1. says

    Who let the Creeper into the Lounge?

    I’ve started trying to teach myself guitar again. At the moment, it’s more like getting my fingers back in shape so I can try to move my learning along some. My dad was a music teacher in the public schools and he also taught guitar at a music school/store in addtion to playing guitar himself since he was 14 or so (he actually started on the ukelele, which apparently has the same top 4 strings). Unfortunately, he lives an hour away, and driving that far for a lesson once a week is not something I want to do. Plus, since I know music already (started playing trombone when I was in 6th grade/12 yrs old, had a music theory class in high school, plus listening to dad my whole life), I think he tends to skip around in his teaching with me. I plan on seeing how far I can get with some intro books and maybe videos online.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead will finally be getting her brautwurst tonight. After work, I got it boiled in beer/onions, the seared on the grill, and grill put away before any rain hit. Now to serve it with a pickle, German potato salad, corn on the cob, and maybe Boston style baked beans. My sides will be different.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    I thought PZ had most emojis turned off.
    I don’t think everyone can see them.

  4. says

    chigau 8

    I can see them. Or most of them. In 8, there are a couple of yellow, well, brain bowls with the old Kool-Aid face on them interspersed with color squares in darkening shades of brown. Not sure if hte squares are supposed to be something different.

    Nerd 7

    Got enough for guests? ‘Cause that sounds dee-lish.

  5. says

    Ooooh. chigau 8 again

    In the email version, I can now see what your emojis are supposed to be. 6 little girls in pigtails of various skin colors. (I know — brain bowls? I must need new glasses. It’s the gloss on the yellow hair.)

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Got enough for guests? ‘Cause that sounds dee-lish.

    Are you close to Chiwaukee (my name for the strip of cities from Chicago to Milwaukee)? The Redhead loves visitors.

  7. Lesbian Catnip says

    I’m sad because I keep arriving late to threads. Everybody’s said all the reasonable discussion points you can have on any given topic and the trolls have been dispatched.


  8. chigau (違う) says

    Your email version is what I typed.
    6 identical except for skin colour girls.

    Happy Poo it is!

  9. bluentx says

    Oh,dear LC @13 ! What have I [intermittent lurker/ commenter] missed !?
    Reviewing as (not so smart) phone permits…..


  10. bluentx says

    Okay, so sometimes NOT having Ad blocker app IS amusing : “BEN CARSON FOR PRESIDENT 2016″…….. HAHAHAHAHA……!!!!!!!

  11. bluentx says

    Apparently, (not so smart phone) and finger not on same wavelength. Have no idea what last digit in # 18 means.
    SHOULD MEAN : “Hi, ya chigau!”

  12. says

    Nerd of Redhead @12

    Just outside Philadelphia. But I do have friends that live in Chicago, so visits are not out of the question. Just… visits tonight, or relatively soon.

  13. carlie says

    Update on Kid: tough couple of days. His dad wouldn’t respond to phone calls all day yesterday, and he didn’t have some of his prescription meds. But his dad called back today and we negotiated to get some of his things today and some Friday, went and got the most important things without incident (including the bearded dragon that he was really worried about). Spent four hours at the county social services office to find out that he doesn’t have the right ID for processing for any type of assistance, but did find out that even though he’s 18 his parents are still responsible for his care/child support until he’s 21. He has his phone back now, so he can call his relatives (the ones a few hours away) to see how soon they can take him in, and hopefully we’ll have an answer before we go back for the return appointment next week. He was also able to contact his sister. She didn’t want to take his cat in its current state (long story), but I found an animal refuge that will pay for the cat to be spayed and brought up to date on shots, and she will probably take the cat once that happens. There are a few doctors’ appointments and things in the meantime, but we’re starting to get a handle on where he has to be and when. It’s going to be tricky maneuvering those around the things we have to do and when, but we’ll figure something out. I’m exhausted and strung out and now very behind at work, but I think if I get a good night’s sleep tonight I’ll be ok. I’m kind of enjoying watching my cat freak out over this lizard.

  14. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    carlie, you are a very good person. The kid is lucky to have you in his life. I wish all of you the best.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    I think the pixels in PZs image is….JEEEZUS! But why is he wearing two heads?

  16. says

    You’re doing wonderful work. I’m glad the parents are at least responsible until 21. It’s 25 in Germany, because how could you expect an 18 yo to fend for themselves?

    re: Greece
    You know, I totally agree that German politics were a leading factor in the current crisis, starting with the creation of the Euro and the inclusion of countries like Greece. But they were hardly alone. By now it looks like every other country and institution was against everything from the start and really, it’s all Germany’s fault. Last I looked the IMF wasn’t a German institution and Lagarde and Merkel are different people.

  17. F.O. says

    Was discussing with a religious friend of mine and this article popped up:
    Could anyone with a stronger understanding of philosophy give me an idea of whether this thing has merit or it’s just navel-gazing wankery?

    In other news I’ll soon be visiting friends in Athens.
    I’m curious to see what will be of Greece and of EU, and am worried for the living conditions there.
    The impression I have so far is that of a big divide and conquer: rather than being private banks vs the public interest, this has been reframed as EU/Germany vs Greece.
    The way I’m understanding it, private banks took the risk to loan to a corrupt government and now want the EU citizens to cover their asses. Of course, the Greek citizens should have kept a better check of what their govt was doing, but it’s not like the rest of the Europeans (and I speak as Italian) have done or are doing a much better job.

  18. Saad says

    LOL, Republicans

    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had a talk with Trump about his comments about Mexican immigrants. You know you’re a party of hate when your message to Trump is that he needs to watch his tone and not the appalling content of his remarks.

    Priebus also openly talks about the Hispanic community as merely a tool for the Republicans’ political strategy:

    “Look, I’ve gotta tell you, I spent four years trying to make inroads with the Hispanic community … how we address illegal immigration is very important,” to winning back Hispanics politically, Priebus said at the end of the call, according to the GOP source.

    And RNC spokesman Sean Spicer describes their conversation as “a respectful discussion across a wide range of issues including illegal immigration”.

    Yup, two rich white dudes having a respectful discussion about the nuances of how to mistreat humans from Mexico. They’re such respectful people.

  19. says

    *sssssssssssss* aaahhhh CREEPER!


    carli you are a good person. I hope the best for Kid and everyone.


    Do any of you Minecrafters play on Sitosis? It seems like it has kinda wound down to only a few players.



    Priebus also openly talks about the Hispanic community as merely a tool for the Republicans’ political strategy:

    I think most politicians sees every community as merely tools to be exploited.

  20. says

    I got to get my machine running some more, so here’s one of the results


    The way I’m understanding it, private banks took the risk to loan to a corrupt government and now want the EU citizens to cover their asses.

    Basically it’s the housing bubble banking crisis all over again, only this time with entire countries. They lended and lended and lended, knowing that Greece could never pay back, and their governments borrowed and borrowed and borrowed, knowing that when the shit hit the fan they wouldn’t be responsible anymore. And hey, why not use this crisis to demolish social standards and repropriate public property all over Europe while blaming it on the Greek population?

  21. says

    Refilling the hugs bowl with a special addition for JAL and carlie. I hope that everything works out.

    I have a question. This wikipedia entry on the social role and people called Heyoka by the Lakota people speaks very strongly to me.

    Among the Lakota people, the heyoka (heyókȟa, also spelled “haokah,” “heyokha”) was a contrarian, jester, satirist or sacred clown. The heyoka spoke, moved and reacted in an opposite fashion to the people around them. Only those having visions of the thunder beings of the west, the Wakinyan, could act as heyokas.

    I see a lot of consistency between this and how my instincts and emotions tend to play out with respect to Tourette’s Syndrome and how I often fit in socially. Since I’ve read about cultural appropriation more than once around here being sensitive about this is a fundamental concern. I’m doing my own searching but I thought I would see if anyone here had any tips or links.

    For now I’m resisting the urge to use the label on myself directly and my end goals would be to use comparisons to tease out more fundamental human phenomena and find good names for that. I’ll be damned if it’s not fascinating and gripping mythology though.

    I was really into minecraft at Sitosis for a while but I had to admit that I could not handle the distraction. I wish I was still there but it’s not something I can do right now. Maybe I should have mentioned that I was leaving and why on the forums…

  22. says

    No worries. Was just wondering. BTW, what’s your minecraft handle, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I have been very sporadic lately due to IRL. As with most things I do, I do in Binges (just look at my commenting history here) Right now, any free time is spent Minecrafting or lurking FTB. Next week, it might be the blacksmith shop and YouTube. Although now that I think about it, Kiddo goes to her first weeklong sleep away camp on Monday. So next week shall be “No Pants Week”.

  23. opposablethumbs says

    Holy shit, carlie, you are an awesome awesome person. I’m so glad you are able to help this kid (and shit, poor kid! There’s no way someone that age should be expected to just fend for themselves totally out of the blue). You’re wonderful, and I bet the closest people to you are wonderful too.

  24. Caroline says

    Hi Everyone,
    Carlie, you sound amazing and that young person is so lucky to have you. Well I finally got to see the new therapist and I am a little baffled because they gave me some gender /authenticity stuff to practice and also brought up something else much more strongly, so I left with more questions. They want me to research gifted/IQ sites? So I came home and looked at the site they suggested ( and I looked around but frankly I don’t see the correlation. I was told I was mentally retarded as a child so I laughed out loud when she suggested I was gifted. I asked if she meant I was too cerebral and she seemed irritated, but that is what another doc told me about me so I asked. Also what is threadrupt?

  25. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Caroline #39

    Also what is threadrupt?

    Shorthand for saying people have been too busy to keep with a fast paced thread like this one. Or behind on their reading.

  26. rq says

    I don’t know if the blacksmith shop and “No Pants Week” are a good mix…

  27. rq says

    I hope the therapist at least left you with a good impression? Or the impression of someone with whom you can work? I’m wishing you all the best going forward!

  28. Caroline says

    Thank you rq, I feel I probably won’t be able to afford much with this person as they don’t accept insurance and it’s 120.00 a pop and I was hoping for a support system or something else. I sense spirituality coming along and also I don’t know how I feel about someone telling me they believe applying makeup is a biological. They also practice hypnosis so IDK. Why is psychology so linked to spirituality?

  29. Caroline says

    I actually get more out of reading Brute Reason and Captain Awkward and am trying to figure out how to present myself socially. I know I over talk and can get convoluted when I am nervous and I forgot to take my Benedryl, so I feel like I put myself out there and did it poorly. We didn’t make a date to continue , they said I could call if I thought I might like to come back again and that is how we left it.

  30. says

    I like it quite well myself, only I’d have to make a second one to fit the other arm ;)


    I was told I was mentally retarded as a child so I laughed out loud when she suggested I was gifted.

    That’s not unusual. Many gifted children fail in regular schools because they’re so bored, they don’t do shit except disrupting the lessons. My cousin had some severe issues with her youngster when he was 7 or 8, until a child psychologist found out that:
    A) he’s fuck intelligent
    B) he’s so fuck intelligent that he trained himself to be right-handed even though he is left-handed because he saw everybody else using their right hand.
    Afterwards everybody could deal with the issues appropriately and life became much better.
    I’m sorry the therapist doesn’t accept insurance :(

  31. says


    Why is psychology so linked to spirituality?

    Because the common perception is that mind=soul, basically. The mysterious, immaterial thing that makes you you and all that type of thing.

  32. carlie says

    Thanks , but I know you all would do the exact same thing. I can’t imagine anyone not. I did get a little off my shoulders today – a couple of my friends have said they’ll contribute money towards anything he needs, which is good because this stuff is going to add up quickly soon, but that’s all covered now. Our biggest problem now is getting him photo id, which he needs for, well, everything, but most especially so he can visit his mom before we take him out of town to live with his relatives. But it’s a catch-22; even with being able to pay the expedited fees to get one quickly, he needs a birth certificate to get a state photo ID, which he doesn’t have, and to get a birth certificate he needs… a state photo id. I have to call tomorrow to find out what to do, because the only alternate forms of ID they mention online are utility bills, which an 18 year old doesn’t have. And a sheriff’s photo ID is supposed to be easier and faster, but it also requires a birth certificate, which why do those even exist, then? Maybe social services can help out with that when we go next week.

    I know I’m little Miss Privilege just now realizing exactly how utterly ridiculous the system is, but jeez. I can’t even fathom trying to navigate it from phoneless/internetless/transportationless/Englishless situations like so many people in it do. Child 1 and Kid were standing right there when I was on the computer hitting dead ends for IDs and I said “shit” out loud. They at least got a kick out of that, and now Child 1 has blackmail material on me. ;)

  33. says

    Louie Gohmert goes farther than Donald Trump:

    In an interview yesterday with WorldNetDaily’s Radio America, Rep. Louie Gohmert once again pushed a debunked report alleging that ISIS set up a camp on America’s southern border, pointing to a Tom Clancy novel to claim that ISIS may be collaborating with drug cartels.

    The Texas congressman said that Republicans shouldn’t have a problem picking up Latino voters since they love God and family, which of course are two things that Democrats hate.

    However, Gohmert said that Republicans shouldn’t “disregard the rule of law” through immigration reform because such a move “makes us like the countries in Central America or Mexico that they’re fleeing.” A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Gohmert said, may jeopardize the future of the Republic. […]

    Maybe Tom Clancy should be a Republican candidate for president. Oh, wait, he died in 2013. Does that disqualify him?

    Source for quoted text.

  34. Caroline says

    Geliell, I appreciate the response , I spent time reading through the site I mentioned and it was the first time I ever read anything that close to home for me. I think it ties into my gender identity shift because they are asking me to do lot’s of authentic stuff in small doses and be prepared to FEEL, maybe even immensely. They really helped open up a new way of understanding myself and I am starting to see the connection to ‘coming out’ and needing to deal with hyper sensitivity. Bright is a very accurate description for my brain and I would love to dial it down but I think that is where the CBT comes in. IDK. Also I clicked on your name and went to your thoughts and enjoyed reading there for a bit. I will be going back. To Dalillama, Schmott Guy, I know, I just get weary and think maybe I should have put Atheist instead of Secular Humanist on my intake form and I get easily sidetracked with stuff like wondering if there is evidence for what she is telling me.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, the Redhead, due to a visitor, didn’t have her normal significant lunch. So, she [who must be obeyed, so says a coffee cup] wants her dinner early (normally 8-8:30 CT). Since it is all planned overs, an easy job. Which is good, as this has been a busy week.

  36. chigau (違う) says

    A long time ago, when I was born, the Government of Alberta issued me a birth-certificate.
    As far as I know, this was automatic. You got one whether you wanted it or not.
    Actually there were two:
    one was about 5inches by 7 inches, which your parents stored somewhere safe.
    the other was a wallet-sized one which your parents gave you when you got a wallet.
    When you reached majority, you took your birth-certificate to the liquor store and got picture ID.
    This was SOP for everyone in my cohort.

    The liquor store thing was because the Government of Alberta was the only entity that could sell liquor. and you needed picture ID to buy liquor.
    There were no pictures on drivers licenses.

  37. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says


    *happy dance*

    Not only does that relieve so, so much stress, I’ve got another job interview Monday afternoon. :D

  38. says

    Fat people problem: chaffing through the inner seams of your trousers much faster than through the rest. Thank you grandma for stirring an interest in sewing in me.

    Yo may downplay the level of human kindness you’re currently displaying, but remember you’Re doing better by the kid than his actual father. I’m glad that other people are at least chipping in some money.
    Hmmm, birth certificates are standard here, too. It’s actually unpossible not to have one if you were born in a hospital or with the help of a midwife*.

    *Actual professional, not the US version

    That recipe sound totally like I’ll try it tonight.

    And I’m glad if I can help.

  39. rq says

    When I was born in Canada (which, admittedly, was some time after chigau), I was also issued two birth certificates: the long-form sheet that was pretty much a copy of the form my dad filled out from the hospital, and a type-written wallet-sized piece that contained the essential information.
    I don’t know if they issue the condensed version anymore, but I do have my long-form hid away.
    (The condensed version, though, had all the power of the long-form in getting me photo ID (not at the liquor store, alas) and a SIN number and a Health Card (though this could not be used as a valid photo ID due to being a medical document) and other things like that.)

    Here in Latvia, everyone gets a birth certificate upon registration of their child – before that, you just get a medical document (the equivalent of the “statement of a live birth”), which you can use to get a birth certificate but nothing else. Valid photo ID here, for the longest time, has been only passport or driver’s license, and a lot of official places won’t accept a driver’s license (the notary, for example). So recently they implemented the eID, which is supposed to replace the passport but be a card-sized picture ID valid in all of Europe – but because it is new, a lot of places won’t accept it, so yes, you still need to walk around with your passport…
    Which, in my mind, is incredibly weird and unsafe.

    Going for tea, but good mornings to all.

  40. bassmike says

    Good morning rq . If I remember correctly: in the UK you have to pick get a Birth Certificate within a certain time period after the birth of the child. When the child is born you get something equivalent to the “statement of a live birth” that you describe. You then take this to the Registrar and get the Birth Certificate. I guess it gives you time to sort out a name for the child.

  41. carlie says

    I wish we had a wallet-sized version here. It would solve so many problems. The Kid does have a birth certificate, but it’s buried somewhere in an unreachable storage facility. Even if we could get to it there would be no way to find it other than to open every single thing in it and sort through it all -it’s a needle in a haystack. I can’t really fault them – I had to get my own kids’ birth certificates re-issued a few years ago when I lost track of where I had put them. It’s perfectly easy to get another when you’re the parent and have your own ID, it’s when you don’t have that option that it gets difficult.

    I’m really excited right now, though. I finally thought to check the town clerk web site instead of going through the state department, and they not only allow ID to be in the form of two government-issued letters, but allow the birth certificate to then be sent to a third party if you also send in a notarized authorization. That was the biggest problem with the state, was that if you use gov. letters for ID, the cert. will only be sent to the address on the letter, which is Kid’s dad’s address. Thankfully he gave Kid most of his mail when we got his stuff, and there were exactly two letters that fit the requirements. The only thing I’m working against now is time – I’m desperately trying to get Kid to see his mom by the end of next week, and the sheriff’s office only grants IDs on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I have to get the documents together and in overnight mail to the town clerk today, and they’d have to be able to process it Monday, send it back overnight for Tuesday, and delivery is by 3pm and the sheriff’s office closes at 3:30. (ack!) I’m so mad at myself – if I had figured this all out even a day sooner, it would have been no problem.

  42. rq says

    In Latvia you have up to 3 months to register the child free-of-charge, and after that I think there’s a minimal fee for processing and such.
    And yes, sometimes it takes a while to settle on a name!

    At least you have it figured out, that’s a lot! I’m going to make some sacrifices to the USAMail gods this weekend on your behalf. Especially those responsible for overnight delivery. :)

  43. says

    Yay for “loophole”

    In Germany you have to register your child within 3 days of birth. There’s a strict hirarchy of who has to register. If the parents don’t do so/are unable, the doctor or midwife has to register the child. The hospital issues a “yep, child has been born” slip and then you normally fill in the name, sign both and the other parent takes it to the registry.
    We have a nice little folder with our marriage certificate and our kids’ birth certificates.
    You also have to get an ID once you’re 16 and yu have to register your address every time you move. The advantage of that system is that you are automatically registered to vote and have the necessary ID to prove that you’Re you.

  44. birgerjohansson says

    “automatically registered to vote”
    …as in Sweden.

    — — — —
    Commencing infodump:

    -“Stephen Colbert prepares to rule the world after NY Stock Exchange meltdown”

    Merkel: “Germany has never done anything wrong” In a time of economic crisis it falls to that exemplar of nations, Germany, to explain how to be completely faultless to others.

    Foxes regret voting Tory
    Foxes who voted Conservative were not expecting the government to start killing them again.
    Plans to relax the hunting ban are a blow to Tory foxes, whose voting choice put them at odds with many woodland creatures.
    Fox Wayne Hayes said: “I don’t ask for state handouts, even if it means working till 3am to provide for my family by ripping open bin bags or killing shitloads of chickens and only eating bits of them.
    “I’m a big believer in Conservative values like self-reliance, which is why I sneak into your house and eat your cat’s biscuits, or your cat.”
    Vixen Donna Sheridan said: “I blame that moronic Wes Anderson film that makes us look like a leftist, anti-authority species.
    “Every week I religiously steal a copy of Mail on Sunday from the newsagent, and it’s bloody heavy with the You magazine and everything. Hurts your jaws.”

  45. Saad says

    So is Bree Newsome going to be issued a formal apology by South Carolina (and compensated for her arrest and time in captivity) and be hailed as a civil rights hero?

  46. rq says

    Oh, that was a serious question?
    (She gets ‘civil rights hero’ automatically, though – that’s one they can’t give or take away.)

  47. rq says

    I’m going to brag. 50 Really cool products which are Made in Latvia. However, for some of those things, Latvians weren’t the only people developing them, and they weren’t necessarily developed in Latvia (that induction heating rod, for one).
    The photo in #3 is of preserves – sheep’s testicles in cream sauce. Haven’t tried it.
    At #5, ‘vakariņas ar cīruli’ means ‘dinner with the lark’.
    At #8, ‘Kūsiņš’ (spelled ‘Kusins’ there) is the masculinized jargon term for a woman’s genitals (combined vulva and vagina).
    The significance of ‘Vaira’ at #10 is that she was the first (and so far only) woman president; her husband is Imants.
    #12 shows traditional Latvian shoes or ‘pastalas’, apparently as worn by our ancestors – either those, or ‘vīzes’, a kind of shoe made from birch bark, I believe.
    The ‘snow’ (cheese) balls at #21 are usually made with goat’s milk – tasty!
    Sauerkraut juice (#23) is a surefire hangover cure; goes well with old potatoes (one half of this sentence is a lie).
    The name ‘Malduguns’ at #43 means ‘will-o’-the-wisp’, so I guess watch out when drinking this?
    Rundāle at #45 may make excellent pesto (the green on is especially nice) but the firm makes the most terrible bruschetta EVER. NEVER BUY IT.
    I’m not sure how a glass bike (#50) can be road safe.
    Anyway, those were things that I thought needed some explanation when I was going through the list.

  48. says

    My ADHD support group is an interesting group of people and very often fun. We meet at a synagogue and many of them are members of that congregation. Somehow I often use the time to complain about the atheist/skeptic community and they use the time to complain about the religious community. It’s quite cathartic and amazing how often we end up complaining about the same things.

    @Caroline 46

    Why is psychology so linked to spirituality?

    One reason is necessity. Lots of people are religious and so ethically psychologists should be able to speak in their language well enough to treat them. That word is connected to a bunch of objects and emotions that are meaningful to them even if they might not do much as far as connecting to objective reality is concerned.
    Psychology is all about how the history they actually have are connected to their meaningful language, perception and memory. I confused my psychologist for a while when I would use lots of technical jargon when talking about myself. He said “use your meaningful language!” I said “I am!” It worked out eventually.

    @YOB 36

    No worries. Was just wondering. BTW, what’s your minecraft handle, if you don’t mind me asking?
    I have been very sporadic lately due to IRL. As with most things I do, I do in Binges (just look at my commenting history here) Right now, any free time is spent Minecrafting or lurking FTB. Next week, it might be the blacksmith shop and YouTube. Although now that I think about it, Kiddo goes to her first weeklong sleep away camp on Monday. So next week shall be “No Pants Week”.

    I do the binge thing too outside of commenting which I try to keep at a steady trickle. “Sensation seeking” is what they call it. I’m getting into smart phone games though. Dragon Mania Legends and Boom Beach are pretty fun. The first is like pokemon with dragons and the second I’m not quite sure how to describe.
    “No pants week” is fun. I would have that all of the time (no kids) but my spouse might think I was getting even more sloppy.

    I was Mudge80 I had the underwater sanctum and gold farm.

    I’m still unemployed and between dealing with that and a bunch of other serious stuff it just became way too much distraction. I would like to go back at some point. I was going to scale up the gold farm and almost finished an underwater track from my underwater village to Innsmouth.

  49. Saad says

    Wow, this is infuriating

    How is this allowed to go on this long? I can’t stand that “we have rights as Christians too” bullshit line. That’s a county clerk telling people that while going against Kentucky and the SCOTUS ruling. Unbelievable.

  50. says

    I am going to scream if I see one more article lauding Gov. Nikki Haley for her “leadership in this time of crisis”. As I said on FB:
    I’m fucking sick and tired of the overblown hype regarding Gov. Haley. It’s not like she’s long been a champion of African-Americans. It’s not like she’s long campaigned to remove that damn flag. It’s not like she holds progressive views regarding the equality of all citizens *and* follows through on those beliefs with progressive policies. She caved to public pressure in the wake of Dylann Roof’s act of racial terrorism. Sure, I’ll grant that she probably changed her mind on the flag-but that’s part of the problem. She didn’t think it was a big deal because she didn’t care to listen to all the people who were saying for years that that flag-which represents slavery, white supremacy, and racism-should come down. I do genuinely believe she feels sorrow and anger over the horrific events that took the lives of 9 people at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. But if she were this great person the media was painting her to be, she wouldn’t have needed the deaths of 9 people to reach the conclusion that that hateful flag should not be flying over the state capitol.

  51. carlie says

    Okey-dokey. We’re close. The woman at the town clerk was very sympathetic, and told me what to fax her, and she checked, and we had to do some other paperwork, and I just mailed everything in an overnight envelope. Hopefully we’ll have it on Tuesday.

    The details are worthy of a Lifetime special, including last-minute phone calls and mad dashes to find the notary before she got off of work, but it happened because a lot of people were very nice. If this luck holds, it will get done in time. Phew!

  52. says

    Pumping up the rightwing for rebellion:

    […] Pat Buchanan argued that given the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage and the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the state capitol grounds, a “rebellion” unlike any seen since the Civil Rights Movement “is likely to arise from the right.”

    Buchanan situated this “coming era of civil disobedience” in a long tradition that began with the Founding Fathers. “What else was our revolution but a rebellion to overthrow the centuries-old rule and law of king and parliament, and establish our own?” he asked. […]

    Buchanan connected the coming struggle with the Civil Rights Movement — in particular, with Martin Luther King, Jr. […]

    Buchanan’s explanation for the Civil War:

    “That war was fought,” he wrote, “over whether 11 Southern states had the same right to break free of Mr. Lincoln’s Union as the 13 colonies did to break free of George III’s England.”


    And this is from a different rightwing pastor/Republican/doofus, Aubrey Shines:

    Shines told Wiles [Rick Wiles] that the marriage ruling will lead to massive anti-Christian persecution, which will in turn spark a movement of civil disobedience “that is going to go beyond what we saw back in the ‘60s.”

    Wiles claimed that the U.S. has reached the point where federal agents will soon move to arrest pastors and seize church buildings, sparking a violent confrontation: “You’re going to see gunfire.”

    “[Shines said] […] America was born out of this idea where pastors left their pulpits to fight back a tyranny from England. […] I think people that have strong religious convictions as I and others do, we will be more than up for that task.”


  53. says

    Ted Cruz tried to cheat his way onto the New York Times bestseller list. He was caught, and called out for cheating. Conservatives are furious.

    Conservatives are furious at the New York Times for refusing to allow Ted Cruz and his publisher, HarperCollins, to game the system and “earn” his way on to the bestseller list via “strategic bulk purchases.”

    […] Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy explained why Cruz’s “A Time For Truth” was omitted, noting that the company has “uniform standards that we apply to our best seller list, which includes an analysis of book sales that goes beyond simply the number of books sold.”

    “In the case of this book,” she added, “the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases.” […]

    The Times accused Cruz’s publisher of trying to buy its way onto the bestseller list by having a firm like Result Source hire thousands of people across America to individually purchase a copy of “A Time For Truth,” […]


    Well, that’s interesting. If I had enough money, I too could buy my way onto the NYT Bestseller List.

  54. says

    rq @77, mama raccoon throwing baby raccoon at the tree trunk reminds me of some human parents throwing their children into a swimming pool. Looks a little stressful.

    I liked the kittens in the bucket. Lot of grooming going on there.

  55. Rowan vet-tech says

    Today I was nearly beaked in the face by an irate dinosaur of the Black Crowned Night Heron variety that was brought into my work after being hit by car. This was after a truly impressive threat display involved said 4″ long beak gaping widely, the blood red eyes glowing menacingly, neck arched and wings mantled with every body feather standing on end.

    It was an awe inspiring sight. Even more so when the pointy end was about 2 inches from my glasses.

    I have been bouncing with excitement ever since. I got attacked by a dinosaur!

  56. says

    No mercy:

    Turkish ‘Islamic Defense’ Group Calls for Murder of Gays; Civil Unions Stall in Cyprus; Kenyans Tell Gays to Leave, Obama to Shut Up; Brazilian Evangelicals Launch ‘Sin-Free’ Facebook; and more…

    Religion Dispatches link

    Rights for LGBT persons in the USA have been improving, but the situation in some other countries is depressingly bad

    Bad influences from the USA continue to play a part in the anti-gay attitudes of other countries. Here’s an example from Kenya:

    …Eric Gitari, a Kenyan LGBT rights advocate, on Sunday told the Washington Blade that Ruto has hosted a number of anti-LGBT American Evangelicals in the East African country. These include John Eastman of the National Organization for Marriage and Sharon Slater of Family Watch International.

    Here’s the story about christians setting up a “sin-free” version of Facebook in Brazil.

  57. says

    Kid Rock weighs in on the controversy over the Confederate flag:

    […] Kid Rock expressed his thoughts about the recent controversy over the Confederate battle flag and those who want it removed from mainstream American culture.

    “Please tell the people who are protesting to kiss my ass,” his statement read in its entirety.

    Kid Rock was responding to a call from his hometown chapter of the National Action Network’s request that he stop using the battle flag in his performances. […]

  58. rq says

    Please allow me to transmit your honorary “DInosaur Survivor” certificate (and gold-plated medal!) via USB. :D

    I like the part where it looks like she climbs onto the tree to show how it’s done; meanwhile, baby raccoon is struggling to maintain balance and does some somersaults.

