Tuesday Night Open Thread

I've been writing briefs all day and I'm not yet done.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    And happy 14th birthday to my son!!! (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Dadler on Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:16:27 PM EST
    Will you be using your Disneyland visit (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:09:56 PM EST
    as source material?  Looks like you survived.

    Survived? It starts at 8 am tomorrow (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by Dadler on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:11:41 PM EST
    I'll be lucky to survive the first day. ;-)

    Hope for water balloons and misters. (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:32:44 PM EST
    That is a look of very (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:45:57 PM EST
    Healthy skepticism.  No doubt inherited.  Very cute,

    I dragged him to many a protest (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Dadler on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:12:42 PM EST
    And he hears my political rants regularly. Isn't that what every 14 year-old wants to endure every night?



    Careful... (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by kdog on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:07:56 PM EST
    When it's rebelling time he might go Alex P. Keaton on ya D! ;)

    Tell the lad the weird guy you dragged him to Katz's to meet said Feliz Cumpleanos!


    Cat rescues little boy from dog attack (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:33:38 PM EST
    And it's a pretty big dog.  I'm a dog person but this is awsum.


    Harrowing security camera footage taken outside of the boy and cat's home show the boy playing on his bicycle in the driveway before being attacked, unprovoked, by the neighbor's unleashed dog. But before the dog can drag the boy down the driveway, in comes family cat Tara

    From the comments (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:38:49 PM EST
    We at Team Dog regret this incident and plan on investigating further.

    UPDATE: Upon further review, it does appear that this is, in fact, a solid victory for our opponents at Team Cat. We applaud the cat in this video for behaving in a very dog-like manner in protecting his/her Humans.

    Let this be a lesson to all pets, everywhere: Human children, though sometimes unruly, obnoxious, and tasty-looking, are for snuggles, dropped food items, or at least begrudging acceptance, and NEVER for rough play or nomming.

    In other words, that is a BAD DOG. BAD DOG. NO!


    Seriously, cats rule (none / 0) (#117)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:55:06 AM EST
    Remember they are still rather closely related to huge wild beasts. Beasts who purr, get you things like moles, entertain you and consider the whole world their off-leash area.  Cat v alligator.

    I detest cats and cat videos. (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by oculus on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:21:10 PM EST
    But this one is good. How did the videographer know the alligator wouldn't grab the cat?  Is this cat abuse?

    Cat neglect (5.00 / 3) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:34:08 PM EST
    I haven't sent you any great poodle haircut photos because I know how you are about all this.  You have missed Elvis though.  I left back leg poms  on Ghost, and my husband said because Ghost is white his back legs reminded him of Elvis bell bottoms.  So Ghost's registered name became "The Ghost of Elvis" :)

    I love cat videos (5.00 / 3) (#191)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:14:41 PM EST
    partly because most of my friends hate them. And because, well, they're cats and are getting free publicity from some dumb human they've manipulated into filming them. I think the person who videoed this was too chicken to run out and save the cat. Cats will take on all sorts of animals much larger than they are. They have great balance, teeth, claws and attitude, and they can puff up to look larger like in this video. The noises they make are terrifying. Cats rarely attack humans like that BAD dog did, but they will use their teeth or claws to let their most beloved human owner ('pet' to them) when they do not feel like whatever the human is doing at the moment - like dressing them up in doll clothes and laughing hysterically  or petting their head too much.

    My daughter had a rescue kitten when she was young. It was the tiniest kitten runt I've ever seen. She named her Sugar (nacth) and she used to wake up with little scratch marks on her face cuz the cat loved her so much when she was sleeping. There was no separating them, tho I tried at night. That cat viewed her as god. Not 'a' god, but 'the' god. I was second in line. Everyone else, human and other, was scum and she growled and hissed and ignored friends and family alike.


    I consider myself a "BI" dog person. (5.00 / 3) (#192)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:18:23 PM EST
    I like cats a lot and have had many.  I go both ways

    Come on (none / 0) (#151)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:33:37 PM EST
    You didn't like the super cat video?

    Most awesome cat ever (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:30:20 PM EST
    That cat needs a canopy bed and every laser toy made and yet to be made.  Scary fricken video until the cat shows up.  Kid's in shock, mom is freaking, cat's got this.

    What a totally awesome cat. (none / 0) (#122)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:58:12 AM EST
    I am so glad the little boy was not hurt more than he was. After being attacked by a neighbor's pit bull a few years ago, I now give dogs a very wide berth. I suspect this little boy will do the same.

    Can one of TL's dog people explain what makes a dog go off like that?


    That looked like highly inappropriate play (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by nycstray on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:50:00 AM EST
    prob aroused by the kid and bike. I don't know how long the dog observed them beforehand, but that could add in to the over the top behavior.

    Many dogs can act inappropriately around kids that age and younger and their 'equipment'. The dog that attacked you was prob of a whole different mindset.


    Who knows (none / 0) (#124)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:23:41 AM EST
    It did sort of look like the dog was playing rough.  He didn't go for the kids face after all.  Some dogs are like some people, they are just a$$holes.  But in IMO 99 % of the time it's the owner.  Not training or making any attempt to controll the dog.  The piece said the dog was being "observed" so I would bet it had never sooner anything like that before.

    Um (none / 0) (#125)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:24:47 AM EST
    Never DONE anything like that before.

    Those bites looked serious to me. (none / 0) (#127)
    by fishcamp on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:31:20 AM EST
    They were clearly serious (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:42:49 AM EST
    That doesn't mean the dog had done it before.  It was a very small child.  If the dog had really been in "attack" mode it would have gone for the face and neck which were easily reachable.  What the dog did I have seem dogs do to pant legs a thousand times playing.  Unfortunately the kid had short pants.

    If you want a possible scenario,  this is something the owners let the dog do because they think it's cute.  Like I said there are very few mean or stupid dogs.   Sadly there are way too many mean and stupid owners.  I am very careful about letting small children around my dogs - who are all the sweetest most gentle creatures imaginable - because they have never been around small children.   And I do sometimes play rough with them.  And I would never EVER let one of them roam around like that one was.  They live safely behind a fence.


    Yup. I have seen dog owners actually (5.00 / 3) (#140)
    by ruffian on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:25:09 PM EST
    encourage puppies to 'play bite' their hands. Maybe that is OK if you never let your dog see another human, but other than that....

    Lack of impulse control (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by nycstray on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:41:25 AM EST
    and bite inhibition. Oh, and containment.

    A friends FaceBook update as posted (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:26:02 PM EST
    So, my 12 yo daughter had a a friend over and they were playing Sims.  They had set their Sims up in a house as room mates and made them look the way they wanted and furnished the house. They decided to make (live in) boyfriends for their Sims.  They spent some time making them look just the way they wanted and started socializing with them ....

    ...and then the boyfriends fell in love with each other instead of the girls.

    In my day video games had different challenges.

    David Atkins, writing at digby's, (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by Anne on Thu May 15, 2014 at 10:50:02 AM EST
    points to an interesting op-ed by E.J. Dionne that makes some points worth considering:

    The language commonly used to describe the battle going on inside the Republican Party is wrong and misleading. The fights this spring are not between "the grass roots" and "the establishment" but between two establishment factions spending vast sums to gain the upper hand.

    Their confrontation has little to do with the long-term philosophical direction of the GOP. Very rich ideological donors, along with tea party groups, have been moving the party steadily rightward. Political correctness of an extremely conservative kind now rules.


    This trend toward warring money factions isn't just present on the Republican side. There's quite a bit of it on the Dem side as well.

    To be sure, not all big money donors want bad things. Tom Steyer is spending nine figures to get politicians to take climate change seriously. George Soros wants more Keynesian policies.

    But the problem is that a world in which it's all billionaires fighting each other is a world in which only a few voices are heard, self-interest usually runs rampant (most of these guys didn't get rich by being generous), and the scope of acceptable public policy is extremely narrow and rarely ever hits the ultra-rich in their pocketbooks.

    Rampant inequality is one thing. Allowing the plutocrats created by rampant inequality to spend unlimited amounts of money in elections is another. Together, they constitute a death sentence for American democracy.

    Just how hot IS it here? (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by oculus on Thu May 15, 2014 at 04:55:23 PM EST
    This morning some of the notes on my new-to- me 1983 piano were slow to release. So I just called to get an estimate for installing A/C.

    Feel free to help defray the cost!

    We don't generally need AC either (none / 0) (#197)
    by nycstray on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:35:20 PM EST
    3 days of this heat and I'm wiped out . . . thankfully, the bay breeze is arriving as I type :D

    You Need To Get Damp Chaser System (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by squeaky on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:45:27 PM EST
    Have your piano technician install one on your piano...  that should keep your piano from sticking and in tune for longer..

    Dampp Chaser


    Half-quotes, AKA Lies (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Yman on Thu May 15, 2014 at 10:24:18 PM EST
    Did you ever notice how conservatives like to use half-quotes to lie about what someone is saying?  Jim uses this same half-quote from a well-known climatologist all the time ... presumably because he has nothing better and believes no one will know what Dr. Schneider was really saying:

    See page 5 for the full quote and clear explanation of Jim's distorted, out-of-context quote.  Schneider was not, as the winger deniers claim, advocating stretching or distorting scientific truths to support their theories.  Schneider was talking about the challenge scientists face trying to communicate complex, important issues without adequate time during media interviews.  The significant sections that were omitted were "This `double ethical bind' we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each
    of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both."

