh neighborhood.

Thirdly, he hallucinated that there was a legal requirement for him to fire a warning shot (prior to doing what else, he didn't say.)

I yelled at them, ‘Please leave the premises,’ ” he said. “They were showing firearms, so I fired a warning shot and uh, we got somebody that got hit. …

“I fired my warning shot like I’m supposed to by law. … They do have firearms, and I’m trying to protect myself and my family.”

The dispatcher pressed for more information: Who’s been shot, how badly are they injured — and where, exactly, is the victim?

“Please just send a car,” Copley responded. “There’s friggin’ black males outside my friggin’ house with firearms. Please, send PD. Thank you.”

His "warning shot," which, it transpired, had been fired from a window in his garage, did kill someone: 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas, who was out near the street.  Thomas’s mother says he worked at a waffle house, and had a girlfriend about to begin college.

Copley has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.  I would call that a step in the right direction.  Tisiphone, perhaps you can help keep this direction on track and ensure the one step is not the only step to secure this vengeful destroyer away from the public.

Meanwhile, over in Oklahoma – and I must say we all know there are many wonderful people in Oklahoma; this guy just isn't one of them – a retired agriculture teacher named Larry Long has made the news.  It seems that at a retirement presentation they were giving for him at the Oklahoma Career Tech Summer Conference in Oklahoma City he decided to show off what a fine sense of humor he has.Long

So he called a black colleague (probably not a coincidence that the colleague of color is the ONLY black agriculture teacher in the entire state) up to the stage with him, and presented him with a white robe and white hood (complete with Klan insignia), which he placed on the teacher, and then added a Confederate flag (as the bow on the package?)  Wow.  What a barrel of laughs.  Hundreds of people attended this "program," by the way.

I should be specific that CareerTech was not his employer, and he was not retiring from CareerTech.  CareerTech is a state agency, and it does not employ teachers to teach; it oversees them.  The employer from whom he had retired during the year was Elk City High School, where he had apparently worked for 49 years.  He must have been appreciated there, since the board of Elk City Public Schools recently voted to  name the high school's new agriculture building after him.

Those at the meeting were instructed not to speak of it, and to erase any and all cell phone video.  But someone sent an anonymous email to state lawmwkers, and it is now out in the open.

Retired teacher Larry Long issued a statement … in which he said he was trying to make a joke with a colleague who he respected and that he never intended to convey any racism.  He says he realizes his actions were "harmful, offensive, and hurtful."  Long says he has requested a meeting with members of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus, who expressed outrage at the incident.  A member of the caucus, Democratic Rep. Mike Shelton, says the group welcomes the meeting.  The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology says it is investigating the incident.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Nothing to see here, just move along.  Alecto, if that meeting hasn't already happened, maybe you'd like to be present at it.  Could be interesting.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news /member/101612212/4006109

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It’s Not Just the South

 Posted by at 12:19 pm  Politics
Aug 182016
 

Often times, many northerners, like me, slip into the habit of considering extreme racism as a mostly Southern problem.  Sadly, it just isn't true.  My NJ father was such an extreme racist that he would have considered Rump Dump a moderate.  It's mostly a Republican problem.  The only difference between Rump Dump and other Republican politicians and pundits is that he comes out and says what they merely reflect with their policies and dog whistles.  Check these Massachusetts Republicans out.

USA-ELECTION/TRUMP

A Massachusetts convoy of Trump supporters drove from Wrentham to Foxboro in their trucks, RVs and SUVs on July 31 and were caught on tape spewing racist epithets and calls for anti-black violence.

“Lynch the ni**ers by their d*cks!” said one driver, according to Winning Democrats, which highlighted a YouTube video of what the “Make America Great Again” convoy talked about on its CB channel when they thought no one was listening.

“Burn every single ni**er!” said another driver.

“All I know is we got plenty of trees to hang ni**ers from,” said another.

The convoy drove five miles from one township to another with their U.S. and Confederate flags waving…

From <Alternet>

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

If you've ever been to MA, you'll recognize that accent.  These were not Southern imports.

As convenient as it is to consider Trump the disease, he is not.  Trump is just a symptom of what the Republican Party has become.  They need to go the way of the Whigs.

