[Lounge #490]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. sff9 says

    Saad, Anne, & Lynna, I don’t know what American laws say about this, but isn’t the invocation of free speech legitimate in this case? As in, you should have the right to not trust your government, and speak against it, and all. If accusing the government of treason is a crime, doesn’t it make it easier for them to silence their opponents? I’m thinking of those who called out the lies of the Bush administration about Iraq, for example.

    Speaking about it, this was another example of the strategy in action: once you have painted the opponents of the war as anti-America traitors and/or cowards, it’s all too easy dismissing their arguments without even listening.

  2. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    There’s a difference between “distrust and speaking against” and “knowingly* falsely accusing a specific person of committing a crime.”

    *”a reasonable person would know” == “knowing”

  3. Saad says


    I think for a member of Congress to be saying things like “I believe the president may be collaborating with ISIS” shouldn’t be something that’s covered under free speech. That’s an accusation. Since he’s not actually bringing a charge against Obama, I don’t know what the response should be, but it definitely should be some kind of official warning.

  4. sff9 says

    @Azkyroth, of course, but the decision has to be taken in court, which may be enough to silence even fair criticisms (it costs money, the outcome is not certain, etc.). But I’m talking out of my behind here, I don’t really know how all this works it the US.


    Hailed as a Model for Successful Intervention, Libya Proves to be the Exact Opposite, by Glenn Greenwald

    Since 2011, Libya has rapidly unraveled in much the way Iraq did following that invasion: swamped by militia rule, factional warfare, economic devastation, and complete lawlessness. And to their eternal shame, most self-proclaimed “humanitarians” who advocated the Libya intervention completely ignored the country once the fun parts – the war victory dances and mocking of war opponents – were over. The feel-good “humanitarianism” of war advocates, as usual, extended only to the cheering from a safe distance as bombs dropped.
    Yesterday, the U.S.-supported Egyptian regime bombed targets in Libya. Meanwhile, “Italy warned that ISIS is at Europe’s doorstep as France and Egypt called for the United Nations Security Council to meet over the spiraling crisis in Libya.” It’s only a matter of time before another western “intervention” in Libya becomes conventional wisdom, with those opposed being accused of harboring sympathy for ISIS (just as opponents of Libya intervention the first time around were accused of being indifferent to Gadaffi’s repression).

    What we see here is what we’ve seen over and over: the west’s wars creating and empowering an endless supply of enemies, which in turn justify endless war by the west. It was the invasion of Iraq that ushered in “Al Qaeda in Iraq” and ultimately ISIS. It has been the brutal, civilian-slaughtering drone bombing of Yemen which spawned Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in that country. As Hillary Clinton herself acknowledged, the U.S. helped create Al Qaeda itself by arming, recruiting and funding foreign “Mujahideen” to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (“the people we are fighting today, we funded 20 years ago”). And now it is the NATO intervention in Libya which has laid the groundwork for further intervention.


    Also, this, about Rodney Reed—yet another black man vs white cop story. I suppose Reed has been in prison for more than 15 years? I find it weird that the article does not even mention this. Yeah, it would be awful if he’s killed, but Texas has already stolen a good part of his life. That’s sickening.

  5. says

    Older white Republican politician in a southern state says stupid stuff:

    A Mississippi state lawmaker is now admitting he opposed putting more money into elementary schools because he came from a town where “all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks.’ They don’t work.”

    In an interview with The Clarion-Ledger, Republican state Rep. Gene Alday says he doesn’t see the value in increasing funding to improve elementary school reading scores. Alday implied that increasing education funding for children in black families would be an exercise in futility. […]

    As for his views on race, Alday went on to share an anecdote about his trip to a local emergency room. The local newspaper quoted him saying, “I liked to died. I laid in there for hours because they (blacks) were in there being treated for gunshots.” […]

    MSNBC link.
    Clarion Ledger link.

  6. sff9 says

    @Saad, with this wording, I completely agree. Members of the Congress (should) have to meet an especially high standard, and if they aren’t even trying to make an actual argument, it is indeed not comparable with what I had in mind. Sorry, I guess I was being needlessly obtuse. Thank you and Azkyroth for your answers!

  7. says

    More current-day racism from southern states, and this time the white Republican guy is also a judge:

    In a time where people genuinely want to believe that racism is dead, reality has a way of smacking us all right in the face to remind us that it’s actually alive and well. Mississippi Judge Bill Weisenberger was seen and heard by five different witnesses, both white and black, striking a severely autistic African-American man and then yelling, “Run, n*gger, run” at him in 2014.

    Nine months later, a grand jury has indicted Judge Weisenberger, and charged him with “assault on a vulnerable adult.” Hate crime charges, which carry stiff federal sentencing, have yet to be filed. […]


    […] Throughout all of this, Weisenberger continues to be paid his full salary, and all of his previous sentencing in cases still remains valid. In spite of proposed bills requiring judges in Mississippi to have law degrees, only a high school diploma is required.

  8. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    rq @489
    I agree that the victim should be the one to decide on contacts between the abuser and themselves. However what I was trying to get at was how that could be best implemented in general.

    One way would be that in any serious enough abuse case the abuser would lose their “parental rights” automatically, another would be that the abused would have to ask for that specifically. Also, should the severity of the abuse that would trigger the loss of parental rights (in jure) be set in the law (such and such specific offences) or should it be decided on a case by case basis and how high or low threshold should be?

  9. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    Good question. It still comes down to the victim, though, I think, which probably requires a case-by-case examination, with the default being ‘no parental rights’ (such as visits or letters, etc.). Just the responsibilities (such as paying financial support, medical bills for the children, etc. if this is necessary). Though this can get tangly if the abuser uses these things manipulatively. Anyway. The person is still an abuser, and the abused have no responsibility to try and share any time with them beyond receiving the assistance that the law demands – implementation would be far more difficult. But I am far from a lawyer, and I don’t feel competent in speculating any more on this topic.
    All I can say is that in the case linked to by Giliell, father’s rights have been weighed far too prioritarily against the mental well-being of those abused.

  10. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Regarding the accusations of treason by rightwing, nutjob politicians against Obama–hard to tell whether they are performing for the base or whether they have started to believe their own propaganda. That does happen. The Soviets did some astoundingly stupid things based on stories they’d planted in the Communist-sympathetic organs in the European press (most notably in Italy).

  11. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The Soviets did some astoundingly stupid things based on stories they’d planted in the Communist-sympathetic organs in the European press (most notably in Italy).

    And now the teabag kooks.

    I guess ideosharts* are all alike, deep down.

    *they’re too sloppy to be “ideolog[ue]s”

  12. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    All kinds of families… that consist of at least one child.

  13. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    To be fair, that’s my conclusion after reading the article, haven’t checked out the website yet.

  14. says

    HI there!

    Thanks for the link. Unfortunately still not what I’m looking for.
    I think I’ll have to write a third text.

    another question
    Do you folks know a good animal website for kids?

    Also: hmpf
    Drove to college to sign up for the trip to the Hispanistic Congress, found the office closed due to illness. And it’s also not raining so I have no excuse for not taking the kids to the carnival parade. sigh.

  15. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    My dad tells me he’s watching Inspektor Rex, but I check anyway because I’m hearing Italian. And it is Inspektor Rex, with Italian voice-over. I’m not sure how exactly that happened on Croatian TV.

  16. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Yeah, the one with the dog.
    It’s still better than Cobra 11 ;) (although, I give them kudos for a main character of obviously Turkish origin)

  17. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Wow, that’s a long living show. I can’t remember ever seeing it here, but maybe I just missed it.

    I admit to having liked Inspector Rex when I was younger… cute doggie effect, I think.

  18. says

    Raumpatrouille Orion is cult. They had some really good ideas, plus much morepowerful women than Star Trek.

    The concept of “Tatort” is that you have different locations and teams, each location and team being produced by a different regional TV station. That’s why you get plain silly teams with lots of comic relief and serious ones where the episodes try tackling real social issues.