  59. says

    rq, yes, mama raccoon did a nice demo for the baby. I’m still feeling like baby raccoons may have it rougher than I thought.

    In other news, after some court battles, and appeals, the former governor of Virginia is going to jail. Bob McDonnell is guilty of arrogance and corruption, but unfortunately we can’t put politicians in jail for overweening arrogance.

  60. Vilém Saptar says

    Hi y’all! Wanted to share some news. I went back to school and I wanted to remember and thank you for the support you lent me a couple years ago. That helped. So thanks :)

  61. says

    Legend of Korra fans, rejoice!

    Announced at San Diego Comic-Con, The Legend Of Korra cartoon finished with an implicitly suggested relationship between two lead female characters, Korra and Asami. That will continue into a new sereis of comic books from Michael Dante DiMartino at Dark Horse Comics. No artist has been found yet, but the comics will focus on Korra and Asami’s relationship…

  62. says


    Well, that’s interesting. If I had enough money, I too could buy my way onto the NYT Bestseller List.

    This is something that they’ve had a problem with for some time; a lot of Limbaugh’s and Coulter’s books used to make the bestseller list because conservative organizations would buy them in bulk as door prizes for their get-togethers and such. For a while, they would put an asterisk next to titles that got on the list that way, but I guess they just changed the standard entirely to exclude that bullshit.

  63. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Scott Walker announced his candidacy at 5pm on Twitter.

    *Adds another to the Hades Frozen Over list.*

  64. says

    The American Psychological Association finally apologizes for and condemns their support of torture during the Bush administration.

    The American Psychological Association has apologized for actions that may have enabled brutal interrogation techniques used by the U.S. government after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    NPR’s Jon Hamilton, who is reporting on the story for our Newscast unit, says the apology comes in response to an independent report commissioned by the APA itself. He says:

    “The 542-page report by former federal prosecutor David Hoffman found evidence that top officials of the association had colluded with government officials. The goal of the collusion was to ensure that APA ethics policies were consistent with Bush administration policies on interrogation techniques.
    “Those policies allowed waterboarding, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation, practices the APA now specifically condemns.”

  65. says

    This has been a major rollercoaster of a day. No sleep, waiting for the Other Shoe of Damocles to land on my head. Which it did this afternoon; Aged Mum added something to her shopping list that she knew damn well I don’t have time to track down between now and Sunday morning. I had to tell her no. I almost started crying. Gah.

    On the other hand, I fought the embroidery instructional video and I won – it was a technique new to me, and I couldn’t find written instructions or diagrams anywhere. After I watched the video (which frankly was lacking specifics) while frantically making notes, I played it again on the PC and made useful screenshots at intervals. Then I cropped them, printed them, and wrote notes (yes, with circles and arrows) on them. Am I a Luddite for the 21st century or what?

    Here, have some hugs. I’ll just grab a few from the pile and go back to my detached needlewoven bands.

  66. says

    Speaking of scamming the NYT bestseller list, Glenn Beck used to require that anyone who hired him for a speaking engagement would buy huge quantities of his latest book. Pallets of Glenn Beck books are mouldering in the basements and backrooms of all kinds of rightwing organization.

    Doofuses, all of them. Rightwing authors … sheesh. Ted Cruz might be running for president in part to sell books. Newt Gingrich did that.

  67. se habla espol says

    Response to chigau, re #61 of “Three Stupid Questions”, and anyone else who cares:

    You asked “How’s things?” Things are more or less ok. My ARMD (macular degeneration) is responding to treatment: OD is back to nearly 20/20; OS still has its blind spot (stable size, about 6 inch diameter at 6 feet distance), some distortion (from lumpy retina) and color issues (LED red is back to pink instead of white). The treatment is intra-ocular injections (q 6 weeks) of some funny protein with antiVEGF (Vascular Epithelial Growth Factor) properties.

    The big issue, though, is the nasty allergies to all the vegetative sex life being acted out in my eyes, nose, ears, and sinuses, and the interaction of antihistamines and blood pressure. The consequence is that I can’t brain very well for any appreciable time–like long enough to compose and submit a coherent reply. This week’s daily thunderstorms seem to have cleared up most of the allergens in my environment–but the TSs are leaving, now (heading your way, it seems: BC, IIRC), and the environment may return to aggressive. TMI, right? That’s what happens when you ask an Aspie “How’s things” ?.

    I’ve lurked Pharyngula for nearly ten years, well before crackergate, without posting much. I generally get to a discussion after (a) it’s over or (b) anything I would say has been said already.

    Since I’m here, now, I’ll do the questionnaire:
    Peas: green peas are often good, especially as soup; blackeyed peas are an abomination; other peas are case-by-case.
    Cheese: some cheeses are good, some are revolting, and some are in between. Pasteurised Process American Cheese Food Product (and the like), however, are never to be conflated with actual Cheese.
    Horses: I live across the street from the county Fairground, Event Center, Rodeo Arena, and Horse Barn. This is a rodeo weekend. Bah. County Fair is in about two weeks. Bah. Horse shows, demolition derbies, and moar rodeos are frequent. Bah. I’ve invited the wielder of the flamethrower to visit, to no avail.
    Miracle Whip: it is conceivable that MW might be suitable as an ingredient of something, but for the life of me I can’t imagine what.

    By the way, blf has posted a quicky on ETEV, complaining about barely functional ISP connectivity causing lack of presence at FtB.

  68. rq says

    I hope Next Day is much better? :(
    And well done with the embroidery video – the note-taking etc. sounds like something I would do, unless there’s some major slo-mo, I’m pretty bad at picking things up from a video.
    Anne: 1; embroidery: 0.

    Allo, se habla espanol, and thank you for your response to the questionnaire. It has been stamped, filed, archived and shelved. Somewhere. Near the others.

    Vilém Saptar
    Well done and good luck with the schooling!

  69. se habla espol says

    rq, check my ‘nym again. It’s not español, it’s a different language, a mainframe programming language from about 45 years ago. I adopted the ‘nym as a flag to anyone else who may have survived from that time: haven’t found one yet.

    Not to worry, though. You’re not the first one to have seen it wrong.

  70. rq says

    se habla espol
    Wow, sorry for misspelling! That’s what you get for typing before coffee. And I even thought copy-pasting would be better. :P
    I’ll do better in the future. ;)
    (And yeah, obviously I am not an espol survivor. :D)

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

    Heh, thanks for pointing it out, se habla espol. I’ve been reading your nym wrong all this time.

  72. se habla espol says

    rq, Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought, and anyone else:

    ‘Tis no problem; I kinda asked for it, anyway.
    Since the 1960’s ‘puters didn’t support lower case, I could have written it ESPOL. I didn’t because it’s kind of a tease. Should I maybe rethink some of this?

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

    se habla espol,

    If you don’t mind correcting people every now and then, I think it’s a fun tease.

    And you don’t have to copy paste my whole nym , I’m just Beatrice :)

  74. rq says

    se habla espol
    Nah, the tease is good! It’s your ‘nym, it’s up to others to type it right. I include myself in that ‘others’. You should only rethink things if you start minding correcting people who read carelessly. Or, you know, if you want to. :)
    (I mean, obviously I went the easy way with my ‘nym…)

  75. opposablethumbs says

    Vilém Saptar, that’s really great news – well done you, and wishing you the best with your studies! Respects and greetings both to you and to se habla espol (I did notice that the word was not español and thought it must be a deliberate mistake/joke/reference but had no idea what to. Nice, that it’s the name of a language :-) )

    Best wishes to the Horde.

    I’m very very fond of my Spawn (I know, I do such a good job of hiding it) and oh how hard I wish sometimes I had stuck to my guns as I originally intended and not had any. When something hurts them and I can’t do anything about it :-\

  76. A. Noyd says

    Today I learned the hard way that you shouldn’t go on 12km bike rides when it’s 32ºC (90ºF) with 70% humidity. Especially if you’re riding around somewhere there’s no shade. I’m lucky I didn’t put myself in the hospital.

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

    David Marjanović,
    I sent you an email about the day you mentioned you’ll be in Zagreb, but I didn’t get a reply. I’m not sure I got the right address.

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

    Notable sign at the rally against drilling the Adriatic sea for oil:
    “On the Adriatic, you can only drill foreign women”

    *HULK smash*

  79. rq says

    Whelp, remind me to never visit the Adriatic, if that’s the attitude of the local (menfolk) people.

    Definitely the hardest part of parenting, the bits where you feel helpless. :(

    A. Noyd
    Something tells me that someone else would have been putting you in the hospital. ;) Glad you’re okay. Hope the scenery was worth it (if you noticed it at all, that is).

  80. says

    Beatrice @107, I’ll just add a HellGoddess SMITE to your *HULK smash*. Yech.

    rq @97, thanks. So far so good today, although I came home to an email from my favorite cousin that her brother is in the hospital, and has not woken up since his cranial surgery. It’s been two days, so that’s very worrying.

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

    Well shit, rq, I’m not by the sea, but I kinda hoped you’ll eventually find your way to Zagreb on your way to the (Adriatic) seaside.

  82. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you very much for the hugs, rq, they are particularly welcome just now. Please may I send a large ::hugsback::

    Signs like that are a danger to the teeth, Beatrice – whether grinding, gritting or gnashing, it ain’t good for ’em. Dog, what an attitude. hulksmash is right.

  83. rq says

    I can still go to Zagreb. :) Maybe there’s another sea we can go to…?

  84. rq says

    Thanks, opposablethumbs. :) That comes at a very good time.
    By the way, we are starting to plan a tentative family trip to London in the autumn, due to the appearance of family-sized accommodations convenient for our use (courtesy of my cousin), but as always it all depends on (unexpected) finances, as the time approaches. But I will provide advance warning, if you like!

    (Realistically, I could probably try for Zagreb in the winter, finances permitting. *hint*Beatrice*hint* For a weekend alone.)

  85. opposablethumbs says

    That would be wonderful, rq! :-)))))) If it does work out, I would love to come and find you for a coffee or something at some point :-)

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


    We’re trying to advertise one of the city’s artificial lakes as our sea, but I consider it a filthy pond and wouldn’t recommend it for bathing (but I’m a bit fastidious about bathing places so take it with a grain of salt ).

    I guess we could cross the border into Italy, but they’re still on the Adriatic and I doubt they are any less sexist.

    Oh well, we’ll just have to walk around the city, eat and chill. :)

  87. rq says

    Sounds absolutely terrible. ;) I’m in!

    I will add you to the budding itinerary. :)

  88. says

    Bad news from another religious organization:

    Seventh-day Adventists voted Wednesday that individual regions of the 18 million-member Protestant denomination cannot choose to ordain female ministers. […]

    Washington Post link

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


    I didn’t even see comment #113 when I replied. That would be so great. I’ll even have accommodation to offer then.

  90. says

    Jews fighting about who is Jewish and who is not Jewish.

    Religious Services Minister David Azoulay (Shas) angered Reform Jews on Tuesday morning, by saying that they cannot be considered Jewish.

    Speaking to Army Radio, the minister said, “Let’s just say there’s a problem as soon as a Reform Jew stops following the religion of Israel. I can’t allow myself to say that such a person is a Jew.”

    He continued: “These are Jews that erred along the way, and we must ensure that every Jew comes back into the fold of Judaism, and accept everyone happily and with love.”

    Azoulay’s comments followed an Israeli Cabinet decision to reverse an initiative aimed at easing the conversion process to Judaism. It marked a blow to the previous government’s attempts to break the ultra-Orthodox monopoly in Israel and make Judaism more inclusive. […]

    Sounds like the usual fundamentalist hogwash trying to push out more moderate members of a religion. Same old, same old stuff.

  91. says

    Some good news from more reasonable christians in the USA:

    A group of more than 600 churches has joined a small but growing movement within the religious community to call for an end to the war on drugs through legalization. The New England Conference of The United Methodist Church, representing more than 600 congregations, voted last month to support efforts to address the nation’s drug abuse problem through “means other than prohibition.” […]

  92. says

    A Republican politician, Representative Steve King of Iowa, says stupid stuff:

    […] the Confederate flag was always a symbol of the pride of the South from where I grew up. And my family, my predecessors, my ancestors were abolitionists. They went to war to put an end to slavery.

    A huge price has been paid. It’s been paid primarily by Caucasian Christians. There are many who stepped up because they profoundly believed that they needed to put an end to slavery. This country has put this behind us. We’ve been through this brutal and bloody battle, we’ve gone back together for the Reconstruction and we’ve healed this country together, and I regret deeply that we’re watching this country be divided again over a symbol—a free country!

    When I go to Germany and they’ve outlawed the swastika, I look at them and I think: we have a First Amendment, that can’t happen here in the United States because because we’re open enough. We have to tolerate the desecration of Old Glory, the American flag, yet we have people who are here on the floor that say they’re offended by a symbol. They’re the ones that are putting it up for all to see, and then they’re saying we should outlaw that. So the American people don’t have a chance to see our heritage. […]

    Umm. Well, I’m not sure what to say. That’s the first time I’ve seen the use of “Caucasian Christians” as a way to differentiate christians of color from white christians … and with an all-caps presentation. What kind of fuckery is this?

  93. says

    Good news from Denmark!

    So much power was produced by Denmark’s windfarms on Thursday that the country was able to meet its domestic electricity demand and export power to Norway, Germany and Sweden.

    On an unusually windy day, Denmark found itself producing 116% of its national electricity needs from wind turbines yesterday evening. By 3am on Friday, when electricity demand dropped, that figure had risen to 140%.

    Interconnectors allowed 80% of the power surplus to be shared equally between Germany and Norway, which can store it in hydropower systems for use later. Sweden took the remaining fifth of excess power. […]

  94. rq says

    I accidentally read that as ‘Steve, King of Iowa’, and it took me a beat to realize that doesn’t sound quite right. Commas, they matter.
    Also, do you mind posting that specific article up on the White People thread?

    Very tentative right now. But I’m determined to plan a ‘me’ weekend in the winter, I’m pretty sure I’ll be all colleagued and familied out by December (due to starting regular work hours in September and all – the bonus of which is free weekends).

  95. says

    Followup to comment 123.

    Denmark is a super windy country. They can depend on wind power in ways that others can’t, but I’m finding the outlook for cleaner power (renewable resources) to be quite encouraging lately. Chris Hayes covered the current “solar boom” in the USA last night. It’s a really good segment. Hayes covered some of the history as well as the current market.

    alternate link:

    Hayes is broadcasting from California as part of his focus on water shortages and drought — there’s a tie-in with how much less water it takes to produce solar energy. (Fracking continues in California while the process includes a huge waste of water.)

    Ronald Reagan shows up as a bad guy.

  96. Caroline says

    Hi all, Thank you Brony for responding to me,your posts are always very interesting to me, my process always feels like it gets in the way of me:)
    I now see it different enough that I was able to learn something technical this morning, and I am allowing all the deep feelings of embarrassment to flourish inside instead of trying to choke it all back down. I read enough yesterday to know how to work with my brain better today and as usual I can’t seem to show my work but I am feeling restful inside, even while typing this. On another note, my therapist wanted me to do something authentic and when they said it didn’t have to be clothes I knew immediately what I would choose. I made an appointment to cut my long locks off on Monday and I have my choices narrowed down to 9 styles so far. I have had really short hair before and so I am looking forward to it. After that I may go hang out in the men’s section of the local Goodwill Store for a bit and feel my feelings. I also seem to be feeling a sense of direction, which is rather unusual but also reassuring.
    To all the folks who speak of birds, I love them too and have a house surrounded by bird feeders so I always enjoy all the chatter here about your backyard friends. Also,the pictures:) I have a huge open space behind my house so I get to see a lot of Birds of Prey as well as Hummingbirds, Finches, Crows and Jays and a lot I haven’t been able to identify yet.

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


    If nothing else, I imagine a flight to Zagreb would be quite expensive so I understand the “tentative” bit. But if something like that happens, I’ll be thrilled.

  98. says

    “Children eligible for Medicaid for more of their childhood are less likely to drop out of high school and likelier to earn a college bachelor’s degree.”

    Yeah, that’s right. Rather than requiring children to clean bathrooms, etc., as some Republican politicians have suggested, we need to continue to supply them with good health care.

    As a whole, the eligibility expansions over the period had an impact equivalent to cutting today’s high school dropout rate by 9.7 to 14.0 percent and raising the college completion rate by 5.5 to 7.2 percent. That’s similar to the gains from educational reforms such as reducing elementary school class sizes and adopting school-wide performance standards.[…]
    Medicaid coverage improves educational outcomes at least in part by keeping children healthy and enabling them to perform at a high level in the classroom, the authors suggest. They also find evidence that Medicaid coverage helps reduce risky sexual activity, body mass index, substance abuse, and mental health and eating disorders, although their model isn’t powerful enough to generate statistically significant results.

    “Returns on the public investments in health insurance in the 1980’s and 1990’s will be realized for some time,” the authors write.

  99. says

    A bunch of doofuses in Texas, including a lot of ex-military guys, members of militia groups, etc. are planning to foil Obama’s planned military takeover of Texas. No, President Obama is not planning to take over Texas, and the Jade Helm conspiracy group will only be monitoring routine military exercises.

    That won’t stop the Counter Jade Helm group from holding press conferences, displaying guns, and quoting verses from the Bible. 2nd Timothy 3:13, “deceiving and being deceived.” And so forth.

  100. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    They’re the ones that are putting it up for all to see, and then they’re saying we should outlaw that. So the American people don’t have a chance to see our heritage. […]

    The hyperbole goes around in circles fifty times, and still doesn’t make sense. Somebody is proud of a heritage that includes supporting slavery with war, and later bigotry with lynchings and other forms of intimidation? Somebody needs to do a severe reality check. And it was governments removing the flags to more appropriate venues, not private citizens. Those private citizens displaying the flag of the army of Northern Virginia should be called bigots for display of an item symbolizing hatred, slavery, and second class citizenship to those with a higher level of melatonin than they have. What is your real problem?

  101. rq says

    Thanks, Lynna!

    Last time I was looking (spring), Zagreb was quite expensive, but sometimes we get lucky and there’s cheap flights to a (relatively) nearby city. I’m assuming buses are cheap in Croatia, kind of like here…? Not sure about trains?

  102. says

    A followup to comment 30: forgot to add that “former law enforcement officers” are also part of the volunteer group of doofuses that intend to prevent President Obama’s takeover of Texas.

    Nerd @131: Right. I tried to make some sense of that hyperbole myself and couldn’t do it. Apparently, self-contradiction and circular logic are not a problem for Steve King — not the King of Iowa, as rq noted, though he would like to be, I’m sure.

  103. says

    Donald Trump dug his stupid hole even deeper today. He was speaking in Arizona and he got the facts about the 9/11 hijackers completely wrong.

    […] One participant helpfully pointed out to Donald that the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were illegal aliens. And Donald nodded his head sagely, pointed to the questioner, and said, “Did you all hear what he just said?”

    Did he know better and was he being clever? Or is he really that dumb?

    The 9/11 hijackers all entered the US legally with passports. In one of the craziest incidents of 9/11, the passport of one of the hijackers was actually found on the scene in New York […]

    So much for trying to blame 9/11 on illegal immigration.

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

    buses and trains: relatively cheap, yes.

    You have to be careful with buses. Various private contractors play games with prices, and if you go to the seaside sometimes with schedules as well. One of the biggest Bosnian-Croatian bus line owners is the story of legends.
    His drivers are overworked, underpayed and in the summer months you can never be sure if the bus will stop at the random smaller tourist town or not…. which was very fun last summer when I was staying in Mostar (Bosnia) and visited a friend in Croatia for a day during the weekend.

    At the bus station on my way back.
    Me: “Which platform does the 18:00 for Mostar stop at?”
    Lady at the counter: “I don’t know. He might just open the door briefly on the road and not even enter the station.”
    Me: O.o
    “Do you at least know if they’ll arrive on time?'”
    Lady at the counter: “I really don’t know if he’ll even show up. In case he doesn’t, the next one is going at 23:00”
    Me. o.O
    [tries to avoid being run over by dozens of buses while jumping in front of them to see whether one of them is “the one”]

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


    But international lines are usually OK….

  106. says

    Oh FFS! The New York Times asked a bunch of white women what they thought of Serena Williams’s body. As if the way her body looks was important. The focus on her looks is wrong. What about her accomplishments? Why has this stupid obsession with her body gone on for years?

    Serena Williams solidified herself as one of the most talented female tennis players of all time — and, arguably, the greatest female athlete in any sport — when she won her 28th straight Grand Slam match on Saturday. Williams is now poised to make tennis history by sweeping all of the major tournaments in a single season, a feat that was last accomplished by Steffi Graf in 1988.

    Despite Williams’ undeniable athletic skill, however, there’s one “controversy” that’s persisted throughout her career: Endless scrutiny over what her body looks like, and messages about why it doesn’t fit into society’s expectations for female beauty. […]

    The New York Times wrote that Williams “has large biceps and a mold-breaking muscular frame” and “her rivals could try to emulate her physique, but most of them choose not to.” Other (white) female tennis players were quoted as saying they try not to bulk up like Williams because they want to “be a woman” and don’t want to “feel unfeminine.” Maria Sharapova — described in the article as “a slender, blond Russian” — said that she wants to be even thinner than she is now: “I always want to be skinnier with less cellulite; I think that’s every girl’s wish,” she said. [….]

    […] after the president of the Russian Tennis Federation referred to Venus and Serena Williams as “the Williams brothers” and said the sisters are “scary” to look at, Serena Williams responded that his comments were “very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time.”

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Lynna #135, Looks like David Letterman could have a nice sideline until the election. As he says, it gets him out of the house.

  108. says

    More bullshit, and more mistreatment of immigrants, in private prisons in the USA:

    Nine current and former immigrant detainees are allowed to file a lawsuit against a private prison contractor that paid them $1 a day for forced labor at a Colorado detention center, a court ruled this week.

    The complaint charged that the contractor GEO Group, a privately-owned prison operator, randomly picked six detainees and forced them to clean rooms at the Aurora Detention Facility, where they were housed by “threatening to put those who refused to work (for no pay) in ‘the hole,’” or solitary confinement. Under GEO’s “Detainee Voluntary Work Program,” plaintiffs allegedly scrubbed bathrooms, showers, toilets, and windows, and did laundry in the medical facility. They also prepared and served detainee meals for law enforcement events sponsored by GEO, performed clerical work for GEO, prepared clothing for newly arriving detainees, provided barber services to detainees, and ran the facility’s law library.

    For all that labor, they were either paid $1 a day, or nothing at all.

    The complaint argues that GEO violated Colorado’s Minimum Wage Law, which requires that employers pay employees at least the minimum wage for each hour worked. As of January 2015, that amounts to $8.23 an hour in Colorado. The federal Voluntary Work Program’s pay rate of $1 was set in 1950 and has not been adjusted since.

    “Using forced detainee labor is an integral tool in maintaining GEO’s profitability under its contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” Andrew Free, a Nashville-based immigrants’ rights attorney, said in a statement. “GEO’s business model at these ICE facilities is to boost corporate profits by violating the law. The court’s decision today represents an important step forward in ending that morally bankrupt business model.” […]

    Yes. Morally bankrupt. So let’s stop outsourcing prison management to private companies.

    Follow the money:

    […] The GEO Group reported $1.52 billion in total revenues in 2013. […] During a quarterly investor call last August, GEO executives were optimistic that the migrant crisis would increase the company’s bottom line. And a new 400-bed, minimum-security detention center in Central California will likely generate $17 million in annualized revenues for the GEO group.

    But none of GEO’s profits seemed to have trickled down to care for the detainees. […]

  109. rq says

    Wow, I guess if you’re lucky you can hop on / off that bus as it drives by? I’m going to brush up on my tactical roll skills from moving vehicles. I’m sure I can convince Husband to help me out with the training.

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


    Well, it did actually stop for a minute or two and I didn’t even have to jump in front of it to make ti stop.

  111. rq says

    I found a lot of the comments transphobic, too. Especially those about how they [some of the athletes] look ‘like women’ and ‘want to be women’. Nothing wrong with looking like women (who come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and bodies), but that statement about ‘wanting to be women’ really grates somehow, as if a tennis-appropriate physique is somehow unwomanly, therefore anyone with a tennis-appropriate physique (appropriate for holding all major women’s tennis titles at the same time) somehow doesn’t want to be a woman. Which is somehow bad.
    I got tangled up with myself there, but I hope you get my point. :P

  112. says

    rq @144, the cultural pressure to “look like a woman,” or to “be a woman” really bothered me too. And some of the transphobic, borderline racist, and fucking stupid remarks came from people who should know better.

    Serena Williams had a good reply. “I realized that you really have to learn to accept who you are and love who you are. I’m really happy with my body type, and I’m really proud of it,” she told the New York Times.

  113. says

    President Obama calls for ending taxpayer funded sports stadiums:

    Sports franchises and their stadiums are a very emotional subject for many Americans. Love of the game and pride in their cities, the trophies in the box and the envy of the nation bind them close to our hearts. Unfortunately, a loophole in laws regulating government bonds for public works has allowed the billionaire franchise owners to hold city governments hostage unless their taxpayers and fans shell out millions to build or renovate the stadiums on top of the exorbitant prices one must pay for tickets, jerseys, and eight dollar Bud lights. In a recent example, the Atlanta Braves just moved to Cobb County after prodding a bidding war with Atlanta for renovations; they finally got $397 million from Cobb, most of which will come from taxpayers.

    President Obama’s not having it any more. In a small article placed in his 2016 budget proposal, he called for ending tax-free government bonds for sports facilities, which have cost taxpayers $4 billion over the past thirty years. Republicans, of course, have immediately refused to pass it because it would mean the franchises would have to pay taxes on it like the rest of us, which they see as just more “big government” restricting businesses. In reality, they just protecting a significant source of campaign donations- over a quarter million dollars to Republican candidates in the last year alone- and it’s common sense to lift such a burden off the taxpayers; as sports economist John Vrooman puts it, “Pres. Obama ends up being the fiscally conservative responsible adult.”

  114. says

    From Lynna’s 139

    “I always want to be skinnier with less cellulite; I think that’s every girl’s wish,” she said.

    Well, if that’s the attitude you’re going to take, maybe professional athletics is not for you. Maybe if you were focused on training instead of looking skinny, Serena Williams wouldn’t be kicking your ass so hard all the time. Just saying.

    From 141

    But none of GEO’s profits seemed to have trickled down to care for the detainees

    Of course not. Then it wouldn’t be profit, would it?

  115. says

    This jobless thing is really starting to piss me the fuck off. Now my phone has been cut off bc I haven’t been able to make a payment and of course without a phone, I can’t even contact prospective employers.

    rq can I borrow the sledgehammer?

  116. rq says

    :D I saw that labelled ‘the Sharkcano’ on twitter. Maybe a third installment in the Sharknado series is due? Or perhaps a spin-off series?

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

    Hm, First World Problems:

    In September, I’m supposed to have a university class reunion. I said I’m okay with any date since I don’t have fixed plans.

    Except that a friend who’s also invited to the reunion is getting married in September. I thought I was supposed to be invited, but the last time we met, about a week ago, she bragged about finishing the invitations. I didn’t get mine.
    So now I don’t know whether I’m invited, I can’t inform the organizer which date doesn’t suit me (I FORGOT; I’m sorry, I forgot the exact date and I feel bad asking now… I was hoping it would come up in conversation or I’d just look it up on the invitation I didn’t get) and I also feel bad about asking whether I’m going to be invited to the wedding or not (because I’m me).
    I was confused enough people remembered me for the reunion. (while they, for example, forgot the mentioned friend so I added her to the list)

    Anyway.. potentially very awkward.

    Oh, and there’s also high school reunion in September or October. Date still unknown. That’s the one I wouldn’t mind skipping.
    I expect interesting calendar conflicts in the fall.

  118. rq says

    They’re probably all happening the exact same weekend, at approximately the same times, and at three extremely different locations (therefore making any attempts to show up at all three occasions practically impossible).
    Sucks about the invitation, though – could it be lost in the mail, or was she hand-delivering them to everyone?

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


    Haha, probably. The wedding is in another town, sleepover included. But the suggested venues for both reunions somewhat overlap. Fun times :)

    Hand delivering so I was like… Great, you finished! [*not out loud* Gimme, gimme…. :( ]
    She is … very particular so I wouldn’t even be terribly insulted if she decided not to invite us* for reasons. I would like to know where I stand just for planing though.

    * us is me and another friend, the three of us staying relatively close after graduation

  120. rq says

    Ah… I don’t suppose there’s another mutual friend with whom you could confirm the date, at least?

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


    The one I mention is about as scatterbrained as I am, but I sent her an email with the question anyway so we’ll see.

    Talking about friends:
    another shout out to The Mellow Monkey. Getting far into really worried territory over here.

  122. rq says

    another shout out to The Mellow Monkey. Getting far into really worried territory over here


  123. thunk: Bulba 9000! says

    Hello everyone!

    I’ve been semi-deliberately threadrupt–partially because I was in the UK, travelling, and partially because I felt like I needed a different point of view for a month.
    Of course, that didn’t work, because I got the worst attack of hypochondria I’ve had since 2008 or something. The doctor said everything is perfectly fine, but of course that doesn’t stop failbrain from thinking that I’m dying.
    But the trip was fun… if expensive. Lucky my family can afford that (and that I have free tuition).

  124. rq says

    Music-listening while at work (it would be unusual if I wasn’t).
    Need to put together a play-list of songs about men not listening to women. Seems as if they’re a lot, and no few of them are meant to provoke sympathy… for the man who got left. “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you, baby, but I honestly didn’t think you’d leave me! And then you did! I haz many sadz! Those women, so devious in expressing themselves clearly.”