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Aug 182016
 

Portland continues under an excessive heat warning through the weekend.  My A/C kept it cooler last night, but as the temperature approaches 70° early in the morning, the humidity is 92%.  I’m getting very little sleep.  Tomorrow and Saturday will be the worst of the days.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today'[s took me 2:45 (average 4:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Update:

Lefty Blog Friends players, our live draft is this Saturday at 1 PM PDT (2 PM MDT, 3 PM CDT, 4 PM EDT).  Feel free to contact me with questions.

Short Takes:

From KP Daily Funnies: Daily Show: Uncovering Discrimination in the Baltimore Police Department

 

Very little about this video is funny. That Rump Dump used a spiel to dog-whistle racist Republicans, under the guise of asking for Black support, is just… Republican!

From Daily Kos: Today Nate Silver on 538 wrote a piece called "Clinton’s Lead Is Clear And Steady​"

0818Silver

Let’s not get complacent!

0818Deweytruman

From NY Times: Donald J. Trump named as his new campaign chief on Wednesday a conservative media provocateur whose news organization regularly attacks the Republican Party establishment, savages Hillary Clinton and encourages Mr. Trump’s most pugilistic instincts.

Mr. Trump’s decision to make Stephen K. Bannon, chairman of the Breitbart News website, his campaign’s chief executive was a defiant rejection of efforts by longtime Republican hands to wean him from the bombast and racially charged speech that helped propel him to the nomination but now threaten his candidacy by alienating the moderate voters who typically decide the presidency

I have to wonder, is it possible for Rump Dump to make a worse choice than the head of Breitfart?

Cartoon:

0818Cartoon

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Aug 142016
 

It is Saturday night, the end of a very hot and miserable day as far as I am concerned — 31 C (88 F) late this afternoon.  It is 0100 and 20 C (68 F) with  humidity at 78%.  Days like this just sap my energy and affect my breathing (asthma).  So I have been drinking like a fish and staying quiet.  Later Sunday, I will going to visit my mother so at least I'll have the benefit of AC in the car.  I hope everybody is surviving the heat wherever you are.

Here it is, Sunday afternoon and the temperature is back up to 30 C (86 F) 60% humidity.

Short Takes

Common Dreams — Bernie Sanders bore down on Donald Trump's economic agenda in a series of tweets on Friday morning, calling him "the poster child of failed trade policies."

Photo published for Donald Trump’s new tax plan could have a big winner: Donald Trump’s companies

The social media take-down began with Sanders posting a link to a Washington Post story from earlier this week, which revealed how a "little-noticed provision in Donald Trump's tax reform plan has the potential to deliver a large tax cut to companies in the Republican presidential nominee's vast business empire."

Click through to see a string of Bernie's tweets.  Go Bernie!  I'd also suggest reading the Washington Post story (click on "revealed") because it certainly does outline how Drumpf and other high income earners would disproportionately benefit from Drumpf's plan.  And to the point of these business entities taking those tax "savings" and reinvesting them in the business, according to Forbes, corporations are still sitting on large cash piles on their balance sheets, much of it sitting offshore.  The figures used are from 2013-14.

Raw Story — Mr. Speaker,

When Donald Trump suggested on August 9 that Hillary Clinton could only be stopped from nominating judges by “Second Amendment people,” most of the world gasped, realizing he was inciting violence against his opponent for the presidency. It was unprecedented, beneath contempt. But he didn’t apologize. Given my long experiences with Trump, I knew he would soon string together a babble of words in hopes of twisting his statement beyond recognition. And so he did, with an assist from sycophants like Sean Hannity of Fox News, who nodded like a bobblehead doll as Trump told him he didn’t mean that gun lovers should assassinate Clinton. He only meant they should be voting for him to keep her out of the White House.

That makes no sense, and here’s a crucial thing to know about Trump: He never tries to make his lies or delusions or fantasies make sense. He just spews to explain away the inexplicable.

Call for Assassination

Let’s examine the words that got him into so much trouble: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.”

Trump’s post hoc interpretation: He doesn’t know if gun lovers will vote to keep Clinton out of office. Or he hopes gun owners will vote for him. Or only Trump voters with guns could keep Clinton out of office. None of that makes sense.

Read the original statement again. Did he mean it will be a horrible day when Second Amendment people stop her from picking judges? That’s a call for assassination. Or did he mean it will be a horrible day when a President Clinton picks judges and only Second Amendment people might be able to stop it? Another call for assassination.