    Not that the truth matters to the people who keep trying this tactic.

    Thank you so much sj (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:41:54 PM EST
    for your comments. You have always been so supportive and kind to me on this personal  issue and your ratings.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.  

    Next climate shoe to drop (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:56:43 AM EST
    Just wondering what the next big news item will be, any guesses?

    The big chunk of ice melting has me wondering if we might see something dramatic in the next 100 years. One of the ideas for the "little ice age" about 500 years ago was fresh water melt disturbing ocean currents.

    No shoe will drop (none / 0) (#46)
    by Slado on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:22:46 PM EST
    What I find hilarious about this debate is the meaninglessness of it all.

    Let us suppose all the doom and gloom is correct.   We humans are using energy more and more as the worldwide economy continues to expand.  Good news is billions see their quality of life improve.   Bad news is a warmer planet and we will suffer because of it.

    Even if that is all true the US cannot stop it by itself.   China and India and all the other developing nations must agree along with us in a Global Cabal to stop using energy and save the planet.

    Here are some scientific facts...

    1. The US has already reduced it's carbon emissions
    2. The rest of the world hasn't


    So what do progressives here in America want exactly?   Why should we continue to do more then our part while the rest of the world does nothing?

    We've already reduced emissions here while growing our economy but the UN and the rest of the world hasn't bothered.

    Even if the US stopped using any energy at all it wouldn't make a bit of difference.    The rest of the world would go right on polluting because frankly they don't care.   They see us with our big houses, cars and fancy lifestyles and they want theirs.

    Is our answer you can't have it?   You must not only stay where you're at in terms of energy use but reduce it?  

    Sorry little village in Africa.   No power station for you.   We've got a planet to save and the equation doesn't include you having a light bulb.

    Save the solar, hydro wind power nonsense.  

    Another scientific fact.    It's not economically viable and only makes up 8% of our power worldwide.  


    The only reason it's that high quite frankly is the massive subsidizing it receives from governments around the world.


    To be even more blunt if that's possible...  

    The "problem" presented by Global Warming experts is unsolvable or already lost.  

    We cannot possibly with any hope fix the problem that they say is happening if the hype or hysteria is to be believed.  

    This of course is never discussed.   We just keep moving the goalposts.  


    To really solve it.   Which means reverse it we'd have to cut emissions by 60-70% world wide tomorrow.   Every day we wait the problem gets worse.

    That's a fact that is simply ignored by environmentalists and supporters.  

    The actual cost of a solution is so great we simply ignore it.   We shout down disbelievers, we buy crappy lightbulbs, we indoctrinate our children to believe they can do their part by turning of the lights, on and on BS pooring from every media source and newspaper that if we can only all agree we can lick this.


    If the problem is real it's a done deal.   Let's all enjoy the warmer weather that is sure to come and worry about something else.


    Blah, blah, blah ... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Yman on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:22:59 PM EST
    Global warming isn't real, but even if it is, there's nothing we can do about it.


    Even if that is all true the US cannot stop it by itself.   China and India and all the other developing nations must agree along with us in a Global Cabal to stop using energy and save the planet.

    What kind of ridiculous claim is this?  Do tell us who is making the silly proposition that the world must agree to "stop using energy"?!?  Perhaps you mean to say that the world (including developing nations) must agree to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the growth of energy consumption and using more efficient/less polluting sources?  Sounds a lot more realistic, but it loses its punch without the exaggeration and hyperbole.

    Another scientific fact.    It's not economically viable and only makes up 8% of our power worldwide.

    Nope.  Your source is from 2006.  Renewable energy sources currently makes up about 16.7% of worldwide energy use in 2010 and is growing rapidly.  That would be more than double in just 4 years.

     So what do progressives here in America want exactly?   Why should we continue to do more then our part while the rest of the world does nothing?

    We've already reduced emissions here while growing our economy but the UN and the rest of the world hasn't bothered.

    Really?  Strange, considering that the US has lagged far behind many other countries in its use of renewable energy.  Germany, for example already produces 27% of its electricity from renewable sources - more than twice what the US does.  Yet you claim we're doing our part while the rest of the world "hasn't bothered".

    Of course, in the real world, there are many countries that have reduced their CO2 production as much or more than the US.  

    To be even more blunt if that's possible...  

    The "problem" presented by Global Warming experts is unsolvable or already lost.  

    We cannot possibly with any hope fix the problem that they say is happening if the hype or hysteria is to be believed.  

    This of course is never discussed.   We just keep moving the goalposts.

    Wow, ... Slado citing an actual scientist from an article on Think Progress.  Well, ... sort of.  Of course, in reality the article clearly points out that  - while it may not be possible to stop CO2 levels from rising entirely - there is much that we can and should do - and ASAP.  Kinda forgot that part in your rush to throw up your hands like your imaginary moving goalposts, huh?

    If the problem is real it's a done deal.   Let's all enjoy the warmer weather that is sure to come and worry about something else.

      Yeah, let's ignore all the climatologists who say there is something we can do to mitigate climate change because Slado says it's not real but even if it is, there's nothing we can do.

    How are you going to enjoy the warmer weather with your head buried so far in ... well, ...

    ... let's just say, "the sand".


    Look what the Germans are doing... (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by desertswine on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:47:08 PM EST
    On Sunday, Germany's impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continued, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion -- nearly 75 percent -- of the country's overall electricity demand by midday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country's power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International.

    Observers say the records will keep coming as Germany continues its Energiewende, or energy transformation, which aims to power the country almost entirely on renewable sources by 2050.


    German renewable nrg prod/year: (none / 0) (#141)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:25:59 PM EST
    (from your link) 16 Terrawatts.

    Global nrg usage in 2008: 143,851 Terrawatts

    % of global nrg usage provided by German renewable nrg production: 0.01% (16/143,851)x100

    % of global nrg usage provided by all renewable nrg production i 2008: 12.9%

    Additional % by which global emmissions need to be reduced in order to stablize CO2 concentrations by 2050: 60%

    # of Germanys needed b4 2050: 6000 (60/0.01)


    Your point? (none / 0) (#172)
    by Yman on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:15:42 PM EST
    Germany is a small country.  We don't need that number of hypothetical Ferments.  You just need a number of larger countries to follow Germany's lead.  The US and China alone would have a substantial impact.

    Your problem is that the Left doesn't want (1.50 / 2) (#181)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:00:02 PM EST
    to save mankind.

    They want to control mankind. They are elitists and are thus believe they are only people qualified to lead.

    Of course the facts are that the Man Made Global Warming theory doesn't meet the requirements of a Scientific Theory and is just another little "t" theory. In this case though it is supported by a group of people who have carved out fame and fortune through frightening those who want to be part of the herd.

    They have done this by focusing on the largely under educated and uneducated, especially in the art of critical thinking and/or the hard sciences, by making continual failed claims of disaster that are replaced by another forecast of disaster.

    As Schneider said:

    "To capture the public imagination,
    we have to offer up some scary scenarios,make simplified dramatic statements and little mentionof any doubts one might have.

    Each of us has to decide the right balance
    between being effective, and being honest."

    - Leading greenhouse advocate, Dr Stephen Schneider
    ( in interview for "Discover" magagzine, Oct 1989)



    Ridiculous, it must be said (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by ruffian on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:28:24 PM EST
    My Carbon Footprint (none / 0) (#79)
    by ragebot on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:37:18 PM EST
    Or what ever you want to call it is smaller than anyone at this site.

    I live in a sail boat with 430 watts of solar panels and 440 amps in the house batteries.  What this means is simple terms is this system is enough to run two refrigerators (one to open once a day or less for long term cold storage and a second for normal daily use).  It also powers all my lights, navigation instruments, windless, and the inverter I use to charge my laptop.  Some what less frequently I use electricity for the water maker.

    While the boat does have gas engines so far this year I have filled up the five gallon jerry cans eight times.

    While it is true the costs of lots of the parts needed for a solar system to generate electricity are very distorted by govt actions, mostly China trying to run everyone else out of business by exporting products well below cost.

    Now is the time to switch to solar power and don't tell me it does not work.


    Bet not (none / 0) (#88)
    by Zorba on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:35:15 PM EST
    We have over 40 heavily-wooded acres.
    A single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 pounds over year.
    And we have about 100 or more trees per acre.
    You do the math.
    We are, in total, sequestering carbon.

    Your footprint goes beyond (none / 0) (#97)
    by nycstray on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:05:07 PM EST
    your sailboat. Unless of course you never leave it and only eat from the sea . . .

    It's like trying to stop the wind. (none / 0) (#84)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:21:24 PM EST
    Completely futile.

    And yet, the experts ... (none / 0) (#174)
    by Yman on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:21:45 PM EST
    ... the very intelligent scientists who make climatology their life's work, say otherwise.

    Go figure.


