Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Night Poetry

A few years ago, this poem was triggered by my reading about 'sailing stones' and the mystery of how they moved from one place to another.  That made me think about a young relative who was very dear to me who went from "one place to another," when she died.  The poem is a meditation on the mystery of death, and some of the details in the poem describe the room in which she died and her personal effects. The mirror image is there to suggest another dimension.  I won't say more than that, except hers was an untimely 'sailing' from this place to the other.

Sailing Stone

No one knows how a glacier moved you                           
                                                             into the mirror.

Ruined petals by a glass door, coreopsis
                                                             disintegrates in lantern light.

What is leaving?

My twin,
                                                          where are your rugged clothes
                                                           your enameled lip’s lustrous cantata?

This mysterious rut in desert sand,

                                                           a scientist’s mare, ice-riding stone,


                                                           how you sailed there?


Sunday Science Blog

Mystery of Death Valley's 'Sailing Stones' Solved

I've always been fascinated by the mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley and have followed any news about them.  Finally, thanks to science, we have a better understanding of what causes the phenomenon.

"For years, enormous stones have been moving across the Racetrack Playa of Death Valley National Park, leaving engraved trails in the muddy surface behind. No one understood how, though there was plenty of speculation, according to researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego. 

 Last year the researchers, Richard Norris and James Norris, placed stones equipped with GPS devices on the same stretch of land, then waited and watched."

"We recorded the first direct scientific observation of rock movements using GPS-instrumented rocks and photography, in conjunction with a weather station and time-lapse cameras," the authors wrote in a study published in the journal PLOS One. On Dec. 20, 2013, they witnessed 60 rocks move across the land."

GO HERE to see the video and learn more.

 h/t Infidel753 for THIS LINK that better explains the sailing stones phenomena.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


By now you've read or heard about the chattering classes who went all Edith Head over President Obama's sartorial choice the day he gave a press conference to discuss ISIS.  Some people even went so far as to suggest he was thumbing his nose at the American people by wearing this perfectly normal and, may I add, natty attire.  

Seriously, America?  You, well not all of you, went bonkers over a tan suit?  Please.  Do yourself a favor and go out and live.  You're embarrassing yourself over this.

BTW, when it comes to wearing of the tan, Mr. Reagan takes the title of Mr. Tan Suit President. Not nice of him to thumb his nose at the American people!  And so many times!

Barry Wears It Better!

Is President Reagan Thumbing His Nose At Australia's Prime Minister?

Doesn't he respect Justice O"Connor?  He's wearing TAN!

Uh-Oh!  Again?  And in the Oval Office!  Quick where's the fainting couch!

Signing the VERY SERIOUS legislation for Japanese reparation.  IN A TAN SUIT!!!

That's it for the silliness.  

Now back to serious  chocolate and wine.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Just another day...

in gun-stupid America.

Yes.  Gun stupid.   Because how else could one describe a culture that thinks it's cute to allow children as young as 8 years to have fun with an Uzi?

Our culture is so saturated in guns and in the belief in an unrestrained, unrestricted 2nd Amendment that we've come to accept as normal children, CHILDREN, having access to submachine guns as a wholesome and fun thing to do. 

I have yet to hear one reason from a rational person on why we allow this colossal stupidity, yet the only reaction to this gross idiocy will be to shake our heads then wait for the next stomach-turning tragedy involving children and firearms to happen again.  And, dammit, we know it will as sure as we know the NRA's thug leadership will bully our congressional leaders into doing nothing.

And speaking of the criminal leadership of the NRA, it reacted as we all knew it would with a flippant tweet just after the 9-year old girl accidentally shot and killed her instructor.  But can we actually label this sort of criminal negligence an accident?  The instructor was ex-military. He would have known the perils of a kick-back when a 60 pound child pulls the trigger on an automatic weapon such as an Uzi. We'll never know what he was thinking, because his life is over, and the poor child who shot him dead has to live with the horror of that day for the rest of her life.   I call that child abuse.

The shooting range owner and her parents, and everyone else who does not see this as insane, need to have some deep psychological counseling to help them find out why their normal human instinct to protect innocent and vulnerable children failed them.  They need to find out why their love of automatic weapons overrode what most humans would consider common sense:  i.e., not letting children near submachine guns as a form of play!

Just another day in gun-stupid America!

From Mother Jones:

How hard is it to handle one of these guns? 