  125. carlie says

    Going back to Kid’s dad’s today to get everything else he should have. Worried about this one – the last time was easy because it didn’t matter so much since we were coming back, but now Kid wants to make sure he has everything, and if anything is missing he wants to call the cops (which, no), and ugh. He still hasn’t gotten a firm commitment from the relatives who had previously said he could stay with them, and we have to get him there before we leave for our trip to see family, which this year has non-negotiable timing. argh argh argh argh argh.

  126. rq says

    And good luck with the collection of items. Here’s to hoping that Kid’s relatives provide a firm and positive response soon! Like, by the end of today.

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


    Good luck!

    Well. The other friend didn’t know about the wedding.
    Apparently I overestimated how much they stayed in contact.

    I can tell you, foot in mouth is a pretty inconvenient condition. And it tastes awful.

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

    Football fans scare the shit out of me.

    There’s enough police to arrest a minor country and the sound of the approaching crowd makes me want to hide under the bed. I can’t see them yet, there’s just the police cordon visible from the window right now but HOLLY SHIT.

    Fuck that kind of obsession. I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it and I want it as far away from me as possible.

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

    Hm, the banner at the front says “Lopovi odlazite” (Thieves, go away) which is a reference to two brothers who practically owned our football finally being arrested for various crimes.

    So I do understand a little bit of the satisfaction, I guess.

  130. rq says

    I don’t understand sports fans.
    I understand enjoying sports and getting excited about your favourite team or athlete doing well and winning, but not to the point of causing riots in the streets and marching in crowds against the opposing teams and starting fights and the like…

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


    yes, lopovi =thieves
    singular: lopov

  132. says

    The link says it all. There are some great photos of John Lewis at the link. Lewis did a version of cosplay: he wore a trench coat and backpack like he wore when he helped to lead the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.

    John Lewis is a totally cool and intelligent, (not to mention brave), Congressman. He gives me hope. So much better than the likes of Steve King.

  133. says

    Tony @173, I’ll definitely join you in happiness over the continuing existence of Malala Yousafzai. Her life is still in danger. So far, so good.

    Long may she live!

  134. Rey Fox says

    Cross-posted from the Mended Drum because fuck it. It’s my birthday and I’ve been unable to get out of bed this morning. Because I suck.

    If I understand correctly, you’re weighing pursuing an unwelcome change that might benefit you in the long run against ???.

    To start with, I am in the US, so halfway across the country in my particular situation means about 2,000 miles. It means at least 3 days on the road (after a week of packing), and it means leaving the West. I like it out here, and my aspirations very much involve the landscapes and critters out here. So that’s part of what the ??? represents.

    The rest of it is the fact that I’m living in my younger brother’s house and working in a soul-sucking office job. I got my masters degree in wildlife biology two years ago, and I feel like I have fuck-all to show for it. Two-plus years of job searching have been almost entirely fruitless and the pickings seem to only be getting slimmer.

    The job that has been floated my way lately is working with an ecological restoration company, but sort of being an office drone there too, working on making estimates and quotes for the people who are actually making the plans. So it’s not really in my field, and it’s not geographically where I want to be. If I were coming back to the town I went to grad school in, that would be one thing, but it’s a far-flung suburb of another city.

    So I seem to be stuck between anxiety and despair. I strongly resent the idea of having to take a job I don’t really want in a place I don’t really want to go, but I feel like a moron for considering passing it up. I feel crappy with the prospect of staying or going. And I turn 35 today, so I have a harder time rationalizing “settling” on something I don’t really want even if it would be supposedly temporary than I would have ten years ago. And I don’t really know if it would lead to something I do really want. I’m not really sure what I want anymore.

    Anyway, that’s what I was reluctant to expand upon. Basically a load of first world midlife crisis bullshit from a mewling little coward. I guess it’s better to get that out there.

  135. says

    Ye Olde Blacksmith:

    If you’re around, I saw something that made me think of you-

    Designed by blacksmith Toru Yamashita in Japan’s Kochi-prefecture, these high carbon steel knives are designed in the form of five different whales, the blades forming the baleen mouth of each species. The Kujira blades were originally made for children as a tool for sharpening pencils or cutting paper, but have since been marketed abroad as a general purpose utility or chef knife. At about $50 each the knives aren’t cheap, but it appears the whale shape is strangely perfect for small hands and with the right care they would probably last a lifetime. The knives are sometimes available through Hand-Eye Supply (currently sold out), but it looks like a few are sold by Yoshihiro Cutlery on Amazon.

  136. rq says

    Rey Fox
    Do you accept *hugs* or would you prefer to borrow the sledgehammer (once Tony returns it)?
    Unfortunately I don’t have any useful advice, I can only express the hope that maybe something will turn up that will help you decide either way.
    I’m pretty sure you don’t suck, too. I seem to recall enjoying your comments here and around.

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

    Rey Fox,

    You don’t suck. I obviously don’t know you well, so you won’t believe me anyway, but you don’t suck. And since the birthday doesn’t feel particularly happy right now, I’m going to wish you a good year ahead.

    We can save the happy birthdays for a while until you can accept that you don’t suck just because your brain sometimes fucks you over.

    I can’t tell you what to do, I can only tell you that not knowing what you want to do does not make you a coward and it doesn’t make your problems insignificant just because there exist people with more basic existential problems.
    I don’t really think most people >know what they are doing anyway. I mean, do they really?
    We’re kind of predisposed from the beginning to live a certain kind of life, shaped by the family we were born to, society that we were raised in…. you go to school ,you supposedly figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life while still not being legally allowed to drink alcohol (in your part of the world, in mine I was allowed to drink alcohol for a whole year before I had to make that decision… woo hoo) and then you’re supposed to be set on the path. A very narrow path that doesn’t allow for making a wrong turn and having to go back a bit because that makes us losers or weaklings.

    Fuck that.

    That’s just the kind of shit people made up to make themselves feel better about their own failures.

    It’s difficult not knowing what you want. I’m well acquainted with the feeling. I’ll soon be celebrating my 29th birthday, so I’m a bit younger than you but I know I’m supposed to know what I want….. and I have no idea. Even when I was making the above mentioned big decision about what I wanted to do in life I had no freaking idea. I liked math so I went to study math. And now I don’t actually do math. I feel bad about not feeling bad about it.

    So anyway, I kinda lost my track here.
    I still can’t really give you advice, only babble at you, but what I really want right now (see, wanting something right now kinda works when long term wanting things is elusive ) is to explain how much I don’t think you suck because your life is the way it is, leaving at a really shitty crossroads where both directions suck. The availability of choices you have suck, you don’t.

    But really, maybe a HAPPY BIRTHDAY is what you need. I don’t know. I do wish you a happy birthday and all the luck in finding and doing what you want.

  138. says

    Making music with conductive paint:

    Well, that’s a lesson to be learned: “Marie Curie’s Research Papers Are Still Radioactive 100+ Years Later”

    […] Her notebooks, her clothing, her furniture, pretty much everything surviving from her Parisian suburban house, is radioactive, and will be for 1,500 years or more.

    If you want to look at her manuscripts, you have to sign a liability waiver at France’s Bibliotheque Nationale, and then you can access the notes that are sealed in a lead-lined box. […]

  139. opposablethumbs says

    Rey Fox, I’d just like to second what rq and Beatrice said – on admittedly limited acquaintance I have formed the very definite impression that you don’t suck, and the dilemma you are dealing with is one that I think most people would find difficult. Easy for me to say, obviously, but which would you regret more: moving and deciding after a while that it was a mistake, or not moving and then maybe always wondering if you’d missed a chance to try and inch a little closer to doing something you’d find more rewarding. Would a year or so in this job improve your chances of getting something similar but in a nicer place?
    Wish I could be wiser and more helpful. (Beatrice and rq are both wise and helpful, though!). And I’m sorry this is comes at a bad time. Believe me, I know from birthdays having the potential to be hard times (not so much on my own account, but on the account of someone close to me) and I wish you well – with long-distance intercontinental virtual hugs if you would care for ’em.

  140. says

    […] the increasing availability of anabolic steriods and testosterone supplements provide a much easier means of achieving those ends. Anabolic steroid abuse has been a growing concern of police departments across the country for a long time. […]

    Hmm. This could be a partial explanation of some of violence perpetrated by police officers.

  141. says

    I hope this is good news. It sounds like good news, even if it turns out to be of the better-than-nothing category of agreements.

    Negotiators at the Iran nuclear talks plan to announce Monday that they’ve reached a historic deal capping nearly a decade of diplomacy that would curb the country’s atomic program in return for sanctions relief, two diplomats told The Associated Press on Sunday.

    The envoys said a provisional agreement may be reached even earlier — by late Sunday. But they cautioned that final details of the pact were still being worked out. Once it is complete, a formal, final agreement would be open to review by officials in the capitals of Iran and the six world powers at the talks, they said.

  142. says

    Some strangeness in connection with Native American culture being reenacted, celebrated, in Europe:

    Why are Europeans, Germans perhaps most famously, obsessed with Native Americans? So many reasons: The chance to delve into a past where the bad guys are not your grandparents. A crowded continent’s longing for wide open spaces. A romantic attachment to an idealized “authentic” humanity, rooted in the anti-industrial backlash of the 1800s. […]

    Today, Indian clubs from Prague to Potsdam put on elaborate reenactments complete with acres of buckskin outfits while (mostly) waving off concerns about how redface paint and the appropriation of sacred symbols like eagle feathers might play with actual Native Americans. As one hobbyist informed Indian Country Today’s Red Haircrow, “No people should be allowed to keep their culture just for themselves.” […]

    The photos are intriguing. Looks kind of like cosplay.

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

    A plea for all our cismale readers:

    If you use a shared laundry facility and discover some wet clothes in the washer that you want to use, you may remove them and leave them in a convenient basket or on a counter.


    Please don’t automatically throw them in the dryer and set it to “high.”

    Also, when you’re confronted by the owner of the now-ruined lacy gauzy thing that absolutely is not dryer-safe, the appropriate response is not to (1) expect thanks for your “courtesy” of drying her clothes for her, (2) get confused and defensive when told off and then (3) demand an explanation as to why women wear “such things.”

    I liked that dress. :( :(

  144. says

    Okay, so there was a “Right to Life Convention” held in New Orleans. Lowlifes of all kinds came out of the woodwork to make nonsensical arguments for restricting women’s reproductive rights. I’ll post an excerpt of the coverage, with some highlights, uh, lowlights.

    Over the course of the four day National Right to Life Convention (NRLC) in New Orleans this week, a lot of arguments were made by the self-described “pro-life movement” to justify their efforts to take away a woman’s access to an abortion and to place more barriers between a woman and a safe and legal abortion.

    […] While none of the 2016 Republican candidates vying for the White House support a woman’s right to choose, the candidates who spoke to the NRLC found some creative ways to make their arguments stand out from the pack.

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) […] compared the pro-life cause to women’s suffrage and the abolition of slavery. “Sometimes in contemporary American life, we come to believe that all the great causes are over,” he said. “That the past generations fought all the important battles — abolition, the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage. But that’s not true. In fact one of the most important battles is the one that you are engaged in now.”

    Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) is both a staunch pro-life candidate and a notorious climate change denier. […] “This is not a matter of debate,” he said about abortion. “For a group of people who love to talk to you about the science and how the science is settled. We hear this on lot’s of issues — the science is settled on global warming, right? Yet on the most fundamental issue of science, life … they refuse to accept science.”

    He then told the audience that the science is settled on the fact that every child, at the moment of conception, is living and “completely human.” […]

    Although Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) didn’t attend the NRLC, he spoke to attendees in a video message. “The abortion rate today is at the lowest it’s been since 1973,” he said. “That’s a victory.”

    What Cruz failed to mention is the cause of the lower rate of abortions isn’t the advocacy of the anti-choice community but the fact that more women are using birth control. […] Cruz has opposed birth control, calling it “abortion-inducing” in a recent speech to the Values Voters Summit. […]

  145. cicely says

    I’m cicely.
    1) Horses continue to Abominate.
    2) Peas continue in their inedibility.
    3) Let cheeses into your heart and soul—but, yknow, metaphorically, and by way of your stomach.
    4) Miracle Whip™ continues to zip, tangily.
    I’ve missed you all.

  146. carlie says

    Esteleth – ARGH. What a jerk. :(

    Cicely! *hugs*

    Rey Fox – I know you from a long time around here, and I’ve always valued what you have to say. And Happy Birthday to you. I’m a bad person for any advice right now, because I’m in the middle of doing exactly that, but from the vantage point of forcing someone to move several hours away for a tiny bit of opportunity that might not be that fantastic in the long run. :( In this case, he doesn’t really have any other choice. But It sounds like you do, and that makes it a lot tougher. Sometimes having two bad things to choose from is harder than not really having the choice, and depression doesn’t make it any easier.

    Depression is terrible. It will sap your strength and muddle your brain and warp your sense of everything that’s going on. Don’t listen to it.

    It does sound like there are better and worse things about each place – have you tried listing them? I know that sounds simplistic, but it can help clear your head, and can be done a little bit at a time over a couple of days. It sounds to me like the new job is an interesting deal – can you move back with your brother if it doesn’t go well? It’s all up to the balance, and don’t buy into “job is more important than anything else” – if you have a support network there that you don’t want to lose, that’s a real and valid consideration. The job isn’t everything. I hope you’re able to figure it out.

  147. says

    FAA dumps Donald Trump, calls for non-controversial navigation codes:

    The Federal Aviation Administration announced today it is dropping and renaming three Donald Trump related navigation codes above Palm Beach International Airport.

    “In general, the FAA chooses names that are non-controversial and relate to the area in which the fixes are located,” the FAA told ABC News in a statement.

    An air traffic controller who was a fan of Donald Trump’s reality show named the points along the airport’s main departure routes in 2010.

    The routes were named UFIRD (comes out “you’re fired” in controller speak), DONLD and TRMMP, according to a 2010 article published in The Sun Sentinel.

    According to the article, one pilot said that some are refusing to fly these departures.

    “We actually have had reports of people refusing to fly these departures because they are so offended by the fact that Trump has been memorialized,” the pilot told the newspaper.

    The FAA says the updates could take several months to take effect.

  148. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead can’t complain that the blackberries on her ice cream were stale. Less than five minutes from picking to rinsing to serving…

  149. says

    Spent the weekend doing kid-school-social-stuff.

    Rey Fox
    I’m leaving this pile of hugs here for you. It has a ribbon and a tag with your name. Suit yourself if you’d ike some.


    Football fans scare the shit out of me.

    There’s enough police to arrest a minor country and the sound of the approaching crowd makes me want to hide under the bed.

    Just remember that men are perfectly rational while women get all emotional over minor stuff like having their humanity questioned.


    I’d send the jerk the bill

  150. opposablethumbs says

    cicely! yayHugsyay!!!! How are you, are you well? It’s good to see you again!

    chigau, have you looked under wherever you keep the phone? Or under the coats, behind the boots, near the back door? (you were distracted by a phonecall when about to put them away, you shed coat/boots on top of them when tired, you used them for gardening …)

    esteleth, argh. Gilell’s idea of giving him the bill isn’t a bad one. What an arrogant tosser – a person could make the initial mistake with good intentions, I suppose, but once you see you’ve ruined a garment the least you can do is apologise. Wanker.

    Yeah, funny how football/sports testeria is never considered to suggest how commonplace irrational emotional behaviour is in football fans … How being a football fan – and spending a fortune on it – is somehow nothing like being fannish in ways more typically associated with women (and particularly young women/teenagers).

  151. says


    Yeah, funny how football/sports testeria is never considered to suggest how commonplace irrational emotional behaviour is in football fans … How being a football fan – and spending a fortune on it – is somehow nothing like being fannish in ways more typically associated with women (and particularly young women/teenagers).

    Yep, a woman with a walk-in wardrobe/shoe closet is vain/shallow/spends too much money, but a guy with a 2m screen and a subscription to his favourite football team is just a cool guy. To be clear: If you have the extra cash, it’s really not my business how you spend it. Do things you like and enjoy. Buy yourself make-up, shoes, clothing, DIY stuff, sports stuff, an all-inclusive holiday. Really, who am I to pass judgement on these matters. But I thank you very much to do the same.

  152. rq says

    Probably where you last left them.

    Idiot. (Not you, him.) It’s called (a) never taking initiative with someone else’s property without their express permission and (b) if you do, taking utmost precaution, and that means checking all labels. I bet he was secretly all ‘she’s going to be so happy I helped, she’ll probably wear this for me!’ Or maybe not, but I’d be pissed off.
    I don’t know if sending him the bill will make him even angrier and potentially a stupid idiot who will harass you, only you can evaluate that, but it’s certainly something I’d consider.


    This will be long, please feel free to skip. It’s about a local issue.
    I’m so mad. In general, but there’s a certain rage-y disappointment with many actual friends. And definite ire pointed at celebrities / officials.
    See, every five years, there’s a huge national song&dance festival held in the country, for adults (and everyone). However, a similar and almost-as-large event occurs every five years (but not the same five years) for schoolchildren – basically, anyone still in high school and under. It’s a lot of rehearsals, various concerts, singing and dancing, in early July (usually hot weather), all outdoors. Which is fine.
    People take precautions, etc.
    This year was a schoolchildren festival, and while at first the biggest worries were about the sun and about the heat, the weather turned more friendly (besides all the rain), but the rehearsal schedule didn’t change. So, the dance concert and rehearsals occur near the beginning of the festival, and everything went well. The singing concert, the big one, is the very last event, and for adults, the rehearsals are usually several days in a row, a full day long, and gruelling – standing in place for hours is quite taxing (there’s little opportunity to sit down).
    This year, during the dress rehearsal, upwards of 500 children fainted, 17 were hospitalized, with 9 needing at least an overnight stay. They stopped the dress rehearsal, even though people had bought tickets for it. Eye-witness accounts describe many more children, who didn’t actually receive medical attention, who were warmed and allowed to rest by spectators and friends. These are children from the ages of 4 or 5 included, but it wasn’t just the youngest fainting all over the place.
    So the organizers decided to cancel the big parade the next morning, though later changed that to voluntary participation, and estimates have about 98% of participants participating voluntarily. Which is great! And they held the concert last night, I think slightly shortened (originally it was planned for about 4 hours – remember this is children – the adult version exceeds six hours of singing), and it was beautiful. It really was. There’s a lot of people that put in a lot of effort and time, the participants as much as the organizers.
    People are complaining about the fainting children. And this divides into two camps: 1) who are asking questions about how they were fed, the rehearsal schedule (getting up at 6? rehearsal starts at 7.30? go to bed at 22.00? concert until 23.00? for children?), the sleep schedule, availability of water and breaks during rehearsal (mostly applied to the singers, since they weren’t allowed to take any water with them to their spots), etc.; 2) who are angry that the parade got cancelled but then reinstated, who blame the kids, the “it was as bad or worse in my day but no one complained”, and the ones who are forcefully, very directedly ‘proud of all those who could handle the pressure and the stress’.
    Funnily enough, Camp 2 seems to be mostly people without kids, or without participating kids (too young). There seem to be a lot of adult tears over the fact that not enough care was taken to meet the needs of children (photos of ‘meals’ make them seem entirely inadequate for active children, stories about long line-ups for inadequate showers, etc., never mind that these are children under additional psychological stress – thousands come from rural regions, are housed in schools, and not care for by their parents – for some, this is a first time away from home, plus there’s the patriotic pressure from everyone to participate and make a good show of it).
    And I’m angry at the friends of mine who insist that their festival was ruined (remember, these are people who do not have kids but go to watch), that they know children whose experienced was ruined by the cancellation of the parade (because the parade is the culmination of the festival??? umm….), and that kids these days just can’t handle physical stress. And that the Minister for Culture should resign, though she’s the one who made a series of tough decisions in the face of 500+ fainting children, who were doing so in front of an audience of adults.
    It’s just that I don’t know what to say to them, because I know all their arguments, and the biggest one I can use against them is ‘you don’t have children, but please think of the children’. Because it’s all about them, when it should be about why 500 children were fainting in the first place. But that’s not important, what’s important is continuing patriotic traditions (incl. child torture! it’s always been that way!) and to uphold historical ethnic cultural elements that are more important than proper planning and a less rigorous schedule.
    These are children, for fucks’ sakes, they’re supposed to go and have fun, not watch in horror as their stage-mates are being carried off by medics on stretchers.
    Anyway, rant over. I just felt like I couldn’t say all this on FB. I don’t want to deal with the stupid idiots over there. Because I just “wouldn’t understand the tradition”, having (a) grown up in Canada and (b) not having participated in the youth festival ever (for obvious reasons). I just wouldn’t understand, but I do, and it pisses me off that people can ignore the well-being of the children so easily. Assholes.

  153. says


    This year, during the dress rehearsal, upwards of 500 children fainted, 17 were hospitalized, with 9 needing at least an overnight stay.

    Who’s going to prison for this? Because somebody should. What were people thinking? I mean, we had #1 school fair this Saturday and it was hot, hot, hot and yep, a couple of kids managed to get a heat stroke, and some more sunburns, which in this case makes me wonder where their parents were. If such an event is organized and children are not supervised by heir parents, somebody has a duty of care.
    Also to group 2 people: fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Those kids don’t exist for your personal entertainment. If you’re childfree and not professionally involved with children your opinionis about as valid as Ken Ham’s on Biology.

  154. rq says

    My guess? No one’s going to prison – after all participation is voluntary and everything was worked out in professional committee, with the assistance of official institutions that supposedly know all about children’s nutritional needs. Which means it’s just a freak incident and nobody can be blamed for that. Maybe the parents of these children, since they couldn’t adequately evaluate their children’s physical preparedness for this event. Christ.

    Oh, and they were fainting from exhaustion, and from hypothermia. In the summer. Because it’s been wet, sunless and rainy, and nobody is dressed appropriately, esp. if they aren’t being fed properly (I don’t care what the officials say). And they all have little rainsheets and ponchos to wear, but (a) those leak like crazy (esp. down the back) and (b) they do not keep any heat in.

  155. bassmike says

    rq that event sounds ridiculously taxing for children. I know that is this country there are strict regulations on what children are expected to do in those circumstances. I think there would be a court case if anything similar to what you describe was done here.

    I’d love my daughter to be involved in the arts as she gets older – and if she wants to – but not at the expense of her health or finding the whole thing traumatic.

  156. says

    Gotta question for the comic book nerds…(I’m looking at you Tony :) )

    I haven’t been “into” comics since 1992 or so, so I’m way out of the loop. I’m looking for two or three titles to get back into that my 11yo daughter would also enjoy.

    Right now, I’m thinking Ms.Marvel, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and Thor.

    (FYI: I’ve always been more of a fan of Marvel than DC)


  157. says

    Oh, I like this! Please, Bernie Sanders, do go after the providers of cable and broadband services. I’ve recently looked into three different services and they all look like they are designed to rip off their customers. I know that a monopoly situation exists in some areas (only one service available) but even where more services are available the charges are outrageous. The contracts are outrageous.

    On Thursday, four US senators led by Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate how cable and broadband providers are charging their customers.

    In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Sanders wrote that only 37 percent of Americans “have more than one option for high-speed broadband providers.” Because of the de facto monopoly situation in much of the country, cable and broadband providers “are able to charge ridiculous prices and add hidden fees onto a customer’s bill,” Sanders added in a press release. […]


    In addition to steeply rising prices, consumers are often unaware of the various fees that are tacked onto their monthly bills because of the lack of transparency in pricing. To cite just one example, Time Warner Cable began charging a cable modem rental fee in 2012 of $3.95 a month. TWC then raised the price to $5.99 a month in 2013. Today it charges $8 a month, a 203 percent increase in three years’ time, in addition to monthly broadband charges.

  158. says

    It’s like creationism and global warming crankery had a baby dedicated to brain science.
    Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): an addiction, not a disease
    I find it rather amusing. Three is a lot of information they completely omit as they hype an “the experts don’t know anything!” message per normal. I might tear this apart as a project in the future.

    @ Caroline 126
    Life is continually improving one’s processes and associations :)
    I’m glad to hear that your therapy is going well. Feeling the emotion without judgment is an important step. What is called CBT/DBT (Cognitive/Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) is an amazing process. If all goes well one gains skill at experiencing their feelings, one learns how their feelings are associated with their past and present and then they develop tools to manipulate how their feelings are associated with their reality. It boils down to fleshing out the emotional “Heads Up Display” and then selectively writing or overwriting new associations and habits. There is even a version for Tourette’s that works like “tic replacement” (we always tic but we can chose how to, it’s actually useful.)
    The beginning of the process bears a lot of similarity to what is called “mindfulness meditation” with the mysticism stripped out.

    @Tony 151
    I hate that social catch-22. I hope that your luck with the internet holds or you solve the phone problem.

    @Beatrice 155
    Is just asking your friend about it out of the question?

    I see a lot of similarity in sports, religion and politics. The fans are often just as bad as the most passionate and uncontrolled religious and political types. There is a certain kind of attraction to authority that yields similar behaviors. I’m hoping a single set of explanations yields solutions because academia is probably hurting from sports obsession as much as other parts of society are hurting from excesses in similar areas. I’m happy I never caught the bug.

    @carlie 164
    Good luck getting the stuff!

    @ Rey Fox 175
    Happy belated birthday!
    That sounds like a difficult situation to balance.
    Does the geographic issue include the fact that you want to stay where you are because your family is there? I can understand preferring a particular climate. When I left Arizona I thought I would miss the desert a whole lot, and I did, but I ended up enjoying the new environment a lot. If you don’t like what you are doing now and the new job looks similar that is worth thinking about.
    I don’t think you suck. Doing something you hate and being in a place you might hate does have an impact so it’s worth thinking about. Maybe the things you do for fun now can give you some ideas about what you want?

    @rq 200
    I’m astounded that 500 fainting children was not enough for your friends and others without kids. That they are more concerned about their ability to see that part of the festival than the health of the children and figuring out who screwed up is disturbing to say the least.

  159. says

    Donald Trump’s ego flourishes in a fact-free bubble. We’re used to him ignoring studies that show immigrants are not invading the USA (flowing in like water), and studies that show immigration numbers are actually down. Trump, who described himself on Saturday as “like, a really smart person,” says of such studies, “I don’t believe it.”

    Now Trump is up against math of the simplest kind, counting people.

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump posted a tweet Sunday claiming the City of Phoenix violated its fire code by allowing a crowd at his event Saturday that was more than three times the room’s capacity.

    Trump and his campaign were declaring through the day Saturday that there were 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 people at the event at the Phoenix Convention Center. The hall where the rally was held has a maximum occupancy of 4,200.

    Trump made the complaint, in part, because a few protestors made it into the Convention Center.

    More to the point, the main security officer’s clicker showed that 4,229 people were in the Center.

    No news organizations estimated the crowd according to Trump’s Ego-Math. They all estimated about 4,200 people. The Phoenix Fire Department backed up the @4000 number and said there was no way they would have allowed 10,000 or more people into the Center.

    Trump keeps pushing the fact-free envelope.

  160. says

    Governor Scott Walker signed the state budget, a budget that is an assault on education and on lower-income people in Wisconsin. For one thing, he took an axe to tenure for college professors.

    A brief summary:

    […] t expands the private school voucher program, which provides state subsidies for students to attend private schools, including religious ones. It also extends a freeze on in-state UW tuition for another two years, removes tenure protections for UW professors from state law and imposes no sales or income tax increases. […]

    Walker also made it easier for the payday loan industry to rip off customers. They’re already a predatory element of society. Walker gave them more teeth and claws.

    He cut drug treatment programs. More here:

  161. says

    Well it sounds like you already have three books that are critically acclaimed, two of which could be fairly well described as all-ages-Ms. Marvel and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. If I had to guess, Thor would be classified as PG-13 (using movie ratings obviously). I’m not sure what criteria you’re looking for in selecting titles for your daughter, but I have some suggestions you might find interesting (and I’m assuming you’re looking for books that prominently feature-or are headlined by-female characters; apologies if this is not the case). Before I get into those however, I’d like to point out that Marvel is in the midst of a big crossover event called Secret Wars. The reason I point this out is that the event has basically co-opted the Marvel Universe. Between May and September, all Marvel titles will have been cancelled. Most will have been replaced-temporarily with titles set in the Secret Wars landscape. *Following* Secret Wars though, Marvel is relaunching their entire line with all-new #1s, so that’s going to be a great jumping on point. The titles I’m recommending are all set to debut in October:
    Blade, the vampire hunter:

    [interview with the writer of the book, Tim Seeley–Tony]

    Let’s talk a little bit about your protagonist. Blade has has had his own title on a number of different occasions. What’s your take him on for this series? Which aspects of his personality are you especially interested in exploring?

    Blade to me has always been a guy with a single minded goal. Kill vampires. That’s it. He wants revenge, and lots of it. But, after 50 or so years of revenge, he’s starting to lose his edge. He’s starting to forget why he hates vampires so much. Why he hates himself so much. And he’s starting to wonder if there’s more to “life” than what’s he’s been doing. So I’m picking up on what I always found frustrating about the character, and using it to go in a new direction. He’s a half-vampire who can “walk in the day,” but hasn’t spent much time actually enjoying the sunshine.

    While I understand Blade’s name may be on the title, this won’t be his book alone. He’ll be partnered with his long lost daughter, 16 year-old Fallon Grey, who is a new character being introduced in this series. What can you tell us about Fallon when we first meet her? One of the obvious comparisons readers might make is to Buffy Summers, but is that fair to you or the character?

    Well, as much as I had to deal with “Buffy” comparisons on “Hack/Slash,” I’ve still managed to avoid watching that show. So, while I think “high school girl fights monsters” will always invite “Buffy” comparisons, I’d like to think my blissful ignorance will at least keep me from hewing too close to Joss Whedon’s work. Though, after seeing “Cabin In the Woods,” it became clear to me he and I come from creepily similar influences.

    My take on Fallon is that she’s an “anti-Peter Parker.” She’s popular, well liked, and everyone around her thinks she has the future by the balls. But those kind of
    expectations come with their own stresses, and part of Fallon’s story will be dealing with what people expect her to be.