    Anybody else (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:25:56 AM EST
    been laughing at Anne Coulter with her lame attempt to mock the campaign of bring back our girls and getting turned into the butt of jokes herself?

    My favorite (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:05:48 AM EST
    "Please pay attention to me."

    Haha (none / 0) (#59)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:47:45 PM EST
    that's probably the most accurate one besides the one that basically talks about how she takes money from dumb Republicans.

    Coulter-shaming (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:23:01 PM EST
    Kind of like the dog-shaming web site. I love it.

    Shaming Ann Coulter (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:01:14 PM EST
    Is like expecting snails to have a three legged race.

    For the sports fans (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:07:42 AM EST
    This is pretty amazing.

    The LSU baseball team posted a 27-0 no-no yesterday, and could have scored more, except the game was called due to lightning in the 6th inning.

    Ouch! (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:13:59 AM EST
    Blowouts happen sometimes in baseball. But it's only one game, and even the great teams will get shellacked every so often. You simply have to shrug it off and put it behind you.

    And for a good team like LSU that wins big like that, no doubt the Tigers' coach warned his players after that romp to not let it go to their heads, and thus set themselves up for a letdown.

    For this LSU team, their battle cry should be "Remember Stony Brook!", in reference to what happened to them two years ago in the best-of-three NCAA superregional final, when the Tigers were ranked No. 1 in the country but then eliminated in shockingly easy fashion, losing two straight games on their own home field to the unranked and lightly regarded Seawolves.



    Zodiac Killer? (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:54:05 AM EST
    Gary L. Stewart's search for his biological father led him to crack the case of the Zodiac killer.... Or so he and Harper Collins believes.

    Still awaiting DNA test results, not for paternity but from the crime scene evidence.

    Best, a now-deceased antique book seller, had been arrested for fraud and the rape of a minor after he tried to elope with Stewart's mother, who was 13 at the time. After Best left her, she gave the child up for adoption, and it was Stewart's search for his biological father that led him to supposedly crack the unsolved case.

    Is This Man the Zodiac Killer? His Son Says Yes

    It's a law enforcement conspiracy: (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:49:22 AM EST
    * And in the wildest twist of all, Stewart says that his mother, Judy, went on to marry one of the lead homicide investigators on the Zodiac case, Rotea Gilford, after being with Best as a teenager. The author suggests this connection could have embarrassed the San Francisco Police Department and caused them to "shut down" the investigation. The police "knew more than they're willing to admit," a HarperCollins spokesperson says.

    The comments shed some light on the author's possible motivation.


    If my father were a serial killer... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:25:07 AM EST
    I wouldn't be telling anyone.

    Anything to get on Oprah, or Jerry Springer, these days.


    You might not be thinking (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:38:17 AM EST
    outside the box:

    The Black Dahlia


    google "zodiac killer letters cipher" (none / 0) (#32)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:10:06 AM EST
    You'll get screen after screen of zodiac letters, zodiac ciphers, and wanna-be letters and solutions, including a pic of someone's back tattooed with a zodiac cipher.

    You referenced "The Black Dahlia," ... (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:57:41 PM EST
    ... which is another notorious yet unsolved high-profile murder case, this one having taken place in southern rather than northern California. Over 50 people falsely confessed to 22-year-old Elizabeth Short's ritualistic slaughter in January 1947, which ultimately served to greatly hinder the investigation by Los Angeles police.

    Another eerie similarity to the later Zodiac case is that Ms. Short's actual killer also used the local media to taunt authorities with seeming impunity, by mailing to editors of the Los Angeles Examiner selected items constituting some of her personal effects, which included her Massachusetts birth certificate and her address book.

    When one also considers the tens of thousands of so-called "tips" offered by the public in both the Black Dahlia and Zodiac cases over the ensuing decades, which the police have had to run down as a matter of departmental protocol before determining that such leads were equally false, one can understand and even appreciate the overall public cynicism that naturally accompanies any such claims that the real killer in either crime has finally been determined.

    In all likelihood, both cases will forever be considered on par with late-19th century London's "Jack the Ripper" in the annals of criminal infamy, officially listed as unsolved, yet continuing to be the subject of lurid fascination and public speculation.

    Sustained public interest has been such that Hollywood produced two major films about the respective cases not all that long ago. Both were released with much fanfare within months of one another, Brian De Palma's overblown and deservedly well-panned The Black Dahlia (2006) -- the beguiling trailer is actually the best part of that pseudo-noirish waste of celluloid -- and David Fincher's critically acclaimed neo-noir classic Zodiac (2007), which is based on former San Francisco Chronicle political cartoonist Robert Graysmith's meticulous account of his own investigation into the Zodiac murders.



    I've noticed, Donald, that no matter (4.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Anne on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:51:06 PM EST
    what the subject is, you're an expert on it. Not just a guy who knows a little about something, but a guy who turns into a fount of knowledge at the mere mention of a person or subject - and all with nary a link to any source from which your information came.

    The sheer volume of the copious facts and obscure tidbits of information you provide in your mini- or multi-lectures, all without benefit of linkage, are making it harder and harder to believe your brain could possibly hold that much information, that much detail, keep it at the ready, and able to be delivered in college-professor style at the drop of a hat.

    You are either the smartest man in the world, or you're racing to the Google or some other research source so you can scurry back here to dazzle us with your brain's ginormous capacity for information.

    I realize I've put you in the position to prove a negative, which we all know can't be done; I don't mean to insult you or offend you, it's just that, if you really do know as much as your comments suggest, you should quit your day job and seek a position as a one-man history department at a major university, where you will have the ability to teach every history course from the beginning of time to the present.


    "i don't mean to insult or (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:21:15 PM EST
    offend you,"". What, then, do you mean?

    Perhaps, (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Zorba on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:33:48 PM EST
    to point out the obvious?  Just sayin'.

    That when I read one of (2.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Anne on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:25:35 PM EST
    these kind of Donald-comments, I often have to check to make sure I haven't stumbled on Wikipedia by mistake.

    But you knew that.


    With Donald's love of history (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by ZtoA on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:53:16 PM EST
    He might well do a bit of research for the simple fun of educating himself before commenting. It's perfectly legit. It's one reason I enjoy this site - someone might actually take the time to do research and then share it. Reactions to his style overlooks that sometimes he has excellent content. I suppose any reader can just skip over another commenter easily and not be bothered. Readers may not agree with him on several or many things but trying to shame/censor another commenter is a very bad idea in the long run.

    Agree that research is perfectly legit (none / 0) (#82)
    by sj on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:08:04 PM EST
    Absolutely. Footnotes or links are the traditional way of acknowledging one's sources.

    What is the need for a link (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:13:47 PM EST
    Or footnote unless you are challenging a point?  Surely we all know how to google.

    Nobody here ... (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by sj on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:30:05 PM EST
    ...needs anything from any other commenter. We are all independent virtual beings. All I said was, that it is customary, when making use of someone else's hard work, to source that use.

    ::shrug:: I don't know why you got defensive about that. You, yourself, are usually pretty good about sourcing.


    I did not get the impression (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:43:37 PM EST
    that Donald was borrowing others' work.  I do not see this as a plagiarism issue.  Especially not on a blog....

    I don't know why you say it's plagiarism (none / 0) (#100)
    by sj on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:11:06 PM EST
    As far as I know, no one is publishing anything directly from here.

    That's the point (none / 0) (#103)
    by MKS on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:12:44 PM EST
    Unusual for you to agree with me. (none / 0) (#113)
    by sj on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:29:58 PM EST
    I source because I don't remember (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:57:36 PM EST
    Lots of my own history.  Forget world history.  On the other hand I would not recommend challenging one of Donald's historical pronouncements without double checking the facts.

    And I thought the comment about Donald was uncalled for.


    I think Donald likes to write (none / 0) (#94)
    by MKS on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:45:50 PM EST
    I do not see the hidden barb in the middle of his posts the way I do with certain other commentators who post long commments here.

    So, let me get this right (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by MKS on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:39:04 PM EST
    You are faulting Donald for long posts.....("sheer volume of copious facts," you write.)  You sound jealous or perhaps threatened.

    Why on earth do you pick a fight over a post like this?  


    I don't think Anne's picking a fight. (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:01:29 PM EST
    She's a smart woman whom I consider my equal intellectually, and I think she's genuinely curious as to how I can remember all this stuff. Most of the time, I recite things just off the top of my head, although I do admit to occasionally having to double-check with other sources just to ensure that I've remembered correctly.

    Quite gracious. (5.00 / 4) (#108)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:52:14 PM EST
    Good for you (none / 0) (#98)
    by MKS on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:06:10 PM EST
    I've long been a human repository of ... (5.00 / 9) (#91)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:43:18 PM EST
    ... the sort of information that many people would consider to be useless trivia, especially if it's about things that are related to science, history and sports. I just am that way, Anne, and always have been for as long as I can recall. I learned my numbers and letters long and already knew how to tell the time of day, well before I entered kindergarten.

    I remember amazing my third grade teacher because not only was I able to name all fifty states and their capital cities, but I could further name all the U.S. presidents chronologically. I could also tell her the years they were in office, and what major events happened while they were serving, if any. By sixth grade, I was reading history books that would be considered college level.

