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Saturday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians!!!!

A giant 8.8 magnitude earthquake has hit Chile and triggered a tsunami

President Michelle Bachelet confirmed 47 deaths and said more were possible. Telephone and power lines were down, making damage assessments difficult in the early morning darkness.

“Never in my life have I experienced a quake like this, it’s like the end of the world,” one man told local television from the city of Temuco, where the quake damaged buildings and forced staff to evacuate the regional hospital.

According to The New York Times,

The quake downed buildings and houses in Santiago and knocked out a major bridge connecting the northern and southern sections of the country.

It struck at 3:34 a.m. local time and was centered about 200 miles southwest of Santiago, at a depth of 22 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The epicenter was some 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, where more than 200,000 people live.

Phone lines were down in Concepcion as of 7:30 a.m. and no reports were coming out of that area. The quake in Chile was 1,000 times more powerful than the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that caused widespread damage in Haiti on Jan 12, killing at least 230,000, earthquake experts reported on CNN International.

The U.S. Geological Survey and eyewitnesses reported more than a dozen aftershocks, including two measuring magnitude 6.2 and 6.9.

Only hours earlier, there was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake off the southern coast of Japan. A tsunami was predicted, but did not take place.

The late late night TC crowd was discussing this insane video of Trent Franks (R-Arizona) being asked about hate radio and Rush Limbaugh and then doing a quick pirouette to talking about abortion and “killing innocent babies.” He calls Obama “the abortion president” and he thinks African Americans were better off under slavery because (he claims) “half of all black babies are aborted.” Oh, and Rush Limbaugh made fun of Michael J. Fox because he cares so much about humanity.

Just who is voting for politicians like this? Thinking about the possible answers to that question gives me the creeps.

And speaking of forced servitude, why don’t they just set Tilikum the serial killer whale free?

Three years ago, Russ Rector, a Fort Lauderdale dolphin trainer turned marine mammal activist, said he wrote SeaWorld a letter warning it was pushing its show mammals too hard to wow audiences, thereby inviting attacks on trainers.

On Wednesday, a killer whale named Tilikum implicated in two previous fatalities attacked a trainer during a show at the Orlando theme park, dragging her around like a toy and drowning her in front of horrified visitors.

“I warned them this was going to happen,” Rector said. “Happy animals don’t kill their trainers.”

Another opinion:

Naomi Rose, a senior scientist for the Humane Society of the United States, which has campaigned at marine parks, said Tilikum’s reputation was well known and that SeaWorld specifically forbade trainers from entering the orca’s tank.

“He clearly has some sort of issue with people in the water with him,” she said of the orca.

Rose and many marine mammal activists believe the stress of life in a tank is acute for orcas, large animals that roam deep waters in close-knit pods.

“They’re moody,” she said. Rector, who has campaigned for years to free Lolita, a female orca that has spent nearly four decades in captivity at the Seaquarium in Miami, says it leaves them “demented.”

Lolita, Rose said, has not been linked to any serious attacks on trainers, but its old tank-mate, Hugo, died of a cranial bleeding in 1980 that activists blamed on the orca ramming its head against the sides of a small tank.

Can you blame a whale for getting mad when he is kept in a tiny container and forced to perform tricks for humans instead of being able to swim freely in the ocean? And get this, another trainer says Dawn Brancheau’s horrible death was all her own fault.

A former co-worker told the station that trainer Dawn Brancheau was to blame when her hair floated over the mouth of killer whale Tilikum. The massive creature responded by dragging her under Wednesday, and she drowned.

Thad Lacinak, a former head trainer at SeaWorld, said the trainers knew to stay away from the whale’s mouth. “The protocol was not to be around Tilikum’s mouth while you’re laying down,” he said.

Reporter Emily Turner explained that Lacinak said Brancheau “became too comfortable with the animal she loved so much.”

And can you believe there are still pictures and video on-line of Breacheau’s last moments? What is wrong with us? Set these beautiful, intelligent animals free!

Did you know that Matt Taibbi and an expat named Mark Ames ran an alternative newspaper in Russia for years? I didn’t. Yesterday I posted a link to an article by Ames on Ayn Rand’s obsession with a vicious serial killer who liked to dismember little girls.

From there, I was directed to Ames’ website and learned that this month’s Vanity Fair has an in-depth story on the “The unlikely life and sudden death of The Exile, Russia’s angriest newspaper.” Ames is also the author of a book on workplace and school shootings in which he argues that Americans don’t want to face what is really going on in this rage killings–that bullying and alienation in schools and workplaces are driving both kids and adults to the point where they just can’t take it anymore. Sounds controversial yet interesting. I reserved it at my local library.

President Obama got up really early this morning so he could offer more “compromises” to Republicans in his weekly radio address.

“I am eager and willing to move forward with members of both parties on health care if the other side is serious about coming together to resolve our differences and get this done. But I also believe that we cannot lose the opportunity to meet this challenge,” Obama said.

“The tens of millions of men and women who cannot afford their health insurance cannot wait another generation for us to act. Small businesses cannot wait. Americans with pre-existing conditions cannot wait. State and federal budgets cannot sustain these rising costs.

The President didn’t mention that the bill he supports doesn’t do anything to help lower health care costs for ordinary Americans or prevent insurance companies from refusing to pay for care for people with preexisting conditions.

This article in New Scientist reports on research suggesting that ancient humans may have communicated in a written language much earlier than previously thought: The writing on the cave wall

Until now, the accepted view has been that our ancestors underwent a “creative explosion” around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, when they suddenly began to think abstractly and create rock art. This idea is supported by the plethora of stunning cave paintings, like those at Chauvet, which started to proliferate across Europe around this time. Writing, on the other hand, appeared to come much later, with the earliest records of a pictographic writing system dating back to just 5000 years ago.

Few researchers, though, had given any serious thought to the relatively small and inconspicuous marks around the cave paintings. The evidence of humanity’s early creativity, they thought, was clearly in the elaborate drawings.

While some scholars like Clottes had recorded the presence of cave signs at individual sites, Genevieve von Petzinger, then a student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, was surprised to find that no one had brought all these records together to compare signs from different caves. And so, under the supervision of April Nowell, also at the University of Victoria, she devised an ambitious masters project. She compiled a comprehensive database of all recorded cave signs from 146 sites in France, covering 25,000 years of prehistory from 35,000 to 10,000 years ago.

What emerged was startling: 26 signs, all drawn in the same style, appeared again and again at numerous sites (see illustration). Admittedly, some of the symbols are pretty basic, like straight lines, circles and triangles, but the fact that many of the more complex designs also appeared in several places hinted to von Petzinger and Nowell that they were meaningful – perhaps even the seeds of written communication.

I’ll wrap this up with a feel-good story from a few days ago about a 3-year-old girl who was saved from freezing to death by her dog Blue: Police Credit Dog With Saving Lost Girl’s Life

“She was able to stay warm with the dog. And it probably was one of things that saved her life. It was extremely cold out here,” Sgt. Jeff Newnum of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office told KPHO, a CBS news affiliate in Phoenix. “God watched over her last night.”

