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    • God As Idea, By Eric Anderson
      I woke up last night feeling like I was suffocating, because in my dream I was. It began in a church, or an old university lecture hall. Antique. And everyone in attendance was being asked to say little prayers honoring Jesus. Everyone was reciting little prayers that are common among the devout. But when it was my turn, I stood and exclaimed: Jesus was a ph […]
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Saturday Morning News and Views

Good Morning, Conflucians!!!!

I’ve been surfing around the ‘net for awhile, and I’ve come up with a somewhat eclectic collection of links that mostly ignore current events in Washington DC. These are some stories that caught my eye. What are you reading? Is there anything big happening in the Village that I missed?

First up: more evidence that Professors with Harvard degrees are no better than the rest of us regular folks.

From the NYT: Professor Said to Be Charged After 3 Are Killed in Alabama

Three faculty members at the University of Alabama in Huntsville were shot to death, and three other people were seriously wounded at a biology faculty meeting on Friday afternoon, university officials said….a biology professor, identified as Amy Bishop, was charged with murder.

According to a faculty member, the professor had applied for tenure, been turned down, and appealed the decision. She learned on Friday that she had been denied once again.

The newspaper identified Dr. Bishop as a Harvard-educated neuroscientist. According to a 2006 profile in the newspaper, Dr. Bishop invented a portable cell growth incubator with her husband, Jim Anderson. Police officials said that Mr. Anderson was being detained, but they did not call him a suspect.


Officials said the dead were all biology professors, G. K. Podila, the department’s chairman; Maria Ragland Davis; and Adriel D. Johnson Sr. Two other biology professors, Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera and Joseph G. Leahy, as well as a professor’s assistant, Stephanie Monticciolo, are at Huntsville Hospital in conditions ranging from stable to critical.

This is a terrible tragedy that also demonstrates that academics are no more immune to rage, violence, or psychological dysfunction than anyone else. I was thinking about how horrible this must be for the students at UAH, and then I read this.

From MSNBC: Professor charged in university shooting

Gina Hammond, a UAH student, told WAFF that she lobbied the University of Alabama trustees to allow students with gun permits to carry their weapons on campus. She was turned down.

“I’m scared to go back to school,” Hammond said. “However, if they were to allow me to carry my pistol on campus, I would not be as scared.

“… I’m sorry that nobody in that room had a pistol to save at least one person’s life,” Hammond said.

OK, I’m not sure allowing everyone to carry guns on college campuses is the solution to this kind of tragedy. Maybe it would have been better if Dr. Bishop hadn’t had access to a firearm. Then maybe she could have calmed down a little bit, thought things over, and started looking for another job.

Here’s another odd, sad story along similar lines: Psychiatrist Tips Off Police about Her Husband’s Paranoia and Weapons Stockpiling

Gregory Girard, 45, is now being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing tomorrow in Salem District Court, where he pleaded not guilty yesterday to multiple weapons charges.

Police arrested Girard late Tuesday night after a brief standoff outside the 23 Bridge St. condo where he had been living with his wife and their 16-year-old son.

Girard had a huge collection of weaponry in the family’s home and a shooting range in the attic.

On Monday, Girard’s wife, a psychiatrist, contacted police to express concern about her husband’s increasing paranoia and apparent stockpiling of weapons, Segal said.

Kristine Girard told police that while her husband hadn’t threatened her, she was afraid to return home after an argument.

She said her husband had recently told her, “Don’t talk to people, shoot them instead,” and “It’s fine to shoot people in the head because traitors deserve it,” Segal said, reading from a police report.

This guy is too old to have recently developed schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenics sometimes function fairly well. Perhaps he has suffered with the disorder for years and has taken medication that helped him, or perhaps he has some other type of bipolar disorder that can lead to psychotic episodes (bipolar disorder or major depression are possibilities).

Regardless, this man has some kind of severe psychological disorder that wasn’t caused by attending tea party demonstrations or admiring Sarah Palin as the prog blogs have been busy implying. More nutty interpretations of a psychologically troubled person’s motivations at TPM here and here. Meanwhile, right wing blogs are focusing on the fact that Girard’s wife is psychiatrist who works in Cambridge, MA.