    I was a double major in biology and history at the University of Washington, and I graduated with high honors with a 3.8 GPA (out of a possible 4 at the time). I was always an excellent student from the time I was in grade school, have always been a voracious reader, and am a wizard at problem solving and figuring out puzzles.

    That's probably why I excelled in my former capacity as senior policy analyst at the state legislature. I have a very analytical and logical mind. But honestly, I really can't explain why or how I remember the sort of stuff that most other people wouldn't give a second thought, except to offer that the part of my brain that controls long-term memory and recalls facts and figures is likely exceptionally well developed. The stuff is second nature to me.

    I also tend to file things in my head chronologically, and can recall where I was and what I was doing at the time, often years after the date in question. My mother and siblings will sometimes ask me what year it was when we did something specific, such as our family road trip to Washington D.C. and Florida (June 1-27, 1972, and Hurricane Agnes struck Tampa while we were there.)

    I also have an acute sense of direction, and when I'm outside I can almost always tell you where due north is, even when its cloudy. And if you dropped me someplace and gave me an unmarked map of the earth, I can point out with pretty good specificity exactly where I am on it. Again, that's just natural instinct to me.

    Conversely, while most people think of me as an excellent writer, when it comes to math, I am merely adequate at best. Math was always my weakest subject in school and college, and it's something at which I always had to work hard in school, just to get a B.

    And my short-term memory has never been anywhere nearly as good as most people who know me might otherwise assume. I'm rather notorious for asking people to repeat their name again, usually right after they tell me. I'm also very prone to misplacing things, especially stuff like my keys, wallet, checkbook and glasses, which I'll do repeatedly. And there is a message taped permanently to the back door by our car port, gently reminding me to please lock up when I leave the house.

    Further, I have to constantly make lists of things I need to do and accomplish, and I keep a day-planner and calendar handy, because I otherwise have a nagging tendency to completely forget about pending appointments. I've also noticed that while I can focus like a laser beam on something I'm doing in the moment, I can also be easily distracted by stuff happening around me, and generally have trouble multitasking unless I first prompt myself with prepositioned hints.

    When I was playing Pony League baseball at age 13, I embarrassed myself one time during a game when I was playing right field, because I was mesmerized by a hawk flying overhead (it was probably looking for lunch) and wasn't paying any attention to the batter at home plate, who then hit a fly ball that easily sailed over me and rolled to the outfield wall, much to my chagrin. We were already winning the game handily at the time, and so the coach just laughed at me, but I never forgot that he was amused because I had just made myself look like a fool out there. Thereafter, I always make sure to keep my head in the game, whatever that game might happen to be. I make mistakes once, and tend to not repeat them.

    I'm very self-conscious of my "gift" for long-term memory and storytelling, even more so when people later question me about it as you have, asking how it is that I can remember all this stuff. I've long since learned to not take offense at such inquiries, but admittedly, there are such times when it's been very awkward.

    Family members and friends won't play Trivial Pursuit with me because I absolutely kill in that game, and they won't invite me to play card games because I naturally count cards without even realizing it, which for obvious reasons places them at a distinct disadvantage.

    I've actually had numerous people in my life tell me what you just have, that perhaps I'm in the wrong profession -- although I do like my present consulting work with nonprofits -- and should really consider becoming a history teacher or professor. My late former boss at the state legislature used to tell me that I was a natural at it, because I made it look so effortless and could easily command people's attention when relating a story about some historical event.

    Since I've had my relapse of melanoma, I'm now very seriously considering what you and others have said, and I'd like to go for my Ph.D in the subject. I already have my master's in it from the University of Hawaii, and I made inquiries last week about getting my doctorate with the UCLA history department. A former professor of mine at UH, who was one of my advisors when I was working on my thesis, said I have more than enough knowledge in the field to probably attain my doctorate a lot faster than most other people.

    Ask me who was elected president in 1848, and I'll tell you quickly that it's Zachary Taylor, and further that his vice president was Millard Fillmore. But ask me where I have to be at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon (it's 2:43 p.m. out here right now), and without first looking at my day-planner, I really couldn't begin to tell you.

    Take care, Anne. Aloha.


    Ratings should go to 10 (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 07:45:03 PM EST
    Donald, if you have that ability, it really is (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by Anne on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:06:34 PM EST
    a gift, and if you could teach the way you write, you would be able to make history come alive for people.  

    The older I get, the more I appreciate the joy of sharing one's talents and gifts; maybe it's partly a case of "what will people remember about me after I shuffle off this mortal coil?" or maybe it's about just about the joy.  I can certainly see how this latest health crisis you're dealing with would make you assess where you want your life to go, what you want to do with it, how you want to touch the lives of others.

    There's a lot more "what the hell, why not?" in my life now that I'm 60 - and maybe you're in that place, too.

    I've learned things from you.  I was never a student of history, although I've always been a voracious reader, and have a fair amount of "trivia" in my own head that makes my husband sometimes say, "how do you even know that?"  Maybe that should have made me less skeptical about your ability to rattle off so much off the cuff, i don't know.

    For those who think I wrote what I did because I was jealous, or who thought I was whining about the length of your comments, sorry - that wasn't what that was all about.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain, and again - it wasn't my intention to offend or accuse, so I appreciate even more that you responded with grace (which may be more than I would have done if the shoe were on the other foot).  

    Hope things are going well for you; I keep good thoughts for the battle you're waging.


    The Fincher version (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:55:10 PM EST
    Was excellent.   But then I can't remember anything Fincher cep er did that I did not think was excellent.  What happened to Brian DePalma?

    Brian De Palma's now 74 years old. (none / 0) (#107)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:52:07 PM EST
    His last film was "Passion" in 2012. His work is often hit or miss with me, and "The Black Dahlia" was one big whiff, as far as I'm concerned. The film took itself way too seriously to be considered credible, and what that script really needed was someone at the helm who possessed a camp sensibility.

    In my opinion, De Palma accomplished something with "The Black Dahlia" that other directors such as Clint Eastwood proved themselves unable to do, which was to direct two-time Academy Award winner Hillary Swank to absolutely the worst performance of her entire career. Given that she played a spoiled rich lesbian brat who likes to sleep with men, no doubt hers was a role preprogrammed for spectacular failure.

    For her part, co-star Scarlett Johannson looked luminous, but she was otherwise an entirely wasted presence in this film, and Aaron Eckhart as her intense LAPD detective-husband was his usual over-caffeinated self. (Will somebody please give that poor man a bottle of valium and a scholarship to the Actor's Studio?)

    And poor Josh Hartnett as the lead was unbelievably miscast, and his performance was so wooden that it really should've been declared a fire trap. For all his pretensions at playing the grown-up, he has this earnest boyishness about him which screams "Lightweight!" He'll certainly never be mistaken as the second coming of Sir Laurence Olivier, that's for sure.

    But that particular misfire aside, I'd say that De Palma's overall cumulative success as a filmmaker has been such that he really doesn't have to work any more, and probably chooses only those projects which tend to interest him.



    IMO he's had several wiffs (none / 0) (#110)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:03:07 PM EST
    In a row. I have not liked anything since The Untouchables.  Maybe Bonfire of the Vanities but I didn't even like that so much.
    Did you see Mission to Mars?  Oy

    You never know about (none / 0) (#118)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:56:46 AM EST
    the families of serial killers. Sometimes getting the story out is very healing.

    Why would he even start there? (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:18:18 PM EST
    Did his biological mother send him on the Zodiac hunt, goose chase, whatever this turns out to be?  Strange, a man wonders who is biological father might have been as a person and comes up with the Zodiac killer.  I suppose I will have to coffee up at Barnes & Noble and take a peek.  The publisher kept this under such tight wraps, how am I just supposed to ignore it?

    Today on the reserve cart at the library (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:31:35 PM EST
    Branch, next to my reserve by Ellen Gilchrist, was The History of Cannibalism. With "psychopath" is large letters on the cover.

    I used to wonder why people (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:00:11 PM EST
    Committed such evil acts?  I used to think there had to be simple answers.  They weren't loved enough, yadda yadda yadda.  I am finally coming to terms with the fact there just aren't simple answers and solutions to some evil acts.

    You were seeing book titles, and I had a chance conversation with a criminologist today.  Such a strong person.  My constitution is pretty wimpy in comparison.  It has taken me this long just to come to terms with the fact that some people are simply not born with a conscience.  Nobody did it it them, it's just that way.

    I am of a constitution though that if in search of who my real father was, the serial killer possibility just isn't leaping to mind and is the very last possibility of all possibilities.


    Yes, I also have wondered about sociopaths (none / 0) (#119)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:07:39 AM EST
    - those who have no conscience or guilt.

    I have known, closely, one serial killer and he was a paranoid schizophrenic. But I knew his back story and there was serious abuse as a tiny baby, maybe even some traumatic brain injury caused by his father. Some trauma as a baby is not directly remembered by the one who experienced it.

    Also, much later, I knew a sociopath who was also seriously abused as a tiny child and baby. Maybe that is not always the case. Maybe conscience need to have an inborn 'hook' to build on. I've wondered if a combo of emotional trauma and brain injury might eradicate that 'hook' in which case the learning of empathy would be impossible.


