Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

.

.
cartoon via Dem.Underground

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FREE SPEECH, HATE SPEECH, AND THE COMPANY WE KEEP by (O)CT(O)PUS of The Swash Zone


By (O)CT(O)PUS

Our country is unique in practicing the most liberal form of free speech among Western democracies. Yet even in America, the right to free speech is by no means absolute. All rights have limitations; freedom imposes requisite responsibilities; civil and criminal laws govern our conduct. The right to free speech does not include:

Defamation, fraud, imminent incitement of lawless actions, perjury, pornography, sedition, theft of intellectual property, or violations of national security, as examples.

Our European counterparts across the pond enjoy similar freedoms. All member nations of the European Union are signatories to a convention on human rights that guarantees free speech, freedom of the press, freedom to associate, to assemble, and to demonstrate. Yet, here too are notable exceptions:
Free access to information does not abrogate a personal right to privacy. Hate speech, the propagation of hate groups, the denigration of any nation or any race or any ethnic group, any attempt to infringe upon the civil rights of any group, any promoter of genocide or any denial of a history of genocide … these are examples of prohibited speech punishable by law.
Our country does not impose such restrictions. In America, hate speech – no matter how abhorrent - is legal. Hate groups are free to associate, assemble and demonstrate in the streets. A rabid rabble may denigrate any nation or any race or any ethnic group at will. Holocaust denial - no matter how repugnant - is legal. There is no statutory right to privacy in our Constitution.

Political speech removes many restraints normally imposed under civil law. Defamation is legal. Deception, fraudulent attack ads, demagoguery, fear mongering, opponents demonizing opponents with half-truths and outright lies … these have become standard operating procedure. Money has become the currency of political speech; wealthy donors now wield more power and influence than voters; and ‘pay for play’ – formerly known as ‘graft’ – masquerades under cover of Super PACS. Yet, even political speech has limits: An informal code of community standards – and public disapproval - serves as a check on intemperate political speech.

As a medium of free speech, the Internet is the most uninhibited and unregulated of all - where anything goes. Trolls hiding beneath anonymous monikers will hijack and commandeer your discussion threads. Scammers will spam your email box with cons and malware; hackers will compromise your privacy; and cyber criminals will steal your identity. Schoolyard bullies have tormented vulnerable teenagers – driving some to suicide. Everywhere in Cyberspace, there are predators and stalkers, sadists and sociopaths. Without doubt, the Internet has devolved into a lawless and savage place. Which brings me to the subject of this post …
Sexual harassment and threats of sexual violence prompted Shaw Kenawe, author of Progressive Eruptions and long time member of this community, to suspend her web log.
This is not the first time sexual harassment has driven a woman off the Internet. Years ago, there was a well-publicized account of Kathy Sierra, a highly successful author of books on computer programming. The "Mean Kids" - men in the computer industry who were jealous of her success - threatened her with gang rape, gang violence, even death threats. Intimidated and terrorized, Kathy Sierra canceled all public appearances and removed her web log from the Internet.

Sadly, the same kind of criminal behavior that terrorized Kathy Sierra prompted Shaw’s decision. Her perpetrators originate from the far rightwing fringes of Cyberspace and use the pseudonymous monikers of Radical Redneck and Texas Stomp, among others. These email assaults on Shaw are NOT FIT FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION. Having seen them myself, I shall describe them only in brief: Hate messages, threats of sexual violence, allusions to smearing victims in excrement – illustrated with vile pornography.

Almost immediately, the far rightwing fringe noticed the absence of Progressive Eruptions from Cyberspace:
FreeThinke: “Chalk up another victory for censorious, cowardly, smug, closed, self-congratulatory minds … It's like MASTURBATION … How pathetically paranoid could you get?” (Deleted by blog administrator) 
There is nothing paranoid about Cyber-Bullying and threats of sexual violence. Incendiary partisan hate speech is just as contemptible as other forms of hate speech – especially when coercion and intimidation deprive victims of their safety and human dignity. Another rightwing fringe blogger issued a blanket denial:
Lisa: “Nobody here has ever made any direct threats” (Deleted by blog administrator).
Here is my reply of Friday, September 26, 2014 (edited for brevity):
Octopus: “Denial, denial, denial will score NO points under God or under Law. Since my last comment, I have received [Shaw’s] file of hate messages … Lisa, that makes not ONE or TWO but THREE followers of your blog who have menaced Shaw” (Deleted by blog administrator).
As you can surmise from the deletions noted in parenthesis, Lisa unceremoniously removed the entire post along with all 79 comments from the Internet. I will never know her thoughts or reasons; yet I wonder: Has Lisa ever experienced bullying or gender bias or sexual harassment in her lifetime? Fortunately, I was able to rescue one comment before it disappeared from Cyberspace:
FreeThinke: “The ever-present assumption of moral superiority on the part of leftists -- or any other identifiable faction like Jews and Fundamentalist Christians -- is not only DEPRESSING, it's NAUSEATING and INFURIATING  ...  If you can't take it, DON'T DISH IT OUT” (Deleted by blog administrator).
What is missing here? No word of empathy or support for the victim! No appeals to common decency! A dismissive attitude devoid of conscience! Please note the reference to ‘leftists … Jews, and Fundamentalist Christians.’ How odd, yet revealing.