    The Scarlet Witch is getting her own series by James Robinson and Kevin Wada.

    A-Force, Marvel’s all-female Avengers team.

    Spider-Gwen is set in an alternate reality where a radioactive spider bit Gwen Stacy instead of Peter Parker. This book is one of Marvel’s best-selling, critically acclaimed titles. It literally came out of nowhere and the push for a series was entirely fan driven. She debuted in a one-shot last year that was part of a huge Spider-Man story. *Before* she debuted, fan reaction was so intense that Marvel greenlit a series for her before the one-shot even appeared. When the ongoing debuted in February, the sales were ginormous. I loved seeing a title headlined by a female character with sales well over 150,000 (comics that sell over 100K are considered huge sales successes). Kinda let’s you give the middle finger to the whiny misogynists who don’t think a comic headlined by girls or women can be successful. The art on the book is stunning. The characters’ costume is perfect for cosplaying (I imagine many people at San Diego Comic-Con were decked out as Spider-Gwen over the weekend). Incidentally, Spider-Gwen is just the name of the book. Inside, she’s called Spiderwoman.

    And of course there’s Captain Marvel which will be written by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, the showrunners for Agent Carter.

    Oh, and Ms. Marvel will be part of the line-up for the new Avengers title in the fall. So will the current, female Thor, and the half-black/half-Hispanic Spider-Man, Miles Morales.

    I’m much more interested in Marvel than I am DC, though I have some suggestions for them as well. DC is making some serious efforts at diversifying their output as well, so I have to give them props for that even if I don’t like the overall direction the company has gone in.

  162. says

    *headbonks* and *hugs* to anyone that needs’em.


    Thought I would share this amusing* anecdote I had with my daughter.

    So, we’re out shopping for clothes for her first sleep away camp this last Saturday. Couple of Big Box stores and a few specific clothing stores. At EVERY one of them, she ran into the same problem and became increasingly frustrated.

    Problem: No geek girl gear. She has to go over to the boys section to find anything remotely related to Geek stuff (Dr. Who, Minecraft, etc).

    I know there is a ton of stuff on-line but the problem is that she is hard to fit. She really has to try it on first because oftentimes, while the clothes size is her’s, the cut and fit doesn’t really work on her frame.

    She now wants me to learn how to silk screen at home so she can have her own custom designed nerd wear. And also jewelry and stuff. I told her, if she designs it, She and I will both learn how to make it happen (or I’ll teach her how for the stuff I already know about).

    Still, it is frustrating for both of us that Target, Wal-Mart, etc will carry a TON of geek stuff for the boys and literally NONE for the girls.

    *not, in fact, amusing at all

  163. says

    Oh, my. Well, if you can stand to read it, if you can stand to take in the full scope of the conspiracy theories around the Jade Helm military exercises in the U.S., here’s a handy summary:

    […] The “unconventional warfare” exercise is scheduled to begin Wednesday and run until Sept. 15. Training is planned for certain areas of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. California, Colorado and Nevada had originally been listed as areas where the training was to take place but have since been left out.

    Conspiracy theory websites and InfoWars’ Alex Jones suggested that the operation could be a cover for the implementation of martial law. One site even alleged that troops were converting shuttered Wal-Mart stores into covert military bases. But the paranoia surrounding “Jade Helm 15” really became headline news in May, after enough concerned Texans convinced Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to take action to protect their civil liberties. Abbott requested that the State Guard monitor the training exercise […]

    A few of my favorites:
    – the “Jade Helm 15” exercise coincides with a Druidic cremation ceremony performed by a secret society
    – EMP attacks will be used to silence christians
    – the whole exercise is designed to help Russia give many southern or southwestern states back to Mexico

  164. says

    Thanks for the info. That is great stuff. I’m a little confused by this

    Between May and September, all Marvel titles will have been cancelled.

    but I’ll figure it out.

    For now, I think I’m heading off to my local (not really all that local, hence the subscriptions) comic shop and see what is in the offing today.

  165. says

    anybody feeling like a quick, cheap and comparatively healthy recipe?
    Bread muffins
    Yields 12
    Attention, if this is your dinner, those will only serve about 2 people!

    -Spinach, about a pound, lightly cooked with things to season
    -6 slices of toast. Wonderful for using last week’s toast. Toasted and diced
    -a chunk of cheese. Best some Feta-like cheese, diced
    -a bit of cream or milk
    -3 eggs
    -salt, pepper, garlic, whatever
    Mix everything in a bowl, put some baking paper into your muffin tray (I alsways cut small squares, about 6X6″), fill mixture in, bake at about 200° for 15-20 minutes

  166. says

    Ah, a chance to enjoy some more Trump-induced schadenfreude.

    Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico files for bankruptcy protection. * The filing was made by Coco Beach Golf & Country Club S.E. in bankruptcy court in San Juan, Puerto Rico. * The 18-hole championship course is listed as a golf property affiliated with Donald Trump’s Trump Organization on its website. * Filing lists assets of $9.2 million and as much $78 million in debt.

    Not quite as rich as he says he is? Not quite as smart as he claims to be? Well, Trump has no ethical qualms when it comes to taking advantage of bankruptcy laws that favor the rich.

    Robert Reich has written that bankruptcy laws reward Donald Trump and screw the rest of us.

  167. says

    Representative Steve King, Republican doofus from Iowa, is still not done encouraging you to discriminate against the LGBT community:

    It would have no force of law, but U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on Friday announced he has introduced a House resolution for representatives to formally disapprove of the June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized gay marriage nationally. […]

    King said the “resolution expresses the sense” by the House that the court ruling “unconstitutionally and indefensibly perverts the definition of marriage,” that states are not required to license gay marriage and that “individuals, businesses, churches, religious groups and other faith-based organizations are encouraged, empowered, and protected to exercise their faith without fear of legal or government interference.”

  168. says

    This is a followup to comment 211, and to Tony’s comments up-thread about Scott Walker. Walker wants you to know that his campaign for President of the USA is part of God’s plan:

    […] “My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life,” […]

    “A lifelong supporter of the pro-life movement, my work defending the unborn goes back to my college days where I was a leader of Marquette Students for Life,” he writes, bragging about signing into law new restrictions on access to abortion and pledging to do the same as president. He calls the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision a “grave mistake” and calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn it. And he pledges to nominate Supreme Court justices who share his approach to the Constitution.

    “Our country is at a crossroads and we need a proven conservative leader who is not afraid to fight for what is right — even when it’s not politically expedient,” Walker says. “My decisions are guided by my relationship with God — not by what might win me a few votes.” […]


  169. says

    More Republican doofuses publicly stating that their primary mission in office is to spread christianity:

    Last week, Rep. Robert Pittenger joined several of his fellow members of Congress, such as Trent Franks and Louie Gohmert, as well as Religious Right activists “Coach” Dave Daubenmire, E.W. Jackson, and others in speaking at a week-long revival meeting in Washington, D.C., called “Celebrate America,” organized by televangelist and “Holy Laughter” preacher Rodney Howard-Browne.

    Pittenger told the audience that his “primary mission” as a member of Congress is to spread the Gospel of Christ and that every issue of public policy is founded on the “reality of Christ.” […]

    “That’s my primary mission as a member of Congress,” the North Carolina Republican said. “Yes, to serve my constituents, to serve my region, and my state, and my country. But we’re here as emissaries for Christ.” […]


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


    500 children?!
    I would expect 50 to be newsworthy, let alone 500. People should be threatening to boycott the festival, not complain about having their fun ruined by children getting hypothermia.

    Yes, I already decided to just ask her .I didn’t want to be rude, but I don’t think she’ll mind.

  171. says

    This is a followup to comments 75, 88 and 95. Let’s look at another aspect of the rightwing machine that guarantees a spot on the NYT’s bestseller list for dubious, piece-of-shit books by conservative politicians (written by ghost writers).

    […] Mitt Romney boosted sales of his book […] by asking institutions to buy thousands of copies in exchange for his speeches, according to a document obtained by POLITICO.

    Romney’s book tour ran from early March to late May of this year [2010], and took him to bookstores, universities, conferences and private groups around the country. Their giant purchases helped his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, debut on top of the New York Times best-seller list, though with an asterisk indicating bulk purchases.

    […] Asking that hosts buy books is also a standard feature of book tours. But Romney’s total price — $50,000 — was on the high end, and his publisher, according to the document from the book tour — provided on the condition it not be described in detail — asked institutions to pay at least $25,000, and up to the full $50,000 price, in bulk purchases of the book. With a discount of roughly 40 percent, that meant institutions could wind up with more than 3,000 copies of the book — and a person associated with one of his hosts said they still have quite a pile left over.


    Sarah Palin pulled the “bestseller” scam through her PAC:

    Sarah Palin has been using her political action committee to buy up thousands of copies of her book, “Going Rogue,” in order to mail copies of the memoir to her donors, newly filed campaign records show.

    The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate had her political organization spend more than $63,000 on what her reports describe as “books for fundraising donor fulfillment.” The payments went to Harper Collins, her publisher, and in some instances to HSP Direct, a Virginia-based direct mail fundraising firm that serves a number of well-known conservative politicians and pundits.

    Ted Cruz didn’t stick to the usual scam guidelines for right-wingers, so he got caught and was struck from the bestseller list. Cruz paid Result Source to hire thousands of people to purchase individual copies of “A Time for Truth.” Maybe he couldn’t find enough bulk buyers?

  172. rq says

    “Be Normal At Dinner:” On Geniuses, Lovers, and The Asks We Make of Both

    It’s certainly true of our relationship to those we find most inspiring, as Phillips articulates so elegantly with specific regard to Nina Simone. It is not enough to be touched by genius — we insist that our geniuses be likable. If we look at the complaints we launch at the people we presumably admire, it’s clear what our expectations are.

    We say to musicians: “You articulated the feelings I thought were only mine. You made me feel a little less alone. You colored in this world, you made it visible and livable — so why can’t you drop an album every year?”

    We say to athletes: “I want you to defy everything I’ve ever known the human body to be capable of doing. I want you to defy the laws of physics and gravity. I want you to make me proud of this place, this town, this country — but won’t you please be humble about it?”

    We know it’s not a fair ask. We know it’s an ask we would never stand to make of ourselves. That doesn’t prevent us from imposing this kind of request on the very people we claim to love the most.

    We say to the ones we love: “You’ve awakened me. You’ve added dimension to my life. You’ve made the present something bright and bursting. You’ve brought me deeper into being. Now, continue to be these things — but for me alone.”

    In this way we diminish with entitlement the very people who set us free. And we dare to call that love.

  173. says

    YOB @215:
    Apologies for the confusion. Let me try to clarify.
    Writer Jonathan Hickman has been telling a long-form story over the past several years involving the destruction of the multiverse. Secret Wars is the culmination of that story and kicked off with the destruction of the main Marvel Universe (as well as the Ultimate Universe). In the wake of that destruction, a godlike being (whose identity I won’t spoil) creates Battleworld, a mosaic world made up of portions of various realities that were destroyed (including the main Marvel reality) and is the only world that currently exists in the Marvel Universe.

    Because Secret Wars is a line-wide event, and the PTB wanted to stress how important the series is, most ongoing Marvel titles were cancelled in May. They were replaced-temporarily-with titles that focus on the characters inhabiting the various locales on Battleworld.

    Most of the realities incorporated into Battleworld have been given their own domains that are kept separated from one another. These domains reflect some aspect of the Marvel Universe or its various alternate realities (some of the domains include one that revisits Marvel’s Civil War, but with a different outcome, one where HYDRA rules, an Age of Apocalypse domain, an Old West version of the MU, the Marvel Zombies world, the all-female Avengers team, a domain with the comic book version of the 90s X-Men cartoon, a book about the various Ghost Riders, a book set during the 1700s, and much, much more). While the main Secret Wars series focuses on the story Hickman has been building, the domains have received spin-off titles to focus on stories of the characters within. These spin-off books take the place of the series that were cancelled in May.

    Some Marvel titles, such as Ant-Man, Silver Surfer, Ms. Marvel, Loki, and Magneto have continued and detail the last days of the Marvel Universe just prior to Secret Wars. These books will end before the entire Marvel universe is relaunched in October. Once relaunched, all the titles will receive new #1’s. Thus far, 45 titles have been announced as launching in Oct., with more on the way later.
    Incidentally, the relaunch is not a reboot. Marvel is keeping their history (unlike DC, which reboots its universe occasionally), they’re just trying to revitalize the line.
    This gives a good overview of the Battleworld.

  174. says

    regarding rq’s comment about 500 children fainting at a public event (and at the rehearsals, I think): That number of incidents reflects very bad planning, and a criminal disregard for the welfare of children.

    I was camping recently with family members. We were at a high elevation where the weather was cooler. Busy adults, with their setting-up activities, larger bodies, thicker fat layers etc. were all warm, or even too warm. Meanwhile 2 to 4 year old children were shivering. Different needs, people. Care must be taken.

  175. says

    Tony @225 (the following sentiment is directed at Marvel, not you)
    Oh FFS, that is even more complicated and confusing. ? I see that keeping everything sorted out hasn’t gotten any easier since the 80s/90s. I guess imma have to go hardcore again and get a crap load of back issues and go from there. Honored First Wife™ is gonna loooooove that.


    @226 Yay! It’s a step in the right direction. Long over due and many more to go, but still.

  176. says

    YOB @228:
    I can see how that would be confusing.
    The main thing to remember is that come October, there will be a fresh start for every Marvel title.
    I also forgot to mention that all the October shipping titles will be jumping ahead 8 months from the end of Secret Wars. It’s really a great jumping on point, bc from what I can tell, the titles aren’t going to be bogged down in anything related to Secret Wars. And the creators are working hard to ensure that all the new #1’s are accessible to readers. Of course you might not want to wait until October.

  177. says

    Someone please tell me The Globe and Mail is a satire site. Please!
    Anti-vaccine course brings U of T one step closer to offering a masters of pseudoscience

    “We will delve into quantum physics’ understanding of disease and alternative medicine to provide a scientific hypothesis of how these modalities may work…” Ms. Landau-Halpern promised those considering registering for her course, Alternative Health: Practice and Theory.

    That sentence, which has given actual quantum physicists the vapours, is the academic equivalent of reversing the polarity of the neutron flow to stabilize the fluctuations in the temporal rift. It’s the kind of babble that saves fictional spacecraft and kills real babies.

    Yet the review, conducted by U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation, Vivek Goel, concluded that, despite the fact that “many of the readings in the course are from secondary sources on the internet,” and while “the course could be enhanced by a greater reliance on the scholarly literature,” it could not “have reasonably been perceived to be unbalanced…in context.”

    The “context” to which he refers is all the courses the students took that weren’t chock full of pseudoscience. The students would, after all, have taken courses that didn’t attempt to explain why “meditation alone can … reduce the size of cancerous tumors,” and that vaccines are dangerous – in part, according to Ms. Landau-Halpern, because illnesses are what make children grow bigger.

    “Normal childhood illnesses like measles and chicken pox are almost always followed by massive developmental spurts,” she wrote on the website for her homeopathic practice.

    (I can only say that if I’d taught a completely absurd university course while being married to the dean of Scarborough campus – as is Ms. Landau-Halpern – I’d go a bit easier on the correlation-implies-causation stuff.)

    A “required viewing” for Alternative Health: Practice and Theory was a YouTube video by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, an osteopath whose credentials include – no, pretty much are – being “a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association.”

    In that video, the alarmist osteopath blithely claims that “There’s a large body of evidence that [vaccination] really only causes harm and it does not make you immune….”

    If such a “large body of evidence” actually existed, surely a university course taught at a prestigious institution would be just the place to present it – yet screamingly, tellingly, no such research appeared on Ms. Landau-Halpern’s reading list.

    Generally, if you have science in your corner, you don’t resort to a YouTube video by an osteopath claiming vaccines cause autism, ADHD, “inflamed brains” and cancer.

    Students were also required to watch a two-hour interview with the thoroughly discredited Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Citing the work of Dr. Wakefield – the data falsifier behind the entirely debunked autism/vaccination link – in a course that covers vaccine safety is like using Hitler’s diaries as the primary text for World War II in East-Central Europe. But not to worry, says Mr. Goel, students taking the course were “in their final year of study.” Offering that credit said, “You’re about to graduate with a degree in physics, but before you do, here’s a course on the invisible devils that pull us toward the earth.”

    Most students who took Alternative Health: Practice and Theory possessed a “strong biomedicine background,” explains Mr. Goel. They would have taken a “statistics course and many take a course in health research methods,” so they’re perfectly capable of sussing out nonsense when they hear it, his reasoning seems to be.

    Students who paid attention in the early years, the university apparently rationalizes, should be able to handle a curriculum that gives every appearance of being a heavily jargonized version of Jim Carrey’s Twitter feed.

    Mr. Carrey, if you missed it, took to Twitter a few weeks back to discuss fascism, autism, and vaccines — quickly proving to the world that when Jenny McCarthy and the comic split up, they got shared custody of the crazy.

    “Look,” U of T is all but saying with this report, “We reserve the right to throw the kids a curveball in their final year by having some daft bat tell them things that are just not true.”

    It’s all about trying to “enable critical analysis, and inquiry,” states Mr. Goel – asking us to believe that by fourth year U of T has the students so well primed to detect bull-false-balance that there’s no cause for alarm.

  178. carlie says

    Finally talked with Kid’s aunt’s partner; we’re going to take him down on Saturday. However, instead of feeling relieved about this, I feel awful. He won’t be near his mom, or his sister, or his friends, or the social services that he is at least somewhat familiar with navigating, or his familiar haunts. I wish there was some way for us to keep him, but he’s getting more and more sick being in our basement (little bit of moisture problems) and living on an air mattress between the washing machine and the water heater isn’t much of a life, and wouldn’t be made better by moving said mattress to the living room or computer spot. I’m worried because the family who will be taking him has some health problems of their own right now and also not much room; I can only hope that he’ll be able to help out and be a godsend instead of an extra burden. Over this week I’ve seen that he needs so much parenting. He may be 18, but he has very few life skills. He really needs to be cared for. My biggest fear is that, although he has more relatives there (3 aunt/uncle sets and a grandma), he’ll get shuffled around between them and possibly end up out of luck there too, and then he’s really up a creek. I’m envisioning him calling us sometime around mid-October to come get him, and then I don’t know what we’ll be able to figure out for him. I know right now this is preferable to him staying here and relying on social services, especially since that would mean a shelter for awhile and then what, a 1 room place by himself? Then who takes care of him? I just feel so overwhelmingly sad for his whole situation, and I wish I could make it all better, and I can’t. :(

  179. says

    You have such an amazing heart. I know you wish you could do more, but from my perspective, you’ve already done quite a bit. Think about how much harder his life would be if you and your family hadn’t been there to help him. None of this is to say he’ll have it easy. From the sounds of things, he’s still going to have some struggles. But you and your family have helped him have *fewer* struggles. That, by no means, is a small thing.

  180. bassmike says

    Carlie what you’ve done for this young man may well make a huge difference in his life: you have shown him that there are people who will care fro him and help when they can. I know you’re concerned for him, but I’m guessing that in reality you have little choice, but to do what you’re doing. I’m sure he knows that if he needs help again he can turn to you.

    Saturday will be the last concert of the orchestral year. It’s an ‘East meets West’ thing so quite a variety of music. Then we have the summer break. Sadly, soon after that we’ll lose one of our most talented percussionists as she’s having a baby. As she lives a distance away now, she won’t be able to come back once the baby is born. I’m very pleased for her and her husband (who’s also in the orchestra), but there will be a huge hole in the percussion section that will be very difficult to fill. On the plus side we’ve been able to pass on some of our baby stuff to them which has saved them some money.

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

    As you don`t mention losing the husbans, he will manage to come back despite the distance and the baby?

  182. Saad says

    I like* when someone tries to address the ridiculous disparity between the rich and the poor and gets accused of “class warfare”. It’s like when the Ferguson and Baltimore protestors were accused of disturbing the peace.

    * Actually, it boils my blood.

  183. carlie says

    Saad – everything’s ok as long as you smile as the boot stomps on your head, you see. Then we’re all getting along.

  184. opposablethumbs says

    I was wondering the same as Beatrice! But maybe it’s just that his departure doesn’t leave such a big hard-to-fill hole in his section, whichever it is, as hers does in percussion?

  185. rq says

    The two elder children are now arguing about ancient crocodiles and whether they’re actually crocodiles or just crocodile ancestors. It’s a really heated discussion.

  186. rq says

    Does the orchestra have a child-care room at all? Might be something to consider, if having children seems to eliminate members (important ones!) from the orchestra.
    I was able to keep singing by taking my children as babies to rehearsal with me, but a choir does not reach nearly the same volume as an orchestra, plus you need both hands for most instruments.

    Kid is so lucky that you are around and available to help, and while he may not fully appreciate your efforts now, I’m sure that, in several years, he will.
    Also, I hope everything works out. Is the paperwork going to be in the right place by the deadline?

  187. bassmike says

    The husband (a trumpet player) will be staying on a month or so longer. The percussionist is due to give birth in October, so by September, playing certain percussion items will become problematic. All being well she’ll play a concert we have in September and then step down. Her husband will stay on for a little while longer, as the lead trumpet is missing for a concert in October so my friend will cover. After that, neither of them will be available. They will both be missed, but being a part-time member of the percussion section, that’s where it will affect me more.

    I hope that explains things a bit more. Sorry of the omission.

    rq that’s quite an advanced philosophical discussion your kids are having! They sound like born scientists!

  188. bassmike says

    rq for a while the orchestra had someone who was a qualifies child minder to look after kids during rehearsal. This was purely on an informal basis due to legal requirements for child care in the UK. I haven’t seen her for quite a while, so I’m guessing she’s not doing it anymore. Some people bring their older kids (anything for maybe 6 upwards) and they sit and draw or play on a tablet in the same room as us during rehearsal. I think it’s okay to do that once in a while, but I couldn’t do it every week.

    The friends in question live about an hour’s drive away, so realistically, while the child is very young it’s just not practical to travel the distance every week. They don’t really have access to child care near to them (my friend’s family are about 100 miles away and her husband’s family are in Germany!), so their options are limited. Maybe in a few years time it could be possible. But that’s their choice. They may have found a musical outlet closer to home by then.

  189. carlie says

    rq – I hope so. I tracked it this morning and I’ll have to send flowers or something to the town clerk because, by god, they got it in the mail in time there yesterday. I have to call the post office after we get done with social services this morning to see if it would make things go faster for me to be at the post office to pick it up in person, or if that would muck everything up and I need to sit tight. It’s guaranteed delivery by 3pm, the sheriff’s office does IDs until 3:30, and it’s an 11 minute drive there. I’ll call them too to let them know we’re coming right at the end of time, so they hopefully don’t try to close shop early or anything. Ack!

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

    Sorry, bassmike for.being so jumpy

  191. bassmike says

    It my fault really Beatrice . I tried to keep the post short, but I should have included a little more detail!

  192. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, you are brilliant. And I wish more people were like you. Seriously, totally brilliant.

    Eh, also didn’t mean to sound like jumping on you bassmike! I see now what you meant.

    I’m kind of glad mine aren’t tiny any more :-) Of course, they now encounter a whole different gamut of Problemy Things And Suchlike :-s

  193. says

    Carlie, one aspect of your care for this essentially parentless boy is that, at 18, he is not ready to be on his own. In fact, few kids are at that age. I wish our society recognized this fact.

  194. says

    Scott Walker, the doofus who formally announced his candidacy for president yesterday, that doofus said this: “The left claims that they’re for American workers and they’ve just got just really lame ideas — things like the minimum wage.”

    He said that in an interview on Fox News after the big speech.

  195. says

    In the “thank goodness” category, we have news of an historic nuclear agreement having been reached between the P5 +1 countries and Iran.

    Iran and world powers have reached a historic deal under which Tehran will curb its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions, with President Barack Obama declaring early Tuesday “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off.”

    “This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines,” Obama said, adding that he will “veto any legislation that prevents implementation of this deal.”

    Between 1979 and 2013, conversation between the U.S. and Iran was almost nil. Diplomacy, nil. Former president Bush called Iran part of the “axis of evil.” Now we’ve got an agreement. Hopefully the Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate will not waste too much time trying to derail the deal.

  196. says

    Yes, Oklahoma Republicans posted an ill-informed, cruel comparison of food stamp recipients to wild animals. Since most SNAP households are made up, in part, of children, elderly, and/or disabled people, I don’t see how the wild animal comparison makes sense.

    Actual statistics:
    44.8% children
    20.3% disabled, nonelderly
    17.4% elderly

    Part of the text from the Oklahoma Republicans reads:

    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.” Thus ends today’s lesson in irony #OKGOP

  197. carlie says


    I have the birth certificate in my hand. This is what transpired:

    We left the house at 8:01 this morning to go to social services. I am acutely aware of the exact time, as I had wanted to leave quite a bit before that. I was literally standing by the front door most of the time between 7:40 and 8:01. Got back at 10:45, checked the tracking online for the birth certificate, and it says that they attempted to deliver it at 7:45am, left a notice, and that I should call the post office. NONONONONONONONONOOOOOOOOO…

    I called the post office, and was told that the carrier would still have it on the truck, but he wasn’t coming back to the office until 4pm and I couldn’t get it until then. I am ashamed that I lost it a bit at that point. I don’t think I was rude, but “OH NO WE HAVE TO HAVE IT BEFORE 3” blurted out in a rather loud and desperate tone of voice. I asked if there was any way I could find the carrier and get it directly from them, and then they came back and said that it was at the post office right then after all. I flew down there to get it, apologized profusely, and found out, get this:

    The carrier hadn’t ever taken it out for the delivery, because he had seen that we were having our mail held. He had put it in the “hold for pickup” bin because I had filled out the hold mail form yesterday when we took Kid to also do a change of address form for him to stop mail being sent to his dad’s house. The post office person accidentally gave us a hold mail form first, but since we’ll be out of town in a few weeks, I figured why not, I’ll go ahead and fill out the form now. The carrier had seen the form that our mail was being held for pickup, but hadn’t noticed the date hadn’t started yet, so had left it at the office. HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS. I think I’m having a heart attack. I know I was sobbing all the way back home.

    Relating it to other threads currently ongoing – THIS is one of the reasons so many people are religious. If this had happened when I was a Christian? I would have seen the hand of God in it the whole way through, rather than the hands of a lot of really compassionate people who went out of their way to help out combined with several really close calls and fortuitous events. Fucking hell. We even have time to wait until after lunch and then will be right there when they open for the afternoon ID session, and got his hair cut this morning so he looks good for the photo. Seriously, just to list the fortuitous events:

    1. He and his dad had gotten into a huge fight a week before this happened, and he had applied for SNAP benefits on his own then in anticipation of any possible problem. This generated the single, only piece of mail he has that he can use as the second piece of proof of identification he needs in order to get the photo ID (they require a piece of mail with your address on it, dated within the last 30 days), as they sent him a confirmation of his application.
    2. His dad actually gave him that piece of mail when we went to get his stuff.
    3. I figured out how to get the birth certificate at literally the last possible day that we could get it done by the deadline.
    4. The person I know who is a notary was at work on Friday and able to do the release form to get it sent to our address.
    5. We got there to see her just in time to get everything done.
    6. The town clerk called back just in time to get the notary back on the phone and get back to her before she left for the day.
    7. The clerk got it processed and back in the mail the same day, even though that office serves a county of half a million people.
    8. We happened to go to the post office to change his address the day before the overnight mail came, rather than a few days before or after.
    9. The postal clerk happened to give us the wrong form, and handed over the hold mail form.
    10. I decided to go ahead and fill out the form since it was in my hand, instead of doing it online later like I usually do.
    11. I filled it out for hold until pickup instead of deliver all at end of date.
    12. The carrier saw the form and the hold for pickup, but not the date.
    13. I checked the tracking online instead of just waiting all day.
    14. I saw it just in time to go down there and get it before they closed for lunch, which would have pushed us much closer to the close of the ID time later.

    I would have called every single one of those things a miracle back in my old days. Now, however, I’m just a relieved mess, and have a long list of people to send thank-you cards and candy bars to. :)

  198. says

    Here are a few Republican responses to the nuclear deal with Iran:

    Senator Tom Cotton: “This proposed deal is a terrible, dangerous mistake that’s going to pave the path for Iran to get a nuclear weapon while also giving them tens of billions of dollars of sanctions relief, even lifting the arms embargo at a time when they’re destabilizing the entire middle east. The American people will repudiate this deal and I believe Congress will kill the deal.”

    House Speaker John Boehner: President Obama and the administration “abandoned” previously stated goals to keep sanctions in place until Iran “met concrete standards.” He said the current version of the deal fails to “stop Iran’s drive for a nuclear bomb” and is therefore “unacceptable.”

    Senator Lindsey Graham: “If the initial reports regarding the details of this deal hold true, there’s no way as president of the United States I would honor this deal. It’s incredibly dangerous for our national security, and it’s akin to declaring war on Sunni Arabs and Israel by the P5+1 because it ensures their primary antagonist Iran will become a nuclear power and allows them to rearm conventionally.”

  199. says

    Yay!!! That is, indeed, a fortuitous chain of events. However, I feel that the miracle that made it all happen is…. You.


    Lynna, OM
    So this deal is a terrible bad thing that won’t work (just like the last n+ years of policy) but are any of them saying why/how? Or is it all just RW bloviating?

    … Oops. Answered my own question.

  200. says

    YOB, yes, the “stunning mistake” (that seems to be the favorite phrase) that Republicans are really hating is that President Obama got something done that they couldn’t do.

    The Bush administration did the hang-tough approach with North Korea. North Korea is now a nuclear state with a few deliverable nuclear weapons. Yeah, it would be nice if Iran gave us everything we ever wanted, but that’s not going to happen. The hang-tough approach only works up to a point. After that, one has to actually negotiate.

    I say we give the deal a chance. There are lots of safeguards in place. We can see if it works. This is preferable to bombing Iran.

