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bito On January - 17 - 2013

The place to post your comments without interrupting the single topic posts. However, be mindful of the strict rules!!

If you find the rules here are too confining, try the Morning Blog.

YOU MAY ONLY POST COMMENTS HERE IF:

THEY ARE OFF TOPIC, TO POST LINKS TO ARTICLES, TO COMMENT, TO SAY HELLO, TO HAVE A DIALOG, TO POST A VIDEO, TO PLAY, TO ASK QUESTIONS, TO HAVE OPINIONS, TO DISCUSS, TO POST KITTIES/PUPPIES/CARTOONS, TO TELL JOKES AND STORIES,

AND A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF I CAN’T THINK OF RIGHT NOW.

BUT ABSOLUTELY, NO SPITTING, EYE GOUGING OR HITTING ABOVE OR BELOW THE BELT!!

You know the rules, now follow them! Please?

Every so often I intrude TO/OT with a personal pick of a site that I find important that I feel needs to be shared and not lost in the shuffle of the constant flow of thoughts on The Planet.

And yet with globalization, we seem to have developed a strange apprehension about the efficacy of our ability to apply the innovation and hard work necessary to successfully compete in a complex security and economic environment. Further, we have misunderstood interdependence as a weakness rather than recognizing it as a strength. The key to sustaining our competitive edge, at home or on the world stage, is credibility — and credibility is a difficult capital to foster. It cannot be won through intimidation and threat, it cannot be sustained through protectionism or exclusion. Credibility requires engagement, strength, and reliability — imaginatively applied through the national tools of development, diplomacy, and defense.

The Y Article

A National Security Narrative

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

H/T AB

Written by bito

Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.----- Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. peace

12,947 Responses so far.

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  1. AdLib says:

    At HP, testicles are the new nip slip. Here’s today’s edition of HP’s Pulitzer Contender headlines:

    WARNING SKINNY DIPPERS: Testicle-Eating Fish Found

    Best. Reaction. Ever.

    He Has No Idea What He’s Saying

    8 Amazing Things To Know About Breasts

    • Nirek says:

      Ad, I saw that headline and skipped right on by.

    • kesmarn says:

      Why do I feel as though I’m standing in a checkout line at the supermarket, it’s 1981, and there are a bunch of tabloids next to the gum and candy rack with headlines screaming about Pamela Anderson’s abduction by two-headed aliens?

      • AdLib says:

        Because HP is the home version of that now! So many allegories, so little time but if you prepared a plate of gourmet food but garnished it with garbage, is it still a great meal?

  2. kesmarn says:

    What does it take to become a magistrate in a TN court system? Half of a GED and a lot of chutzpa?

    Lu Ann Ballew decided that a mother should not be allowed to name her child “Messiah.” (Watch out, all you Hispanic guys named Jesus.) She said that it’s a title that only Jesus Christ can use. She changed the baby’s name to Martin. If I read the article correctly, the baby’s last name is already Martin, but… whatever.

    The point being — in TN, the gummint is supposed to stay out of yer personal business. Except when it comes to naming your children.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57598088/tenn-judge-changes-infants-name-from-messiah/

  3. SallyT says:

    Wow, this has been a great day on Turner Classic Movies! I just finished watching Grapes of Wrath and next is Fail Safe. It is Henry Fonda day on the channel. Before Grapes of Wrath was Advise and Consent. True movie on politics. It was from 1962 but still relating to current Congress shenanigans. (It is about the President trying to get his Secretary of State approved by Congress. Fonda is the hopeful Secretary of State. Great movie to watch if you haven’t already.) Fail Safe is the one about Fonda as President and there is an accidental nuclear attack on Moscow. A real thriller. Of course you all know Grapes of Wrath, AND, after Fail Safe is one of my favorite Henry Fonda movies, Mister Roberts. I am a little disappointed that his movies all day has not included my favorite movie of all movies, “Drums Along The Mohawk”. Fonda and Claudette Colbert star. Oh well, I guess I can’t have everything! But, I can because a friend gave me the DVD of it for my birthday. They have restored it and the movie is so clear on the disc, its like seeing it for the first time. So, friends, I have had and having a great Sunday! Hope you all are too!

    • Sally, because of the movie Fail Safe, Stanley Kubrick had to delay the release of Dr. Strangelove. The studio thought Dr. Strangelove would be a little too soon after Fail Safe. Great movie though.

      Fonda did a great little western comedy with Jimmy Stewart called The Cheyanne Social Club. One of my favorites.

    • AdLib says:

      Saw that lineup and watched some of Fail Safe too! Great classic films!

    • Assumed Name says:

      …sounds lovely, Sally. (Old/older classics are a delight…I’m into Hitchcock-- Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much, To Catch A Thief--and anything with Bogart.)

      • AdLib says:

        Assumed, last week TCM had a Bogart marathon. Watched Treasure of the Sierra Madre again (love that film!), Key Largo and To Have and Have Not.

        Also a big fan of that era of Hitchcock films, have shown them to my daughter and now she’s a big fan of his too.

        • Assumed Name says:

          Ooo…I’m sorry to have missed that! (Your daughter has sophisticated tastes…my son likes all manner of science and history shows, but for entertainment he’s stickin’ to Sponge Bob despite Mom’s best efforts to influence him otherwise. *smiles*)

  4. kesmarn says:

    ***Twilight Zone Music*** Is anyone surprised that Dubya was in the chat room with God?

    “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I am driven with a mission from God’. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.”

    Mr Bush went on: “And now, again, I feel God’s words coming to me, ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East’. And, by God, I’m gonna do it.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

    • And who says god doesn’t have a sense of humor!

    • AdLib says:

      Huh? This reads like an Onion parody.

      Did God tell him to murder a quarter of a million innocent Iraqis? Did God demand he destroy America’s economy and give tax breaks mostly to the wealthy?

      And how exactly is a globally despised and untrusted failure of a man and President…going to “give” the Palestinians their own state? By building a Bush Library there?

      Maybe the anesthesia from his heart operation hasn’t yet worn off?

      • kesmarn says:

        AdLib, when I looked at the dateline on the actual article, it was during his administration, so he doesn’t have the anesthesia excuse.

        But regardless of when he said it (I think it was 2005), the fact that he said it at all is pretty creepy, isn’t it? Was it Oliver Stone who saw him as a genuine religious fanatic? At the time I wondered about that because he seemed so calculating. I thought for sure he was just pretending to be religious to get votes and was really much more cynical, like Rove.

        But no — he really did have imaginary conversations with God, it appears….

        • AdLib says:

          Kes, now that makes plenty of sense. While he was President, he had those grandiose delusions about himself and his Presidency. After the proof of his ignorance and incompetence at the end of his Presidency, I would be surprised indeed at his expressing anything approaching such hubris and delusion.

    • Assumed Name says:

      …delusion is as blissful as ignorance. *smiles*

  5. Nirek says:

    Recently I discovered a channel on my cable that is awesome! It is called the “Malt Shop Oldies” . There is no chatter just music and a black screen. There is at the start of a song the name of the song, the artist, and the song writer. Then it goes to the black screen. I love the music from my past!

