All entries by this author

Contemtus puellae

Dec 4th, 2014 1:37 pm | By

So so so so so so funny.

[Description: two photos: one, a bunch of US-football players captioned “how America sees the 49ers”; two, the same bunch of US-football players wearing pink skirts over their uniforms captioned “How Seattle sees the 49ers”]

Contempt for the female just never gets old, does it.… Read the rest

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Blame the dead guy

Dec 4th, 2014 12:26 pm | By

Oh puhleeeeeeeeeeeeeze.

I know the New York Post is a Murdoch paper but come on. NY Post columnist Bob McManus says it was Eric Garner’s fault that the cops choked him to death.

Eric Garner and Michael Brown had much in common, not the least of which was this: On the last day of their lives, they made bad decisions. Epically bad decisions.

Each broke the law — petty offenses, to be sure, but sufficient to attract the attention of the police.

And then — tragically, stupidly, fatally, inexplicably — each fought the law.

The law won, of course, as it almost always does.

What was the law that Garner was supposed to have broken? The law against selling … Read the rest

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Equality before the law

Dec 4th, 2014 11:37 am | By

Oh look, what a coincidence. Last April, a cop choked a guy while a bystander took pictures…and the cop was immediately fired.

Guess what the choked person isn’t. Besides dead.

Frank Phillips, a Knox County Sheriff’s officer, was fired Sunday night after a series of pictures taken by photographer John Messner were published in the Daily Mail in Britain. They showed an officer identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Phillips grabbing 21-year-old college student Jarod Dotson around the neck and squeezing him until he fell to his knees.

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The white rabbit

Dec 4th, 2014 11:09 am | By

A Missouri man drove his van through a crowd of protesters in St Louis last night, and then waved a gun at them.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, activists were preparing for a “die-in” demonstration, which includes lying in the street, in Maryland Plaza at around 8 p.m. to protest the decision not to charge the officer whose illegal use of a chokehold resulted in the death of Eric Garner.

“As they did, a man driving a Town and Country minivan drove through the intersection and accelerated through the crowd,” the paper reported.

Well maybe he was late for dinner and the pesky protesters were in his way. Look at it from his point of view.

After a

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Out of the mouths of Southern Baptists

Dec 4th, 2014 10:50 am | By

Surprisingly (to me at least), a high-up in the Southern Baptist Convention has gone off on racism, Sarah Posner reports.

After the failure yesterday of a grand jury to indict the New York police officer who was videotaped choking Eric Garner to death, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, launched into a denunciation of racism in the church on the ERLC’s program “Questions and Ethics.”

Saying he was “shocked and grieved” by the news, Moore added:

Romans 13 says that the sword of justice is to be wielded against evildoers.

Now, what we too often see still is a situation where our African-American brothers and sisters, especially brothers, are more likely to

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Sunrise sunset

Dec 4th, 2014 10:23 am | By

The earliest sunset of the year (in the northern hemisphere) is almost on us. I didn’t know, until Leonard Tramiel told me last summer around the time of the solstice, that the earliest and latest sunrise and sunset don’t occur on the solstice. Bruce McClure at EarthSky explains.

The next solstice in 2014 comes on December 21 and marks an unofficial beginning for winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For this hemisphere, this upcoming solstice brings the shortest day and longest night of the year. And yet the earliest sunsets for middle latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere happen around December 7.

It seems paradoxical. At middle latitudes in the U.S. – and throughout the Northern Hemisphere – the earliest sunsets

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“There’s not a hint there that anyone used any racial epithet”

Dec 4th, 2014 9:57 am | By

Nice.

America’s favorite Irish-terrorism-supporter-elected-to-Congress took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to thank the Staten Island grand jury for its decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the July death of Eric Garner after being placed in a chokehold while under arrest.

“Thanks to SI grand jury for doing justice & not yielding to outside pressure,” King (or a social media intern) pecked out Wednesday afternoon. “Decision must be respected.”

The congressman — who once reaffirmed his support for Irish terrorists after their attack on Royal forces in Ireland, and who thinks journalists should be arrested for practicing free speech — added: “Compassion for the Garner family.”