    And now I’m off to carnival. Oh heavens have mercy…

  19. birgerjohansson says

    yes, the actress who played Tamara Jagellovsk was pretty cool, I fell in love with her as a five-year-old viewer. Alas, she passed away three years ago.
    — — — —
    Gossip: Former finance minister Anders Borg marries Army of Lovers-member Dominika Peczynski
    -which is at least one cool aspect of this conservative minister bloke, now that he has cut of his pigtail.
    Also, his approach to economy was far from the “austerity” of his dumb anglo-saxon colleagues. The most trusted bloke in the government, respected even by political rivals.

  20. birgerjohansson says

    are we talking about the Berlin carnival? I have only heard about that in the graphic novels by Ralf König.

  21. rq says

    Detective series (like Cobra 11, where the main character became a Chuck-Norris-type meme a while ago), and fairy tale TV adaptations (my kids love them).

  22. birgerjohansson says

    Found at Dispatches from the Culture Wars (by Ed Brayton):
    Benjamin Corey, a former fundamentalist christian who is now a progressive christian, has a blog post about the many differences between early Christian communities and the modern church.
    Like, the first christians rejected personal ownership of property and engaged in a redistribution of wealth. And were pacifists. And did not preach about hell.
    Of course, once Christianity became a state religion it dumped the pacifism and redistribution-of-wealth thingy.
    -While I do not share Corey’s religion, I think he is pretty cool.
    Corey also has scatching criticism of alleged Christians who worship Chris Kyle for killing lots of people.
    “Why Are So Many Christians Worshipping The American Sniper?” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/why-are-so-many-christians-worshipping-the-american-sniper/
    …and a sarcastic look at how christian Chris Kyle fans try to shut down Chris Kyle critics.
    About the mass beheadings of Christians by ISIS:
    “Can we stop complaining about this bogus idea that American Christians are persecuted now?”
    “We know how you feel beheaded Christians! Our bakery had to bake a cake that was used at a wedding for two women! You and I are one!”
    Finally, ” Here’s 5 Reasons Why American Evangelicalism Completely Lost Me” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/but-heres-5-reasons-why-american-evangelicalism-completely-lost-me/

  23. birgerjohansson says

    “In parts of East and South Germany, as well as in Austria, the carnival is called Fasching.”

    When some Swedes hear of Fasching, they pronounce it like an English word, since they are so conditioned to thing Foreingese = English.
    — — — —
    “I missed it when I was posted to West Germany, as I was incarcerated at the time for being queer”

    Holy sh*t !!!!!
    — — — —
    Back in the day, I visited East Berlin. It was a few months before they celebrated (sic!) the 20th anniversary of the erection of the “Antifaschistische schutzwalle” (the Wall).
    Lots of posters showing GRD soldiers goose-stepping, with the text “Fur unser sicherheit”. Creepy.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    Trivia: The radio channel for American GIs in Germany helped spread early Rock n’ Roll music in Europe.
    More recently, I recall a black humor film about a “fixer” in an American armoured unit in Germany, banging the general’s wife, distributing weed and selling a truckload of weapons that had, er, fallen off a truck. Can’t recall the name. The scene that I recall best is the tank crew driving while totally spaced out on cannabis.

  25. birgerjohansson says

    Singer, songwriter Lesley Gore of ‘It’s My Party’ fame dies at 68 http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/singer-songwriter-lesley-gore-of-its-my-party-fame-dies-at-68/

    — — — —
    “To finally see the invisible Israelis before our eyes” http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2015/02/17/To-finally-see-the-invisible-Israelis-before-our-eyes.html
    Walid Jawad is a former Senior Policy Analyst at U.S. Department of State.

    — — — —
    John Oliver compares lawsuit-happy tobacco companies to ‘open sores on Satan’s d*ck’ http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/john-oliver-compares-lawsuit-happy-tobacco-companies-to-open-sores-on-satans-dck/

    — — — —
    Shiite militants close to Iraqi govt accused of sectarian cleansing http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/04/Militias-close-to-Iraqi-government-accused-of-sectarian-cleansing-.html
    Commenting on the alleged sectarian cleansing, Wathiq al-Hashimi, a political analyst in Baghdad, said that “the government turned to militias to defend Baghdad, but now they’ve lost control of them.”

  26. says

    Canadian Forces integrated non-hetero members in 1992.

    I was caught in 1986.

    It was…unpleasant. Forgive me for not wanting to relive it just now.

    Fasching was its name where we were (CFB Baden-Soellingen), but my German girlfriend had filled me in on the larger picture. I’d been looking forward to it; Canada and the UK have little like it in terms of the public sharedness.

    Not sure I’d like it as much today. PTSD hypervigilance is not a fun mix with large crowds.

  27. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    My friend got a specialization!!
    (in clinical pharmacy)

  28. Saad says


    Congrats to your friend from another pharmacist :)

    Will xe be working in a hospital setting?

  29. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Thank you and she already is working at a hospital. That’s what got her interested in the first place.

  30. says

    Anybody want some popcorn? Sweets? Chocolate bars? At least the quality of the stuff is increasing. We caught about 5 pounds of it…
    Well, I’m back. Yep, Fasching is called Fastnacht here, the night before fasting starts. It could be nice, but people in Germany still think it’s ok to dress up as Indians or in blackface. Also, way too much sexual assault*.
    But my favourite group in the parade was a group called “colourful instead of grey”, comprised of mainly PoC, all dressed up as crayons. If carnival can do its part for integration,then it has a redeeming feature.
    Also I caught a condom. A sealed one. Well, I’m not going to use a condom that was thrown off a truck at around 0°C, but it’s a good idea to remind people to use them.

    *Recent surveys showed that while 25% of men enjoy the “sexual liberty and flirting”, only 8% of women enjoy it. Which means that 25% of men ruin the fun for 92% of women.

    I’m sorry they mistreated you so.
    *careful hugs*

    10 writers who took themselves way too seriously. With an appearance of an old friend of ours.

  31. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Well shit, Alice Hoffman? Practical Magic used to be one of my favorite books.

  32. says

    sff9 @42, Thanks for that link. The comic about the relationship between strippers and clients was just great. So educational, so … perfect. That ought to be part of sex ed for teens and college kids.

  33. says

    Ever since the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, lots of Republican-dominated state legislators have been busy coming up with ways to restrict voting for minorities, for poor people, for college students, and for any population group that leans Democratic. Sometimes Republicans just want to reduce the number of voters in general, since lower participation numbers favor their party. Super long lines to vote in minority neighborhoods? Blame the Republican law makers. Sounds anti-democracy, doesn’t it.

    Now Georgia is making their voter-restriction laws even more restrictive.

    […] A committee of state lawmakers voted along party lines last week to slash the state’s early voting days from 21 to 12. […]

    More than a third of the state’s voters cast their ballot early in this past election, and demand for early voting was so high that several counties opened the polls on a Sunday for the first time in state history. […] the measure would suppress the votes of the state’s growing minority population.

    “People of color tend to utilize early voting, and I think at the heart of all of this is an attempt to reduce the opportunities for people to let their voice be heard,” he said. “They’re saying to working Georgians and seniors and communities of color and the young: ‘We’re not interested in your participation.” […]

    “We could see 5 to 7 hour lines in some places of people standing and waiting to cast a ballot,” he said. “Even in this past election, the Secretary of State’s website crashed on Election Day because it was overwhelmed by demand. But the worst is that it would send a chilling message to voters, especially those in vulnerable communities.”

    Early voting in Georgia has already been cut significantly over the past few years, from 45 days to 21. During this past midterm election, demand for early voting was so high in the state’s large cities that some areas opened up early voting on Sunday in heavily-trafficked shopping areas, prompting some Republican officials to publicly complain that this made it too easy for African Americans to cast a ballot. [Yeah, they say that shit out loud. Are you listening Supreme Court justices?]