Anyone who visits the far rightwing blogosphere enters an Anti-Universe where the conventions of civil discourse and logic no longer apply:
Never concede an argument (no matter how specious); always debunk opposing viewpoints (even when factual); always keep a strawman by your side (to paint your opponent in preposterously extreme terms verging on caricature); turn up the volume of tone-deafness; deny; play the victim card; attack, attack; and repeat often.
In far rightwing Cyberspace, let Projection be your ally:
Distort, misquote, harp, carp, nitpick, accuse, slander, insult, heckle, taunt, and get angry – all while accusing your opponent of behaving in precisely the same manner.
Hence, the impression of a friend who visits these faraway reaches of Space-Time:
Dave Miller: “I personally am sick and tired of being referred to by conservatives as a libturd, a socialist, a commie and whatever assorted names people can dream up to annoy” (September 17, 2013 at 11:43 PM).
Dave Miller: “I know it's off point, but seeing so many of the typical right-wing talking points, without any evidence to support their claims, pushed me to the edge …” (September 19, 2014 at 1:47 PM).
Which brings me to an obvious question: Why go there? Why subject yourself to bad faith arguments, sleazy ad hominem personal attacks, falsehoods, and never-ending verbal abuse! Why give them the satisfaction of skinning your goat! Sometimes I wonder … 
FreeThinke (August 3, 2014 at 9:36 AM):
When'er the Brits are driven away
Black tyrants often come to prey.
When White Men let their burden down
Savages will take the crown
Place it on their nappy heads […] 
How much blood might have been saved
If they'd stayed happily enslaved!
Waylon: “I don't accept at face value the official version of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks … “Veterans Today” enumerates several points of the story which contradict the official version, including the mysterious "Dancing Israelis" …” (September 11, 2014 at 4:03 PM).
FreeThinke: “This country was conceived, designed and developed by WHITE, PROTESTANT CHRISTIAN MEN (…) As long as we stuck to THEIR concepts and abided by THER ideals, we did very well. Once the "Progressives" won a large share of public confidence, we've been plunged into incessant turmoil […] Coincidentally, the national IQ has been dropping like a stone ever since” (October 15, 2013 at 8:39:00 AM EDT).
Bizarre conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, virulent racism: Do you read the same words on screen that I read? There are times when my conservative and libertarian friends Рunburdened by a bleeding heart and starry-eyed naivet̩ - rise to the occasion with a keener sense of moral clarity than fellow liberals:
DMarks: “Your attempt to blame Jews is an echo of the old Nazi-touted "Protocols of the Elders of Zion” …" (September 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM).
Waylon: "… it's funny how "the chosen tribe" react when the topic is raised ...” (September 12, 2014 at 8:21 AM).
DMarks: “Waylon proved my point of his Nazi sympathies when he discussed the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (September 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM).
Dmarks, a conservative friend of this forum, deserves kudos for confronting anti-Semitism. Rational Nation USA, a libertarian friend of this forum, challenged the hypocritical projections of a writer whose nom de plume trades on the very idea of free thought - but turns all mirrors to the wall. The notorious FreeThinke bullies all comers alike:
GET OUT and STAY OUT. I DON'T WANT YOU HERE. GOT THAT? NOW MOVE ALONG” (September 10, 2014 at 5:31 PM).
Dmarks: “FreeThinke: Reading your comment to RN, I can see that free thinking is not so welcome here” (September 12, 2014 at 8:05 AM).
Free speech and freedom to associate are fundamental human rights ensconced in our Constitution. Yet, four years ago, a far rightwing rabble assailed a conservative writer for committing the unpardonable sin of befriending liberals. In defense of a friend, your intrepid cephalopod wrote:
Rightwing critics disparage the term political correctness as a Marxist plot whose aim is to undermine conservative values and impose social conformity … Yet, the same rightwing critics employ a far more sinister version of political correctness. They make use of litmus tests to enforce ideological orthodoxy in thought, speech, and personal associations. They will not hesitate to browbeat fellow conservatives into submission with condemnation and excommunication. How ironic! The rightwing accuses the left of using political correctness to impose social conformity; yet, the same rightwingers use coercive means to enforce groupthink within their ranks” (A Blessed Kristallnacht to All - January 6, 2010).
The Cringe Fringe. In my opinion, far rightwing radicals are not truly representative of a political movement. More reminiscent of a cult, they are a collective of Angry Birds, malcontents, misfits and soulless people in search of ritual scapegoats to blame for their misery. Their word salad of epithets – “libtard” and “libturd” for liberals and “”traitor” and “turncoat” for conservatives – is merely another form of projection. They shun any democratic exchange of ideas through the use of suppression, condemnation, ostracism, and elimination. Sometimes a Godwin Fallacy is not a fallacy. The Cringe Fringe is the Internet analogue of henchmen and street thugs - the adulators and adherents of demagogues and lunatic ideologues - that marked the final days of the Weimar Republic. What is their appeal? For an adrenaline rush, at least Hannibal Lector was a fictional character.

