Recent ‘Toon Gnuz from Paul Jamiol

Our good friend and honorary Critter Paul Jamiol has been busy lately: illustrating a children’s book; working on a new collection of his excellent editorial cartoons to come out in early 2020; plus, most days, putting out new, grimly accurate observations on these terrible times.  (All images are copyrighted by Paul Jamiol.)

jamiol banger the sausage dog book cover

pauls new book

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jamiol 052819

jamiol 061919

jamiol 062619

jamiol 062819

jamiol 07012019

jamiol 07042019

jamiol vileness

jamiol 07062019

jamoil detention

jamiol racist rant

That’s just a sampling.  For more, and to see how talented Paul’s wife, Lin, is with her green thumb [and who knew that Paul is an amazing photographer!], visit Jamiol’s World.

Paul has been chronicling political/current events since September 2000.  His encouragement and kindness to us Critters when we left ThinkProgress to start TheZoo, as well as our longstanding friendship, will always be appreciated – hell, I still LOVE our personalized header ‘toon.  I know that we here at TheZoo became pretty burnt out trying to do our part – it’s so damned hard to keep covering this shitshow, when day after day, even hour after hour, horrors upon horrors unfold.  Thank you, Paul, for your dedication to illustrating  what could well become America’s downfall.  It’s a grim task, and I don’t envy you.  Please carry on for as long as you can stand it, and we’ll try to keep up.

 

Open Thread – Come and get it!

Daily Dilly Dilly Gnuz

For Thurzday, the Seventeenenth of May

And here’s what’z Gnuz

Tensions erupt among Trump trade officials ahead of China talks
H/T Politico
What I wouldn’t give to have the knife sharpening concession at the White House.
They stab each other with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast.

And,
Black Father stopped by officer after complaint of a ‘suspicious man with a baby’ in the park
H/T Raw Story
Yet another episode of TrumpEnabled Institutional Racism at work. Imagine the nerve of taking the baby for a stroller ride whilst black!

Finally,
Trump’s new Stormy Daniels money disclosure may have gotten him in even more legal trouble
H/T Vox
Is there anything he can do without getting the icky all over his shoes?

Open Thread, Spill your guts with it!

RUCerious @TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Evangelical Christians’ reactions/non-reactions to Charlottesville, via The Christian Post:

First, there are actually a couple of articles where pastors, etal, are finally allowing their collective conscience to break through. Here’s one, and here’s another

Of course, those voices are few, and they’ve got competition, i.e.:

Here’s an opinion piece from “guest contributor” Brad Huddleston, the title of which I thought promising, until I actually read it: “Charlottesville: Jesus Commands Us to ‘Tell The Truth’, So Why Aren’t We?” A few excerpts:

“I was in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the riots and what I observed and what I saw in the media’s coverage are, for the most part, two very different narratives.

Although the atmosphere was volatile everywhere I walked, I have to believe that it was Sovereignty that kept me away from the physical confrontations. I did, however, observe verbal ones. I saw various white supremacist groups filled with hate and evil intentions. They were armed with weapons and ready for a fight. I also watched members of Black Lives Matter as well as Communists/Marxists, carrying their hammer and sickle flags. They were also filled with hate and evil intentions.”

Sounds to me as though it wasn’t “Sovereignty” that kept him away from the physical confrontations, it was his own cowardice. So all he did was “observe” certain things, verbal interactions, certain flags, and interpret them in the light of his own prejudices [“during the RIOTS”.]  How dare he automatically credit BLM with “evil intentions”, when they were protesting against NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS! And if BLM were involved in extremely heated arguments defending their right to exist as equals in the face of horrifying insults, threats, violence, etc., who would blame them for hating everything that these armed, sometimes uniformed, Confederate-and-Nazi-flag-waving un-American RACISTS do, say, and stand for. The hammer-and-sickle flag-waving “Communists/Marxists”? The author ‘identifies’ them in a later section as the Antifa. I call bullshit. Apparently the author was so terrified he couldn’t even verify what these people were marching for/against.

“The media was slamming the various white supremacist groups (and they should). But I immediately noticed something very perplexing. Very little if any coverage was being given to the various Communist and Marxist groups and violent Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists. It was as if the white supremacists were the only ones who were filled with hate. I kept waiting and waiting for someone to show images of the reality that we, who were actually there, observed.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Let’s never forget that the Communists and Marxists have killed far more people than Hitler. Nevertheless, they are all equal in their evil, and all should be equally condemned. If they are participating in the same riot, they should share the same headline. Because white supremacists’ numbers are small, we should be far more concerned about their Marxist and their Socialist cousins. Our American universities have been cranking them out for years, and we’re now seeing the results.