    […] “If you restrict the number of days, officials in our biggest counties say they will have to have more polling locations and additional machines in order to provide adequate access to their citizens,” she said. “Voting is a fundamental right of citizenship and that should be the first and primary concern, not that you might save a few dollars here or there for certain counties.” […]

    Think Progress link.

  34. sff9 says

    @Tony! & Lynna, you’re welcome. I also like that this webcomic makes me learn about depression. The author shares their feelings about their mental health in a very lucid, educational way. It can be dark or funny, but it’s always thoughtful.

  35. says

    The author of Feminist Batwoman responds to a question:

    Anonymous asked: You’re white, right? So, why do you care so much about PoC? Why do you post/reblog so much about them? No matter how much you suck up, they will still hate you.

    Anon, I haven’t been waiting for people of color to love me. No – I’ve always recognized the inherent futility of fighting for social justice just so you’ll be liked. My intentions have always been far more… complex.

    No, you beautiful musk-ox. Don’t you realize? I’ve been waiting for you. All those posts I reblogged… all that commentary I wrote… all those anons I answered… it was all because I hoped that someday you – you poetic and noble land-mermaid – would come into my life.

    That you would become so enraged by the actions of a total stranger that you would not be able to stop yourself from hitting that *message* button and clicking *anon*. That seeing a person caring about the lives and livelihoods of other people would be so confounding to you that eventually, you would no longer be able to hold in your glorious prose

    and you would come to my inbox

    all dressed in a gray oval and black sunglasses.

    I hoped beyond hope that this day would come, my beautiful, rule-breaking moth.

    And now that it has, I can finally stop this charade, and we can run away together, you majestic crocodile.

    I know this is all a bit sudden! But I’ll wait for you! I know you’ll realize soon that it could only have ended this way.

    There’s a gif at the end of the post that is amusing.

  36. rq says

    “Land-mermaid”? :D Well, the vocabulary proves that I didn’t write it, but that first paragraph is definitely from my thoughts. Not sure about the rest of it, though. :D My beautiful, rule-breaking moth.

  37. rq says

    Related personal anecdote: My dad had cancer for years, but he never made a will. We’re five kids in the family, so after he died, we went to see a lawyer about his ‘estate’. By Latvian law, if you don’t have a will, half goes to your spouse and half goes to your kids – though other family members can contest it, I think.
    Anyway, we went to see the lawyer. And she was all strict business, asking for our information, and then she finally asked if we had talked about the inheritance. So we (the kids) said we’d talked about it, and to keep things simple, we’d like everything to go to our mum – basically we write a paper saying we are not claiming our portion of everything. I swear, about 75% of the stress went out of that lawyer’s body, and she said, ‘I’m so glad!’. I bet she sees a lot of intrafamilial fighting over who gets what, especially in families of several kids. Because stuff and/or money.
    And now my mum is a middle-class landowner. ;)

  38. says

    That sounds like the same law as in Germany. But spouses can sign a contract during lifetime that the inheritance will first go to the surviving spouse completely (which, as you notice, can be important). Or as I call it, the winner takes it all.
    Fun fact: you cannot totally disown your child unless they’ve commited a crime against you*. They are still entitled to I think 25% of their normal inheritance.
    *If they murder you somebody else has to petition to get them declared “unworthy of inheritance”.

  39. rq says

    Yeah, I think kids can’t be 100% written out of wills here, too.
    What gets tough is the lack of acknowledgement of civil union (people living together for 20 years plus but without an actual paper saying they’re married), even if there are kids, because then the inheritance goes to the dead spouse’s other family (brothers, sisters, etc.) and the poor kids have to go through the hassle of paternity tests, even though the living spouse will officially get nothing. This is especially terrible in cases where the first spouse hasn’t been officially divorced so they get the inheritance, but the current spouse gets nothing at all, even if it has been a better and/or longer relationship. This is why having one’s papers in order is extremely important.

  40. says

    Same here, though at least all children are euqally entitled to the inheritance. Yep, it’s important to have one’s papers straight. What gets many people here is that if they have a life insurance they have to change the name on it. It doesn’t automatically happen after a divorce. So people suddenly find out that the insurance goes to the ex spouse of 20 years.
    I think that there will have to be a lot of reforms in family and inheritance laws over the next decades. I mean, most of our laws here date back to the times when Germany had an emperor…

  41. bassmike says

    Morning loungers!

    I’ve had a long weekend for my wife’s birthday, so I’ve just caught up.

    I need to make a will really. Sorting my Dad’s out last year wasn’t too bad, except that I was not one of the executors so it made it a bit difficult for my brother as he lives in France and had to do all the work. We’re sorting out a codicil for my Mum’s will to change this. You learn from these things.

    How is everyone today? It’s rather pleasantly sunny here today.

  42. says

    50 Shades of you know what review. The final sentence will convince some Hordelings of the ultimative evil Mr. Grey portrays.

    BTW, since we’re talking about gloomy: Don’t only make a will, also draw up a document that details which medical care you want and which you don’t, in case you don’t fancy being strapped to machines for weeks even though it’s hopeless cause the doctors can’t unplug you for legal reasons.

  43. rq says

    Hrmpf, so that’s where our sun went. We had three brilliantly sunny days, and now it’s back to thick cloud cover.
    Otherwise, all is well!


    In other news, Middle Child turns 5 today, which seems hard to believe, but I checked his birth certificate and yup, 5 years. Having a children’s party for him on Saturday. I’m hoping coldish temperatures will hold out, otherwise our ice rink will be of no use on that day – I’m hoping to get the small bunch outside for at least part of the occasion. (Along with the sunny skies, we had solid minus temperatures, perfect for the rink, but cloud cover equals something near/above zero, so… there goes the hard work again!)
    The KittenCat Hermione is having a bad day – she had The Operation yesterday, so she’s sleeping and generally being all recover-y in the closet. I’m making sure to go see her every now and then, poor thing.

  44. says

    Happy birthday to Middle rqling
    I really hope you can kick them outside for a while. I had two indoors birthdays this year, my poor nerves…

    Horde call: Asking again
    Do you know any good educational websites about animal for children? I’m sure there’s tons out there, but if you already know one that’s good I could save myself the trouble…

  45. bassmike says

    Happy Birthday to rq’s middle child. I hope to sun returns to you for the party. Looking at the weather forecast the sun is definitely due to leave here at the weekend!

    When we get to have a party for my daughter I’m of the opinion that we hire a venue. The idea of hordes of pre-school children running around my house doesn’t appeal!

  46. opposablethumbs says

    Happy birthday to Middlerqling!!! (I like the nymovation, Giliell :-) )
    Hope the weather behaves itself!

  47. rq says

    Some woman reviewed the 50 Shades movie here. Her conclucion? “I don’t see anything perverse or unusual or abusive in the relationship! Everyone chooses the relationship most suited to themselves!”
    In other news, I just can’t get my shit together. I burned the nuts, dropped yolk into the egg whites, and overslept. I leave you in suspense: will Middle Child have a birthday cake after all???

  48. says

    I’m pretty sure that in case of emergency stores in Latvia sell cake ;)

    Thanks. I’ll do some more digging if I can find something aimed at younger kids, so the language will be easier.

    Just had check-ups with the kids.
    We need to see the eye doctor. There go some 4 hours of my life…
    Also, questionaires, who makes them?
    “Does your kid do XYZ more than other kids their age?”
    Dear people, She’s the only kid I spend 14-24 hours a day with. How am I supposed to know?
    “Can button their own stuff for longer that 1 year”
    If I’d known that this would be important I’d have written down the date. Sorry, I lose track of those things easily…

  49. Ogvorbis says


    Middle Child turns 5 today, which seems hard to believe, but I checked his birth certificate and yup, 5 years.

    “Is this the little girl I carried?
    Is this the little boy at play?

    I don’t remember growing older
    When did they?”

    Scary, ain’t it? My youngest turned 22 a couple of weeks ago.

