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  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Killing Herd Animals
      One of the great crimes and tragedies of our world is how we treat the animals we eat (or whose milk or eggs or other products we eat and use.) Factory farming keeps them in tiny enclosures, feeds them monotonous foods, and then when they’re slaughtered it’s a terrible experience: they’re terrified and die in […]
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Vacation Horrors

fear

Well now that myiq2xu has scared the bejeebus out of me regarding my vacation this summer to the West Coast I’m sure to have nightmares for weeks.  We’re traveling to Yosemite and the coastal areas of Northern California and it seems that we’ve inadvertently picked the location of the infamous Cary Stayner serial killings (not too bad till I heard they think there was an accomplice that is still on the loose) and two of the most frightening death-drop drives in the country – Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur and Highway 140 from El Portal to Mariposa.  Nothing like sleeping with your eyes open while being tranquilized.

Anyways…what vacation stories or horror story experiences do you have?  – Ghost Stories welcome too! — I can’t sleep now, why should you?

Open Threadie…

Big Sur Bridge - So beautiful...but scarey as hell for me!

Big Sur Bridge - So beautiful...but scarey as hell for me!

Bad 80’s Flashback Open Thread

Pop music that will give you diabetes.

When this video came out Reagan was President and I was between wives.

What were you doing in 1987?

Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

  • Unnecessary Excuses
  • While going though some papers yesterday, I came across the following story in The Politico:
    White House urged to address ‘racist’ charge

    Some Democrats and political analysts are urging the White House to shift course and concede that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor made an error when she suggested in 2001 that Hispanic women would make better judges than white men.

    I thought this must be a joke. “Some Democrats” couldn’t be such cowards.
    Let’s recap what’s going on here:

  • In a conference on law and diversity, Judge Sotomayor said “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” And that’s controversial because??? But I digress
  • 8 years later, Rush Limbaugh (who actually told a black caller to his radio show “get that bone out of your nose and call me back”) calls her “a racist” in an attempt to derail her nomination to the SCOTUS. The Right Wing noise machine jumps into the charade thereafter. The whole spectacle is actually guffaw-inducing. Who’s seriously thinking here about an apology?
  • To my horror, while getting ready this morning for the “Brakfast Read” I read this:
    White House concedes Sonia Sotomayor misspoke in 2001

    The White House moved Friday to try to tamp down a swirling controversy over a 2001 speech in which Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor suggested that Hispanic women make better judges than white men.

    “I’m sure she would have restated it,” President Barack Obama said in an interview with NBC News, referring to Sotomayor’s speech that was later reprinted in a law journal.
    […]
    Press Secretary Robert Gibbs went a little further, saying, “I think she’d say that her word choice in 2001 was poor.”

    I was about to gouge my own eyeballs out. Maybe I should be happy they didn’t repudiate her with the infamous “That’s not the Sotomayor we knew”. No Robert Gibbs, her choice of words was perfect, and she was right. When will Dems grow a pair?

    Here is what Sandra Day O’Connor said about her nomination to the SC

    “I bring to the court the perspective of a woman primarily in a sense that I am female, just as I am white, a college graduate, etc.

    “Yes, I will bring the understanding of a woman to the court, but I doubt that that alone will affect my decisions,”

    Not too long ago during the most recent confirmation to the SC (When Sen Lindsay Graham cried like a baby),Sammy Alito said among other things

    When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.

    Ball-less Democrats!

    Rogues, Robes and Racists

    Someone pinch me. I must be dreaming. Some of the same Republicans who have wielded the hot blade of racial divisiveness for years, are now calling Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court nominee, a racist. Oh, the hypocrisy!


  • Changing The Ways of Washington, DC
  • Fund-Raising Still Has Its Perks in the Obama Era

    Mr. Susman, a retired investment banker, earned the London posting not through diplomatic service but by collecting big checks for Mr. Obama’s campaign. Charles H. Rivkin, an entertainment mogul who once headed the company that created the Muppets, is heading to Paris for the same reason.
    […]
    For a candidate who made grand promises to bring change to a capital where power and position are greased by money, the latest selections are a reminder that there are limits to just how much change the new president intends to bring.