In yet another account of bullying, blackmail, and misogyny in Cyberspace, Katie McDonough reports:
[Anyone] familiar with abuser dynamics will recognize those threats for what they were: Manipulation. Domination. More abuse [my bold] ...  But then I have this other question, a question about the abuser. How do we get him help, or whatever the word is here since “help” doesn’t seem quite right” (Monday, Sep 29, 2014 02:59 PM).”
No doubt, we encounter predators and stalkers, narcissists and sociopaths everywhere in Cyberspace, and they are VERY DISTURBED PERSONS! Yet, we must tread carefully. The nexus between behavioral science and partisan politics is dangerous because psychobabble is yet another overly-used and often-abused form of ad hominem abuse. Please recall the former Soviet Union and the use of ‘psychiatry’ as an instrument of oppression.

The Internet is NOT an appropriate medium for psychotherapy; yet we are well within our rights to demand accountability. To borrow a quote from Rational Nation USA: “Shine a bright spotlight into a dirty corner and it will get cleaned up.” Here is what ALL OF US can do:


Discuss Cyber-Bullying openly and honestly.
Condemn abusive and offensive conduct.
Report unsolicited pornography to your Internet provider.
Report Cyber-Bullying to law enforcement.
And consult this website.

I ask all men on behalf of the women in their lives - mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, family and friends inclusive – to condemn these acts of misogyny and sexism in Cyberspace. Although we play a very small part in this global Internet community, we have a mutually shared responsibility to raise the standard of discourse and keep it clean. 

Incidentally, we can also choose better friends.

Friday, September 26, 2014

NOTICE TO PROGRESSIVE ERUPTIONS READERS



Yesterday I temporarily turned off my blog for reasons that I shared only with those who would be interested in this change (for those of you whose emails I do not have, I apologize for not notifying you).

I am not obligated to share my personal life with the world.

A friend informed me that commenters on certain conservative blogs went ballistic, and a troll who calls him or herself "Town Crier" angrily spread lies, misinformation, and slander about me and my reasons for suspending this blog. 

Everything they speculated on was based on nothing more than paranoia and a large dose of ignorance.  Since they knew absolutely nothing about my reasons for shutting down this blog, their tirades made them all look like damn fools.

For myself and my friends who come to this blog, there's a lesson here. The people who engaged in that sort of character assassination over something as inconsequential as a blogger suspending her blog are the same sort of misinformed trouble-making malcontents who jump on everything that happens in the political arena, especially where it concerns President Obama.

Remember that whenever you read anything they write:  

Chances are very good that they don't know what the hell they're talking about.

I'll be away from here for a week or so.  I've disabled comments until I return to blogging. 

Thank you to all who wrote with kind words and good wishes.