Guess what you Obot morons, psychiatrists are subject to human failings just like Harvard education professors and all the rest of us “ordinary people.” Get a clue, why don’t you? This is a human tragedy, and the man has a 16-year-old son who is probably really upset right now.

Yesterday, linked to the NYT Magazine piece about the wingnuts on the Texas school board who control the textbooks American children are exposed to in school. Today, Harvey Wasserman has a good diary up at the Cheeto that responds to the wingnut claims that our founders were all Christians who wanted our country to force everyone to follow suit.

1. Actual Founder-Presidents #2 through #6—John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams—were all freethinking

Deists and Unitarians; what Christian precepts they embraced were moderate, tolerant and open-minded.

2. Actual Founder-President #1, George Washington, became an Anglican as required for original military service under the British, and occasionally quoted scripture. But he vehemently opposed any church-state union. In a 1790 letter to the Jews of Truro, he wrote: The “Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistances, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.” A 1796 treaty he signed says “the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Washington rarely went to church and by some accounts refused last religious rites.

And so on. It’s well worth a read.

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story on the lawyer for the “missionaries” who recently attempted to smuggle 33 children out of Haiti and into the Dominican Republic: Missionary Group’s Lawyer is Investigated by El Salvador

Police in El Salvador said Friday they are trying to determine if Jorge Puello, the lawyer for 10 American missionaries detained in Haiti for having tried to leave the country with 33 children, is the same person as a Salvadoran man wanted on child-trafficking charges.

El Salvador’s National Police said in a statement they are investigating whether Mr. Puello is Jorge Torres Orellana, a man who is wanted on charges of child trafficking in El Salvador. The Salvadoran police posted pictures of both Mr. Puello and Mr. Torres on their Web site and said it asked for U.S. help in comparing the fingerprints of the two men.

Mr. Puello has been the main legal adviser to the Americans since shortly after their Jan. 28 arrest, when the group was detained for trying to cross into the Dominican Republic with 33 children on a bus and without the right paperwork. They have been in jail since, under investigation for possible child abduction and conspiracy.

Mr. Puello’s name doesn’t appear on the registry of the Dominican Republic College of Attorneys, a list on which all attorney’s names are required to appear for them to litigate in the country’s courts…

Hmmmm… I plan to keep an eye on this story.

Here are some follow-ups to the bizarre story about John Mayer, who recently came out as a white supremacist dick in a Playboy Interview as follows:

PB: Do black women throw themselves at you?

JM: I don’t think I am made for that. I have a supremacist dick that is rather white supremacist. I possess a Benetton heart and a fuckin David Duke cock and I am going to date separately from my dick.

Click on these links at your own risk.

John Mayer: Jessica Simpson Was “Sexual Napalm”!

John Mayer Stops Tweeting

Has John Mayer Been Scared Tweetless?

John Mayer Breaks Down on Stage

What an A-hole, with a capital A!

If you haven’t read Joseph Cannon’s (with assistance) take-down of Gerry Posner, do not miss it! Posner is the author of the supposedly (but not really) authoritative book on the JFK assassination, Case Closed. NOTE: The book was written well before many recently released revelations, which are probably only the tip of the iceberg of what is in the government’s archives. Thanks to Cannon and a couple of other terrific researchers, Posner has been fired by The Daily Beast for plagiarism. Cannon’s stories:

Well, what did you expect?

Gerald Posner: SERIAL plagiarist? (UPDATE: Suspended!)

Gerry Posner and “quote tampering”

I’m not going to post any links to stories about “health care reform” or the “jobs bill”–not! or anything to do with Congress or the President. I’m just a little bit fed up with those people. But feel free to post links to any stories you want in the comments!


114 Responses

    • After returning to his home north of New York on Friday, Mr Clinton told reporters: “I’m doing very well. I feel very blessed. I was fortunate that, you know, I kind of had a feeling about it.”

      Praising his surgeons, the former president said: “It’s miraculous what they do with the stents, they just go in and go out – I didn’t take any sedatives so I was alert and I got to watch it all on the monitor.”