Victoria Bensch vanished while playing outside with the family’s Queensland Heeler around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Search teams scoured the rocky terrain surrounding Victoria’s Cordes Lakes, Ariz., home, but as the night wore on, and temperatures dipped into the 30s, there was still no sign of her.

When the sun rose Friday morning, a rescue helicopter spotted movement below. It was Blue, hovering close to the missing girl, nearly half a mile from their home.

Even as medics approached, Blue kept Victoria, who was only wearing a T-shirt, pants and tennis shoes, safe.

“I think the dog was initially apprehensive of me. I was a little concerned he might bite me when I first walked up, but as I just walked right past the dog, the [animal] realized I was there to help,”


So what are you reading this morning?


187 Responses

  1. Impressive round-up, bb. Yes, free the whales (dolphins) and more!

  2. Wow, Ayn Rand was one sick ____:

    “What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: “Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” she wrote, gushing that Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.'”

    “This echoes almost word for word Rand’s later description of her character Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead: ‘He was born without the ability to consider others.'”

    That’s what I like in others, a lack of any compassion or caring for their fellow man. What a turn on! Makes me feel safe. And what mom doesn’t wish her kids to grow up and be without a conscience?

    Rand would have surely LOVED Barack Obama. Not only is he trying to force the poor to buy shoddy insurance, Barry’s lying about it, saying it is the right thing to do! And all the while shoveling more and more money at Big Insurance and Big Pharma. I’m sure Ayn would make him the hero of her next blockbuster, “Let Them Eat Arugula”!

    • Nietzsche and psychopathic heroes, yet she thought Stalin and H!tler were too emotional.

      • Speaking of emotion, Rand thought that those who put others first were “emotional parasites.”

        I can’t believe this. The fact that some Republicans are looking up to this wacko’s writings is beyond the ken. We need to be fully informed on the matter, so I hope it’s o.k. to post the following. If not, mods please feel free to trim (this is more from Mark Ames article):


        “As much as Ayn Rand detested human ‘parasites,’ there is one thing she strongly believed in: creating conditions that increase the productivity of her Supermen – the William Hickmans who rule her idealized America: “If [people] place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man’s life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite.”

        “And yet Republican faithful like GOP Congressman Paul Ryan read Ayn Rand and make declare, with pride, “Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.” Indeed. Except that Ayn Rand also despised democracy, as she declared: “Democracy, in short, is a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights: the majority can do whatever it wants with no restrictions. In principle, the democratic government is all-powerful. Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom.”

        “‘Collectivism’ is another one of those Randian epithets popular among her followers. Here for example is another Republican member of Congress, the one with the freaky thousand-yard-stare, Michelle Bachman, parroting the Ayn Rand ideological line, rto explain her reasoning for wanting to kill social programs:

        “As much as the collectivist says to each according to his ability to each according to his need, that’s not how mankind is wired. They want to make the best possible deal for themselves.”

        “Whenever you hear politicians or Tea Baggers dividing up the world between “producers” and “collectivism,” just know that those ideas and words more likely than not are derived from the deranged mind of a serial-killer groupie. When you hear them threaten to ‘Go John Galt,’ hide your daughters and tell them not to talk to any strangers — or Tea Party Republicans. And when you see them taking their razor blades to the last remaining programs protecting the middle class from total abject destitution — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and brag about their plans to slash them for “moral” reasons, just remember Ayn’s morality and who inspired her.

        “Too many critics of Ayn Rand– until I was one of them — would rather dismiss her books and ideas as laughable, childish, hackneyed. But it can’t be dismissed because Rand is the name that keeps bubbling up from the Teabagger crowd and the elite conservative circuit in Washington as The Big Inspiration. The only way to protect ourselves from this thinking is the way you protect yourself from serial killers: smoke the Rand followers out, make them answer for following the crazed ideology of a serial-killer-groupie, and run them the hell out of town and out of our hemisphere.”


        Thanks, BB, for the heads up – that was a public service!

        • if you view human-kind from a sociological/scientific view point and leave the emotion out of it, then I can see some intellectual wisdom (not the right word, but can’t find a better one) in what she says. That is not to say that her view point should be adopted. However on the other hand, I sometimes wonder why we feed the starving rather than help them build a better community. The world has come around to understand that there is a difference and there are more and more programs to make people/communities more self sufficient.
          You can go to far in thinking one way or the other. Liberals often go too far with the idea that every life is precious so therefor we can save the world. We can not.
          The earth has a “carrying capacity”. In other words when one place becomes to crowded for the earths resources, there will always be a drought or some wide spread disease that will wipe out thousands of people, or hundreds or even millions depending on the place. It is nature and so, it would be nice to think we can control nature. We can not.
          Surely Rand goes too far and was probably some what mentally ill. But if you look at the place like Haiti, where only the strongest survive, you can not deny everything she said.
          However the world needs it’s extremists on both sides to keep the balance.

          • Rand wouldn’t feed the starving. She’d walk on by because feeding them would not serve her self-interest.

          • Shorter Rand: distrust all forms of government and religion, worship the individual and rational capitalism.

      • Alan Greenspan sat at her feet! A true believer.

        • when I was working for the Fed (basically during his reign) that used to freak me out … I almost asked him about it the one time he was down in New Orleans at the branch but decided I really needed the pay check at the time.

          • I posted some live video of the Chile earthquake downthread. Be sure to look at it. OMG!

    • I remember just at the start of the Irag war and all the disscusions around it, I was watching c-span and there was a woman from the Rand institute or her last name was Rand any way what she was saying I still remember as one of the macabre argument I have ever heard. She was saying why are we even trying to justify and explain why we need to invade the country. The fact is we need what they have OIL so just go in and get it. We have the power to do it, so we go and we do it. And she went into explaining how this what happened all through histroy, she said the people who are now living in Irag are not the same people who lived there a thousand years ago and it happened because a stronger group invaded the place and took over, so why don’t we do the same.

      • I do remember Ann Coulter saying “But we NEED oil!” Can you imagine justifying the maiming and murder of hundreds of thousands so Americans can overdrive their oversized cars?? No, a normal person cannot, and will not, defend it.

        There sure are a lot of abby-normal people around…

        • no I can not imagine it…but that is what we did. We gave ourselves permission to call it saving Kuwait instead.
          Well it was more about Oil company profits than our big cars, but really, both were a factor.

  3. The Frickinhead?

  4. This is unbelievably horrible:
    Parents in Delaware sex probe against doctor wonder, ‘Was my child abused, too?’
    “More than 100 victims have been identified from the 13 hours of video Bradley allegedly made of the assaults.”

    What is the matter with this country?