Both extremes were represented in Charlottesville on that scary day. To give the extreme left a pass, and even affirm them, would make Hitler proud.”

I can’t even comment, I’m so gobsmacked by this. But I would like to ask Mr. Huddleston if any of the BLM or Antifa drove a car at speed into a crowd of human beings, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others; and how many BLM or Antifa were “ARMED WITH WEAPONS and ready to fight” as the Nazi/KKK and white supremacist pseudomilitary actually were?

And then we have conservative black pastors and others defending trump’s abhorrent remarks in “Black Christian Leaders Detest Claim That Trump Is the ‘Driver’ of Racial Division in America.” Here’s just one little slice of this twisted, surreal pie:

“Corrogan Vaughn, a political activist who ran against Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland in the 2016 election, argued that those in the media who blame Trump for the racial tension in the United States are trying to turn Trump into a “villain.”

“Don’t make our commander in chief a villain when in actuality it is more the villainess of the media in terms of making something where nothing is,” Vaughn stated.

Oh, joy, keep screaming that the “media” is to blame, and this imaginary ‘alt-left’, ffs – like who’re you gonna believe, trump and the evangelicals, or your lying eyes?

For more, here’s the Christian Post’s Political page. Have fun.

This is our Open Thread – enjoy!

The Watering Hole; Friday August 26 2016; Insanity’s Latest Alt-Right Manifestations

 I could not have defined the change —
Conversion of the Mind
Like Sanctifying in the Soul —
Is witnessed — not explained –
(Emily Dickinson)

******

Right wing Insanity — aka ‘Alt-Right’ — seems to have resulted in a Conversion of the Mind of some, a conversion that many of us, myself included, have  witnessed — not explained. I have, thankfully, no idea what it’s like to be nuts in the way the right winger whitey-boy so-called “nationalist” and his minions are nuts, and for that I thank all the gods that can ever be devised, created, or even imagined.

I could probably rant for hours on the stupidity/insanity of the nonsensical argument that white folks are superior to each and every person with brown skin — or even cockroaches, for that matter — but in the interest of genuine truth and accuracy, I’ll take a rain check and instead, simply toss out some snippets from a couple of linked articles which clearly serve to dismiss that particular argument with more (unintended) fervor than I could ever muster (this late in the week, at least).

Best advice: prepare yourself; cover your keyboard (saran recommended), and next, here goes, as they say, nothin’:

Alt-Right Founder Demands Clinton Apologize To ‘European-Americans Everywhere’

Richard Spencer, the white nationalist activist who coined the term “alt-right” to describe the emerging racist movement of which he is a leader, lashed out at Hillary Clinton today for her plans to criticize Donald Trump for his ties to the alt-right movement. . . .

From Spencer’s (National Policy Insititute) press release:

[. . .]

Hillary and her allies in “conservative” media will stop at nothing to portray peaceful European-American advocacy as a dark specter haunting America. In reality, she and her allies, especially so-called “conservatives,” are only giving comfort to the most radical and violent elements in our society.

We disavow any attempts by Clinton or any of her surrogates on the left, right, or center to tag the National Policy Institute or the work we do as violent extremism. We call on her and her allies to issue an apology to European-Americans everywhere and confront her own troubling links to extremism and the civil unrest she has stoked for months.

That one was pretty bad, but then there’s this:

While Trump Champions The Alt-Right In America, Putin Spreads Its Ideology Through Europe

For years, the GOP has been moving away from its identity as a traditional center-right party and morphing into something that more resembles the populist fringe parties of Europe.

Donald Trump’s candidacy has all but completed this transformation.

[. . .]

The alt-right thinks the mainstream conservative movement has been compromised by feminism, racial tolerance and “globalism,” and that only a reactionary, populist movement that speaks to the plight of white men can save America from political correctness and multiculturalism. The alt-right is drenched in racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and misogyny.

[. . .]

Russia under Putin’s leadership has been promoting ultraconservative political groups in Europe with the goal of weakening the EU and the liberalism, democracy and cultural pluralism that comes with it. . . . “As European far-right leaders openly voice their support for Moscow, it would be wise to remember that Putin’s Russia is not just another ‘meddling power’ lobbying for its interests,” writes Alina Polyakova. “It is a government hostile to the West and the value system—democracy, freedom of expression, political accountability—that it represents.”