Quartz's Gwynn Guilford did the math: With the average American nine-year-old girl weighing about 60 pounds, and the average Uzi weighing seven to nine pounds, "That would be roughly equal to a 40-year-old man firing a 25-pound gun like, say, the Hotchkiss M1909 used in trench warfare in World Wars I and II—a weapon so heavy it sat on a tripod." (Ironically, the Uzi is designed to be relatively light in the hands of an adult, which can also make handling its powerful recoil more tricky.)

The shooting range's manager said that the girl's parents had signed waivers and understood the range's rules. Still, he told the Associated Press, "I have regret we let this child shoot, and I have regret that [Vacca] was killed in the incident."

Has anything like this happened before and what might it mean for the national gun debate? 

Sadly, this tragedy is not the first of its kind. An eight-year-old Massachusetts boy died at a gun show in 2008, when an Uzi he was firing at pumpkins kicked back and he shot himself in the head. The former police chief who organized the show and provided the child with the weapon was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter. That incident did have one positive outcome, in Cutilletta's view: It inspired neighboring Connecticut to pass a law banning anyone under 16 from using a machine gun at a shooting range.

Demented Gun Culture

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Hey ladies!  Would you like to go back to the 1950s of your mothers' and grandmothers' era when:

1)  professional jobs were still largely closed off to women and it was not unusual for companies to have a written policy that stated that women should be paid less than men?

2)  in many states women's property rights were still restricted. In some states women could not make contracts, including wills. They also could not sell property and in many cases they could not control their own earnings. All of these were the legal right of the woman's husband or father;

3)  in almost every state, men had the right to have sex with their wife any time they wanted to, with or without her consent. There was, in other words, no such thing as rape if a couple was married, and any form of birth control was still illegal in many places. The combination of these two meant that a woman was almost legally obligated to have children if her husband wanted them.

 Women were not much better off than the women in today's Muslim countries who are subject to repressive religious rules made by men.  American women are far better off today because of PROGRESSIVE/LIBERAL policies that gave them autonomy over their finances, careers, and reproductive rights.

That leads us to this report on what women think of GOP and how that political party sees them:

Women Don't Think The GOP Cares About Them, Internal Report Confirms

A new internal Republican report confirmed that women are not fans of the GOP, and Republicans have more work to do if they want the female vote. 

 The report, which was obtained by Politico, found that although Republicans have tried to improve outreach to female voters, women still believe the party is "stuck in the past" and "intolerant." 

Forty-nine percent of women polled for the report looked on the GOP unfavorably. Only 39 percent felt that way about the Democratic Party. 

The study was commissioned by two conservative groups: Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network. It offered a stark picture of how women view the Republican Party as a whole. 

Women are "barely receptive" to the party's policy proposals, the report said, in part because Republicans "fail to speak to women in the different circumstances in which they live."

All one has to do is witness how brutally the conservatives treated Sandra Fluke to understand how a majority of women reject their ideology where it concerns their well-being and their issues. Change has to come in the GOP if they want women's votes.  But it will be a difficult job as long as the GOP continues to elect the sort of men who believe a woman's place is in an apron with a mop in her hand.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

President Obama: America does not forget.

The American Legion cheers Mr. Obama.  They know the brutality of war.

President Obama speaks to The American  Legion’s 96th convention in Charlotte:

The reception that the president received at the American Legion is interesting when contrasted with the Republican reaction to Obama’s foreign policy. The people who know the horrors of war most intimately are the ones who are supporting a policy of not sending ground troops back to Iraq. 

There is a reason why the president’s pledge not to send ground troops back in draws applause from each audience that it is delivered to. The American people are tired of war, specifically war in the Middle East. 

Republicans and their media lapdogs have been labeling President Obama’s foreign policy a failure, but judged by the criteria of what the majority of Americans say they want, it has been a success. Most people wanted the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. This is exactly what Obama has done. 

The Republican definition of foreign policy success is a continuation of George W. Bush’s all war all of the time view of the world. Republicans are still trying to vindicate the invasion of Iraq. 

Their claim of Obama foreign policy failure is flavored with a refusal to admit their own failures and defeats. It is telling that those who have a personal understanding of war cheered President Obama’s foreign policy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

White Opinions Bingo: Ferguson Edition

via Squatlo Rant

 And let's bury this dumb GOP meme that Mr. Obama is the vacation president:


Monday, August 25, 2014

New Gun Legislation Signed by Massachusetts Governor Patrick

The events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Middle East took precedent over this important piece of legislation that Governor Patrick signed two weeks ago.  