Trump then blamed the media for applying the rules of grammar and sentence structure to him, instead of being like his acolytes, for whom words and sentences no longer have agreed-upon meanings.

This, Mr. Speaker, is what you would be dealing with in a Trump presidency, and this flagrant disregard for the facts, for the truth, is why I am writing this, my second open letter to you. Trump must be stopped. Let the GOP lose this election. It is the only way to save the Republican Party, and the nation. Even some of his most deranged supporters recognize the danger he poses—one caller into C-SPAN last week said he knew his candidate might start a nuclear war but at least America would win.

Click through for the rest of this fairly long piece.  Author  Kurt Eichenwald goes on to lay out many of Drump's inconsistencies and lies, some of them sworn under oath in depositions or in Congressional hearings.  This is, IMO, the kind of information that needs to get broad exposure, especially with likely Drumpf supporters and voters.  Drumpf is a menace to a civilised society.

Alternet — Nearly 100% of likely voters are set on their November 8 presidential pick and the debates won't even start for another month. So, who really is the media fanfare for at this point? After all, as Noam Chomsky points out, the voting decision is really a lot simpler than the pundits have built it up to be.  …

Chomsky has consistently declared Donald Trump would be a disaster, and urges voters in swing states to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton. 

There is another video at the end of the article which shows Chomsky giving the same advice to Clinton supporters in 2008.  As Chomsky says in 2016 "… I would vote against Trump … you hold your nose and vote Democrat … I don't think there is any other rational choice.  Abstaining from voting or say voting for a candidate you prefer, a minority candidate, just amounts to a vote for Donald Trump … "  Wise words.

Politico — Republican insiders are more convinced than Democrats that Donald Trump is so far behind Hillary Clinton that he can't win in November.

Roughly half of Republican members of The POLITICO Caucus — activists, strategists and operatives in 11 swing states — believe that Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes is basically shut off after another week in which the GOP nominee appears to have ceded ground in national and most battleground state polls.

Democrats, however, aren’t breaking out the champagne just yet. Seventy-two percent of Democratic insiders said despite Clinton’s clear advantage at this stage of the race, the presidential election isn’t effectively over.

Democrats cited the unpredictability of the 2016 campaign, along with some of Clinton’s own weaknesses, for their bridled optimism. It’s a message that fits neatly with what party leaders are saying publicly and behind closed doors: Don’t get too cocky, even with Clinton well ahead of Trump in the polls.  …

“Trump is underperforming so comprehensively across states and demographics it would take video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of ‘Death to America!’ But in 2016, stranger things have happened.”

Democrats are much less confident about the outcome of the presidential race than Republicans, thankfully.  This is not the time to sit back.  And it is VERY important to get out the vote.
 

My Universe

No way

… in my own time!

Proof that cats take a message and get back to you, later if you're lucky!

 

Fifty shades of love

Friends! … not dinner.

vicious treadmill

Dinner on the go!

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 12:10 am  Politics
Aug 132016
 
furies

I have a few items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

First, though, before handing off to the Furies, I want to follow up on July 30's story about "National Whistleblowers Appreciation Day."  You may recall I quoted from John Kiriakou and Tom Drake, and mentioned Jeffrey Sterling not being available as he is still locked up.  I have since received an email forwarded by Roots Action from his wife, Holly.  She states that he has served a bit over one year of his three-and-a-half year sentence, and there are a few things we can do ourselves. 

The need is threefold.  First, he is not getting appropriate attention for serious cardiac medical issues.  He has a history of atrial fibrillation (in the past he has been hospitalized for it) and is now experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, and dizziness.  Holly has written to the Warden about his medical conditon, and has received no answer.  She would really appreciate if anyone who can would contact the prison warden, Deborah Denham, to advocate for medical attention for Jeffrey.  The email address is ENG slash ExecAssistant at bop dot gov (I'm spelling it the long way to avoid a link that's not to a site) and the phone number 303-763-4300.  (Personal note from me: if I can come up with any more accuracy or other alternatives I will add it/them in a comment.)

Second – I vividly remember when John Kiriakou was incarcerated how the family, his wife and three little girls, were up against the wall just to try to make the mortgage payments, and on top of that, they did not put him in the nearest prison, so that visiting was a challenge both in terms of energy and financially.  (They also threatened "diesel therapy" – a creative term for moving him between prisons without notice.)  Firedoglake was collecting for John, and, with help, they did not lose their home.  The Sterlings have a Sterling Family Fund set up for them on GoFundMe.  They want to appeal his conviction, and Holly would like to make the 800-plus mile trip to visit him once in a while, and both require money.  (There's also more background information there, should you be interested.)