  50. says

    I was just reading this story on the CBC website: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/in-fairfax-va-a-different-no-less-scary-police-shooting-1.2960995
    about a police shooting and the complete lack of real legal consequences for police officers that kill people. It is one of the few articles I have seen in the mainstream press that has been critical of police officers and their expectation of complete submission to authority by people. What amazed me in this case is that four fellow officers actually contradicted the story of the shooter, breaking that wall of silence that normally goes up. But even with this being the case, nothing has happened.

    But the killing of John Geer should frighten everyone. It is the best example yet that while police often target minorities disproportionately, their basic and overriding demand is total and unquestioning submission to their authority.

  51. rq says

    Oh wow, CBC picked that story up? Good for them! Mind posting the CBC link over here, just as a point of archiving? Thanks in advance (if no, mind if I do?).
    If you want to read more about that case, you’ll have to look over here, but you’ll have to CtrlF to find the stories. On one of the pages.

  52. says

    Thanks for the links. I had not been following that first post, did not realize notice there was an active post on this topic.

  53. rq says

    Also, I wonder if the fact that he was white has anything to do with the other police officers speaking out. In some quiet, unconscious way.


    All hail rq the Magnificent, the cake turned out well after all. So no emergency shopping for cake!
    And I think I’m not going to read anymore local news today. Betweem our President saying there are too many women judges (and lawyers) in the country (so the ministry should step up and find a way to hire more men, is what else he said – only slightly more than 10% of Latvia’s judges are men), and then the side-by-side articles of ‘abortion can leave serious health side effects including sterility’ by a homeopath (studied homeopathy 6 years at the best schools in Germany!) and ‘pregnant women can experience greater sexual satisfaction and desire’ by I don’t even know who because I’m not going to read taht article, I have had enough (of the news). And yes, the abortion question has been raised again politically because they want to extend the mandatory waiting period from 72 hours to 120 hours, and also include a visit to a mental health professional of one’s choice (state-subsidized), just for that extra talking-to that women need before ejecting all those undeveloped babies* from their uteri. Those frivolous women, making decisions on the fly like that! (Also reports of an Italian soccer judge bein all ‘too many black folk on our team’… not helping.)
    And if anyone made sense of the previous paragraph, congratulations! :)

    * Used on purpose.

  54. rq says

    There’s a post even before that one. It’s been going since about August 9, now. :) And by the way, if ever you find anything else of interest on race, policing and their intersection, feel free to contribute over there!

  55. says


    I don’t remember growing older
    When did they?”

    That’s probably the real reason why kids make you “old”: You simply cannot deny the passing of years.

    Thank you all for your ideas. I actually found a website that is specifically designed for ESL kids: click

    I need to thank you for the Iguana Song.
    Since I couldn’t find a song to match my ideas I matched my ideas to the song. Also, the little one just loves it.

    Now I only need to get #1 to draw me that platypus…

  56. rq says

    Well, Youngest will be 3 in May… and it would be really nice to scoff and say, ‘Oh, 22, that’s so far away for us!’ but…
    Basically, what Giliell said: you cannot deny the passing of years, when watching your kids grow (or when they grow in subterfuge, as often seems the case, when a pair of pants / a sweater turn out to be slightly too short in the leg/arm again. Without mentioning the shrinkage of shoes in any way shape or form).

  57. says

    Republican politicians have been dissing public education in the USA for some time, not to mention reducing funding for public education whenever they think they can get away with it. Now presidential hopeful, Jeb Bush, is getting more obvious about his dislike of public education. Actually, I think Republicans dislike education in general, unless is the christian indoctrination kind.

    […] What he said would “light up the Twitter” was his condemnation of public education systems, which he blasted as “government-run, unionized monopolies.”

    We rarely hear this kind of talk about other parts of the public sector. For example, Republicans don’t usually run around chastising police departments or fire departments as “government-run, unionized monopolies.” Conservatives do, however, direct this ire at public education.

    It was a reminder that as Republican politics becomes more radicalized, GOP opposition to public education is becoming more obvious. In Wisconsin, for example, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) already won a brutal union-busting fight directed at school teachers, and he’s now going after higher education.

    Walker’s new budget proposal would slash $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system over the next two years. That’s a 13 percent reduction in state funding.

    This in on top of earlier funding cuts.

    As Rachel noted on the show earlier this week, “To put it in perspective, the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Madison … says that if she just outright eliminates the school of nursing, and the law school, and the business school, and the pharmacy school, and the school of veterinary medicine, if she outright eliminates all of those schools from the Madison campus, that still would not be enough to make up for what Scott Walker wants to make up from that campus.”

    And as PZ noted in an earlier post, Walker’s advice to Professors to just teach one more class was grounded in ignorance.

    […] think about that for a minute: Republican politics has reached the point at which candidates benefit when they’re seen going after schools, teachers, and universities with a vengeance.

    In other words, for the first time in a long while, hostility to education is apparently seen as a plus in GOP circles. […]

    Maddow Blog link. There are more examples of Republicans dissing public education, or advocating the end of the public school system, at the link.

  58. says

    More anti-education shenanigans from Republicans, this time in Oklahoma:

    The “education” bill that Oklahoma Republicans are pushing wouldn’t just ban the Advanced Placement U.S. History course, it would offer a required reading list of its own. And it’s a doozy:

    The bill, authored by Oklahoma Rep. Dan Fisher, designates a total of 58 documents that “shall form the base level of academic content for all United States History courses offered in the schools in the state.” Many of the texts are uncontroversial and undoubtedly covered by the Advanced Placement U.S. History course, such as the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg address. But the bill also has an ideological and religious bent. In addition to 3 speeches by Reagan, the curriculum as includes a speech by George W. Bush but nothing from any Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson. […]

    Daily Kos link.

    Think Progress link.

  59. says

    Republican politician in Nevada says stupid stuff:

    A Nevada lawmaker is defending her recent assertion that “young, hot little girls on campus” need to be armed with guns to prevent themselves from being raped, saying that every citizen should “have the right to defend him or herself from sexual assault.”

    Assemblywoman Michele Fiore’s initial comments were published in the New York Times on Wednesday. The lawmaker was defending her sponsorship of a bill that would allow college students to carry concealed firearms, saying that expanding students’ right to have hidden guns will help address the sexual assault crisis.

    “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them,” Fiore told the newspaper. “The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.” […]


  60. says


    In other words, for the first time in a long while, hostility to education is apparently seen as a plus in GOP circles

    Whoever wrote that clearly hasn’t been paying much attention. This isn’t new; this bullshit dates to Reagan at least.

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Already down to zero. Going to be cold night. Have an extra blanket ready in case the Redhead needs it.
    She had her reclining wheel chair delivered today, so she can be safely Hoyered into it. Hopefully, the Physical Therapists won’t be far behind. Stand, stand, stand!

  62. says

    Nerd @90:

    Here in the Panhandle of the Sunshine State, we’ll be seeing temperatures in the mid to upper 20s overnight. Ugh.


    Just had a thought–I wonder if there’s any overlap between the people who whinged and complained about Idris Elba as Heimdall, Candice Patton as Iris Allen, or Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm and the people who say “It doesn’t matter that Jake Gyllenhall was cast as the lead of Prince of Persia, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, or Russell Crowe as Noah, bc these are fictional stories.”

  63. says

    I would bet that there’s a near-complete overlap between the former category and the latter, but not all people in the latter category are in the former.
    I got a temporary gig at a local Irish pub for their St. Patrick’s Day festival, which apparently sometimes means being hired on permanently, so here’s hoping.

  64. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    -4 at Waukegan airport. Only -2 closer to the lake. Forecast -9. Yea warmer near the lake. Still, I have a heated waterbed awaiting, after an initial snooze in chair for hiatal hernia, to make sure my stomach is empty. Speaking of which…..

  65. chigau (違う) says

    Meanwhile, in Edmonton, it’s +1°C (+34°F).
    In February.
    I’m thinking of using the shopvac and a pickaxe to clear the sidewalk.