Good for him and good for Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signs gun bill into law saying, 'It's a good bill, an important bill'

BOSTON - Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law on Wednesday a bill reforming the state's gun laws, with provisions focused on school safety, mental health, background checks and enhanced criminal penalties for gun crimes.

"This bill was more complicated ... more difficult, more challenging than many of us thought, but it's a good bill, an important bill, an important step forward, and it reflects a truth that we all ... have a stake in safe neighborhoods," Patrick, a Democrat, said during a signing ceremony.

"In very sensible ways and in compromise, this bill helps us all toward that goal." The bill was the result of a lengthy process. After a 2012 mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn., state lawmakers filed 60 bills related to gun violence. A task force held hearings around the state then made recommendations to the legislature, where House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a Winthrop Democrat, proposed a comprehensive gun violence bill.

 DeLeo's bill was opposed by gun rights opponents and went through multiple revisions before the House and Senate finally reached an agreement. The bill passed on the last night of the legislative session. The final compromise was over whether to give local police chiefs discretion when issuing firearms identification cards, which are required to buy a shotgun or rifle.

Until now, the police chiefs only had that discretion for licensing handguns. The new law allows police chiefs to go to court and petition a judge to find a license applicant unsuitable.

(per capita) 

1)  Louisiana
2)   Mississipi
3)   Alaska
4)   Wyoming
5)   Oklahoma
6)   Montana
7)   Arkansas
8)   Alabama
9)   New Mexico
10) South Carolina 

 (per capita)

1)   Rhode Island
2)   Hawaii
3)   Massachusetts
4)   New York
5)   New Jersey
6)   Connecticut
7)   New Hampshire
8)   Iowa
9)   Minnesota
10) Wisconsin

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Night Poetry

Nude With Oranges

She walks into a room of titian walls,
Peels off her silky wrap. Her marigolds
Have dropped their petals on a rusted pail.
An oriole distracts her from the fruit

She’s peeled and sectioned on a copper plate.
Perhaps Ch√Ęteau d’Amboise is where she found
Cezanne, or was it Soto’s lines that made
Her dream of coral flames in citrus trees?

The pumpkin of her rug, her marmalade
Cat have carroted the room, and yet she’s
Sick with longing for a salmon moon to
Fill this evening’s sunny melancholy.

Alone, unclothed upon her ocher couch
She wonders if the dimpled fruit’s too much.


Reclining Nude With Oranges by Rose Henry

Sunday Science Blog

How Do We See Color? 

 Stephanie Pappas, Live Science 

"Roses are red and violets are blue, but we only know that thanks to specialized cells in our eyes called cones. When light hits an object – say, a banana – the object absorbs some of the light and reflects the rest of it. Which wavelengths are reflected or absorbed depends on the properties of the object. 

 For a ripe banana, wavelengths of about 570 to 580 nanometers bounce back. These are the wavelengths of yellow light. When you look at a banana, the wavelengths of reflected light determine what color you see.  The light waves reflect off the banana's peel and hit the light-sensitive retina at the back of your eye. That's where cones come in. 

Cones are one type of photoreceptor, the tiny cells in the retina that respond to light. Most of us have 6 to 7 million cones, and almost all of them are concentrated on a 0.3 millimeter spot on the retina called the fovea centralis."


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Anonymous: An Assassin Among Us by (O)CT(O)PUS of The Swash Zone

Let’s face it.  There are times when the blogosphere resembles a war zone.  Anonymous trolls, predators, stalkers, and comment assassins – they pop up sight unseen like whack-a-moles.  Some merely argue in bad faith; some rise to the level of road rage; others leave behind taunts and menacing comments. Some incidents are more memorable – meaning more disturbed and disturbing – than others. For over a year, a persistent predator has been stalking this community.

Years ago, I recall, another predatory troll visited my email box early one morning on Christmas Day. On a holiday celebrated by millions of families, here was one lone predator with malice on his mind.  How strange (and troubling), I thought.  After reporting this incident - among others - to law enforcement, the stalking ceased.

What are the signs and symptoms of a truly disturbed personality behind the anonymous moniker? Momentary outbursts of bad temper do not qualify as disturbed behavior. At various times, all of us have strong viewpoints and our moments.

