Friday Afternoon Open Thread

The blizzard is now being referred to as "Nemo."

Jesse Jackson, Jr. reportedly has a plea deal that may include up to 5 years in prison. He can ask the judge for probation or any lesser term. He's expected to plead guilty to one felony count of misuse of campaign funds.

I'll be in court the rest of the day, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    News of the strange (none / 0) (#1)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:02:58 PM EST
    CLEVELAND --  A judge has sentenced the leader of a breakaway Amish sect to 15 years in prison in connection with a series of violent home invasions in which the beards and hair of fellow Amish were brutally cut off.  

    Prior to sentencing, U.S. District Judge Daniel Polster said of Samuel Mullet Sr., "You deserve the longest and harshest sentence...you ran the Bergholz community with an iron hand....sadly, I consider you a danger to the community.....I think a sentence of life in prison is longer than necessary so I am imposing a sentence of 15 years."

    And the man's name was "Mullet."  Mullet?  For a person who (violently) cut off the hair of men?  
    I swear, you can't make this sh!t up.
    Not that any of this should be taken lightly.  Home invasion, religious thuggery, etc.  Religious fanaticism seldom, if ever, ends well.
    But.....the Amish?  I thought that they were supposed to be a peaceful religion. Mullet, and his followers, obviously went completely off the rails.

    Isn't there a Reality TV show about (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:07:40 PM EST
    the Amish Mafia?

    I vaguely think so, (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:09:57 PM EST
    sarc, but I don't watch reality TV.

    yes (none / 0) (#7)
    by DFLer on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:39:24 PM EST
    though it isn't really a Mafia...that's a tv headline. It's more a vigilante group that "takes care" of their community, when the local cops won't. (at least in the couple of shows I saw)

    This Will Blow Your Mind (none / 0) (#9)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:53:13 PM EST
    Documentary about Rumspringa, the time when youth leave the Amish community to visit the real world.
    Devil's Playground

    There is this whole subculture of kids who leave and never go back, but don't have skills to function in the real world.  Drug dealing, which I think was involved in the beard cutting attacks, is not uncommon.

    I grew up in area where it was common to see the Amish shopping or cruising down the road in a horse driven buggy.  I had no idea that they left their communities and how crazy that period of time is for most.  


    We are amused here that they are naming (none / 0) (#4)
    by DFLer on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:03:33 PM EST
    winter storms and look forward to "Wintry Mix Walter"

    The blogger weatherdude (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 12:36:37 AM EST
    Has given everyone the heads up that if they call the storm Nemo in public he may have to make fun of them.  He said that this is all being done by the media to boost ratings.

    The comments on the news site with the JJ story (none / 0) (#5)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:18:05 PM EST
    are absolutely vile, racist attacks. What a creepy culture we live in.

    That's why I generally ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 05:58:45 PM EST
    ... don't read the comments sections in online news stories. Most of them get pretty nasty.

    That said, however, your observation really doesn't surprise me, given that greater Chicagoland (Cook, Lake DuPage and McHenry counties) is actually a pretty racially polarized metropolitan area.

    Go back three decades, and you'd have noticed that it was fairly ethnically polarized within the white community, as well. I remember how my older German-American relatives all commented at my cousin's 1983 wedding in Schaumburg about how nice the bride was -- for a Polish girl. And across the reception hall, some of her own older relatives were lamenting the fact that she was marrying a German.


    I was in Detroit the summer of '82 (none / 0) (#11)
    by shoephone on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:05:55 PM EST
    and it seemed really segregated and weird too. Sometimes I'm really struck by how different the west coast is from much of the U.S.

    Bless me Father, for I have sinned. (none / 0) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:27:50 PM EST
    Reverend Rob Morris, pastor of Newtown, Connecticut's Lutheran Church was reprimanded and asked to apologize by his  boss, Pastor Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  The Reverend Mr Morris's transgression was offering the benediction at an interfaith prayer for the 26 little children and adults killed at the Sandy Hook elementary school, attended by family as well as President Obama.  

    The Synod president reminded the local pastor that he must avoid situations that may give the impression that differences with respect to such matters as who God is and how to get to heaven really don't matter in the end.  While Pastor Morris explained that the prayer was not a "joint" service, he did apologize.  

    Yeah, nothing's more important the being clear (none / 0) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:56:08 PM EST
    about who the big invisible "guy" hates and who he doesn't.

    Gun news (none / 0) (#8)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 04:46:47 PM EST
    One step closer to an open-source assault rifle (their words): A 30-round 3D-printed magazine

    So far it has survived 342 rounds being cycled through.  

    The guns I own (none / 0) (#15)
    by fishcamp on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:08:08 PM EST
    are run of the mill hunting weapons.  .300 Savage with a Leopold scope.  Dad had to get me that lever action deer rifle since I'm left handed.  12 gauge shotgun for birds.  Used to take that to high school and keep it in my locker during duck and pheasant season in Oregon so I could skip out 6th period and bring home some food for dinner.  Doubt that would be possible these daze.  Couple of old timey .22 rifles that gramps gave me.  And of course a .357 Ruger for trips to Miami.  That city is not safe.  Had to pull it once when a guy was sneaking up behind my car with one hand behind his back.  Didn't like that I had to pull it so I just waved it out the sunroof and the guy took off.  Sad but true.