  5. Saw a link to this on JSOM’s site and this story hit a nerve with me. Economic Civil Disobedience

    As Newton resident Lisa Dodson, a Boston College sociology professor in the thick of a research project, was interviewing a grocery story manager in the Midwest about the difficulties of the low-income workers he supervised, he asked her a curious question: “Don’t you want to know what this does to me too?’’

    She did. And so the manager talked about the sense of unfairness he felt as a supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who couldn’t feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs.

    The interview changed the way Dodson talked with other supervisors and managers of low-income workers, and she began to find that many of them felt the same discomfort as the grocery store manager. And many went a step further, finding ways to undermine the system and slip their workers extra money, food, or time needed to care for sick children. She was surprised how widespread these acts were. In her new book, “The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy,’’ she called such behavior “economic disobedience.’’

    Personally I think more civil disobedience would do this country a lot of good.

    Don’t let the awful be the enemy of the horrifically bad.

    • That has a feel good edge to it. One wonders why these managers are in the job—but maybe they are trying to get other positions.

      • How many other options do these managers have? Moving to another industry/company may present the same situation.

        • That says so much about the work life of such business doesn’t it. We depend on these workers for so many conveniences and who does not want a low-cost bargain and for many people these businesses and their cheap prices make life a little possible. I feel like we are a 3rd world country and don’t know it yet.

      • All the store managers I have known were promoted into the job from within. They worked retail forever before becoming managers.

        • In my experience, men get promoted to manager positions and women mostly stay where they are.

  6. Question for Dakini: Jamie Dimon of JPM fame stated yesterday that American investors should be a lot more worried about a CA default than a default in Greece. This sounds like a huge red flag and I wonder if Dimon knows something that we do not—that CA is about to go under?

    • Has Ca done anything other than put a few leaky bandaids on their fiscal problems? If so, I haven’t read about it.

    • Is Dimon betting the House of Morgan in the CDS market against CA??

    • CA is in danger of default. Remember paying state employees with vouchers? Also, California’s economy is huge … bigger than the majority of countries in the world. Probably a very true statement, however, my guess is the US government will rescue them if it comes to that.

  7. And what does this mean:

    Fannie Seeks $15 Billion in U.S. Aid After 10th Straight Loss

  8. Does anyone know what, if any, benefits will begin immediately if the Dems pass their hcr/insurance bailout bill? It seems like so much of this bill is back loaded with benefits and front loaded with taxes. Will the expansion of medicaid begin immediately? I understand the exchanges for buying insurance won’t begin until 2014. Will the requirements to purchase insurance start at once or in 2014?

    The scams on this will be huge.

    • Simpler question, does anyone even know what they are going to pass?

      • I still don’t think it will pass–whatever it is.

        • I hope not because, whatever it is, I’m sure it will be great for insurers and suck for the rest of us. That handwriting has been on the wall for many months now.

          • Oh, yeah, right on.

            The problem began when Obama took single payer off the table and then went on to make closed-door deals with Big PhRMA and Big Hospital Corporations, promising them that there would be no public option (defined as government running an actual alternative). When he’s being careful, Obama talks about health insurance reform, not health care…bcz that’s what his plan is for.

            We have a good Corporatist as president. His plan, while covering somewhat more people, also hands the BHIP (Big Health Insurance Parasites) a nice enlarged pool of people who must, by force of law, buy overpriced insurance from those parasites. To avoid fines, people on the cusp of assistance to pay for those premiums will probably buy junk insurance which will do little to provide CARE.

            These mandates will figure hugely in Republican campaign commercials. You know those Ally Bank commercials with the little kids who are being scammed and bamboozled by the adult man in the
            grey suit? That’s what we’ll be seeing about health insurance mandates.

            And, while paying the high premiums, people will also be paying taxes to provide subsidies so the less well-off can afford high premiums. Why the middle man? Why not just funnel money to the BHIPs? That will be the end game: Parasites which add no value, except to enrich a few, will be given a federal law mandated enlarged customer base.

            Oh, forgot about the taxes to pay states, with their varying standards of care, for more people on Medicaid….

            “Would you like a pony?”

            Oh, I would, I would. Medicare (Improved!) for All…with a robust private option.

            Improved with nobody out, everybody in, comprehensive care with vision and dental, and savings of $400 Billion for the nations’ health care costs. Most of all? Actual CARE, not a BHIP-PPP (Big Health Insurance Parasites Profit ProtectionPlan.

            Dems, people don’t like being cheated and scammed, especially by the party they’ve thought of as caring for the needs of the people.

        • I’m with you BB. Even with reconciliation, does anyone think they can get 51 votes?

        • Dems in Congress may not be as pumped about helping BO with this bill. He doesn’t care about them or the people, and he has bad coattails. Will the Senate bill even make it through the House vote.

        • Greg Sargeant wrote that is appears Nancy Pelosi may be willing to pass Senate version prior to any improvements bill passed there. Uh oh. Will they call you in the morning?

          He said her appearances on the Sunday chat shows may be important in finding out what she’s going to do…not worth watching, imho. If news is made it will be reported soon enough.

          • Apologies for posting link twice for the Ally ad of the man walking out on the little kid. But, dang, it’s so appropriate it must have been a subliminal urge….

  9. One thing regarding the Insurance mess that isn’t addressed is the call for medicaid expansion in states for people unable to buy insurance. States are going under right now trying to meet their obligations under he money to medicaid. Where is the money to expand those programs to come from. And, Congress and Obama begin to collect money for their Insurance Reform now for a program that begins in 2014? Will there be a “lockbox” for that money? We already know they are raiding the Social Security Trust Fund.
    DO NOT GO TO ANY WATER PARK THAT ENSLAVES MAMMALS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES. We should know by now that whales, dolphins and elephants are intelligent, loving, family structured creatures that should not be in captivity.
    My soapbox for today.

    • I thought Obama had included aid for other states in his version of the bill.

    • For some reason, human animals feel that they are somehow superior to other sentient being and can use them for entertainment, food, clothing, and testing without any regard for their natural right to live on this planet with us. The conditions that animals are forced to endure for our benefit is all unconscionable behavior. Elephants and other circus animals are routinely beaten and tasered so that our kids can giggle and applaud at their tricks; animals are skinned alive and left to die painful deaths on heaps of other animals while their exposed flesh bleeds so that we can wear that fox fur lined pair of boots; factory farm animals are crammed into small spaces, flayed at the throat while alive and hung by their feet so that people can buy that steak at the grocery store, and live electrical wires are shoved into animals’ orafices and chemicals sprayed into their eyes so that we can be assured our hairspray won’t catch fire if exposed to sparks.

      Yes, we shouldn’t enslave whales for our entertainment. But just because we are brave enough to look at this issue, doesn’t mean we should ignore the rest of our treatment of animals.

      Howz that for a soapbox?

      • I’ve got one too on that . Read this in my copy of The Economist this morning. It came with a picture of a cute fluffy brown poodle.


        AT THE National People’s Congress (see main story), the Communist Party decides what laws to draft and when they get passed. But public pressure is beginning to count, too. An attempt to persuade the Congress to ban the eating of dog- and cat-meat has captivated the Chinese press and caused an uproar.

