01/09/2011 archive

Rant of the Week: Jon Stewart

Republicans 2: The New Batch

The key, Jon, is the leader John Boehner, I mean, this man can go from zero to snot on 6.4 seconds. Yet, the Republicans are in the capable hands of “Captain Blubber Pants”

Samantha Bee

Wildcard Throwball Weekend: Sunday

Did I mention sentiment and loathing?

It’s hard to get worked up about the early game @ 1 pm on CBS.  On the one hand the Ravens are kind of overdogs in comparision to the Chiefs who haven’t been in the playoffs for a long time.  On the other hand I know a rabid Chiefs fan and he’s a total idiot.

Pick ’em.

Now the late game @ 4:30 pm on FOX I can get enthused about.  In the first place I’m only half troll and over the bridge we’re all huge fans of the Pack.  Not to mention it’s the only publicly owned franchise in the NFL so it has that anarcho-syndicalist vibe to it.

And then you have the Iggles, loathsome not just because they play in the same division as my Giants, but also because they employ the despicable Michael "Dog Killer" Vick.  Obama may have forgiven him, but I sure haven’t.

So I think you know how to root.  As I did yesterday I’ll try to note breaking developments in the comments and bump this when the late game starts.

After The Shooting The Shadow

I woke up this morning with a profound sadness.

The worst part of yesterday’s shootings seems to me to be the death of the 9-year old girl.  She was apparently at the Congresswoman’s political event at the Safeway because she had been elected to an elementary school student council.  She might have been inspired to meet an actual Congresswoman.

All of the deaths and the many serious injuries lie like a heavy brick on my heart.

The many analyses of why these shootings happened began too soon for me.  They started immediately after the echo of the last bullet was drowned out by the agony of the victims and the Medevac helicopters.  They  continue today with renewed force.  And increased monotony.  They will ebb and flow for the next few days. It’s not necessary to enumerate these here.  There are many different ideas but the central idea seems to that there is something very wrong, and that’s what caused this to happen.

We have come to expect from these discussions the fixing of blame and righteous recrimination and finger pointing.  And also the scrubbing of web pages and the editing of previous statements and the making of pronouncements.  The reactions are all terribly predictable. I don’t expect anyone who did not actually pull the trigger to take any responsibility for these deaths and injuries.  And I expect that the actual shooter to have a defense as well.  This prepares a fertile ground for continued blame and justification.  And arguments.  And shouting.  And more of the same.  And more violence.

This brings me directly to the Shadow.  My Shadow.  Jung’s definition and explanation might be relevant, but what I am drawn to this morning is far less academic.  I’m drawn to how Loughner lives inside me.  My internal Loughner.  Or put another way, the aspects of my personhood that I dislike, that I am afraid of, that I have shunned and hidden, that I do not reveal, that I keep secret.  I am drawn to the aspects of myself that I consider horrid and ugly and deformed and despicable.  This morning I find that these weigh heavy on my chest. I think this is what today requires my attention.

For example, I ask, where in me does the deranged, incoherent, violent Loughner live?  Where in me is a person who writes such bizarre Youtubes?  Where in me is the person who carries and uses a concealed weapon so devastatingly?  So coldly?  Where is my seething but covert anger at apparent authority?  Where is my belief in illusory, mysterious, demented magical thinking nonsense?  And where does my persistent blaming of others for all of my pain reside?

These are hard questions.  It is very hard to look at this ugliness.  But my view is that this is what needs attention.  Today.  It needs to be looked at.  And it needs to be acknowledged.  And even harder, it needs to be honored for why it is there and what it has done for me.

I would like us to ask ourselves these tough questions and to begin to attend to them. Otherwise, I fear, embarking on an impersonal, academic analysis of yesterday’s tragedy might amount to our again disowning our ugliness, our pushing it into the darkness, and our unintentionally creating the conditions that will surely make it happen again.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles    

On This Day in History January 9

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 9 is the ninth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 356 days remaining until the end of the year (357 in leap years).

On this day in 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three “mermaids”–in reality manatees–and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” Six months earlier, Columbus (1451-1506) set off from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, hoping to find a western trade route to Asia. Instead, his voyage, the first of four he would make, led him to the Americas, or “New World.”

Mermaids, mythical half-female, half-fish creatures, have existed in seafaring cultures at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. Typically depicted as having a woman’s head and torso, a fishtail instead of legs and holding a mirror and comb, mermaids live in the ocean and, according to some legends, can take on a human shape and marry mortal men. Mermaids are closely linked to sirens, another folkloric figure, part-woman, part-bird, who live on islands and sing seductive songs to lure sailors to their deaths.