Third, for those of us who are not locked up, it may be impossible to realize how much words of encouragement can mean.  Even if it's just a card.  He can receive snailmail at

JEFFREY STERLING, 38338-044
FCI Englewood
Federal Correctional Institution
9595 West Quincy Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123

And, yes, there is a petition .  It also has more background.

Now, moving right along, I'll whip quickly through a few stories of jaw-dropping – something.  First, let's go to Indiana, specifically to South Bend, where, in 2012, Vivian Franklin awakened to loud pounding on her door between three and four in the morning.  Three (warrantless) police officers shining a flashlight in her eyes  barged in.  They were looking for Dan, Vivian's older son, who was not there.  This did not stop them from hauling her younger son, DeShawn, 17, out of bed and assaulting him with fists and tasers.  In the process, a taser probe got stuck in DeShawn's side; the officers were unable to remove it and had to call an ambulance and EMT's to do so.  (I am restraining my snark here.) 

Where the incident goes right through the Looking Glass is that, while DeShawn was shouting he was not Dan, and Vivian was shouting DeShawn was not Dan, and the officers were insisting Dan must be there because they had trailed him to the home – Dan showed up.  Whereupon the officers opted not to arrest him. 

So in March, 2013 the Franklins reasonably filed suit.  Named in the suit were the three officers, the city, the mayor, and the police chief.  Finally, this year, the suit was adjudicated in Fort Wayne.

The jury found that the Franklins' constitutional rights had been violated.  They awarded damages of ONE DOLLAR. Yes, you read that right.  One dollar.

Grudging, I would say.  Megaera, I woudn't stop with the officers, the city, the mayor, and the police chief.  I'd definitely follow up with that jury.  Perhaps Indiana, or at least South Bend, really did deserve Mike Pence.

Let's now go to Watauga, Texas, where an unidentified man made a threat in a phone message to a local mosque, in which he threatened to decapitate Muslims who attended it.

The caller identified as a "Christian."  Police in Watauga are investigating but aren't treating it as a direct threat at the moment.  the FBI has also been notified.

Of course, Tisiphone, you will want to find this person.  But almost more chilling was the remark that "a caller made explicitly violent threats that went well beyond the kind of verbal abuse callers normally level against the mosque." 

It should NOT be "normal" for callers to "level verbal abuse" against ANY person or group.  And it is un-American that this happens.

So you may be digging out a long, long list.

Finally for this week, this happened in Punta Gorda , FL (one of only a few states we might expect it in).  I'll just quote:

A woman, identified as Mary Knowlton, was selected to participate in a “shoot or don’t shoot” training exercise at the Punta Gorda Police Academy. She was selected at random from a group of 35 citizens who were participating in a two hour Citizens Academy—a program created to teach local civics to civilians.

Mary Knowlton, 73, was shot during a role-play scenario in which the Punta Gorda police officer was playing a “bad guy” and fired several times at the woman who was supposed to be playing the victim, according to Sue Paquin, a photographer who was covering the event for the Sun and witnessed the incident.

Knowlton was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Mrs. Knowlton was originally from Austin, Minnesota and was retired in Punta Gorda. She had been a librarian in Scott County, Minnesota.

This incident may reflect more stupidity than malice (and once again I need to restrain my snark/sarcasm).  But things like this happen all the timeAlecto, maybe you can inject some sense here.  I certainly hope so.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4004933

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 11:22 am  Politics
Aug 062016
 
furies

I have a few items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

I try not to feature occurrences that are too new (like, say, yesterday) or which have received a lot of publicity – there are plenty out there under the radar more in need of the Furies' attention.  In this first item, the fact of it being under the radar actually IS the story.

On Friday, July 22, Germany was rocked by news of a terrible event – a young man shot multiple people outside a shopping center in Munich.  It became clear that the shooter, Ali David Sonboly, had Iranian ancestry; no one in the media hesitated to link him with Islam.  He was styled as "German-Iranian," and rumors spread that he had shouted "Allahu Akbat" before shooting (spoiler: he didn't.)  Right-wing politicians did their best to use the shooting to spread hatred and fear against Muslims, migrants, and refugees.