    You knew a serial killer? (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 04:29:24 AM EST
    Holy $hit that's not funny.

    There was a boy I went to grade school with, lived in my neighborhood, we even shared a friend.  This friend's name was Keith, and all I can tell you is we must not have ever been with Keith at the same time...ever...never ever

    He poured gas on a cat and lit it on fire, shocked every kid in the neighborhood, and magically I was nowhere nearby when it happened.  Heard about it, saw the shock of the other children, that's it.  Thought it was a horrible incident, horrible story.

    I don't know where he lived, in our 20s Keith couldn't believe I didn't remember this kid.  Told me that he lived 2 blocks that a way.  I got nuthin.

    I was on the ranch one summer when sadly a very depressed man shot himself in front of Keith and this kid.  Scared Keith to death, but he said this other kid was sort of fascinated by it in retrospect.  Anyhow, when we were all turning 20 this kid picked up a 14 yr old girl hitching, did everything we would all fear, completely confessed too and said the devil told him to do it.

    My grandmother called me, she was concerned how this could affect me.  I had to tell her that everyone knows this kid but me.  It is like we lived on different planets in the same neighborhood.  I got nuthin


    Yes, I knew a serial killer (5.00 / 6) (#138)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:18:04 AM EST
    He was an uncle actually. He was not cruel and only killed what the voices in his head told him too - the voices being a righteous god according to him. He was a farmer who talked about god pretty much all the time. He was actually very tall and handsome with a beautiful deep voice and bald head - and his girls adored him.

    After he brutally murdered his girls (my playmates in the summertimes) and had gone after my aunt who squeezed thru a tiny window and ran away, he was put in jail and my mother started her personal investigation. He was her big brother and like a loving father to her. She was the only family member (it was a large family) who saw something going horribly wrong, insisted that he get some kind of treatment, which turned out to be the latest psych treatment - electroshock. That last summer she inexplicably never let me play at their house alone and would not let me sleep over there.

    I think her investigation was simply necessary for her. There was another family death that was pretty obviously his doing. Then there was another brother who had skipped town and was gone for 10 years. Those two brothers had shared an apartment in Chicago during the depression. She read every letter by both of them to anyone, and got ahold of their diaries and finally talked to the returned brother. She found letters the killer brother had written to his pastor that were shocking.

    I grew up with her investigation and she would tell me about it. She found out about a string of mysterious deaths of prostitutes in Chicago and links to the oldest brother. He had an obsession with sex and 'green pastures' of women and how that should not be defiled - by the women's choices. One of his murdered daughters was found to be pregnant - and he never let her out of the house except for classes and it was commonly thought to be his.

    She also found out that he was "thrown out of the house into the rain" as an infant by his own father. Throwing a baby can cause all sorts of trauma. His father was jealous of the first born and was rather brutal to him as a baby.

    Of course she never published a book altho she could have being a developmental psychologist. And she did not work with any detectives or put anything on record (other than his obvious murders). Family would not have allowed that. I think the detective process finally, after a couple of decades, resolved some things in her mind. Whew, I have never told that story openly - only to shrinks.

    I am also glad he was not executed but was locked up in a facility for the criminally insane.


    This was incredibly brave of you (5.00 / 4) (#139)
    by sj on Thu May 15, 2014 at 11:47:33 AM EST
    You must take after your mother. That was incredibly brave of her.

    Peace to you and your family.


    Wow, that is heavy (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:48:35 PM EST
    You were part of the discussion, the family, who are often also survivors.  Your mother sounds brave, very gutsy and courageous.

    Thank you for sharing your family's story, it really folded into some of the questions I asked.


    Being my mother's confidant (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:03:39 PM EST
    was actually pretty hard for me. We weren't supposed to tell anyone and my father was alcoholic and was pretty much out of it. Never gave her any support. My mother is very intelligent and trusted way too much in my middle school and teen intelligence and maturity.

    It was interesting and tragic to see the girl's murders ripple thru the family and the problems it caused several people. I always feel so sorry for the families of serial killers or mass murderers, especially when a family member is murdered or the killer commits suicide. The guilt of being related to a killer and the sadness of a loss of a family member really wrecks people and families. Then there is the relentless feelings that it is somehow the fault of - someone - questioning if it was the parent's fault or a sibling's. Thinking they should have been able to prevent his killings. I have to say that in our case it was my mother who pulled the whole extended family together and thru it.  


    Yes, suicides tear at families too (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:16:19 PM EST
    My Uncle's did nobody any favors.  It is the hot potato, who do you blame?  In my moms family though I think there is a learned helplessness/hopelessness along with this notion that suffering is noble.  We can all give, but we all need to get too.  

    My sisters next door neighbor (none / 0) (#123)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:19:33 AM EST
    Is probably growing a serial killer.  The kid is clearly disturbed.  He has killed at least a couple of local pets and skinned at least one. My sisters cat.   He was sent away for a while for shooting arrows at kids walking by in front of his house.  They live very close to the school.

    He is scary at 9.  Hard to imagine what he will be at 19.


    Wow....what do you say? (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:30:20 AM EST
    It's pretty boring in my general vicinity :). I long for it to remain that way.

    It's weird. (none / 0) (#130)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:46:23 AM EST
    His parents are the nicest people.  I would be stunned if there was any of the abuse stuff going on.  Which does mot mean it isn't but it's almost unimaginable.

    And that seems to be the story for many (none / 0) (#146)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:41:44 PM EST
    I thought parenting was key, and I suppose it is an important part of health but it isn't everything.  It isn't the whole picture.  The criminologist I got to speak to has been paid by the government to weigh in and study the Columbine shooting.  He says in his opinion parenting there was adequate.  Those parents did nothing that should have lead where it did.

    So I asked what happened, he shrugged and said evil happens.  One of the most striking facts about Klebold and Harris, they were highly trusted by the adults in their lives, the adults in their schools, they had keys to cafeteria.  They were never considered "problem" children by anyone.  The adults around them doling out trust and assisting jobs trusted them, it was a trust they had earned.  The most often repeated statement about them was, "these kids weren't ever trouble", until one day....they were just about all the trouble we could handle.


    Parenting is important, but (5.00 / 3) (#148)
    by Zorba on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:03:52 PM EST
    you are correct that it's not everything.
    Genetics plays a major role.  Prenatal influences while the fetus is still in the womb.  Problems during labor and delivery.  (I once took a course in human development and handicapping conditions, and I came away from it absolutely amazed that anyone is born "normal," considering all that can, and sometimes does, go wrong.)
    And, after the child is born, traumatic brain injury.  This does not mean that the parents beat the child.  It can result from a fall off of a swing in the playground, an accident, or similar things.
    Bullying in school or on playgrounds.  Which the parents, or the school, may not even know about, unless the child speaks up, which, far too often, they don't.  And we have seen that many times, the school does not do enough about this, even if they know.  Bullying in childhood has been found to have long-term effects lasting into adulthood, even.
    It's the old "nature vs. nurture" conundrum.  We still do not know nearly enough about genetics, human development, psychology, or sociology to come up with any kind of definitive answer.

    Yes, I think traumatic brain injury (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 04:37:16 PM EST
    was the defining factor for my uncle. Schizophrenia does not run in my family and his many brothers and sisters had no mental health problems (other than having to deal with his aftermath). He was healthy. Weren't the Colombine boys at the early part of life when people develop schizophrenia? Brain science is still rather new and I have no idea how scientists would study traumatic brain injury. So my observations and feelings about this are just that and no more. Nevertheless I do feel that it was key in my uncle's case.

    And I think head injuries are so unpredictable (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:21:34 PM EST
    How they can affect people.  One thing I learned from my father's injury is that the injury ages very poorly.  He bounced back in his 30's but in his 40's and after he became more and more almost teenager impulsive.  His was mostly a frontal lobe injury.  A whole generation of soldiers came home with TBI, each is very much a highly individual injury.

    Nobody knows (none / 0) (#170)
    by Zorba on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:06:27 PM EST
    what "causes" schizophrenia.
    Genetics?  Hormonal imbalances?  Imbalances in the brain chemistry (it does seem to have to do with imbalances of certain brain chemicals, especially serotonin, dopamine and glutamate)?  Some type of brain injury?  Nobody knows.
    And, yes, schizophrenia generally manifests itself in adolescence or young adulthood, although generally in the early 20's as opposed to adolescence.  There is such a thing as childhood schizophrenia, but it is relatively rare.
    According to the Mayo Clinic:
    Having a family history of schizophrenia
    Exposure to viruses, toxins or malnutrition while in the womb, particularly in the first and second trimesters
    Increased immune system activation, such as from inflammation or autoimmune diseases
    Older age of the father
    Taking mind-altering (psychoactive or psychotropic) drugs during teen years and young adulthood

    So, basically, they just aren't sure, unfortunately.


    I sort of feel you are going down the Columbine (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:28:57 PM EST
    They were bullied road. Maybe you aren't but you are referencing other kids who have struck out because of bullying.