    If we did what some Republicans want, and we went to war with Iran, I think that would guarantee Iran’s rapid development into a nuclear state, with Russia and China likely on their side.

    The whole “be more manly” advice from Republicans is off-putting on its own, let alone the fact that it does not get results.

    Summary of the deal:

  201. says

    Main points, as posted by Think Progress:

    As Iran shows complicity with the terms of the agreement, sanctions will be lifted by the U.S., EU, and the United Nations, releasing $100 million in frozen Iranian assets. A mechanism is also in place should Iran violate the deal that would put sanctions back in place over a period of 65 days.

    In exchange, Iran has agreed to curb the amount of time they can produce a nuclear weapon from a few months to over ten years.

    Iran said it will not enrich uranium over 3.67 percent for at least 15 years and will sell or dilute all uranium under its possession that is already enriched.

    UN inspectors can demand access to nuclear facilities on Iranian military sites, though not immediately. A predetermined joint commission — made up of one member from each negotiating side – will then have to approve the inspection.

    Five years from now, Iran will be allowed to buy and sell conventional arms on the international market.

    Eight years from now, Iran can buy and sell ballistic missiles.

    Congress has 60 days to approve or disapprove of the deal. President Obama can (and has already said he will) veto the disapproval unless Congress overrides the veto.

    Full text of deal:

    I will add that the process of proposing an inspection and getting it approved is a face-saving mechanism for Iran, one also approved by the U.N. Iran will have to comply. There will be a permanent 24/7 inspection office housed in Iran. Our experts negotiated well. I think they know what they’re doing when it comes to inspections.

  202. says

    The Bush administration also tried the hang-tough approach with Iran. So Iran went from about 150 centrifuges to more than 19,000. The Republican approach doesn’t work, it exacerbates the problem.

    Meanwhile, from Fox News we have Lou Dobbs saying that we have “surrendered” and have lost “control over our destiny.” Hyperbolic much?

  203. says

    Oh, forgot to mention that every rightwing pundit and his/her cousin is throwing around the word “treason” to describe Obama’s deal with Iran. Other favorites: “unmitigated evil,” “capitulation to a terrorist regime,” “a deal built on capitulation,” “appeasement,” and “Obama has innocent blood on his hands.”

    Absolute disaster.
    Diplomatic Waterloo.
    Never elect a cowardly anti-American to be president.

    If I wait five minutes, there will be more bloviating and fulminating from the rightwing. I don’t think we have enough fainting couches.

  204. says

    More unhelpful blather from the right wing. Jeb Bush said,

    The nuclear agreement announced by the Obama Administration today is a dangerous, deeply flawed, and short sighted deal.
    A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon – not simply delay – its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. […]

    This isn’t diplomacy—it is appeasement.

    Other Republican presidential candidates are assuring us that, if they are elected, they will not honor the deal with Iran. Well, isn’t that helpful.

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

    carlie, YAY!

    First world problems:
    Water from the AC dripping on your head while you try to pass between the parked cars and the building, thus unavoidable.

  206. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says


    He and his dad had gotten into a huge fight a week before this happened, and he had applied for SNAP benefits on his own then in anticipation of any possible problem. This generated the single, only piece of mail he has that he can use as the second piece of proof of identification he needs in order to get the photo ID (they require a piece of mail with your address on it, dated within the last 30 days), as they sent him a confirmation of his application.

    Smart kid. Did he do the application for insurance and cash assistance as well? They are often all on the same application but you’ve got to select whether to do them or not. Insurance would be good regardless but cash would depend on the state. AZ’s down to a pittance for only families with children.

    So I’m probably too late to help (sorry) and there might be some information past this thread I missed but…

    Living from couch to couch does qualify him as homeless so he can use those resources. Shelters are a…trial of their of own and it’s good he’s got family to go to but there should be more than that available. Hopefully, a few. In my area, there’s one specifically for young adult 18-21, for instance. I don’t know what area you’re in for specifics but I was able to find case workers, bus cards, clothes, toiletries, laundry help, classes on taking care of yourself, GED help (paid the $50 for me to get it even), and information about options. Not a lot but enough for me to live in AZ and having some support for him will make it easier.

    Of course, he wouldn’t be the first kid bouncing between family to land in the shelters and if he’s given time to get into a good one, a stable place to stay and work towards his goals (job, school, community college, whatever) might be better for him than changing locations. That’s a drain and really ends up fucking with you. (If he does end up going between family.)

    Finding a good one usually means going down there to check it out and filling out the paperwork to get on the waiting list. Other than their facilities and help, if you’re out of the homeless kid loop, deciding if its a good one is a gut instinct type thing. If there’s a “this sounds sketchy” or “this worker doesn’t feel right”, I’d listen to it. I’ve had good experiences in shelters but there’s been some workers in some places that should not be there. (Like a middle aged man sleeping with a 17 year old staying in the shelter he works at)

    If he does end up in one, it might seem like nothing, but it’d really help (IME) to have friends outside the system so he doesn’t get bogged down in the system and drama.

    That’s the baseline and he might already know this given your “services he’s used to” but I don’t know exactly what that meant.

    This part is more personal and I’m hesitant to say it but it might help. Or might be stepping on toes, if so I’m sorry. It’s based on my impression from your comments and my experience with well meaning people as a homeless teen.

    As sad as it is being on your own young and as understandable as it is to want to take care of him, he needs to be taught how to stand on his own rather than mothered. Because even with family, he won’t be able to be a “regular” 18 year old. So knowing how and when to do basic household stuff for himself would be good. (In my experience, it’s cooking that’s hardest to learn on your own, if he doesn’t know it already).

    Having a job and one room apt of his own is often the dream of homeless kids, even if you find it sad. In fact with the reality of homeless kids, if he ends up not staying or stable with family, treating the best case scenario better (even in your head cuz people pick up on it) would be a good idea. From there or with family, community college or getting on track for a university, is entirely possible.

    Case workers in this area rely on being calm, confident, and realistic. It can get better and it will with work and knowledge and not giving up. And luck, though that’s rarely stated and really comes down to things most people don’t think of like a support system and timing. Shelters have busier seasons like winter and summer for instance. It’s very easy to get depressed dealing with it and having friends and an older confidant is great. But being already frustrated at the situation, seemingly helpless, grateful but can’t do anything about it and then feeling guilty for turning your friend’s helpful mother into a ball of nerves is a lot to handle. (Okay that last bit may just be projection on my part but I remember being in this sort of situation and it’s hard to keep that completely out.)

    I’m very glad he’s got friends and you to help him. You’ve done a good thing and one of the first things case workers get you is i.d, which is indeed a trial. Good job. I hope I’m not being a downer or anything. I wish I could be more specific, having someone that’s been through it guide you helps. (hey, if anyone’s stuck in this sort of situation in Phoenix…)

  207. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Aaaand as before I could finish my last comment, my mother’s husband stopped by. Mom was attacked and is in surgery for a bleeding spleen. They won’t give him information or let him in since she was a victim of violence, until she wakes up and gives him the clear.

    So he’s staying here for a couple hours as I try to make calls (no luck, no information for me either) and help him since he was suppose to be in court this morning.

    And now I’ve got to go to Walmart for the money order (thanks again, everyone. you really saved our asses) to stop them from filling the court papers tomorrow morning. I’ll try and check in later (sorry carlie, to dump all that and run) but I’ll probably be drained and can’t guarantee anything.

  208. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Augh, been trying to the Redhead’s hospital bed fixed, so we can get the head of the bed to raise and lower properly so she doesn’t have to lay flat. When they were here today, they ended up removing the connection to even be able to manually raise and lower the head of the bed. She has breathing problems if she is flat for too long.

  209. says

    Good evening

    You’Re the most wonderful person. I hope the kid gets a fresh start.
    About your list of wonderful coincidences as “proof of god”: The logical error starts of course with some supposedly benevolent god allowing the kid to be kickerd out of home, depending on the goodwill of folks who are basically strangers.

    ASking the Horde
    1. Has anybody read Toni Morrison’S latest novel? Is it good?
    2. Name a really good book by Alice Walker apart from The Color Purple
    3. Name two important works by Maya Angelou.
    4. Guess my exam topic.

    moar literature
    NK Jemisin. That woman is pure genius.
    I read the Killing Moon books with great delight and now I’ve turned to the Inheritance Trilogy.
    I mean, she can take “it was a dark and stormy night” and turn it into “It is an ugly, stormcloud-choked night”
    Mild TW for sexual abuse, though. Not graphic.

  210. says

    Squeee! UPS just delivered my copy of Go Set a Watchman! I’m going to save it for a day or two, though, as I’m in the middle of something else, and I want to give Go Set a Watchman my full attention when I do start reading.

  211. says

    Nerd, good luck with the Redhead’s bed. Sounds crucial that it be fixed.

    In other news, this is pretty far out there, even for religious rightwing doofuses:

    Yesterday, notorious “Stone Homos” pastor James David Manning appeared on “Trunews” for a “discussion about Barack Obama’s satanic assault on America’s morality.”

    Not only did Manning spend time criticizing President Obama, but he also castigated the Supreme Court, arguing that “the Devil himself has written this opinion” on marriage equality.

    He also told host Rick Wiles that “perhaps [Justice] Kennedy and many of those who are on the Supreme Court have had sodomite relations themselves” and were being blackmailed by their secret gay lovers: “They have got to support this sodomy, they’ve got to say it or otherwise they get exposed.”


  212. Saad says

    Lynna, #272

    The more I hear from the religious right, the more awesome the devil sounds. They might as well just start calling him an SJW.

  213. says

    More eyebrow-raising goofiness from the rightwing. Alex Jones is buddies with both Rand Paul and Ron Paul. Jones attracts a monthly unique audience of about four million. He has important stuff to say, or so he thinks, for example:

    […] Jones insists that homosexuality is being manufactured by the government, which is actively targeting children with gay-inducing juice boxes. Jones insists that the government is mandating that juice box manufacturers include “endocrine disrupting chemicals” in the packaging of their products in order to reduce the testosterone of male children, thus somehow turning them gay. Of course, Jones hopes that his listeners aren’t savvy enough to recognize that there’s no correlation whatsoever between low testosterone and homosexuality.

    But the facts don’t really matter when you’re selling snake oil. By the way, Jones literally sells snake oil, too. It’s called “Super Male Vitality,” one of many dubious weight loss and testosterone-boosting products. […]

    [Jones said on Monday, July 13] Now the truth is, there is a movement at the UN — there is a move to sexualize children. Sumner Redstone has said that and it’s nobodies business to be trying to target children with “Heather Has Two Mommies” or “You Can’t Say Boy or Girl to Somebody That May Not Identify as That. That is space-cult, suicide-cult, exterminism, craziness.


    Uh, what? the UN is a space cult? And what about those juice boxes?

  214. says

    Saad @273, isn’t that the truth though! The Devil, Satan, The Adversary, the Dark Angel, the fallen angel … he’s really got it going on.

    Milton thought so too, though I don’t think he ever admitted it. Satan is by far the most interesting character in Paradise Lost.

  215. says

    This is a followup to comment 253, about Oklahoma Republicans comparing people on food stamps to wild animals who should not be fed.

    First, the Oklahoma Republican Party believes food-stamp distribution has reached an all-time high. That’s factually incorrect. In fact, GOP lawmakers have already successfully cut food aid to the poor.

    Second, comparing poverty-stricken families to wild animals suggests that for some Republicans, hostility towards the poor is personal. It is about animosity and ill will. Forget the high-minded explanations about economic theory – equating the poor and wild animals is evidence of contempt.

    And third, that’s not what “irony” means.

    ThinkProgress noted that the state GOP took down the post, posting a classic non-apology apology in which the Oklahoma Republican Party said it was sorry “to those who were offended” and “for any misconceptions that were created.”

    Oh, that non-apology stinks!

  216. says

    Okay, Texas does it again. Officials in that state are so good at committing outrageous acts that we hardly go a day without some lacking-empathy, anti-human, anti-decency and breaking-the-law kind of nonsense.

    […] certain Texas counties have simply stopped issuing birth certificates to children born in the state to undocumented immigrants. […] the first line of the Fourteenth Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

    […] four women have filed a legal challenge to what appears to be an emerging pattern from the Texas Department of State Health Services, not to mention a willful disregard of the U.S. Constitution.

    Jennifer Harbury, a lawyer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, who is representing the women, said the deluge of birth certificate refusals began last winter. “I’ve never seen such a large number of women with this problem,” she says. “In the past someone might be turned away, but it was always resolved. This is something altogether new.”

    According to the lawsuit, the women who requested birth certificates for their children at the state’s vital statistics offices in Cameron and Hidalgo counties were turned away because of insufficient proof of their identities. State law allows the use of a foreign ID if the mother lacks a Texas driver’s license or a U.S. passport.

    But employees at the offices, which are run by the Texas Department of State Health Services, told the women they would no longer accept either the matricula consular, which is a photo ID issued by the Mexican Consulate to Mexican nationals living in the U.S., or a foreign passport without a current U.S. visa.

    Legal considerations aside, this policy is taking a real-world toll on the affected families and their kids. Among other things, children cannot be enrolled in school without a birth certificate, nor can their mothers authorize critical medical treatments for them if they cannot prove their relation to their child.


  217. says

    Scott Walker says dumb stuff about the Boy Scouts:

    Presidential candidate and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said on Tuesday that the longstanding ban on gay troop leaders by the Boy Scouts of America had “protected children.”

    The Boy Scouts decided on Monday to end that ban, and Walker, an Eagle Scout, responded with a statement to the Independent Journal Review. “I have had a lifelong commitment to the Scouts and support the previous membership policy because it protected children and advanced Scout values.”

    Walker has referred to his service as an Eagle Scout in campaign speeches. In March, he even suggested to an audience at the Chamber of Commerce in Phoenix that this experience had prepared him to be commander-in-chief. […]

  218. says

    This is good news, contraception and the Affordable Care Act categories:

    The Little Sisters of the Poor — nuns who have refused to comply with the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate — lost their latest court case Tuesday.

    The Denver-based 10th U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Little Sisters must comply with the law’s requirement that they allow their insurers to offer free contraception coverage to employees.

    There is an “accommodation” in the mandate that would allow the sisters to sign a paper that stated their religious objections to the Department of Health and Human Services mandate and thereby allow the insurers to step in with no other involvement by the Catholic sisters. However, the Little Sisters insisted such a letter would still violate their religious convictions because it would enable something they see as wrong to take place.

    The appellate court ruled that the accommodation would “not substantially burden their religious exercise” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act “or infringe upon their First Amendment rights.” […]


  219. carlie says

    JAL – thank you so much for that info, it really helps. I’m going to copy-paste it into a document to keep for reference in case we need to do more in the future. He did apply for temp assistance, but today the caseworker had him withdraw it so when he gets to his new location (in a different county), they won’t see that he has a pending request here and hold it up further, and he can apply there. He also applied to get taken off of his dad’s food stamp allotment so that he can get his own. He’s got medical issues right now that keep him unable to work, so those will need to get cleared up soon too. I didn’t mean to say that living by himself would be sad, just that it might be lonely, and I worry about his ability to really care for himself right now. He’s smart, but he’s got so much to deal with and is not great at juggling things like appointments and paperwork. But you’re right, he needs to learn. I’ve known him since he was 12, so the mothering instinct is very strong with this one. There are a couple of places here for transitional services for kids 18-21 that help teach them those skills, like you mentioned, but he knows some people who were in them and I guess they aren’t very good here. I’m hoping that his family where he’s going either get him through getting his GED and employment, or help him navigate through getting into a transitional home there where he’d still have family nearby to lean on and leave his lizard with (if he could; one of the transitional places here doesn’t allow contact with anyone outside for the first 3 months, which seems shady in and of itself).

    Thanks too for reminding me about my attitude – I’m trying to keep it in check and stay calm around him, and should probably try a little harder. That’s one of the reasons I’m so grateful to everyone here – this is where I’m venting all the worry, and thank you to everyone here for letting me do it. I’m sorry I’m tying up so much of the thread; just being able to write it out is keeping me holding on through all this. Everybody who has commented back to me or not told me to stop whining or clogging the works, thank you for being so patient. I would be twice the nerve bundle without you all.

    So we got the IDs. But one kind of depressing thing – we were sitting waiting for the next part of the process, so happy that we had managed to get the one ID and get the documents for the second approved, when he ran into someone he had gone to school with a few years ago. The other kid was getting insurance for his car, which he bought from money he made working, which he did because he had just graduated high school and was going off to college. So the contrast with what we were doing was kind of… stark. “Oh yes, we’re just celebrating that we’ve managed to legally verify his existence”.

    I feel a thousand percent better that the IDs are dealt with. Next comes: a) seeing if we can borrow a car big enough to transport all of his stuff, b) getting him to condense his stuff down regardless, because nobody will want to take him and a whole roomful of stuff, c) getting him to see his mom.

  220. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, seconding YOB – the “miracle” in all this is you being the person you are (not miracle, obvs, but you know what I mean). So glad you got the cert.

    Crossing every damn digit and extremity I have for your mum, JAL. Shit, I hope she’s OK.

  221. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead finally got some folks at the bed rental place to understand the situation, and allegedly a temporary new bed of the same model will installed tomorrow while they work out the problems with the old one back in the shop. Then they will swap beds again.

  222. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    Skimming the lounge…
    Lynna @ 272&274,

    Pastor Manning is pretty far out. He has also claimed that Starbucks puts gay men’s semen into their lattes to make them taste better.

    So, Alex Jones also believes in the “homo gas” conspiracy in addition to all the other conspiracies. Another version of that conspiracy theory is (according to some old Finnish language “letters”) is that the Vatican/Roman Catholic Church is spreading toxins which induce homosexuality with considerable side effects.


    Hope your mom will be OK and hope you’ll get the job.


    You are a good person!

  223. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Pastor Manning is pretty far out. He has also claimed that Starbucks puts gay men’s semen into their lattes to make them taste better.

    Hmmm….The obvious question is how would he know they would taste better…..

  224. Rey Fox says

    Thanks to everyone for their advice and well wishes. I think I’ve pretty much decided that I’m not going to pursue that job. I know my own mind well enough from past experiences that packing up and moving all that way for that job and ending up alone (my nearest friends from grad school an hour and a half away, at least) would cause me massive anxiety. I didn’t care much for the company president that I spoke to on the phone either.

    And now I seem to have taken ill. Physical issues and mental issues going hand in glove lately. So again, I just want to make my appreciation known.

  225. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Mom Update:

    Really no update. Hospital still won’t give information until the police give the go ahead, the officer that took the initial report is off for three days and the detective handling the case didn’t call me back before he left at 5 pm.

    I had to make her Husband leave, he really can’t stay here. Letting him for the day was bad enough and the manager was out on property and she’s got the workers everywhere.

    I feel like a terrible person like it’s my fault for not taking them in and awful for not letting him stay and not being able to let mom stay here if she needs to after the hospital.

    Her husband was a wreck and the streets are dangerous. Am I going to be responsible for another person getting hurt? Not to mention, we faxed the court about why he missed the appearence but they automatically put out a warrent on him.

    I just fucking can’t.



    JAL – thank you so much for that info, it really helps. I’m going to copy-paste it into a document to keep for reference in case we need to do more in the future.

    I’m glad it helped. I wish I could do more.

    He did apply for temp assistance, but today the caseworker had him withdraw it so when he gets to his new location (in a different county), they won’t see that he has a pending request here and hold it up further, and he can apply there. He also applied to get taken off of his dad’s food stamp allotment so that he can get his own.

    Excellent, glad ya’ll got through to a caseworker to fix that. It’s notoriously hard to get through where I am.

    His father should’ve put in a change report as well for his case (change of household members) but I’m guessing he won’t or wouldn’t, cuz it’ll make what he gets go down or disappear. The fucker. Even after the son put in his, he might still get in trouble for not doing the change report. And they do not play when you don’t follow the rules.

    He’s got medical issues right now that keep him unable to work, so those will need to get cleared up soon too.

    Oh, damn :(

    Luckily, insurance is much shorter and quicker to apply for and recieve (way less hoops than food stamps and cash) but he might need help deciding on a provider unless he wants to stick with the one he was on under his father (if they had state insurance as a family).

    I didn’t mean to say that living by himself would be sad, just that it might be lonely, and I worry about his ability to really care for himself right now. He’s smart, but he’s got so much to deal with and is not great at juggling things like appointments and paperwork. But you’re right, he needs to learn. I’ve known him since he was 12, so the mothering instinct is very strong with this one.

    Oh, I’m sorry. I misinterpreted that “then what’s he suppose to do..” sentence wrong then. If you’ve got spare appointment books (or if he’s got electronics for applications for it), setting him up with a date book, notebook, file folder/holder and such would probably help. There’s also tips that I know flew over my head until I had to start doing things myself, like taking notes during a call with the name of who you speak with, writing everything down right away (I have a tendency to get overloaded and forget…) and keeping paperwork, all of it, and organized.

    There are a couple of places here for transitional services for kids 18-21 that help teach them those skills, like you mentioned, but he knows some people who were in them and I guess they aren’t very good here. I’m hoping that his family where he’s going either get him through getting his GED and employment, or help him navigate through getting into a transitional home there where he’d still have family nearby to lean on and leave his lizard with (if he could; one of the transitional places here doesn’t allow contact with anyone outside for the first 3 months, which seems shady in and of itself).

    Yeah, I’d listen to the grapvine advice in that case. It’s possible to do well in less than good place but it’ll be harder and it’s not a pressing need with the move coming up soon.

    Off the top of my head, there’s a couple reasons to get the kids out of their social circles (gangs, criminal activity, addictions) but a blanket ban seems wierd. Possibly overly strict but without more info I’d be wary as well. It’s also good to get DV victims away from their abusers, but I blabbed that fact to the assface ex and it was no longer an option then.

    Is it possibly Job Corps? I remember looking into them as a teen and meeting several girls who’d been through there (and graduated) but I can’t verify the blanket ban on outside contact from their website.

    Every campus could be different and my memory of course could be wrong, but if it’s them and he gets his medical stuff straightened out, I wouldn’t rule them out without more information. Of course, you could already have it and all. The girls I’ve met with benefitted from it and I helped them with their financial aid for community college. Seems to work out well, but it’s not like I’ve kept up with them or am still in the homeless kid loop.

    But since he’s moving with family, hopefully this never has to be an option to explore.

    You said the family had medical problems too and worried about him being a burden. Is it possible to look up programs near the family for help with information about getting the G.E.D? He’s going to have to start doing things like that on his own, but maybe you could sit with him while looking online and calling to guide him through.

    That way it’s not like “here’s the kid, go fix it for him” to the family and coming in with a plan and information might make the transition smoother. (Again, you could already be doing this but I dunno so just going gerenally here)

    I recieved help through Tumbleweed for instance, and they were fantastic. Too bad it’s just in Phoenix and don’t have branches elsewhere :/

    Thanks too for reminding me about my attitude – I’m trying to keep it in check and stay calm around him, and should probably try a little harder. That’s one of the reasons I’m so grateful to everyone here – this is where I’m venting all the worry, and thank you to everyone here for letting me do it. I’m sorry I’m tying up so much of the thread; just being able to write it out is keeping me holding on through all this. Everybody who has commented back to me or not told me to stop whining or clogging the works, thank you for being so patient. I would be twice the nerve bundle without you all.

    I know it’s hard to keep it in check and kids are very perceptive and I know this is the place to vent, so that’s mainly why I was so worried bring that aspect up. I still struggle with it around Little One. :/

    So we got the IDs. But one kind of depressing thing – we were sitting waiting for the next part of the process, so happy that we had managed to get the one ID and get the documents for the second approved, when he ran into someone he had gone to school with a few years ago. The other kid was getting insurance for his car, which he bought from money he made working, which he did because he had just graduated high school and was going off to college. So the contrast with what we were doing was kind of… stark. “Oh yes, we’re just celebrating that we’ve managed to legally verify his existence”.

    Damn, that sucks. :( Poor kid. I’ve had that experience and it can be depressing as fuck.

    I feel a thousand percent better that the IDs are dealt with. Next comes: a) seeing if we can borrow a car big enough to transport all of his stuff, b) getting him to condense his stuff down regardless, because nobody will want to take him and a whole roomful of stuff, c) getting him to see his mom.

    I wish you and him the best. You really are doing a great thing and handling it well.

    Condensing stuff is haaard.

    What I’ve found that works (though you might already know, may not be applicable):

    On big backpack for main stuff (laptop, gadgets, paperwork etc.)
    Switch out bedding for a sleeping bag and tie it up to the backpack camping style,
    duffle bags for clothes are awesome so is army bags with all the pockets,
    Some container for the special things, I’ve got a Run Box of things like important books and keepsakes to grab so I don’t loose the most important personal stuff,
    Books unfortunately are not moving friendly at the best of times and at the worst, it’s one of the first things to go (hence the Run Box of mine)

    But unfortunately the hardest part, I have no advice for. Prioritizing based on your current situation, facing that reality and letting go of stuff is so hard. For me, it felt like being broken and defeated. There’s so much weight placed on owning things in society and when you’ve lost so much already…not to mention the memories attached to things.

    But it will get better. He’ll be able to get his own things and make is own life. I’ve lost a lot, including my grandmother’s ashes, all the family photos (before Little One, her’s are in the Run Box), awards like my Letterman for Academics, and I do feel the loss when people (especially Little One) ask about things, but it’s okay. I’ve got the memories still and made it through and have more special things to keep. It’ll be hard but it’ll get better. There is a life after a sinkhole opens up beneath you and the climb up isn’t hopeless.

    Sorry, tangent. Memories getting to me. Now I’m sounding like those stupid inspirational sayings that I hated so much when going through it. (And still do when it comes from people outside the Horde, it just comes off so condescending and clueless >.<)

    If you have the space and can hold onto some second tier things (first tier being Have To Take, and the second being Want to but It's A Lot of Stuff (IME)), it might help him feel anchored since you've already mentioned being willing to take him back if things with the family don't work out.

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

    Rey Fox,

    Get well soon.

    Good luck

  227. says

    Good morning
    Can I tell you the sweetest thing?
    Today #1 had her monthly class breakfast and since I have some time, I went to help.
    Now, on Sunday we had the class end of term party. One of the other mums told me that her son had remarked that Mr and I probably never got into a fight with each other the way we acted with each other and worked together.
    NOt only is it amazing that an 8-9yo would watch his schoolmate’s parents, it’s also so sweet that he thinks such nice things of us. He’s mot comletely wrong, mind you, we hardly ever fight.

  228. bassmike says

    That’s really very perceptive Giliell . I can’t imagine too many 8-9yo being observant enough to notice that.

  229. says

    Alright now, how do people deal with chronic pain? I’m completely unable to focus, the drugs, they do nothing, and I have no idea how people live with this for long periods of time. It’s driving me a bit batty.

  230. says

    I know it seems impossible at this point, but like most other human flaws, you just get used to it. I’m on 60mg of oxycodone per day, and even with that, my activity level is restricted. You just get used to having fewer spoons for things (Google ‘spoon theory’ for more on spoons). You adapt your schedule, your daily goals, whatever else you need. Like any other chronic condition, the only alternative is dying. Some people do choose that.

    Wish I had something inspiring to say, but really that’s about it: call it behavioural plasticity, maybe, but it’s simply ‘adapt or die’, simple as that.

    I sincerely hope yours fades soon. I wouldn’t wish this on Donald Trump, let alone a human I care about.

  231. says

    I have chronic pain, but have not advanced to oxycodone … yet.

    Tylenol will ruin your liver.
    Advil will increase your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.
    Aspirin will cause your stomach lining to bleed.

    I rotate the pain killers so that my heart (or brain) will hopefully die at the same time that my liver and stomach give out.

    Joking, but it is black humor.

    Most of the time, I try to use painkillers when they are most important: just before sleep, and about an hour before essential activity that increases the pain. Most of the time I just put up with it. As CaitieCat said, you get used to it, sort of. I think one’s brain becomes more adept at ignoring (or damping) the pain and focusing on other things. I try to fit a personal pleasure into every day, even if it is just 15 minutes on a bench looking at the river. Attitude is everything.

    When I have a good day (a little less pain), I enjoy the heck out of it.

    Your pain will likely lessen over time. In the meantime, give yourself as much slack as possible.

  232. says

    This sounds like good news to us, but I’m sure rightwing nut jobs will howl:

    President Obama on Wednesday will announce plans to work with local governments, telecommunications firms and nonprofits to provide broadband service and digital training to more than a quarter million low-income households.

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pilot program — dubbed ConnectHome — is designed to bring residents of public or assisted housing online in 28 communities. […]

    Eight Internet service providers, including CenturyLink, Cox Communications, Sprint and Google Fiber, will provide low-cost or free broadband service to HUD residents in the chosen communities.

    The Hill link

  233. cicely says

    Our Internet connectivity issues have been fixed.
    *eyebrow raised; expression otherwise redolent of Extreme Skepticism*
    We shall see.

    Since I’m so far behind—and not convinced that the demon spiders that spin their sticky butt-exudations all over the Intarwebz will not eat my comment-y stuff (AGAIN!
    You can Send it any time you like
    But it may never lee-ee-eeave!
    *cue wicked guitar solo*
    —I’m just gonna start singing along at my last post.


    There appears to be some pushback by private companies on Texas’ open carry law. DUH. What rational company want armed assholes on their premises?????

    “Why do you need to bring a gun into a store where there are kids?” she asked. “We are not in the Wild, Wild West.”

    But they are…in their nostalgia-fueled fantasies.
    All they want is to compel everyone else to join them there.
    Is it possible for blackberries to go stale?
    I’ve never known them to last long enough to find out.



    It feels like ages since I’ve been able to hang out here!
    I’ve been doin’ okay—just much bedeviled by the demon Interweb spiders, snowed under by the Neverending (but now finished (and there is much rejoicing!)) Project, and doing Major Quality Time with Grandson.
    How’s by you?