    Standing Redhead!

  66. rq says

    Walking Eldest to school today, I was very conscious to point out that it was slippery – the ice under a small layer of rainwater being very tricky, mostly invisible, and with exceptionally low friction. I said to him, “Be careful of the ice, you don’t want to slip and fall!” So guess who slipped and fell. :P (No injuries, not even bruising, just a small surface wound to my pride and a rather large wet patch down the side of my jeans.)
    At this rate, the skating rink will never last until Saturday – I wonder if I can take the kiddos swimming a la polar bear? :D

  67. rq says

    The shopvac?

    Hooray, hooray for the new chair, and here’s some thumbs for the imminence of the therapists!! Stay warm!

    *thumbs up*
    Yay for the temp-possibly-more job!

  68. birgerjohansson says

    Why There’s Little Good Conservative Comedy
    (From Dispatches of the culture wars)

    (the psychological reasons quoted also apply to the far left we have in Sweden, but in USA this demography is extinct)

    (comments from the blog:)

    ”Liberals can sometimes poke fun at themselves and have it work, too. In fact, if I recall correctly, the term “politically correct” was originally coined by liberals making fun of themselves and their tendency to get too serious.”
    “[About] the satire: It’s about “punching up” not “kicking down”. Most conservative “humor” targets those who are in the minority and unable to defend themselves so it winds up being an offensive caricature.”
    ”Comedy that can’t punch up isn’t comedy. Punching down isn’t funny. It’s mean. Mean isn’t funny. Frankly, it’s just mean. Limbaugh et al, are like court jesters who tell the King how great he is and blame all his woes on the serfs.”
    [while] the psychology of conservatives includes a strong desire for institutional stability and submission to authority

    Colbert actually spoke about this in an interview he gave some years ago. He basically said the same thing in that a lot of humour is attacking authority and that goes against conservatives belief systems.”
    — — — — — — — — — — — —
    “A Conservative Walks Into a Bar”
    Says “OUCH!!!!!1!
    “Why did that Commie, Muslim, bastard Obama put that iron bar there…”

  69. rq says

    I know what a shopvac is (like a black hole that needs a power source), I was wondering why it was necessary for ice removal. Easier than a shovel?

  70. rq says

    I must be an author, I abide by the principle of ‘Show, don’t tell!’
    *eats all the chocolate*

  71. birgerjohansson says

    Chigau, the one to the right will eventually give rise to two lineages, one leading to the Daleks, the other to R2D2
    —- — — — — — —
    Orbital missile batteries http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3127#comic
    Economic re-distribution, physicist style. http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3119#comic
    Buddhist demonstrations http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3140#comic
    Motivational speakers: -How to sabotage them! http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3136#comic

  72. says

    Y’know, I paint a pretty grim picture of being trans, because often when it comes up, the subject is not one of fluffiness and farted rainbows.

    But I also have one thing that many of you won’t ever get: I had one overriding dream or wish as a child. That was to be ME when I grew up. And I get to live that dream, every day for going on 23 years now, approaching half my life entire. I get to love my imperfect but pleasing body (20+ yrs of oestrogens can have lovely effects!), every time I dress or shower. I get to enjoy being called “an old lady” in the elevator in my building.

    So yeah. Not all sequincloth and ashes. :)

  73. bassmike says

    rq it appears that I was right and you must have your sun back because there’s no sunlight here! just lots and lots of rain………. It must be bunnies.

  74. Saad says


    I had one overriding dream or wish as a child. That was to be ME when I grew up. And I get to live that dream

    That’s a great sentiment :)

  75. Ogvorbis says

    So there is a group called Values.com which does billboards (and a treacly website) with inspirational quotes, testimonials and stories. Some are pretty good. Right now, they have a billboard up along my commute which shows John Wayne and has the tagger “Grit: Pass It On.” Not too bad, right? Well the quote up on the billboard is, “Don’t much like quitters, son.”

    Let that sink in.

    A man who died of lung cancer saying he doesn’t like quitters. Did they even think this one through?


    Conservatives started really hating public education back when teachers unionized because getting a living wage for a job that requires a college degree is just wrong.

    And I did my mental checklist for conservative initiatives: damages, destroys or demonizes unions? Check. Throws a bone to rabid religious right? Check. Privatizes public positions to further enrich malefactors of great wealth? Check. Hating on public education is a threefer.

  76. Ogvorbis says


    So you were skating away on the thin ice of modern life?

    Glad you are okay. Be safe. Ice is so much worse than snow. In every way.

  77. azhael says

    @105 CaitieCat
    I know what you mean to some degree. I spent so much time as a child trying to fake being something that i wasn’t, always alert and checking to make sure that i was acting the “right” way. Not that i have completely scaped that (thanks, patriarchy!), but for many years now i’ve been much more free and i’ve discovered that i actually like myself for who i am, which believe me, it didn’t use to be the case.
    Also, i have to admit that even though it’s certainly not all pillowy mountains and smoothies made of smiles (you stole fluffiness and rainbows..this is hard…), there are certain perks to being me :)

    High five for self-earned self-love!

  78. says

    Yay for being you!
    I will say that m ylife would be poorer without you.

    1.) I should block BUzzfeed on my computer. I’m just a sucker for clicking the next 25 things list.
    2.) I’m not sure if working in a company where you have to post a note remining the IT department that everybody should be wearing pants* when the management comes for a visit would be totally cool or totally hell.

    *not as opposed to wearing skirts but as opposed to wearing undies only

  79. Saad says

    Could someone point me towards a good resource to learn about racial discrimination in the housing industry in the U.S.? Google turned up some articles, but I wonder if we have some essential reading type of material on this topic.

  80. opposablethumbs says

    So you were skating away on the thin ice of modern life?

    … and it’s a new day, too :-)
    (don’t know if that was the reference you intended, but it works nicely anyway. I’m partial to Tull. Oh, I was just thinking of you the other day, btw – I had the opportunity to tell someone they were being a calendarist :-))))) Hope you and yours are well, Ogvorbis)

    I just got some work come in today, yay! And also phew!

    Assorted hugs to the Horde! {{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}

  81. rq says

    The sun hasn’t arrived yet. Which package delivery company shall I complain to?
    We actually have in excess of +5 temperatures (!!!) and rain. Doesn’t look like there will be much skating on Saturday, barring a miraculous overnight freeze tomorrow evening.

    You can check the Later This Morning thread, I know I put up a bunch, and the current thread on that topic has at least one example (I think one of yesterday’s comments). That’s the best I can offer!

    Ha, right. The thin ice of modern life. The one that drops you on your ass in front of an audience? :P

    You’re definitely an awesome you. *hugs* Perhaps the awesomest you that ever was. No, not perhaps – definitely! :)

    Every time I click one of those terrible lists, I say to myself, ‘Just once more, honestly what kinds of idiocy have they come up with this time?’ Yeah….

    Thanks, I’ll take a tea once I’ve retrieved Eldest from school – hopefully, sans any slippery slopes this time!

  82. rq says

    More specifically, comment 37 on the current Morning thread has an article (the one about a Supreme Court decision). I’ll be back in a bit and I’ll take a swing through Later This Morning, if you don’t feel up to it yourself!
    Also, Lynna might know of some. Pteryxx hasn’t been around much but that’s another trove of all kinds of information.

  83. bassmike says

    rq I would complain to the Met Office. They are responsible for the forecast ergo….

    opposablethumbs being a bit of a prog nerd I think the reference was to Pink Floyd rather than Tull. Though, to be honest I like both myself. Sadly PF and Tull are no more and Ian Anderson’s voice has gone. Shame. His flute playing is still great though.

  84. says

    How’s the cake doing? Or will your little rqling enlghten Europe with songs about how to make cake at the Eurovision Song Contest in 20 years time?
    The redeeming thing about Buzzfeed is that they generally manage to be funny without being cringeworthy and also use their platform to shed light on discrimination and injustice. One of the lists was “25 things that highlight everyday racism in Germany”.