The signature trait of disturbed behavior is simply this:  a pervasive, pernicious, and long-term pattern of predatory behaviors that rise to the level of obsession.  The predator who stalks this community meets these criteria. Consider the frequency and level of vitriol in comments received within the last 24 hours alone (edited for brevity):
6:59 PM, August 18, 2014:  Not with all the Jew haters on here, smells like shit, group shit 
7:48 PM, August 19, 2014:  You are no liberal defender of civil rights when you help protect and hide antisemitism. You censer those ideas differ from yours and claim it was the troll aspects, or insults that you objected to, yet you allow your buddies to call names to anyone who differs from your thinking, and then you all have a good laugh. What a hypocritical jackass. 
7:51 PM, August 19, 2014:  I've seen Octo on the blogs for years. He is one of the biggest trolls and intentional instigators of blog disruption I've ever read. What a fucking hypocrite he is. 
7:58 PM, August 19, 2014:  To bad you have to lie to make your false points, but it does show your shit character, just as protecting your antisemite buddy does. Yes, your antisemite buddy, documented as such on Shaw's blog, yet you both protect him. Fuck you asshole
For over a year, my Spam Box has filled with messages like these, presumably from the same anonymous commenter who stalks one of our readers across Cyberspace and accuses him of anti-Semitism.

Is subject reader, in the crosshairs of subject troll, really an anti-Semite?  The accusations are delusional and irrational – as manifest in all obsessive-compulsive behaviors of this type:
Recurrent and persistent thoughts and impulses that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and cause marked anxiety or distress;
Thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems;
With poor insight: For most of the time, the person does not recognize that the obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable.
In these email missives, the anonymous stalker never offers a single citation -  no links, no quotes, not one shred of evidence, nothing!

The Internet should never be used as a medium for character assassination or as a venue for holding Kangaroo Court.  Even more offensive is when a nameless, faceless person levels unfounded accusations while hiding behind a mask as an anonymous stalker. When the accused never even has a chance to face his accuser, this is the most gutless, cowardly, and unethical act of all.

Friday, August 22, 2014

CNN Reported That Officer Wilson DID NOT Suffer An Injury To His Eye Socket

From Mediaite:

 "Earlier this week, Fox News reported that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old unarmed Michael Brown, suffered a fractured eye socket following his confrontation with the teenager. The reporter, Hollie McKay, cited a “source close to the [police] department’s top brass” as providing that information to the network.

 However, on CNN Thursday, Don Lemon reported that Wilson did not suffer a fractured or broken eye socket and was rather treated at the hospital for swelling around his face and eyes. Noting that that specific injury has not been reported by CNN, “but is making its way around other media organization,” Lemon cited a “source close to the investigation” who told CNN that Wilson’s x-rays came back negative for a fractured eye socket.

 “That source says it is not true, at all, he did not have a torn eye socket,” Lemon said.

“Unequivocally.” Following Lemon’s report, Nancy Grace offered up her official position on the matter: “I really don’t know if we’re going to know what any of this is, or the truth of it, until it comes out in court.”

Good ole' FAUX NOOZ fulfilling its duty to keep as many people misinformed and agitated about wrong information as it possibly can.  Who watches this despicable cable "news" station?

No incident report was filed by the Ferguson Police Department, a standard operating procedure in cases like this, but here is why

It is instructive, however, to see how quickly certain people jumped on this rumor about a fractured eye socket  and spread it around the internet as though it were factual:

From Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft (aka "The Stupidest Man On The Internet"):

Posted by Jim Hoft on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 10:00 AM 

 The Gateway Pundit can now confirm from two local St. Louis sources that police Officer Darren Wilson suffered facial fractures during his confrontation with deceased 18 year-old Michael Brown. Officer Wilson clearly feared for his life during the incident that led to the shooting death of Brown. This was after Michael Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson robbed a local Ferguson convenience store.

More inaccurate reporting on rumor from the conservative blogsphere:

CONFIRMED: Officer Darren Wilson Badly Beaten Before Mike Brown Shooting – Punched In Face, Broken Eye Socket: “He was beaten very severely”…

On that particular site above, people reading it are urged to be more like Andrew Breitbart, y'know, the guy who used lies, smears, and slander as tools in his reporting on controversies. So, yes, that blog is certainly living up to what Breitbart stood for.