      What a guy!

    • There was a bill before the Tx legislature last year to allow guns on college campuses. I couldn’t believe it and was so afraid it would pass, thankfully it did not.

      • sorry, this was not suppose to nest under the above.

      • I’m imagining a shoot out at the ok corral if they allow guns in campus classrooms. Adolescents carrying around weapons is a frightening proposition in my eye. BB can probably attest to their emotional/intellectual development in the late teens early 20s, but a lot of them aren’t mature enough to be driving vehicles let alone carrying guns in my experience teaching that level. Frankly, there are some really nutty professors also I wouldn’t trust with a copying machine let a gun.

  1. Mixed GOP response to WH invitation to bipartisan summit on how to best help the insurance companies


  2. Another article on the lawyer for the Baptists in Haiti:


  3. Ford’s Tax Dodge


    Ford presumably decided that his real home was Tennessee, which conveniently has no income tax. Which means that, despite the fact that New York law requires part-time and nonresidents to pay income tax on money they earn in the state, Ford has shielded his entire Merrill Lynch salary from New York’s tax collectors for the past three years. In fact, it seems like Tennessee’s lack of an income tax may be the best explanation for Ford’s rather complicated two-state life since 2007 — he clearly wanted to live in New York, and married a woman in 2008 who did live in New York. But he made sure to keep a foot in a state whose tax code is friendly to rich guys like himself.

    • He did support Hillary but he is not looking good these days. Don’t think anyone is going to be too excited about a bankster for Senator.

    • Ford is really a piece of work. He just registered to vote in NY about a month ago, and now it turns out he has been living on a big fat Merrill Lynch salary and having it paid in TN, where there is no income tax on salaries, rather than NY. Notice he says, “Let me be clear.” Sound familiar?

      Harold Ford, former Memphis congressman, will file first New York tax return for 2009 in spring

      Last month, trumpeting his New York cred, Ford said, “I pay taxes there, and once you pay taxes there, you feel like a New Yorker.”

      “I’m in the process. Let me be clear. I pay my quarterly estimates,” he told YNN, a Buffalo affiliate of NY1 “I will file a return for the first time, [for] last year, come April, when taxes are to be filed.”

      Left unclear by Ford and his staff yesterday was whether he paid any New York income taxes in 2007 or 2008 after he took a high-paying gig as a vice chairman of Merrill Lynch, with offices both in Manhattan and Nashville.


    • I can’t imagine Ford will pass the smell test in NYC, let alone upstate with that bit of information.

      • I wonder what color he gets his toenails painted when he gets those pedicures?

      • I think he will run/is running a campaign which is a copy of BO’s 2008 campaign. Rely on media darling status and corporate backup, dismiss valid concerns, get others to demonize and diminish the opponent for you, and not give any real policy idea, and the last one, “I am a good looking young guy as opposed to …, so vote for me”.

        Trust me, the media will not cover his tax problems, and when pressed, will treat it like a yawning piece of yesterday’s news.

    • Interesting that TN doesn’t have an income tax but it taxes food.


      Seven states tax groceries at lower rates than other goods; they are Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.


      • absolutely regressive … Jindal’s monkeyed with our half hearted exemption on food too. The regressive nature of state sales taxes and then of course social security, completely wipe out what little there’s left of a progressive federal income tax. In Minnesota, where I lived before coming to LA, they didn’t tax food or clothing. But they had an incredibly progressive property and state income tax, as a result, I’d compare their state services to any place in the country. Some times I wish I ‘d never left Minneapolis.

        • California doesn’t tax “grocery” items but it does tax pprepared food. So if your lifestyle/job makes you eat fast food you pay more.

          • Virginia has a higher tax for prepared food too. 11%

            The one thing Mark Warner did that was progressive per se was lower the taxes on food. It used to be you paid the same tax on a loaf of bread as you did for a DVD(4%). So we are actually grateful that the rate is 2.5%on food now and the general merchandise is 5% .

          • MA doesn’t tax food and clothing, thank goodness.

        • It just blows me away that the people of TN pay tax on a can of green beans while Helicopter Harry games the system. I’m so disgusted that I just went to Gillbrand’s website and made a campaign contribution.