    That was me (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 08:50:52 PM EST
    bringing you a margarita. I ran like hell and drank it myself.

    Great. That's all we need (none / 0) (#28)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:44:42 AM EST
    I hope Congress gets on this before it becomes a serious issue.

    Does anyone find it ironic (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:21:17 PM EST
    That in the tragic story of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield  - two war veterans trying to help out other vets in the best way they knew how - they were gunned down at a shooting range?  Kyle was considered by many as the greatest sniper in the history of the US military, and obviously he and Littlefield had immediate access to weapons, and yet, even THAT did not help them avoid being shot to death.

    Very sad.


    Yep, although, to be fair, ... (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:36:49 PM EST
    ... if their killer didn't have a gun, he could just as easily have killed them with a knife, ... or a car, ... or a frying pan ...

    ... or something like that.


    This is what I don't understand (none / 0) (#31)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:33:01 PM EST
     about those who use that argument......."It's not the guns that are the villain, they could have used.................."

    Don't they understand It's the instant availability, and ease of using, handguns that are the villains. "In the heat of the moment," and all that.

     How many confessions, after the fact, say something like, "I don't know what happened; it happened so fast. I didn't mean to kill him/her; it's all a big blur in my mind."


    There's a reason that guns ... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 03:03:20 PM EST
    ... (particularly handguns) are the choice of weapon by far for murders in the United States - they're easy to use, they're easy to get, they can be concealed easily, they're extremely effective (for killing), they can be used at a distance, they can be used against a larger/stronger person, and they can be used against multiple people very quickly.  Sure, someone can kill with a knife or an IED, but it's much more difficult and the magnitude of risk presented by a gun is much larger.

    And..........it's so easy. (none / 0) (#33)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:30:08 PM EST
    almost effortless, no muss, no fuss. You don't even have to worry about perspiring, and all that showering, changing clothes, phew!

    Anyone watching House of Cards (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:54:11 PM EST
    the Netflix series? Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are the most frightening Washington power couple ever. Juicy stuff! "I love her like a shark loves blood" ha!

    just saw the new Spartacus episode (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:05:26 PM EST

    Ha! Made it to chapter 5 (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 10:28:24 PM EST
    Taking a turn I don't like ....hope it works out to my satisfaction!

    Not yet (none / 0) (#25)
    by sj on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:34:04 AM EST
    I don't have Netflix but I'm thinking about getting it just for this reason.  Some of it was filmed in my neighborhood.  Which was really exciting except for the fact that all the vans and trailers seriously restricted parking in an already parking-challenged neighborhood.

    I think they did some indoor filming at the Peabody also.  

    Also, I've liked Robin Wright ever since I first saw her on "Santa Barbara"


    She is wonderful. Gets even better as it goes . (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 06:20:45 AM EST
    The photography is gorgeous. The opening credits alone are worth watching, so if it was filmed in your neighborhood I'm sure you will enjoy that aspect.

    Corey Stoll is also excellent. I only know him as Hemingway in the Woody Allen movie Midnight in Paris.

    I was up way too late last night binge viewing. Will probably do the same tonight. Of all the outlets, Netflix already has the best info on my viewing patterns, having shipped me 4 seasons of The Wire in 2 weeks, 3 of MadMen in about the same amount of time, Breaking Bad, etc. I'm sure they knew this would be video crack to me.


    Stop (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:29:16 AM EST
    I will have no life soon.  If you like it though and it has Kevin Spacey in it with Robin Wright, how can it not be good?  My daughter mentioned it to me just saying that Netflix was making its own stuff and looked very good with great actors.

    SF Giants fan fest tomorrow (none / 0) (#14)
    by nycstray on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 07:20:28 PM EST
    and then the pitchers and catchers hit the road!!!

    Did you see the photos of Tim Lincecum, ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:16:08 PM EST
    ... newly shorn of his trademark locks? It's all the rage today on Twitter, and one commenter notes that he now bears an uncanny resemblance to Rachel Maddow.

    Senate voted down Grassley substitute (none / 0) (#20)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 10:32:02 PM EST
    amendment to the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. Ten Republicans joined the Democrats to reject the Grassley amendment. One of the big differences relates to a tribal courts issue: "Grassley wants to remove the provision that would allow Native American women raped on reservation land by a non-Indian to have the case heard in a tribal court. Tribal courts currently have no jurisdiction over non-Native American defendants."

    Looks like Senate Democrats have the votes to pass their version of the VAWA early next week. Probably we'll get the same stalemate we had last year, with the House approving its own version.

    Good (none / 0) (#24)
    by Slayersrezo on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 01:08:32 AM EST
    I'm against anything that would farther restrict the rights of criminal defendants. This particular addition has implications for the Constitutional rights of US citizens. IF there is a problem with prosecutions of crimes against indigenous American women then a proper independent investigation followed by replacement or even punishment of the US legal representatives involved would seem to be called for instead.

    I honestly don't get why the house Democrats don't simply remove this ridiculous overbroad constitutional abomination so they can get the bill passed.


    Any comment, "observed"? (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:36:43 PM EST
    hmmm.. not a good idea. (none / 0) (#22)
    by observed on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 12:00:31 AM EST
    Did you notice that there will be 6-party talks with Iran in Astana at the end of this month?
    I'm really curious about the venue. It could conceivably be very close to where I live.