All we know to date is that Michael Brown was shot 6 times, 2 of which were in his head, that Officer Darren Wilson is the policeman who shot Brown, and that Officer Wilson did not suffer a fracture to his orbital eye socket (if we can believe CNN.)

As a counter to the scolding and mockery Johnathan Gentry hurled at the people of Ferguson, Missouri, I offer this from Arianna Huffington of Th Huffington Post:

"That rallying spirit of coming together went beyond Ferguson. The Wisconsin Hope Lab helped secure college scholarships for the three siblings of Michael Brown. And since the first day of school for Ferguson kids has been moved back several days -- along with the lunches many of them depend on -- Raleigh, North Carolina, teacher Julianna Mendelsohn, in collaboration with a food bank in St. Louis, took to Fundly to raise money to fill in the food gap. 

And there were hundreds more expressions of the better angels of our nature, a sample of them captured by our reporters on Twitter: Ferguson residents helping clean up; giving out diapers and children's books; handing out water, cookies and juice; setting up a food station for the protesters; giving the protesters free pizza; helping protesters hit with tear gas; letting strangers stay in their homes; lending a cellphone so someone could call his mother; handing out free lunches to anyone in the community -- including the police; giving free coffee and wifi to members of the press covering the story; and protecting a store from being looted. 

 It's all part of a larger picture of Ferguson that hasn't been very much in evidence in the media. But for Ferguson committeewoman Patricia Bynes it's not unexpected. "I'm not surprised because I live here, and I know that we have great people here," she told HuffPost. "So during times like this, this is when those people just step up and just fill the need."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Diatribe Against The Black Community By Johnathan Gentry

This video by Johnathan Gentry has gone viral in the conservative blog sphere, and it appears that for people who think it is a righteous answer to those who sympathize with the people of Ferguson, Missouri,  I would point out a glaring problem about half way through Mr. Gentry's rant. If you don't pay close attention, you'd almost miss it.  You can hear it around 3:19.

And what does Mr. Gentry say that belies his scolding and mockery of the black community?

This is what he freely admits in the video:

"I'm young and black and drive a brand new BMW and live in the Valley.  How many encounters have I had with th police? MANY!  How many times has it got out of ontrol?  NONE! NONE!  NONE!  So I wanna debunk that myth about us getting mistreated..."

Neither Mr. Gentry nor the people who are using this video to shame the African-American community for protesting what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, are bothered by what Mr. Gentry himself admitted:  that the police stopped him MANY TIMES while he, a law-abiding nice guy, drove around in his brand new BMW. 

Presumably Mr Gentry is unaware of this irony because driving while black is so common and so unremarkable that even he is used to and accepts the insulting harassment.

I have a husband, son, nephews, male cousins, sons-in-law, and brothers-in-law just as upstanding as the young man in the video is, and they have NOT been stopped by the police MANY TIMES, (while driving white in their new expensive cars) as this young man admits. And that is quite an admission by him -- one he conveniently glosses over so he can impress people with how nice he is to the police who have mistreated him by stopping him "many times."  (He never explains why he was stopped so often.)

The irony in Mr Gentry's admission while berating his own community is thick and sad and depressing.

Meanwhile the conservatives on FAUX NOOZ and in the blog sphere have found a new hero, a guy who is blind to his own mistreatment and rants about reactions to injustice while ignoring its causes.

Mr. Gentry also ignores the fact that the black community has come together many times to stop the violence and does care very much about crime within its communities. Mr. Gentry is just unaware of all this because it is easier to deal in histrionics and mock and blame your fellow citizens than it is to try to understand.

The video solves nothing, but it certainly makes a lot of people feel self-satisfied because Mr. Gentry told them that their own ideas and prejudices about African-Americans are justified and correct.

Poor Mr. Gentry.   He should look up the word "irony" and be more careful the next time he mocks a community in pain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The 10 Kinds of Trolls You Will Encounter When Talking About Mike Brown

A blogger's guide to trolls while participating in discussions during the Ferguson, Missouri, tragedy:

By Olivia Cole of The Huffington Post

The Full-Blown Racist Troll

Block on sight. Some of them are friends of your Facebook friends -- block them. Some of them are your Facebook friends. Many of them are accounts like the one I have screenshotted below: anonymous and relying on blatantly racist language, such as blackface imagery, monkey references, use of the N-word, etc. These have exploded over the last week. We're talking hundreds. I've been using Twitter avidly for years and I can't recall ever seeing quite this much racist bile taking over an event-related hashtag (#Ferguson) as I have this week. Block them and report them for spam immediately.