    The person I got to ask some questions of is one of the FBI team in this article.  And Columbine did not happen because the two were secretly suffering from bullying.  According to the team findings after extensive investigation, one of them probably could have been helped and was teenage depressed with the worst of all friendship choices for his current state, and one of them was probably never going to be okay and it sadly wasn't about or in his parents control either.


    No, not really (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by Zorba on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:01:50 PM EST
    There was a lot of talk about bullying after Columbine, and bullying certainly can have life-long effects. But depression and other emotional and mental problems can have a profound effect, as can, for teenagers especially, falling into, shall I say, "bad company."  Many kids around that age want to fit in, and are simply not mature enough to make reasoned choices.
    What I was really trying to point out was that there are a whole lot of factors, starting with, but not limited to, genetics, that can contribute to a person's behavior.  And we just don't know enough about any of these factors to be able to predict that person's mental state or future behavior.

    On books (none / 0) (#156)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:11:07 PM EST
    The other day I had a plumber in.  We were sitting at the coffee table making out the bill and I noticed I left the copy of Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition laying there.
    It was akward

    Plumbers (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by squeaky on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:25:32 PM EST
    You may be underestimating your plumber..  And I am sure that he or she has seen a lot worse, if that is in the category of worse things..

    Local War on the Poor Beat... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:54:55 AM EST
    Apparently my ghetto-burb has been turned into a toxic asbestos waste dump by unscrupulous politically connected contractors, and the town ignored what was going on since at least November, despite reports of something amiss from residents and a park ranger.

    All the kids ever wanted was some decent soccer fields.

    This kinda sh*t never happens in the surrounding ritzy 'burbs.  We're the last to see snow plows or get our potholes fixed, but first on the list when there's asbestos to dump!

    Ewwww (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:23:59 AM EST
    So Many Brits Use Cocaine That It's Showing Up in the Water

    We're used to news stories about our water being polluted by garbage and industrial waste. But instead of phoning Erin Brockovich about toxins coming out of the tap, environmental activists in the U.K. might need to call a rehab center. Thanks to sky-high rates of cocaine use, Great Britain's water supply is now contaminated with the drug.

    Britain's Drinking Water Inspectorate, which regulates tap water, found traces of benzoylecgonine, the chemical name for metabolized coke, in four aquatic tests, reported The Sunday Times.


    The U.K. sends wastewater through purification facilities, but the drug still ends up being present in the water supply. That's because those plants aren't equipped to filter out narcotic residue in urine. Water regulators also found plenty of ibuprofen flowing through pipes in the British Isles. Here in the U.S., numerous studies have found that fish and other marine life are being harmed by antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals floating in our rivers, lakes, and oceans.

    One of the times my sister got a platelet (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:16:21 AM EST
    transfusion the nurse held the bag up to the light so that we could see the slight green tint. According to the nurse the greenish tint indicated that the donor was on birth control pills. Not in the water, but still....

    Given how much drug residue is showing up in municipal water systems, and the potential for harm to humans and fish and other forms of life, one would think that there would be a major push to equip our water systems with the filters necessary to clean that stuff out of the water.


    Ewww is right... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:35:26 AM EST
    that ibuprofen stuff is real rough on the kidneys...no place for that in drinking water.

    I'm sure the DEA will jump on this bandwagon (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:28:27 AM EST
    when their Save the Stoner's Dogs campaign runs out of hot air.

    But then they'd have to... (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:32:10 AM EST
    sh*t on Western "We've got a pill for that!" Medicine in the process, angering the pharmacuetical lobby.  Tough spot for the DEA;)

    Also, (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:56:21 AM EST
    'think of the fish'   Those swimmers have kidneys, too. my friend.   (a proxy comment for Fishcamp.)

    Never flush unused drugs... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:18:10 AM EST
    but we all gotta p*ss...I suppose we could all try to do so outside behind a tree more often, for the fish.  But that's illegal in alotta places, and could even put you on a sex offender registry in extreme cases.

    Uhhh...there's this thing called (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Anne on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:01:17 PM EST
    "ground water," that is very much a factor in the quality of the water supply - it's why, for example, there's so much pressure on farmers not to use so many chemicals on their crops, and why the chicken farmers on the eastern shore of MD have been battling environmentalists and regulators for years because of the waste that washes into the Chesapeake Bay and is affecting the water quality and by extension, harming the aquatic population.

    So, no...going outside to relieve yourself isn't the best idea.

    Depending as we do on well water, we are ever conscious of the water supply and things that affect the groundwater; most people never give a second thought to the magic of turning on the tap or flushing the toilet, but when your well begins to go dry, it changes the way you think about water.  Having to take what I call "Army showers" is no fun - that's where (1) you can't let the water run until it gets hot, (2) you have it on only long enough to get everything wet, (3) you shampoo and wash while shivering and then (4) get to turn the still-cold water on only long enough to rinse.  It's giving me goosebumps just writing this!


    We have two options... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:26:32 PM EST
    till Mother Nature thins out the human population to sustainable levels...pollute the land (and ground water) with our human waste, or pollute the oceans.  Probably more morally sound to pollute the land, since that's where we live...the oceans already suffer an unfair brunt of human existence.

    Where do you think the water that (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Anne on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:59:09 PM EST
    runs off the land into the Bay ends up?  Yeah, in the ocean.

    We have a septic system, which means whatever goes down our drains ends up in a tank that disperses it from the underground tank out into the septic "field" that surrounds it.  So, really, whether we're peeing on the grass, like the dogs do, or peeing in the toilet, it's all ending up in the same place.  It has farther to travel from the ground to the ocean, but wherever it goes, it's probably not a plus.


    Then why did you tell me... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:17:33 PM EST
    peeing outside is a bad idea?  It all goes to the same place, and we can save precious potable water by not flushing. I think about it almost every time I flush...that's 1.6 gallons of clean beautiful drinking water some poor slob in Africa has to maybe walk miles to access. Indoor plumbing is a blessing and a sin.

    Sh*t and p*ss and water is really not the issue though, over-population is the issue, and some of the places without adequate water sources we've decided to populate...and there really isn't a damn thing we can do about it that doesn't involve serious authoritarianism (forced sterilization, child limits like China, etc.)

    It's up to Mother Nature to thin the human herd, and she's working on it at her slow pace(antibiotic resistant bacteria, climate change, etc.)  Like George Carlin once said 'she'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas', and that's when the Earth will begin to heal herself, and return to balance.  


    We have a septic system - I assume you (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Anne on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:52:45 PM EST
    have public water and sewer, which means what you're sending down the drain isn't ending up in your backyard, but in a sewage/water treatment facility.  Which means that, for you, using the great outdoors is adding pollutants to the ground that wouldn't end up there otherwise - but for us, it's a matter of on top of the ground v. in a tank several feet underneath the surface.

    Half right... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:54:12 PM EST
    public water, no sewers...septic tank as well.

    So if I were in a Green state of mind, I should definitely pee outside all the time and save that 1.6 per flush, or two if I let it mellow since it's yellow.  In the summer I do that half the time anyway since I'm outside a lot. The winter?  I'm not that eco-friendly;)


    TMI. And here I thought you were (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:19:15 PM EST
    ducking out for a smoke.

    That too... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:32:45 PM EST

    Kidneys (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:56:10 AM EST
    If you are worried about your kindest:

    According to Traditional Chinese Medicine MJ is terrible for the kidneys..

    It is becoming commonly understood that marijuana, an anti-motivational drug, diminishes our will and drive. From the TCM perspective, it is never appropriate to sedate or weaken the Kidney-Adrenals, which is exactly what marijuana does. The associated fear and insecurity that sometimes accompanies marijuana use further points to its debilitating effects on those whose Kidney Qi is already low."

    I think I'm good... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:09:42 AM EST
    the sacrament doesn't make me paramnoid, insecure, or afraid.  And though it may demotivate money-making pursuits, it motivates artistic and leisure pursuits.  

    Though there may be other things my kidneys may bark about...I'm far from a health nut.  My feeling is if you die with perfect lungs and perfect kidneys ya kinda wasted them, ya know? I'm fixing to get my money's worth outta this vessel;)


    This should keep folks commenting here! (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:08:31 AM EST
    Hey, squeaky, (none / 0) (#63)
    by Zorba on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:18:59 PM EST
    Off the current topic, but have you seen this link , "Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen"?
    (Got the link from eGullet, which you pointed me to awhile ago.)
    Seems to combine both history and cooking.  Lincoln was a cook- who knew?  
    I may have to order it.  Even Mr. Zorba (a Lincoln, and a Civil War buff) may find it interesting.

    Did Not Know (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by squeaky on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:00:14 PM EST
    Abe Lincoln cooked... saw this excerpt, if you have not already seen it, from the egullet site.

    I will probably pass on it, as I am deep into southwest french cooking and molecular gastronomy.. just had a big dinner party and made a very yummy foie gras terrine (cooked sous-vide), pork belly with onion reduction, celeriac slaw with saffron remoulade, and lobster poached in a lemon beurre monté sauce (Thomas Keller)... yummmmmmmmm...

    and made caramelized white chocolate ice cream, chocolate ice cream and pineapple sorbet for desert, served with shortbread cookies...  