[…]

The Russian government has also sponsored a global right-wing effort to portray the U.S. and Europe as victims of cultural rot due to homosexuality, abortion rights and secular government, and Russia as the protector and preserver of traditional Christian values. . . . Trump, who aspires to be the Russian president’s “new best friend,” has praised Putin as “a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” and has seemed to side with Putin’s position on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and shared in fueling doubts about the future of the EU and NATO. Trump’s campaign is stacked with officials with Russian ties and, at least according to his eldest son, his businesses have seen “a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Sounds like maybe if we the people elect a President Trump, we might also wind up looking forward to what, the possibility of a future union between Amurkkka and Russia? “One Nation, Under __?__” . . . and “Dedicated to the proposition that all men are [NOT] created equal [and neither are their wimmin] . . .” etc.?

YeeHaw!

VOTE TRUMP! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! LET’S HAVE A FUTURE UNION BETWEEN AMURKKKA and RUSSIA!

F*U*B*A*R!

Oh. Ummm . . . wait.

Rats. There it is again. That old and all too familiar Danger to be Sane affliction. Sigh. Nemesis. How can we rid ourselves of it?

Insanity: Madness; state of being unsound in mind.

******

‘Twas a Divine Insanity —
The Danger to be Sane
Should I again experience —
‘Tis Antidote to turn —
To Tomes of solid Witchcraft –
(Emily Dickinson)

VOTE TRUMP!
Or maybe turn / To Tomes of solid Witchcraft?

******

OK. I give up. Gonna move on, think of something pleasant, something civil.

2014 June 29 Bullsnake 124

Yeah. OK. Like that.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Friday July 22 2016; Proposal For An Amendment To The Constitution

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . .

Earlier this week, Congressman Steve King (Repugnant, IA) opened his pie hole on MSNBC, and this putridity fell out in response to Esquire writer Charles P. Pierce, who criticized the role of “old white people” in the Republican party:

“This whole ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie. I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?” King asked.

“Than white people?” MSNBC host Chris Hayes prompted.

“Than Western civilization itself that’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world,” King responded. “That’s all of Western civilization.”

OK, so there it is: the ‘root’ of Western civilization  is every place where the footprint of Christianity kicked ass and became the dominant culture. The entire rest of the world essentially defines inferiority.

Later on ABC, King reiterated his asininity by saying this:

“What I really said was ‘Western civilization’ and when you describe Western civilization that can mean much of Western civilization happens to be Caucasians. But we should not apologize for our culture or our civilization,” King said, according to the network. “The contributions that were made by Western civilization itself, and by Americans, by Americans of all races stand far above the rest of the world. The Western civilization and the American civilization are a superior culture.”

King said he was open to criticism because it leads to “dialogue.”

“But what we have is people who are trying to parse something, to hyperventilate about that,” King told ABC. “I’m OK if they do that because it starts the dialogue so we can open up more minds so people can think about what’s right for America.”

In brief, it’s Caucasians who did it. who brought forth the culture of Western civilization, apparently aided by Americans of all races (including, I suppose, those that were brought here as slaves, plus alladem uncivilized aboriginal injuns, the Chinks that built railroads for white Christian businessmen, also them Japs, Spics, Kikes, Wops, Chewies) . . . how sad that in spite of our Western Civ’s whiteness and accomplishments, what we have is people who are trying to parse something, to hyperventilate about that.

Hyperventilate: to breathe very quickly and deeply

Parse: to analyze (something, as a speech or behavior) to
discover its implications or uncover a deeper meaning

OK, we can start there. I will hyperventilate, then parse.

(Puff puff pant pant) Let me begin by simply saying that the one human condition that I absolutely and fundamentally ABHOR is the tendency for one segment of the overall species to consider itself superior to all other “different” segments of the same species. In that scenario, “different” is foolishly defined — it can be “race,”  the scientifically invalid taxonomic phenotype based mainly on skin color; it can be religion-based; nationality; language — take your pick, devise a new one, no science required, only irrational fear-based hate.

Steve King’s nonsense is nothing more than directed hatred, fueled by ignorance and fear. He and his hate-filled ilk remind me, for some really “odd” reason, of TS Eliot’s definition of “Hollow Men,” esp. the lines that read,

Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Must have been the Hyperventilation.

Time now to parse. Steve King has revealed himself to be (in case anyone ever had any doubt) the quintessential Supremacist of the White-(faux)-Christian variety. He effectively, in the process, has diminished or dismissed everyone on the planet who is not white, not a (faux) Christian, as being of that inferior ilk that has never and can never accomplish anything useful. The big question that has haunted me since I first read King’s nonsensical diatribe is a simple one: How dumb and/or mis/uninformed must one be to imply that only “white Christians” are responsible for accomplishment (whatever that is) and for civilization?