But once the dust cleared, the inident changed into a "classic shooting rampage" instead of an "act of terror," and quietly disappeared from news feeds.  Why?  He was not a Muslim, but a right wing extremist.  It wasn't the West he hated, but Turks and Arabs.  His hero was Anders Breivik who, five years to the day earlier, had killed 77 people in Norway.  His other hero was Hitler, with whom he considered it "an honor" to share a birthday.  Seven of his nine victims were Muslims or of Muslim background.

Sonboly's racist ideology was spawned in Central Asia, all right, but it was anything but Muslim.  Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan all consider themselves to be the cradle of the Aryan people (who lived 3,000-4,000 years ago and scientifically have little to do with the historical, or maybe I should say pre-historical Aryans.)  "Iran" actually means "land of the Aryans," and when Iran changed its name from Persia in 1935, both Afghanstan and Tajikistan responded with variations on "Who do you think you are?!!?"

German authorities mostly do not hesitate to link every rampage with Islam, but when right-wing terrorism takes place, they do their best to obscure the roots of the crime. This week, Bavaria's Interior Minister, Joachim Herrmann, insisted that Sonboly “probably had no links with right-wing networks.” And shortly after the massacre, Bavarian government and police officials claimed that there was no political motivation behind the massacre, claiming Sonboly had chosen his victims at random. According to this logic, a mass killer must shout “Allahu Akbar” in the midst of his murder spree for his political motives to be acknowledged. Everything else, no matter how clearly influenced by rightist ideology, is just a classic shooting rampage.

As long as right wing terrorism continues to be trivialized as isolated "rampages," and not treated as terrorism from the right, we in the west will make no progress toward suppressing terrorism at all.  Germany is by no means alone in this; it happens in the United States constantly.  Another case of decisions made on "facts" insteat of on facts are mostly very poor decisions.  Well, Bavaria is quite beautiful, Tisiphone.  Stop in to look at Neuschwanstein while you are educating Bavarian government officials.

I also have a couple of incidents related to rape culture, possibly appropriate in a week when a Presidential candidate and his number one son have said or implied that "strong women" do not get sexually harassed.  Yeah, right.

The situation in this story from Utah (but which could have happened anywhere) seems to me to illustrate just how extensively complaints of rape are routinely dismissed.  "In the most recent account, four women who reported that they had been raped by the same man were ignored by the Utah State University’s Title IX office, and by the police detectives investigating the complaints in Logan, Utah."

Had not reporter Alex Stuckey of the Salt Lake Tribune dug into this, no one but the victims (and the rapist) would even know the rapes had occurred.

Reporter Alex Stuckey of the Salt Lake Tribune conducted an in-depth investigation of a pattern of alleged rapes committed by an unnamed assailant. The first assault was reported in January of 2015; the fourth in December. The male student continued remained on campus until spring of 2016, when he graduated.

The four women did not know one another, and they all filed separate reports. Three of the women were Utah State students and reported the assaults to their school. Title IX, the federal statute passed in 1972 that mandates equal treatment of the sexes in education, requires that “schools must take action if there is a potential continuing threat to students.”

In stories that echo the disturbing details recounted in Jon Krakauer’s book, Missoula, which documented a spate of rapes in the Montana college town, police seemed more interested in helping preserve the reputation of the alleged rapist than in helping the women prosecute the man who had hurt them.

Click through for additional details of the attacks and the sham "investigations" conducted, if you haven't been nauseated enough by the brief summary I quote.  The prosecutor claims to be looking at the case more closely.  Alecto, maybe you can hold her feet to the fire.

Just in case anyone thinks the above story doesn't address sexual crime against strong women, this third story should lay all doubt to rest on that point.  It's had more exposure than the other two, as far as I can find (and I'm already late), so I'll be brief.

A prominent feminist writer and columnist said she is being forced to abandon social media after receiving rape and death threats against her 5-year-old daughter.

On Twitter, Jessica Valenti wrote: “This morning I woke up to a rape and death threat directed at my 5 year old daughter. That this is part of my work life is unacceptable.”