    If I see some of Lincoln's recipes I may try to make something along those lines.. but too many books and things to cook at the moment..


    Any music? (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:07:32 PM EST
    But of Course (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:09:08 PM EST
    Moi at the Piano

    What did you play? (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:12:55 PM EST
    [I am gearing up for a "piano-warming" open house once the technician finishes Fri. He is a terrific jazz pianist and says he will bring along to the party the two finest pianists in town. In which case, I may just listen]

    If I get the book, (none / 0) (#76)
    by Zorba on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:26:28 PM EST
    which I probably will, I will let you know if there is something that might pique your interest.
    Although, I kind of suspect that the history will be more interesting than the recipes.    ;-)

    Thanks (none / 0) (#134)
    by squeaky on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:59:18 AM EST
    I would love to hear if you cull some interesting recipe or anecdote from the book..

    starting on Greenwald's Snowden..


    i think I'm going to have to get (none / 0) (#136)
    by Anne on Thu May 15, 2014 at 10:14:28 AM EST
    Greenwald's book for my Nook; I've read the excerpt posted here, and am hooked.

    $24 to visit the new 9 11 museum. (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:10:11 AM EST
    Something unsavory... (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:15:19 AM EST
    about charging 24 bucks and selling souvenirs on top of a cemetary...that's some Guiliani-esque 9/11 profiteering sh*t.

    But I guess that's how we do.


    They (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by lentinel on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:32:51 AM EST
    should have just made the site into a beautiful memorial park, filled with flowers and fountains.

    Instead, they used the disaster as an investment opportunity.


    I do not recall ever paying $24 to visit any (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:41:08 AM EST
    museum and I go to lots of museums!

    I'm a sucker... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:46:38 AM EST
    who pays the strongarm "recommended donations" at the Met and the Musuem of Natural History.  The experiences are well worth it.

    I don't think I'll be visiting the 9/11 Musuem anytime soon, if ever.  But I'm sure the disaster tourists will be filing in.



    My niece, visiting the Met from (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:50:04 AM EST
    the midwest, decided to pay zip when she figured out the "suggested donation" lingo. She isn't below the federal poverty level.

    Ever Been to MOMA? (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:48:01 AM EST

    Hmmmm. Not in the last couple years. (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:50:44 AM EST
    Maybe (none / 0) (#21)
    by lentinel on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:37:04 AM EST
    they'll feature wax figures of Giuliani and Bush with his bullhorn.

    Take a photo with these boys for only $20.

    This museum is to vomit.


    Cotter found it an emotional (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:39:42 AM EST

    I would (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by lentinel on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:43:40 AM EST
    find it emotional as well.

    I lived within walking distance of that nightmare.
    We breathed foul air for months.

    I don't need images of twisted steel.

    If they want to give people a taste of what it was like, they make all cell phones inoperable.
    And have no police presence.
    And pump in filthy toxic air.
    And have a special display of the faulty equipment given to the firefighters who found that they could not communicate with each other.

    The emotion I feel about this is pure anger.


    I forgot (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by lentinel on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:36:26 PM EST
    to mention my warm recollection that we were being told by Bush's EPA that the air - the toxic air - was just dandy to breathe.

    I hope they put that tidbit in the museum as well.


    Mixed Review... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by squeaky on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:18:11 PM EST
    Not hopeful.. reading between the lines..  

    I for one will never visit the place.

    Tragic to have my plan be defeated, for a tourist trap. I proposed a 16 acre park with trees, ponds, and wild boar. OK, a few sculptures dotting the site too.  


    Is the wild boar native to Manhattan? (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:20:47 PM EST
    I have been away for a few days (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:38:33 PM EST
    Visiting friends in the western part of the state and one of the things we did was the Crystal Bridges Museum.  It was pretty surprisingly awsum.  The Paley modernism collection was nice.  Very welcome and needed addition to this part of the country.

    My friends were impressed w/Crystal (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:40:12 PM EST
    Bridges Museum also.

    9/11 Cross? (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:44:47 AM EST
    American Atheists, a New Jersey organization that has dedicated itself to the separation of state and religion, opposes the inclusion of the steel cross at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. A previous lawsuit by the group was rejected last year and it is now appealing the decision in federal court.

    The cross is expected to be on display at the museum when it finally debuts to the public, with an opening day set for sometime in May. The museum has experienced numerous delays, but the memorial portion of the site opened on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, in 2011.  

    On its website, the 9/11 museum said it is pursuing federal support as part of an "ongoing private-public partnership to ensure a lasting place of remembrance for generations to come." So far, the site has relied largely on private donations, and the museum is expected to charge a $24 admission fee per visitor.


    more here


    After reading a couple of these (5.00 / 6) (#145)
    by Anne on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:30:25 PM EST
    comments yesterday, I watched a couple network news stories on the imminent opening of the WTC museum, and I found myself feeling kind of crabby about it.

    For one thing, it doesn't make sense to me that the governing body of a place that is being billed as having so much meaning to Americans did not set out to establish a permanent, 100% private fund/foundation to maintain it, so that the American people (and others) didn't have to shell out $24 per person to experience it.  By all means, suggest a donation - I'm sure they'd have people more than willing to put $5 or $10 in a donation box on a voluntary basis - some might donate even more - but don't sell me on it as being so intrinsic to "what it means to be an American" and them make me pay to see it.

    For another, the existence and placement of the so-called cross, together with the terms being used to describe the venue - hallowed, reverent, spiritual - made me extremely uncomfortable; it was like they were describing "America's Church," and I'm sorry, but that's just wrong.  So, fine - there will be people who feel that, who think that, but stop literally selling it to us as if going there is supposed to be a religious experience.  Maybe it will be for some people - but why can't people just be allowed to have their own experience without being programmed to think of it the way someone else thinks they should?

    Yes, people died there, just like people died on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam, on the beaches at Normandy and in fields and jungles around the world.  I can honor the sacrifice, appreciate the loss, but do I have to regard the ground people died on as "hallowed" too?  Does it have to take on religious meaning, always?

    I hate the idea that the WTC cross stands as a symbol of Christian superiority over Islamic extremism.  Was that what it was intended to be?  Perhaps not - it's supposed to be about hope - but intentions only take us so far - at some point, it matters more how others perceive it.  Hope for America might be better symbolized by the prominent placement of a replica of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights - yeah, you can see the real thing in a museum if you want to, but the kind of freedom that is supposed to be at the heart of what America is is not symbolized by a cross.  Not for me.  

    I'm not an atheist - just someone who doesn't like the emphasis on religion being attached to pretty much anything that has to do with America.  It's bad enough that the Supreme Court has made it possible for legislators to publicly invoke Jesus while conducting the state's business, but enshrining the steel cross this way seems to crack that door open a little wider for my liking.

    I wonder sometimes, what would people have done if they'd pulled a hunk of metal out of the wreckage that had formed into the horns of the devil?  I guess it's a good thing there was no Jesus-face-on-the-grilled-cheese found in the ruins, huh?  Would that have gotten the showcase treatment, too?

    See, I'm getting crabby again - sorry.  It just irritates me no end the way religion gets pushed on us everywhere we look.


    I was at the WTC site today. (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by vml68 on Thu May 15, 2014 at 05:42:23 PM EST
    Debated whether to visit the museum but decided not to for the reasons you stated above. The spiritual and reverence aspects made me feel too uncomfortable.

    "what it means to be an American" (none / 0) (#182)
    by lentinel on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:10:52 PM EST
    What this disaster meant to me, as an American, was that the government - our government - couldn't care less about us.

    We were told that the toxic air was safe to breathe.

    The first responders - the firefighters - were given faulty equipment and could not communicate with each other.

    Giuliani used the event for political gain.

    Investors used the event for monetary gain.

    Bush, came to town with a bullhorn and spewed out a bunch of bulls-it with it for political gain - and to begin to spread his simmering agenda of war.

    Shortly thereafter we were urged to protect ourselves from deadly gasses by putting plastic over our windows with duct tape.

    Our transportation system fell apart.

    Our cell phone service fell apart.

    That's some of what it meant to be an American.

    That's worth $24 isn't it?


    While I am sympathetic to their motives (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:28:44 PM EST
    I have to agree with Bill Maher -- "Who gives a sh!t? We are atheists not vampires."

    It Bothers Me (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by squeaky on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:06:32 PM EST
    The atheists did not demand it be taken down but wanted other religions, including atheists, to erect their symbols in the same area as the cross..  the cross has major presence. it is formidable and cast quite a shadow on the whole operation, imo.

    but of course Judge Batts ruled:

    No reasonable observer would view the artifact as endorsing Christianity

    Guess I am not reasonable, but then again Judge Batts ruled that no reasonable person would think that Richard Prince Canal Zone paintings were Fair Use of Cariou's photographs..  She was overturned on appeal..  


    I think the equal representation (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:37:44 PM EST
    Approach is rather brilliant.  It's show how silly the whole thing is.  

    IMO there are far more insidious things to worry about than this being done in the name of religion.  I think that was Mahers point.


