Sunday Night Open Thread

Is anyone watching the Phil Spector movie on HBO? It's very strange. It's like they are all playing caricatures of caricatures. I'm switching to the Good Wife.

I've been working on TalkLeft's premium page all weekend, trying to add features we have here that Wordpress doesn't have -- particularly in comments. I must have tried 15 plugins, none of them adequate. So even though I think I've figured out the subscription issues, I'm going to tinker with it some more before asking people to use it.

One thing that's very noticeably lacking on older blogs like this one not using Wordpress is the lack of web fonts. They really make the blog so much easier to read. The possibilities are endless -- and of course, not free. It's great that Wordpress offers them in themes -- as does Bootstrap, but figuring all this out is way beyond my skill set and time availability.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Now here's a sequester I welcome: (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:55:45 AM EST
    They haven't cut back on air shows (none / 0) (#28)
    by fishcamp on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:15:48 PM EST
    yet down here.  The Navy is putting on a biggie at the Boca Chica Naval Air Base this coming weekend.  The other cutbacks seem mean to me.  Like canceling the White House Easter egg hunt and tours.  Making people stand in line at US Customs for hours and renewing passports is another nightmare, and what about Gitmo.  What kind of legacy does Obama want to leave?  I don't get it.

    The least logical cut o far is (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:23:40 PM EST
    air traffic controllers at O'Hare.  

    It's the same theory (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:40:20 PM EST
    As Sherman's March to the Sea: Take the war to the people, the ones who support the army, and they will push for a resolution.

    In this case, the WH is hoping that these public closures and cuts (the Easter Egg Roll, WH tours), along with something that will inconvenience a whole lotta people, like cutting air traffic controllers in busy airports, will make the people place the blame on "the other guy".  It allows them to push a narrative of "See what they're making us do?"


    Okay stop (none / 0) (#32)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:48:37 PM EST
    the Easter Egg roll wasn't cancelled, and the only possible cutbacks at O'Hare deal with the inefficient north tower that requires 3 controllers for one runway and will likely occur at low volume times and/or days.

    Hang on a minute... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:04:54 PM EST
    Here's the list of air traffic control towers being closed, and here's the FAA's press release.

    These are PDF files, so for those who can't access, there are 149 towers on the list to be closed.  Guess we should be glad they "saved" the other 40 that had been on the proposed list.

    From the press release:

    Today, the Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reached the decision that 149 federal contract towers will close beginning April 7 as part of the agency's sequestration implementation plan. The agency has made the decision to keep 24 federal contract towers open that had been previously proposed for closure because doing so would have a negative impact on the national interest.

    An additional 16 federal contract towers under the "cost share" program will remain open because Congressional statute sets aside funds every fiscal year for these towers. These cost-share program funds are subject to sequestration but the required 5 percent cut will not result in tower closures.

    WH tours have definitely been canceled - my friend was supposed to go with her daughter on a class field trip to the WH in early April.  Not happening.


    I said nothing (none / 0) (#44)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:34:46 PM EST
    of Tours or regional airports. I covered the easter egg roll and O'Hare, nothing more.

    As I said elsewhere, the FAA has a loss of funding due to sequestration. It leads to lost hours of work which is a paycut for many that will run through September.

    The financial damage for the regionals beyond the furloughed controllers comes if any commercial airline cuts service.


    I know you didn't - I just missed part (none / 0) (#58)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:48:00 PM EST
    of the comment thread that connected the O'Hare situation to the rest of what's going on - ended up providing a link to all the tower closings.

    Guess I'm not as good at multi-tasking as I used to be, lol.

    I know that one of the towers to be closed here is the one at Martin State airport - it has, over the years, ended up being a fifth runway for BWI - as traffic has increased there, they've been able to divert some of the commercial activity to Martin and keep the on-time stats in better shape as a result.  

    The problem may be that the ATC's at BWI will be handling more air traffic, but I don't think they will be doing so with more controllers.  Yeesh.

    It's been a long time since I flew anywhere, but it just seems to me to be some kind of miracle that all that air traffic gets handled as safely as it does; it's one job I wouldn't ever want to have...


    Always amazes me too (none / 0) (#63)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:58:28 PM EST
    And I wouldn't want the job either.

    Nearly 10% of the regional tower closing (14 I think) will be in Florida. Luckily they start a week after Easter when most of the snowbirds have already departed and flights in and out begin to diminish a bit.


    I know (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:08:46 PM EST
    But it still makes for "good" press for everyone to run around with the hair on fire.  Remember - it was the WH who warned that the Easter Egg Roll would be canceled.

    And all 68 controllers at O'Hare got notices of potential upcoming furloughs - which means they would ALL get time off, straining the already tight staffing in the towers.  I'm not sure where you got the info about the north runway being "inefficient" - closing it would reduce the number of arriving flights by about 37%, and since Chicago is a major hub and connection point for many travelers, this could have huge ramifications across the country - both in time and expense.