 The "Wait for Evidence" Troll

This troll may or may not be anonymous and pretends to be focused on respecting and upholding the law. "We don't know what happened yet," they say, "wait for evidence before you lambast an officer of the law." They pretend that things like racism, police brutality, police corruption, etc. don't exist and insist that if concrete evidence is released, they will be swayed to feel "sympathy" for Mike Brown. But they won't. When evidence arises, they find objection to its relevance or veracity. They then transform into The "Mike Brown Shouldn't Have " Troll, to follow.

 The "Mike Brown Shouldn't Have" Troll 

This troll (and the others as well) will go great lengths to justify the taking of black life. "He shouldn't have run," "he shouldn't have been sagging," "he shouldn't have been walking down the middle of the street," "he shouldn't have stolen something." These trolls come in all races and will insist that when a police officer (or a homeowner, or a security guard) assaults a person of color, that person must have done something to deserve it. The fact that Mike Brown was shot at least 6 times doesn't register as overkill, even when two of those shots were in the head. They will also extend effort to paint Ferguson as a ghetto, where this kind of thing happens all the time. Nope. Ferguson, Missouri had zero murders.


The "But What About Black on Black Crime!" Troll 

Yes, 85 percent of violent crime against black people is perpetuated by other black people. But guess what? The exact same is true for violent crime committed against white people: the vast majority of those crimes are committed by other white people. People who use the term "black on black crime" either 1) work for Fox News, 2) are seeking to portray black people as violent and out of control, and/or 3) seek to portray black people as only caring about black lives when there is a way to blame white people. Let's run that back: 1) If they work for Fox already know. 2) If we're going to make sweeping statements about people being violent and out of control, perhaps we should focus on young white males. 3) Anyone who would fit with #3 is not interested in facts, otherwise they would be aware of the vast number of organizations and movements to end gun violence in black neighborhoods... spearheaded by black people. The real motivation behind this troll (and all of them really) is to distract from the matter at hand, and that's that an unarmed black teen is dead.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Wonder why emotions run high in the blogsphere?  Take a look at how some conservatives are discussing the Ferguson tragedy:

From a conservative blog:

There is no innocent [sic] till proven guilty when the President of the United States, and the Attorney General keep making comments that condemn the police officer in this case. The facts do not support the original claim that the man was running away, nor that he got on his knees and raised his hands. Yet our Government is intent on making it that way.

What we have here is Reverse Racism at it's[sic] finest! No doubt about it especially since Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, and Obama are involved. Remember, "The police acted stupidly", Obama doesn't care about facts.

The above is a disgusting example of deliberate lying about the Ferguson tragedy and President Obama in order to further divide an already divided country. 

President Obama and Attorney General Holder did NOT utter anything close to what the liar wrote, but most of the people who read that pile of horseshit will probably believe it.  And we wonder why this country is seething with bitterness and hate. Here we have a example of a deliberate lie allowed to go unchallenged.  The liar who wrote what is highlighted above also put in quotes something Mr. Obama DID NOT SAY ABOUT THE FERGUSON TRAGEDY, but placing that quote from an incident not remotely connected to a shooting implies that the president uttered those words about the Ferguson shooting. The truth is not important to the person who wrote that screed.  So long as it keeps the people who read that sort of swill stirred up and feeling victimized by President Obama, we'll continue to see outrageous mendacity on these blogs.

The same trouble-making liar wrote this on the same blog:

Facts, are facts no matter if these idiotic RACIST WHITE TRAILER TRASH aka Progressives try to make up their own “Facts” another un-informed Progressive who can't read or hasn’t the ability to understand the written word, seems to be in a world of her own thinks that the Police in Ferguson were trying to kill this Animal only because of his color. 

Anyone with half a brain can see for themselves that there is nothing that says anything about that at all. It is all coming out now. I guess because we have our WONDERFUL Attorney General (“sarcasm”) on the premises. 

(Aside:  Apparently, this person never met a comma he didn't love.)