    I am aghast at the situation you describe at 200. It seems like self-evident idiocy, and sounds like it would easily come under the heading of ‘hazing’, as well as (obviously) criminal negligence.

    The two elder children are now arguing about ancient crocodiles and whether they’re actually crocodiles or just crocodile ancestors. It’s a really heated discussion.

    This made me smile.

    Bernie Sanders rocks.

    Happy extra-belated birthday to Rey Fox.
    Also, you do not suck.
    I’ve met you in meat-space.
    I’d’ve noticed.

    YOB, I feel your daughter’s pain. There is much frustration and heartache at the intersection of Lack-of-Geek-Garb-for-Girls Street, and Inconsistent-Sizing Avenue.

    *hugs* for JAL.
    I hope your mom recovers quickly.

    *fingers crossed; hit ‘Post Comment’*

  234. cicely says

    Our Squidly Overlord:

    Alright now, how do people deal with chronic pain? I’m completely unable to focus, the drugs, they do nothing, and I have no idea how people live with this for long periods of time. It’s driving me a bit batty.

    Oh, no!
    I’m so sorry.
    When the meds do nothing, wallowing in freakish misery is sorta my go-to.
    I don’t know that it qualifies as dealing with it, so much as accepting that it is a fact; and I have the considerable advantages that I have few responsibilities wrt other people these days, and that as such things go, manymanymany people have to deal with much worse
    I hope that your situation improves, and quickly.

  235. says

    One more note about chronic pain and painkillers. Painkillers do not kill pain, not in my experience anyway. They sometimes take the edge off. They sometimes fail.

  236. rq says

    I’m rather uncomfortable with my children participating in the Great Quintennial Torture Event until they’re past elementary school and can conceivably be assumed to make semi-coherent decisions regarding themselves and the amounts of stress (and, yes, great moments of positive emotion) they’re willing to handle.
    In the meantime, I can only hope that the organizers will tone things down for the next go-round.

    Incidentally, choir camp is coming up in August. I have decided to give the Choir one last social chance (for myself; nobody has done anything in particular) and go, but if there will be any discussion of the poor fainting children that (a) doesn’t express sympathy or (b) puts them down for being ‘weak’, I will be forced to conclude that I am, after all, associating with the Wrong Crowd.

    Enough about me.

    JAL *bighugs* and best wishes for your mum’s swift recovery. :( Hope all else manages to go as smoothly as possible, esp. re: employment!

    I mean, if I had better words to say or advice, I would use them, but just know that I’m holding thumbs and also rooting for everything to turn out well. Now, and in the long run. ♥ to you.

    Best wishes, too. May recovery go apace, sans complications or the appearance of tentacles.


    In other news, the crocodile discussion devolved into back-and-forth shouts of “You’re stupid!”. I mean, besides using slightly more complicated language and scientific journals, that’s how science works, right?

    I’m also thinking of entering a short story competition. I’ll probably chicken out.

  237. says

    […] Think about that for a minute. In 2015 — a mere century and a half after the end of the Civil War — the U.S. House of Representatives can’t pass spending bills because of Confederate flags. […]

    That’s right people, House Republicans want to make it possible to continue to sell Confederate flags in National Park gift shops, and they want it to be fine to display them in federal cemeteries. And if that issue isn’t settled, they might even shut down the government.

    In the meantime, they are not going to fund the government, and they are still planning to take August off.

  238. opposablethumbs says

    It’s good to see you and your comment make it through the ether, cicely :-))) I salute your Cautious Optimism and hope it goes down well with the internet gremlins.

    I have my usual Totally Unpredictable freelance thing going on it’s usual rollercoaster way (too much all at the same time one day, so I have to turn things down while gnashing my teeth in frustration, and too little or none at all the next … eh, the usual) and as usual am sort of lurching from one dilemma to the next (shall we pay this bill? Or that one?) but I also hugely appreciate my enormous good fortune in reliably having a roof and a table with something to put on it plus the tories haven’t managed to completely destroy the NHS yet. Currently glad that DaughterSpawn has had her first day at work!!!!!! Today! (Mon + Tues were induction days, and she’s got permission to be absent Thurs and Fri for her degree graduation ceremony and stuff so the real regular schedule starts next week). She says the people seem nice, and it’s where she wanted to live, so she’s pretty happy; it’s low level, but supposedly with reasonably structured prospects to inch your way up the levels. SonSpawn on the other hand is currently breaking my heart, poor bastard, because a whole bunch of his coursemates are going on holiday together next week and he’s just found out for sure that there’s no room for him (they’re staying at the house of one student, and the no-room is probably quite literally true; doesn’t make it hurt any less, of course, to know that he’s a left-out one yet again). If he went anyway he’d be on his own, possibly quite some distance away from where the group is staying, and having to chase after the group all the time in a strange place where he doesn’t know his way around at all plus find his way back on his own while all the others go off together each night. So he’s currently resigning himself to not going. But it hurts, because this is essentially SOP for him with the whole social awkwardness and communication disorder/aspie/spectrum thing, a big occasion like this just rubs it in.

    And that is the State of Things cheese moy.

    Heartily wishing relief from pain to all those suffering it, from acute to chronic and from longstanding to new, including our dear Squidly Overlord.

  239. says

    More Confederate flag news, and more news about President Obama’s ConnectHome program (see 296).

    President Obama will be in Durant, Oklahoma today to announce the ConnectHome program, which promises to bring high-speed internet access to low-income communities across America, particularly those in rural areas. Indeed, the White House plans for this pilot program to reach 275,000 households and 200,000 children who have no access to high-speed broadband.

    However, some citizens in Durant are lining the streets not to give Obama the honored welcome he deserves, but to shower him with images of hatred.

    Specifically, the Confederate flag […]


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

    I think I’m watching Sharknado. Is Tara Reid in that movie? There are sharks in the air.

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

    Oh, there’s also Steve from Beverly Hills.
    Poor guy, I don’t remember seeing him anywhere after BH

  242. says

    After saying that American workers should work longer hours, presidential hopeful Jeb Bush added fuel to the controversy by coming out against reasonable overtime pay.

    […] Currently, those who make less than $23,660 a year and/or those who can be classified as “executives” — including, for example, people who supervise a clean-up crew — are exempted from the requirement that they be paid time-and-a-half for working more than 40 hours a week. Because the salary threshold hasn’t gotten a meaningful update since 1975, it has effectively lowered as inflation rose. The administration has proposed bringing it up to $50,440 by 2016, just shy of where the threshold would be if it had risen with inflation. […]

    And here’s Jeb Bush’s take on this proposal by the Obama administration:

    The net effect of the overtime rule will be, if history’s any guide, there will be less overtime pay, there will be less wages earned. […]

    Threatening a lot of jobs seems to be the rightwing answer to every program that helps workers earning an hourly wage.

  243. cicely says

    opposablethumbs: *high fives* for DaughterSpawn, and so much sympathy for SonSpawn. Also sympathy for the bill-to-bill lurching; I know that dance but too well.

    So, so glad we left it.

  244. rq says

    Lynna @304
    Funny, if the confederate flag is merely a symbol of southern heritage and culture, why is it being used in a show of protest against a black president? [/rhetorical]

  245. says

    A reality show that actually contains a healthy dose of reality: “In new Utah-set reality show, former Kingston women reveal the oppressive, abusive side of polygamy”

    […] “We talked about how, if we did this, we could actually show people what’s really going on in polygamy,” Andrea said in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune. “And show people it’s not a bunch of happy women with these obedient, beautiful children following this one man and everyone’s happy. That’s not really how it is.” […]

  246. says

    Why is this even a question?

    A federal judge on Wednesday will consider whether Utah must recognize a married lesbian couple as legal parents to their infant daughter without forcing them to complete a second-parent adoption.

    Angie and Kami Roe married on Dec. 20, 2103, and welcomed baby Lucy into their family in February. The baby is the biological child of Kami and was conceived with the help of donated sperm.

    But under Utah’s assisted reproduction law, only the husband of a woman who conceives through the use of donated sperm is automatically recognized as a child’s parent, so Utah’s Office of Vital Statistics has refused to issue the Roes a birth certificate that recognizes both Roes.

    With help from American Civil Liberties Union attorneys, the Roes sued the vital records office and its parent agency, the Utah Department of Health, in April in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court. […]

  247. says

    Illinois rightwing Republican senator, Mark Kirk, claims to be a moderate. Uh, no.

    Kirk’s latest pronouncement includes the outrageous claim that President Obama wants to give nukes to Iran. Link.

  248. says

    Donald Trump used the financial disclosure statement required of presidential candidates to announce in all-caps that his net worth is TEN BILLION DOLLARS.

    Trump’s PR flacks also stated that the Federal Election Commission forms were not designed for someone of Trump’s “massive wealth.”

    We have to wait 30 days to review the forms. The FEC has 30 days to review them before making them public.

  249. cicely says

    Sure there is, rq. Religion. Cures reason and logic in a significant percentage of cases.

  250. says

    Pretty ‘rupt. Had horrible food poisoning last couple of days, been working a lot before that.

    *hugs* and best wishes for Mother.

    Rey Fox
    Get well soon.

    *hugs* and sympathies.

  251. chigau (違う) says

    internet intermittent

    I almost kicked a gyrfalcon.
    Must have been a youn’un, cause he waited til I was less than 3 metres away before flying away.

  252. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Illinois rightwing Republican senator, Mark Kirk, claims to be a moderate. Uh, no.

    Considering he always voted with the rethugs when he was in the house, no surprise there. I didn’t vote for him for senator because of that mistake on his part….

  253. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *noisemakers, confetti, champagne corks popping*
    At long last the infamous ankle brace that had been holding up rehab for the Redhead arrived…at our BACK door *facepalm*
    Bring on the therapists!!!!

  254. Saad says

    Jade Helm paranoia still going strong

    BASTROP, Texas — No citizens were rounded up and imprisoned at Wal-Mart. Tanks didn’t rumble down city streets in a declaration of martial law.

    Eric Johnston wore his handgun on his hip Wednesday, but didn’t really believe soldiers participating in one of the largest U.S. military training exercises in history were coming to confiscate it.

    Still, he was ready if Jade Helm 15 came to the worst.

    “I would like to think that if the situation were to turn afoul, many more of our people would stand up and come to assist,” said Johnston, a retired Arizona sheriff’s deputy and the Texas organizer of a national group called Counter Jade Helm.

    [. . .]

    Johnston has 27 volunteers — some armed— positioned across Texas, including a monitor he described as a retired Army ranger. He described them as a neighborhood watch.

    Johnston, who has a white handlebar mustache and conceals his gun beneath his untucked shirt, emphasized that Counter Jade Helm is not “radical” like other groups and doesn’t believe a military takeover is around the corner.

    The Americans are coming! The Americans are coming!

    Hah, I like how they mention his mustache for some reason.

  255. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Forgot to mention that part of the hospital bed was exchanged today, so the Redhead now has control of her head and feet elevation. *Kermit arms waving*

  256. says


    You adjust your expectations and your concept of “normal”. You take ALL the drugs you’re allowed.

    And eventually, you learn how to run on “autopilot” and put up a front of “functionality” while you’re just holding your shit together.

    No prizes for guessing which of those points I’m at…

  257. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ, when I had the shingles, I found naproxen would take the edge off for 4-5 hours. One of the OTC pain killers probably works better for you than the others, be is aspirin, aminoacetophen, ibuprofin, ketoprofin, or naproxen (which works the best for me with the fewest side effects). Wrote a series of historical development reports during those weeks. My brain was slowed down sufficiently I did the best first pass typing I ever did.

  258. thunk: Bulba 9000! says

    Illinois rightwing Republican senator, Mark Kirk, claims to be a moderate. Uh, no.

    Considering he always voted with the rethugs when he was in the house, no surprise there. I didn’t vote for him for senator because of that mistake on his part….

    Kirk’s DW-NOMINATE score for the 113th Senate is 0.324 (higher is more conservative), which historically speaking, would make him a middle-of-the-road Republican. With the rightward shift of the GOP in the last thirty years, he is more of an outlier, but not for improvement on his part.
    Actual moderate republicans (by American standards), like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, or Scott Brown, had scores of 0.043, 0.032, and 0.090 respectively (112th Congress).

  259. says

    Oi vey.
    In the last two weeks, I’ve had two FB friends tell me that I’m too frequently angry. The first came from a friend who didn’t like that I criticized the ceremony surrounding the removal of the Con flag from the South Carolina state house. I felt there was way too much pomp and circumstance surrounding its removal and too much respect paid to the thing. But I also acknowledged that it was a good thing that it was coming down. His comments seemed to indicate that all he noticed was my criticism of the ceremony, even *after* I pointed out that that wasn’t my only response. He told me that I’m too angry.

    Then tonight, another friend made some transphobic comments about Caitlyn Jenner on his FB page and I-very politely-called him out on it. Shortly thereafter, as I was scrolling through my FB feed, I saw news of the speech she gave after accepting the Ashe Courage Award. She made a comment about respecting trans people, so I wrote the following post:

    Yes. Trans people deserve respect. You don’t need to have your 500 questions answered. You don’t have to understand gender dysphoria. You don’t have to understand anything other than the fact that trans people have the right to live their lives on their own terms and part of living on their own terms is not having to deal with the transphobia that so many people throw their way. Much of that transphobia is in everyday conversations. Some people, like the entire Republican Party, as well as their fellow comrades in evil, Fox “News”, are deliberately hateful with their transphobia, while others engage in unintentional bigotry. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether it was your intent to be transphobic. Your words matter. How they affect trans people matters. Be careful with your language. You can call this “politically correct” if you want (though don’t do it on my page because I have no patience for PC as a pejorative), but it’s about taking care not to be an asshole to groups who are oppressed. Black people typically don’t like being called n*gg*rs. Women typically don’t like being called c*nts. Gay people typically don’t like being called f*gg*ts. People with mental disabilities usually don’t like being called ret**ds. Respecting people means more than saying “I like you and respect you”. It also means taking care with your language to ensure that you don’t offend people who belong to marginalized groups. You won’t be perfect, and frankly, I know of no one who is involved in social justice advocacy that expects anyone to be perfect. But you do have to be willing to accept that you’re wrong sometimes. And you do have to accept being called out for it. How you handle being called out is what separates you from the assholes.

    I hit send and then realized that my friend would probably see it and think I was calling him out (even though I didn’t name or tag him, nor did I say anything about the conversation we’d had). He messaged me to say that he was sorry, but at the same time, he said I made him look like an ass. I should have told him he did that himself, but I opted to be a bit kinder, since I genuinely like him. He also made a point of mentioning that I’m too angry. At which point I told him that A: I’m not angry all the time and B: when I am angry, it’s justified. I also told him I don’t like it when people tell me I’m too angry, because they’re dismissing the validity of my emotions. I should have added a C: what they perceive as anger is not always anger.
    Now I feel the need to blog about my anger and my reasons for *being* angry. Too tired right now for that, so probably tomorrow…but geez!

  260. says

    So, there was this gigantic military exercise and this proud American hero would have stopped them with a handgun?
    People, James Bond is a fictional character…

    Oh dear, I didn’t know we had an equivalent of sovereign citizens, though not that whacky. They call themselves “Reichsbürger”, claim that the Federal Republic doesn’t legally exist and that they’re therefore not bound by its laws. One of them recently ran into trouble with the law he doesn’t accept because he repeatedly didn’t pay his car taxes. So two police officers showed up at his door. Now he doesn’t accept their authority either. So what does a good Reichbürger do when he thinks that his rights have been violated because two policer officers show up? He writes a complaint to another legal insitution whose authority he doesn’t accept, accusing the police officers of “assumption of authority” and of “perverting the course of justice”, which kind of cancel each other out cause you can only do the latter if you’re a legal authority.
    BUT, and here’s the fun, the district attorneys wrote back. They told him that he has to pay his taxes, that his complaint is dismissed, but he can take his complaint to the next level or to the king of Prussia.
    Sometimes even civil servants have retained a sense of humor.

  261. rq says

    A Prussian one.

    What I find interesting about your facebook friend is that somehow xe doesn’t seem to see all the happy, uplifting and funny posts that you put up. I’ve seen several over the past few days. Why is xe focussing on your (entirely justified) anger?


    I’m so pleased with my roses this year. The four replacements are about to burst into bloom (incl. the one that should be either the same strain as the Amazing Carlie Rose, or in a colour very similar to it), and all the other original shrubs look happy. And the blooms this year are massive. So pleased.

  262. says

    Now, if you haven’t eaten recently, here’S a video of our dear chancellor Angela Merkel being a horrible asshole devoid of actual empathy
    The video is from a public discussion “Living better in Germany”. Merkel is confronted by a Palestine girl, who is threatened with deportation. She explains “I want to go to college, I really want to. This is called “Living better in Germany, that’s what I want, too, why can’t I have it, too.”

    Merkel then explains that sometimes you gotta be hard in politics and after all, Germany can’t simply accept all refugees (but apparently the Lebanon, via which the girl’s family fled can…)

    The girl breaks into tears and Merkel tries to comfort her by telling her that “she did well”. Even the moderator is taken aback by this lack of empathy and tells her that it’s not the question of a public appearance that makes her cry.
    Merkel snaps “Yes, but I want to caress her anyway!” and goes on to caress the girl who is obviously not happy about it.

    So if you see me tweet #merkelstreichelt, you know what it is about.

  263. Saad says

    Giliell, #334

    Damn. That is just plain evil. And openly while on camera no less.

  264. cicely says


    Researchers discover seaweed that tastes like bacon



    Pretty ‘rupt. Had horrible food poisoning last couple of days, been working a lot before that.

    Been there, done that, barfed on the tee shirt.
    I hope you’re feeling better.


    internet intermittent

    Been there, too, and recently—if, indeed, I am not still in it.
    I still approach every post or change of page with fear and trembling—and no small amount of loathing.


    *noisemakers, confetti, champagne corks popping*
    At long last the infamous ankle brace that had been holding up rehab for the Redhead arrived…at our BACK door *facepalm*
    Bring on the therapists!!!!

    *singing, dancing, general rejoicing. With Chocolate*
    (shortly thereafter)

    Forgot to mention that part of the hospital bed was exchanged today, so the Redhead now has control of her head and feet elevation. *Kermit arms waving*

    *additional joy and frivolity*

    *head-bonks&catnip* for WMDKitty.


    So, there was this gigantic military exercise and this proud American hero would have stopped them with a handgun?
    People, James Bond is a fictional character…

    Nonono! Wrong genre! We’re shooting a Western this week.
    Think more John Wayne. Or, maybe, the gene-spliced offspring of John Wayne and Dirty Harry.

    They told him that he has to pay his taxes, that his complaint is dismissed, but he can take his complaint to the next level or to the king of Prussia.

    I *snortled*.

  265. says

    The conversation up-thread about curing rq’s reason and logic with religion made me laugh. Personally, I think her case is incurable. She’s just going to have to live with it.

    In other news, Republican legislators are still coming up with new ways to be anti-gay:

    [New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett] has angered GOP leaders and many members of the committee. He voted against Boehner’s bid for another term as speaker, bucked leadership on a critical procedural vote and has refused to pay National Republican Congressional Committee dues.

    Garrett first responded that his procedural vote against leadership was a matter of conscience. Then he stunned the room with this explanation: He had not supported the NRCC in the past, he said, because it actively recruited gay candidates and supported homosexuals in primaries.

    If a guy thinks the NRCC is too nice to gays, I do wonder what level of anti-gay activity would be acceptable to him.

    Politico link

  266. says

    Sort of good news, and sort of bad news: the main TV reality showing featuring the Duggars has been taken off the air; but a new show featuring some of the kids may go on.

    The Associated Press reports that after many weeks of deliberation, TLC has finally decided to cancel 19 Kids and Counting. The show “will no longer appear on the air,” the network said. This decision comes after it was revealed in May that the eldest Duggar son, Josh, molested several underage girls when he was a teen—including four of his sisters. […]

    So there will still be Duggars on the network. Rumor has it that even though 19 Kids and Counting is dead, Jessa and Jill are in talks to star in a spinoff show. As group president of TLC, Animal Planet, and Velocity Networks Marjorie Kaplan told the AP, “We spent the past month and a half in thoughtful consideration about what is the best way forward here.”

  267. says

    As I mentioned on Facebook (in one of my many angry, angry posts)- I am putting up an ad for a minion. There will be no money involved, but if you’ll acquire this seaweed that tastes like bacon, along with sticky rice, roe, asparagus, and shrimp, then prepare all of that into a nice Crunchy Shrimp roll, you’ll have my week-long gratitude. In addition, you’ll be allowed to bask in my glory and there might, *might* be a cookie for you.

  268. says

    Gutting the public education system is a priority for most Republican state legislators. They may talk about “improving” the educational system, but the actions they take invariably reduce funding, quality, and oversight. Take Kansas, for example (emphasis mine):

    I live in Kansas. I am an educator. My state has just eliminated teacher licensing requirements for six school districts […] On paper, this is being spun as a positive thing.

    Supporters of this decision claim it will allow experts to fill teaching positions that would normally be occupied by certified generalists (those with Education degrees who have a sub-specialty, as most teachers in the state do). […]

    Not only does it open the door for unqualified people to assume the responsibility of managing a classroom and imparting knowledge to students, but it is a transparent effort to recruit “educators” more in line with the anti-science, anti-secular, anti-critical-thinking agenda of the Kansas GOP.

    […] Budget cuts have resulted in many smaller school districts being forced to close early, and according to friends who teach in these mostly small, rural communities, teachers are no longer permitted to charge their phones in their classroom or use a lamp at their desks, since the state needs to save electricity. […]

    Much of the justification for the de-certification shenanigans has come in the form of the oversimplified logic that a high degree of subject knowledge means one will automatically be a competent teacher. Apparently, an “expert” reading from a book is preferable to actual teaching. Methods, processes, and practices of education have no worth in Brownback’s Kansas. […] The de-certification is being lauded as an “innovative” idea, as if further neutering educators is going to somehow turn Kansas into Silicon Valley. That’s a pretty tough idea to buy, given the level of anti-intellectualism rampant in the state. […]

  269. says

    A second clerk in Texas has quit, preferring to leave her job rather than issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Her loss.

    Live Oak County Clerk Karen Irving said in an email, according to the Observer, that she was unable to uphold her oath of office because of the historic ruling in favor of gay marriage. Her final day was Wednesday, the magazine reported. […]

    Irving said the county will finally be able to issue licenses to same-sex couples at the end of the week — after she leaves office. […]

    Rusk County Clerk Joyce Lewis-Kugle was the first Texas county clerk to announce her resignation in early July rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

  270. says

    This is a followup to comment 312:

    A federal judge has ordered the Utah Department of Health to put a same-sex couple on their child’s birth certificate, ruling that the state is discriminating against them.

    U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson said that in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, Utah would need to change its laws to reflect that new reality.

    “I’m just still trying to see if there’s any way you can, now that same sex marriage is legal, tell me Utah has a rational basis in discriminating against this woman,” he told lawyers for the Utah Attorney General’s Office. […]

    Fox 13 Now link

  271. says

    This is a followup to comment 311:

    A new website details what it says are plural marriages and family trees within the Kingston polygamous sect and accuses the group of being the “Largest Sex Crime Organization in the United States of America.”

    The publishers of do not identify themselves. The Tribune inquired with some Kingston observers. None were willing to disclose who published the site. […]

    The website includes photos of seven Kingston men. […] The men include Kingston leader Paul Elden Kingston and two of his brothers, David Ortel Kignston and John Daniel Kingston. David Ortell Kingston served a four-year prison sentence after being convicted of incest and unlawful sexual activity.

    John Daniel Kingston served 28 weeks after pleading no contest to child abuse following a 1998 episode in which he belt-whipped a girl.

    There also is a link to a petition to have men in the group investigated and prosecuted. […]

    Salt Lake Tribune link

  272. says

    Military facilities in Tennessee attacked; few details available:

    At least two military facilities in Tennessee were attacked in shootings Thursday, including one at a Navy recruiting building, officials said.

    Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said at a news conference that it was a “very terrible situation.” He did not release any other details. Berke said there’s “an officer down” at a military reserve center.

    Police have set up a command post near one of the sites. It was not immediately clear how many people may have been hurt or how many shooters may have been involved. No reports were made of a suspect being apprehended.

    The U.S. Navy said in a tweet that a shooting occurred at a Navy recruiting building on Amnicola Highway in Chattanooga.

    Law enforcement officials told recruiters at a facility 7 miles away on Old Lee Highway that they were also attacked by a shooter in a car. The shooter stopped in front of the recruiting facility, shot at the building and drove off, said Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

    The Army recruiters at the facility told Lepley they were not hurt and had evacuated; Lepley said he had no information about recruiters for the other branches at the facility.

    Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at Binswanger Glass just across the street from the U.S. Naval Reserve building on Amnicola Highway, said she heard a barrage of gunfire about 11 a.m.

    “I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many,” she said. “It was rapid fire, like pow pow pow pow pow, so quickly. The next thing I knew, there were police cars coming from every direction.”

    She ran inside, where she remained locked down with other employees and a customer. The gunfire continued with occasional bursts she estimated for 20 minutes.

    “We’re apprehensive,” Hutcheson said. “Not knowing what transpired, if it was a grievance or terroristic related, we just don’t know.”

    They’ve seen dozens of emergency vehicles rush by: bomb teams, SWAT teams, and state, local and federal authorities.

    “They’re all here,” she said. “You name it, it’s out there.”

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

    Apartment news:

    I found a great one today and made arrangements to sign the contract tomorrow. BUT half an hour after that, I found an ad for the mostest beautifulest apartment ever!

    And now I’m thinking how much of an asshole move it would be to arrange a seeing of the other one tomorrow before the meeting and then, if I like it, calling the woman to cancel the deal.

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


    Hehe , it would be just great if I lost both deals in the end. Nah, I arranged to see this one in the morning before work so that I can make the decision in time.

    I agree with others, that shirt is beautiful.

  275. says

    This is an update to Tony’s comment 346.

    The gunman was killed after a shootout with police at the second facility, authorities said. It was not immediately clear whether police killed him or he killed himself. […]

    Bill Killian, the top federal prosecutor for eastern Tennessee, said the attack was being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism. The shootings happened about 40 minutes and six miles apart, first at a military recruitment station and then at a Navy and Marines reserve center.

    Four marines are dead.

  276. says

    “If you’re a white person your chance of being murdered every year is 2.5 out of 10[0],000… If you’re a black person it’s 19.4, so almost eight times higher.”

    To put this into context, Silver explained, the murder rate for white Americans is similar to the murder rate for people living in Finland, Chile or Israel. The murder rate for black Americans, on the other hand, is similar to the rate found “in developing countries that are war zones even, like Myanmar, or Rwanda, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, places that have vast disorder. To me that stat was so striking that I thought this was a case where even if you kinda zoomed out, that was a data point that helped to inform the discussion.”

    That’s Nate Silver talking.

  277. says

    This is an update about the Chattanooga shootings.

    The gunman who allegedly killed four Marines on Thursday in two shootings at military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee has been identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, according to CBS News and The Associated Press.

    An anonymous U.S. official told the AP that Abdulazeez, 24, is from nearby Hixon, Tennessee and is believed to have been born in Kuwait. It’s unclear whether he was a U.S. or Kuwaiti citizen and whether he spelled his name Muhammad or Mohammad, the official said.

    Officials confirmed earlier Thursday in a news conference that the alleged gunman had also died in the shootings. It’s unclear how the gunman died, however.

    Federal authorities said in that news conference that the shootings were being investigated as a possible act of domestic terrorism.

  278. says

    The furor over the video purporting to proved that Planned Parenthood sells aborted baby parts for profit is increasing. Right-wingers and anti-abortion activists are promoting the video. Many mainstream media outlets are pointing out that both the source of the video and the purported facts are dubious.

    Center for Medical Progress, the anti-choice group behind the deceptively edited video attacking Planned Parenthood, is run by an activist with ties to discredited conservative groups and a board member who believes killing abortion doctors is “legally justified.”

    Media Matters link

    House Republicans professed to be shocked, thoroughly shocked by the heavily edited footage released by a sketchy anti-abortion group intended to suggest Planned Parenthood was “selling” fetal organs. (They’re not, but they will donate tissue to medical researchers with a woman’s permission and if the researchers reimburse them for the very minor expenses involved—a perfectly standard and commonplace medical practice.)

    Now, however, it turns out that the anti-abortion group or their intermediaries had given the tape to at least two House Republicans two weeks ago—and those Republicans didn’t find it fit to mention that they have apparently been orchestrating their conspicuous public outrage with the video’s producers. […]

  279. birgerjohansson says

    Gilliell, check out the well-illustrated book “Big Cats And Their Fossil Relatives”.

  280. says

    Here’s some good news from Alaska:

    Alaska will become the 30th state to accept Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion, after Gov. Bill Walker (I) announced on Thursday that he will use his executive power to bypass the GOP-controlled legislature and implement the policy on his own.

    Walker — a former Republican who has since become an Independent — has been advocating for Medicaid expansion for over a year. Implementing this particular Obamacare provision, which was ruled optional by the Supreme Court in 2012, would extend health coverage to an estimated 40,000 low-income residents in his state. Polling has found that the majority of Alaska residents agree with Walker’s position.

    Nonetheless, Republican lawmakers have repeatedly blocked efforts to approve the expansion of the public health program, saying that low-income people need to take more personal responsibility for themselves. […]

  281. Saad says

    New Reddit CEO announces changes

    Huffman, co-founder of Reddit, reclaimed his title as CEO last Friday. On Thursday, Huffman took to the site’s Ask Me Anything platform to lay out the company’s proposed policy changes.

    This includes banning everything from spam to discussions of illegal materials to sexual content featuring minors. It would also prohibit confidential or private information about individuals, as well as harassment and bullying. (Earlier this year, Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao banned non-consensual pornography.)

    Reddit will also work to separate potentially offensive content, putting NSFW-style labels on it and requiring a login to view.

    I don’t have a coffee mug large enough to hold the forthcoming tears.