    Operating without O'Hare's north tower would reduce the number of arrival runways on most days to two from three and the number of arriving flights to 72 from 114, a reduction of 37 percent, said James Hall, union representative for air traffic controllers in the Chicago region.

    More broadly, FAA officials have said the effect of furloughs could be 90-minute delays. That's on top of possible security screening delays because of cuts to Transportation Security Administration personnel.

    They aren't closing the runway (none / 0) (#42)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:23:18 PM EST
    controlled by the north tower. Just cutting back it's operational time. The FAA has to impliment a 10% cut. Obviously that will hit the smaller regional airports hard as they may shut those towers entirely. O'Hare won't face a ten percemt cutback but they have identified where they will cut if they have to...the most inefficient tower they maintain.

    It hurts employees but as long as the GOP controlled House wants to maintain the cuts there will be cuts.


    So you're saying (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by sj on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:13:57 PM EST
    it's going from a full-time position to a part-time one.  With the same work load, just fewer workers.  So not a big deal.

    Do I have that right?


    Comprehension deprived? (none / 0) (#48)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:26:53 PM EST
    a one day furlough from O'Hare over a two week pay period amounts to a 10% cut from 40 hours to 36 per week. That's still fulltime with complete benefits. It's highly unlikely O'Hare will face that 10% cut.

    I think sequestration is a hugely bad deal. I also thing over-exaggerations such as yours are unwarranted. If it bothers you contact your GOP representative.


    I'm not talking furloughs to (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by sj on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:47:29 PM EST
    specific employees.  I'm talking about the management paradigm.

    Are you comprehension deprived?


    If you're commenting on my post (none / 0) (#52)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:59:04 PM EST
    it would be helpful for you to stick to the post instead of random meandering to fulfill your bitter quotient for the day.

    Oy (none / 0) (#53)
    by sj on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:01:17 PM EST
    Bitter bitter bitter.  Is that all you've got?  Oh wait, no it isn't.  You have lots of condescension and the inability to see trends.

    Now now children... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:02:22 PM EST
    wasn't there enough bickering over the weekend?  Don't make me pull this car off the information superhighway! ;)

    If ya can't play nice, agree to disagree.


    kdog (none / 0) (#55)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:16:00 PM EST
    diagreeing with you can be an enjoyable and sometimes enlightening exercise. Others (The Gang of Five?) mount their proverbial daily soapbox and look for disagreement and fights for therapeutic value.

    Congrats on the clutch pick yesterday

    Go Heat!



    Not sucking me in CG... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:44:55 PM EST
    my arse is Switzerland;)

    Not that I am in any position to criticize being a broken-record of gripes...I'm quite guilty of that, and could be considered a founding member of the TL Rag Mama Rag Society.  Perhaps my saving grace is not taking myself, or our discussions of the day, too seriously.

    Let us all remember we ain't changing the world, we're killing time in our crime & politics geek way.  We're all knuckleheads on a blog.


    So true. (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:48:33 PM EST
    Not sucking me in CG... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:50:06 PM EST
    no sir, my arse is Switzerland;)

    Not that I am in any position to criticize being a broken-record of gripes...I'm quite guilty of that, and could be considered a founding member of the TL Rag Mama Rag Society.  Perhaps my saving grace is not taking myself, or our discussions of the day, too seriously.

    Let us all remember we ain't changing the world, we're killing time in our crime & politics geek way.  We're all knuckleheads on a blog.  


    CG - speaking of clutch picks, (none / 0) (#61)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:51:49 PM EST
    what did you think of the Dumervil signing by the Ravens?

    I'm kind of liking it, myself - fully in line with the Ravens' philosophy of right player-right price.

    Now, we need a decent safety...


    Sounds like a good one (none / 0) (#64)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:00:12 PM EST
    dropped in your lap (and was needed too)

    Hey, CG (none / 0) (#86)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:12:52 AM EST
    How 'bout you mount this!

    Good one. (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:21:22 PM EST
    More on Pope Francis (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:34:14 AM EST
    There could be hope yet, as details of his thoughts on many issues will be published in an upcoming book.

    These are taken from when he was an Archbishop and Cardinal, and that's not to say he will go against the flow of what's been happening in the Church, but this is a breath of fresh air and leads one to hope that some changes may be coming (even if minor):

    On the sex abuse cases:

    "You cannot be in a position of power and destroy the life of another person," Bergoglio told Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary. Their conversation was held in 2012 while Bergoglio was archbishop of Buenos Aires.

    He told Skorka that when a bishop once asked him what he should do with priests suspected to molesting children: "I told him to take away the priests' licenses, not to allow them to exercise the priesthood any more, and to begin a canonical trial in that diocese's court."