That commenter wouldn't recognize a fact if it sat on his face and farted up his nares.  He lifted words from comments I made on my own blog, then went to a conservative blog and lied about what he presumably read on my blog.  Nothing in my post about Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri, said anything about blaming the police.  The first post was about the police interfering with reporters at the scene, and the second post is a report about the second autopsy findings and the facts we know so far, nothing else.

But the prevaricator who wrote the highlighted comments isn't interested in facts or truth.  He's interested in spreading unrest, resentment, and hatred and, of course, his damnable lies.  The conservative blogs, thinking they are bastions of "free speech," allow these sorts of vicious lies free rein, then blame liberals for dividing the country.

Our good friend and redoubtable cephalopod, (O)CT(O)PUS, posted an excellent, insightful comment over at The Swash Zone that deserves to be seen everywhere:

"So what do people like Larry Klayman, Governor Grifter and trolls have in common? Both argue in BAD FAITH, and their purpose is to inflame, obfuscate, disrupt, and hijack public discussions and comment threads. 

 It’s not merely the dissemination of outrageous lies that offends us, it’s their method of constructing and perpetuating those lies – their toolbox of deception, defamation, denial, derision, demagoguery, and false attribution: The message AND the medium wrapped into one. 

 Politicians aim demagogic appeals at disaffected, low-information bumpkins to fragment public opinion and maintain their power. Trolls adopt the techniques of arguing in bad faith from their masters and bring them to our blogs. 

 What boils and roils my cephalopod ink is when we give audience to trolls – especially those who defame our friends without attribution or proof while hiding behind anonymous monikers: The most cowardly and dastardly of all! 


Vermont Senator James M. Jeffords, May 11, 1934 - August 18, 2014

Yes, the Republican Party once welcomed men like Jim Jeffords.

No more.

And the country is worse off because the GOP has become a party of extremists.

From Publishers Weekly's review of Yvonne Daley's collaboration with Senator Jefford in writing his autobiography: 

"This political autobiography by Vermont senator Jeffords will disappoint readers expecting a no-holds-barred, sensational expos‚ of why he left the Republican Party, an act that gave control of the Senate to the Democrats in one of the biggest political stories of 2001. Instead, consistent with his endangered-species status as a moderate Republican, 

Jeffords writes with the sensibilities of another vanishing breed, the gentleman politician who eschews political diatribes and partisan name-calling to offer considered and principled explanations. 

According to Jeffords, and contrary to the pundits who attributed his actions to "mishandling" by the Bush administration, he left the party he had served for 35 years because the gap between his beliefs and party dogma had grown too wide to breach. As he describes his political service, which included time as a Vermont state senator and attorney general, the only real question is why he stayed with the party so long. 

His differences with Republican orthodoxy began early in his career and included his support for environmental regulations, expanded federal funding for health care and federal involvement in education, and his opposition to Clinton's impeachment. 

Jeffords is generally reticent about his personal life, but he does provide insights into the stresses and strains in political marriages. As it turned out, Jeffords's flight had little lasting effect since the Republicans retook the Senate in 2002, but his articulation of the difficulties moderate Republicans face working with their party's mainstream may foretell a growing polarization within the political establishment."

From the WaPo's obituary on Senator Jeffords:

“Increasingly, I find myself in disagreement with my party,” Jeffords said at the time. “I understand that many people are more conservative than I am, and they form the Republican Party. Given the changing nature of the national party, it has become a struggle for our leaders to deal with me and for me to deal with them.” 

 That struggle had been long. In 1981, while serving in the House, he was the only Republican to oppose President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts. Later, as a member of the Senate, Mr. Jeffords opposed President George H.W. Bush’s nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court and publicly agonized before supporting the president on the invasion of Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. 

During the Democratic administration of President Bill Clinton, Mr. Jeffords broke with his party by backing the president’s health-care plan and voting against the articles of impeachment brought against him in connection with the Monica Lewinsky affair. Clinton called Mr. Jeffords his “favorite Republican.” 

 His disaffection with his party — as well as his party’s disaffection with him — intensified after President George W. Bush’s election in 2000.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Autopsy Findings on Michael Brown

Crisis In Ferguson: Autopsy Shows Mike Brown Was Shot Six Times And Twice In The Head

The results of a private autopsy performed by a doctor on behalf of the family of slain teenager Mike Brown were released Sunday evening. Dr. Michael Baden indicated in his report that Brown was shot six times by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. 

