Just a sec, let me get my tiny violin…

Okay, all set. An artist has set up a perfect commentary around Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.

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The miniature wall is quite detailed, as this Instagram user wrote: “Someone had built a 6″ tall grey concrete wall around it. Complete with ‘Keep out’ signs and topped with razor wire.”

Fusion has the story. I have no doubt that the commentary will have lots of commentary tomorrow, when all the cons start decrying this horrific act of vandalism. I have my teeny, tiny violin all ready.

Goodbye, Dylan.

Dylan Francisco, who was killed in Chicopee, as seen in a Facebook profile photo uploaded June 24, 2016.

Dylan Francisco, who was killed in Chicopee, as seen in a Facebook profile photo uploaded June 24, 2016.

This is Dylan Francisco, a 15 year old murdered by coward and gun fetishist Jeffrey Lovell.

Funeral services have been scheduled for a 15-year-old boy who was shot to death by a homeowner Saturday. […] The teenager, whose obituary who gives his full name as Dylan Christopher Waitson-Francisco, attended the Glenwood School in Springfield for elementary school, according to the obituary. Later he attended middle school in Chicopee. He also started working for the Summer Youth Program with the Valley Opportunity Council in July.

He leaves his mother and step-father, Heather Francisco and Steven Beauregard, and three siblings, Damien and Desiree Francisco and Anthony Beauregard.

Sounds like a good kid, who was gunned down for being a teenager doing teenager things. Unfortunately, this has sparked discussion of the so-called Castle doctrine, where some people are actually defending Lovell. Thankfully, there is no Stand Your Ground law in Massachusetts. So, where are all the pro-lifers, screaming in outrage over this child’s death? Where is anyone screaming in outrage over this death? You know we’re beyond fucked when the important conversation is deemed to be one over whether or not castle doctrine applies. I’m sure that’s of great comfort to Dylan’s family and friends.

Here in Massachusetts, there is no stand your ground law.

However, local attorneys said that homeowners have some rights, but they come with standards.

“To obtain the defense of self defense, the homeowner has to show that the intruder had actually entered into the home of the person who fired the shot in self defense.  Furthermore, there has to be a threat of imminent serious hard.  In other words, if the person has a weapon or threatens a weapon, if a person doesn’t have a weapon, I don’t believe there is a right to use force like a gun,” said Jack McQuade from the Law Offices of Mark E. Solomone.

 

Jeffrey Lovell.

Jeffrey Lovell.

“Mr. Lovell told this party to ‘get the f–k out’ and ‘stay the f–k out.’ As the … party continued to bang on the door Mr. Lovell stated that the window broke at which time Mr. Lovell raised his loaded S & W (Smith & Wesson) firearm and shot one round through the glass of the door,” the police report states.

The door has three windows lined up vertically. The top window broke when the boy was knocking on it, said James Leydon, spokesman for Gulluni.

“Mr. Lovell stated he aimed towards the … torso. After firing the weapon, Mr. Lovell then looked out of the kitchen door and saw the individual lying on the ground at the bottom of the stairs and the … individual was moaning,” the police report states.

[…]

When police arrived, they found no evidence that the victim entered the home, court records said.

“Mr. Lovell also indicated that the victim never entered his residence,” the police report says.

So, it’s obvious Mr. Lovell was not in any danger whatsoever, let alone imminent danger. I think it’s best to remember that this is the man who festooned his Pinterest page with photos of weapons along with “Can you say ‘pest control?’ Gotta get one. ”

Via MassLive, WMN, and MassLive.

Screw Paintings.

"Things Are Not Always What They Seem" by Andrew Myers (Courtesy AMA).

“Things Are Not Always What They Seem” by Andrew Myers (Courtesy AMA).

While many artists consider pencils and paper to be their essential tools, Andrew Myers prefers his electric screwdriver. For the past several years, the California-based artist has been drilling thousands of screws into pieces of plywood and painting them to make 3-D masterpieces that can be appreciated by both blind and sighted people.

Myers began making what he calls “screw paintings” a few years after graduating from the Laguna College of Art and Design. Up until then he had been making bronze sculptors, but he knew he hit the proverbial nail on the head after witnessing a blind man being led around by a friend who was describing one of his creations at an art show. Arms outstretched, the man ran his fingertips across the piece. In a short documentary film produced by his art dealer, Cantor Fine Art, an art gallery in West Hollywood, California, Myers describes the incredible moment when he witnessed “a blind man who could almost see for a second.”

“Seeing the man smile, it was one of those visceral smiles that comes straight from your stomach,” Myers tells Smithsonian.com. “As an artist, it’s my goal to make people feel something, and the emotional aspect [of this experience] stuck with me.”

The Full Article is Here.  Andrew Myers’s website is here. Truly inspired work!

Texas Textbook: Mexicans Want to Destroy Civilization.