    "I think that's the attitude to have. I do not believe in taking positions that uphold a certain corporative spirit in order to avoid damaging the image of the institution."


    Priests and family relations:

    The future pope said that if a seminarian -- or a priest -- falls in love or has a child with a woman, he counsels them to leave and support his family, to "go in peace to be a good Christian and not a bad priest."

    Bergoglio also said that if a priest got a woman pregnant, he advises the man to leave the priesthood so he can take care of the mother and child, even if the couple do not marry. "For just as that child has the right to have a mother, he has a right to the face of a father," he said. He added that if it is a one-time affair with no children, then he tries to help the priest do penance and "get on track again."



    Still, the future pope said, "For now, the discipline of celibacy stands firm." He added, however, that while he favors maintain celibacy for priests, "with all its pros and cons," celibacy is "a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change."

    Or as I like to call him... (none / 0) (#14)
    by unitron on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:23:30 AM EST
    ...Pope Frankie!

    If this is true (none / 0) (#17)
    by sj on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:38:12 AM EST
    how did he ever make it past the college of cardinals that Pope Benedict put together?

    I'm glad he's going somewhat public straightaway.  


    A good question, sj (none / 0) (#23)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:35:46 AM EST
    Maybe a small "miracle" was involved :)

    Who's to say (none / 0) (#35)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:59:19 PM EST
    the Cardinals are in theological lock-step with Benedict? I realize "Ben" hoped they would be, but folks have a way of, when there's an opening, taking it.

    These fellas are priests, yes, but they're also politicians, and the political winds are blowing for liberalization. The future is, less dogmatic encumbrance, and the past is, well, dead.  


    Please clarify your last sentence. (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:01:37 PM EST
    Just that (none / 0) (#43)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:31:17 PM EST
     the doctrinaire, late Pope has left us, as many of his ideologically similar brethren will also before too very long.

    one can only hope.. (none / 0) (#46)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:58:20 PM EST
    though what came out as a result of the Propaganda Due scandal in Italy in the early eighties makes one wonder whether the main support for reactionism in the Vatican has really come from within, or from strong vested interests outside the official Church hierarchy.

    Though, more-than-likely, it's been a mutually supporting, symbiotic relationship right along.

    Off and on since the time of the Borgias..


    Well They Voted for Him... (none / 0) (#65)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:04:16 PM EST
    ...so it's fairly safe to say they are in the general area of Ratzenberger.  And while I don't know, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the mostly old and white catholic cardinals are extremely conservative.  Not US conservative, but Bible conservative and very traditional people who are the last in line for adopting social change, especially when it conflicts with their dogma.  Ratzenberger was the face of the power structure of the Catholic church, an old crusty, out of touch, white guy, who is more interested in the Catholic brand then helping people.

    I would say by their selection, they are fairly concerned about their image.  The scandals and the face of the church have been devastating to their congregation numbers.  The last thing I think most people want to hear from the Pope is why this or that is morally wrong while the moral scandal of the century is unfolding in their own house.  Especially when the former effects no one.

    Image is an issue and I think they are putting the person most able to polish/soften their image.  By all accounts, this Pope is a people person and not traditionalists.  He not the traditional Cardinal by any means, but yet that is who voted for him.

    Again, this is all speculation.

    Not sure what you mean by political winds are changing, that isn't true if you look outside the US, which is where most Catholics reside.  There is progress being made with a couple social issues, but I would hardly describe it as changing political winds.  It's progress and moving into the 21st century which is not the same as what you described as 'liberalization'.


    I had a meeting today with ... (none / 0) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:11:06 PM EST
    ... the nun who's the retired principal of Maryknoll High School here in Honolulu. She's as liberal as they come, works with Catholic Charities / Social Services in the immigrant community on Oahu.

    Anyway, the good sister could not be more pleased with the election of Pope Francis, whom she says she's met personally while working in Argentina. She fully expects that he'll deal forcefully with the sex abuse scandals, and dial back the dogmatic rhetoric on women's reproductive issues, which she bluntly calls "unhelpful to our efforts in the community and needlessly divisive." She further believes that the new pope will instead attempt to reorient the Church toward a new emphasis on the pursuit of economic justice for the poor, social services for the needy and downtrodden, and good works within one's own immediate community.

    Time will tell, but if Pope Francis enjoys the sister's confidence -- and I respect her opinions -- I'm certainly hopeful for the future.

    At its very best, when it reflects the core teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the Roman Catholic Church can be a powerful advocate of socio-economic justice for those who otherwise have little or no voice, and a real force for good on this earth.

    Conversely, the Holy Mother Church seems to lose its way whenever its leadership becomes too enamored of power and privilege, and all too ready to serve as the loyal lapdog and resolute defender of the status quo.


    If the good sister proves to be right about (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:20:16 PM EST
    the path Francis takes, that will be all to the good. If he goes that route, though, Francis will have one hell of a time getting the American Council of Bishops to change its tune and follow his lead.