Ah yes “outside pressure” – otherwise known as citizens objecting to … Read the rest

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No apparent threat to the half-dozen officers

Dec 3rd, 2014 4:59 pm | By

So, we’re just going to keep doing this now?

A grand jury in Staten Island has decided not indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in relation to the death of Eric Garner.

That’s even though Pantaleo was seen on video putting Eric Garner in an apparent choke hold in July, according to city officials and lawyers for Garner’s family. An apparent choke hold that actually choked him to death. His last words were, “I can’t breathe.”

Fuck.

There is a federal investigation.

An official with the U.S. Department of Justice confirms there is a federal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Eric Garner.

Garner family attorney Jonathan Moored told the Associated Press that

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The board majority decided to expunge references to “justice”

Dec 3rd, 2014 4:39 pm | By

Reading Katherine Stewart’s The Good News Club. In chapter 7 she goes to Austin to sit in on Texas Board of Education hearings in March 2010. Many astonishing things were said there.

The conservatives on the board want to make clear that the free enterprise system that makes America great has nothing to do with a universal concern for public policy and the common good – a concern they believe carries the dreaded taint of socialism. On a list of characteristics of good citizenship for grades 1 through 3, the board majority decided to expunge references to “justice” and “responsibility for the common good.”

That one makes me feel something very like nausea of the brain.

Another part of

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Guest post: Foul-weather Feminism

Dec 3rd, 2014 3:27 pm | By

Originally a comment by Hj Hornbeck on Guest post: Sexism squanders human resources.

Historically, families have always had at least two “incomes.” Even people who buy into a strict division of labour between the sexes concede that all sexes brought food to the table, from picking berries to doing farm chores. This is quite stable against adversity; if one person cannot provide for the family, they can try to subsist on another person’s contribution. Arbitrary restrictions on what each sex can do artificially limit that capacity, and endanger survival.

On rare occasions, though, a single provider has been enough to feed an entire family. Artificial restrictions aren’t a factor anymore, and don’t face the opposition they would in a … Read the rest

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Garden dreams

Dec 3rd, 2014 2:42 pm | By

Because it’s winter in the northern hemisphere.

Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura posts amazing photos on Facebook, and Bernard Hurley frequently shares them and makes my eyes bug out.

Like this one:

And this one:

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



You’ll take it and like it

Dec 3rd, 2014 11:11 am | By

Human Rights Watch had things to say about Iran’s proposed penal code in August 2012.

The new provisions also expand upon broad or vaguely defined national security crimes that punish people for exercising their right to freedom of expression, association, or assembly. One troubling amendment concerns article 287, which defines the crime of efsad-e fel arz, or “sowing corruption on earth.”

Legislators have expanded the definition of efsad-e fel arz, a previously ill-defined hadd crime closely related to moharebeh (enmity against God) that had been used to sentence to death political dissidents who allegedly engaged in armed activities or affiliated with “terrorist organizations.” The new definition also includes clearly nonviolent activities such as “publish[ing] lies,” “operat[ing] or

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Who shouts loudest wins

Dec 3rd, 2014 10:53 am | By

A small but I think telling item. Dave Silverman said in a public Facebook post an hour ago that Bill O’Reilly “talked shit about us, but did not invite us on.” Dave is sarcastically pleased that BillO is afraid of him.

He has a real point though. I think it’s pretty reasonable to think that O’Reilly is indeed reluctant to have Dave on his show again, for reasons that have to do with what a bully O’Reilly is.

O’Reilly is a big man, a burly man. He has a loud voice. He uses his size and his loud voice (and his control of the show) to intimidate people he invites on his show to talk.

Dave says he’s been on … Read the rest

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Sowing corruption on the earth

Dec 3rd, 2014 10:18 am | By

More news from Iran:

On November 24, 2014, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld a criminal court ruling sentencing Soheil Arabi to hang. The court transferred his file to the judiciary’s implementation unit, opening the way for his execution.

For what? Did he murder someone?

A Tehran criminal court had convicted him in August of sabb al-nabbi, or “insulting the prophet,” referring to the Prophet Muhammad, which carries the death penalty. Arabi’s legal team has asked the judiciary to suspend the death sentence and review the case.

Insulted “the prophet” how? Facebook posts.