        A proposed animal-rights law, circulated in draft last September by Chinese activists and legal experts, would be the first of its kind in a country where animal welfare rarely seems a priority. Pigs destined for slaughter are often seen crammed excruciatingly tightly in cages on the backs of lorries. In safari parks visitors happily pay to dangle live chickens into lions’ dens, or even to have a live calf dragged by its legs behind a jeep past ravenous tigers. But a fast-growing middle class, despite enjoying gory outings, is also fond of pet dogs and cats.

      • SoD,

        I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the name of a creepy novel that was popular a few years ago.

        An animal modified to appear human would kidnap hitchhikers and take them to a secret farm to be fattened up for slaughter.
        The meat, sold at a high price, was considered a delicacy to her species.

        Anyone know the name of this book?
        (SoD, did you write this book?)

  10. re: bullying in the workplace and school.

    Bullying (by one person) and mobbing (bullying by multiple people) in the workplace is recognized as a crime like sexual harassment in Europe, but not in the U.S.

    My own personal experience is that the atmosphere of the workplace has really deteriorated in the last 15 to 20 years. (I was in the workplace for over 40 years.)

    There are many books available on bullying in the schools and for parents, which would indicate that it is a common problem.

    I have followed this topic to some extent because of my own experience of bullying in the workplace and also because I have a single male neighbor who constantly does this. (I am also finding out that this is not uncommon.) There is much less material on this topic.

    The schools and community do not know how to deal with this properly. In the workplace, the target usually ends up losing or leaving their job. Frequently they are the most competent employees, not weaklings as one might think.

    Bullying can be stopped if the observers of it condemn it, but if they do nothing, it becomes acceptable and gets worse.

    I believe that the situation has grown along with the harshness of our social environment and that these problems will only be increasing as our economic situation continues to deteriorate.

    • We had a terrible case in MA recently.

      Ames said that Columbine students actually expected an incident because of the unchecked bullying there. He even named names.

      But he says that Americans want easy answers. We want to blame video games and music and don’t want to have to deal with the real problems. I think he’s right.

      • Wow, this is an interesting topic. BB, wish you’d write some on it and let us know. If this is a bigger problem, maybe we all should be armed with more information.

    • Here is Mark Ames on Virginia Tech


      • I read the links, bb. Thanks.

        I don’t think it is either individual or environment. Like the disease model, it is an interaction of forces; a person who already has a ‘weakness’ becomes overwhelmed by their environment. It is too easy to just say it is the individual, or ‘Evil’. Perhaps it is the ‘Evil’ in society that creates the killer.

        I personally could not take the unhealthy environment in public school when I got to Jr. High. Even though I was successful, I did not like what i saw all the time and I left. Of course, not everyone can leave. And that was 50 years ago!

        When my child was in Middle School, he was actually injured intentionally by a teacher who was walking down the hallway in a bad mood. I made the school make her apologize to him. That is just one small example of what you go through as a parent.

        • I hated the bullying atmosphere in both junior high and high school. It seems like it is worse now than when I was a kid though. I didn’t get bullied–just teased, but I hated what I saw being done to other kids and I didn’t know what to do about it.

    • Commonwealth countries are waaayyyy ahead of the US on trying to control this problem.

      Here, there is an organization called BullyBusters run by Dr. Gary Namie & Dr. Ruth Namie (husband/wife). It’s out of Bellingham, WA, but they lobby in any state where they can get support to try and implement some laws. http://www.bullybusters.org/

      They’ve written numerous books, they have a variety of programs, and they’ve been around for many years, now. If they’ve made progress, it doesn’t show…which leads me to believe they need to change the direction from which they are approaching the problem.

      Bullies know that the way to gain the power is to be the first to report. They go to management (even jumping levels) with a complaint about the behavior of their target. The target instantly finds themselves on the defense despite not knowing there was even a problem worthy of addressing, or feeling it was in everyone’s best interest to resolve a difference without injecting management into it.

      Not many in management these days are naturally qualified to handle conflict, and the moronic seminars they attend escalate most problems. The minute someone recognizes they are being handled out of a textbook roll-playing event, they aren’t keen on participating further.

      Kids bully because it’s become normal among adults. I could go on non-stop for weeks with the bullying I’ve witnessed over the past 2 decades. When I was a manager if a bully came to me to complain about one of my employees, I invited them to sit down in my office to discuss it…but, I’d be right back. Then I would go get the employee who was about to be the subject and have that person join the conversation. The meeting became mediation and ended with promises from both sides to work toward better communication.

      Personally, I don’t think the problem is going to go away until the rewards for it end. Too often it’s the victim that is fired.

  11. Oh, BB you’re so right – it is frightening when one asks who on earth put people like Trent Franks in office. The man is a menace.

  12. Kid on Maui got the evacuation command about 20 minutes ago. She’s in Lahaina. She’s probably OK where she is but I am very nervous.

    • Oh no! I hope she has a way to call you and let you know.

    • I tell her to pack up to make a quick getaway and what does she put in her car? Water? Food? Valuable papers?
      No, she packs her laptop and her frickin XBOX

      • What no ipod.

      • Where is she going to go?

        • She says Lahaina is not expected to be an impact zone. But I just realized that my friend and colleague, Lan, is on the big island this weel with her family. She was supposed to visit Volcanos National Park and if she stuck to her plan, she would be staying in Hilo.
          I hope she makes it out.

      • I packed some really strange things when evacuating from Katrina. My friends really give me grief. I packed a pair of black patten leather mules and a silk skirt but forgot my pajama pants that I lived in as well as any coat what so ever … got all my papers but forget my grandmother’s jewelry. Being told to leave your house like that is a brain scrambling experience. Choosing what to pack just overwhelmed my brain.

        • Oh, and I spent hours trying to make my Steinway grand piano safe from lord knows what.

        • When the wiring caught fire and her house was going up in flames, my grandmother grabbed the library books and ran. She felt responsible for those because she didn’t own them.

      • At least she got the essentials. 🙂

    • Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  13. As a parent you job is to worry RD. Our thoughts and prayers are right here with you.

  14. Good friends of mine called from Hawaii, on vacation. They have been evacuated to where, they don’t know. Their hotel called their room, woke them up and told them to board buses parked out front within 20 minutes. I thought they had hours before a wave would strike?
    The beneficiary to the healthcare reform plan?

  15. It’s difficult to just free a whale, especially one born in captivity. However, I agree that captive breeding programs should be highly regulated. I’d say they should stop, but at some point, our only whales may be the ones in tanks.

    • I forgot to mention Keiko as a case in point. He lived free for a year before dying of pneumonia. I suspect he was susceptible to germs that wild whales had developed immunity to.

      • yup, they may not even know how to hunt for food or defend themselves. It is a sad case, but I wish we could trend down in captive breeding and shows and in the meantime…folks, these are wild animals not play mates.