      • Wow. Those are some of the poorest states! Regressive indeed.

  4. Would somebody please tell Big Dawg that he can take a rest, please. He needs to last for another 20 years of so because I am planning to last about that much longer and I need him to be taking up some of the oxygen on this planet.

  5. Wow, a CPA colleague sent this to me – when you peel back the layers, it’s amazing what you find.


    • Thanks I just emailed that to a friend that has been trying to help folks who can’t get banks to modify their loans and had explained the very problem via some forms. I think she will love this video.

      Banks are actually making money by having folks go into foreclosure and the note at the end happened to a woman who was going through a divorce and is about to file bankruptcy due to it. Why isn’t the media covering this mess?

    • Sent this to my hubby, who tweeted it. Thanks for the share.

    • I always thought that, if they will sell it to someone else for so much less, why don’t they just sell it to the person already there for that price? I guess this answers that question.

  6. you know, the one thing doesn’t have anything to do with the other, really, but why am I not surprised that the singer of slacker-anthem “Waiting on the World to Change” is such a huge and hideous *ss?

    • Hee, I call it the Waiting on the World to Change generation.

      Mayer’s “I need to be 32” says it all.

      He’s saying it like he’s still a pre-teen or something. I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard that, and I’m younger than him.

  7. Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power

    “We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.


    • Does that mean he and his staff don’t even KNOW they can do?!


    • I knew it. Anyone remember when that paper asked questions of all the candidates re: the constitution and separation of powers? The Obots swore up and down that there was “no difference” in his and Hillary’s answers, but if you read objectively, hers were very unequivocal, and his left lots of wiggle room in the language he used.

      I thought to myself at the time “This fucker is a bigger Unitary Executive than Bush. You just wait and see.”

  8. What I Saw at the Tea Party Convention
    The attendees want politicians who will deliver on Obama’s promise of clean and open government.

    Pundits claim the tea partiers are angry—and they are—but the most striking thing about the atmosphere in Nashville was how cheerful everyone seemed to be. I spoke with dozens of people, and the responses were surprisingly similar. Hardly any had ever been involved in politics before. Having gotten started, they were finding it to be not just worthwhile, but actually fun.


    • Amusing and amazing that the population is mad because of the republican policies, but due to the sheer and utter cluelessness of Democrats, the ones benefitting from it are Republicans.

      Democrats at present have no spines, no passion, and no morals. They are just politicians trying to hold on to their jobs. And the populations has figured them out. And while they are busy calling everyone ra*%sts, the right is again showing that they can use anything for power, even their own screwups.

      Sorry gals and guys, but I think American public is screwed either way.

  9. Brought this up from the last thread.

    My daughter had me watch a video about the girls suing to get the women’s ski jump. One 25 year old woman actually beat the men’s record on the same track they use for this year’s Olympics. It is heartbreaking to see these young ladies. You may all be aware, but I did not know. They are true athletes.


    • Thank you for putting this link up, women are still being excluded and held back despite their brilliance and talent.

      I hope other watch and see this video. Please send it to egalia :
      Email news tips to egalia-at-earthlink-dot-net
      as this is a rally call for women on equality.

      • This is infuriating, especially so since this is the first I have become aware of this blatant policy of discrimination. Thanks for posting. Women are rapidly loosing ground in all areas, it is really sad.

      • Just sent. Thank you for watching. I know this is now something I will write and email on until the rules change. These ladies are fantastic and strong. Their treatment in this day and age breaks my heart.

  10. Just when I think I’ve heard of everything:


    Caring for Pets Left Behind by the Rapture

    Many people in the U.S.—perhaps 20 million to 40 million—believe there will be a Second Coming in their lifetimes, followed by the Rapture . In this event, they say, the righteous will be spirited away to a better place while the godless remain on Earth. But what will become of all the pets?

    Bart Centre, 61, a retired retail executive in New Hampshire, says many people are troubled by this question, and he wants to help. He started a service called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets that promises to rescue and care for animals left behind by the saved.