West Indian manatees are large, gray aquatic mammals with bodies that taper to a flat, paddle-shaped tail. They have two forelimbs, called flippers, with three to four nails on each flipper. Their head and face are wrinkled with whiskers on the snout.

Manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas – particularly where seagrass beds or freshwater vegetation flourish. Manatees are a migratory species. Within the United States, they are concentrated in Florida in the winter. In summer months, they can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts, but summer sightings in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are more common. West Indian manatees can also be found in the coastal and inland waterways of Central America and along the northern coast of South America, although distribution in these areas may be discontinuous.

Manatees are gentle and slow-moving animals. Most of their time is spent eating, resting, and traveling. Manatees are completely herbivorous.

West Indian manatees have no natural enemies, and it is believed they can live 60 years or more. As with all wild animal populations, a certain percentage of manatee mortality is attributed to natural causes of death such as cold stress, gastrointestinal disease, pneumonia, and other diseases. A high number of additional fatalities are from human-related causes. Most human-related manatee fatalities occur from collisions with watercraft.

Something else to worry about

Bumble Bees In U.S. Suffer Sharp Decline, Joining Countless Other Species Disappearing Worldwide

Travis Walter Donovan, The Huffington Post

1/4/11, 01:26 PM

Honey bees have long been known to be in decline, suffering from the enigmatic colony collapse disorder, and the latest research on U.S. bumble bees only exacerbates concerns over future food production, as bees are responsible for pollinating 90 percent of the world’s commercial plants, from fruits and vegetables to coffee and cotton.

Unfortunately, insects aren’t the only creatures suffering drastic losses to their populations. Tigers could be extinct in 12 years if efforts to protect their habitats and prevent poaching aren’t increased. A recent study across three continents showed snakes to be in rapid decline due to climate change. Overfishing and changing weather patterns have left 12 of the world’s 17 species of penguins experiencing steep losses in numbers. A recent World Wildlife Fund report found that all animals in the tropics have declined by 60 percent since 1970, with everything from gorillas to fish thinning out.

Honey laundering: The sour side of nature’s golden sweetener

JESSICA LEEDER – Global Food Reporter, Globe and Mail

Jan. 06, 2011 2:07PM EST

What consumers don’t know is that honey doesn’t usually come straight – or pure – from the hive. Giant steel drums of honey bound for grocery store shelves and the food processors that crank out your cereal are in constant flow through the global market. Most honey comes from China, where beekeepers are notorious for keeping their bees healthy with antibiotics banned in North America because they seep into honey and contaminate it; packers there learn to mask the acrid notes of poor quality product by mixing in sugar or corn-based syrups to fake good taste.

None of this is on the label. Rarely will a jar of honey say “Made in China.” Instead, Chinese honey sold in North America is more likely to be stamped as Indonesian, Malaysian or Taiwanese, due to a growing multimillion dollar laundering system designed to keep the endless supply of cheap and often contaminated Chinese honey moving into the U.S., where tariffs have been implemented to staunch the flow and protect its own struggling industry.

While many of the executives are still at large, U.S. investigators arrested four honey brokers in the U.S. who are Chinese or Taiwanese nationals with connections to ALW. All have plead guilty; three have been sentenced to a range of jail terms and deportation proceedings are continuing. The fourth is scheduled for sentencing in Seattle this week.

Mr. Adee, the beekeeper, said he’s been attending talks in Washington to convey who the targets of honey laundering probes should really be.

“It’s kind of like they’re running a car-stealing ring,” he said. “You catch the guy stealing the car and put him out of business. But the guy that’s laundering, the chop shop or the packer, he just finds another supplier,” he said, adding: “I think it’s going to keep getting worse until we catch a couple of big ones, give them a little jail time.”

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Ms. Amanpour will speak to some of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords‘ friends and colleagues including Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, and the chair or the New Democratic Coalition Rep. Jeff Crowley. Plus, up-to-the-minute reports from ABC News’ team of correspondents from Tucson, Arizona to Washington, DC. Also, a roundtable discussion with George Will, Donna Brazile and Freedom Works Chairman Dick Armey.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer will also discuss the latest on the Tucson shootings with his guests Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ). Also reporting will be CBS News’ Nancy Cordes, Jan Crawford and Bob Orr

The Chris Matthews Show: This weeks panel will be Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent, John Heilemann, New York Magazine National Political Correspondent, Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and Alex Wagner, Politics Daily White House Correspondent

Meet the Press with David Gregory: There will be more on the latest on the Arizona shootings, plus an exclusive interview with Sen. Harry Reid

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: The brazen shooting of a U.S. congresswoman. A nine-year-old girl and a federal judge are among the six dead. One dozen more are wounded. A suspect is in custody as a country searches for answers.