I’ll not try to analyze King, or any of his ilk — never liked hyperventilating all that much. Suffice to say that he and his bubbas are perfectly willing and able to deny the accomplishments of all but white (faux) Christians. That list would include (but not be limited to) black people (of course), Asians (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, Thais, Indonesians, Philippinos, people from India, Nepal, Mongolia — the Himalayas), also Aboriginal Peoples (Eskimos, N. and S. American “Indians”), and of course, Polynesians; add to all of them anyone who’s not Christian, i.e. all Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, atheists (the latter including, of course, moi along with plenty of other old — and young — white guys), and then work to dodge the hate and fear directed toward each and all.

In a word, King’s thesis is DISGUSTING!

I’d like to prove him wrong, of course. I also realize that trying to convince any loudmouthed and stupid (faux) Christian-white-guy is not something one might hope to accomplish in a lifetime. Therefore, I came up with an idea – – an amendment to the US Constitution, one that will serve to either prove or DISprove King’s thesis. And it’s so simple, so logical, and will probably serve to endear “us” to broad-minded people the world over, regardless of race, belief . . . well, you know.

I’ve not fine-tuned the wording yet, but here’s my rough draft for:

Article XXVIII.

Section 1.

All persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof — with the exception of all white males of any religious persuasion — shall be, for a period of 100 years following the date of ratification of this amendment, eligible to become President of the United States. The Presidency will be thus limited to people of any race – any color – other than white male; any religion (including atheism); and with no restrictions on gender expressed or implied other than the one noted above, so women of any and all groups are eligible.

Section 2.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who does not believe in the absolute equality of every person on the planet regardless of race, skin color, or religious belief (including atheism).

There. It’s a little lengthy, I know, but the wording remains wide open to suggestion from any legitimate quarter — so long as it puts Steve King and ALL like him in their subservient place. But only for a hundred years, not permanently.

I expect that millions of data gatherers will gather data on a daily basis, and that after one hundred years, I’m betting the data will show that in “the greatest country the world has ever known,” one hundred straight years of multi-racial leadership will simply show that white supremacists bring nothing special to the table, and that Steve King and ALL bigots like him are the creatively inferior and insurrectionist IDIOTS they have, over the centuries, demonstrated themselves to be!

******

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side
of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a
radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the
shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’
society. When machines and computers, profit motives and
property rights are considered more important than people,
the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are
incapable of being conquered.”
(Martin Luther King, Jr.; April 4, 1967)

******

OPEN THREAD

 

The Watering Hole, Monday, July 11th, 2016: “Christians” vs “Critters”

If you’d like more proof that at least some “Christian Evangelical” megachurch “leaders”, along with the “Prosperity” Jeebus hucksters and their varied brethren, should be under the microscope of the IRS, there’s a few articles on the Christian Post’s “Politics” page. (Also see RawStory’s recent thread about “Pastor” Jeffress.)

Or, if you prefer to start your day/week with some ‘critters’, here’s the official “Watering Hole”:
watering hole
bear cubs boxing cutefunnyanimalz blogspot com
belly up pups
black kitten
leaping lemurs
sea_lion a to z animals
upclose kitty amolife com
fucking love this stick animal animal animal blgspt

This is our daily Open Thread–say whatever you want.

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 23rd, 2015: NatGeo, Take Me Away!

I can’t deal with “Ugly Americans” [of course, “Ugly Americans” = “Republican Presidential Candidates and their Fans/Supporters”] anymore; we keep thinking, “How can these guys sink so low?”, then, the next hour or day or week, one or two or several of them come out with such outrageous shit that we really need a new word to define what circle of hell lies beyond “outrageous” or “horrific” or “despicable” or “abhorrent” or “inhuman” – sorry, I need more words!

And I’ve had it up to HERE with the holidays being turned into meaningless “shop-’til-you-drop” commercialism [how about if “Black Friday” could be turned into “Black Lives Matter Friday” – hell, make every day of the entire Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday shopping season a day of protests]. So I’m going with some beautiful photos from National Geographic to start the week.

Here’s some pretty birds, from “A Flight of Birds”, a section of NatGeo’s Photo Ark, including a photo capturing the iridescent plumage of the Purple Glossy Starling, such as seen below,
purple_glossy_starling
and a more close-up shot of the Javan Rhinoceros Hornbill, like the one seen below:
javan rhinoceros Hornbill

And if you prefer a larger gallery for leisurely viewing, here’s more from NatGeo’s 2015 Photo Contest. The “Week 10” group includes a brooding sunset photo of Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland – here’s a chilly winter shot of the falls, just to start the calming process:
waterfall-godafoss-iceland

This is our daily Open Thread – enjoy the views or rant away – or you can do both!