        • Trying to domesticate animals that are hundreds of times larger than you seems like a bit of a folly to me anyways. Why anyone thinks that there aren’t going to be tragedies like this when the news cycles are filled with stories of tigers, whales, bears and monkeys that “turned”(I am not 100% certain that these animals intentionally meant harm) is beyond me.

        • If they’re “hunting” their trainers, they know how to hunt.

          An orca is an apex predator. Seals are among its favorite dinners. A human being is roughly the size and shape of a female or juvenile seal, especially once the human’s in the water. Combine those factors with an animal who seems to be unpredictable and on the temperamental side, and something like this was going to happen.

  16. reading about the RI case where some nut case school board fired all the teachers. Obama and his Education Secretary approve.


    anyone who thinks this is a good idea should know that most students and parents are not in favor of this. Those that are blame teachers for their kids not doing homework and bringing home Ds.
    You can also make a direct correlation between how many students get free lunch and breakfast and how many drop out. More poverty in a community, more broken homes, more crime makes for lower graduation rate and lower test scores.

    Teachers would love to spend more time teaching and less time in red tape and paper work. But that time consuming nonsense isn’t going to go away when the day gets long. Plus… I don’t see anyone suggesting administration or board members come help out with tutoring and homework supervision. Nor do I see them requiring parents who can, to come and help out.

    • I guess I would have been fired under those conditions. When I taught in an inner city ghetto, I was pushed to, but refused to give the kids falsely inflated grades. I did not want them to have a false sense of accomplishment when they went out into the world.

      I found that most parents cared about their kids, but were overwhelmed and did not know what to do. It was not easy for them to get to the school or to be involved. The school actually discouraged outside involvement, which I encouraged.

      The kids actually liked me, even though that was much less my concern than whether they were learning.

      • Fran it is a terrible conundrum.. get parents involved and suddenly they all now better than the teacher. Yet do not get them involved and the kids suffer. I too realize that parents are overwhelmed and do not know what to do. I was one of those parents and so were my parents. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate to “blame it on the teachers” for most intelligent people. It is not the teacher’s fault that parents are overwhelmed by life as it is today.
        Or look at it this way… kids used to get beat when they got home with a bad report on behavior. I am sure it helped improve behavior to NOt have to deal with parents who thought their kids were angels and were constantly at school complaining or trying to get teachers fired. But do we want to ge back to the days when parents beat their kids who got in trouble at school? NO!

        And Arne Duncan says “I approve, enough is enough”? Where the hell is this moron coming from?
        If your kid is in a crappy school where half the kids drop out or are on drugs etc… look around at your community and take responsibility for it. the outside world can not solve everything for you.

        • My son sports a +150 IQ, a wonderful sense of humor, and was very popular all through school. The only bullying he received was from teachers who didn’t know how to keep the smart kids challenged.

          Not all teachers are talented enough to handle every situation they are faced with, not all parents are completely engaged in the education of their children’s lives, and some school districts are run by oddly intolerant, bully administrators.

    • Have you seen my daughter’s homework?! It’s the stupidest damn stuff I’ve ever seen. We have advanced lit students copying out their mistakes on a separate sheet of paper *in addition to* proofing their rough drafts and providing an outline. Some of this stuff is just busy work and puts too much emphasis on completing tedious tasks to meticulous standards. The goal is to produce submissive and obedient workers. That’s how my daughter had a 50/50 on one of her latest major writes and still managed to fail the project as a whole. She failed to turn a busy work component.
      Not only that but her teacher wasn’t nearly ad severe with other students. I asked one of them. AND she accused my kid of plagiarism.
      The teacher was just arbitrary and subjective. Please don’t tell me about grades and work. I see no relationship with some of my kid’s teachers.

      • I do not believe in homework really. For the kids who can do it great. for the kids who go home to one drunken parent and younger siblings to feed, it is nothing but punishment with disproportionate results in grades.

        But no, that busy work homework your daughter gets is not to make complacent worker bees. It is to make kids check their work the first time before wasting the teachers time.

        Your daughter is very bright and so was I and so were you. Sure the work is tedious. But that is also life. Your daughter like you and like me, could certainly have had a much better experience in school if everything was geared to our needs, but we are not the average and schools have to do the most good for the most students. I never did homework until college when I actually enjoyed the work. But I did not blame my teachers for my not doing my homework.
        All the crappy home work and the teachers who I did not “get” were also a learning experience.. At points in my life, and I am guessing yours, we had to be complacent worker bees because we are not self employed. Chances your daughter is also going to have to experience that. Don’t cripple her by telling her life is not boring and tedious sometimes.

        • Stick it where the sun don’t shine. There’s no reason why any kid in my daughter’s class should be doing these unnessary steps. Hand in a draft, correct it and hand in a final copy

          That’s it.

          BTW, it’s the law in NJ that the school has to differentiate instruction including the process work for identified gifted and talented students. Brook shouldn’t be doing this crap in the first place. She should be doing work that matches her abilities and where she is given an opportunity to learn something new. The way she is being taught this year is making her writing uniform and bland.

        • And another thing, she’s not going to be an accountant or an office rat. It wouldn’t suit her personality. She’s going to end up doing something completely different. When she’s in the zone, planning and executing one of her own projects, I don’t think there’s an employer on the planet who wouldn’t want her. She does the tedious work with great attention to detail but it’s because it’s *her* inspiration.
          I’m trying to steer her in the direction of Pixar.

          • Aw jeez. I was one of those kids. 30 years in the working world beat it out of me though. Only now am I being taken halfway seriously.

      • Public schools are not really set up for students that deviate from the ‘norm’ in any way.

        I also do not believe in homework, especially in the lower grades. I think that there are enough hours in the school day to accomplish a lot if the time is used wisely and on-task. Problem is that much of the school day is wasted. It takes a lot more preparation on the part of the school and teachers to make the days productive.

        • Why does it take a lot more preparation on the part of the school and teachers to make the days productive?

          • Lesson planning would be my bet. It isn’t like specific skills aren’t supposed to be taught and tested at specific ages.

      • Cripes, I couldn’t agree with you more. My daughter used to lose points on writing assignments because she didn’t make enough changes after submitting her “rough draft”. She didn’t want to change very much, and that was considered bad. I finally convinced her to make some spelling and grammar errors on her rough draft so she would have some things to correct before submitting her final draft. Now she gets excellent grades on her writing assignments. How stupid is that?

        • I never had to submit drafts of papers. That must be a new thing. Weird.

          • Not too new. I went through high school in 1986. One of the requirements for passing was writing a research paper. I literally hated those little index cards we were required to turn in 100 at a time. Then we had a rough draft and finally a paper.

            I actually ended up taking the class again during the summer individual study because of the requirement. I actually preferred my summer effort because all I was required was to write the paper and provide the footnotes. I also got to pick a much better topic. I loved researching the Rosenbergs, Theodore Dreiser, not so much.