Shaw Kenawe

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Reactions to President Obama's UN Speech




Ron Fournier, National Journal

"It was perhaps the most thoughtful, grounded, and forward-looking speech of Obama's career. Not because he raised expectations with poetic phrasing—he's been there, done that—but because he didn't go there again. Instead, the president offered listeners a bracing, pragmatic road map to the future—a vision that, when moored to reality, was oddly optimistic. 

 The world has a choice, Obama said: Work together to tackle the problems of a new age, or be swamped by them. In the United States, he said, 'we choose hope over fear'—a line that could have been borrowed not only from Wilson, but from other presidents who presided in times of great inflection: Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, both presidents named Bush."


The New York Times:


"President Obama laid out a forceful new blueprint on Wednesday for deeper American engagement in the Middle East, telling the United Nations General Assembly that the Islamic State understood only 'the language of force' and that the United States would “work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.” 


In a much-anticipated address two days after he expanded the American-led military campaign against the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, into Syria, Mr. Obama said, 'Today, I ask the world to join in this effort,' declaring, 'We will not succumb to threats, and we will demonstrate that the future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy.'

 'Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can,' Mr. Obama said in a blunt declaration of his intentions."

h/t DailyKos





I wish President Obama didn't have to give this speech, but he did, and he did so by explaining the reasons the U.S. and its coalition must stop ISIS, ISIL, and Khorasan and destroy their "network of death."

Instead of coming together as Americans did after the attacks of 9/11, certain elements on the right are second guessing the president's actions, and even cynically calling into question President Obama's patriotism and motives for those actions.



"The brutality of the militants forces us to look into the heart of darkness." --President Obama

We all have the right to criticize a president's policies, but when those on the right claim President Obama is sympathetic to the Islamic terrorists and "hates and wants to destroy America," that is no longer criticism, but deranged slander, paranoia we'd expect to hear from mentally unstable people.


Those whose every reaction to everything President Obama says or does is to malign and belittle him need to look into their own hearts of darkness and to discover why that is.




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

To Salute or Not Salute. That Is The Kerfluffle!



Because their lives are short, nasty and brutish, a certain group of people (I'm betting you'll guess who they are.) are having hissy fits over President Obama saluting or not saluting his honor guard with or without a coffee cup in his hand. (Do these people have lives or do they exist only to freak out over all things Obama?)  Anyway, a friend who served in the U.S. military explains why the blather from the right over the non-salute latte salute is just more of the same idiocy served up by the people who make a living being idiotic:


"To yer ol' Sarge's consternation, the continuing kerfluffle over the President RETURNING military salutes has resurfaced, prompted (of course) by conservatoid criticism of President Obama's activities. Most people are not veterans, so most people have only the vaguest idea about the saluting protocols. No one in civilian clothes--not president, nor anyone else--should return a 'military' salute. 

It's a military gesture, between UNIFORMED members of armed forces. Also: No superior is REQUIRED to return the salute of an inferior rank. When the superior officer approaches--and the Prez is MOST superior officer--the Marine sentry salutes; but the president/superior is under NO obligation to return it. And, being in civvies, the President is multiply removed from any obligation. It was President Reagan, who never served a day of active duty in WWII, started this civilian salute crap."



Meanwhile, a reminder to the malcontents out there on how a military salute is properly returned by a guy who was once the CiC.  

You show 'em Dubya!



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Obama Conspiracy-o-rama


Here's a good way for the Obama Derangement Syndrome folks to start their week:

A chart that includes all their favorite paranoid conspiracy theories.

Have fun all you conservative lurkers, and don't forget to report back to all your favorite conservative blogs!




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Night Poetry

Fruit Cocktail in Light Syrup

by Amy Gerstler


Rocket-shaped popsicles that dyed your lips blue
were popular when I was a kid. That era got labeled
“the space age” in honor of some longed-for,
supersonic, utopian future. Another food of my
youth was candy corn, mostly seen on Halloween.
With its striped triangular “kernels” made
of sugar, wax and corn syrup, candy corn
was a nostalgic treat, harkening back to days
when humans grew, rather than manufactured,
food. But what was fruit cocktail’s secret
meaning? It glistened as though varnished.
Faint of taste and watery, it contained anemic
grapes, wrinkled and pale. Also deflated
maraschino cherries. Fan-shaped pineapple
chunks, and squares of bleached peach
and pear completed the scene. Fruit cocktail’s
colorlessness, its lack of connection to anything
living, (like tree, seed or leaf) seemed
cautionary, sad. A bowl of soupy, faded, funeral
fruit. No more nourishing than a child’s
finger painting, masquerading as happy
appetizer, fruit cocktail insisted on pretending
everything was ok. Eating it meant you embraced
tastelessness. It meant you were easily fooled.
It meant you’d pretend semblances,
no matter how pathetic, were real, and that
when things got dicey, you’d spurn the truth.
Eating fruit cocktail meant you might deny
that ghosts whirled throughout the house
and got sucked up the chimney on nights
Dad wadded old newspapers, warned you

away from the hearth, and finally lit a fire.