    I would love to see the Pope muzzle Cardinal Dolan, go on record criticizing Paul Ryan's budget (and the GOP's budget priorities in general), drop the stupid fight over the contraceptive requirement in Obamacare, and lay off the nuns.

    I am not hopeful. The Church embraces change very slowly. Time will tell, I guess.


    Wordpress (none / 0) (#1)
    by the capstan on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:47:13 PM EST
    Some wordpress themes print quoted manner in a very pale tan or brown font.  Hard to read!  Please check font appearance in various themes--

    I invited myself to a friend's house a half hour d (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 11:37:00 PM EST
    watch Helen Mirren cough and wipe her nose and Al Pacino play Al Pacino. Not a good use of our time.

    Just my observation, but I think that ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:21:44 AM EST
    ... Al Pacino is at his very best as an actor when he's working with a strong and competent director who possesses a clear vision of what he or she wants to convey onscreen. When the collaboration is at its optimum, we see richly textured characters such as Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Copolla's "The Godfather" and "The Godfather, Part II" (but not "Part III") and Roy Cohn in Mike Nichols' "Angels in America."

    In the hands of a passive director who suggests rather than commands, Pacino reserves for himself the right to chew the scenery and spit it back to the audience's faces, and the result is "And Justice for All" and "Scent of a Woman."


    Pacino did a wonderful job (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:50:31 AM EST
    In Merchant of Venice in NY. Barry Levinson is a terrific director. Maybe this is Spector's public persona. Who know?

    That's what I heard. (none / 0) (#68)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:33:29 PM EST
    And I agree with you about Barry Levinson. Not all that long ago, I saw an interview with actress Blythe Danner, and she said Levinson is a confident director who knows exactly what he wants from his actors, but his ego is not so overarching that he's impervious to their own creative input. I'd think that good actors like Al Pacino would blossom under directors like him.

    Read and weep: (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:16:53 AM EST
    Adam Liptak re SCOTUS' (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:39:20 AM EST
    Roe v. Wade
    decision and the pending cases re same sex marriage. Is Roe so universally criticized?

    Link: (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:40:14 AM EST
    The jurisprudential reasoning of Roe v Wade, (none / 0) (#12)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:10:37 AM EST
    as articulated in Justice Blackmun's 1973 majority opinion, is not widely defended, even by those who support the result both legally and socio-politically.  But the result -- that the Constitution sharply limits the government's authority to control a woman's right to choose whether to continue her own pregnancy -- is very widely supported, by both lawyers, as a legal matter, and by Americans, as a policy matter.

    And in a related sidenote: (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:29:20 PM EST
    This month marks the 43rd anniversary of Act 1, Session Laws of Hawaii 1970, which was the very first state law passed in the entire country that explicitly decriminalized the act of abortion. Legislatures in Alaska, New York and Washington state soon followed Hawaii's lead in passing similar measures -- and this was three years before the matter of Roe v. Wade came before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    I consider Gov. John Burns' decision to allow House Bill 61 to become law without his signature to be one of the truly great examples of public statesmanship in 20th century American politics. Burns himself was a deeply pious Roman Catholic who attended mass and took communion daily, and it had been widely assumed that he would likely veto the measure.

    Instead, the governor shocked practically everyone on the day his veto was expected to fall, by releasing a surprisingly revelatory and heartfelt 15-page-long statement in which he discussed in considerable detail his own soul-searching on the subject of abortion, disclosed his own wife's personally risky but incredibly brave decision to not terminate her fourth pregnancy in 1940 despite being recently paralyzed by polio, and recounted his professional experience as a police captain who had to deal with the tragedy of botched back-alley abortions. He then concluded:

    "I have made my decision [to allow HB 61 to become law]. I stand by it. It is the decision of the Governor of Hawaii, not the private and personal whim of John A. Burns. It reflects my best judgment as Governor, made after consultation with the best minds in the State, in regard to what is in the best interest of all the people of Hawaii."

    I wish we were blessed with more people like him as public officials.


    Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (none / 0) (#45)
    by brodie on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:42:59 PM EST
    Alan Dershowitz, and John Hart Ely (ex dean of the Stanford LS and ex staffer of the WC) are some of the major legal liberal/center-left minds who have voiced fundamental opposition to the way Roe was handled by the Blackmun majority.

    True, true. My point, however, was that (none / 0) (#72)
    by Peter G on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:38:03 PM EST
    this fact must not be misconstrued as a suggestion that any significant number of serious thinkers, liberal or otherwise, are opposed to legal protection for a woman's right to choose.

    Liberty under Substantive Due Process (none / 0) (#77)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:10:12 PM EST
    works for me.  

    As to the trimester system, the Court "invented" the standards for defamation cases in N.Y. Times v. Sullivan, which had to balance the First Amendment against common law defamation claims.  Roe did the same thing.