            I do think homework can be helpful when it comes to teaching someone to utilize their time wisely and to allow students to practice new skills and get more proficient at them. On the other hand though it’s easy to see students experiencing burnout when they go to school for 6 hours and then have another 2-3 hours worth of work to accomplish on top of that. Additionally, I do think that while it may be helpful to provide steps in a process to help figure out where a student might need help, I also think there should be some leeway for students that do not need that added attention to just be allowed to complete the project without turning in notecards and drafts and all those other steps that allow the teacher to follow the process. If the end result is supposed to be a complete and exceptional project then why should it matter if one student requires umpteen million drafts and another is much more easily able to complete the project first go round. In real life, your boss doesn’t usually ask for your draft attempts. He just wants a completed project. Aren’t schools supposed to be preparing students for outside the classroom. As for preparing students for the mundane, that’s what parents are for. Making your bed, folding laundry and doing dishes aren’t rocket science skills, but they are essential.

          • BB It’s newer than I am for sure. We only had to submit the completed papers.

            The rough drafts, note cards and the rest could be a check on plagiarism which is much easier now with the net etc.

          • The net wasn’t a big issue in 1986. At least I don’t remember it being one.

            I got the impression that alot of the assignment was to give us practice with organizational skills to help us when we had papers that required more than the cursory 1 hour worth of study and preparation.

            The teacher I had was definitely a nice and sympathetic teacher(I had her previously for creative writing). I could tell she felt bad telling me that if I didn’t start turning in the work I was going to fail the class.

          • For the last twenty years or so, composition theory has stressed the writing process of draft and revise as much or more than the written product. That means at least one rough draft of each assignment before turning in a final version.

            Teaching freshman comp in college, I found that such a process was absolutely necessary for kids whose first essays consisted of a single page printed all in caps with no paragraphing and no punctuation. Of course, they turned in such papers because their high school teachers were teaching the process rather than the product and inflating grades to meet the school districts’ mandates without regard to actual student performance. But it’s a hair of the dog cure; you can’t simply tell such a kid to take it back, compose a thesis statement and plan of development and turn in a five-paragraph persuasive essay at the end of the week. You do have to walk them through the process, from brainstorming and organizing material to actually breaking their thoughts out on the page.

            Kids who come into Comp I prepared, on the other hand, can get bored rather quickly if they’re not given something more creative to do.

    • I have mixed feelings on the story. I sympathize with forcing teachers to spend more and more of their time working. At the same time these teachers are making almost 4 times (My husband said that when e looked it up they were making $77,000)what the median income is for the area. I don’t think it would have hurt to take the $30/hr for the 2 hour training session or rotate having lunch with the students once a week.

      While I do not believe that the teachers are necessarily responsible for the abyssmal performance of the students I don’t think it would have been that awful for the income they were making to have made some concessions. Particularly in the economic climate most states are faced with(Is there any state whose education isn’t being looked to in order to provide savings/)

  17. Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ:

    The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning — on the order of 6 to 11 points — and the data should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say. But they show how certain patterns of identifying with particular ideologies develop, and how some people’s behaviors come to be.


    The reasoning is that sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism and atheism all go against what would be expected given humans’ evolutionary past. In other words, none of these traits would have benefited our early human ancestors, but higher intelligence may be associated with them.

    “The adoption of some evolutionarily novel ideas makes some sense in terms of moving the species forward,” said George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey, who was not involved in the study. “It also makes perfect sense that more intelligent people — people with, sort of, more intellectual firepower — are likely to be the ones to do that.”

    Bailey also said that these preferences may stem from a desire to show superiority or elitism, which also has to do with IQ. In fact, aligning oneself with “unconventional” philosophies such as liberalism or atheism may be “ways to communicate to everyone that you’re pretty smart,” he said.


    The study takes the American view of liberal vs. conservative. It defines “liberal” in terms of concern for genetically nonrelated people and support for private resources that help those people. It does not look at other factors that play into American political beliefs, such as abortion, gun control and gay rights.

    “Liberals are more likely to be concerned about total strangers; conservatives are likely to be concerned with people they associate with,” he said.

    • More:

      The study found that young adults who said they were “very conservative” had an average adolescent IQ of 95, whereas those who said they were “very liberal” averaged 106.

    • Wonder what a study on Ayn Rand followers versus Barack Obama followers would show.

      • I am pretty sure they would rate about the same IQ.

      • Obama has economists are Straussian, which is the same thing. Only ‘superior’ people should decide and know what is going on.

        We slaves are too ignorant to know the difference anyway.

    • are that any stats with that article?
      sorry I am not buying this at all given that the most brilliant people in history, those that moved society forward, wrote the great music etc…. were invariably spiritual people.
      This guy needs to read Pecks four stages of spiritual growth. Atheism is not the highest stage. Most people who were atheists at some point before they die realize that there is indeed an order to the universe that they do not understand. What is smart is not being sure that you know the whole truth and have all the answers one way or the other… yes God/no God, but to accept that you do not know anything for sure.

      • Here’s a link to the actual research article:

        Click to access SPQ2010OnlineFirst.pdf

        It’s name is “Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent”

        yes, it has statistics, no, it doesn’t rely on anecdotal evidence or wishful thinking

        Religiosity is the explanatory variable you need to look at the large number of asterisks which are used to show that from that sample it was highly significant (i.e. correlated). Also, check the sign. It’s an inverse relationship. Higher IQ, less religiosity, highly significant negative relationship.

        • It’s still only correlational research. There are so many variables that could be involved. I saw that study, but decided not to post it.

          • well of course it’s only correlation and not causality, but it’s got a bit more analysis and numbers in it then arbitrarily setting up a spirituality barometer and sticking your personal superstition on top which is what Peck does …

          • I posted it because it’s making the rounds in left blogistan and I was skeptical.

        • People can be spiritual and still atheist. That is a misnomer. We tend to attach spirituality to god-worship (whether mono or poly).

          • From my experience, atheists like Dawson do not recognize that distinction. And that was my main point.

          • that’s the deal with me, I’m basically an atheistic because I don’t believe in a “creator” god or any gods, but I’m a buddhist which is considered a religion but not very well organized this day and age. I’m just less offended by speeches than actions. I’ve just read too much history and think much of most of the major religions are highly institutionalized because so many of them weren’t created for spirituality but for social and political control of people.

            The animistic/pantheistic religions of most indigenous peoples are attempts to understand nature and the world around them which is also what science is about. The deistic religions try to control the world and people around them.

            I don’t like sermons and I don’t care if it comes from an atheist or a deist, but at least I can turn off sermons or not attend.

          • Dawson’s the worm-food variety of atheist. i.e., we live, we die, we become worm food.

        • Full disclosure: I did not read the article. But, I take religiosity to mean being very involved with organized religion and its practices; not whether or not someone is spiritual or even whether they have religious convictions.

      • Which is why I’m agnostic.