    Obama’s Itinerary Irks German Government

    The relationship between the charismatic US president and Germany’s no-nonsense chancellor has been marked by tension since Barack Obama’s visit to Berlin as a presidential candidate last year. Differences over Obama’s itinerary in Germany suggest his ties with Angela Merkel remain awkward


  • The Other Batlle
  • Ted Kennedy reemerges in health care debate

    Kennedy Health Plan Would Include Public Insurance

    Senator Edward Kennedy, chairman of a Senate panel drafting a health-care overhaul, is circulating a plan that would require everyone to have insurance and would create a government program to compete with private insurers, said people familiar with the plan.

    Health care activists lament single-payer snub

    Frustrated by the exclusion of government-financed medical care from the debate to revamp the nation’s troubled health system, advocates of a “single-payer” plan are increasingly turning to demonstrations and civil disobedience as a way to get their message across.

    Don’t be fooled on health care; real reform is what’s needed

    Health care is a human right


  • Economy Watch
  • Bankruptcy looms for GM; Chrysler awaits fate

    U.S. Hopes To Recoup GM Outlay In 5 Years

    Congress’s Afterthought, Wall Street’s Trillion Dollars

    Commentary: My answer to being slimed on Huffington Post


  • Oh No! Not Again!
  • Race questions over New York ‘cop-on-cop’ shooting of Omar J. Edwards

    A black policeman in plain-clothes was shot dead by a white officer in New York last night after he was apparently mistaken for a criminal.

    Omar J. Edwards, 25, was returning to his car after a shift at Harlem police station when he saw a stranger rummaging in his car. As he tried to apprehend the suspect, he was shot at six times by a colleague.

    ‘They killed my son’: family grieves loss of Omar Edwards, black cop shot by white officer


  • “Torturegate”
  • Another Leftist, Al Qaeda-loving, week-on-terror communist chimes in:
    US violated Geneva Conventions, Bush Iraq commander says (h/t Dr BostonBoomer)

    The head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, said Friday that the US had violated the Geneva Conventions in a stunning admission from President Bush’s onetime top general in Iraq that the US may have violated international law.


  • Mission Accomplished
  • U.S. Soldier and 11 Iraqis Die in Attacks

    Al-Qaeda spreads its tentacles

    Military retakes largest town in Swat Valley

    Good cop, bad cop: President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton


  • Amazing!
  • Revealed: the best protection against cancer

    Boosting levels of vitamin D could cut the incidence of breast cancer by a quarter, bowel cancer by a third and it should be offered to the population as part of a public health drive, scientists say.

    The finding is based on a review of 2,750 research studies involving vitamin D, sometimes called “bottled sunshine”, which show that taking daily supplements of the vitamin could do more for cancer prevention than a library full of lifestyle advice.


  • A deal Is a Deal
  • Man accuses woman of cheating him of sex

    A Swedish man complained to police after a woman he lent money for a car refused to honor her promise to have sex with him


    WTF?
    A Florida Epidemic: Female Teachers Sleeping with Their Students


    Our own Stateofdisbelief has the 2 best stories of the week:
    Father, 29, in child support court says he has 21 kids

    Woman Voter has the video:

    “Pulling Out” Rivals Condoms, Study Says

    Unforgivable

    1802674332_04ff4dff3dI first found out about this a little bit ago, and the resulting temper tantrum was of such epic proportions,  I had to wait a couple of days to do a post on it, because my hands were literally shaking with so much anger, I could barely type.

    Liberal Rapture puts it best in this post, by John.

    Obama’s Iraq reversal caused a big fat Told ya so from me.

    His flibbertigibbet torture stances hardly surprised.

    Ignoring the gay community that he courted and hypnotized is, of course, par for the course.

    I must say that Obama’s approval of blowing the tops off 42 mountains is nothing short of heartbreaking. Not because BHO disappoints yet again. Ha! I knew he’d be a nightmare of flip flops and lies. It is depressing because the entire concept of “mountain top removal” is a horror.

    The article he links to is by Democracy Now. In an interview with Amy Goodman, Jeff Biggers explains why blowing mountaintops to smithereens is not just an environmental issue, but a human rights issue.

    AMY GOODMAN: What about media coverage, Jeff Biggers, of Appalachia?