  85. says

    rq, I’ll keep the kettle hot for you.

    Last night I was pottering around trying to get one of my UFOs set up to start working on it again. Anyway, I opened the pouch with the colored pencils in it, and this wonderful aroma came out. Have you ever noticed how great colored pencils smell? Like colors and possibilities and creativity.

    Husband laughed at me. I reminded him that he’s just as bad at art supply stores; he goes down the oil paint and solvent aisles, inhaling. We have… art supply problems. Hee hee.

  86. Saad says


    Yup, that comment 37 was exactly the type of stuff I was looking for, especially that disparate impact article.

    And in my searching, I found this U.S. HUD report that had some good stats and graphs in case anyone is interested.

  87. Ogvorbis says

    opposablethumbs @115:

    Pink Floyd. The Wall. THE album of my formative years.

    Family is doing well. Boy loves most of his new job. He reads the menu, the menu calls for baked ham, and he gets to decide seasonings. Last time he did baked ham he did it with a spiced rum glaze.

    Girl is going to go to university for an extra year. Only way she can get her degree with the way that classes are set up. That, and the two required internships.

    rq @116:

    The one that drops you on your ass in front of an audience?

    Never had that happen. I have, however, severely sprained my back while presenting a programme to visitors. I have also given myself a high ankle sprain. And twerked my knee. And every time, I finished the tour.

    bassmike @119:

    I would complain to the Met Office. They are responsible for the forecast ergo….

    Nah. My fault. I put in a request for cooler weather back in July. Because we had no budget until very recently, they couldn’t act on it untill four weeks ago.

  88. opposablethumbs says

    Remind me, which is the Floyd reference, bassmike? Ogvorbis, were you actually intending either or both? :-)

    I don’t even draw or paint or art in any visual way whatsoever (occasionally feeling the urge to match up photos to things they “go with” doesn’t count) but I love the look and smell and everything of art supplies. They’re beautiful in their own right.

    I promise I’m only nipping in while the file is saving, it’s a big file ::hides file under browser:: and anyway I’ve calculated how much of it I’ve got to do each day in order to meet the deadline, it’s fine ……. (famous last words)

  89. Ogvorbis says

    opposablethumbs @127:

    Ogvorbis, were you actually intending either or both? :-)

    I was thinking only about the Floyd:

    Pink Floyd – The Thin Ice

    Momma loves her baby
    And daddy loves you too.
    And the sea may look warm to you babe
    And the sky may look blue
    Ooooh baby
    Ooooh baby blue
    Oooooh babe.

    If you should go skating
    On the thin ice of modern life
    Dragging behind you the silent reproach
    Of a million tear-stained eyes
    Don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice
    Appears under your feet.
    You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
    With your fear flowing out behind you
    As you claw the thin ice.

  90. bassmike says

    rq I hope your fall hasn’t lead to any permanent damage (apart from your ego). Re:125, see: the weather’s not all my fault *does blame-free happy dance*. However, it’s still raining here … maybe that’s Ogvorbis’s fault too. Hmm.

    Also I was luck enough (and old enough) to see The Wall live back in 1981 (?). An impressive piece of theatre rather than a concert, but great entertainment.

  91. rq says

    Comment 42 on the current thread has a link titled ‘About that ‘Miracle” and I believe it links to about 3 Ta-Nehisi Coates articles spec. from the Atlantic, as already mentioned by Cait. The man is a genius, and he writes well, too.

    Thanks, the ego is fine, had all that chocolate, and now some tea, and I think it will recover nicely in about 10 to 15 years’ time. :P ;)

    Oh, the smells. Just watch out with the paints and solvents, I hear you’re not supposed to drive after that experience… ;) And I agree about pencil crayons. Pretty much anything made of wood (pencil crayons, books, packaged furniture) smells good after being enclosed in a small space for a while. Or just left to age. I’ve always wanted to go around old houses sniffing the old wood furniture and cabinets, but I’ve never felt brave enough to do it.

    The cake is half-eaten, thank you. :) And if my children ever decide to compete in Eurovision, we’re going to have a long talk about song quality!

    And it’s the cooler weather I’d prefer right now, rather than this terrible thaw.


    On the plus side, my winter boots arrived.

  92. says


    Husband is also a woodworker, so I know all about the good smell of lumber. When we were first dating, he lived within walking distance of a store that sold exotic woods, and we’d wander through there together. He made some bookcases and other heavy furniture from wood he bought there. I’m afraid I get a happy off fresh-cut pine, too. Hardware stores, lumber yards, art supply stores, and then there are fabric and bead and craft stores, with all the shiny pretty things to fondle, oooohhh…

    I think I’d better go lie down for a while.

  93. opposablethumbs says

    Ahh, I see. The Floyd is very apt … the Tull one is positively optimistic in comparison!

  94. says

    This is a followup to #48. Georgia is going one step further than I had realized in order to restrict voting. Republicans in the state legislature are not only drastically cutting early-voting days, their proposed bill “bar counties from offering more than four hours of voting on weekends.” Those restrictions disproportionally restrict voting in urban (in more Democratic Party leaning) areas; and in minority communities where public and private transportation are limited; and in communities where people have trouble getting time off work or school in order to vote.

    Bad news out of Colorado as well:

    Colorado lawmakers began debating a bill Wednesday that would require voters to present a photo ID if they register to vote on Election Day – a policy that would disproportionately impact people who are younger, lower income, non-white, and newly naturalized.

    Good news out of Colorado: there are enough Democrats that they defeated the proposal. Bad news: Republican legislators are going to try again. Link.

  95. says

    Birds of a feather saying stupid stuff together:

    […] According to the Politico report, Giuliani told the audience, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a likely Republican presidential candidate, was ostensibly the featured guest at the event. He was seated near Giuliani during his condemnations of the president, but said nothing. […]


    Rudy Giuliani also thinks Vladimir Putin is “a great leader.”

  96. says

    The holy war begins…. The holy war is here. And unfortunately it seems the President of United States will be the last one to acknowledge it…. President Obama needs to lead — needs to lead the world in this holy war.

    That’s Bill O’Reilly saying stupid and dangerous stuff.

    They try to portray themselves as religious leaders — holy warriors in defense of Islam…. We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders — they’re terrorists.

    That’s President Obama speaking.

    I think O’Reilly, and Faux News in general, are playing right into the hands of ISIS and other terrorists.

  97. says

    ISIS wants everybody to believe that there’s a holy war in the world and they are one side and the West is the other side. That’s what ISIS wants people to believe. That’s what al Qaeda wants people to believe too.

    And it used to be American consensus politics – at least American consensus mainstream politics – to reject that narrative, to not let those terrorist groups define what’s going on here and define themselves as half of the fight in a clash between two equal civilizations, with them as the Muslim side and everybody else as the other side.

    “There used to be a consensus in American politics that giving them that framing for what they’re doing which they seek so desperately was not only repeating their big lie, it was idiotic strategically. It was doing their work for them. […]

    That’s Rachel Maddow speaking.


  98. says

    Oh, FFS.

    […] as Jami and Krista Contreras sat in the exam room, waiting to be seen for their newborn’s first checkup, another pediatrician entered the room and delivered a major blow: The doctor they were hoping for had a change of heart. After “much prayer,” she decided that she couldn’t treat their baby because they are lesbians. […]

    Detroit Free Press video link. Coverage in the form of text is also provided.

  99. Saad says

    Lynna, #139

    Damn, that’s just plain cruel.

    I wonder if she’s pro-life. But hey, now that the baby is born…

  100. Saad says

    Just got done reading the doctor’s “apology” letter. Ridiculous shit in bold:

    “Dear Jami & Krista, I am writing this letter of apology as I feel that it is important and necessary. I never meant to hurt either of you. After much prayer following your prenatal (visit), I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient doctor relationship that I normally do with my patients.”