The Watering Hole, Monday, August 17th, 2015: Grab Bag

Just a few odds and ends to get your Monday started.

(R) Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson has already proven that he “don’t know much about biology” when it comes to homosexuality, women’s reproductive and overall health, and where the fetal brain tissue came from on which he used to experiment. He’s also shown that he “don’t know much about” #BlackLivesMatter, or about prisons. Now Carson shows that he “don’t know much about history” when it comes to foreign policy, the Middle East, or the meaning of “anti-semitism.” In particular, he shows in an op-ed piece in The Jerusalem Post that he “don’t know much about” the Iran Nuclear Deal either.

A few items from Daily Kos: one oldie that makes a nice palate-cleanser; and a recent one that ends with an eloquent message [some of the comments afterwards are excellent as well.]

And for the funny, ICYMI (as I did), John Oliver and friends teach Sex Education.

This is our daily Open Thread–pick a topic, any topic.

The Watering Hole, Monday, July 27th, 2015: The (R) Debates

A little over a week from now, the first of the planned nine 2016 Republican Presidential debates, this one being held in Cleveland, Ohio, will kick off the start of the season. Fox will be airing the August 6th debate, which will be limited to the the top ten candidates, their inclusion being based on an average of several national polls.

Wait a second, that’s not exactly true. Fox will also air, prior to the ‘main event’, an hour-long debate amongst the second-tier candidates, according to AP via YahooNews. As of yesterday, those ‘also running’ will be: Carly “I tanked Hewlitt-Packard” Fiorina, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, Elmer “George” Pataki, Rick “Frothy” Santorum, Lindsey “The Vapors” Graham, and possibly John “Republicans don’t like to wait in line” Kasich, Chris “Sit down and shut up!” Christie, and Rick “Oops!” Perry.

A few excerpts from the article:

Frank Luntz:

“If you’re not on the stage [in the first-tier debate] you’re irrelevant, you don’t matter. Unless you have some serious ad dollars, it’s not a glass ceiling. It’s a concrete ceiling.”

Well, we all know that if there’s an election coming, Frank Luntz is always going to be involved.

Rick Perry:

“Perry unloaded on Wednesday when he called Trump’s campaign a “barking carnival act” and “toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense.”

OMG, I think that’s the one time we can all agree with Rick Perry on something!

Jindal campaign:

“Curt Anderson, a strategist advising Jindal’s campaign, wrote in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal that the Republican Party was sabotaging itself by controlling the debates too much, after concluding that marginal candidates dragged 2012 nominee Mitt Romney too far to the right.”

Now hold on there, Anderson, Romney wasn’t pulled ‘too far to the right’, he tanked his chances all by himself with his own words.

I think that both debates should be highly entertaining. However, one thing I’m wondering: with all of the recent racial issues that have occurred in Cleveland, in particular the “Black Lives Matter” conference and protest, during which a white cop decided to pepper-spray protesters, will ANY of the candidates be asked about race relations and/or police violence? I don’t know who the moderator will be in either debate, but if they’re airing on Fox…well, we’ll just have to see.

All I can say is, after the 25+ debates during the 2012 election season, I am SO glad that there’s only supposed to be nine this time!

This is our daily Open Thread–go ahead, discuss things!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 9th, 2015: Overload

I have next to nothing today, simply because there’s way too much crazy shit out there and I’m just overloaded.

Looking at:  the several Republican 2016 Presidential hopefuls who have come out of their nutshells just this past week alone; the freaking HUGE sums of money being thrown at them and other possible candidates by the Kochs, Sheldon Adelson, and “interest groups” (aka front men for the Kochs, Adelson, and powerful ne’er-do-well corporations); the newest batshit crazy delusions that they’re all spouting; not to mention the frightening impact that climate change is already having and knowing that there’s worse to come; on top of way too fucking many murderous “law enforcement officers” and dead young black men…well, I could go on and on, but the point is that my brain just can’t take in much more.

Last night, while watching the Star Trek Next Gen episode “Tin Man”, I felt a kinship with the character Tam Elbrun, a Betazoid whose unnaturally strong telepathic ability has caused lifelong psychological problems because he hears everybody’s thoughts, all of the time, and cannot shut them out. Tam is brought on board the Enterprise for an unusual first-contact mission, an attempt to communicate with with an alien “ship”, nicknamed “Tin Man”, which turns out to be the last surviving member of a sentient species of space travelers. Tin Man is saved from suicide by its contact with Tam, and Tam decides to remain inside Tin Man. Traveling through space with Tin Man enables Tam to eliminate all the thoughts hurled at his mind by humans and humanoids.