fruit salad by james rosenquist
Fruit Salad (oil on canvas) by James Rosenquist

Sunday Science Blog



Hadrosaur with huge nose discovered





"The new dinosaur, named Rhinorex condrupus by paleontologists from North Carolina State University and Brigham Young University, lived in what is now Utah approximately 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. 

Rhinorex, which translates roughly into 'King Nose,' was a plant-eater and a close relative of other Cretaceous hadrosaurs like Parasaurolophus and Edmontosaurus. Hadrosaurs are usually identified by bony crests that extended from the skull, although Edmontosaurus doesn't have such a hard crest (paleontologists have discovered that it had a fleshy crest). Rhinorex also lacks a crest on the top of its head; instead, this new dinosaur has a huge nose. 

Terry Gates, a joint postdoctoral researcher with NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and colleague Rodney Sheetz from the Brigham Young Museum of Paleontology, came across the fossil in storage at BYU. First excavated in the 1990s from Utah's Neslen formation, Rhinorex had been studied primarily for its well-preserved skin impressions. When Gates and Sheetz reconstructed the skull, they realized that they had a new species. 

'We had almost the entire skull, which was wonderful,' Gates says, 'but the preparation was very difficult. It took two years to dig the fossil out of the sandstone it was embedded in -- it was like digging a dinosaur skull out of a concrete driveway.' " 

Based on the recovered bones, Gates estimates that Rhinorex was about 30 feet long and weighed over 8,500 lbs. It lived in a swampy estuarial environment, about 50 miles from the coast. Rhinorex is the only complete hadrosaur fossil from the Neslen site, and it helps fill in some gaps about habitat segregation during the Late Cretaceous."


(If Rhinorex condrupus could sing.)


 via Infidel753: 

 Check out this deep sea creature that exists today!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

GOP’s 7 most mind-boggling “scientific” theories



As a follow-up to P.E.'s most recent post, here's an interesting article from AlterNet:


GOP’s 7 most mind-boggling “scientific” theories



1. Abortion Leads To Cancer, Birth Defects, And Everything Else 

 2. Everything They Say About Rape 

 3. Climate Change Doesn’t Exist, and If It Does It’s Caused By Trees 

 4. Breast Implants, On The Other Hand, are a Fine Use Of Science 

 5. No Dead Fetuses In Your Soft Drinks 

 6. Evolution Is (Still) Out To Get Jesus 

 7. It’s Only Science If Republicans Agree With It

Also, there's this:


ISIS targets evolution in Iraqi schools



"The AP report added that Islamic State explicitly prohibits lessons on 'Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.'

 As it turns out, Iraqi schools weren’t teaching evolution anyway, but in the name of 'eliminating ignorance,' ISIS wants to be absolutely certain that modern biology is banned from science classes. The violent extremists prefer 'religious sciences.' ”

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What is it about Conservative politicians and science?





Why are they afraid of it?

Is it because their base is suspicious of anyone who accepts scientific facts?  

I don't get it.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was afraid to answer a question about his acceptance of Evolution as a scientific fact.  And he was a BIOLOGY SCHOLAR at Brown University!  It's madness!  And it appears his fear of losing an uneducated base is the reason he is willing to deny what every biologist understands and accepts: 

Evolution is real.  It's not a matter of "believing" in it, since Evolution is not dogma, it's scientifically provable. If it's a matter of Jindal's fear that religious people will abandon him and his party, I've got news for him:  the Catholic Church accepts evolution as scientific fact, as do many other Christian religions, with the exception of the extreme evangelical/fundamentalists. Shouldn't a "scholar" be concerned about bringing his followers into the light instead of keeping them in the dark?  

Apparently not.  His political ambitions trump science and reality.  Pity.  But thankfully we know he'll never be president. 



From Crooks an Liars:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal dodged three questions on Tuesday about whether he personally believes the theory of evolution explains the presence of complex life on Earth.