Two of the gunshots were to the head, including one to the top of the skull. The skullshot was the final one delivered as it was clearly fatal. A gunshot to the top of the head seems to indicate that Brown was leaning down or on his knees when that shot was delivered. 

This lends credence to eyewitness accounts that the officer shot Brown execution-style at the end of the confrontation. 

Dr. Baden is well-known when it comes to autopsies. He is the former chief medical examiner for New York City. He has performed tens of thousands of autopsies in his career and also reviewed the autopsy records of John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

More on the story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

 Nameless Cynic of The Swash Zone has a post up on this tragedy.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Night Poetry

The Suicide's Room 

I'll bet you think the room was empty. 
Wrong. There were three chairs with sturdy backs. 
A lamp, good for fighting the dark. 
A desk, and on the desk a wallet, some newspapers. 
A carefree Buddha and a worried Christ. 
Seven lucky elephants, a notebook in a drawer. 
You think our addresses weren't in it? 

No books, no pictures, no records, you guess? 
Wrong. A comforting trumpet poised in black hands. 
Saskia and her cordial little flower. 
Joy the spark of gods. 
Odysseus stretched on the shelf in life-giving sleep 
after the labors of book five. 
The moralists 
with the golden syllables of their names 
inscribed on finely tanned spines. 
Next to them, the politicians braced their backs. 

No way out? But what about the door? 
No prospects? The window had other views. 
His glasses 
lay on the windowsill. 
And one fly buzzed-that is, was still alive. 

You think at least the note must tell us something. 
But what if i say there was no note- 
and he had so many friends, but all of us fit neatly 
inside the empty envelope propped up against s cup. 

--Wislawa Szymborszka

Sunday Science Blog: The Sea Pig

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Police or Paramilitary Force?


What the hell is going on.   And why?

The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly and the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery were arrested Wednesday evening while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer last week. The journalists were released unharmed, but their detentions highlighted the town's ramped up police presence, which has left numerous residents injured by rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas during protests held every night after Brown's death. 

 SWAT officers roughed up the reporters inside a McDonald's, where both journalists were working. Reilly snapped a photo, prompting cops to request his identification. "The officer in question, who I repeatedly later asked for his name, grabbed my things and shoved them into my bag," said Reilly, who appeared on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" shortly after his release to recount the arrest. 

"He used his finger to put a pressure point on my neck." "They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible," Reilly said. "The worst part was he slammed my head against the glass purposefully on the way out of McDonald's and then sarcastically apologized for it."

More on this shocking story Here.

 So the police have: 

1) Killed an unarmed teen 
2) Fired tear gas & rubber bullets at mostly peaceful protesters 
3) Arrested & blocked media — 

There'll be a lot more written over the course of today. For now, more politics and policy below the fold. And a huge THANK YOU to the reporters covering Ferguson.

 How many times have we read on conservative blogs that President Obama is "shredding the Constitution?" How many times have conservative pols, pundits, and bloggers accused President Obama of fundamentally changing this country? Meanwhile, the police in Ferguson, Missouri, and other cities across the country have violated the most fundamental Constitutional guarantees.

It's not the president who is slamming reporters' heads against walls for being reporters and performing their constitutionally protected rights, it is an out-of-control police presence, which is under the jurisdiction of the individual cities and towns' leadership -- the mayors and city/town councils.  When will this be addressed by them?  

Meanwhile,  what is happening in Ferguson and other cities where unrest occurs is a national disgrace.


Read this account by the Washington Post reporter, Wesley Lowry, on the Gestapo-like behavior of the police in Ferguson. 

One of the commenters here at P.E. doesn't think newspaper reporters should cover conflicts and disaster zones -- presumably because it interferers with the police's Nazi-like behavior. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Throws like a girl?

You bet your baseballs!

 Meet The 13-Year-Old Girl Who Just Pitched Her Team To The Little League World Series

Mo’Ne Davis struck out six batters and allowed just three hits Sunday in leading Philadelphia’s Taney Youth Baseball Association to a berth in the Little League World Series. But the reason Davis is such a big story coming into this week’s World Series is only partially explained by the batters who keep swinging and missing. 

The other reason Davis stands out among the crowd of young ballplayers who will descend on Williamsport, Pennsylvania in the next few days? 

She’s a girl. 

Davis, a 5-foot-4 eighth grader, boasts a 70 mile-per-hour fastball and induced a game-ending double-play to seal her complete game shutout and Taney’s place in Williamsport.