        • As a fellow agnostic, I am equally put off by those who push their religion or their atheism as the only true way. It just shows conceit and a similar closed mindedness on their part as far as I’m concerned.

          We’d be better off if they’d all STFU.

          • I don’t care one way or another either, although frankly I wish some one would point to where atheism has done any damage to any one or any society. As a vajrayana buddhist, one of our vows is to not proselytize. It’s actually considered to be very bad karma to drag people off their personal spiritual paths or to cause them pain. But still, Dawkins and Hitches may be smug when they debate, but I really don’t see them as proselytizing anything. The two big Abrahamic religions that proselytize have done a lot of damage in and still do. Of course then there are the hari krishnas, but I find their handing out books and free vegan meals to be entertaining and harmless.

            So, there’s proselytizing that hurts people and proselytizing that’s benign and lecturing people in a way to make them feel intellectually inferior. It’s not all the same thing to me. I really don’t think it makes much difference if there is or isn’t one or many gods and it’s impossible to disprove something that’s never there, so why even go there?

          • Harm is not the issue with me. I just tire of listening to people expound on subjects they provably know nothing about, such as the existence or non-existence of God whatever. It’s a total waste of time.

          • okay, doing harm is an issue with me because that’s the big no in Buddhism, so it’s obviously part of my embraced superstition 😉

          • If I had my druthers, it would all just go away. No organized religions, or even the celebration of their lack, would be a great thing.

          • I agree with you, Ralph. I love to speculate about the meaning of life, etc., but only with willing partners. In my experience, many public athiests, such as Richard Dawson have extremely simplistic ideas about spirituality, yet they want to force their own beliefs down everyone elses’ throats just as much as the evangelicals do.

          • I tire of both sides trying to tear each other down using what we can’t even know as an excuse.

          • Well, if they blather on some place where you can turn them off it’s one thing, however, Richard Dawkins doesn’t send Zombies to knock on my front door, run a multibillion dollar media empire that requests money and then uses it to go to foreign countries to create a bigger empire, doesn’t try to pass legislation defining what can go on in my uterus and whom I could marry. When Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens start doing that, THEN we’ll talk. Also, to my knowledge that don’t support an institution that enables child molesters that hides evidence, encourages misogyny and basically has grown based on enslaving peoples in all parts of the world. and still does. They also don’t blare their lectures at high decibels in folks’ neighborhoods either. I can only think of two distinct religious traditions that do those things and they coincidentally keep perpetuating war and violence around the world too and have since their inception. You don’t see atheists actually fighting on either side of a crusade or a jihad.

          • Replying to Dakinikat,

            I think all proseletyzing is offensive, and so is lecturing people in such a way as to make them feel condescended to. That’s my objection. I can’t stop either religion (and for people like Dawson and Harris, atheism is a religion, IMO), from proselytizing, but I can make every effort not to let either side try to force their beliefs (and that’s what they are) down my throat.

          • Having moved to the hyper-Bible belt Deep South as a child and sampled all of the
            religions, I took away the common beliefs that make life better for all, such
            as do unto others , be kind), but ultimately chose my own religion–non-theism infused
            with animism–I recognize the life force inherent in all living or previously living objects. Saved a lot of time that would have been wasted
            getting involved in the religious wars. I’m on no side.

            After the Democratic nomination was swung to Obama, this life-long Dem (volunteer/donor/voter) became non-party. Much better. A curse on both of those
            corporatist parties. We need a party that is devoted to the good of the people. And we don’t live in a Democracy, we live in a Republic, a form of government that is supposed to protect the few from the hordes.

          • I think atheists are capable of as much immorality and projection of power as religious people. I don’t believe anyone ultimately has the corner on good and evil (bad) or whatever. When Hitchens proselytizes, I turn him off as I do with anyone who lectures to me on religion, and he’s not available to me for other things he says or thinks which may have interested me.

    • PZ Myers:

      Seriously? Show me the error bars on those measurements. Show me the reliability of IQ as a measure of actual, you know, intelligence. Show me that a 6 point IQ difference matters at all in your interactions with other people, even if it were real. And then to claim that these differences are not only heritable, but evolutionarily significant…jebus, people, you can just glance at it and see that it is complete crap.

      And then look at the source: Satoshi Kanazawa, the Fenimore Cooper of Sociobiology, the professional fantasist of Psychology Today. He’s like the poster boy for the stupidity and groundlessnessof freakishly fact-free evolutionary psychology. Just ignore anything with Kanazawa’s name on it.

      • he’s hardcore science, he thinks any thing in the social sciences is squishy, I’m not surprised he finds it all spurious

        • I find that weird. I mean just because you can not measure or quantify something easily doesn’t mean it you shouldn’t attempt to explain it or that it doesn’t exist. I’m sure at one time what he looks at as hardcore science was just as squishy as the social sciences(we’ve come a long way from burning people for believing the sun is the center of our universe).

          • All I meant was that there may be many other variables that influence the correlation between IQ and religious beliefs. That doesn’t mean these ideas shouldn’t be investigated, but they should also be taken with a grain of salt.

          • Six IQ points are beans. Besides IQ measures potential. There are all sorts of random factors that can sideline anyone’s potential.

            My brother had a higher IQ then mine. His alcoholism pretty much decimated that potential.

      • Yet another person just tried to convince me Brown won because of this putative giant pool of liberals withholding their votes. I mean, I’d love to believe that, but if it’s true, someone needs to convince them to come out of hiding because Grace Ross could sure use their support. It seems like a message could be sent by replacing a deeply unpopular Obama crony with someone who is running against him from the left, and yet. It’s early, sure, but regardless she doesn’t have a shot in hell of beating Patrick, and if she did she couldn’t win the general with or without Cahill. So as messages go, what does that say?

      • Six point difference can be the same person before and after lunch. I suspect there’s a much wider swing before and after caffeine in the mornings.

        Seriously, though, how did this paper make it through a juried review with “Since lightning never strikes the same place twice” (bottom of p. 3, 1st of three “survival problems”) left unedited? That’s beyond squishy. That bespeaks someone who doesn’t understand basic physical science.

    • I think evo-psych is bullshit but it’s a relief to see an article that doesn’t focus on the supposed evolutionary superiority of big-titted blondes.

    • “IQ” testing has a lot of problems with it. Which group of people defines “intelligence”? What traits do they value?

      Someone with an analytical mind may be more likely to figure out solutions to a problem as compared with someone who has not had that training or lacks the personality to question established protocols, for example.

      An intelligence test designed by Austrialian aborigines would likely test for very different traits and abilities than one designed by Silicone Valley execs, or by Goldman Sachs execs.

  18. >>why don’t they just set Tilikum the serial killer whale free?

    Because that would be rewarding bad behavior. And we all know, BB, that in this country we don’t reward bad behavior.

    Carolyn Kay

    • d’oh! you are so right.

    • The whale’s behavior wasn’t “bad”, it was instinctive.

      • The whale must be evil.