    This is simply amazing! (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:29:06 AM EST
    And creepy at the same time....

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequel

    LAST week, scientists sequenced the genome of cells taken without consent from a woman named Henrietta Lacks. She was a black tobacco farmer and mother of five, and though she died in 1951, her cells, code-named HeLa, live on. They were used to help develop our most important vaccines and cancer medications, in vitro fertilization, gene mapping, cloning. Now they may finally help create laws to protect her family's privacy -- and yours.

    The family has been through a lot with HeLa: they didn't learn of the cells until 20 years after Lacks's death, when scientists began using her children in research without their knowledge. Later their medical records were released to the press and published without consent. Because I wrote a book about Henrietta Lacks and her family, my in-box exploded when news of the genome broke. People wanted to know: did scientists get the family's permission to publish her genetic information? The answer is no.


    On its own, the HeLa genome doesn't say anything specific about Lacks: it's a string of billions of letters that detail the genetic information that makes up a HeLa cell, which is useful for science. A news release from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, where the HeLa genome was sequenced, said, "We cannot infer anything about Henrietta Lacks's genome, or of her descendants, from the data generated in this study."

    But that's not true. And a few scientists decided to prove it. One uploaded HeLa's genome to a public Web site called SNPedia, a Wikipedia-like site for translating genetic information. Minutes later, it produced a report full of personal information about Henrietta Lacks, and her family. (The scientist kept that report confidential, sharing it only with me.) Until recently, few people had the ability to process raw genome data like this. Now anyone who can send an e-mail can do it. No one knows what we may someday learn about Lacks's great-grandchildren from her genome, but we know this: the view we have today of genomes is like a world map, but Google Street View is coming very soon.

    "Google Street View" for your genomes?

    It is infuriating that they didn't get permission (none / 0) (#27)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:13:39 PM EST
    because the tribulations the family went through with the unauthorized research on her cancer cells was devastating. This family has been betrayed twice.

    I read the book about a year ago and it is deserving of all the honors and publicity it received. If you haven't read it yet, you will want to. Skloot did such a great job with the research, the crafting of the story so that non-scientists could understand it, and the very human way she built relationships with the family members.

    HeLa is a really important story. I'm sorry to read that the science community is still invading this woman's and this family's privacy. At least the first time around, there was very little financial gain involved. I think we can assume that this time the money will be a huge part of the scenario.


    It certainly is infuriating. (none / 0) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:49:42 PM EST
    But honestly, we should also place this in proper historical context, and remember that what happened to this woman and her family occurred in a day and age in which:

    • Select women in North Carolina could be sterilized under that state's eugenics policy without their knowledge and / or consent;

    • African-American men seeking medical treatment for syphilis could be given placebos rather than atibiotics without their knowledge or consent, just so medical researchers could track and observe the progression of the disease in untreated patients;

    • Government workers could be dosed with LSD without their knowledge or consent to observe their activities while tripping; and

    • U.S. Navy personnel, officers and men alike, could be compelled to witness atomic weapons atmospheric tests in the mid-Pacific and then then be tested for possible radiation exposure, in order to learn about the extent and range of radiation poisoning after an atomic blast.

    Given all that, such a profound violation of one's integrity of personhood in mid-20th century America is unconscionable, yes, but really not that surprising.

    What happened in the past is neither a (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:32:29 PM EST
    good excuse nor a good reason for this latest intrusion on the Lacks family. Mapping Henrietta's genome, and thus the genomes of her family members, at this time, after Skloot's book drew everyone's attention to what previous scientists had done with Henrietta's cells, is beyond outrageous.

    Perhaps I shouldn't be, but I am stunned that present-day scientists pursued this line of research without getting permission from the Lacks family. It is inexcusable.


    I'm well aware of the times in which it occurred (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:35:43 PM EST
    That doesn't soften the impact a bit. The family was kept in the dark about the fact the "sample" Henrietta's doctors asked to take from her body after she died were in fact cells--cells that were divided and replicated billions of times and used in numerous experiments to research a number of diseases, to the great benefit of medical science. It wasn't until almost 40 years later, when Henrietta's daughter, Deborah, read a book by a science reporter named Michael Gold that the profound nature of what had happened--without the family's knowledge, understanding, permission, or compensation--started to become clearer.

    Since I happen to have the book sitting on my bookshelf, here's an excerpt in the chapter that Skloot titled "Breach of Privacy':

    In the ten-page chapter that followed, Gold quoted extensively from her medical records: the blood spotting her underwear, the syphilis, her rapid decline. No one in Henrietta's family had ever seen those medical records, let alone given anyone at Hopkins permission to release them to a journalist for publication in a book the whole world could read.

    So, the betrayals continued well into the 1980's. (Gold's book was published in 1985.)

    I encourage you to read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It's a stunning document.