Most of the times that I’ve watched this episode in the past, I couldn’t really empathize with Tam Elbrun.  These days, I envy him.

This is our daily Open Thread – talk about whatever you want.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Does it really Matter?

Ok, so for the next few months, if you’re in a “swing” State, you’ll be inundated with SuperPAC commercials designed to get you to vote against your own best interests. We will also be systematically bombarded with messages from the Mainstream Media designed to influence our thinking.

IT’S ALL A SHOW. IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

If the Powers That Be really want Obama out, all they have to do is raise gas prices to about $5.00/gallon. Instead, gas prices are going down, heading into the summer vacation season. That’s not to say they won’t go up between now and the election – but they are an accurate predictor of where our economy will head. So, pay attention to the pump, not the talking heads.

Ok, that’s my $0.0199 cents. And you?

OPEN THREAD
JUST REMEMBER
EVERYTHING I SAID
DOESN’T REALLY MATTER

 

The Watering Hole: February 25 – Excommunication

On this date in 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated
Queen Elizabeth I from the Roman Catholic Church.

Isn’t Rick Santorum ripe for a similar fate? He has ignored the following principles ordained by The Pope and/or US Catholic bishops.

1. Against the Iraqi invasion.

2. Universal health care for everyone.

3. End the death penalty for criminals in almost all situations.

4. That the federal minimum wage be increased, for the working poor.

5. Welfare for all needy families.

6. The basic rights of workers to bargain and to work in a safe work place.

7. Israel withdrawal from Palestinian
territories occupied in 1967.

8. Against denying services to children of illegal immigrants born or brought up in the US.

9. Against treating illegal immigrants as criminals.

10. Against the idea of a preventive war.

11. Women’s rights.

Elizabeth was a saint compared to Ricky.

This is our Open Thread. What do you think?

The Watering Hole: July 16 – Jail

I admit now that I have a criminal record of sorts. I was on my way to Texas A&M from NJ when one of the local gendarmes in a small southern town noted my NJ plates and decided to stop me. He ignored my explanations and decided to jail me for the night until the police offices opened. It seems that he believed that I was one of those northern agitators planning to stir up the blacks in the area.

Back to my account. It was just as well that I was jailed as I was looking for a place to spend the night and I saved at least $10 for lodging and $1 for breakfast. I was given my own cell as I was the only white there at the time. I saw how others lived, three to a cell with a single cot and a place to swat on a concrete divider or pee into a slow moving “stream” intended to carry ones wastes away. I had similar facilities, but was in the first single cell on the line. The next cell up seemed to be intended for a regular or a local and had an actual commode, a comfortable cot and some books and magazines on an end table.

The people in the other cells were harassed all the time and were called degrading names. When breakfast was served in the morning, I got eggs, bacon and grits (a foul southern concoction). The other prisoners got only grits.

After breakfast, I was escorted to the Chief (this guy could have been type cast as a law enforcement officer in the ‘Dukes of Hazard’). He questioned me about why I was in town and once he learned that I was a Texas boy, only transferred to NJ because that was where my Dad found a job worthy of a PhD. I was out of there as soon as he checked with Texas A&M for my student status. I was allowed to use the police showers while he performed that check.

The lesson I learned that day, er night, was that criminals are not born, they are annealed by the system. That lesson was worth more than the $11.

This is our Open Thread. Please rant on any topic that irks you.

“I Have A Dream”

This speech was delivered 47 years ago today.

“I Have a Dream”

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Delivered August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

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Arizona artists told to repaint mural to be less ethnic

Raw Story:

The leader of a group of artists says he was ordered to lighten the skin tones of children depicted in an outdoor mural covering two walls of a Prescott, Arizona elementary school because of complaints that the faces appeared too ethnic.

Read on…

Honestly.. I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone..

UPDATE: The elementary school in Arizona has backed down. They will NOT be lightening those skin tones after all..

Good news. The gutless, carbound racists lost, and the mural is being restored to its “original theme.” Jeff Lane, the principal of Miller Valley Elementary School, and Kevin Kapp, the school superintendent, showed up at a protest today to apologize for giving in to whims of mentally deranged adults, spewing racial epithets at a painting.