    “I felt that it was an exciting time for the two of you and I felt that if I came in and shared my decision, it would take away much of the excitement. That was my mistake,” the letter stated. “I should have spoken with you that day.”

    The letter concluded:

    “Please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice. Again, I am very sorry for the hurt and angry feelings that were created by this. I hope that you can accept my apology.”

    Note how she’s not sorry for thinking gay people are beneath her. And you would never judge? What exactly do you call refusing to treat someone’s child because they’re gay?

    Beyond disgusting. Sometimes I just can’t believe this isn’t illegal.

  101. says

    More rightwingers saying stupid stuff about President Obama:

    Far-right radio host Rick Wiles invited Republican politician E.W. Jackson onto “Trunews” yesterday to discuss whether, in Wiles’ words, President Obama “has a diabolical plan to transform America into an Islamic nation or is mentally ill.”

    “Maybe there’s a juxtaposition between those two,” Jackson responded. “His behavior almost suggests a kind of delusion…. I don’t know if he’s mentally ill but I do know he does not think like most Americans think.”

    Jackson, the right-wing pastor and unsuccessful GOP nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, added that the president “does not behave or think like most Americans” […]

    […] he claimed that he knows for a fact that Obama speaks Arabic because he “heard” that once: “Apparently he speaks Arabic, at least that’s what I have heard, that he does speak Arabic.”

    The damage he has done is absolutely immense, it is staggering,” Jackson lamented. “President Barack Obama is really engaged in a fundamental betrayal of our country.”

    After Wiles contended that Obama is actually “an agent placed in this country to destroy the United States,” Jackson claimed Obama “clearly has a mindset that is destructive of our republic” and “clearly is someone that one has to acknowledge is destructive of everything this country represents.” […]


  102. says

    More right-wingers saying stupid stuff about President Obama:

    Judicial Watch founder and right-wing legal activist Larry Klayman claimed in an interview with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg today that President Obama “sympathizes with the so-called Muslim faith” and “everything he does nearly is based on favoring his own people, which is Muslims and African Americans.”

    My basic cable company recently advertised that they were adding Newsmax to our line up of awful faux news, including Fox News and dozens of shows hosted by religious figures. I really don’t want to pay for that.

    “He thinks like a Muslim, he believes that he is a Muslim, he obviously does worship the Koran,” Klayman said. “He obviously is in fact biased against people who are not of his claimed religion and otherwise.” […]

    “Given the fact that the president is a Muslim at heart and half-Muslim by birth, he can’t even swear to the Constitution because you have to swear on the Holy Bible of Judeo-Christians,” he explained. “This president obviously believes in Sharia law, and as a result he has no respect for this Constitution, which was founded by our founding fathers under Judeo-Christian principles.” […]

    He cited a number of discredited anti-Obama conspiracy theories, including that Obama attended an Islamic “madrassa” as a child, that he admitted to George Stephanopoulos that he is a Muslim, that he is running a campaign to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that he wears a secret Muslim wedding ring. […]


  103. says

    More right-wingers say stupid stuff about President Obama:

    […] Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council said that it is an incontrovertible fact that Obama supports violent extremists who claim to represent Islam.

    Boykin, a bizarre conspiracy theorist who opposes religious freedom for Muslim-Americans, told Land that there is “no question” that the president “has been very sympathetic to Islam.”

    “His pattern has been one of being very supportive of the Islamic jihadists because he has been unwilling to identify what motivates them,” Boykin said. […]


  104. says

    Good news regarding flowers for gay weddings:

    A Washington state judge has ruled that florist Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, broke state law when she refused to provide flowers for the wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. Stutzman, represented by anti-LGBT legal juggernaut the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), had been sued by the same-sex couple and the state’s attorney general for breaking both the Washington Law Against Discrimination and the state’s Consumer Protection Act. She countersued, seeking the right to engage in such discrimination based on her religious beliefs.

    Though Stutzman has become a darling of the religious right for asserting her Southern Baptist beliefs about same-sex marriage, her arguments about religious freedom fell flat in court. […]

    […] On March 1, 2013, “Stutzman refused to provide to Ingersoll a service she provided to others,” Ekstrom wrote. What she believes about same-sex marriage is immaterial, because the law’s protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation “address conduct, not beliefs.” Agreeing with the plaintiffs and the attorney general, Ekstrom asserted that “no Court has ever held that religiously motivated conduct, expressive or otherwise, trumps state discrimination law in public accommodations.”

    He also pointed out that Stutzman is not a minister nor is Arlene’s Flowers a religious organization. Likewise, the law does not specifically target her because of her beliefs, but is “neutral and generally applicable” to all people of all beliefs.

    […] As the Supreme Court wrote in the 1982 case United States v. Lee, “When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity. Granting an exemption… operates to impose [the follower’s] religious faith on the [person sought to be protected by the law.]” […]


  105. chigau (違う) says

    The shopvac is to suck up the layer of water so I can get to the ice underneath.
    Weirdweather ‘humour’.

  106. Nick Gotts says

    After “much prayer,” she decided that she couldn’t treat their baby because they are lesbians. – Lynna, OM

    Well obviously the baby would have caught lesbian cooties from the parents, and the doctor was afraid she might catch them from the baby. Totally rational.

  107. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Since I’ve come to know Portia, lawyer jokes make me go Hulk-smash.

    Btw…Say hello to her, if someone is in contact.

  108. A. Noyd says

    When am I going to learn that saying “I don’t speak [X language]” in [X language] only ever convinces people I’m actually very fluent? I messed this up at work, and now I’m afraid one of my students will think I’m snubbing her by refusing to speak French with her when the truth is I can’t.

  109. Grewgills says

    @Giliell (way the hell up there somewhere)
    I’m glad the song worked out. We’ve had several groups of little ones love it. Sophie is loving that one and the Duck Song and (unfortunately) Wobble Baby now. I have to play them all because she is too adorable when she dances.

  110. Esteleth, RN's job is to save your ass, not kiss it says

    Today was day 9 of me working Officially a nurse.

    Which is to say that tomorrow I won’t be sitting in a classroom being lectured at regarding this policy and that policy (not that this stuff isn’t important – it totally is – I’m just very badly overloaded in the brain): I’ll actually be working as a nurse.

    *kermit arms*

  111. Funny Diva says

    Esteleth, ass-saveRN

    *kermit arms* Yaaaaaayyyyy!

    You go!

    I know what ya mean about the policy and training and policy training being important but being “at the bedside” (or in my case “at the bench”) is really where it’s AT!

  112. savant says

    Congratulations on your nursealations! That’s fantastic. Half of the women in my family are nurses of varying stripes. I hope you have a fantastic career!

  113. says

    Dear Horde,

    I have a minor question of etiquette, to wit:

    I bought a pair of vintage earrings on eBay, which I received today. The earrings are very nice, but the seller included a Christian tract in the package.

    As an atheist, I find such inclusions offensive. Should this affect the feedback I leave for an otherwise five-star transaction?

    Sincerely, Longtime Reader

    PS: Above post may contain snark.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Here at Casa la Pelirroja, there is take-home Chinese in the oven staying warm for dinner for Chinese New Year. Or when China takes a week off (except the women in the kitchens, of course). (One of the people in my department is from China). She just called her college roommate, so dinner is at least an hour off. Sometimes I wonder why she doesn’t doesn’t order all appetizers, and forget the dinner….

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    We have an older model wrist blood pressure device that just doesn’t work for the Redhead these days. Nothing but error messages, where it seems that it can’t detect the pulse reliably. It has no problem with my fatter wrist, giving what I consider reasonable numbers. Also, we try to read from her good arm, which is her right, and most wrist devices are designed for the left wrist.
    She complains the arm models are too tight. Although I have in mind a backup that is a primitive arm cuff with a pressure dial, and pump/pressure relief valve, and a stethoscope (I’ve heard what is needed in the past), a wrist model is preferable for noise (from her) reasons.
    Does the horde have any recommendations?