You know, after you've said that, what do you say?  Jessica goes on with several more tweets elaborating on the facts of this situation, and what an impossible position it puts her in.  I expect anyone here could have come up with every point.  Unacceptable?  Yes.  Of course.  But Facebook, Twitter, and law enforcement all seem to accept it just fine.  Megaera, everyone else already has an assignment.  But you are going to need reinforcements.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4003531

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Aug 042016
 

Wendy has been here, and she fluffed, buffed, polished and shined the TomCat.  I think I’ve got the site back in reasonably good repair.  I’m very tired, as I have not had a Lona Nap since Sunday.  Tomorrow, please expect no more that a Personal Update, as I have PT with Courtney the Inquisitor.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:38 (average 7:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes: From The New Yorker: …Even if the Russian government is not responsible for the hack on the D.N.C., Putin’s affinity for Trump is clear. Some part of it may be a matter of kindred temperament. Just as Trump talks ominously about Mexican “rapists” and tens of thousands of “illegal immigrants … roaming free” in the land, Putin won early popularity by vowing to dispense with terrorists from the Caucasus: “We will ice them in their shithouses.” Trump is, after all, a kind of parody of Putin: the bluster, the palaces. As the historian Timothy Snyder puts it, “Putin is the real-world version of the person Trump pretends to be on television.”

The fellow-feeling between the two is complex, but it is not hard to see who gets the better of whom. Trump sees strength and cynicism in Putin and hopes to emulate him. Putin sees in Trump a grand opportunity. He sees in Trump weakness and ignorance, a confused mind. He has every hope of exploiting him… [emphasis added]

Is it any wonder that RT News has aired continual attacks against Clinton from a so-called progressive perspective? That’s a fire Putin [R-RU] and Trump [R-Hades]  will just keep on fueling, but when you see the RT logo, know that Putin controls the content.

From NY Times: Republican voters in Kansas rebelled against the policies of Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday, ousting his fellow conservatives in at least 11 state legislative primary races amid widespread angst about Kansas’s financial situation.

With some races still undetermined on Wednesday, but also leaning toward moderates, the primary was a tangible sign of the grumblings that have been going on under the surface in heavily Republican Kansas, as deep cuts to taxes, a centerpiece of the Brownback agenda, have left the state short on revenue and led to cuts to government services.

Republi-speak Dictionary
Moderate Republican: a Republican that dresses in hoods and sheets, but rarely attends a lynching anymore.

From Crooks and Liars: The ugliness of ignorant racial prejudice and hate in 2016 America is deeply unsettling, yet far too familiar in the age of Trump. White people saying slurs like ‘wetback’ to American citizens (who have the right to speak any damned language they choose) is exactly the type of climate a hateful Republican nominee has fostered.

The Flores family was forced to record an incident when a racist woman made horrible assumptions. The cell phone video has gone viral after someone from Univision viewed the ranting racist family attacking the Mexican-Americans.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Pienso que las racistas estan completo de mierda.

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Jul 272016
 

Today is a grocery delivery day, so I took my nap in the morning to be up when they arrive.  The hot muggy weather continues unabated.  I’m running late because of a snafu with my Outlook Calendar.  I added Canadian Holidays, and there are so damn many of them that they cause some of my real appointments to be hidden in the month view. There is on obvious way to remove them.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Snopes.com: …Clinton announced that Wasserman Schultz had subsequently "agreed to serve as honorary chair of [the Clinton] campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country," adding that the former chair would "continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally"…

…This announcement was received by many as meaning that Schultz had been "promoted" to a position of "running the Hillary Clinton campaign," but others noted that the gesture was merely a symbolic courtesy:

Republicans and Regressives don’t seem to understand what honorary means, as so many are distorting it wildly. Other that no money, no staff and no power, it’s a great job.  It was intended only to give DWS the appearance of a normal exit.

From NY Times: American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence…

…The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself “Guccifer 2.0,” who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service.

I’m not sure where, but I commented somewhere (probably here) that I would not take the story of the DNC emails seriously, until I had more confirmation than just the Regressive echo chamber sites. Now the story is confirmed, and as I have said, DWS should be driven from the party. However, it should be noted that Hillary Clinton has been requesting that DWS be removed for over a year, but Obama wanted to avoid the controversy. The second thing is that the purpose of the leak seems to be to discredit Hillary, even though there is no evidence to support any involvement by her in DWS’ unethical practices. Therefore I speculate that Donald Trump (R-Hades) and Vladimir Putin (R-RU) may have cooperated.