Reasonable Suspicion v. Probable Cause

REASONABLE SUSPICION

Reasonable suspicion is a term used to describe if a person has been or will be involved in a crime based on specific facts and circumstances. It may be used to justify an investigatory stop. Reasonable suspicion is more than a hunch that a crime has committed but does not require as much evidence as probable cause.

To evaluate reasonable suspicion, the court must decide if a reasonable person or reasonable officer would also infer that a person is involved in a crime were the circumstances the same.

The Supreme Court ruled in Terry V. Ohio that an individual may be stopped and frisked by law enforcement agents based on reasonable suspicion. The court found that this type of detainment (referred to as a Terry Stop) does not violate the Fourth Amendment, which restricts unreasonable search and seizure.

A person may not be arrested based on reasonable suspicion – an arrest is made based on probable cause. However, if probable cause develops during an investigatory stop, the officer may arrest the suspect.

When would an investigatory stop for reasonable suspicion be appropriate?
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The Watering Hole: August 5 – The Pilgrims

On this date in 1620, the Mayflower and a companion ship, the Speedwell left Southhampton for a location north of Virginia Colony (actually in what we now call New York City).

The Speedwell began to take on water early on in the voyage and the two vessels returned to Dartmouth where it was refitted. After a new attempt,  on which the Speedwell leaked again, the ships returned to Plymouth and harbored there until the Mayflower departed for the New World on September 6th, alone.  After a voyage of 66 days, the ship arrived in Cape Cod Bay (Navigation was not a forte of English sea captains.).

The voyagers spent the initial part of their time in the area looting native winter stores, desecrating native burial sites and introducing fatal diseases. To put it mildly, the natives were not happy with these settlers who had established the foundation of the Republican Party in the New World. Those settlers who survived the winter went ashore on March 21, 1621, moving into huts constructed by craftsmen on the ship in a town we now call Plymouth, Massachusetts. Of the passengers and crew, only half had survived the first winter.

The list of Mayflower crew and passengers with known descendants in the United States is here. You can now start your genealogical quest.

A permanent minority?

There is an interesting dynamic that emerged in the 2008 election, one that has apparently passed well below the general radar.

In last year’s presidential election, younger blacks voted in greater proportions than whites for the first time and black women turned out at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic and gender group, a census analysis released Monday confirmed.

As a result, in the election that produced the nation’s first black president, the historic gap between black and white voter participation rates over all virtually evaporated.

Further:

Total turnout in 2008 was about the same as it was in 2004, about 64 percent of voting age citizens.

But with Barack Obama on the ballot, the makeup of the 131 million who voted last year was markedly different. While the number of non-Hispanic white voters remained roughly the same, 2 million more blacks, 2 million more Latinos and 600,000 more Asians turned out. Compared with 2004, the voting rate for black, Asian and Hispanic voters increased by about four percentage points. The rate for whites declined by one percentage point.

The big question, of course, is whether this was a one-time event, or a true shift in American voting behavior–and, as a consequence, a true shift in political alignment, and the permanent reduction of the Republican Party to a hard little (primarily Southern) nut with no national presence.

It’s impossible to know for sure, and the new administration’s record in the next year or two will definitely be a factor. But there are other factors at play. A friend of mine, who is well enough versed in the subject that a university pays him to teach the subject, and the BBC brings him on air to explain American politics to a British audience, recently posted a casual blog on the question. (At some point, he will probably publish a paper on the subject and I won’t be able to understand a word, or make any sense of the charts and data.)

Turnout is, in general, habitual, and it’s a habit that is either formed or not formed young — usually the first three election cycles one is eligible to participate in. The decision to or not to vote in the initial opportunity can be influenced by many conditions, such as the competitiveness and/or salience of the election, or the presence of a particularly attractive candidate.

I’m not going out on a limb when I speculate that the 2008 Presidential election in the U.S. featured the latter, especially in relation to certain racial categories. The question that many will ask is whether or not these new voters hold. This will make the 2010 Congressional elections informative for several reasons. My suspicion is, backed by what we know from past elections, that the surge in turnout the youth cohort demonstrated in 2008 will hold. It will fluctuate, of course, but it will hold in the main.

The problem that this presents for the Republicans is two-fold. First, voters tend to maintain the party loyalties that they establish in their first few elections. Again, this is on average, and there are anecdotal exceptions to the rule, but it is a general principle. Second, the surge in turnout in the young cohort was not limited to African-Americans, but also Latinos and Asians. If the Republicans continue pandering to their open-minded, inquisitive, generously tolerant Palinesque base, they’re only going to solidify these voters as Democrats.