    I recently heard a lecture (none / 0) (#85)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:07:39 PM EST
    on ethics in bio genetics. An audience member mentioned this book. The speaker said nothing has changed since then.  The informed consent form, if signed, permits unlimited use of bodily substances and w/o remuneration or advance notice.  

    One of my favorite books... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:17:28 PM EST
    Cyprus Eurozone bailout terms announced (none / 0) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:15:07 AM EST
    Looks like limited investment guarantees stay in place for the regular investor. The large ones beyond guaranteed insurance not so much. And quoting the Washington Post:
    The decision will drastically shrink the Cypriot economy, and likely puts an end to the country's business model as a low-tax business haven.

    The Cyprus experiment in big bankng fails and the country of just about a million probably returns to the land of tourism and beaches.

    On the news, stock markets around the world are up.

    This is probably why (none / 0) (#19)
    by fishcamp on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:13:49 AM EST
    Marcos Baghdatis, from Cyprus,  ranked #37 in the world of tennis is not playing at the Sony tournament in Miami.  He must have gone home to get what's left of his money.

    I presume (none / 0) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:28:55 AM EST
    there was no fly fishing yesterday?

    no fly fishing yesterday (none / 0) (#24)
    by fishcamp on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:36:56 AM EST
    but the Tarpon are here in the back country if you know where to look.  It's also raining off and on today.  Soon they will be on the ocean side...millions of them,  all looking to eat chicken feathers.  

    Many many years ago (none / 0) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:43:11 PM EST
    I was snorkeling not far from shore off some rocks on Lower Matecumbe and a school of 40-50 lb tarpon decided I was a curious object and came close to investigate. I could get my hand within inches of them before they'd scurry away only to come back for another look.

    Was going to head back with a rod after dinner at the Coral Grill but those all you can eat shrimp made me immobile for the rest of the night.

    That was a long lost memory until your mention of tarpon just now.


    I think that they.. (none / 0) (#80)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:00:51 PM EST
    had their eyes set on the Russian money.. and they got it.  Or will get it.

    Not that anyone would be that stupid (none / 0) (#87)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:25:46 AM EST
    to try and swindle the Russians (meaning the Russian Mafia, and the Oligarchs) but, should they try they might have a problem spending it with both hands missing from their wrists.

    That might be a little tongue-in-cheek, but, I assure you the Russian's sense of humor is limited.


    Interesting article about (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:30:52 AM EST
    how the GOP is estranged from the average american link

    Gun statistics (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:49:00 AM EST
    Gun deaths shaped by race in America - so are attitudes towards gun control laws.

    The statistical difference is dramatic, according to a Washington Post analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A white person is five times as likely to commit suicide with a gun as to be shot with a gun; for each African American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are killed by other people with guns.

    Where a person lives matters, too. Gun deaths in urban areas are much more likely to be homicides, while suicide is far and away the dominant form of gun death in rural areas. States with the most guns per capita, such as Montana and Wyoming, have the highest suicide rates; states with low gun ownership rates, such as Massachusetts and New York, have far fewer suicides per capita.


    Scholars say it is no coincidence that the places in the United States with high suicide rates also have high gun ownership rates. By contrast, states with the lowest gun ownership rates tend to have the lowest suicide rates.

    Don't need no stinkin "Scholars" (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:16:37 AM EST
    ".....States with the lowest gun ownership rates tend to have the lowest suicide rates."

    Don't have to belong to Mensa, just have brain cells equal to an amoeba.

    Simple common sense. Hypothetically, picture yourself in a suicidal depression, and it reaches critical mass of despondency triggering the decision to go through with it. Doesn't your innate probability/statistical/cognitive portion of the brain tell you that having a gun right there at your disposal would result in more suicides being "successful" than having a knife, bomb, baseball bat, etc?

    This has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment, btw.


    Drones for good (none / 0) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:42:38 AM EST
    I did not know this either: (none / 0) (#16)
    by brodie on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:12:18 AM EST
    Simon & Garfunkle's classic tune Sound of Silence was written in response to the JFK assassination, in early 1964.  Library of Congress announced it was selected as an important song to be preserved in its archives.

    Interesting also to read that the more famous dubbed-over electric guitar version from the original acoustical was done by the record company without the knowledge of S&G.  It was the unexpected success of this version which caused the duo to reunite after splitting up earlier in 1965.

    I knew they had first recorded the song ... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:31:37 AM EST
    ... in 1964, several years before "The Graduate" hit theatres, but I didn't know that it had been overdubbed without their knowledge for that film. At least Phil Spector didn't lay his hands on it and impose his Wall of Sound.

    No not overdubbed (none / 0) (#33)
    by brodie on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:52:55 PM EST
    for The Graduate but just as a single in 1965, at a time when the duo had split up.  Apparently a record producer was looking for a way to put S & G on the map using existing material.