(Momentum Instruction/Texas Education Agency)

(Momentum Instruction/Texas Education Agency)

A proposed textbook about Mexican-American history that would be read by Texas high school students is filled with inaccuracies and stereotypes about Mexican Americans, said a coalition of educators opposing the publication of the textbook.

Latino activists and educators have been urging the Texas State Board of Education to allow for more coverage of Latino Americans in the textbooks it reviews, so when a textbook on Mexican Americans was included among the textbooks to be considered for the school year of 2017-2018, it appeared to be a win for those advocates. But when excerpts from the textbook were released, it became clear to advocates for more inclusion of Latino American history that the book was far more harmful than helpful.

Among the issues educators, scholars, and activists take with the book is its representation of Mexican Americans as lazy. The coalition, called The Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition, includes the ACLU of Texas, Texas Latino Education Coalition, and Mexican American School Board Members Association. On Monday, this newly formed coalition criticized what they called “offensive cultural stereotypes,” according to The Washington Post, that were found in excerpts that called Industrialists “driven” but said Mexican laborers “were not reared to put in a full day’s work so vigorously.”

Scholars have also objected to a passage of the textbook that equated the Chicano Movement in the 1960s that encouraged Mexican Americans to fight for better working conditions and voting rights with a “revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society,” according to The Washington Post.

[…]

As for how it has been received by the board members themselves, reactions have been mixed. According to the Austin-American Statesman, Texas Board of Education member Ruben Cortez Jr. said of the textbook, “Based on the initial conversation with these experts, I don’t believe that this book should see the inside of any classroom in any shape, form, or fashion… If it’s as bad as they’re all telling me, there’s not a chance in hell I’m going to support this book.”

However, fellow board member David Bradley, who didn’t want a Mexican-American heritage textbook in the first place, according to the Statesman, said, “It’s really kind of amusing. The left-leaning, radical Hispanic activists, having pounded the table for special treatment, get approval for a special course that nobody else wanted… Now they don’t like their special textbook?”

Christ, I loathe smug morons like Mr. Bradley, dedicated in every way to obscurantism. No, no one has pounded the table for special treatment, this is a simple request to be accurately included in history texts, rather than having the standard “white men good, everyone else bad” version of history. This does not mean padding a book full of bigotry and harmful stereotypes, then calling it good. Considering the high percentage of Hispanic people in Texas, perhaps you don’t want those children absorbing the “lazy, can’t work” poison, you might get what you paid for. Not that bigots are good at thinking past their own noses.  Can we get textbook proposal and approval the fuck out of Texas, please?

Full story here.

Misogyny, GOP Style.

Merchandise on display outside the RNC. Credit: Kira Lerner.

Merchandise on display outside the RNC. Credit: Kira Lerner.

CLEVELAND, OHIO — Each day of the Republican National Convention, as tens of thousands of delegates, reporters, and curious onlookers pushed and shoved their way down a single narrow street leading to the arena’s main stage, a group of vendors hawked t-shirts and buttons attacking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Delegates and other convention-goers eagerly purchased items that called Clinton a “bitch” and a “tramp,” suggested she be imprisoned, and described her “fat thighs” and “small breasts.”

Mary Patterson, a guest of a delegate from Racine, Wisconsin, perused the merchandise on Sunday morning with her friend, Carol McNeill-Skorupan. Both women stopped in their tracks to buy pins featuring Clinton’s face and the words: “Life’s a bitch. Don’t vote for one.”

“This sums it up right here,” Patterson told ThinkProgress. “She comes off as a bitch, quite honestly. She doesn’t have a warm personality. She seems very cold. It has nothing to do with the gender.”

Her friend agreed. “She is just not a pleasant person,” McNeill-Skorupan said. “Her husband had some charisma, which allowed him to get away with a lot of things, obviously. But she does not have it and she does not have a winning personality. She is kind of a screamer. In my mind, if you’re just out there screaming, you’re negative, you are not positive, you’re a bitch.”

Interesting how screaming and being negative makes Ms. Clinton a bitch, but it makes Trump not only a viable candidate, but a good one. But that’s not anything to do with sexism, no. Nope, not at all.

A few paces down, wearing a rubber Hillary Clinton mask and holding a large neon yellow sign reading “Trump vs. Tramp,” sat Florida resident and longtime political gadfly Bob Kunst.

“Is this sexist? Go fuck yourself. Excuse my language,” he told ThinkProgress when asked about the sign.

“I could have said she was a killer, but this rhymed,” he continued. “This is the door-opener. This gets people’s attention. It works.”

Yes, sexism has worked remarkably well all these centuries, because there are always a wealth of fragile white men to latch onto it.

There’s much more on the not only embedded sexism in the GOP, but their most serious celebration of it at Think Progress. I need more tea.

Child Resurrected.