 "The reality is I'm not an evolutionary biologist," the Republican governor and possible 2016presidential hopeful told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

 "What I believe as a father and a husband is that local schools should make decisions on how they teach," he said. "And we can talk about Common Core and why I don't believe in a national curriculum. I think local school districts should make decisions about what should be taught in their classroom. I want my kids to be exposed to the best science, the best critical thinking..."

From The Raw Story:  "In 2008, Jindal was instrumental in the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allowed science teachers in public schools to veer away from the established science in biology courses. Under the Act, teachers can use the Bible, creationist tracts and other literature to 'supplement' their teaching about how life evolved on Earth."


That would be like having astrologists "supplement" what astro-physicists teach their students about the cosmos!

Creationism is not science, it's religion.

And it isn't just Gov. Jindal who's willing to make a fool of himself over this subject.  One would think a doctor would know better than to say these things in public (unless he too is looking to keep a religious base happy and ignorant for his political ambitions.)


Ben Carson: Evolution A Myth Because 'God Can Create Anything At Any Point In Time’

From American Conservative:  "Carson has not kept his views on biology and geology secret. But since he’s new to the national scene, many will find this a baffling revelation. As in: how can this brilliant scientific mind entertain an outlandish theory that virtually none of his peers shares? Or as Washington Post reporter Valerie Strauss implies: how can such an accomplished medical professional reject 'Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is the central principle that animates modern biology, uniting all biological fields under one theoretical tent, and which virtually all modern scientists agree is true?' ”



How can this "brilliant scientific mind" entertain an outlandish theory that virtually none of his peers shares? 

I'd say because Dr. Carson doesn't have a "brilliant scientific mind," but rather a brilliant ability to perform intricate mechanical surgeries.  And that doesn't require a knowledge of scientific fact or theories.   

The geek who helps me with my pc probably doesn't know the physics of gallium nitride, "a binary III/V direct bandgap semiconductor commonly used in bright light-emitting diodes since the 1990s. The compound is a very hard material that has a Wurtzite crystal structure. Its wide band gap of 3.4 eV affords it special properties for applications in optoelectronic, high-power and high-frequency devices. For example, GaN is the substrate which makes violet (405 nm) laser diodes possible, without use of nonlinear optical frequency-doubling."

And my favorite geek doesn't have to know that in order to convert my Microsoft Works 7 files to my new Microsoft Word software. 

Dr. Ben Carson may be a brilliant surgeon, but he's not a brilliant politician.  He's not going to be POTUS.  Ever.

His denial of scientific facts has guaranteed that. But that isn't the only reason.  He's said things that are goofy:

"The co-director of Johns Hopkins University's sexuality studies program is speaking out against his colleague Dr. Ben Carson's recent comments comparing supporters of marriage equality to members of NAMBLA and practitioners of bestiality. 

"I don't think most people at Hopkins think what he says on this subject matters," Professor Todd Shepard, co-director of the university's Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, said in a statement to Media Matters. 

"They make him look nasty, petty, and ill-informed. It doesn't tell us anything about his amazing abilities as a surgeon. It does remind us, however, that those abilities do not mean we should listen to what he says in any other domain."


Please go HERE and read "There's a Method to Jindal's Madness" by Nancy LeTourneau @Horizons.





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! Part The Infinity




Even though their own House intel report said that there was no cover-up, our Benghazi-obsessed friends on the right won't let that little fact deter them from beating their little tin drums about this non-scandal in order to keep the sheep stirred up, excited, and focussing on something other than what's in front of their noses: And obsessed is too mild a word to describe the Gee-Oh-Pee's crazed devotion to this Tragedy-That- Isn't-A-Scandal that they so desperately want it to be.

How crazily obsessed are they?

This much:

 Fox News Aired Nearly 1,100 Benghazi Segments Across 5 Programs, Study Finds


"...the study shows how Fox News, which is run by former Republican operative Roger Ailes, often fixated on minor details and storylines that seemed less about establishing the facts of the Benghazi story and more about scoring political points against President Barack Obama and Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attacks and is the presumed 2016 Democratic front-runner.

For instance, Fox News aired 244 segments suggesting “the Obama administration did not initially refer to the attacks in Benghazi as ‘terror’ or a ‘terrorist act,’” according to the study. The truth is that Obama referred to the attacks the next day as an “act of terror,” a fact Republican nominee Mitt Romney seemed unaware of during a famous presidential debate exchange in October 2012. The network aired 174 Benghazi-related segments in the month leading up to the November 2012 presidential election.