  116. Saad says

    Anne, #170

    I’m feeling dumb replying to this, but I can’t tell if your snark disclaimer was meant for a particular part of your post or that your entire question is in jest, but here goes:

    I don’t think it should be a factor in rating the nice earrings and transaction.

    Now, excuse me.

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As an atheist, I find such inclusions offensive. Should this affect the feedback I leave for an otherwise five-star transaction?

    I think you should be blatant, and say it would have have been a five start transaction without the gratuitous religious tract, which knocked it down two notches to a three. Until feedback is heard, there is no problem. But THEY have the problem, and if they want to sell goods….

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It was all snark.

    As I surmised. But it never hurts to be assertive at times.

  119. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Nerd of Redhead, please forgive me if this is a blindingly stupid question but is there a valid medical reason why blood pressure readings are routinely taken from the arm? Closer to the heart so a stronger reading, maybe?
    Anyway, my thinking – and apologies once again if this is ridiculous* – is that if the Redhead’s wrist is too small, could you possibly obtain a reading from an ankle or calf?

    *As primary caregiver for my own wife, I know how annoying it can get be sometimes to be offered blatantly ridiculous ‘advice’, even though it is offered with the best of intentions.

    Anne, Lurking Feminist Harpy, I don’t think that I would go so far as to leave a negative rating, but I would certainly make my displeasure known in the feedback comment, in all caps to make it stand out on the page (unless most of their comments are already in caps). I would make it the main part of the comment, leaving enough space at the end for a perfunctory ‘but love the earrings’.

  120. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Must learn to refresh before posting. It takes forever to type a couple of coherent sentences with my sausage fingers on a bloody 7″ tablet.
    Stylus? Lost six in a month between the grandsons and the dog.

  121. rq says

    In case you’re still looking for articles, in case you haven’t come across this one yet, I recommend The Case for Reparations. The article specifically discusses racist housing policies, so if you haven’t found it yet (it’s by Ta-Nehisi Coates), here it is. :)

  122. says

    Well, so far I managed to drive to college and pay for my trip (I haz excited!) and turn on the dishwasher. I also have a terrible headache…

    Some funny reading: 50 shades of socialist feminism

    Since you can hardly buy candy online these days without stumbling over that shit, I have been wondering:
    Am I the only person who is a bit worried about the past and present relationships of women who see nothing abusive in that book?
    And then I was wondering why of all people Armanda Marcotte would speak favourably about it.
    I think I have an explenation: There are two different things going on here: One is that book which reads like a checklist for domestic violence and abusive relationships, the other thing is that women got some mainstream porn. Sure, the problem is that this specific piece of porn reinforces male dominance and erases consent, but for the first time in forever women got some porn they’re allowed to enjoy and their hornieness doesn’t get erased and neglected.

  123. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, I know what you mean – but the damage, ugh, the representation of women’s desire in this – fuck it could hardly be any worse. (It makes me feel a bit like I did about Thatcher – on the one hand, ‘finally, a woman Prime Minister!’ But ‘OMFG, doing so. much. damage.’)

  124. Saad says

    rq, #180

    Yeah, I came across that one from Caitie’s recommendation. Got some good reading material for the weekend now. Thanks!

  125. Saad says

    In reference to Lynna’s #136

    It gets funnier. Here’s Giuliani answering to the racism charge:

    “Some people thought it was racist — I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview.

    I can’t be racist, because that darn Murka-hating black man’s mother was white.

    I have to say. That’s a new one.

    And of course if you really wanna get a Republican pissed, deny American exceptionalism:

    He also challenged a reporter to find examples of Mr. Obama expressing love for his country.

    “I’m happy for him to give a speech where he talks about what’s good about America and doesn’t include all the criticism,” Mr. Giuliani said.

  126. Saad says

    To clarify, when I say “get a Republican pissed”, I mean angry. If they choose to deal with that anger with inebriation is their problem.

  127. says

    Esteleth @158
    Rock on! That is great!
    Ogvorbis @ 161-166
    I don’t know if any of that was intentional, but thanks for the giggles.
    rq @182
    I’ve never attempted entrelac knitting. But those socks sure are tempting.

    I had started redecorating the mud room last week, and got as far as patching the walls, painting, and leaving all the tools and such in a big pile in the middle of the floor. I’m supposed to be installing the new laminate floor this week, but I can’t make the mess go away, no matter how much I yell at it.

  128. The Mellow Monkey says

    Giliell @ 181

    I think I have an explenation: There are two different things going on here: One is that book which reads like a checklist for domestic violence and abusive relationships, the other thing is that women got some mainstream porn. Sure, the problem is that this specific piece of porn reinforces male dominance and erases consent, but for the first time in forever women got some porn they’re allowed to enjoy and their hornieness doesn’t get erased and neglected.

    I suspect this is what a lot of people think is going on when they defend the books, but it’s not porn. That’s one of the most aggravating things about these books and their success. They’re particularly bad romance novels, following romance novel tropes and doing it poorly. Ana has a “down there”–sometimes he might as well be fondling her knees for all the description given. They’re incredibly vague, incredibly repetitive, incredibly bad sex scenes. I honestly suspect C&P may have been involved with just repeating the same lines over and over. Many mainstream romance novels are more explicit and sexier than this shit, without even delving into the erotic romance genre.

    There’s a billion dollar a year industry that already caters to women’s fantasies. Most of the FSOG fans I’ve spoken to didn’t read much and definitely not romance novels before these books, so basically the books ended up appealing to people who didn’t know there was better out there. They didn’t know–or didn’t want to know–about all the feminist romance novelists and how far the genre has come from those rapey-rich-white-man-and-helpless-white-virgin books in the ’70s. It’s a step backwards as far as the genre goes and has hurt a lot of progress made, because now there’s a greater demand for that regressive crap.

  129. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Acolyte of Sagan #177

    but is there a valid medical reason why blood pressure readings are routinely taken from the arm? Closer to the heart so a stronger reading, maybe?

    I see two reasons. The first is consistency, so numbers can be compared. The second, is that the arm/wrist is usually readily accessible. To get to the Redhead’s ankle requires moving the covers, and removing her protective boots (prevents getting sores on her heels), then reversing the process.

  130. opposablethumbs says

    … you have a whole room, just for mud??? o_o umm … you’re a potter? A ceramicist? A terracotta-ist?

    (what is a mud room, really? ::googles it:: Ohhhh, I see. The lobby :-) )

  131. says

    I actually don’t like the phrase “mud room,” but I don’t know what else to call it. It is situated between the outdoors and the garage, so it’s mainly for shoe removal and coat dropping. But there is a little fireplace back there, so it is also a nice sitting room.

  132. Saad says


    what is a mud room, really?

    It’s where Republicans gather to talk about Obama.

  133. opposablethumbs says

    Mellow Monkey, yes!

    Not to mention that there’s a lot of material as good as (very low bar!) or better than this dreck available on line very cheaply, and in many cases free. I know it’s been said before, and I know this abuse-fest started out as (bad) fanfic, but when there’s fanfic which is actually well written readily available …

    and this is what gets the big-money backing. Oy.

  134. says

    Really, a place to shed wet and/or muddy things, to avoid tracking them into the house. May be combined with a laundry facility for this reason.

    For lobby, look for “foyer” or “front hall”, most frequently encountered. And foyer can be foy-eh or foy-ur; Canadians tend to the former Frenchier pronunciation, as we do in “route” (root rather than rout).

  135. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And then I was wondering why of all people Armanda Marcotte would speak favourably about it.

    I can think of a couple of reasons. *spit*

  136. bassmike says

    Re FSOG: (disclaimer – I’ve not read the book) the premise seems decidedly abusive to say the least. Quite why it’s become the bestseller that it is I haven’t a clue. I gather that it’s not even well written. However, that never stopped Dan Brown either!

  137. rq says

    I hang my sword, usually on a thread above people’s heads. You can’t generalize like that! :P