There is certainly nothing visible in the behavior of Republican “leadership”, politicians or punditry to indicate that they’ve gotten the message. Rather than attempt to improve their image with non-White voters, they’ve seemingly increased their efforts to appease the hardest of the hardcore, constantly attacking a popular new President and couching much of their attacks in poorly-disguised xenophobia and racism. It’s a strategy that may have worked for the GOP in the past but is not only ill-suited but completely counter-productive in the coming decades, particularly if this shift in voting has solidified.

Friday Open Thread – Juneteenth

Today, June 19th, is celebrated as Juneteenth[1], commemorating the date in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas were told that they were free by Union forces.

Click on the image to to read about the meaning of this day – there is no place that better describes the meaning and history of a struggle that has yet to be finalized.

Thanks to Juneteenth.com for the detail behind the image.

[1] infoplease

The Non-Apology Apology From the NY Post

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The NY Post has issued a editorial statement about “That Cartoon”. Here is the text of the editorial by Col Allan, in full, so you don’t have to visit their site if you have ethical reasons for not wanting to. (I don’t blame you. I went there so you don’t have to.)
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Tuskegee Airmen to join inaugural celebration

The surviving Tuskegee Airmen, who fought the Germans in WWII in a segregated Army Air Corps have been invited to the inauguration tomorrow of America’s first African-American president. The LA Times article, frankly, choked me up.

Before he enlisted, Searcy had been unaccustomed to segregation, having grown up the grandson of a prosperous landowner in East Texas. He got his first taste after basic training at Ft. Hood, Texas, when he was selected to lead a group of airmen to Tuskegee, Ala.

As he stood in uniform on the dusty, wind-swept platform, porters told him that his men would be confined in their train car for days, barred from the Pullman car’s dining and sleeping quarters.

“I demanded that they give us equal passage to get there, off and on, to eat and sleep with the rest of them,” he said. “They was shocked and surprised.”

The porters, who were mostly black, eventually relented.

Looking back, Searcy says he had to speak up.

“I was put in charge of those men,” he said. “I felt I had to represent what the Constitution was for those men. That’s what leadership is.”

He went on to serve in Italy and was honorably discharged Oct. 27, 1945, with commendations for supporting combat missions over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Now Searcy no longer wants to forget the past. He said he owes it to comrades who have died — “Lonely Eagles,” the airmen call them — to stand beside the nation’s first black president, to embrace his past and claim his place in history.

“The next generation need to see something different, a change from what it was, what it used to be,” Searcy said. “And he represents that change.”

It’s a painful glimpse back in time, but well worth reading. Hopefully, it inspires people to read more about the Tuskegee Airmen and their piece of American history. And this is a wonderful gesture by the incoming president.

Blogging from the state of Wow

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As I was perusing my favorite blogs, this site was brought to my attention.  Wow is all I can muster.  I often forget that the internets, that vast series of tubes, is far more than just a place where you can catch up on the daily news, find a quilting pattern, or locate the perfect recipe for dinner (or a bomb, I suppose).  It is more than just liberal and conservative.  The internet provides a home for every flavor of nutcase alive.

Exhibit A:

When I see that our people are either too doltish to perceive their degradation or too craven to care, I am close to despair. Even a few decades ago, I should not have believed it possible that here in the United States Aryans would willingly see their children hauled to “schools” to be defiled by enforced association with savages and to be robbed, beaten, raped, and mutilated by the animals.

Exhibit B:

You see, I am now working towards a doctorate — a doctorate in Anthropology and advanced tribal behavior in today’s New America. I foresee this becoming the next big thing in intellectual circles, as we witness the eventual slide of the US into the sub-Saharan lifestyle planned out for us by Big Jewry.

Exhibit C:

You know, all of us Evil Whiteys who are out looking to ”oppress” and deny all those “deserving benefits” and the non-stop giveaways of our tax dollars to certain other races living in this country; even to their worthless overseas countries that they consider first before the good old US of A.

I especially love Exhibit C, because, apparently, the socially retarded ignoramus who writes this drivel, seems to selectively choose who he has issues with being recipients of those evil tax dollar giveaways.   Meet  the Campbells.

What Keith Olbermann doesn’t mention is that both Mr. and Mrs. Campbell are on the government dole.

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Palin Rally Attendee: Obama is a ni**er!

Palin stumbles for a brief moment but keeps on going after someone attending her rally yells “He’s a ni**er” as Palin discusses Obama.

Well, the First Dude did hold up a sign the other day comparing Obama to Charles Manson. I wonder who is next; Jeffrey Dahmer? Pot Pol? Stay classy, Republicans.