Indeed, Fox News even largely ignored Hurricane Sandy that month to focus on Benghazi, as The Huffington Post noted at the time."

[skip]


"A running theme on Fox News, and within conservative media more broadly, is that the mainstream media ignored the Benghazi story. The reality is that journalists covered the Benghazi attacks on the ground in real time and in the immediate aftermath. A number of journalists even reached the prime Benghazi suspect before the U.S. government did. 

The New York Times conducted a months-long investigation of the attacks, and other news organizations contributed reporting that advanced the public's understanding of what happened that night. 

Reporters lobbed related questions in the White House briefing room, and many covered congressional inquiries into Benghazi, which have already included 13 hearings and 50 briefings on the matter -- none of which has yet produced a "smoking gun" to support allegations of a massive cover-up." 






So when anyone reads on those hysterical internet news sites and blogs that the Benghazi tragedy has been covered up, or the media have ignored it, or that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have blood on their hands, or that there's a new "smoking gun," just remember that those poor benighted people who continue to ignore the truth are the willing victims of FAUX NOOZ propaganda, and that they will continue to lap up all the fetid codswallop it feeds them.

Take pity on them then send them a truck-load of GAS-X.






THIS IS WHY FAUX NOOZ IS A JOKE:



Monday, September 15, 2014

Not HIM again!




Remember how the extremists defended this creep? 

How many times has this unfortunate little man been in trouble since the Treyvon Martin debacle?




George Zimmerman questioned about road rage, shooting threats


Police called to incident between George Zimmerman, wife




1+ year later: Zimmerman's timeline of trouble





"George Zimmerman found himself in trouble with the law yet again this week. Florida’s WSVN News is reporting that Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder last year in the killing of 17-year-old black teenager Trayvon Martin, threatened to kill a fellow driver during a road rage incident and even showed up at the man’s workplace the next day. 

 The unnamed man called 911 and claimed Zimmerman had threatened to kill him. The following day, the man called 911 again to report that Zimmerman was waiting for him at his place of work and that he felt unsafe. 

He ultimately declined to press charges after Zimmerman admitted to police that he had exchanged words with the man."

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Don't Even






"This story has it all. Stretch Hummers. Booze. A right hook. And a former vice presidential candidate screaming, 'Do you know who I am!?' 

 Just another Saturday night in Anchorage with the Palins?" --Washington Post






John McCain wanted this person one heartbeat away from the presidency.




Amanda Coyne: 


 “A nice, mellow party, until the Palin’s show up. There’s beer, of course, and maybe other things. Which is all fine, but just about the time when some people might have had one too many, a Track Palin stumbles out of a stretch Hummer, and immediately spots an ex-boyfriend of Willow’s. Track isn’t happy with this guy, the story goes. 

There’s words, and more. The owner of the house gets involved, and he probably wished he hadn’t. At this point, he’s up against nearly the whole Palin tribe: Palin women screaming. Palin men thumping their chests. 

Word is that Bristol has a particularly strong right hook, which she employed repeatedly, and it’s something to hear when Sarah screams, “Don’t you know who I am!” 

And it was particularly wonderful when someone in the crowd screamed back, “This isn’t some damned Hillbilly reality show!” 

No, it’s what happens when the former First Family of Alaska comes knocking. As people were leaving in a cab, Track was seen on the street, shirtless, flipping people off, with Sarah right behind him, and Todd somewhere in the foreground, tending to his bloody nose.”



It is painfully evident that even a year of elocution lessons to teach her to modulate her voice, or a change of coiffure, will never take the "low" out of the Palin "class."




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering Kevin McCarthy





A tribute to Kevin who lost his life on September 11, 2001 by someone who did not know him personally but chose to honor his memory.







"So. Here is the face of an important man. It’s a nice face. It’s a handsome face. His face could be the face of anyone’s brother, cousin, nephew, uncle, grandson, husband or father. And, the very fact that he could be anyone, makes him someone important. Not because he died, but because he was a person, with a life, a soul, a destiny, a place in his family. 

 His name is Kevin McCarthy. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. He was probably somewhere between the 100th and 105th floors when the plane hit the North Tower. Things may have happened so quickly for him that he didn’t have time to feel fear. I hope so."


Kevin McCarthy, unabashed confidence. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

President Obama Addresses the Nation on ISIS








"We will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense," 

Obama said in remarks as prepared for delivery. "Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. 