  282. says

    Saad @362,

    Call me cynical, but it looks to me like the people in charge of Reddit are going to keep the “potentially offensive content”, just hide it behind log-ins so it’s harder to find. I don’t call that any real improvement. I suspect that their definitions of things like harassment and bullying will be loose enough to allow anything they like through, as well. Like I said, call me cynical.

  283. Saad says

    You’re probably right. I don’t think that’s too cynical. It’s not like the user base is changing. Reddit still will be catering to them.

  284. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    Re Lynna’s post @355.
    Even more context for Silver’s numbers (2.5/100,000 murder rate for whites and 19.4/100,000 for blacks):

    Some stats:
    A list of countries by intentional homicide rate

    From the stats you can see that there is huge variation of homicide rates in the world and U.S. whites have it fairly safe but not as safe as people of Western Central Europe or Japan, South Korea and China (which have murder rates <= 1) .S. blacks on the other hand have it very unsafe, though there are some countries where homicide rates are twice or more as high (e.g. Venezuela 54, Honduras with 90 and Lesotho with 38).

    In Europe Russia seems to have the highest homicide rate, 9.2/100,000, so Russians are twice as safe as U.S. blacks but still quite unsafe.

  285. Rowan vet-tech says

    This is going to be a strange post/rant. It deals with something I’m slightly embarrassed of, and is probably going to get me mocked by other people, but at the same time I don’t give a shit. I’m annoyed and I wanna talk about it.

    So basically I’m … vaguely irritated with ophelia’s post on her blog about otherkin.

    Not about the fact that it’s pretty absurd. Don’t get me wrong. It really is. It’s the sheer dismissiveness though. As if it can’t possibly be a real thing for anyone. I have never ‘felt human’ for various degrees of ‘feel’ and ‘human’. I used to have phantom limb sensations strong enough that they were a hindrance and I spent years learning to ‘kill’ this manifestation of my mind so that I would stop having such issues, but I still strongly feel the face, the feet, and wings. Sometimes I’d like to not, honestly, because it makes me feel like I’m crazy, with all the bad connotations of that word. But at the same time, that’s ‘me’, ya know? You ask me to draw a self portrait and my first thought is going to be that creature, not the face I see in the mirror each morning. This is not something I can stop feeling, and I have tried and tried and tried.

    I used to enjoy the online community; I was part of it for 13 years as I slowly wound my way from being practicing pagan, to vaguely theistic, to atheist-in-denial and finally atheist. I was skeptical of any physical claims, especially the “I’m growing wings!” or “I’m a reincarnated deity and can smite you!” types.

    This is why I have not not just two death curses, but an entire army of ‘astral dragons’ sicced on me. I think the army got lost. It’s been something like… 6 or 7 years now? Still waiting.

    I was skeptical of everything even while in it, and I made a lot of good friends. But slowly the ‘fluffbunnies’ began to outnumber and began to declare that I shouldn’t be part of the forums, that I shouldn’t call myself otherkin if I thought it was a psychological quirk, that I was intolerant for questioning people. So I left, with a lot of eye-rolling. I think most of the forums have imploded since. I’m sad though, because those forums included a *lot* of trans individuals. After all, if you believe someone can be a dragon, what’s odd about being a different gender, right? It was an interesting time.

    But yeah, to say that I don’t feel the way I actually do it aggravating. I’ve had 27 years of consciously feeling this way. It’s probably just taking an Archetype and deeply internalizing it or something. Who knows. All I know is that despite being an atheist, I still am otherkin. That’s not changing. Nearly all my dreams have me as non-human. I doubt I’m ever going to not feel this way. But it’s irritating to be told that how I feel is a fake feeling.

  286. says

    Rowan @367:
    A friend on FB posted something about Otherkin and how people treat them ( in response to this Vice article) . My response:

    While I don’t “get it”, I don’t need to understand why they identify the way they do, bc it doesn’t affect me. It’s their life, their choices. And they’re not harming anyone.

    I’ll add that I don’t like the idea of shaming anyone who is Otherkin either. I’m all in for shaming people who believe things (or act in ways) that contribute to harming others, but not something that is harmless.

  287. says

    @Rowan vet-tech 367
    I’m furry and had some otherkin friends where I used to live (moving to the brony community was easy). Some of them felt the same as you and described experiencing phantom limbs and bodies. I never had any sensations like that myself, but my own feelings for humans are complicated. I like people, it just so happens that humans are the only people I know. If there were non-human people I really would not have a particular loyalty to our species. We seem to suck on average.

    I did not like Ophelia’s post either, but I’m torn on how to word it. I’ll figure something out tomorrow. On one hand the elements that are religious and worth giving some criticism to are fine as long as it’s analogous to what we do with religion. But on the other hand I actually have a respect for what religion is in a naturalistic sense and it’s deeply tied up with experiences that matter even if the stories we create with them do not reflect reality.
    Heck, there is a whole cognitive stage associated with the development of symbolic thought.

    Animism is the belief that inanimate objects are capable of actions and have lifelike qualities. An example could be a child believing that the sidewalk was mad and made them fall down, or that the stars twinkle in the sky because they are happy. Artificialism refers to the belief that environmental characteristics can be attributed to human actions or interventions. For example, a child might say that it is windy outside because someone is blowing very hard, or the clouds are white because someone painted them that color. Finally, precausal thinking is categorized by transductive reasoning. Transductive reasoning is when a child fails to understand the true relationships between cause and effect.[29][34] Unlike deductive or inductive reasoning (general to specific, or specific to general), transductive reasoning refers to when a child reasons from specific to specific, drawing a relationship between two separate events that are otherwise unrelated. For example, if a child hears the dog bark and then a balloon popped, the child would conclude that because the dog barked, the balloon popped.

    On one hand when these tendencies get out of control whole communities apparently lose grasp of reality. But properly harnessed and understood symbolism is one of the things we are special at as a species.

    What we are inside is a heck of a lot more complicated than most people are willing to be open about which is a pity. Even most social justice communities have no idea how deep that rabbit hole goes (language sensitivity is a lot more complex than just gendered words, it may take us a while as a group). When I think of what I know about a wide swath of different kinds of humans I have little problem picturing little sliders and settings on what it is to be human.

    Things on the inside that don’t reflect physical reality? Tremendously diverse in ways that are very often not harmful and probably just a part of what we are. Not just my social emotional hallucinations in symbolic thought and or inner self-representation being different from what is on the outside.
    A comprehensive review of auditory verbal hallucinations: lifetime prevalence, correlates and mechanisms in healthy and clinical individuals.

    Epidemiological studies have estimated the prevalence of AVH to be between 5 and 28% in the general population (Tien, 1991; van Os et al., 2000; Johns et al., 2004; Scott et al., 2006). Johns et al. (2002) found 25% of individuals reporting hallucinatory experiences met the diagnostic criteria for a psychotic disorder; however that leaves 75% of people experiencing AVH who are considered otherwise healthy.

    So apparently most people with audio hallucinations function just fine with them. They might even make reality more interesting. So why the heck not just accept that some people somehow have their internal sense of self attached to something else and be fine with it? Heck, I’m an atheist with the religion OCD.

    I’ve met people who managed to shape their hallucinations into a kind of “secretary” for purposes of mentally organizing things. (I met all sorts of really interesting people like this during my time in the brony community). This stuff is too important to just give in to knee-jerk mockery and simplistic thinking. Biology is amazing and it would be more amazing if we worked a little harder at figuring out what all the bits that are different between us are shaped like so we can take them into account.

  288. says

    Rowan… I just wanted to say thanks for that post… and your comments on Ophelia’s post. I fear there was a time when I felt like Ophelia does, and when I read her comments I saw the problem yet still felt that old… prejudice?… within myself. But as a couple friends told me on Facebook… it isn’t my business how you identify. It doesn’t affect me, and never will.

    I will say this… you say it’s absurd. Though I want to agree, I think perhaps it’s not. I think perhaps “absurd” is the wrong word. I’m sussing it out for myself.

    But anyways… thank you. I certainly won’t ridicule you for it.

  289. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    Rowan, I had never heard of otherkins before reading your post, but the concept and the reality of the feelings makes a lot of sense to me. The human brain is an astonishing thing and can create the perceived reality of nearly anything. I immediately thought about the people who feel so alienated from one of their limbs that they have had an arm or leg amputated. I need to research the facts of this. I read it a long time ago. It remains that perception “can be” reality. Brain science has a long way to go.

    Be well.

  290. Rowan vet-tech says

    Maybe absurd is the wrong word. But a part of me feels that way, probably out of old fear and self-loathing/shame. Before I knew that there were other people who felt this way, back when I was in highschool, I was not-quite-suicidal over it. Everything was in conflict. I was terrified I was insane, because obviously I wasn’t a dragon, all I had to do was look in a mirror, but I had these limbs and perceptions that were so real and strong that they made everything confusing. Imagine your arm passing through a solid wall. You still feel your arm, it still feels solid, the wall totally is, and feels, solid too. This conflict of sensations/real world was agitating and distracting. I didn’t want it. And yet at the same time it was totally ‘me’, and that version of me was beautiful, and correct, and how I should be, but when I looked in the mirror I saw this weird flat-faced upright hominid that looked nothing like how I was supposed to look like and the fact that I would *never* look like how i was supposed to look was heart breaking. But I held out hope (at that time) that maybe I could reincarnate as this thing again, and be as I was supposed to.

    And to this day it’s embarrassing to admit that I feel this way, because I know that I sound crazy to most other people (though, really, is it any stranger to identify as a dragon than it is for someone to believe that a magic jewish zombie wants people to love him otherwise he’ll set them on fire?). So it’s weird, and embarrassing and not something I can talk about with people really. The one time I brought it up to my mom, again as a teen, she was afraid I had MPD. -_-

  291. says

    Fans of Kamala Khan (aka Ms. Marvel) rejoice-the first 5 issues of her book are getting a graphic audio adaptation. She’s the first Marvel hero to receive this treatment.

    Graphic Audio has adapted Ms. Marvel #1-5, so you can listen to Kamala take out the trash anywhere you damn well please. The Ms.Marvel: No Normal graphic audio will be available on August 17, and you can pre-order here.

    What do you think of Kamala’s new format, gang? Are you digging the voice acting? Personally, this new Ms. Marvel iteration is just making me even more excited for Kamala’s animated appearance in Avengers Assemble.

  292. Rowan vet-tech says

    I am also more than happy to answer any honest questions. They won’t offend me in any way unless a- I’m told I’m crazy (which I know won’t happen here) or b- I’m told that I can’t possibly feel this way in which case, thou might kindly fuck off sideways into the sea.

  293. says

    Good luck with the apartments

    I will admit that I don’t understand “hardcore otherkin”. I remember dreams of wings or of limbs that do things my arms and legs cannot, but to me it doesn’t make sense to claim “I’m not human” when the concepts of “being” and “human” and the ability to express that thought are among the most human of all traits.
    BUT, and this is a very big BUT: As long as people don’t simply jump out of windows because they think they’re really a bald headed eagle or demand that they cannot be blamed for tearing out the jugular of a baby ’cause they’re really a lion, it’s none of my fucking business. If it makes sense to you, it makes sense to you. End of story. If my dismissal causes you harm, I should simply STFU. Batteling pseudoscience and harmful ideas within the community is the job of the community. Me pointing and laughing won’t do any fucking good, right?

  294. says

    Also, #1 must have the stomach of a scavenger that hounds the hot regions of the earth. Last week they forgot their drinking bottle at their ballet class. Yesterday I reminded them to bring the damn bottle. When they came home, # 1 was happily drinking last week’s fruit tea. I was expecting lots of puking and misery, but she’s perfectly fine…

  295. says

    I really am more cat than human, on some levels.

    Ophelia’s post bothered me for much the same reasons others have expressed. Yeah, we all know that it’s kinda silly, but don’t tell us what we feel. Just… don’t. I don’t know if that’s a form of gaslighting, but it feels an awful lot like gaslighting. It’s like… “Oh, you’re not really upset, [blah blah blah part where I tune out because RAGE]”.

    It’s hurtful.

    I (and others) may well be “delusional”, but if it’s not causing undue hardship, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

  296. rq says

    Well, that was intense: thunder loud enough to be heard inside the shopping mall. I mean, I know sound insulation on those things is zilch, but still. I am le impressed, Nature!

  297. says

    Rowan, hugs offered. I have nothing useful to add except that your feelings are your feelings, and nobody else’s business.

    Ophelia, on the other hand… I used to admire her work and enjoy reading her posts, but she’s really gotten nasty.

  298. Rowan vet-tech says

    I was rather taken aback by Ophelia’s response. The assholery is strong in that one… but hey, I’m either insane or making it up so being an asshole is a-o-kay, right? *snorts*

    I’m gonna go to work and snuggle kittens. I have the better life.

  299. Rowan vet-tech says

    Wow, that last sentence typed out totally wrong. “And I’ll have a better life for it.” Good gods, fingers. I’ll blame the nasty cleaning chemicals that I got covered in and nearly getting heat exhaustion at a theme park yesterday.

    Though snuggling kittens might not be a good idea with the sunburns….

  300. cicely says

    *hugs* and—if appropriate—*scale-burnishings*.
    Since you have those feelings, clearly you are capable of having those feelings.
    Anyone who thinks differently is confused about what “can” means.
    Perhaps they are misinterpreting it as a “may” situation, and think they can (*snortle*) deny you permission to feel those feelings. This is obvious self-delusion on their parts.
    All they can deny you is their approval—which doesn’t sound to be worth having.

  301. says

    Might I kindly suggest any further commentary about Ophelia or her blog move to the Mended Drum? I don’t think anyone has crossed into unkind territory, but I can see things moving that way.

  302. rq says

    All I has is these *hugs* if you are please to accept them I am pleased to give them. ♥

  303. says

    Confederate flag news from Utah:

    One significant result from this week’s Hank Williams Jr. concert is that Red Butte Garden’s executive director will now carefully review any potential controversial acts before his booking agents sign a deal.

    Director Greg Lee says he was taken by surprise the day of the concert when he learned that one of the concession stands would be selling Confederate battle flags with Williams’ logo stamped in the middle. […]

    Many Williams fans seemed to love the souvenirs. The flags sold out so quickly the concessionaire had to go back to his truck to get more. They were draped around shoulders and being waved in the air as the country singer slipped into rants about liberals and socialists and Willie Nelson. […]

    One disconcerting fact: Under Utah law, the flag wavers could also have been carrying guns at the venue as long as they had a concealed-weapon permit.

    Several concertgoers left early, ill at ease over the atmosphere.

    Lee said Red Butte has been trying to diversify its shows, noting his booking agent is unfamiliar with the country genre and wasn’t aware of past controversies with Williams, who was fired from ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” show after comments he made on “Fox and Friends” comparing President Barack Obama to Hitler. […]

    The story is accompanied by photos of smiling racist guys draping confederate flags over their shoulders.

  304. says

    Anne, Shrieking Feminist Cat Lady @ 381 –

    Ophelia, on the other hand… I used to admire her work and enjoy reading her posts, but she’s really gotten nasty.

    Oh no, I’ve always been nasty.

  305. says

    @Ophelia Benson

    Oh no, I’ve always been nasty.

    To be honest one of the reasons I choose interact on your blog is because you are a woman who expresses things in an authoritarian manner. That is a neutral thing that society tries to suppress, but it does have consequences (which I am not suggesting that you are unaware of). When people are “rubbed the wrong way” regardless of who is right or wrong there will be complaining.

  306. Vilém Saptar says

    rq and opposablethumbs,
    Thank you! I am in a good spot in my life right now.

  307. rq says

    Consider my mind changed. Not about being your minion (still waiting for confirmation on that cookie, you evasive person you). :/ (Sorry, at work, no access to FB.)

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

    Rowan *hugs*
    More later.

    Going out to buy some watermelon now, because it’s too hot to live=time for watermelon,

    Oh and by the way, guess who has keys to a nice apartment?! Hehe.

  309. rq says

    Yay for the apartment!!! Hope it works as advertised. When do you actually move in?? Exciting!

  310. Saad says

    Saw this posted by Dr X in a comment over at Ed’s:

    40,000 people have signed petition to remove South Carolina slave memorial because offends white people

    “The African American Monument depicts slave ships, mistreatment and words such as ‘segregation’ and ‘Jim Crow,’” the petition states. “This being the case, it is undeniable that this monument can and does serve to invoke in the white community feelings of shame, humiliation and offense, serving as a constant reminder of the dark history of slavery.”

    The petition had gathered more than 39,300 signatures by Friday afternoon, with a goal set for 50,000 signatures asking for the state legislature to remove the monument.

    Harmon said he hoped both monuments would remain on the statehouse grounds, but he said the African-American Monument should go if the Confederate flag came down — as it did July 10.

    Is it just me or is the Confederate flag reaction have strong parallels to the MRA/Gamergate narrative?

    It’s about Southern heritage = It’s about ethics in video game journalism
    White people are offended too = What about the menz

    Or is this just the standard format of the pushback to any social justice initiative?

  311. opposablethumbs says

    Great news, Beatrice! When do you move? Remembering things you’ve said before about your dad being, um, difficult sometimes – well, this is doubly triply extra yay-worthy!

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


    As the old bad joke says, the things I don’t know fill libraries. It’s not my job to judge who you are, it’s not your job to excuse yourself to me (or anyone) because we don’t understand some things that define you. It’s nice of you that you offered to answer questions.

    Take care, I hope kittens did their magic.

  313. says

    Younger Daughter just registered and paid for her first semester at Cal State. She’s taking biology, geology, and math, to fill in some requirements. My baby is going to be a college junior, or somewhere along that line. Eeep.

  314. rq says

    Saad @400
    Wow. Shame and humiliation, okay (though not enough to take it down), but offense? OFFENSE???
    Mind putting that up on that other thread that occasionally speaks to white people’s hurt feelings (and how to get over them)? In other words, here?

  315. Saad says

    Eid festivities cancelled at mosque where Chattanooga murderer Muhammad Abdulazeez prayed

    “All Eid celebration activities including Eid Prayer has [sic] been canceled in light of the tragedy,” reads a scrolling banner across the top of the website for the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, which includes the mosque as well as a cultural center. “We condemn this act in the strongest possible terms as one of cowardice and hate. At the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, we don’t see our community center as a ‘Muslim’ community; we are Chattanoogans first, and we see ourselves as part of the larger community of Tennesseans grieving today’s act.”

    The mosque urged Muslims in the Chattanooga area to attend a “non-religious gathering in remembrance of the victims” Friday evening at a Baptist church in Chattanooga. “It is vital, crucial, and essential that ALL Muslims…attend this event to express our con-solidarity, unity, empathy, and compassion,” and to “united with our neighbors during these tragic times,” the website read.

  316. rq says

    Yay! :D And thanks.

    Congratulations to Younger Daughter! May her college experience be full of new knowledge, new friends, and new experiences, and may she succeed in her chosen field, and in all the other required courses she has to take, too! :) *hugs* *champagne&confetti*

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

    I’ve already payed the first rent, got the keys so I could even move in tomorrow. But the heat is horrible and I haven’t anticipated to get this over with this quick, or packed anything so the current plan is to go clean the place up* after work during the week and then move next weekend.

    * it’s nice and clean, but I want to clean everything by myself

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


    Yes, I expect I’ll get along much better with dad once we don’t see each other every day.

    Mum wasn’t happy about my decision, but she likes that the place I got isn’t too far (close to work and about half an hour tram ride from home) and she likes what she’s seen in the photos.

  319. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh and by the way, guess who has keys to a nice apartment?! Hehe.

    Hmm, I would say whoever signed the lease. ;)
    Conga Rats. Enjoy.

  320. says

    Oh, good. The Huffington Post has done something right.

    After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.

  321. rq says

    This is going to be a weird weekend. There’s a minor influx of siblings, due to a mutual-friend wedding occurring in-country – however, due to not being as familiar with mutual-friend, I have not been invited, so I will probably not be seeing my siblings at all (a Latvian wedding pretty much is at least two days, and they’re arriving rather late this evening/night).
    Funnily enough, I don’t feel bad about this. I think because it’s a short trip, and I know the reason for it, and it’s not like anyone’s avoiding me on purpose. It feels kind of weird not feeling bad about being omitted in the visit, but I’ll take it.
    (I THINK I’m picking up the BrotherSibling, because their arrival coincides nicely for when I plan on stopping work tonight.)
    (Also, these are the two siblings who are now almost on the continent, and thus it’s not like they’re making a huge, once-in-two-years trip from North America, but a more run-of-the-mill several-times-a-year weekend journey. I think this is a contributing factor.)

  322. says

    The next time I see someone claim that Democrats and Republicans are no different or that the left and the right are equally as bad as one another is going to get an expletive laden response from me the likes of which few have ever experienced-
    Gun wielding pastor encourages followers to use guns to fight back against same-sex marriage:

    Former Arizona televangelist Joshua Feuerstein isn’t happy about the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing marriage equality across the country. He’s so upset that he created a video where he waves a semiautomatic assault rifle and tells his followers, “It’s time that we finally take a stand and say no more. We’re not backing up any further.”

    Feuerstein shared the video with his 1.6 million followers on Facebook, and it has been viewed more than 5 million times since it was uploaded on July 9.

    Feuerstein first claims an essentially fake and definitely outdated story about a gay man supposedly suing two publishers for $70 million over anti-gay passages in the Bible proves same-sex marriage is really about helping the left and liberals “to come after Christianity.”

    But that’s just the first part of Feuerstein’s hyperbolic rant.

    “Why are we backing down to the government and not drawing a line in the sand?” Feuerstein asks after recounting examples of how Christians have been retaliated against because they discriminated against people in the LGBT community. One complaint Feurstein has is the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery case, in which the owners were ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. It should be noted that the owners of the bakery also posted the lesbian couple’s home address online which resulted in them being relentlessly harassed, as NCRM reported in an extensive analysis of the final ruling. Others, including the Advocate, agreed.

    Feuerstein also mentions the instance where Donald and Evelyn Knapp refused to host a same-sex wedding at their business, the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He claims the Knapps are being told they could face arrest and imprisonment if they don’t marry gay couples. NCRM also proved that claim to be false, as have others.

    “They’re coming after our First Amendment constitutional rights!” Feuerstein continues to rant in his video. “Well, check this out, this is one pastor that will not bow. Why?” he asks as he picks up a semiautomatic assault rifle. “Because my First Amendment right is guaranteed by my Second Amendment right. Think about that, ladies and gentlemen. It’s time that we finally take a stand and say no more. We’re not backing up any further. We’re not going to allow a tyrannical government to come in and strip away our rights as Christians and try to demonize us so that they can make the Bible bigoted.”

    This isn’t the first time Feuerstein has gotten attention for his extremist views. In April, he posted a video where he called Cut The Cake bakery in Florida and demanded they bake a cake with an anti-gay message for him. After the video went viral, the owner had to call the FBI after receiving numerous calls and death threats. Feuerstein also made headlines for attacking TLC for pulling “19 Kids and Counting,” after a police report surfaced, detailing how one of the stars, Josh Duggar, sexually molested five girls, including his sisters.

    “I will ALSO MAKE SURE that EVERY ONE OF MY 1.2 MILLION FOLLOWERS never watch your stupid channel again!! #TeamDuggars,” he wrote.

    The Advocate calls Feuerstein’s latest video a “horrifying call to arms.”

    The Second Amendment needs to be abolished. People like this should not have the right to own guns. Firearms should be a privilege (if anything).

  323. carlie says

    Feeling a thousand percent better. Kid is all ready to go tomorrow except for actually packing and figuring out how much can go and what can’t (and what to do with it). Many Things have been purchased, a lot of them on the sage advice of JAL, enough that he will be as self-sufficient as it’s possible to be in someone else’s house for awhile, and to help him plan and organize and keep track of things himself, and the money my friends gave me just covered everything including gas tomorrow. Most importantly, the Aunt he’s staying with called this evening to finalize everything, and Kid is at his sister’s visiting, so I got to have a Very Frank Talk about Let Me Tell You All The Things. Nothing terrible, just to make sure they don’t get any surprises about how much he has or how long he’s staying or anything. And she is AMAZING and I can’t wait to meet her. It’s really calmed me down too, so I’ll be able to be in a better mood tonight while we’re packing.

    Kid has had a really rough couple of days. He got to see his mom twice, which was fantastic, but that emotion on top of realizing he’s leaving and doesn’t have time to see his friends and won’t be seeing his sister and stepfather and mom again for a long time… he’s developed a few OCD behaviors the last couple of years and they were on high super gear today. I just want to snuggle him and tell him it will all be ok. :( One thing JAL said has been really helpful, though – I was trying to figure out how to help make his life as much as “normal” as possible, but JAL reminded me that he lost “normal” a long time ago, and he needs to move forward from that and learn the skills he needs to have now. So thank you again. : )

  324. says

    Saad @418:
    Comments. Oh dear godz, comments. Not at your link. It’s just that your post reminded me of so many comment threads I’ve skimmed on Facebook today. Articles about Caitlyn Jenner receiving the Ashe Award. Yeah, you can imagine how those threads went. I’ve repeated myself at least 5 times today in various threads , and I have not been in the slightest bit civil to people.

  325. thunk: Bulba 9000! says

    oh hi everyone. Summer continues to be nominally boring. Well, except for the Pluto system.
    It wouldn’t be as much if I actually got out more. It’s almost like I’ve developed learned helplessness–even though it’s trivial to find a hobby or go out for a walk in the park, I don’t. And this lack of activity just recently fueled my hypochondria.

    You really can’t control your inner feelings, and as so many others have said, no harm, no foul. Having phantom limbs of mythical creatures would throw anyone for a loop–and you’ve managed to channel that into really good veterinarian work.
    While I do have some mildly furry tendencies myself, there’s nothing that would remotely compare to this.

  326. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    We continue to have crazy fires. Hubby made it home okay, but it took three and a half hours. People are being both nuts and nice. We live in fucking interesting times. Be well, everyone. As well as you can be.

  327. says


    Take care

    Yay for daughter

    When’s the housewarming party?
    A great thing I found out for moving books: cheap cotton totes. You can easily carry one in each hand, which makes for nice balanced walking while they’re not too heavy. Most people pack a complete box full with books so nobody can lift it.

    Yay on Aunt being a great person. I so hope that this is working out fine.

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


    Are you melting too? We’re close to melting here.

    re: moving things
    I already asked dad- he’s willing to drive my things there next Sunday. If it’s too hot for him to drive, a neighbor offered to be a reserve. When I gave her the news about moving she also had news about starting to work on Monday (I have to brag for her, sorry) so there was a lot of squeeing in that conversation.

    I don’t have any boxes, I was actually thinking of using cotton totes, I have two rucksacks, a traveling bag and big plastic bags for the rest if needed. None of us is big on heavy lifting, so it will be easier to move things from apartment to car to apartment in smaller batches. I hope one drive will be enough.

    For anything I forget, it will be just me and public transportation.

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


    Your creativity is wonderful. Is the dragon also yours?

  330. rq says

    Stay safe! You and Husband both!!

    Remember, summer is fleeting! The heaps of snow, ice and freezing rain are just around the corner. ;)


    Walked into a bookstore before the bills have been paid. Left Harper Lee’s new book on the shelf – had enough sense to understand that I can’t afford a 20-euro book on top of my already-decent haul. Ah well, it will be there for a while.

    Also, does anyone (else) ever have occasionally recurring dreams where they know they’re repeating dreams while dreaming, and they can change the endings around, and alter the environment in order to happify the ending somewhat?
    I find it a very weird experience.

  331. says

    Thanks. Creative people gotta create. It’s not bragging, it’s just that I get very unhappy and tense if I don’t get to make things in a while. And since I didn’t have much time the last months, I have a lot to catch up to.
    I take the flat is with furniture? If you need boxes but don’t want to spend money I recommend shops like Lidl, at least here they give away their empty boxes for free.

  332. rq says

    Also, buying the newest Ben Aaronovitch novel is not actually conducive to getting any actual work done.

  333. says

    Morgan @421, let me guess. 15 freeway, right? That looked horrific, all those cars trapped and burning. I’m glad your Husband made it home safely.

    Giliell, I’ll have to reread your blog post when I’m awake enough to Google-translate the page, but I love the pictures. Anytime you do something creative, I’d love to see it.

    Speaking of creative, I’m actually making progress on my embroidery class UFO, and may have it finished by the end of the weekend. Maybe.

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


    I don’ think t I actually have the right idea about how much stuff I’m going to have to move, but I think I can ask in at least one nearby store to give me their boxes one morning and they’ll happily do it.

    re: dreams
    It happens sometimes, but not in a long time.

  335. thunk: Bulba 9000! says

    rq, 426 (dreams):

    Those are pretty common in my mind. The ur-example involves a very tall multi-story shopping mall. Sadly, I haven’t had any actual lucid dreams in a long time (and even those barely qualified).

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

    I think I already told the story about what I think was a lucid dream that I used to dream often when I was younger.
    It was really I nightmare. I would be running through the apartment, being chased by somethings. I would see my parents, my grandparents and yell for help, tug at them but they wouldn’t notice.
    My pursuers would be getting closer, I would know they were there but I would never see them.
    So I would run and since this is dream-land the run through the apartment would feel like forever. I knew that I had to get to the balcony and jump, and that I would immediately wake up.

    Only once, I ran to the balcony and jumped, but when I opened my eyes I was laying on the ground under the building, unharmed but surrounded by the creatures that were chasing me.

    That was the last time I had that dream.

  337. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    It is raining!!! That is the good news. With rain comes lightening strikes, that is the bad news. And the lights are flickering so I’m pretty sure we are going to lose power soon. And just got a huge thunderclap overhead so I am signing off for now.

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

    Take care Morgan. Since it sounds like this happens a lot in your parts, you have some batteries or a generator?