    Promoted on the Web as “the next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World,” the service has attracted more than 100 clients, who pay $110 for a 10-year contract ($15 for each additional pet.) If the Rapture happens in that time, the pets left behind will have homes—with atheists. Centre has set up a national network of godless humans to carry out the mission. “If you love your pets, I can’t understand how you could not consider this,” he says.

    • ROFLOL! I can’t believe there are really people who believe this stuff. I wonder if there is any way I could profit from the rapture?

      • This guy is a hoot! I think he’s Don Mills’ (Crabby Old Fart) long-lost twin brother!

      • There’s already some service, Rapture Letters or something, where you can arrange to have your ungodly friends and relatives notified so they don’t worry that you vanished rather than ascended.

    • There is no Biblical basis for the Rapture; it was, if I remember correctly, cooked up by a Pat Robertson type in the early 1800s.

    • What if there’s a Liberal Rapture?

      • every one’s pets come with us … the evangelicals get left with the banana slugs and the cockroaches … that would include Pat Robertson who is a lower life form than even that

      • The Liberal Rapture allows pets, I believe. 😉

    • “If you love your pets, I can’t understand how you could not consider this,” he says.

      I would ask the opposite question. If you love your pets, why would they be left behind in your imaginary rapture?

    • oh man I wish I had thought of this!!! What a gold mine!! 🙂

  11. Interesting article on the missionaries who tried ot take the kids from Haiti–in The Guardian UK


    • Very interesting article especially the last few paragraphs. It appears that the children have suffered a lot of emotional damage.

      • I’d imagine … how horrible it must be to think your parents sold you off to a bunch of yahoos who are going to take you out of the country, brainwash you and send you to who knows where?

  12. Now the media is wondering how Hillary would have handled healthcare (better than Obama)

    • A quote from the Newsweek article:

      “Obama, taking the opposite tack, turned over the drafting of legislation to Congress on the assumption that powerful committee chairmen would have a vested interest in its passage. Now we know the opposite of an error is another error, and that Obama was too passive in his relationship with Congress. He didn’t provide leadership to his allies on Capitol Hill, and the result was an extended period of stumbling that allowed reform opponents to gain the upper hand.”

      Yep – the opposite of the Clinton error was another error. Only this time around it had a good chance but Obama blew it so badly it is an even bigger error. On the other hand, I never really thought he wanted to pass HCR.

    • I saw the stupidest comment by Brad at Sadly No! He said HRC would have been ten times better on health care, but the same on finance and the economy. First, I vehemently disagree; she’d have been better for the economy. Second, wtfe. It’s a net gain anyway! He did say he wanted to personally apologize to Lambert, so there is that.

      • He did say he wanted to personally apologize to Lambert, so there is that.


        • http://bittyit.com/73m6/

          “I almost feel tempted to get down on my knees and beg Lambert for forgiveness. My problem with him, though, is he can’t convince me HRC would have been any better.

          (OK, on health care she would have, that’s for certain, but on financial reform she would have been the same or worse.)”

          I’d type more, but I’m typing one-handed. I’m in the process of removing acrylic nails. 🙂

          • Geez, I totally give up! I’ve been soaking for 45 minutes!

          • Thanks for the link. And, the comment that prompted that noted the corporate influence on Obama’s policies–yet the conclusion is still that Hillary would have been the worse or same on financial reform? 🙄

            Why do the progs think the MSM, with its corporate backers, were so eager to push Obama over Hillary? Why were they so scared of Hillary and so dazzled by visions of Obama’s sugar plum unity dancing in their heads? Why after all the money Wall Street threw at Hillary did they still not trust her to be their puppet? Why did they need to start bankrollling Obama’s campaign if Hillary would have been “the same or worse” on financial reform?

            Would show a sign of improvement if progs would catch on that there is a difference between Obama and Hillary on that front, but …sadly, no.

          • Hillary would have attacked the financial crisis bottom up, not top down. She would have done what Elizabeth Warren has been advising for a year. There was and is moral hazard throughout the system, but the financial engineering started at the top of the pyramid. Hillary would have forced Republicans to defend the bankers instead of what we have today. She would not have allowed Wall Street to hold the federal government hostage.