At left, 2015 photograph of CHILD prior to conservation treatment. At right, CHILD after treatment in January 2016. All images courtesy of MoMA, New York

At left, 2015 photograph of CHILD prior to conservation treatment. At right, CHILD after treatment in January 2016. All images courtesy of MoMA, New York

Bruce Connor’s sculpture, CHILD, done in 1960 in response to the execution of Caryl Chessman, has been quietly falling apart for 50 years. It has long been thought to be outside of restoration abilities. It has now been restored, and is on exhibit. The full story of the restoration is fascinating, and I’m glad to see this disturbing and thought provoking piece back in the public eye.

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Since its acquisition nearly half a century ago, the exhibition Bruce Conner: It’s All True marks the first time CHILD has ever been exhibited at MoMA. Details of the restoration are here.

Via The Creators Project.

Losing That Little Blue Checkmark. Permanently.

Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos (Screenshot)

Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos (Screenshot)

Yesterday, it was noted that Leslie Jones had been harassed off Twitter by a torrent of racist shit, and of course, asshack Milo Yiannopoulos was leading the charge. Milo is a remarkably untalented person, who has relied on Twitter to make hay for him, thanks to their rather nonchalant views about harassment. Not that Milo has any idea of how to actually do anything, but he’ll have to make do without Twitter.

Twitter has permanently banned a rightwing writer and notorious troll for his role in the online abuse of Leslie Jones over her role in the Ghostbusters reboot.

Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor for Breitbart.com, tweeted as @Nero. Before he was banned, he had more than 338,000 followers and called himself “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet” for his provocations online.

No, Cupcake. You aren’t fabulous at anything.

Yiannopoulos has been suspended from Twitter several times in the past for violating its terms of service, and had his verified status revoked earlier this year, prompting the hashtag #JeSuisMilo among his supporters.

But claims that he had fanned the flames of the harassment of Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones on Twitter led to a “permanent suspension” from Twitter on Wednesday.

Yiannopolous told Breitbart.com his suspension was “cowardly”, and evidence that Twitter was a “no-go zone for conservatives”.

“Like all acts of the totalitarian regressive left, this will blow up in their faces, netting me more adoring fans. We’re winning the culture war, and Twitter just shot themselves in the foot.

“This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter.”

[…]

Before he was banned, he told Heat Street that “of course” he had no regrets about his behaviour towards Jones. “But feminists, on the other hand, should have regrets that they have taught strong women that they are victims and attacked people for having different opinions to them on Twitter.”

A spokesman for Twitter said in a statement that “permanent suspension” was one of a number of steps that had been taken to address the uptick in offending accounts since Jones began rallying against her abusers.

There’s more at The Guardian. Okay, Twitter. This was a good first step. Don’t stop now, please.

Partridge Peas.

From Kengi:

The partridge peas are blooming! I’ve been doing some reading up on them and they are so interesting. The stems that lead from the stalk to the leaves (which I now know is called a petiole) have nectaries on them which attract the pollinators. I always see ants and little flies crawling on them, and now I know why. They also have strange little nubs on the petioles which, it turns out, are the anthers normally found on the end of a stamen on other plant’s flowers. The yellow anthers produce reproductive pollen and the red anthers produce food pollen.

And there is a Cardinal in the flower (last photo). Click for full size.

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© Kengi. All rights reserved.

Shredded Holiness.

I’m finally getting a start on a piece I’ve had in mind for the last couple of years, titled Rendered Harmless. This will be smaller than originally planned, 41″ x 48″ (1.04m x 1.22m). This involves shredded holiness. While bibles are a dime a dozen at any charity / thrift shop, it’s not so easy to find a used Quran here, so that I’ll probably have to buy new.

So, shredded bible (a start at least.)

Sbible

Inside the bible was a church card, and I had to smile when I looked at the back of it:

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“I feel pretty, oh so pretty.” Someone really liked West Side Story. :D

Twitter, Oh Twitter.

I keep telling myself I need to activate my twitter account, rather than let it sit and molder. I did tell myself that. Today, I’m more than happy to let it sit an molder. Banal bigots who think they are clever have gleefully harassed actress Leslie Jones away. Twitter makes a lot of noise about harassment, but it seems they never bother to actually do anything about it.

…a Twitter spokesman told the Daily Mail, “This type of abusive behaviour is not permitted on Twitter, and we’ve taken action on many of the accounts reported to us by both Leslie and others. We rely on people to report this type of behaviour to us but we are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to prevent this kind of abuse. We realise we still have a lot of work in front of us before Twitter is where it should be on how we handle these issues.”

I don’t think you are trying enough. The article notes that asshack Yiannopoulos was right back on Twitter, joining in the harassment and encouraging others to do the same. The tweet I included above is one of the mildest. If Twitter ever decides to grow the fuck up and be responsible, I might consider doing something with my account.

Via Raw Story.