      • Whales are pretty intelligent. They may even be self-conscious. They might very well be capable of rage and consciously taking revenge on their torturers.

        • It also could have misunderstood its size in elation to this trainer and been engaging in play that turned deadly.

          There is no way to know since we can’t actually speak to this animal and get his side of the story.

  19. I love how with the internet one thing literally leads to another; this morning i spied an editorial in the LA times: Sharon Browne’s legal aid spat – latimes.com

    Subtitled: “Liberal critics are fighting her nomination by Obama to the board of the Legal Services Corp.”

    I really wasn’t familiar with the LSC or Brown so I looked further. turns out Browne has worked on behalf of a panoply of conservative legal causes while at the industry-funded PLF [Pacific Legal Foundation] , including opposing race-based school district assignment policies, andsupporting Prop 209, a California ballot initiative to end most affirmative action programs in the state.

    A look back at history makes clear that PLF, which describes itself as a promoter of free enterprise, private property rights, and limiting the role of government, is ideologically opposed to the mission of the LSC, a non-profit created as part of President Johnson’s Great Society initiative to provide free or low-cost legal services to the poor, and which was chaired in the late 1970s by Hillary Clinton, then an Arkansas lawyer. Lawyer From Far-Right Group Picked For Key Legal-Aid Post | TPMMuckraker

    Sadly ironic isn’t it that the man whom the corporations tapped to bring Hillary down is poised to secure the nomination a Person intent on destroying an organization that epitomizes what Liberals like Hillary have worked for all their lives.

    I wish I’d cared enough to learn more about her career when she first came to prominence — but as I read this hit piece which attempts to indict her as a Lefty, I am filled with admiration for this great woman. I urge you to read it too.
    Michael Fumento reports: “Hillary – The Other Clinton.”
    Read the whole – cut and paste: http://fumento.com/hillary.html

    Investor’s Business Daily, October 14, 1992
    Copyright 1992 Investor’s Business Daily

    “Hillary Clinton, good or bad, is not the issue in this campaign.”

    So said Torie Clarke, press secretary for the Bush-Quayle campaign, after a Republican National Convention that featured more Hillary-bashing than silly elephant hats, followed by a slew of defensive media portrayals that made Hillary Clinton out to be a hapless and undeserving victim.

    “Many say they are … baffled by her portrayal as a wild-eyed radical,” stated one defensive article in The New York Times. That lengthy piece quoted nobody but Clinton supporters, save for an excerpt from Patrick Buchanan’s speech at the convention.

    But many critics contend that the 44-year-old Hillary, a prominent attorney with a densely packed resume, should be fair game for scrutiny in the presidential campaign.

    Critics note that, unlike most first ladies, who with few exceptions have been relegated to a background role of encouragement and advice, Hillary Clinton will have broad influence over the national political landscape.

    Said Howard Phillips, president of Conservative Caucus in Vienna, VA., “Hillary Clinton is not another Pat Nixon or Bess Truman or Jackie Kennedy or Barbara Bush or even another Rosalynn Carter.”

    He compared her to Eleanor Roosevelt, but with a more aggressive s

  20. Goldman Sachs may have company in their betting against the Euro. Hedging

    Man who broke the Bank of England, George Soros, ‘at centre of hedge funds plot to cash in on fall of the euro’

    Conspiracy anyone?

    • oooh, that’s interesting … of course, proving intent is so hard with these damned things but it’s promising.

      • It gave me a smile just to think about the possibility they might get sucked into a conspiracy probe.

      • But why can’t we prove intent. He’s been all over the media talking about the inevitability of the euro dive. I’m sure he has some impact on currency traders. Why couldn’t some regulator just retroactively take a look at his trades. Or is that forbodden…sigh.

    • Must be something with the initials GS 😉

    • Soros was a big Obama supporter with his Move-On propaganda machine!

  21. The interview with T Franks is downright creepy. Even the interviewer got creepy with his ego stroking of Franks.

    I’m beginning to think we need to break our states into multiple countries. The social divide is getting too big to manage.

    • I agree with BB, you have to wonder who voted for him. Makes me want to stay away from the lake h area, that’s for sure.

      • I agree with BB, as well, but the level of intolerance and hatred in this country extends well outside the boundaries of the lake h area. More and more of these limited minds are winding up in congress, and can be found with D behind their name almost as easily as R.

      • The lake is so polluted that you can not swim in it. For years they have been trying to get funds to clean it up. You can not even use the water for crops.
        I guess this guy is proof that pollution affects the brain.



  22. Essay by the author of “The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea”


    Says whales and dolphins should not be kept in captivity.

  23. http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NmQyOTI5NzNkMmMxY2IyYThhMjBmNjhkOWQ2MTY5YjE=

    This article has a downright scary take on the dems and healthcare.
    They do not care if they lose election just want control.



  24. Video of Chile earthquake


    • More BBC video of Chile after earthquake–very dramatic.


      • Everytime one of these disasters hits, I can’t help but marvel at the incredible power set loose by nature. Should put people in our place.

    • I do not know if all fire departments have this program, but LA fire has a CERT class that teaches what to do in an disaster until emergency crews can get to you. They will teach neighborhood groups and business groups. I took the class through the railroad. I teaches many helpful things to do to help yourself and people around you.
      If you fire dept has this program it is worth taking the class.



  25. http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2010/02/25/patriot-act-without-reforms-passes-house-roll-call-included/

    I found this at No Quarter a commenter posted it. It is a very telling article on how bills are passed today. Maybe we should make congress watch old videos of School House Rock on government.



  26. Marie Osmond’s teenage son committed suicide by jumping out of his apartment window:


    • Very sad……..I wish we took mental health more seriouly in this country.

      If I remember rightly I think Marie, herself, dealt with depression.

  27. Rand’s followers merely adopt her ethical theory because it suits their own selfish beliefs. (we do love to hear people that validate our bad behavior) She’s a rational egoist with a normative perspective. While I can buy the descriptive philosophical argument that people *do* act out of selfish interests, I do not buy her premise that people *should* act out of selfish interests.

    There are so many philosophical theories and Rand’s views are the Libertarian credo. I think her theories are crap. But that’s just me.

    • I had to stop reading “The Fountainhead” because the woman protagonist was so unreal. Laughably off the human scale if I remember correctly.

    • Dangerous Minds had the best smackdown ever of these
      Ayn Rand Assholes

      Andrew Corsello’s The Bitch is Back article from GQ on the boorish subject of Ayn Rand Assholes is probably the best takedown of Ayn Rand’s followers (and Alan Greenspan and Wall Street) I’ve yet seen and certainly the funniest (other than Stephen Colbert’s). It was about time for an article like this to appear and I am glad it was Corsello who wrote it.

    • When I was in the libertarian movement, we called the Objectivists “Randroids”.

  28. AP is reporting that they are up to 145 deaths due to the Chile earthquake

  29. watching for first wave to hit

  30. The symbolism in the dance is gracefully performed. A father who protects the crater of the sacred fire.

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