    The timeline:

    1.  Feb 1964 Simon pens Sound Silence as acoustical song, following JFK assass'n, which appears on their first album released that fall called Wednesday Morning 3 AM.

    2. underwhelming commercial success leads duo to break up in early 1965

    3. Mid-1965 their record producer remixes acoustical version w/o S&G's awareness, electrified single climbs charts late that year

    4. S&G incorporate new version as title track to their second album as 1965 becomes 1966 and song is major hit, launching duo to stardom

    5. 1967 Director Mike Nichols uses newer Sound of Silence version as he completes work on soundtrack for The Graduate.

    Link? (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:55:15 PM EST
    Wiki entry under "Sound of (none / 0) (#39)
    by brodie on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:07:45 PM EST

    Plus, frankly anyone of sufficient age who lived in that period and was following the groovy popular music of that time knows that a) the later (1965) electrified song was the one that was a major hit and b) said hit was already a part of the youth culture of the times -- not just another chart-topper -- before Nichols decided to use it for his film a year later.


    They are also preserving... (none / 0) (#81)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:23:01 PM EST
    Cheap Thrills and Dark Side of the Moon.  Here's a list and a bit of a sample of each. (If you click on that Pink Floyd thing).

    Hillary Clinton's legacy (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:41:22 AM EST
    One of Global Feminism?

    By the way, and maybe this isn't a "feminist" thing to say, but I love the skirts on the ladies standing behind her in this picture because I love cows!  :)

    What a weekend! (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:40:36 AM EST
    Action packed...hope y'all had half as much fun.

    Saw "Spring Breakers"...brilliant film, though I'd definitely call it a "love it or hate it", with most of the theater hating it.  I thought it was an excellent pervy art film portrayal of sex & violence youth culture, with notable cinematography.  Especially poignant with gun violence on everybody's brain.  One of the best films I've seen in a while.

    Won our rec-league touch football championship game Sunday...27-14.  The fellas and I take it far too seriously...we're #1!;)

    And finally an intimate Sunday afternoon concert with singer/songwriter extraordinaire Willie Nile over at Stonybrook U...what a talent!  "I'm a soldier, marching in an army.  I got no gun to shoot, but what I got is this one guitar.  This one guitar."  Gets no better party people, it gets no better!

    Congrats on the big win! (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:32:34 PM EST
    I think I sprained my shoulder... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:00:39 PM EST
    patting myself on the back for the timely interception that swung a 14-14 game our way;)

    Time to bust out the leather and get ready for softball season, if spring ever decides to show up.


    You want excitement, kdog, try having ... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:11:59 PM EST
    ... a 10-ft. long, 4-ton boulder fall off the 800-ft-high ridgline above your house and land with a thud in your driveway. That event pretty much took up our Saturday night. It was scary.

    We watched yesterday as personnel from the State DLNR and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were airlifted to the top of the ridgeline, and they subsequently determined that our boulder's dislodgement has also potentially loosened several other large rocks of significant tonnage above us, much smaller than the one that fell on Saturday night but still just as hazardous.

    And so they're commencing work today to secure the rocks in place by draping a heavy chainlink mesh over them, and then they can gradually break them up into much smaller pieces for removal by helicopter.

    The boulder's two pieces are still sitting where they stopped, atop the neighbor's two cars. We're convening our townhouse association board tonight to meet and plan a course of action to get them removed ASAP, because while the State of Hawaii will take care of securing the ridge above us, the boulder that's now on our property is our responsibility to remove and not the State's. Our association's insurance will pay for both its removal and subsequent repairs to the smashed retaining wall, community driveway and my neighbor's wrecked carport.


    You don't live in Kailua, do you? (none / 0) (#71)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:19:57 PM EST
    My aunt lives there, and I know you've been getting some storms out there.

    We live in Kuliouou Valley in east HNL, ... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:30:23 PM EST
    ... which is less than four miles due south of Kailua as the birds fly. Here's a photo of Kailua, taken from the top of our valley along the Koolau ridgeline, about 2,200 feet in elevation.

    It's a 15-mile drive around Makapuu Point to Kailua from our house, but without any doubt along one of the most visually spectacular highways in the country.

    We love Kailua, and spend more than our share of time over there. Nice town, great restaurants, and one of the great beaches in the world. Your aunt is blessed.

    And yes, we've been having considerable heavy rains of late. That's probably what caused our boulder to finally give way last Saturday. NOAA / NWS has already announced that tomorrow morning, we'll be under a flash flood warning.

    Ugh. The only one who seems to love this sort of stormy weather is our cat, who for some obscure reason really likes to lounge in the chair next to the living room window whenever it's raining hard, so she can look outside and watch it come down, and then take a nap.


    You're not quite windward (none / 0) (#76)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:55:13 PM EST
    Hawaii, are you?