  339. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    Beatrice @430

    Congratulations. Moving sucks, but having your own place is nice. My advice on the logistics of moving is: avoid plastic bags for anything other than maybe textiles especially if you have people helping you move. In my experience cardboard boxes are fine but avoid weak and fragile ones (especially if they’re large); here the best ones from the shops have usually been those fairly shallow ones made out of thick corrugated cardboard used for frozen foods or vacuum packed sausages/cold cuts. I hope I didn’t get into mansplaining territory, but discovering the hard way that weak containers can cause losses in moving stuff is not really fun.

    It is raining here. This summer has been one of the rainiest ever and hot weather has been nearly non-existent. I’m fine with the temperatures but not with the rain.

  340. says

    Be safe, Morgan. I left on my morning out yard sale/breakfast out/grocery run around 7:15, heard thunder, and came back to bring the cats in. If it was that loud down here in north OC, it must’ve been right on top of you in the mountains.

  341. says

    This is a a followup to Tony’s post up-thread about christian pastors including assault weapons in their rants about fighting back against marriage equality. Fox News is backing those pastors up, of course. Video at the link.

    Fox News radio host Todd Starnes over the weekend delivered a sermon encouraging Christians to fight back against same-sex marriage and transgender equality.

    Speaking to Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta on Sunday, Starnes began by saying it was good to be back in the South where it was easy to find Waffle House and Chick-fil-A restaurants, which he argued was “the official chicken of Jesus.”

    “I believe that the reason that God blessed America is because we know how to smoke a pork butt,” Starnes said, turning to the recent Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage.

    “There is a war on religious liberty!” he bellowed. “And this war is not targeting people of the Muslim faith or the Jewish faith or the Hindu faith. This war on religious liberty is targeting people of the Christian faith.” […]

    “God hasn’t redefined anything!” he exclaimed to ‘Amens’ from the congregation. “If you think the cultural purging of the Dukes of Hazzard had been breathtaking in recent days, wait until you see what they’re about to do to Christians.” […]

    “The time has come for all of us to stand together with one voice!” Starnes insisted. “They may demand to know the content of our prayers, they may try to shut down our bakeries, they may try to silence our voices, but we will not be silenced! We will not be intimidated!” […]

  342. says

    Another failure when it comes to separation of church and state:

    A Mississippi school district is in hot water after it invited a Christian pastor to deliver a prayer at a school function, in violation of a court order. But the best (worst) part of this story is the district’s excuse for the violation: its administrators are incapable of understanding the First Amendment.

    Sadly, this is not a joke. In April 2014, Northwest Rankin High School held a school-sponsored awards ceremony for students who achieved high scores on the ACT (American College Testing) college entrance exam. Students were instructed to “please dress in church attire” and a Christian pastor offered a prayer at the event. During his invocation, the minister asked students to bow their heads, referred to God several times and alluded to Jesus. […]

    Of course such coercive prayer is a constitutional no-no on its own, but in this case the school’s behavior was doubly bad because it violated a November 2013 judgement against Northwest Rankin High. In April 2013, at a mandatory assembly, members of the local Pinelake Baptist Church told students that they need to accept Jesus. The presentation included a video about two young men who supposedly abandoned their wicked ways after becoming Christians. […]

    […] the District contends that any liability arising from a First Amendment violation should be excused since school officials are ill-equipped to understand the complexities of constitutional law…,” according to court documents. […]

  343. rq says

    Funny, I used to have an incredibly similar dream, except I was being chased by Frankenstein, my family wouldn’t listen, but I’d usually be able to hide behind the door and he’d get them instead of me.
    Last night I was the wife of a gangster in the middle of a gang war and in the middle of the night, after a party, the enemy gangsters were coming to kill us all, but while they were searching downstairs, I got the kids out of their bedrooms and into our bedroom and closed and locked the doors – I even conjured up a safety door this time that I could slide shut and bolt, since the ordinary bedroom doors were made of glass. And then I went to sleep with the kids.
    I have not been watching any gangster movies lately, or reading any gangster books.
    The mind is a funny place.

    Once again, stay safe, I hope power stays on, and may there be no disasters anywhere – neither in your immediate area, or anywhere else. Yay rain!


    It has been a rainy summer here, too. Of course, it wasn’t raining this morning when I went in to work, so I did not bring a raincoat, and now I have to trek back to the train station (and inquire at the bookstore about the bookmark I bought but that wasn’t placed inside my bag!) without a raincoat in the rain. Promising warmer and sunnier weather next week, so maybe the kids and I can finally go to the beach. Or at least make an attempt.

  344. says

    My worst nightmare involves my children. I have two, and they are now adults. But in my dreams, they are both still babies. In the nightmare, I am a careless mother who puts one or both babies down somewhere. I forget where I left the baby (babies), and then I have to invent elaborate ruses to keep other people from knowing how careless I was. Meantime, I am freaking out because the babies are LOST.

    I prefer rq’s dream of competently rescuing children, after which one enjoys a good night’s rest.

    In other news, Donald Trump finally said something so stupid that all of the the other Republican candidates are distancing themselves from him.

    Each time Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is given a public platform, he manages to offend even more Americans. On Saturday morning he took aim at Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and veterans, saying McCain is “not a war hero” because he was captured during the Vietnam War.

    “He’s a war hero cause he was captured,” Trump said during the Family Leadership Summit. “I like people that weren’t captured.” […]


  345. says

    Some responses to Trump’s comments about military personnel who are captured during combat (see comment 440).

    Gov. Bobby Jindal: After Donald Trump spends six years in a POW camp, he can weigh in on John McCain’s service.

    Lindsey Graham: If there was ever any doubt that @readDonaldTrump should not be our commander in chief, this stupid statement should end all doubt.

  346. says

    More on Trump’s latest stupid comments, with a corrected partial transcript of the actual blather spewed by Trump:

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a decorated Vietnam War veteran, on Saturday by saying McCain was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese.

    “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. Sarcastically, Trump quipped, “He’s a war hero because he was captured.” Then, he added, “I like people that weren’t captured.”

    Trump’s comments came during his appearance at the Family Leadership Summit, a day-long gathering of about 3,000 social conservative activists that is drawing nine other Republican presidential candidates. […]

  347. says

    Trump refuses to apologize, and also says he didn’t say what he said:

    At a press availability following his remarks, Trump denied saying that McCain isn’t a war hero and said, “If somebody’s a prisoner, I consider them a war hero.”

    He also continued his attacks on the Arizona senator, saying, “I think John McCain’s done very little for the veterans. I’m very disappointed in John McCain.”

    Trump received four student deferments from military service between 1964 and 1968. In Ames, he told reporters another medical deferment he received after graduating was for a bone spur in his foot.

    When asked which foot, Trump told reporters to look up the records.

    In a follow-up statement sent to reporters, Trump again declined to apologize, calling McCain “yet another all talk, no action politician who spends too much time on television and not enough time doing his job.” […]


  348. says

    Lynna, a lot of my nightmares include the Daughters as small children, and both the Aged Parents to boot, so I get whacked with being a Bad Mother and a Bad Daughter at the same time. What I’d really like to know is, why am I still having nightmares about failing my late father?

    Anyway, hugs offered and I hope the bad dreams stop coming soon.

  349. says

    Anne @444, my plan is to hijack rq’s dream. Yes, there is a threat of harm, but the harm is avoided. And I do love a dream that includes dreaming about sleeping soundly.

    The “Bad Mother” and “Bad Daughter” dreams probably reflect the unrealistic expectations foisted on many women. Occasionally, I can semi-direct a dream and escape the awfulness by floating down an unnaturally blue river in Finland. (Never been to Finland, but I recommend this escape route from bad dreams.)

  350. says

    Take care!

    re: dreams
    The worst ones? Those where I adream I’m waking up. I mean, I no longer pee the bed ’cause I dream I’m on the loo, but fuck, dreams where you dream you’re waking up because somebody opens the door when there’s nobody around who should be able to open the door and then think you’re awake and somebody is breaking in…
    Those are really, really frightening. I have them seldomly and only when I’m under lots of stress, but fuck.

    In my experience, 90% of the move gets done quickly and the rest about never. When I moved in with a friend we bough a glass plate to fix behind the oven so we wouldn’t constantly get the wall dirty. When I moved out we still had a plastic sheet fixed with tape….
    Oh, forgot to anser that one: yes, the dragon is mine, too. And the t-shirt! ;)

    Looking forward to your embroidery!
    I’m currently getting the kids interested in sewing. I promised them a dolphin. The little one is quite eager and did her first steps on the sewing machine sitting on my lap. #1 is lacking the patience…


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

    Heaven is courgette and mushroom bread, accompanied with prosciutto.

  352. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sigh, it appears I am now expected to produce the “omelet of the week” come Saturday morning. Make a 4-egg omelet, serve one portion, and then reheat three portions during the week (or scarf one for my breakfast). Guess I have to start mixing up the ingredients a little. Today’s omelet was mushroom, red onion, green pepper, potato, bacon, salami, and cheddar cheese. Got some hot picante salsa at the store today, for a little bite if desired.
    Makes for a fast breakfast during the week. Put contents of baggie onto a small plate, and nuke for 40 seconds.

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

    And a glass of wine. This kind of delight needs a glass of red wine.

  354. Rowan vet-tech says

    Re: dreams-

    My ‘average’ dream would probably be a nightmare for most folks, but I’ve gotten used to them over the years so that they don’t disturb me anymore. I specialize in recurring-theme dreams, such as my post-apocalypse ones. You’d think that sounds like an exciting series of dreams, right? Nope. Mostly just involved foraging from stores/making shelters…. and one dream that was nothing but me weeding a field of cabbage. Yup. So dangerous and exciting. :P

    There are also the dragon-dreams, of course, which are probably half to 2/3rds and those often involve *flying*, which is naturally amazing and wonderful.

    But I also frequently get killed in my dreams. And then I get so annoyed at being dead or allowing myself to get killed that I resurrect myself and keep going. And I feel everything in my dreams, so I’ve ‘felt’ getting shot, or blown up by a bomb, or having my throat slit. The only dreams I don’t resurrect in are the ones where I’m killed in earthquakes or by falling.

    The earliest dream I remember (starting age 4 or so) was where I would be playing a game of tag around the living room table with my family and I was ‘it’. Every time I’d tag one of my family members they’d collapse into a pile of bones. Once I tagged all 3, the skeletons would re-animate and kill me. :/ I had that dream at least 3 times a week until I was about 11 years old. Sometimes it was every night. Or multiple times a night. Glad that one’s stopped.

  355. rq says

    Giliell is spot-on with the moving. Even if you manage to get all of your stuff moved (HA!), there’s always that fraction that never gets unpacked, merely shifted from box to box and eventually the back of the closet.

    I’ve had the left-my-baby-somewhere dream, too. Though the couple of times I had it, I took it out (in dream) on Husband, and usually woke up inexplicably mad at him (though that residual feeling usually passes once I’m actually awake).

    I dunno, I usually have the recurring dreams under stress, but more and more I find I can change the horrible ending into something not so horrible. It’s kind of strange, being able to will the universe to conform to my needs. I’m always disappointed upon waking, though.
    Also, question: do any of you smell things in dreams? Once somewhere long ago I read that you can’t smell things in dreams – or taste them – but I have done both. Most recently, smelling smoke in a dream that actually woke me up and made me do a midnight tour of the house, just to be sure that nothing was really burning. Disconcerting, that one was.

    Mmmm, Beatrice, sounds delicious.
    I’m making some broccoli in a jarred cream-and-cheese sauce with caraway seeds that I discovered from a local manufacturer recently. I plan on raiding the downstairs wine shelf, too, since all the stuff bought for immediate drinking has not been replaced.

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

    re: dreams

    Well, last night sleep cycle, as I went to bed at 8 am and got up at 2 pm featured my least favorite: I’m at work, all the alarms are going off, and Favorite Patient is coding and I cannot do anything about it.

    Highly unpleasant dream, all told.

  357. says

    Also, I have decided that I’m done with “cooking” for the rest of the summer.
    No matter what I make, one of the kids complains on principle, sometimes even the kid who asked for that meal. Except, except when I make something vaguely bread-based where they can simply pick and mix. Yesterday we had chicken fajita, tortillas, and mixed veggies like bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes…
    #1 ate three tortillas, the little one two. The never take prisoners when it comes to tomatoes or cucumbers or sweetcorn. Tonight was similar with a meaty pastry.
    Mr: that pastry looks delicious!
    Me: it’s from our organic butcher.
    Mr: that pastry looks too small!
    Both kids ate well, lots of veggies were devoured, no complaints whatsoever. So why should I work more?

  358. Rowan vet-tech says

    Esteleth, while none that severe I will sometimes have dreams about the ‘Alarming of the Fluid Pump’ and attempting to find the bloody thing to make the noise stop.

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

    Rowan, about a week ago I was awakened (I was napping in the middle of the day, not on my typical cycle) and was so groggy that I picked up my phone and answered it, “[Employer], this is [name], how can I help you?”

    It was Sister, and she laughed very hard.

  360. says

    OH, btw, normal noghtmares don’t frighten me much. Somehpw part of my brain is aware of the “dream” status. I remember one where I tried to bring on the Zombie Apocalypse but my plans were foiled by the flu vaccine. Then the angry mob cornered me on a bridge and I told them “Idiots, I’m a witch!” and just flew off. It’s just the “normal reality, 10° off that frighten me.

    Did you collapse into bed right after work? I did that a few times when I still worked shifts, but then I noticed that I would never get away from the assembly line if I did that. After that I would always watch an hour of TV, no matter what. Better get stuck with the Frasier crew than 10.000 wieners.

  361. rq says

    Whoa. I’ve had dreams of dying – falling from tall objects (or into deep ones), shot, being stabbed in the back (that one was… surprisingly vivid). I don’t really get them anymore.
    I do get weird story dreams, not so much post-apocalyptic as just… very science fiction. And boring ones, too. I once spent an entire dream (yes! an entire dream!) walking along a pebbled beach beneath an ominous sky. Everything was very calm, and I just walked. Nothing happened. Not as dull as weeding cabbages, I bet.

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

    I know I occasionally have really great science fiction dreams, but I usually forget the almost immediately after waking.

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

    A more common and slightly less disturbing dream is this:

    A person (not a random person, a person who actually exists and is a more-or-less accurate depiction of them) is in a horrible accident of some sort in my area due to Contrived Coincidence and thus lands in my hospital and in need of my care. I proceed to heroically Save The Day.

    Then Rational Brain (still active when I’m dreaming) intrudes, noting pesky facts like, “with those injuries, they would be in need of ____, which means they’d go to ____, not where you are.” Dreaming Brain then proceeds to “fix” the scenario but it quickly devolves due to Need for Drama. Lather rinse repeat until I wake up.

  364. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My dreams often mix elements of my present job and location, with my old academic job and location, and one of the Tomb Raider scenarios. Very surreal.

  365. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That sounds very… awkward.

    Yeah, find my way out of the underground cavern in order to be able to teach general chemistry on time, and in the process complete a process justification report on product Z. Cue Twilight Zone theme music.
    The only good thing about changing the Redhead in the middle of the night, is that it keeps me awake long enough it disrupts that dream, unlike a quick trip to the bathroom.

  366. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Based on the grumbles from Mother Nature, I surmise we will have a nice T-storm. Doppler radar shows some red. Batten the hatches here at Casa la Pelirroja.

  367. rq says

    Dino feathers!

    And here’s some before and after pictures, mostly featuring the Daugava river valley before and after the building of hydroelectric dams (I am absolutely blown away by what the river valley used to be, it’s beautiful now but not nearly as dramatic). Plus a few other things (it’s only 8 pictures, click on the one at the link to scroll through the others).

  368. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also, some neat red teeth, esp. considering the location of the find.

    Over-sized red incisors in Transylvania. Where has that come into play???? ;)

  369. rq says

    Where has that come into play?

    Was Stoker psychic? Did he predict the discovery of a red-toothed (due to iron, no less!) beast living in that area? Did he receive visions of a red-toothed nightmare prowling the night?
    We will never know.

  370. says

    It’s raining, and there’re some rumbling noises that I don’t think are due to any of the neighbours’ cars. In southern California. In July.

    Shadow had to be escorted to her safe space in the linen cupboard, as even under the Younger Daughter’s bed wasn’t safe enough. Patches is cautious but interested; she’ll probably want to go out as soon as the rain slows enough.

    Stay safe, everybody.

  371. says

    Dreams… ah dreams…

    In my first 6 years of life, my family lived with Mom’s parents. I had very frequent dreams where I would fly downstairs (from my room) into the kitchen where my mom, my dad, and Mom’s parents would all be talking, and I would have a bowl of cheerios with milk.

    Years later I discovered three fascinating things:

    1. When we lived at Mom’s parents’ house, I would often come downstairs in the middle of the night for a bowl of cheerios (so I wasn’t just dreaming that part; it was actually happening).
    2. Mom and all her brothers and sisters also had dreams about flying around that house when they were kids.
    3. My brother would have those flying dreams when we visited in later years (when we moved out into our own place, he was only 2, so still too young to remember stuff), though he never had cheerios… he would fly around the house and then fly back up to his room to go back to bed.

    That makes me wonder… what is it about that house? (I provided a link to the Zillow listing above so y’all could see just what we were flying around; Mom’s parents are getting ready to sell it… I’m going to miss that house so much and it kills me that I don’t have anywhere near enough to afford it.)

    As for nightmares… the only nightmares I have that I can remember all involve sleep paralysis. I get that a lot. But it doesn’t usually come with the feeling of something being in the room with me. Most commonly, I desperately need to get out of bed because I am extremely late for something immensely important (I never know what). When I do finally break out of the paralysis and get up, it’s of course the middle of the night, so I haven’t missed anything.

    I used to think it was stress-related, because I first noticed this sleep paralysis would happen the night before a very big day… from finals to a performance. But now even that’s not true. Like… I had it last night, and today has been a very lazy day for me; I have nowhere to go until late this evening, so I didn’t even set an alarm and I’ve yet to get out of my PJs. So it doesn’t even correlate with the stress of “I have a big day ahead of me” anymore.

    But I need to figure out why I get sleep paralysis so often and do something about it, because it’s not fun.

    I rarely remember my dreams and (other than those flying dreams when I was a kid) I have never really had any lucid dreams. I have also always woken up right before falling, even if I just trip over my own feet, or dying. I would very much like to know what would happen if I actually fell or died in a dream, but as of yet it hasn’t happened.

    One thing I do notice about the dreams I remember… I am always myself in them, and always the absolute worst of how I see myself. Which is perhaps not a very good thing, but like I said, I’ve never really had any control over my dreams, so…

  372. says

    From what rq said, if I hijack her version of the I-left-the-babies-somewhere-and-can’t-find-them dream, I will wake up angry at rq’s husband.

    Maybe I will stick with rq’s “rescue the children efficiently” dream.

    Speaking of babies, the Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate have introduced a bill that would allow companies to fire single, pregnant women. Once again, it’s back to the 1950s for those Republican guys.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage. […] Link

    When NPR asked Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who introduced the companion Senate bill, about a hypothetical university firing an unmarried woman for having sex out of wedlock, he said, “There are colleges and universities that have a religious belief that sexual relations are to be reserved for marriage” and they “ought to be protected in their religious freedom.” […] Link

    NPR additional link

  373. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Since our last power outage last month, the Redhead has had me replacing alternative light sources. Just replaced an old “lantern” flashlight with an LED version (very bright and focused). The LED version says 45 hours on a 6-volt zinc-carbon dry cell lantern battery, versus 3 hours for the old incandescent bulb. Pop in an alkaline version of the 6-volt lantern battery good for ten years (dry cells die in about a year without use), and I won’t have to worry about it again, due to the low usage in the interim.

  374. says

    A summary of budget cuts that Republicans want to make is pasted in below. This issue will become increasingly relevant because, with the August recess stopping work, the September 30 deadline for budget approval is coming up all too soon. Looks like we may be in government-shut-down territory soon. Republicans want to give the military more money, and screw everyone else.

    1) Screw the sick/uninsured: let’s cut Obamacare funding.
    2) Screw the environment: climate change is a hoax. The EPA’s nothing more than a government-funded welfare program anyway.
    3) Screw cybersecurity: forget those government security breeches, upgrades can wait. That ol’ grid’s been outdated for decades anyway.
    4) Screw education: Head Start, community learning centers, Pell Grants—who needs ’em? It’s like a puppy mill for Democrats.
    5) Screw the Labor Department: ’nuff said.
    6) Screw vets: who cares about the VA? So old school.
    7) Screw consumer protection: remember those Wall Street bailouts? Now that was livin’!
    8) Screw family planning: Birth control? Teen pregnancy prevention? Just interferes with God’s plan.
    9) Screw infrastructure: so the occasional bridge collapses. Meh. Anyway, potholes are totally a free public safety program—keeps drivers awake.
    10) Screw job training: workers—who needs ’em? If we can get that unemployment rate back up, we’ll have plenty anyway.
    11) Screw public safety: Wildfires, disease prevention—who cares? Maybe that drought will finally burn California to a crisp and we can take this country back!
    12) Screw national parks: nature sucks.
    13) Screw public health: If kids wanna eat some lead paint, let ’em. Never hurt us none.

  375. says

    Thank’s to Trump’s disrespect for John McCain’s time as a prisoner of war, more Republicans are jumping on the dump-on-Trump wagon. (See comments 441, 442, and 443 for previous discussion of the same issue.)

    Mitt Romney: The difference between @SenJohnMcCain and @realDonaldTrump: Trump shot himself down. […]

    Trump: Why would anybody listen to @MittRomney? He lost an election that should have easily been won against Obama. By the way, so did John McCain!

  376. says

    rq @476, will do. I don’t see what’s in it for me if I am mad at your husband. :-)

    rq @474, OMG, that is such a bad, bad idea. Sheesh.

    In other news, Russian soccer fans are racist: Link.

  377. says

    I don’t dream, or at any rate not that I have any memory or awareness of. Never have done, except maybe once or twice. I’m always interested in people’s reactions to dreams who do.

    Another heat wave hit, just in time for a busy weekend at work. The food poisoning turned out to be a horrible stomach flu, which is why I’ve hardly been on this week; I was in bed, mostly.

  378. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    rq @465

    Beautiful scenery before the dams were built. On the other hand now there’s some 2 GW hydropower which is maybe better than having to produce the power with coal or oil shale.

    The waterfalls of Pērse looked beatiful. Estonians and Finns might have giggled about the name of the river Pērse (at least written version of the name), though. Have you got any idea about the etymology of the name Pērse. In Finnish and Estonian the word “perse” (with short wovels) means “arse”.

    Stay safe everybody, both in the heat and in the rain and thunder. Wish there was a nice way to export our wishy-washy, uneventful rains from here in Finland to the drought-stricken places… (My West African colleagues at a previous job said sometimes that the rains here are weak and mild compared with the tropical rains they had back home.)

  379. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    No idea about the etymology, though it’s not the original name of the river (which was supposedly Kokna). It also enters the Daugava in a region that was heavily populated by the Livs, whose language is more related to Estonian and Finnish than Latvian (and Lithuanian). Perhaps it was a silly joke on their part, or a mistake in translation. But yes, apparently the river sign is a popular place for Estonian tourists to take photos. :D (For anglo-speaking tourists, the town signs of ‘Ogre’ and ‘Ape’ have a certain appeal, as does the town sign of ‘Malta’.)
    You can still see similar waterfalls in Abava and a much wider one in Venta (in the town Kuldīga). Maybe not impressive size-wise, but certainly beautiful! And good for marine fossils.

  380. cicely says


    Oh and by the way, guess who has keys to a nice apartment?! Hehe.

    *champagne cork popping*


    Younger Daughter just registered and paid for her first semester at Cal State.

    Congrats to Younger Daughter!

    Hi, thunk!
    Are you still in OK?


    Most people pack a complete box full with books so nobody can lift it.

    Reminds me of when I first left home for college; I’d packed all my books (which was the greater part of my Worldly Possessions) into a box that was about 3′ long by 1 1/2′ wide by about 1′ deep. I had no experience of packing, y’see, and had never had occasion to move more than an arm-load of books at a time.
    My father and my brother got to lug that sucker up 2 flights of stairs….
    Those are nice, cheerful-looking hats!


    Also, does anyone (else) ever have occasionally recurring dreams where they know they’re repeating dreams while dreaming, and they can change the endings around, and alter the environment in order to happify the ending somewhat?
    I find it a very weird experience.

    Well…I can try to happify the endings. It doesn’t usually work.
    And nothing can be done about the damned Giant Flaming Superspeed Tornado Swarms.

  381. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ugh, the round-robin argument with the Redhead.
    RH “You should know every mm of every adjustment needed to make me comfortable”
    NoR “Four out of five times you are OK. The fifth time you have to be specific as to what is wrong, and how to fix it”.
    RH *some presuppositional statement that I should be infallible in positioning her*
    NoR *it’s all adjustments, and you need to tell me how to adjust you based on your feelings, not my eyeballs*
    Circular ad nauseum. Sigh, problems like this is why I am chronically fatigued.

  382. Morgan!? ♥ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ says

    I’m baaaaaaack! The power came back on after about two hours. No problem. Although we don’t have a generator, we have enough lanterns, candles, batteries, and battery operated things to survive for quite some time. The power up here has always been unreliable. For winter we have a big fireplace and lots of stored firewood. I can even cook in this fireplace with a cast iron dutch oven.
    It has been raining on and off all day and may continue until Monday. The wetter the better. No lightening strikes so far. The rain is helping extinguish the fires, but it isn’t heavy enough to thoroughly put them out. The foliage and earth are so, so very dry. The amazing thing is that when disaster strikes, the people on the mountain really pull together, regardless of differences. It is astonishing. Even the assholes help out other folks. Maybe there is hope for the species.

  383. Okidemia says

    Holà todos!
    It’s amazing how being without any connection is altering lotsuv things. It’s been barely four weeks and it feels like eternity. I almost forgot my account pissweird, and now, now what I was willing to write anyway?
    Painlessly aimless.
    Drifty scores.
    Arco iris overdrown in flexible waters.
    Oh yees, next time I announce a prefered option for the great jump, shut me up or sign me dung for this scaterpillar almost skilled me. Geese! Grease us!

  384. says

    I’m somewhat envious of people who can remember their dreams (or nightmares). Aside from a few times throughout my life, I’ve never been able to.
    I do vaguely recall having a dream years ago. It involved me, a crashed airplane, a jungle and Michael Myers (from the Halloween movies).

  385. Okidemia says

    Well, now time passed and now it seems
    Everybody’s having them dreams
    Some time ago a crazy dream came to me
    I dreamt I was walkin’ into World War Three
    I went to the doctor the very next day
    To see what kinda words he could say
    He said it was a bad dream
    I wouldn’t worry ’bout it none, though
    They were my own dreams and they’re only in my head

    Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then
    Sayin’, “Hey I’ve been havin’ the same old dreams
    But mine was a little different you see
    I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me
    I didn’t see you around”

    Everybody sees themselves
    Walkin’ around with no one else
    Half of the people can be part right all of the time
    Some of the people can be all right part of the time
    But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time
    I think Abraham Lincoln said that
    “I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours”
    I said that

  386. Okidemia says

    Tony! @486
    Happenstancially, I’ve been travelling planes yesterday (or today, I don’t remember), and I haven’t slept long in the last 36 hours but during a short five minutes break of sleep, I have been dreaming about airplane crash in the jungle (while actually flying Belèm to Cayenne, that is, just above the jungle).
    Comment #487 was meant to be general, but is surprisingly strikingly amazingly specific too… :)

  387. thunk: Bulba 9000! says

    Oh hai!
    Walked on the beach today. Tried some new food (and a novel popcorn-making method). Had a civil discussion with my father, without it turning into a shouting match. So, things are doing pretty well, I suppose.

    Cicely, 483:
    No, I’m in my usual, more Northern, stomping grounds. It’s not as hot, for one (but still pretty hot).

    Lynna, 477:

    In other news, Russian soccer fans are racist: Link.

    I am very unsurprised.

  388. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Things are progressing here at Casa la Pelirroja. The T-storms have passed over, and moved off the Doppler radar into central Indiana/Ohio.
    The Redhead is eating the last of the brautwurst, with beer boiled onions, german potato salad, Boston style baked beans, and cole slaw.
    The temperature outside was supposed to hit 90 F, but the wind changed and came off the lake, so we only hit 80 F. Makes it easier to sleep for both of us.
    I’m already dressed ready for bed, and waiting for the final change before snore land.

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

    I’m not going to take all my books, just my favourites.


    I have most of the Pratchett books. They are all my favourites. Enough said.

  390. carlie says

    Last chapter: Kid has been safely delivered to Aunt. Trip went fine, although we started 2 hours later than we wanted to and I hadn’t anticipated how much tolls would cost (about $50 more than I thought). Aunt is fantastic, her partner is also great, and their place is both bigger and much nicer than ours, so I felt confident he was going to a better place than we could do for him even if we were able to. Even better, it is a multi-level townhouse and he’s staying in the lowest level, so there will be two whole floors between him and everyone else at night so his coughing won’t disturb anybody’s sleep. We went over everything he needed to do with Aunt, and she seems to be a great combination of caring and no-nonsense (I am bad at the no nonsense part),. And they’re going to contact all the other relatives down there to set a network up. It killed me watching him say goodbye to his sister and stepfather, but I think this really is his best opportunity to succeed.

    And now you don’t have to read about me freaking out any more. :) All that’s left is cleaning the house and getting caught up on all the work I slacked off on the last couple of weeks, and making sure Child 1 and Child 2 understand how much I appreciate everything they’ve done. I’m especially impressed with Child 2 and how he was able to keep calm the whole time his routines were disrupted and everything.

  391. rq says

    I just invented the stupidest pun and I can’t stop giggling to myself about it. Like, can’t stop. It’s not a happy feeling anymore.
    Thank goodness I’m not in public.

  392. rq says

    It’s in Latvian, but it might work.
    “What is the most delicious month of the year?”
    “YUM-vāris!” (From janvāris, for January.)

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

    hehe, never underestimate the power of a bad pun.