      • Wasn’t HRC all over the morning shows immediately following the meltdown talking about about HOLC? I used to think those boys were smart. Sadly, NO.

        • Yes, she was, nan. And I haven’t heard about HOLC since then. It’s insane. All the money they used to bail out corrupt wall street companies over their mortgage insecurities they could have used to pay mortgages and keep everyone safe. The little guy was deliberately cut out of the process, and thus the benefit.

          I agree completely with you, Wonk the Vote. Progressives are the worst with the double standards and woman hating. They hate women so much they can’t even see how the woman they hated out of the race would have been far better for them. They’d rather suffer than acknowledge that fact.

  13. This is a thought provoking post, BostonBoomer. Mental health issues are a lot more complex than they are ever portrayed on television or the news. Getting treatment is just as complicated. Just as medication can be effective for one person and totally ineffective for another — counselors can be effective for some and ineffective for other patients.

    In spite of having no background, training or education to help, Patients and their families have to negotiate those challenges (and more) … and in some cases with the threat that it could all blow up into a tragedy.

    (sigh) I don’t know how people do it — some people are more brave than we can imagine.

    [ps — I just posted something at Eat4Today :: Saturday – Drawing a Line in the Sand

  14. Bob Herbert remains Kool-aid free. Seems his rehab is still working and I’m glad he’s back to his old self!

    Watching China Run

    We missed the boat then, and lord knows we’re missing it now. Two weeks ago, as I was getting ready to take off for Palo Alto, Calif., to cover a conference on the importance of energy and infrastructure for the next American economy, The Times’s Keith Bradsher was writing from Tianjin, China, about how the Chinese were sprinting past everybody else in the world, including the United States, in the race to develop clean energy.

    That we are allowing this to happen is beyond stupid. China is a poor country with nothing comparable to the tremendous research, industrial and economic resources that the U.S. has been blessed with. Yet they’re blowing us away — at least for the moment — in the race to the future.

  15. The prog blogs were burned before when they said right-wing activism was responsible for the death of that census worker in KY. It has seen been proven he committed suicide.

  16. Isn’t it astounding that we as a society tolerate so much needless death and destruction from gun violence and yet have such nationwide hysteria- hysteria may not be the most appropriate choice of words, but I think you get my meaning- about death from influenza, airplane crashes, etc.

    If only more people had as much spine as Ann Richardson did when she said no to carrying weapons in Texas.

  17. dak
    I got this in an e-mail. Pretty shocking. please comment.




  18. Here’s an interesting article about cable news commenters who, unbeknownst to the viewer are paid lobbyists.

    The Lobbying-Media Complex
    By Sebastian Jones
    “Since 2007 at least seventy-five registered lobbyists, public relations representatives and corporate officials–people paid by companies and trade groups to manage their public image and promote their financial and political interests–have appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CNBC and Fox Business Network with no disclosure of the corporate interests that had paid them. Many have been regulars on more than one of the cable networks, turning in dozens–and in some cases hundreds–of appearances.”


    • Glenn Greenwald has done several posts on television networks using “military analysts” who are secretly employees of the military-industrial complex.

  19. Tina Fey in Vogue:

    Ever since her devastatingly funny Sarah Palin impressions, she has for the first time in her life attracted unwanted attention—and hate mail. “People started projecting politics onto me,” she says. “There are people who hate me now because of that.” Fey’s parents are Republicans, and she herself is an Independent. “The partisan nature of politics continues to appall me. I’m almost paralyzed by my inability to see things in black-and-white. I encountered a lot of hard-core Democrats who are just as rabid and hateful, and I found that just as shocking. It was scary to be in that world of politics. I felt uncomfortable to be in that discussion. The weird thing is, when Darrell Hammond or Will Ferrell or Dana Carvey did an impersonation of a president, no one assumed it was personal, but because Sarah Palin and I are both women and people think women are meaner to each other, everyone assumed it was personal.”

    LOL, so this was a show of her independence:

    • Hey, how many awards did Tina win before she started playing Palin? And how many now that she’s the absolute media darling? Yeah–I’d say the accolades and opportunities are about equal. 😉

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