    • glenn says:

      Hey Nirek--Hope you’re having a good Sunday. I recently discovered a new musical duo. Didn’t know where to put this “find”, so I was glad to see you mentioning music on OT. Believe it or not the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Jay Bookman does a music “thread” every Saturday. This Saturday, I discovered this pair, called The Civil Wars doing a remake of “Billie Jean”. They’re fantastic, check them out. I hope KT sees them, too.

      Go to AJC.com, then scroll down to Jay Bookman’s column entitled “Same old song but with a different beat.” It’s almost at the bottom of the page, so keep scrolling.

      • kesmarn says:

        glenn, my daughter LOVES The Civil Wars. You are definitely up on what’s current!

        • AlphaBitch says:

          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, guys, but the Civil Wars are no more. They broke up a year or so ago. My sources tell me that a new CD is imminent, but not a reunion. Money can change things, so there is some hope. I loved them too. Try the Lumineers or Shovels and Rope.

          • kesmarn says:

            Frennie, I googled them after I posted the YouTube link and learned the same thing! Boo-hoooo! Say it ain’t so.

            Thankee, also for the recommendations though. When it comes to music, you know your stuff! Well…except for that “Snake Farm” thingy…….

          • glenn says:

            Oh, that’s terrible news, AB. Geez, just when I find something “new”, I find out it’s old. Oh well. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll check them out.

        • glenn says:

          Kes--I’m afraid you give me way too much credit. I just found out about them yesterday when reading Jay Bookman’s column in the AJC. I must say, though, that I immediately wanted to buy some of their music! Don’t know if you or your daughter heard their version of “Billie Jean”, but it was amazingly well done. That’s the only thing I’ve heard or seen of theirs, so I don’t know if that qualifies me as “current”. Thanks for letting me know someone else found them fabulous.

  6. Nirek says:

    I have only tried pot once in my life. It was in 1969 while I was in Vietnam. Some of the guys were smoking and offered me a hit. I never seemed to get high but something that night made me vomit. I don’t know if the pot made me vomit but I have never taken the chance again.

    This morning I watched Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN. He has changed his mind about how bad it is for people who use it. He especially believes that it can be used as a medicine. I mention this because I think he is a good Dr. and very smart man. He showed that pot is less addicting than tobacco, alcohol, heroin, and many other drugs.

    For a long time now I have said that pot should be legal. It should be treated like alcohol and only those over 18 should be able to buy and use it. Pot is less harmful than tobacco or alcohol.

    Think about the advantages legal pot would give America. Here is a list (feel free to add to the list please.

    1) Farmers would have a new cash crop.
    2) The government would get more revenue while cutting expenses in chasing pot users.
    3) Manufacturing would have a new product.
    4) The cartels would be out of business.
    5) Jobs would be created for inspectors (government jobs with good pay)

    • Hey Nirek, I’d like to see the doc. I did read an article on Yahoo about Dr. Gupta changing his stance on MM. To me, it is really a no brainer. Weed helps ease the symptoms of some very nasty illnesses. It’s great for those on Chemo-therapy, it’s great for those with suppressed appetites, it’s great for insomnia. it’s great for mild to moderate pain relief.
      There are no serious side effects from using cannabis. Almost none at all. It’s impossible to OD on cannabis and there is no real physical withdrawal from it. It’s also great for depression and some anxiety disorders.
      The drug war has been a massive failure. It has not decreased the amount of drugs in this country, it has not decreased the use of drugs. We’ve spent billions and billions of dollars and the only result is over crowded prisons and ruined lives for those arrested.
      I am not for legalizing all drugs, especially the real dangerous ones like meth, heroin and cocaine, but to keep weed illegal is one of the most foolish things our government does.
      I do think big pharma is afraid of legal weed because it would cut into their business of selling their chemical poisons to the masses. Just look at all the ODs on prescription meds. Look at all the mental health meds that would become obsolete with MM. Not to mention pain meds. Big pharma has a huge lobby, just like tobacco and alcohol industries.

      There is a wonderful documentary about the war on drugs and it’s consequences entitled “The House I Live In.” I watched it on Netflix. Very powerful and very well done. I think everybody needs to see that doc.

    • Assumed Name says:

      Hi Nierk,

      Interesting topic. I’ve no issues with medicinal marijuana, but I’m on the fence regarding legalizing its recreational use even though it’s not necessarily as addictive (if at all) as is nicotine. One issue is that it stays in the body for a longer period of time than, say, alcohol…it’s not clear how it could be tested for driving under the influence in the way alcohol can (unless I’ve missed some new development). I also, personally, don’t like the smell of smoke…it’s smelly, gets in your hair and clothing, and is an imposition respitorially if, like myself, you’re a non-smoker. If llegalized for recreational use, it should definitely be ostracized along with cigarettes. (In my “humble” opinion. 😉 )

      Best,
      Assumed

      • AdLib says:

        Assumed, the impact of criminalization of marijuana is severe and long term, especially in minority communities so relieving some of that would be a direct effect of legalization. As would a big decrease in taxpayer subsidizing of the prison industrial complex over non-violent, victimless crimes such as possession and buying or selling marijuana (I don’t believe though in legalizing harmful drugs like cocaine, heroin or meth).

        The study I saw in Gupta’s documentary had addiction to pot in the single digits while alcohol and other drugs were in the double digits. So, while there is an addictive aspect to it, it’s much less than substances that are currently legal.

        It may stay in the system longer than alcohol but that is one of the few cases where it has a more negative aspect than alcohol. Gupta’s doc had an interesting demonstration, a driver who was high and was an habitual smoker appeared to drive fine while an occasional smoker showed a marked reduction in driving ability. Whereas with alcohol, anyone who is drunk is impaired, especially frequent drinkers.

        Though it stays in a smoker’s system longer, there are mental and physical tests that could be used to verify if they are or aren’t impaired, like the old touching your nose with your head back, walking a straight line, etc.

        As it becomes legalized in state after state, I do think that the same anti-tobacco laws should apply so that no one in a public place has to be subjected to it.

        • Assumed Name says:

          Hi Ad Lib,

          I agree that imprisoning people for possession is overkill. I would, however, make a distinction between hard drugs (e.g., meth) and soft (e,g., marijuana). I think another issue is hat marijuana can be dangerous when laced (of course) with harder drugs. But I digress: you’ve hit upon the one issue that pulls me toward complete legalization, and that’s the unfair sentencing for possession.

          That’s all I’ve got!! *smiles*

          Cheers,
          Assumed

          • AdLib says:

            Heh! Looking forward to the party invite. I’ll bring the brownies! 😉

          • AdLib says:

            Assumed, agreed, there is a big and important difference between marijuana and destructive-only drugs like meth, heroin, cocaine, etc. Those are dangerous drugs and should be outlawed like any other dangerous substance.

            Marijuana can be laced but so can tobacco cigarettes so that problem wouldn’t be affected either way (and use of serious drugs even when laced should remain illegal IMO).

            I do think that legalizing pot would be a meaningful step in helping roll back the cycle of imprisonment of young black and brown men.

            Another benefit would be draining drug cartels of a ton of money.

            There are beneficial medical applications for marijuana and if legalized, no doubt there will still be unfortunate incidents due to abuse of it (though with pot easily available to those who want it today, I don’t know that it will make a big difference to legalize it when it comes to amount of users).

            So, weighing the positives and negatives, I think legalization is the best choice and as with you, how it addresses the inequality in minority incarceration is one of the biggest benefits of doing so.

            BTW, I am pleased to hear Holder announce a rollback on prosecuting non-violent, victimless drug related crimes. That too could have a similar impact to legalization.

            • Assumed Name says:

              Okay, okay: marijuana should get a blanked pass for legalization (with age, place, and heavy machinery restriction, of course). I consider myself fun at a party, and you’re all welcome to any I throw, but no cigarettes, cigars, or weed!! 😉

              Best,
              --Assumed

        • Hey Ad, very rarely does pot affect the brain’s motor functions. Surely nowhere near the extent that alcohol does. Alcohol is an anesthetic, which slowly puts the brain to sleep with every drink. Drunk drivers have no inhibitions. That’s one thing that really makes them dangerous. They feel they can drive as fast as they want and throw any sense of caution to the wind. That doesn’t happen with pot. Pot actually makes one more aware of their actions and surroundings. Of course, nobody should drive if they aren’t completely sober, but pot is not the danger many people make it out to be. Many people (non users) don’t draw any distinction between driving drunk and driving after a few tokes of weed. I’ll say one thing, weed definitely eliminates road rage! 😉
          Alcohol is far more dangerous, in every way, than pot will ever be.

          • AdLib says:

            KT -- Firstly, agreed, driving under the influence of anything endangers others and shouldn’t be done.

            As you describe, alcohol is far more debilitating than pot is in such situations. Alcohol creates more recklessness and aggression whereas pot creates a degree of paranoia/concern and pacifies so there really is no debate on which you would rather have a person imbibing.

            Again, neither should be used when driving, you’re in a position to kill other people so you should be fully sober and at your sharpest at all times.

            But when it comes to the physical impact of the two, alcohol loses in comparison every time.

      • Hey AN. Pot does not have to be smoked. It can be eaten in baked goods and candies and it can be vaporized. Actually there is a big trend in vaporizing. Nothing is burned. The weed is heated to the point where the active ingredient vaporizes and the vapors are inhaled. No smoke at all and the exhaled vapor dissipates almost immediately. No second hand smoke.

        No need to ostracize weed. The new laws in Colorado and Washington prohibit public use. Edibles are great, because someone could be getting high, right next to you, and you would never even know it.

        • Assumed Name says:

          Hi Kilgore,

          By “ostracize” I meant laws that keep people from smoking at work, at restaurants, in stores and malls, etc. that is I was thinking of prohibiting public use as ostracism (which goes to show you should say what you mean *smiles*).

          If I were going to consume, I would rather use vapor as opposed to smoke due to health concerns…and given my constantly baking, I could see the brownie option as being attractive…yet the latter would pose a problem for children (not unlike flavored cigarettes) and the former would probably not appeal to our convenience culture. In addition, there’s still that pesky little problem of operating machinery while under the influence and how to gage how much is too much, thus creating liability.

          Oh, dear: have to check multiplication problems. (My poor son is being forced to keep up his math, spelling, and reading skills during the summer break.) Excuse any typos, etc.

          Cheers,
          Killjoy…I mean “Assumed” *smiles*

          • AN, moderation is always the key when using any substance, legal or illegal. There are many legal medications that may impair driving or operating machinery. Many of them are over the counter medications.

            • Assumed Name says:

              Kilgore, I’ve been turned (or at least knocked off the fence) by the combined efforts from you and AdLib.

              Kind regards,
              Assumed

            • Assumed Name says:

              Hmm…that’s true enough. I guess the question becomes to what extent is one impaired? (Taking an antihistamine for hay fever is markedly different from, say, hard liquor on the impairment front. *smiles*)

      • Nirek says:

        Assumed, as a fellow nonsmoker I agree. However it still is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco and it has medical benefits.
        Alcohol and tobacco are available legally but I choose not to partake of them. The same way if pot were legal I would not use it.

        • Assumed Name says:

          I hear you, Nierk, but unless I’m mistaken, legalization of marijuana isn’t “all or nothing”: it’s possible, as in Michigan, to legalize it medicinally while prohibiting recreationally. On that note, I’m unabashedly a supporter of medicinal marijuana, but I’m on the fence regarding legalizing its recreational use. That said, even when legalized as a prescription drug people are still penalized for using it, e.g., the Casio (sp?) v Walmart case.

          • AN, weed is still illegal on the federal level. Even Medical weed. But I think that soon may change. The only time marijuana clinics get raided (in states that allow MM) is if they fail to follow the state guidelines. They can’t sell to anybody without a doctor’s recommendation and they can’t sell in large quantities.

            There is absolutely nothing wrong with using pot, medicinal or for recreation. It’s one of the most benign substances on the planet.

            • Nothing wrong with that AN. It’s a free country! 😉

            • Assumed Name says:

              (…except for a daily cup of java and admitted chocolate snorting I’m pretty much drug free. ;))

            • AN, that’s fine. I assure you though my case is not a rare one at all. There are thousands of people with similar experience. Moderation is always the key. The only problem I ever had with substance abuse was with alcohol.

            • Assumed Name says:

              Hmm…I don’t doubt your experience, Kilgore, but it is a data set of one.

              For now, maybe we’ll simply agree to disagree? (Fences are murder on the bum so, who knows? Perhaps I’ll come down sooner rather than later. *smiles*)

              All the best,
              Assumed

            • AN, Yeah, California dispensaries have been hard hit by the feds, but the main reason for that is the lack of adherence to the state regulations. Colorado, on the other hand is left alone by the feds because of strict regulations concerning the selling and growing of the product sold. If the feds think there is an abuse of state regs, they will intervene.
              As far as counterfeit MM cards, there is a real easy solution to that. Make Marijuana legal, in all states for medicinal and recreational use.
              I have a problem with those who talk about the physical and psychological dangers of pot use. I do think it is the most benign substance on the planet. That is not to say it is completely, 100% safe. I don’t think any substance is. What gets me is that alcohol and many prescription drugs are far more dangerous, yet weed is also the “bad guy.” I have used pot for over 40 years (I haven’t used it in the last 3 years)and I am in great health. It has never posed any health threats to me personally. None that I was ever aware of. I’m certainly not an exception. As far as consuming any substance, besides food, pot IS benign. All the rest are dangerous.
              When people have to go to black market dealers, the dangers are manifold. many black market dealers also sell dangerous drugs like meth or heroin or coke. This is especially disconcerting when talking about children using. If pot were legal, there would be no need to go to a black market dealer. There would be no temptation to buy dangerous substances from a black market dealer. Legal weed would be safer in many ways. Legal weed is tested for purity and dangerous additives like mold, fungus or dangerous pesticides. With illegal weed you really don’t know if there are any dangerous substances on the weed itself. Keeping it illegal is just not the smart way to go. People are still going to use it. Why not make it safe to use and legal to use.

            • Assumed Name says:

              Kilgore,

              Medicinal distribution centers in California have been hard hit by the feds even though they’re legal. This was (if no longer is?) a big problem esp. Since the owners were small business people who too often couldn’t survive being hit and/or temporarily shut down. Also, in Michigan, there’s a black market for medicinal medication cards, as well, which brings a criminal and too often violent element into the mix. The federal government, in the instance of raiding legitimate small businesses, is very much in the wrong; the legalizing of medicinal marijuana becomes problematic given both the Casius case (employer drug testing) and the black market for marijuana underscores the problem of making marijuana “half legitimate/half illicit.”

              Okay, so all of that.

              Still, your well meant hyperbolic claim that marijuana is one of the safest substances on the planet isn’t true. There are issues on health with heavy long term use, use in adolescents who are not fully developed, and much still unknown about its effects given how long it remains in one’s system. It also has similar indications for cigarette smoke when burned.

              I hear you (…as well as too many student presentations than I can count :b ). I remain, however, on the fence regarding recreational marijuana. (This is an academic question of my support as I assume that sooner or later recreational marijuana will be widely legalized.)

              Peace,
              Assumed

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, medical marijuana is actually used frequently for averting nausea, especially in cancer chemotherapy patients. It also has proven effective in helping glaucoma patients. It is a natural substance that has proven medical value and as you noted, it has no addictive properties (of course people can become psychologically addicted to anything) nor any proven detrimental effects (no one has ever died of an overdose of marijuana) while the same can’t be said for alcohol, tobacco, prescription pain killers, and many other legal substances.

      This Wikipedia article goes through a variety of factors that contributed to the criminalizing of marijuana, from corruption and greed to racism but what does seem to be most prominent is a prurience. Unlike the epidemic of physical abuse against women by drunken husbands as a reason for passing Prohibition, there were no factual or detrimental reasons for making pot illegal, just a lot of fabrication about pot making people suicidal, murderous and insane.

      And the pot back then was a fraction as intoxicating as it is today.

      So, for the sake of its medical value, being a far less harmful and dangerous-to-others recreational drug than alcohol, stripping criminal operations like drug cartels of lots of money and the economic and resource burden it puts on our criminal justice and prison systems despite it being a pretty harmless substance, it is a good thing for this country that marijuana is gradually becoming a legalized around the country.

      Here is the very good and full documentary from several years ago about the history of marijuana in the US titled “Grass”, very entertaining and enlightening:

      • Ad, check out a great documentary entitled “The House I Live In.” It is a very comprehensive look at the failed drug war and the consequences of US drug policy. It’s very well done and I think everybody should see it. I saw it on Netflix.

    • kesmarn says:

      I think it should be legalized, too, Nirek. Although — as you said there should be limitations (as there are on alcohol) regarding sales to minors, driving under the influence, etc.

      One other persuasive argument might be to take a look at these recent cases of people being pulled over in TX — on the grounds that they are suspected of having marijuana — and having “body cavity searches” done at the roadside. In another case a 2 year old girl was removed from her parents’ custody because they smoked weed, and then placed in foster care — where she was killed by an abusive foster mother.

      Neither of these would have likely happened, had pot been legal.

  7. AdLib says:

    Now if only this becomes a trend among all the religious extremist nuts in the US to get in a boat and sail out into the middle of nowhere.

    Religious family abandons US, gets lost at sea

    A northern Arizona family that was lost at sea for weeks in an ill-fated attempt to leave the U.S. over what they consider government interference in religion will fly back home Sunday.

    Hannah Gastonguay, 26, said Saturday that she and her husband “decided to take a leap of faith and see where God led us” when they took their two small children and her father-in-law and set sail from San Diego for the tiny island nation of Kiribati in May.

    But just weeks into their journey, the Gastonguays hit a series of storms that damaged their small boat, leaving them adrift for weeks, unable to make progress.

    Hannah Gastonguay said her family was fed up with government control in the U.S. As Christians they don’t believe in “abortion, homosexuality, in the state-controlled church,” she said.

    U.S. “churches aren’t their own,” Gastonguay said, suggesting that government regulation interfered with religious independence.

    Among other differences, she said they had a problem with being “forced to pay these taxes that pay for abortions we don’t agree with.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/religious-family-abandons-us-gets-lost-sea-220646881.html

    Aren’t these RW Christians like their fellow Baggers in DC, jumping in a rickety boat out of radical delusion, one that they have no competence in commanding and charting a course then ending up battered by storms and self-defeated?

    And in the typical hypocrisy of RW pro-lifers, they commit child endangerment upon their born children as they’re escaping America for it’s “sin” of allowing abortion.

    Wonder if they think it’s more “Christian” to kill children after they’re born by taking them on a reckless and nearly fatal boat trip.

    • They’re lucky they didn’t get swallowed by a whale! Can you imagine living in one of those? 😉

    • choicelady says:

      Their taxes do NOT pay for abortions -- the Hyde Amendment -- but our taxes do pay for their rescue and return to dry land.

      Ahhhh -- the comfort of its all being about them…

    • SueInCa says:

      Oh the irony, they don’t want their taxes to pay for abortions but it is fine for the US Government to pay for them to get back home? Well I don’t want to pay for their airfare either. I almost feel like writing these idiots a letter.

      • AdLib says:

        Sue, good point, I’m with you. I don’t want my taxes going to rescue religious idiots from danger they intentionally put themselves in so…am I supposed to now intentionally put myself in danger to make their taxes pay for me?

        • SueInCa says:

          You know Adlib I hate to sound petty but when I see a story like this, the pettiness just comes out naturally. There is really no understanding ignorance like this, though. The couple in
          TX who smoked pot lost their daughter to state approved foster parent who murdered and these fools get a ride home on us? Umm NO.

          • AdLib says:

            The moral of the story is, use a better alternative to alcohol, lose your kids, place your children in mortal danger and almost kill them and yourselves, keep your kids and get your expenses paid.

    • SueInCa says:

      Oh my Adlib, that is quite the story. AND ten to one they do not even get the irony of the danger they put their kids through in order to prove that they are being persecuted by that confounded gubmint. They say a fool is born every day, these three were born on a double fool day.

    • kesmarn says:

      Wouldn’t you love to hear these delusional people explain exactly how their right to worship has been interfered with in America? They make some vague reference to their tax money (do they work?) going to fund abortions, but taxes also fund wars and prison executions and those seem to be on their godly list, apparently.

      Like glenn, I’m a little nervous about what their next “plan” will be. I’m hoping it’s made in close consultation with the Children’s Protective Services department.

      But in the state of Arizona, even that is a dubious source of comfort.

      Back in the olden days, there used to be a concept of a thing called the “sin of presumption.” I wish it could be resurrected. It was the notion that God was totally obligated to bail you out of any awful situation you had gotten yourself into — no matter how stupid you had been in the process. The “God As Celestial Errand Boy” concept.

      I think that pisses God off.

      • AdLib says:

        It’s always a waste of breath to try and explain to such fools what reality is. Of course, tax money doesn’t and can’t pay for abortions, the government doesn’t exercise any control over churches or religion (even when they violate the separation of church and state and they should lose their tax exempt status), etc.

        But they NEED to believe that they are victims and oppressed (of course it is hard being white and Christian in America) just like Jesus was…and also, need to feel morally superior to other Americans which wouldn’t be just like Jesus.

        And I would agree, God does not like to be thought of as Lassie, running to the fire department and barking until he hears, “What’s that? There’s trouble at the old mill? Thanks Goddy!”

        Why is it those who claim to be the most religious have the most disrespectful concept of God? He’s there to make their sports teams win, help them win the lottery and rescue them (but not their neighbors) from disasters. They make God sound so small, the way they describe Him, He’s just a helicopter mom.

      • glenn says:

        Kes--I’ve never heard of the “sin of presumption”, and I certainly can’t speak for God, but it sure pisses me off. Also, assuming that “God will provide” resolves people of all personal responsibility, IMO. Not to worry, “God will provide.” And “preachers” like Joel Osteen and his wife feed right into that delusion, as far as I’m concerned. Why does have “God have to provide”? Can’t you do it for yourself? Or, as Bob Dylan says, are you okay if you have “God on your side”? Okay, I’ll stop my rant now. I feel a little better now that I have vented, but stupid people and/or people who can’t think past the nose on their faces piss me off.

        • kesmarn says:

          Me too, glenn.

          The “Prosperity Gospel” is one of the most pernicious ideas ever to come out of warped religious sentiment, don’t you think? The notion that if you “play your heavenly cards right,” you will be rich, beautiful and healthy is terrible.

          Because what does it do? It implies that the poor, the sick, the handicapped are to blame for their own suffering.

          Nice guilt-reliever for the oppressors there, no?

          I know it’s been said before, but the Jesus that so many of these folk claim to follow was poor, homeless and died young. What did he do “wrong?”

          Besides calling out a bunch of hypocrites when he saw them…

          • glenn says:

            Was it in the 90’s or early 2000’s that the WWJD “motto” became so popular? I used to see kids in my classroom with those bracelets, and heathen that I am, had to ask one of them what the initials stood for. (As an aside, I’m surprised that the kid wasn’t removed from my classroom after that because surely those parents wouldn’t want their precious child to be raised by a heathen like me.)

            Anyway, I agree with you, Kes. They are definitely hypocrites, using, as you say, Jesus and/or God as a guilt-reliever for not following the teachings of Jesus and/or God. Of course, if you ask them about this, they tell you that you are trying to “persecute” them. So, I guess WWJD just doesn’t apply any more. Or, it only applies if you’re rich.

            • Nirek says:

              Glenn, I would throw WWJD right in the hypocrites face.
              I doubt you are a heathen, btw. I believe that Jesus would be ashamed of some of the religious folks today.

              Full disclosure; I believe in Jesus. I also think all the other names for God that other folks use are the same God by a different name. I have a favorite name , Mother Nature.

              Whatever name people use for God is fine with me. As long as people try to do as their God wants. (do no harm, help the poor or unfortunate).

    • glenn says:

      Ad--SMH--As many people on the comment thread said over at Yahoo, the government should charge them for their rescue. I also liked the one joke I saw about the man lost at sea who turned down the yacht, the Coast Guard, etc., and died. When he got to the “pearly gates”, he asked St. Peter why god didn’t save him. St. Peter replied, “He sent you a yacht and the Coast Guard--what more do you want?” Logic is not the strong suit of radical evangelicals--or whatever these people are. One thing they’re not, and that is smart.

      And…now they’re going to come up with a new “plan”. Those poor children.

      • AdLib says:

        glenn, that joke relly sums it up!

        So telling how religious nutjobs always have to insist that no matter how badly something stupid they did turned out, God decided things for them, things didn’t happen the way they did because they are morons of course.

        These extremist religious nutjobs are too incompetent to sail a boat successfully and their whole plan is a total and humiliating failure but because they didn’t die and kill their children, God saved them and decided the outcome?

        I would counter that if we’re going there, God clearly sees them as paranoid loons, destroyed their plans and forced them back to the country they claim they despise to hammer home what fools they are.

        Wonder if they’ll accept that determination.

        As for their new plan, giving their children up to a family that won’t endanger them would be a good start then maybe they can build a giant ladder to climb up to heaven and if they fall, no worries, I’m sure God will catch them.

        • glenn says:

          Ad--When I read the story, I wondered why they wanted to be returned to the U.S. Why didn’t they just stay in the country that rescued them? (I forget which one it was.) Oh well, intelligence is not their strong suit, as I said.

          I like your ladder idea. Sure wish someone could come up with a hologram or something to put a ladder in the sky and see how many of the rwnj’s would climb it. Maybe we could put an arrow and a sign on it--“secede to heaven”. Or “this way to Obama-free land”. Think we could get rid of a lot of our nut jobs that way? :)

          • AdLib says:

            Maybe they didn’t stay in that country because they didn’t speak English? I mean, when you sail to a foreign land to escape America, they sure better speak English there!

            Maybe Progressives could do a Kickstarter thing to pay for Christian extremists to sail to a small South Pacific island where they can all live together under Biblical law and and be free of American decadence and anti-Christian influence.

            I bet in a week it would turn into Lord of the Flies.

            • glenn says:

              Like your island idea, too, Ad. In a week it would be Lord of the Locusts, and they would consume everything in their path. Hmmm…not a bad idea.

    • Nirek says:

      Ad, extremists do go “overboard” (pun intended) with what they “believe”.

      • glenn says:

        Nirek--can’t find a “reply” button in your last post to me regarding WWJD, so I’m using this one to reply. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that all people who believe in Jesus and God were as crazy as these people. From your thoughts here on the Planet, I can tell you are one of those people who lives by the WWJD motto. I love the caring and loving way you speak of your wife and family, and I consider myself fortunate to know good people like you and others here at the Planet. And BTW, you didn’t have to disclose to me that you are a believer. What is that old saying--“don’t tell me you are a Christian, I will know by your actions”--or something like that. I know what a good person you are.

      • AdLib says:

        Nirek, very clever and true! In a modern world where extremist religious domination is not as acceptable as it used to be, they certainly are adrift.

        If only they would all join in and go off to a faraway island where they could only inflict their ignorance and intolerance on each other!

  8. AdLib says:

    I should do this as a regular feature but for your peruasal, the top Pulitzer Prize contender headlines on HP right now:

    Surgeon Offering Plastic Surgery In Exchange For Dream Dates

    PHOTOS: Naked Soldiers Want You To Buy…

    WATCH: Larry Birkhead’s ‘Douchebag Moment’

    WATCH: Kicked In The Testicles 10 Times, Still Standing

    For some reason, reading these kinds of headlines there makes me feel like the last headline above.

    • kesmarn says:

      😆 :-( How can we know whether to laugh or cry, AdLib?! Honestly — if you hired staff from the Daily Show and Stephen Colbert, you could not top those for satirical punch. Except they’re not kidding.

      (I really felt guilty myself about posting a link to HuffPo on Twitter. But it was such an astonishing story that I buckled. It was about the militia that is run by that rogue police chief in Gilberton, PA — the guy we were discussing the other night. Seems that when the administration of that town met in the town hall to have a forum to discuss his actions and possible disciplinary action, about 100 members of Kessler’s militia came to the site heavily armed. (No pressure on the council or the citizens of course….) Sounds like the inmates have definitely taken over that asylum.)

      But — yes — I’d love to see a regular feature of crazy HP headlines. They’re really out-FOXing FOX these days. Please keep on postin’!! 😆

      • AdLib says:

        Kes, so true, how can you make fun of something that’s already a parody of itself?

        Don’t feel guilty about posting a link to HP if it’s an informative story (testicle kicking aside). I try to find other sources to link to for stories whenever possible, at the very least because as an aggregator of news from other journalists, I feel it is most fair to link to those who wrote and originally published the article HP echoes or adapts for free.

        Actually, I did a bit of research on Gilberton and Sheriff Bagger and found a few conflicting articles on Daily Kos. One article hit the red alert and claimed that the town has been taken over by Sheriff Bagger (Kessler) and his army of gun nuts. Another article claimed that was an overreaction and the suspension of Sheriff Bagger was evidence that he didn’t rule the town. Here are links to both:

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/06/1229194/-The-Town-Of-Gilberton-PA-Has-Been-Taken-Over-By-Miltia

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/06/1229344/-Gilberton-PA-has-not-been-taken-over-by-a-militia

        All articles confirm that Sheriff Bagger had his militia at the meeting door turning people away but that the hearing was full and ended up going against that nutjob, suspending him.

        If they don’t fire him, they will become a toxic town to any reasonable person, I hope those in local government recognize that and will do what’s needed.

        Imagine if in the midst of a SOTU Address, President Obama also mentioned stories about people being kicked in the testicles and nip slips. Would any of his speech be taken seriously?

        If a website purports to be a news organization, it really undermines that representation to be featuring stories about guys being kicked in the testicles and still standing, side by side with stories that are supposed to be news we’re supposed to take seriously.

        And making stupid puns in many headlines is amateurish as well as the intentional avoidance to explain what an article is about in order to force people to click on it to find out (headlines like, “You Won’t Believe This!”, “Oh No!”, “Outrageous!)

        No avoiding it, HP is The Great Lady…of the Evening, exploiting sex, teasing readers into clicking in and out with vague headlines and letting trolls get them all frothed up in their comments section.

        As someone who is a big fan of real journalism, it’s a bit offensive. I do always qualify my criticisms with the recognition that there are a ton of great folks blogging over there…despite all of this, many Planeteers included.

        But as the old saying goes, “You can clean up a pig, put a ribbon on its tail, spray it with perfume, but it is still a pig.”

        • kesmarn says:

          Well said, AdLib, and thanks so much for the links to the various takes on the Kessler story. The first one was the one I tweeted after I had seen it posted on Facebook. In the interest of balance I just Tweeted the link to the second one, and I’m grateful for the additional info and fresh perspective in that one. The last word I heard quoted from the woman who is mayor in Gilberton was that she hopes Kessler will come back to work. I truly hope that either she or someone else has changed her mind about that by now.

          I had to laugh at the image of the Prez tossing in an occasional reference to nip slips and testicle kicks during the SOTU address. I’m sure the audience would suddenly resemble those shots of the crowd in The Producers as they were watching “Springtime for Hitler in Germany.” 😆 Eyes popped. Jaws dropped.

          If only people would react that way to HP. I swing over there about 3-4 times a year just to see how far down the journalistic hill it’s slipped. I’m never disappointed.

          Like you, I realize there are bright, compassionate people who go there to try to reason with the “cray-crays.” And I wish them well.

          I had to give it up because it felt something like an endless re-play of Reza Aslan’s interview with Lauren Green on FOX. Any attempt at rationality and mature dialog were constantly being thwarted by the manic pace and the relentless censorship.

          It almost seems like a hazy, distant memory now — but there was a time when we were taught the values of real journalism in school. Quaint concepts like not interjecting one’s own opinion in an article (unless the goal was to write an editorial), citing credible sources, quoting accurately, and writing headlines that had some meaning.

          Was I taking notes on parchment with a quill pen? I can’t quite recall…. 😯

          • AdLib says:

            Heh! That image is perfect!

          • AdLib says:

            Kes, I would guess that the mayor and council knew they were hiring a RW gun nut as Sheriff in the first place so though they may be bothered its been noticed by the nation and suspended him, perhaps he is the Sheriff they want in the end?

            Heh! Springtime for Hitler, perfect reference and funny to imagine! Point being of course, if you’re alternating “news” stories with kicked testicle and nipple slip stories, you’re really not taking the news seriously and thus you shouldn’t be taken seriously. I know they have many visitors but so does the Bunny Ranch in NV and I don’t see them as a serious news outlet either (they do report more nipple slips than HR though).

            The corporatizing of journalism has left the original concept of the press, that we had for the first two hundred years of America, abandoned as naive and archaic. Journalistic principles couldn’t be more smirked at by the most popular outlets today.

            I mean, what’s the point of journalism if it doesn’t make a profit? And what’s the point of delivering more detailed and varied news when regurgitating the most provocative handful of stories brings in more viewers and more advertising money? Isn’t that why the Founders created the 1st Amendment? To support corporate exploitation of the public through the media?

            As KT and I often bring up, the movie, Network, written by Paddy Chayefsky was his attempt to expose what was going on at that point with corporations getting more and more control of our news. And that was 1976 so the “coup” was in the works at that point. Once Reagan came in and protected media monopolies and corporate takeovers, it came to fruition pretty quickly.

            This is why we were so lucky to be rescued by the internet, to have independent reporting and blogs just after the nearly total takeover of conventional media by corporations was complete.

            Which IMHO, makes independent news and political sites like ours and the many others out there so much more important to sustaining the true intent of the founders. That is, having a free and independent journalistic community that challenges those in power, keeps the public informed and fosters critical thinking about what our society is now and what it should be.

            I’d wager that having 24/7 coverage on all of our news networks of Anthony Weiner’s penis isn’t exactly what was imagined when the 1st Amendment was written.

            • kesmarn says:

              😆 The founding fathers would probably have reacted just the way the audience in The Producers did, AdLib. Something like this:

              [img][/img]

  9. AdLib says:

    Pres. Obama said the following in his press conference today:

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Now, I think the really interesting question is why it is that my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail. Their number-one priority.

    The one unifying principle in the Republican Party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don’t have health care; and presumably, repealing all those benefits I just mentioned — kids staying on their parents’ plan, seniors getting discounts on their prescription drugs, I guess a return to lifetime limits on insurance, people with pre-existing conditions continuing to be blocked from being able to get health insurance.

    That’s hard to understand as a — an agenda that is going to strengthen our middle class. At least they used to say, well, we’re going to replace it with something better. There’s not even a pretense now that they’re going to replace it with something better.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-president-obamas-august-9-2013-news-conference-at-the-white-house/2013/08/09/5a6c21e8-011c-11e3-9a3e-916de805f65d_story.html

    That about sums it up.

    • Nirek says:

      Ad, they say the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome.
      After 40 attempts to undo “Obama care” , I think those 40 attempts prove that the GOPers are “bat shit crazy”.

    • Thank goodness! Way to Mr. President. You are right on the money. If the GOP did indeed have a better plan, then their constant attemps at repeal would make sense, but they don’t have a plan. Nada!

      • Nirek says:

        KT, they have tried 40 times to repeal, defund, or undo Obamacare. All the while they have done no (zero) work on behalf of the American people. They have done nothing productive. I see no reason that they should get paid for doing nothing.

        All their non production is adding to our deficit. The money spent unwisely on attempts to unfund Obamacare could be used to rebuild our infra structure and create jobs and therefore taxpayers.

    • kesmarn says:

      AdLib, this issue is being discussed even as we speak on the News Hour on PBS. The analysts (Ruth Marcus and David Brooks) both agreed that the President was eloquent and effective in the way he presented his case.

      Then they proceeded to agree that threats of a shutdown will be somewhat effective “because Obama will blink. He has a history of blinking. And the Republicans know he will.” Well, PBS blinked when the Koch brothers roared, so I suppose blinking is something they know all about.

      I’ve said something similar to the President’s comment about the dismal prospect of “a return to lifetime limits on insurance…” etc. when talking with conservatives in these parts. When they start ranting about Obamacare, I’ve taken to just saying: “Well, let’s go ahead and repeal it then. Let’s go back to the way it was. Because that was working so well.” I have yet to have a taker on that. They know full well how awful things were.

      But — being the folks they are — they have no (as in zero) suggestions for an alternative.

      So stay strong, Mr. President! When push comes to shove “they got nuthin’.”

      • AdLib says:

        Kes, forgot to mention, Obama’s point that the Repubs have given up the pretense of Repeal and Replace and are just calling for ending healthcare reform is an important one and just what we’ve been saying for some time.

        I’ve seen a number of interviews recently with Repubs and when asked, they NEVER offer an alternative, just vague “we’ll replace it with something that makes more sense” type statements but no specifics.

        Wonder why…it’s almost like they hate health reform just because it is an accomplishment of the black Dem President and they just want to lynch every accomplishment of his. But that couldn’t be, that would be so racist.

        And meanwhile, as Baggers are on the march to destroy Obama’s legacy, Darrel Issa wants to name millions of square miles of ocean surrounding the US, Alaska and Hawaii designated as a sovereign US economic zone after the President who initiated the destruction of our economy, Ronald Reagan.

        Yep, the tax raising, mental patient releasing, AIDS ignoring, Iran-Contra lawbreaking President who infected our economy with Greed is Good and Trickle Down, he should be deified.

        I think we should make it mandatory for newly elected Congresspeople to pass mental exams that weed out sociopaths and the mentally ill from taking a seat in Congress. Wonder if we could get Congress to pass that?

      • AdLib says:

        Kes, it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. Brooks is so constantly clueless and wrong and he and Marcus once again are so sealed in their little bubbles they have no idea what reality looks like today.

        No, Obama won’t “blink” and agree to sign legislation that kills what defines his Presidency and legacy, a feat that decades of Presidents have tried and failed to accomplish.

        These pudnuts (as Bito often called them) are in love with the sound of their hubris-filled voices but have little value to anyone interested in the news.

        In a scenario where Repubs shut down government, at a time when approval of Congress and Repubs in particular is at an historic low, each day that would pass when our military isn’t paid or funded, when federal government workers go unpaid, when SS checks aren’t sent out to tens of millions of seniors, the Repubs will be the ones who are blamed and will be under siege from all sides.

        Obama and the Dems know that the most likely route for them to take the House back in 2014 would be a GOP that shuts down government, harms the economy, is reviled and proves that they have no agenda aside from damaging the nation to fuel their agenda that benefits the top 1% and leaves the 99% behind.

        Even most Repubs know this is suicide for their party in 2014, 2016 and onward. Yet, they don’t have the cajones to stand up to the Baggers so it will be interesting to see what happens.

        So far though, the Baggers don’t have enough votes to force a shut down and I don’t think they will.

        The upside is this will make the 2016 GOP Primary even more hostile as Baggers turn on any pols who didn’t force a shutdown. I think an averted shutdown will help Rand Paul in the primary and anything that would help to make him the nominee is a great thing for Dems.

  10. Nirek says:

    Why do GOP/TP men think they know better than a woman what is best for her?
    I think they have a “God complex”.

  11. funksands says:

    How much is the Shrieking Hysterical Angry Militant Conservative Entertainment Complex (SHAMCON) going to LOVE the next couple of years?

    President Obama still in office with Candidate Hillary running? 😎 $$$KA-CHING$$$

    They are going to drain their donors for every dime they have. If SHAMCON issued stock, Goldman Sucks would rate them a “strong buy”.

    • AdLib says:

      Funk, thanks to the ACA, all those RW Repubs who have been hyperventilating for 5 years and will have heart attacks in 2016 when Hillary wins, will get care.

    • kesmarn says:

      Too funny and too true, funk! The amazing thing is how consistently they fail to deliver for their investors, too. They slurped up millions of donor dollars to guarantee Romney’s election. Ooops.
      They’ve been strenuously trying to repeal Obamacare. 40 times.
      Hmmmm…send another check. 41 is sure to be the charm.

      Honest.

      Wealth is being redistributed. From the greedy gullible to the greedy scammers.

  12. Nirek says:

    I think that the reason my wife and I have been successful is because we talk to each other about everything. We discuss subjects that are diverse. Very much like what we do here on the planet. Often we will disagree until one of us can give scientific proof of our position. We are both believers in science.
    I asked her 5 years ago if we could get a solar array. I explained that it would pay for itself over a period of time. And that as electric rates went up we would recoup our money that much quicker. She agreed with me and we did it.
    So far it has paid dividends beyond my expectations.

    I started this rant to get to a point. I wanted to make it clear that women and men are equally intelligent. We are better when we work together. We have strengths in some areas that the other has not. But the other has strengths in a different area.
    It bothers me that the GOP seems to dismiss the strengths of women. They do not respect women as equals.

    I do respect women. Some of my favorite people in the world are women. My wife, daughter, granddaughters, sisters, and an aunt come to mind. In history Rossa Parks comes to my mind immediately.

    End of rant , for now.

    • kesmarn says:

      That does sound like a recipe for success in a marriage, Nirek. And your daughters and granddaughters are really blessed to have you in their lives.

      One thing I’ve noticed in the right wing arena of our politics (and in other countries’ politics as well) is the absence of that notion of partnership. Of a sort of peer-to-peer way of working things out.

      They seem to be much more focused on rigid hierarchies. Especially when a warped model of religion is combined with their political agenda! At the top of the pecking order is an angry, judgmental version of a deity who dominates humans. Males take their orders from him. (Wealthy males really seem to have a direct line to him!) The males feel that they have authority over the women and children. And — lord help ’em — at the very bottom are the poor animals and the very earth, air and water we all depend on.

      It seems this virtually never works, although some humans seem never to learn from that experience of failure. Collaborative systems, based on a consensus — as in marriages like yours, churches like the Quaker model, employee owned/run businesses, or a functioning town hall meeting in a community — must be the way of the future, don’t you think?

      • Nirek says:

        Kes, yes I do think so. Collaborating and coming to a consensus is the way to use the strengths of everyone. Male or female, or black, or white, if you work together you can accomplish any goal.

        On the political front we need to educate the moderate republicans (those who at odds with the GOP/TP). There are far more reasonable people in the republican party than you may believe. They can be turned to the correct side if we show them proof of the GOP/TP ignorance.

        The GOP/TP doesn’t believe in science ! They don’t believe in equality, either.

  13. kesmarn says:

    Ariel Castro’s house in Cleveland was demolished today. It was dubbed the “House of Horrors” because it’s the place where he held three women captive for a decade, subjecting them to terrible abuse. A crowd was present and they cheered as the place went down.

    I can understand that, although it does — in some ways --defy rationality. After all, the house was not complicit in the crimes that occurred there. And yet — who would ever want to live there? I wouldn’t.

    Even though I’m not a superstitious person, I can see how people would feel that the events that happened in that house might somehow leave a lingering negative “aura” in the place. That doesn’t make scientific sense, I know. But still — the decision was made to, in effect, physically erase this house from the neighborhood. So apparently quite a number of people share this feeling.

    It is said that the measure of Castro’s delusion was noted when he cried at the time he signed over the title to the house. “I have so many happy memories of that place,” he said.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ariel-castro-house-demolition-20130807,0,3364312.story

    • Hey kes. That man is batshit crazy. I’ll bet those women don’t have any fond memories of that house.

      I think one reason it was torn down, was to help prevent it from becoming a tourist (morbid ones)attraction. I’m sure people in the neighborhood didn’t want to see that house everyday and what it stirs in their memories.

      After Jeffery Dahmer was arrested and convicted, the city tore down the entire apartment building where he committed his atrocities. They had to relocate all the other tenants. All but one old timer was glad to move from that building.

      • kesmarn says:

        I didn’t know that about the Dahmer apartment building, KT. It’s hard to imagine “crime tourism,” isn’t it? But I’m sure it really does exist. And I can see why that’s one industry that most cities wouldn’t want to encourage.

        And yes, those women have an entirely different set of memories from those years in Castro’s house of horrors, I’m sure.

    • Assumed Name says:

      Hi, kes. Although I agree that the house, an inanimate object, is value-free, it does have “use value” and social meaning beyond being a humble abode. No on is unable to undo the horrors Castro inflicted within its walls, but the ability to destroy the house is, I imagine for neighbors and their children, a part of their psychological healing, no small part of which is guilt in addition to fear. (At least that’s my take.)

      On that note, “Timber!!” …or whatever is appropriate to shout.

      --Assumed

      • kesmarn says:

        That is a very interesting point, Assumed. I hadn’t thought of the demolition as an actual act of empowerment-- which, really, it is when you think about it. It’s almost a sort of neighborhood exorcism. One of the victims said she’d like to see something like a statue of an angel there. I like that idea.

        In my part of Ohio, an F-5 tornado swept through about 2 1/2 years ago, almost completely destroying a high school and a township hall. At first all you could see was wreckage and debris everywhere. That was cleared away over time, leaving just flat empty ground. Next, construction began on new structures. Now there are two new buildings in operation. It took a long time, but the human will to move beyond tragedy prevailed. That’s my wish for this Cleveland neighborhood.

        • Assumed Name says:

          Kes, I’ve never lived through a natural disaster--how frightening!! It’s good to hear, however, that your community continues to mend and rebuild. It certainly takes time and patience.

          --Assumed

    • Nirek says:

      Kes, I have toyed with mentioning the house being taken down. Like you I don’t believe the house was evil. But Castro is.
      Didn’t get plead guilty and get sentenced to life plus a thousand years? That is too good for him.

      • kesmarn says:

        He did indeed plead guilty, Nirek. And now he seems to have forgotten what he pled guilty to! Amazing. Although, in truth, I think he entered that guilty plea only to avoid the death penalty.

        He didn’t want to suffer the fate that he was totally willing to inflict on others. The typical cowardice of the bully.

    • AdLib says:

      Kes, this is the problem rational people have with sociopaths, whether murderers or political ideologues, they simply don’t see things as they are.

      Nothing and no one could ever convince Castro that he did anything wrong because, in the solipsistic and empathy-disabled way that such people think, since they felt good about what they did, there’s nothing wrong with it.

      By the same right, do the RW Baggers in Congress have any doubt that shutting down the nation’s government and destroying our economy would be a bad thing if it helped them destroy the ACA because it is the black President’s biggest accomplishment?

      Sorry to turn this into a rant about the Repubs, what Castro did was so evil but sociopaths are sociopaths and now that he is removed from society, it would be nice to apply the same to these Baggers. In a figurative sense, the Bagger’s lease on The House should be signed over as well.

      • kesmarn says:

        Well put, AdLib! And not a rant in the least. I think the comparison is totally apt.

        The GOP’s lack of empathy is pathological. Just today there were “protesters” (too kind a word — “anarchists” maybe?) singing “Bye, bye, Black Sheep” as the president was attempting to speak to an assembled group. These nihilists respect nothing and no one.

      • Nirek says:

        Ad, I could not agree more. I believe that the leaders of the GOP are sociopaths. The trouble is there are many people who follow and do not think for themselves. When they start thinking for themselves they will leave the “party of no” and start voting for the best candidate (nearly always the democrat).

  14. Nirek says:

    My wife is so smart. She seems to be able to understand things and explain them to me so I also understand them. I count on her to help me be a better person.

    On another topic.
    If pro sports were to crack down on the performance enhancing substance users(cheats) and ban them for life , they would end the problem they have. Athletes would not take the chance of being banned for life if they knew they would be gone the first time they cheated. And if they are stupid enough to use the stuff anyway they deserve to be banned.

    Two topics in one post. This is how my mind works. Lots of random things going through my head.

    Regards to all my friends here on the planet.

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, agreed on sports doping, a lifetime ban would make it intimidating enough to scare off most from doing so. Once people have become artificially enhanced, it’s forever, it can lessen after disuse but they will never go back to how they were and the health dangers are huge. As Kes points out, we don’t want teenagers being forced into doping if they want a prayer of being competitive.

      As for listening to one’s wife, that too is good for one’s health.

    • Assumed Name says:

      Aw…and I know you’ve told her so, as well. (Words of appreciation are always appreciated. *smiles*)

    • kesmarn says:

      Nirek, a guy who listens to his wife is already a very smart guy! 😆

      On the sports “doping” issue, there was a time when I wondered: should officials just stop even attempting to enforce these rules? Is it more trouble than it’s worth? Could this be called a “victimless crime”? Is the doper really only hurting himself?

      But then I thought about the very real physical and psychological damage these drugs can do. And about the question of how young is too young to start using them? If it became okay for professionals to use them and make millions of dollars, why wouldn’t kids go that route, even in high school? And I realized there really is a need to stop this.

      One thing that bothers me at least as much as the drug use is the lying about it. The other night on the news some footage was shown of A-Rod saying something like: “I know I’ve done some stupid things in the past and I regret them. But that’s over with.” And then he looked into the camera with big, wide eyes and said: “I only ask you to judge me from this day forward.” And then he proceeded to keep right on doing what he had been doing all along. Lance Armstrong did the same thing.

      As well as Anthony Weiner, for that matter…


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