From PoliticusUSA: “I want to thank you for standing with us and supporting us, and we’d like to leave with you what God has given us: strength, love and peace,” Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, said in a moment of profound emotion Tuesday night, during the second session of the DNC.

“This isn’t about being politically correct. This is about saving our children,” Fulton said earlier, making it clear that asking for justice and saving lives is not asking people to be “politically correct”.

Fulton was speaking as a member of Mothers of the Movement, a group of women who lost their children due to gun violence or police brutality. They banded together at Hillary Clinton’s suggestion, in order to protect black Americans and reform our criminal justice system.

“You don’t stop being a mom when your child dies,” the mother of Jordan Davis said. Lucy McBath continued, “I lived in fear my son would die like this. I even warned him that because he was a young, black man he would meet people who didn’t value his life.”

“I am still Jordan Davis’s mother. His life ended the day he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn’t.”

Saying that Hillary Clinton invited the mothers to become a part of the solution, McBath said, “We’re going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children like Jordan safe. Because the majority of police officers are good people doing a good job.”

Hear that? There was no demonizing of police.

The way those women told their stories in a loving, non-condemnatory way brought tears to my eyes.  They certainly were a contrast to the way in which Republican racists whooped and hollered in bloodthirsty glee to a speakers announcement that the all the cops that killed Freddie Gray had gotten off.

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Jul 252016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how awful InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.  There is no doubt that the RNC has brought out the crazies!

Alternet — Thursday was a night of troubled sleep throughout the land. In his long-awaited keynote speech, Republican nominee Donald Trump managed not just to confirm all of our worst fears about him, but to amplify them, make them 10 times darker and bigger, make them huuuuuuge! He got the fear job done. Better than anyone in the entire history of the country has gotten it done!

Let us just review what an amazing accomplishment this was. Rudy Giuliani kicked things off, commanding everyone to be much more terrified about crime, ISIS immigration and Black Lives Matter. Chris Christie roused the crowds with chants of “lock her up,” and “guilty as charged!” Ted Cruz delivered his same lizard-like stump speech, the one everyone assumed they’d be spared after he dropped out of the race. The accumulating horror was enhanced by the realization that the slick-backed Trump sons have themselves acquired a taste for politics and now feel qualified to bash teachers and environmental regulations, celebrate gun culture and espouse other tired conservative talking points.

Trump_Face_Facial-ExpressionS

Thanks to Nameless for providing the picture.

But Trump took the crown! He patted his Ivanka on the butt, and then surpassed them all in 75 minutes of continuous bellowing horribleness. The moon was nearly full. A smoldering heat dome would come to blanket much of the country. Darkness descended. And the next day, the mainstream media sunnily gave him credit for his shout-out to the LGBTQ community.

2. Rep. Steve King doesn’t even bother to disguise his racism.

It’s very possible that Iowa rep Steve King has zero concept of white supremacy. It is simply the water in which this fish swims in. So perhaps it should not have been too much of a surprise this week when the rabid anti-immigrationist, tea partying congressman just came out and said during a live appearance on MSNBC that white people have basically been superior to all others throughout history and invented everything worthwhile.

His comments came about after host Chris Hayes asked a question about the racial makeup of the GOP.

Charles Pierce of Esquire was there and said: “If you’re really optimistic, you can say this was the last time that old white people would command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face.”

That did not sit well with King. “This whole ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” he said, all buddy buddy. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

Co-panelists were stunned. Hayes asked for clarification. Did he mean what it sounded like he just said?

He did.

We know this because, one, he said it really clearly, and two, he doubled down on his assertion of the superiority of the white European “subgroup” the next day. The man who tried to block Harriet Tubman from being on the $20 bill recently was 100 percent on-message for his party, as you'll see if you read on.

Republicans are so good at the fear game.  This go around, Drumpf and others have whipped up a frenzie of fear which is unfortunate because they are turning neighbour against neighbour.  Back in November 2015, according to Crooks and Liars, Trump said

“The real greatest resource is all of you, because you have all those eyes and you see what’s happening,” he told listeners in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“People move into a house a block down the road, you know who’s going in,” Trump continued. "You can see and you report them to the local police.

“You’re pretty smart, right?” he asked his audience. "We know if there’s something going on, report them. Most likely you’ll be wrong, but that’s OK.

And of course, Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King of Iowa is doing his best to increase fear and racism.  This is the second of five appalling right wing moments this past week.  Click through for the others.

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