We’ll bring you the very latest from Tucson, Arizona from CNN’s full spate of resources.

We’ll also discuss the still developing story with our previously booked guests: Sens. Lamar Alexander, Dick Durbin and Mike Lee; and two former White House counselors, Ed Gillespie and John Podesta.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: George Clooney talks to Fareed from South Sudan. Residents there will vote — starting on Sunday — on whether to become an independent nation. Clooney and activist John Prendergast are worried the referendum could bring war back to this nation where war never seems to end. Their novel solution to avoid war and mass murder involves satellite surveillance. Tune in and hear them explain how they hope to become the “anti-genocide paparazzi”.

Also, what does 2011 hold? Will it be better than 2010? Fareed gives you his “take” on the New Year.

Then, an all-star GPS panel featuring CNN host Eliot Spitzer, David Remnick of the New Yorker, Wall Street Journalist columnist Bret Stephens, and Chrystia Freeland of Reuters, offer their own “takes” on 2011 — from DC politics to world politics, from dollars and cents to war and peace.

Next up, what in the world? A new kind of cold front is emerging…in Baghdad.

Then, peril in Pakistan. A progressive politician killed in cold blood. What effect will the assassination have on the future of not only that country, but American efforts in the region? Fareed speaks to one of Pakistan’s leading journalists, who was also a key associate of the slain governor.

And finally a last look at how much it might cost to buy a big white house in Washington D.C. Prices are dropping!


Six In The Morning

To Bad Those Who Incite Will Never Take Responsibility  

In Attack’s Wake, Political Repercussions

TUCSON – Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and 18 others were shot Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire outside a supermarket where Ms. Giffords was meeting with constituents.

Six of the victims died, among them John M. Roll, the chief judge for the United States District Court for Arizona, and a 9-year-old girl, the Pima County sheriff, Clarence W. Dupnik, said.

Ms. Giffords, 40, whom the authorities called the target of the attack, was said to be in very critical condition at the University Medical Center in Tucson, where she was operated on by a team of neurosurgeons.

Predicting the Future

In rummaging around the bogosphere, I passed through a diary by Julie Gulden at Daily Kos venting her feelings about the shootings in Tuscon. Ms. Gulden lamented that not one Republican or Tea Partier condemned the “lock and load” rhetoric that may have fueled a young man to commit this horrendous crime and called for at least one of them to stand up and say, “this is just wrong”.

In it she linked to an Op-Ed from New York Times columnist Frank Rich from February 27, 2010 that more accurately predicted that tragic event that cost the lives of six people that included a nine year old born on 9/11 and a Federal Judge, put a Congresswoman in the fight for her life and injured eleven others.

Mr. Rich’s column was about the murder/suicide crash into an Austin, TX IRS building by a deranged tax payer and the lack of condemnation from Republicans and the right wing.

No one knows what history will make of the present – least of all journalists, who can at best write history’s sloppy first draft. But if I were to place an incautious bet on which political event will prove the most significant of February 2010, I wouldn’t choose the kabuki health care summit that generated all the ink and 24/7 cable chatter in Washington. I’d put my money instead on the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, Tex., on Feb. 18. It was a flare with the dark afterlife of an omen.

What made that kamikaze mission eventful was less the deranged act itself than the curious reaction of politicians on the right who gave it a pass – or, worse, flirted with condoning it.

(emphasis mine)

And what did prominent Republicans say? Iowa Republican Rep Steve King said “It’s sad the incident in Texas happened, but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary. And when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the I.R.S., it’s going to be a happy day for America.”

Rich goes on to point out that the new “grass roots” leadership of the right that includes Palin, Beck, and Ron Paul

have a consistent ideology, and that ideology plays to the lock-and-load nutcases out there, not just to the peaceable (if riled up) populist conservatives also attracted to Tea Partyism.

(emphasis mine)

It has now amped up from flying a plane into a building, killing a Viet Nam veteran that worked there, to mass shooting that most likely targeted a congresswoman.

Where are the Republicans to condemn the rhetoric that calls for target practice with machine guns to gear up for an election, or maps that use target to locate opponents or the calls for the “second amendment solution”?  A lot of words without meaning.

Who could have known?

Things can not get worse

Things have gotten worse.  I am pretty much in the hold your knees embryo posture now.

I do not care about food.

I do not care about friends.

I do not care about myself.

The only thing that keeps me alive is teaching, and my utility of it as fading very fast.

Thank all of you for being so nice to me.

There is no further text.  I owe one for a Big Orange reader, to be posted tomorrow.  After that, I am done.

Warmest regards,


Load more