    JEFF BIGGERS: Media coverage. You know, this is something that I’m just not quite sure what’s going on. You know, here you have one of the most egregious environmental and human rights violations right before our very eyes. You have little communities in West Virginia, a little town outside called Prenter, where 97 percent of the people have some sort of gallbladder disease. You have Americans who cannot drink their water. You have people who are living under daily explosions and silica dust coming into their gardens and their farms. People are having to be relocated and removed. And yet the mainstream media is not handling it. They’re just sort of acting as if this is something that can wait, that something—that it’s not really an urgent issue.

    That’s right. Not an urgent issue. Gallbladder disease? Contaminated water? Who cares? They’re all just bitter, gun-toting Appalachian racists, anyway. Wanna know what really matters? Michelle Obama has arms! And pretty shoes!

    Besides, it’s not the Coal Mining industry’s fault! Even though they are in bed with the President and almost every other member of Congress- those mountaintops are in the way! We’ve got to blow the m*ther f*ckers off the face of the Earth, because there be coal in there, and we couldn’t POSSIBLY hire mineworkers and give people jobs in a time of Economic Recession in which countless people are looking for work! For one thing, that would make sense, and for another, it would cost money!

    AMY GOODMAN: Who’s pushing for it? Why does it continue?

    JEFF BIGGERS: It continues because we have an incredible coal industry and their lobby in Washington. And this is something that transcends politics. You know, I’m based in the Midwest now, in Illinois.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And also, just to clarify, for the industry, it’s much cheaper to blow up a mountaintop than to actually send people, workers, underground to get the coal out.

    JEFF BIGGERS: Exactly. When we say coal is cheap, of course, you know, that’s an absolute outrage. It’s not cheap. It’s just cheaper for them. You know, instead of having three underground mining jobs, they only need one job of someone blowing up the mountain with massive explosives and then using heavy equipment to get at this tiny little seam. So, yes, for them, it’s a cheaper and effective way.

    But the problem is, the coal really transcends party politics, that you have liberal Democrats in the Midwest, like Senator Dick Durbin from my Illinois or even President Obama, who have always been working with the coal industry. It’s something that, if you come from a coal state, it’s been very hard to shake from the stranglehold of the coal industry on our politics.

    Well, the media doesn’t care, because they are in bed with the coal and nuclear lobby, also. Coal sure gets around! But don’t fret! There is still time for the POTUS to have a change of heart!

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And are there any political leaders in the region who have been courageous enough to stand up to the coal industry?

    JEFF BIGGERS: Yes, there’s one man who’s a great American hero: ninety-four-year-old Ken Hechler. He was the great congressman. The only congressman who marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama, was this hillbilly from West Virginia, great Ken Hechler. And here he is, ninety-four years old, in West Virginia last week, and the state troopers refused to arrest him, you know. And Ken Hechler came to me, and he said, “President Obama needs to have a Harry S. Truman movement—moment,” that he must, like in 1948, when Harry S. Truman, against the Democratic Party, said we must integrate the military, and he did that on executive order. And Representative Hechler is saying, “We’ve reached that moment now, that President Obama must rise above this idea that we have to have a consensus, that we have to have some kind of compromise with the coal industry, that you can’t compromise with evil.” And Representative Hechler was willing to be arrested for this.

    Don’t count on it, old man. That whole Harry S. Truman moment? Don’t make me laugh. Funny how, in the age of Hope! and Change!, I don’t even feel the need to remind people why they shouldn’t get their hopes up for change. Particularly regarding things as important as say, oh, I don’t know, F*CKING BLOWN UP MOUNTAINS!

    And do I even need to say that Environmentalists who supported Obama only have themselves to blame? I think not.

    I don’t know about any of the commenters and posters here, but this is just unbearable for me. As you all know, my spirituality and beliefs are nature-based. Nature and the Environment, to me, is sacred. To see forty two mountains wiped off the face of the Earth is enough to break my heart into a million little pieces. I actually began to cry, to blub, when I read about this. And snuggling my kitty didn’t help.

    I have roots in Applachia. I grew up here in Cleveland, but half of my family is from Pennsylvania and Southern Ohio. (The other half being from Washington DC and Atlantic City, but I digress.) I have felt a connection to the mountains of Appalachia for my entire life. I have yet to climb a mountain, but have wanted to do so since my girlhood. And I say this because I am sure there are other people here who share that sentiment. (I know you ALL aren’t from the East Coast :p).

    This is unforgivable, inexcusable, and shameful.

    %$#^&! @#$!

    *throws things*