Nastaran Naimi, Arabi’s wife, told Human Rights Watch that intelligence agents linked with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards arrested her and her husband at their home in Tehran in

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Symptomatic of the patterns of incredulity

Dec 3rd, 2014 9:46 am | By

The outrage of the moment in Sommers-land is the journalistic failings of a Rolling Stone article reporting on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. Rebecca Traister at The New Republic discusses this meta-story (so note we’re at level 4 here).

Over the past few days, several publications have reported journalistic lapses in Rolling Stone‘s blockbuster story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. The reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, never contacted the men that her subject, a student she calls “Jackie,” alleges raped her. Erdely also did not acknowledge in the body of the piece that she did not contact them.

These are serious charges: Journalists are supposed to seek multiple perspectives on the

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



A grave, immoral sinner

Dec 2nd, 2014 4:24 pm | By

The Catholic church in the US wants to operate as if it were a separate country from the US with full diplomatic immunity and perhaps national sovereignty as well. It wants to declare itself immune from the laws and thus permitted to do whatever it damn well wants to.

Mother Jones has the story.

A teacher at a Catholic grade school in Indiana got in vitro fertilization treatment.

[A]fter church officials were alerted that Herx was undergoing IVF—making her, in the words of one monsignor, “a grave, immoral sinner”—it took them less than two weeks to fire her.

There they are again. Raping children doesn’t make a priest “a grave, immoral sinner” but getting IVF makes a woman … Read the rest

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Guest post: Bystanders have a great deal of power

Dec 2nd, 2014 3:49 pm | By

Originally a comment by Golgafrinchan Captain on Feminism has gone too far.

I don’t feel any shame for being male but I do feel shame for some of the things I’ve done as a result of certain aspects of “lad culture.” For example:

During the later years of high school, I worked construction in the summer. On a few occasions, I whistled at women walking down the street. None of my co-workers joined in but none of them said anything either. It only took a few occasions for me to realize that I wasn’t getting the reactions I had seen in movies and on TV.

The first couple of times, the women just ignored me but, the last time, … Read the rest

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This lamp is thin and delicately carved

Dec 2nd, 2014 3:14 pm | By

L’Anse aux Meadows is really pretty fascinating. (Thanks, Mr Erdoğan, for the spur to check it out again.)

The evidence at the site also suggests that more southerly voyages might have taken place, and that other settlements might be found. Archeologists believe L’Anse aux Meadows was a base camp which afforded a way-station to further explorations of North America.

Rather like the ISS and even the Mars Rover. Those Vikings from Greenland or Iceland were the demon engineers of the 11th century.

Excavations revealed a number of artifacts that are diagnostic of a Viking site. From 1961 until 1968, the Ingstad excavations uncovered Viking artifacts including a ringed pin, a soapstone spindle whorl, a bone pin, a whetstone, iron boat

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If it bleeds it leads

Dec 2nd, 2014 12:48 pm | By

Another Tuğçe Albayrak, this one in India.

Hyderabad, November 30:

A 19-year-old BCom second year student was beaten to death allegedly by his senior when the former objected to eve-teasing of a girl student at a private college here, police said.

The accused, Satish Kodkar, allegedly hit the victim Harshavardhan Rao twice on his neck and chest after which he fell on the classroom bench and hit his head on the edge of the bench, a senior police officer said.

CBC News reports on other cases.

October 2014:William Yee of Langley, B.C., was hit on the head with a hammer after trying to help a woman who was being robbed on the street at gunpoint.

Yee survived … Read the rest

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Things you think about while waiting for the bus

Dec 2nd, 2014 11:58 am | By

I mean seriously, why do we call Cristoforo Colombo “Columbus”? It’s not as if “Colombo” is terribly hard for an English-speaker to say. It’s not even like “Iraq” which for some reason many Americans seem physically unable to pronounce the way everyone else does. It’s quite a simple name, with no trilled ‘r’s or guttural ‘g’s or ‘ch’s. There is the difference between Italian ‘l’ and American ‘l’ but I think we can get away with that. So why do we call him by the wrong name?

It’s not as if me call Michelangelo Mike Angelo. It’s not as if we call Fra Angelico Bro Angel. It’s not as if we call Mussolini Muscle Leany. So why “Columbus”?

Maybe all … Read the rest

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