    Still not as rainy, etc., as Kaneohe?


    We're actually a little of both. (none / 0) (#79)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:59:47 PM EST
    We're on the far eastern end of Oahu, and when storm clouds from the northeast pile into the mountains and wrap around Makapuu Point, we're going to get a lot of rain, same as Kailua and Kaneohe, which as you can see from the map is not all that far away from us.

    The wettest point on Oahu is Maunawili Valley in Kailua (although residents of Kahana Valley north of Kaneohe might take issue with that), with 200+ inches per year, and the back of Kuliouou Valley is directly adjacent to Maunawili. Kuliouou easily averages over 100+ inches of rain annually.

    The rule of thumb is that the lands closest to the ocean are generally the driest parts of Oahu, while her valleys tend to be wettest. This can lead to wild discrepancies in the amount of rainfall received in each part of the island at any given time.

    During the great New Year's Eve Flood of 1989, our end of the island (Kailua to Kahala) received a devastating 27 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. Our valley was particularly hard hit, and one street about two blocks back from us was wiped out, 23 houses completely destroyed, and residents lost everything. But the official NWS station at Honolulu International Airport, which is 18 miles to the west, barely received a quarter-inch of rain that day, and many in west Oahu were unaware of the floods occurring in east Oahu.

    It's really not uncommon this time of year for it to be raining heavily in Kuliouou, while five miles due west, it'll be dry and sunny in Waikiki. And in the summer, it's not uncommon for it to be dry and sunny down by Maunalua Bay near our house, while dark and stormy in the back of Kuliouou Valley. We have cacti growing wildly in the front of the valley, and a tropical rain forest in the back.


    Damn Don... (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:57:51 AM EST
    that's a totally different definition of "rocking out".  Thank goodness no one was hurt.

    Another Democratic Senator retiring (none / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:44:34 PM EST
    Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota.

    Could be an easy pickup for the GOP.

    Unless, of course, it tracks (none / 0) (#62)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:53:13 PM EST
    last year's North Dakota, Missouri, and Indiana.  (Or 2010's Colorado and Nevada.)  So...which faction of the Repubs do you think will dominate this time around?  Will it be the "philosophy" & stagecraft of a Rand Paul? Or, in a throw-back to the '50s, the increasingly loud & gesturing Ted Cruz with his "philosophy?"

    According to the post (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:11:51 PM EST

    The GOP already has a strong candidate in former Gov. Mike Rounds, who announced his candidacy last year and leads all potential Democratic opponents, according to a poll from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released last week.

    But the eventual Republican nominee could face a stiff challenge from another member of the Johnson clan: U.S. attorney for South Dakota Brendan Johnson, who has not ruled out a run for his father's seat.

    Former Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has also been mentioned as possible candidate. She scored higher approval numbers than the senator in the PPP poll.

    And in the North Dakota Senate race, Heitkamp had more name recognition thatn the Republican, but still just squeaked by with 50.24% of the vote.

    Tim Johnson is also on the record as saying (when he was still considering running for re-election):

    "I consider Mike a friend, and I welcome him to the race," the senator said. "I had an excellent working relationship with him during his eight years as Governor, and the fact that he has already re-stated his refusal to take the Grover Norquist `no tax increases under any circumstances' pledge is a very good sign."

    (Yes, the link is from The Daily Caller, but I was trying to find some info on Rounds).

    I think South Dakota is a different state and 2014 will be a different year, so I don't think it instructive to guess at this early stage, especially as the benefits and costs of Obamacare become mostly effective before the election and people can truly start to make up their minds about if they like it or not.


    Agree that it is a long way off (none / 0) (#67)
    by christinep on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:25:42 PM EST
    And, if former Gov. Rounds fits the role of South Dakota moderate, it could well be a tough race for Dems.  One thing: South Dakota has elected some surprisingly liberal individuals at all levels in years past...and, South Dakotans usually like to point out their differences from their neighbor immediately north.  Like Montana, SD has a longtime underlying populism.

    It could be interesting (2014 political dynamics, i.e.) for some of the reasons you state...and, more.

    But.... Since you keep informed of reported trends, do you have early guesses about how the trendlet for Rand Paul & the attention-seeking Cruz night develop in the months ahead?


    I don't (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:34:50 PM EST
    I think the Tea Party segment will fizzle and become a minority third party.  The Republican establishment is already getting on board with things like gay marriage (although slowly and quietly) because they see that train is leaving and realize they'd rather fight on economic terms.

    Everyone thought Sarah Palin was going to be a mjor player in the party for years to come.  And Paul Ryan has been pretty quiet, although, as the attached article notes, he has been the "anti-Palin" and gotten back to work in the trenches, as opposed to becoming a Fox News anchor.

    Like any movement that burns hot and fast, the Tea Party can't sustain itself - especially as the Establishment still wants to win elections and govern.