This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven."

[skip]


“So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat," Obama said Wednesday. 


"Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sarah The Palin Tells It Like It Isn't



Grandpa McGrumpy Pants' gift to America.  


Turn off the sound, and she's even funnier:








What she really sounds like:


Business Insider: 50 State Economies from Worst to Best




Business Insider ranks the 50 state economies from WORST to BEST.

Go HERE to find out where your state's ranking is.


Massachusetts is in the top ten for best state economies.

Here are the other nine:


  1)   North Dakota
  2)   Texas
  3)   New York
  4)  Alaska
  5)  Washington
  6)   Massachusetts
  7)   Connecticut
  8)   Delaware
  9)   Vermont
10)   Wyoming


WORST STATE ECONOMIES:

 50)  Mississippi
 49)  New Mexico
 48)  Arkansas
 47)  Maine
 46)  South Carolina
 45)  West Virginia
 44)  Kentucky
 43)  Nevada
 42)  Idaho
 41)  Hawaii
 40)  Florida

Monday, September 8, 2014

FORBES MAGAZINE: President Obama Outperforms President Reagan on Jobs, Growth, and Investing




Obama Outperforms Reagan on Jobs, Growth and Investing


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today issued America’s latest jobs report covering August. And it’s a disappointment. The economy created an additional 142,000 jobs last month. After 6 consecutive months over 200,000, most pundits expected the string to continue, including ADP which just yesterday said 204,000 jobs were created in August. 


 One month variation does not change a trend 

 Even though the plus-200k monthly string was broken (unless revised upward at a future date,) unemployment did continue to decline and is now reported at only 6.1%. Jobless claims were just over 300k; lowest since 2007. Despite the lower than expected August jobs number, America will create about 2.5 million new jobs in 2014. And that is great news.


This is the best private sector jobs creation performance in American history




Deitrick – “President Reagan has long been considered the best modern economic President. So we compared his performance dealing with the oil-induced recession of the 1980s with that of President Obama and his performance during this ‘Great Recession.’ 

 As this unemployment chart shows, President Obama’s job creation kept unemployment from peaking at as high a level as President Reagan, and promoted people into the workforce faster than President Reagan. President Obama has achieved a 6.1% unemployment rate in his 6th year, fully one year faster than President Reagan did. 

At this point in his presidency, President Reagan was still struggling with 7.1% unemployment, and he did not reach into the mid-low 6% range for another full year. So, despite today’s number, the Obama administration has still done considerably better at job creating and reducing unemployment than did the Reagan administration. 

 We forecast unemployment will fall to around 5.4% by summer, 2015. A rate President Reagan was unable to achieve during his two terms.”










Where myth meets reality 

 There is another election in just 8 weeks. Statistics will be bandied about. Monthly data points will be hotly contested. There will be a lot of rhetoric by candidates on all sides. But, understanding the prevailing trends is critical. Recognizing that first the economy, then the stock market and now jobs are all trending upward is important – even as all 3 measures will have short-term disappointments. 

There are a lot of reasons voters elect a candidate. Jobs and the economy are just one category of factors. But, for those who place a high priority on jobs, economic performance and the markets the data clearly demonstrates which presidential administration has performed best. And shows a very clear trend one can expect to continue into 2015.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

THUG!



White teen in BMW hits three cars, assaults cop in Pennsylvania and doesn’t get shot













"A 19-year-old former high school field hockey star plowed her BMW into three cars, left the scene of the accidents and kicked a police officer in the head before being apprehended in Bensalem, Pennsylvania on Thursday morning. 

 According to WPVI Channel 6, Sarah Culhane from Princeton, New Jersey was arrested after 3 reported hit-and-run accidents and after she assaulted an officer who was trying to arrest her. Bensalem police were called to the scene of an accident around 9:30 a.m. Thursday and arrived in time to see the blue BMW at fault in the crash take off from the scene. 

Police pursued the vehicle, but called off the pursuit to avoid a high speed chase."




Saturday, September 6, 2014

Political Cartoons of the Week












And finally, more cray-cray from the Crazies:




h/t Stupid things Conservatives say.

Video of the Week





Tim Minchin

"In 2013, The University of Western Australia (UWA) awarded Minchin the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, for his contribution to the arts, recognising his outstanding achievements and worldwide acclaim as a leading composer, lyricist, actor, writer and comedian."

Here's his address to the graduating seniors of UWA: