Overnight News: Wednesday to Thursday

by: jlms qkw

Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 22:42:31 PM EST

jlms qkw :: Overnight News: Wednesday to Thursday
Judge May Not Cut Amish Hair-Shearing Culprits A Break
NPR.org; David Barnett
Case Western Reserve University law professor Jonathan Entin doesn't think the judge will buy that argument.

"It's hard to just say that this was just a conflict within the group and we should just let it pass," he says. "Something really bad happened here, and whatever the appropriate criminal sentence ought to be, it's hard to say we should just look the other way."

Since the assaults involved forcible restraint of the victims, Entin says, federal sentencing guidelines give the judge a great deal of discretion in determining the appropriate punishment.

The young woman in the interview - daughter of the "bishop" -  sounded like an escapee from a polygamous community to me - very eerie.  There is a link to a recording at the site.  

Stolen Puppy Returned
Fox13.com(SLC); Zach Whitney and Brittany Green-Miner

On Monday, the couple took the dog to a veterinarian and had it checked out.

After seeing the story on FOX 13, neighbors reportedly told the couple that they had the stolen dog.

The veterinarian also saw the story and worked with police to get the couple's names, but the couple returned the dog before police contacted them.

The Godins were on their way to reunite with the puppy on Wednesday afternoon.

I want to remember the original headline forever:  "Autistic boy's puppy stolen at gun show"  

Speaker voids Va. Senate GOP redistricting effort
AP: Bob Lewis

Virginia's Republican House speaker on Wednesday ruled against a measure muscled through by Senate Republicans to redraw all 40 state Senate districts, defusing a partisan dispute that had threatened to stymie progress on major legislation.

House Speaker Bill Howell announced Wednesday that the vast Senate redistricting plan included in a Senate-passed amendment was not germane, or relevant, to the bill's limited intent of making minor, technical changes to 39 House of Delegates districts.

Lucy Lawless gets fined for protest
New Zealand Herald; Matthew Backhouse

Actor Lucy Lawless and seven other Greenpeace activists have been sentenced to community work and ordered to pay reparation for boarding a drilling ship contracted to Shell Todd during a protest last year.

The group were arrested last February after they boarded the Noble Discoverer at the Port of Taranaki and spent 77 hours up a 58m tower, in protest against Shell's oil exploration operation in the Arctic.

Tunisia PM to form new government

Tunisia's prime minister has said that he will dissolve the Islamist-led government and form a national unity administration, following the killing of prominent secular opposition leader Shokri Belaid in front of his home.

Hamadi Jebali announced during a speech to the nation on Wednesday that he will form a cabinet of technocrats to run the country until elections are held.

"After the failure of negotiations between parties on a cabinet reshuffle, I decided to form a small technocrat government," Jebali said.

Will the new government be more or less Islamic than the previous one?  I just hate it when the opposition leader is killed, and my government falls . . .

Most interesting story
Amish Hair Cutting Assaults
Puppy Found
VA Redistrict DOA
Lucy Lawless/Greenpeace
Tunisia - New Gov't


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Share the News! (2.00 / 17)
These melted, but it may snow again Friday.  They were truly magnificent icicles.  

Some news and opinion sites to peruse: (2.00 / 7)

  TPM Livewire     ThinkProgress.org    The Onion  
  the guardian    Salon     The American Prospect  
  Newseum News     Newseum Front Pages    The Daily Beast  
  Mother Jones     Discovery News     BBC  
  McClatchy     Reuters     NPR News  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
Awesome table! (2.00 / 3)
Are you sure you don't need more coding tasks to fill your plate? There's a pile of php and mysql work that I have laying around that looks just like you...


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Here in California, (2.00 / 13)
...an adorable puppy was stolen from a rescue org's adoption event at a local mall. It was on the news last night or the night before. Brazen thieves indeed.

Thanks as always for the news!

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

hey you! (2.00 / 12)
how's your birthday going?  did you eat all the cakes?  

[ Parent ]
LOL (2.00 / 11)
The great thing about digital cakes is that they don't go to waist. Yeah, awful pun.

I actually tried to get a slice of real chocolate cake today from my neighborhood co-op bakery, but the line was out the door and I was on my way home from the hospital so too tired to stand and wait. I may try again tomorrow. After all, I'm celebrating my advanced state of decrepitude all week long! ;-)

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[ Parent ]
It is perfectly acceptable to celebrate one's birthday for more than one day. (2.00 / 9)
I have a friend who celebrates her entire birth month. Although I don't think she has cake every day. ;)

Digital cake is never waisted (I think it is a cute pun! But you know me and puns) but please do not try to lick the frosting off!

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
The frosting is my big weakness. (2.00 / 6)
I tend to be unreasonably picky about the proper ratio of frosting to cake. There must be plenty of the former, and just enough of the latter to maintain a harmonious proportion. ;-)

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[ Parent ]
Boeing 787's electrical problems are alarming.... (2.00 / 11)
Traditionally, he said, Boeing's in-house experts created detailed specifications for every part of the plane made by suppliers, and had the in-house technical capability to closely monitor whether the work came up to spec.

"They needed complete knowledge of what was going on," said Hart-Smith. "I warned that if they outsourced too much work, the day would eventually come when there wouldn't be enough in-house capability to even write the specs."

The senior Boeing engineer with indirect knowledge of the battery and electrical system troubles believes that's what happened.

"Internally, we may not have the engineering horsepower required to understand the depths of the (battery system) problem as quickly as we prefer," he said. "We let too much capability slip away from us."


But the 787 electrical engineer said that when the battery problem is resolved and the Dreamliners fly again, more power panel problems will likely surface, and could lead to more diversions that would further damage the jet's reputation.

"To the public, it's still electrical," he said.

He said the company has been to focused on individual, narrow fixes.

"We have not done a real redesign," he said. "We should be examining the entire electrical system."

The Dreamliner was hyped as both the airplane of the future, and as the new way to manufacture airplanes of the future. Interesting that  the Boeing executives who made the outsourcing decisions don't seem to be being held accountable.  

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

hopefully (2.00 / 8)
they will be, sooner or later - held accountable.  

[ Parent ]
oops.....sleepy me, I forgot the link (2.00 / 9)
The article is in The Seattle Times.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
Interesting insight. (2.00 / 6)
When you outsource critical features of your product, you don't have the in-house expertise to react to problems and apply fixes.

It appears to allow for a lot of finger pointing.

When the space shuttle Challenger exploded due to failure of the O Rings, the subcontractor in charge of that particular part had to do some fancy dancing because the potential for a problem had been reported. It is a difficult thing to manage multi-vendor projects but someone needs to be held accountable for the ultimate product. If it is "everyone" then it is really "no one".

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
Berlin Film Festival starts today with an interesting line-up (2.00 / 9)
of themes. Personally, I'm interested in the one concerning indigenous peoples, and will be following that closely.

Berlin Film Festival

The 63rd Berlin International Film Festival kicks off on Thursday with a martial arts epic from Hong Kong. The festival's director says this year's selection pays particularly close attention to women, indigenous peoples and life in Eastern Europe.

The Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale for short) is an operation of superlatives. No other festival in the world receives as many visitors: In 2012, nearly 300,000 tickets were sold, more than 3,800 journalists covered the event and some 16,000 accredited industry specialists were in attendance. This year's festival, taking place Feb. 7 to 17, is screening 404 films, 19 of which are competing for the coveted top prize, the Golden Bear.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht

oh that does sound so very interesting (2.00 / 9)
if a bit overwhelming.  

i observe sundance from the safety of my home ;-)  

[ Parent ]
Here's the website for the Berlinale in English, rather than (2.00 / 9)
just an article about it. I won't be going, though.

Berlinale program

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht

[ Parent ]
A quick run through the morning news feeds: (2.00 / 8)
From Oil Fields To REI, Interior Nominee Has Outdoorsy Cred
... Jewell's oil career is far behind her. Nowadays, she runs a company with a more granola image - REI still calls itself a cooperative. In 2009, she gave a talk at the University of California, Berkeley about her belief in environmental sustainability, as long as it's economically viable.


Five Reasons Why Fewer People Trust Fox News Than Ever Before

A poll released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling shows that fewer people than ever trust Fox News as a source for accurate news and reporting. Just 41 percent expressed trust in the network - down from 49 four years ago - while 46 percent said they distrust Fox.


Thanks To Congressional Incompetence, Saturday Mail Delivery Is History

Under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Congress has for years forced the USPS to pre-fund 75 years' worth of pensions for its employees, a requirement not made of any other public or private institution. That means that the Postal Service is footing the bill for employees it hasn't even hired yet. [...]

An analysis in July showed that the USPS, without its pension requirement, would have a $1.5 billion surplus.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

The postal pension thing sounds insane, (2.00 / 6)
and frankly sounds like an episode of Left Gone Wild!

Am I missing something? I can't see conservatives legislating for (or anyone, honestly) legislating for a pension package like that.

Given the dribs of news I get (coffee breaks and you) I'm not likely to dig into the story, but it seems explosively political.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I am not sure what led to that insanity but I suspect that its roots are in GOP hatred of the postal workers union. (2.00 / 6)
Republicans got a lot of nasty stuff passed when they held Congress and the presidency.

Saturday mail delivery is not the real issue: my guess is that it will actually inconvenience few people. The post offices which have Saturday hours will still be open and package delivery will continue.

The real issue is what this means for the future of the half a million Postal Service employees who earn family supporting wages and have benefits like pensions and health insurance. The Republicans seem intent upon creating a "workers hellhole" where everyone is a wage slave with no collective bargaining rights and working until they die because they can't afford to retire.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
I know the GOP hates unions, (2.00 / 6)
but the logic escapes me. I'm not as much of a fan as most here, I worked in a union shop where all the cliches against unions were true. Unions, to me, are necessary evils that at some times need to break a cycle of abuse but often come with a set of downsides. Wise business people, imho and in my later experience at a non-union shop, understand the applied value of treating employees very well and do so for their own self interest.

But that is perhaps another thread.

While I don't know the background on this issue, though, it is hard on the surface to see as something the GOP would do unless it was intentionally to break the postal service. Something tells me this story isn't going away, and we will unfold this one much more.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I am strongly pro-union because I consider them the last bulwark against the destruction of the middle-class. (2.00 / 7)
Hyperbole? I don't think so. Unions built the middle-class and while there have been some abuses over the years, I believe that the good outweighs the bad. The 8 hour work week did not drop from the sky as a gift from employers: people actually died before that could become the law of the land.

I have been in two unions, neither by choice: the Communications Workers of America when I worked for a subsidiary of Ma Bell and in a teachers union when I was a part-time instructor at a technical college.

I was 19 years old when I was in the CWA and I wondered why they took that money out of my paycheck: until I saw some things that they did related to helping some 3rd shift workers keep their 3rd shift jobs. By the time I was an instructor (in my late 40s), I understood the value of unions and did not begrudge them the money.

In Wisconsin in 2011, when it became apparent that destroying the unions had as its goal cutting off funding to Democratic candidates, I question why anyone pro-Democrat is also not pro-union ... at least given the way campaigns are financed in the Real World.

I will try to convince you ... maybe with a diary post laying out my thoughts on this. You are right, it is a pretty big topic.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
:~) (2.00 / 5)
I look forward to it. Warning in advance, these debates risk contention, and while my intent is not to deny the good that unions do I am pretty set in my complex view. An early Moose who is extremely pro-union took great offense that I could not be made to see the light, and while this should be the place where we can discuss these things rationally I would hate to see anyone get actually offended.

My first full-time job was at the plant in Toronto where Sear Catalogs were printed into life. My mother's friend got me the job and was among the crew that created the union, and he in the end retired early from his post as union negotiator "because I can't go in there with a straight face and argue for bigger coffee cups."

In his time the plant was everything that unions were made to correct. You either walked a plank (literally) over a two-story void filled with gnashing gears while carrying heavy bundles of paper - for little pay - or you were fired.

By my time, machine operators making $100k per year (in the early 80s) slept at their posts all night, every night. Operators would intentionally allow another machine on the line to fail and jam without saying anything. I regularly got in trouble for doing things I needed to do to perform my job because of union rules and the aggressively slack attitudes of others. Watched an operator become a union rep and swaggering pompous entitled ass.

Which was justified, always, because management had all the money in the world and the Sears catalog would be around forever... The company went out of business due to a two-year strike over a trivial issue.

After that I worked at a GE plant in SC where power generation turbines were built. Non-union, high-paying, great work environment. When Jack Welsh was CEO. I was there when the right-hand-man (always forget his name) came to review the facility, and I sat in on the two-day meetings he held (I ran the video conference room). I watched him review the nice-but-useless VP (gone) and a nervous young operator who had found a way to be more efficient (promoted, his idea used worldwide in GE).

In my time in tech I have worked for small and massive companies, and started a few of my own. I built a $5B business by empowering and standing up for folks I had responsibility for (to).

Norma Ray and her era needed unions to fix tremendous inequity. Perhaps they serve a good purpose today. I have had good examples shown to me, and remain at best partially convinced. For me, though, they mark a failure of business to understand their self-interested value in an experienced and motivated work force. Unions often - if not always, perhaps not mostly, perhaps historically and not so much today - fossilize an adversarial relationship that limits an organization's ability to adapt.

It's a tough issue, particularly at times like now when so many companies (foolishly) believe that they can be more successful squeezing their employees than supporting them. Which is why, though I am not a fan, I am not specifically anti-union but rather see them as necessary only when business and law fail to do what they are intended for.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
There is a lot of room between "reflexively anti-union" and "reflexively pro-union". (2.00 / 6)
I would hope that any conversation would not encourage those who are "reflexively" anything to visit and cause a dustup.

The need for unions requires putting up with some of the unintended consequences from union leadership overreaching. Saying we don't need unions because people are no longer getting killed on the job and their bodies shoved to the side so that the next person can take over their machine is like saying we don't need the Voters Rights Act because: "look! ... black people can vote! ... I saw them standing in line!!!". I think that expecting management to have "learned a lesson" about overreaching is not very wise. Management seeks to improve the bottom line and, really, they can't do otherwise or they will run afoul of their shareholders. So the unions provide the necessary pushback to make it NOT profitable to screw your employees.

I also think that public employee unions in Wisconsin are being discouraged by more than the prospect of this: "because I can't go in there with a straight face and argue for bigger coffee cups". They are being discouraged that years of good faith bargaining over wages and benefits was effectively nullified by executive fiat.


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
The current situation is a mess. (2.00 / 6)
I agree that WI has nothing to do with actual related issues and everything to do with politics. I support the WI unions emphatically in this case.

I do not know the answer to the dilemma, and leave open the possibility that unions are forever necessary in some cases and that they can learn from their mistakes.

Like in most things, I am stuck in the middle.

Smart business is better at business by being better at workforce management. I know this from experience, and am at least as critical of foolish business people as foolish employees. It may not be possible to legislate the perfect solution, and it may not be possible to ever have a world where business does not make stupid decisions.

Pardon the analogy, it is a bit hyperbolic and with more time I would probably come up with a better one, but the issue falls in the same general frame as abortion. Both are at best unfortunate realities that have to at least remain options in an imperfect world, but in a better world there would be no need of either.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
The labor unions in my community.... (2.00 / 5)
I'm concerned about the position the labor unions have taken on the issue of the coal port shipping terminal. They have been strongly in support of this proposal, and in my opinion are on the wrong side of issue. It complicates my "reflexively pro-union" way of thinking.....

Breaking down his statistics, Pollster Stuart Elway noted a gap of only 9 percent (52-43 percent in support) between the sides among those who "knew a lot" about the proposals; but among those who had "only heard" of the proposals, the gap was much larger (56-28 percent, a 2-1 margin). The difference would indicate that opposition increases as citizens learn more about the terminals.

"These findings suggest that proponents have the advantage in the early framing of the discussion," Elway observed. "Since the more casually held opinions favor the coal ports, opponents will have a heavier lift to persuade people with those opinions to change their minds, while the proponents' easier task will be to reinforce already favorable inclinations."

From its beginning two years ago, the coal port debate has shaped up as a classic "jobs vs. environment" battle. The messaging is clearly working. The opinions of poll respondents closely reflect the emphasis of the campaigns on both sides of the debate. Backers of the terminals have stressed jobs and tax revenues for state and county coffers; 67 percent of poll respondents cited jobs and 59 percent cited tax revenues as issues of high importance to them in their decision.


Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
We have something similar happening in Wisconsin with an iron mine. (2.00 / 5)
It is not the unions but the promise of "700 jobs over the next 20 years" in a region where the economy is in dire straits.

There is intense debate because of environmental concerns related to drinking water and rushing through the permitting process. The mine owners don't want to wait until the environmental impacts are done because it "stifles them". Of course they will not have to live with the environment effects, the people they claim to want to help by creating jobs are the ones who will suffer.

The bill will surely pass and be signed into law because the Wisconsin GOP's corporate masters insist upon it. They have a 2 year window of opportunity to finish off the pillaging of our state before Gov. Scott Walker has to answer to the voters.

There is still hope that the mine can be stopped because Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has a reservation downstream from the proposed mine. That means that opponents could file suit in Federal Courts ... not the state courts which are a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wisconsin Republican Party.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
As with coal, the issue is not whether to mine or not but how it is done. (2.00 / 5)
As you say, union members are primarily motivated by jobs. Feeding your family comes first for all of us, if the last breeding pair of pandas wander by when my kids are hungry we are going to have a BBQ.

This sounds like another of the cases where the extreme partisanship causes direct harm. I know the WI pols are being led by extreme rightists and don't find it surprising to hear they are being idiots on this issue. It would be interesting to me to be able to juxtapose that with a measure of whether their opposition is being truly reasonable or rather just similarly obstinate on basic principles.

For example, is the permitting process being bypassed/shortened from what it should be? I imagine the pro- side is arguing that it is all being done according to Hoyle, does the con- side have solid evidence that it isn't.

Thanks for the info, both of you. These sort of specific cases are valuable to dig into a a metric of how well/poorly all this theory is being applied in the real world.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Ha! (2.00 / 5)
I will join you at that BBQ unless you shoot me and my family when we show up at your house hungry. ;)

I hope it never comes to our having to make those kind of choices but I hear what you are saying. I am definitely interested in real world solutions, not those formed in a vacuum of purity and theoreticals.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
Is the concern due to the environmental impact of coal, (2.00 / 5)
or are there other reasons to oppose it?

Jobs are what unions are about, rather than all Democratic issues in general, so it isn't surprising when they don't align. It is one of the tools of the Democratic Party to gain voters by supporting unions (which is not to say they do not support unions for ideological reasons as well), while those same voters may in many cases be much more conservative in general.

Energy is a tough issue, and coal particularly. Coal is just extremely cheap and plentiful, creates lots of jobs and thereby helps many thousands of working families. On the other hand, it is environmentally disastrous in acquisition and use. On the other hand, replacing half of all US electric production (and more elsewhere) requires massive funding which could be put to other use. On the hand (running out here, let me borrow yours), every other alternative has its own issues.

I have early but high hopes that on the usage side we will find ways of converting coal into power as well as other products, thus limiting or eliminating related environmental impacts while further reducing costs. The nickel carbon extraction research seems to provide a path to that, I am eagerly waiting to see economic analysis to determine if it is practicable.

The acquisition side is a major issue as well. A lot of material is moved to get at coal, and while that does not have to be a net negative "mountain topping" and other legacy methods are worrying. To fully understand the long-term economic viability of coal energy we will have to get to the point where complete site restoration is factored into every mine.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Floyd McKay's writing in Crosscut is an excellent source (2.00 / 5)
of information re The Gateway Pacific proposal. As with all  complex issues this is a hard one, but my opposition is close to home as the coal trains run through "my" neighbor park.....Boulevard Park I can see, hear and feel the impact of those trains.....

Coal Train: The people and process behind Bellingham's coal port decision

"The long and winding road . . . that leads to your door." Paul McCartney's road could scarcely be longer and more twisted than the process that rolls forth next week as public comment closes (for the moment) on the controversial proposal to build a giant coal-export terminal north of Bellingham.

The Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project has prompted the region's most-complex environmental review since public agencies began doing environmental reviews in the 1970s...

The impact of this proposal on local communities and the environment through out the Wa State will imho far outweigh any return. The world wide environmental impact becomes more complex as the argument can be made that providing "cleaner" coal to China will be an improvement.

The developers of the project have been very misleading real and lasting jobs in the communities that will be impacted and are doing everything possible to avoid a wide ranging environmental review of the project. On a personal note, two informed neighbors with their computers have been instrumental in providing necessary information to begin the review process that is under way. It's important to me to remember that individual people can truly make a difference.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
Absolutely. (2.00 / 4)
It's important to me to remember that individual people can truly make a difference.

As populations grow it gets easier to believe that we are small, but we are not. Many - many - major issues come down to small numbers of individuals. While there may be those already in positions of influence, there isn't anything to say that someone else cannot have as large a hand.

I believe - emphatically - that this wired intertooby thing has an enormous impact on that. Long before there was much if any public conversation on the topic it dawned on me how powerful this medium would be compared to prior means. It may be a worn cliche to say today, but it is true nonetheless that it doesn't only change things incrementally it changes the entire playing field.

Governments have been overthrown, titans brought down, tremendously large issues with enormous momentum have been turned in their course because a few - or just one - person made their voice heard. Because they had the ability to share their thoughts, to gather information, to place a pebble on a rail.

Most words and actions still do not lead to a direct result. But there are so many more, now, and so many more are able, that the world changes its axis.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Communitywise Bellingham...... (2.00 / 4)
".....to place a pebble on the rail".... They have certainly done so, in part by using their expertise to create a local organization that has grown to have a major impact.

We Believe in a grassroots approach to disseminate factual information, identify potential impacts, and articulate actions to address them.


Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
We lived in the Skagit Valley for a summer, in Burlington. (2.00 / 3)
Beautiful place and a good mix of sharp folks. Give my best to the San Juan islands!

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
How nice to know we have a "local" connection..... (2.00 / 4)
It is a beautiful place to live. We've had some memorable experiences on our boat in the islands.....including the blood clot I've been recovering from for over a year now. The boat is for sale :( My husband has a smaller boat for crabbing and fishing, but my days of jumping for the dock with the lines are over.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
You should ask RonK to post a photo diary of the gorgeous shots of your area, (2.00 / 4)
including the San Juan Islands. I think I did a week of towns with those photos last year. The one of the heron is one of my favorite photos.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
Thanks Jan.....I've been encouraging him to write and post here (2.00 / 4)
And with your kind words he just might. I hope you won't mind consulting if he has a few technical questions. I'm a geek wanna be...and you're the real deal!  

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

[ Parent ]
A photo diary would be a great icebreaker. (2.00 / 4)
Everyone loves photos. He can compose it in orange and copy/paste it here. Most of the codes translate.  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
The Amish case is more serious than it sounds. (2.00 / 5)
Forcible Confinement is one of the most heinous and fundamental crimes (as it should be), and mutilating someone's self-image compounds that. Given the cultural context it is particularly extreme.

Yes, the hair will grow back, but the crime is an outrageously violent attack against another person. I hope the judge throws a very large book.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

From a legal perspective I may be projecting on this one, (2.00 / 7)
it pulls some major childhood strings for me. I cannot know what bullying others went through, and its all bad, but the description of this crime resonates with the worst extremities of a very bad period for me. For good reason (he tries to say objectively).

The non-physical parts of "childhood bullying" are bad, they damage a person's ability to live fully. The beatings are a physical offense but the cuts and bruises heal, the worst of that is the same emotional damage.

But being held against your will, helpless, while others violate you is another thing altogether.

Yes, it is what it sounds like. That sort of offense falls into a category so extreme that it is rightly treated separately from all other crimes. Rape, kidnapping, torture. These things are far beyond the pale of theft of other "minor" crimes.

FloRo had asked about phobias in a recent Bomb diary. I mentioned a bit of claustrophobia which I have forced myself to deal with and largely overcome. But of all the baggage I have from a long period of childhood bullying, that is what sticks deepest - by far. It isn't fear of becoming trapped in a small space that makes me panic and lose my ability to breath, it is memories of stark helpless terror while others held me down and did whatever they wanted. Of being sick and terrified to go outside because it would happen again, and did.

There isn't a more heinous crime than that, in my mind. Murder is final, but forcible confinement for the purpose of inflicting harm is an evil that stays with the victim forever.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
David Horsey's Top of the Ticket , in The LA Times (2.00 / 6)
I always enjoy his cartoons and now with his commentary they are even better. I can't post the actual cartoons, so here's the link Postal Service dying from 1,000 cuts and a GOP stab in the back Scroll down the page for more.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

Well, there is the answer to Chris' question about the origins of that crazy USPS pension issue: (2.00 / 5)
In 2006, the GOP Congress passed a bill that required the Postal Service to fully fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years and to accomplish this within a 10-year period. Republicans are always insisting that the USPS be run like a good capitalist enterprise, but few, if any, private businesses could bear the burden of funding three-quarters of a century of retired employees' medical costs over just one decade.

And this was my belief as well about the real reason for that law:

In truth, the Republicans who crafted the bill were not interested in turning the Postal Service into a better business; they were seeking to run the post office out of business. With all those unionized employees working for a quasi-governmental operation that competes with private sector enterprises, the Postal Service is an affront to those who hate government, hate unions and hate to think that there is anything that government can do better than the private sector.

Fie on them. Interesting to note that the Postal Service is needed to provide deliveries to rural areas much like NPR is needed to provide radio service to rural area and rural airports are needed to provide emergency access to unserved rural areas. The very constituencies that Republicans claim to serve are those ill treated by the GOP.

For-profit businesses are not interested in providing those services because they can't turn a profit. So it falls to the government to provide them. Except that, of course, "government is not there to help you!!!" Sigh.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
Good grief. (2.00 / 4)
What a bunch of maroons.

I hope they get held to the irons for this as the story unfolds.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Midday Newswires (2.00 / 5)
Bruce Braley 'Ready' For Senate Run In Iowa
Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) said he's "ready" to run for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin in a fundraising email Thursday, announcing that he is forming a campaign committee, the Quad-City Times reports. Braley is expected to be a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.


Conservatives in a purity battle with Karl Rove

We, the free men and women of this great nation, affirm everyone's natural right to speak their mind, but we cannot and will not abide the unjust, personal broadside your aide Jonathan Collegio leveled against a man whose family has dedicated itself to advancing the cause of liberty for over half a century.

Mr. Collegio calling Mr. Bozell a "hater" publicly on WMAL radio this morning reflects the language of the establishment Republicans. It is the divisive language of the Left.

Signed, Those Who You Shall Not Diss including:
- Tony Perkins, noted gay hater
- Phyllis Schlafly, noted "everyone who is not Phyllis Schlafly" hater
- Mark Levin, not really noted hater from talk radio -- but he sure writes some swell prose.


Westboro Baptist church key member Megan Phelps-Roper leaves

We've done things that hurt people' says 27-year-old, who is leaving anti-gay organisation with her sister Grace


Nearly Half of All US Farms Now Have Superweeds

Last year's drought took a big bite out of the two most prodigious US crops, corn and soy. But it apparently didn't slow down the spread of weeds that have developed resistance to Monsanto's herbicide Roundup (glyphosate), used on crops engineered by Monsanto to resist it. More than 70 percent of all the the corn, soy, and cotton grown in the US is now genetically modified to withstand glyphosate. [...]

So where do farmers go from here? Well, Monsanto and its peers would like them to try out "next generation" herbicide-resistant seeds-that is, crops engineered to resist not just Roundup, but also other, more toxic herbicides, like 2,4-D and Dicamba. Trouble is, such an escalation in the chemical war on weeds will likely only lead to more prolific, and more super, superweeds, along with a sharp increase in herbicide use.


Diet Drinks Get You Drunk Faster

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

Roger Stone decries Rove's SuperPAC (2.00 / 4)
Roger Stone: Rove's New Group A 'Suicide PAC'
Roger Stone, the veteran political operative who worked on both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan's campaigns, said Thursday that Karl Rove's new group, the Conservative Victory Project, will divide the Republican Party and amounts to a "suicide PAC." [...]

Stone said it's wrong to alienate the conservative base. "These are the storm troops of the Republican Party," he said, adding that tea party folks ring doorbells and hang sings for candidates. "Don't offend them"

It sounds like Rove struck a nerve in the Republican party. Can he keep cashing in on his Bush's Brain creds or is his Fox meltdown just the latest sign of his decline into irrelevance?  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

[ Parent ]
Ah, the sound of a tree falling. (2.00 / 4)
Conservatives in a purity battle with Karl Rove

There is that first whine as fibers begin to part. High-pitched, gathering momentum as lignin slides and strands pull away from each other. Growing in volume, crackling and popping as the sweet whooosh! of limbs through the air is followed by the earth-shaking thump and snapping of limbs.

God bless gravity. :~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]

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