    Well (none / 0) (#126)
    by jbindc on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:26:35 AM EST
    If, when the buildings fell, an "atheist symbol" appeared naturally out of the wreckage, then that should have been included as well.  But ignoring something that was widely photographed and became a symbol of hope to many of all (and no) faith in one of this country's darkest days because it is a cross because the American Atheists are offended is just dumb.

    Haven't seen them protesting the National Museum of the American Indian(you know they have religious artifacts in there and it is supported by federal monies) and the US Holocaust Museum, or pretty much any other museum that has religious artifacts (even though this "cross" was never designed as a religious object in the first place.)

    Their claims are ridiculous.


    Offended? (none / 0) (#135)
    by squeaky on Thu May 15, 2014 at 10:07:26 AM EST
    It is a constitutional issue. But glad to hear that you agree that it is a religious symbol. Judge Batts ruled that the cross was not religious, but a secular symbol. Which of course it is to most who grew up going to church that had Jesus, yet are not religious, today. A f'ing miracle.... hilarious..  but what is not funny is that the cross clearly is representing a christian nation, and should not be the sole representation at the museum, particularly in such a prominent place.

    I live close by, and the disgusting association of Christian nation against Muslim's was sickening. The cross was purely religious,
    No jews, muslims, hindus or other religions that do not worship the cross were touched by the Pro Christian warrior mentality.


    If, in fact, the artifact in question retains (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by oculus on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:48:33 PM EST
    the same form as when it was removed from the ruins, how does placing it in the museum differ from placement there of the firetruck and ambulance?  Is there any placard on the former or any indication it is a symbol of Christianity?

    More objectionable, in my opinion, is the film at the end of the exhibits about the rise of Al Queda. Why, because the Bush administration failed to heed the implications of that Aug, 20 information in the security briefing and also did not heed the warnings of the female FBI employee who alerted her superiors that males of ME origin were attending flight schools, learning how to fly planes, but not how to land them. Finally, some of the perpetrators were no longer documented to be in the U.S.  Overstayed visas.


    It Was Blessed By a Priest (none / 0) (#160)
    by squeaky on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:59:13 PM EST
    And sprinkled with holy water. Daily prayer vigils were held around the cross, it is a strong religious symbol, flaming hate, and bigotry. and representing the WTC as a Christian site.

    OK, the cheese toast that miraculously depicted Jesus, could be a novelty in the museum and I would not care..  it is small, and says more about what people want to see rather than what was there.


    Hmmmm. I see a link for the cheese toast Jesus but (none / 0) (#162)
    by oculus on Thu May 15, 2014 at 04:42:43 PM EST
    not the obsession with the crossed girders. Will googlr b

    St. Paul's is capitalizing on (none / 0) (#163)
    by oculus on Thu May 15, 2014 at 04:50:34 PM EST
    This symbol at its nearby gift shop, per wiki.


    The potential use of the cross in the World Trade Center Memorial has been controversial. Many groups such as families of certain Christian victims want the cross to be included.[24] Other organizations disagree, notably the American Atheists (who have filed suit pertaining to this issue)[25] as well as the Coalition for Jewish Concerns.[26] Alternatively, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement that it "fully supports the inclusion in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum of the metal beams in the shape of a cross found in the rubble at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the tragic attacks on 9/11."[27]

    Maybe a burning cross (none / 0) (#178)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:46:04 PM EST
    Would be most appropriate.  Sort of an eternal flame for bigots

    Some people see it as "religious" (none / 0) (#142)
    by jbindc on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:34:43 PM EST
    Others just see it as a sign of hope.

    And as for your constitutional issue - maybe, but then again, by your logic, we should shut off funding for the National Museum of the American Indian and the US Holocaust Museum, as they clearly are about religion.

    Glad you agree with me.


    Hmmm, so those that see it as "hope" (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by nycstray on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:40:34 PM EST
    don't also see it as religious? It seems to me you would have to have Christian beliefs to see the cross as a sign of "hope". Therefore, it is religious . . .

    Weak Logic (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by squeaky on Thu May 15, 2014 at 12:47:10 PM EST
    Holocaust museum is about the religious prosecution of jews and others..  by Nazi's

    And the National Museum of the American Indian, is eponymous.

    To frame the WTC museum, as you suggest, into a christian museum that represents a Crusade against Muslims, or some other exclusive religious war or event is a gross misreading of history.

    IOW, the WTC museum is not a religious museum. The implication of the cross front and center contextualizes the museum as Christian.


    How in the world is it a sign (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by ruffian on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:07:16 PM EST
    of hope without the religious context? Even with it, I would argue.

    Agreed. the virtue of hope occupies (none / 0) (#176)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:42:24 PM EST
    a place of great importance in Christianity and the cross is a symbol of the hope the faithful have in Christ to overcome any hardship.  The empty cross symbolizes hope through the resurrection; The crucifix, the cross with the body of Jesus, is a reminder of Christ's sacrifice.  Assigning the cross to an ornamentally neutral symbol of hope beclouds its underlying Christian theology.  

    Is it a sign of hope to non-Christians? (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by Anne on Thu May 15, 2014 at 03:25:22 PM EST
    I don't think so.  

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but there were non-Christians killed and injured that day, weren't there?  Are their families supposed to take heart from a symbol of Christianity?  Why would we think so?

    You know how I see it?  As coincidence.  I think you could paw through the rubble and find metal melted and fused into any and all manner of shapes that would have about as much meaning as the Virgin Mary or the face of Jesus people think they see in a potato chip or a grilled cheese sandwich.

    If the coincidence of a cross is felt by some people to have meaning that doesn't mean it should stand as the iconic symbol of what happened that day.  We are not a Christian nation, as much as some people want us to be; we have no state religion - we pledge allegiance to a flag that represents a country, not to anyone's God.

    I don't see that "cross" as hope - in fact, it makes me feel less hope for our country, and our democracy that it is taking on a more prominent place in this museum than the ideals of constitutionally protected rights and freedoms this country is supposed to be about.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 355 (none / 0) (#30)
    by Dadler on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:52:36 AM EST
    Uncle Sham is going to be all up in your business forever. (link)

    v. 354
    v. 353

    Happy Wednesday, my friends. Boy is it hot here on the SF peninsula!

    So it's been raining for a week. (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:57:09 PM EST
    And supposedly we are still below the rain amounts we should have at this point.

    It can't happen here (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 04:12:58 PM EST
    Most of the gay marriage court rulings have come out of the federal courts and involved the U.S. Constitution. The Arkansas ruling came out of the state court system, and legal experts said that the judge wasn't clear in his ruling whether the basis for his findings was the U.S. Constitution, the Arkansas Constitution, or both.

    "If it was entirely on state grounds, then the federal courts would not have jurisdiction or the power to overturn it," said Ruthann Robson, a constitutional law professor at City University of New York. "The ultimate arbiter of state constitution is state courts."

    It's also unusual for an amendment to a constitution, such as the gay marriage ban, to be held in violation of that same constitution. Though the Iowa Supreme Court made that sort of ruling in 2009, Robson said, usually judges will look to the U.S. Constitution as the authority to strike down a state constitutional amendment.

    "Here, the judge really talks about Arkansas having a place to claim in the fight for equality," Robson said. "That's something the Iowa Supreme Court said, too. Sometimes, states have an investment in equality that we might not think about."

    In his ruling, Piazza criticized the the U.S. Supreme Court's 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford. He suggested the court missed a chance to make the nation stronger when it ruled that blacks were not citizens and that the federal government didn't have the authority to

    "He invokes the most famous failure of the judiciary to protect minority rights, which most people think, if not led to the Civil War, was at least a catalyst for the Civil War," Robson said.

    After the Civil War, the 14th Amendment granted citizenship to former slaves.

    Piazza is "saying that it's up to the courts, and the consequences of not acting is social unrest, or war," Robson said. "He's upping the stakes of the judge's duty to act."

    Rector said the gay community was elated that Arkansas was being a leader on a gay rights issue because on so many issues it remains behind.

    It appears to me, from reading the Ark. opinion (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Peter G on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:07:31 PM EST
    that it is based on both federal and state constitutional grounds. The suggestion that a duly enacted constitutional amendment can itself be unconstitutional is puzzling, and is certainly not defended by the judge. We shall see what the Arkansas Supreme Court does with it on appeal.

    Agreed My reading is that (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:16:05 PM EST
    the Arkansas opinion is clearly based on both federal and state constitutional grounds.  Indeed, the judge firstly analyzed the equal protection challenge in accord with US Supreme Court categories, finding that the Arkansas ban implicates both a fundamental right (strict scrutiny--the most rigorous) and a more relaxed standard (heightened scrutiny.)

    Moreover, the opinion noted that there was not even a legitimate state interest necessary to support a rational basis analysis (the most relaxed).  And, extensive citations are made to US Supreme Court rulings (e.g. Windsor, Loving).  

    It does not seem unclear either, that the opinion deals with the Arkansas constitution, when it explicitly states that the ban is unsuccessful from both state and federal constitutional perspectives.

    The  Judge presents the argument that the Arkansas constitution (Article 2, guarantees to Arkansans certain inherent and inalienable rights) yet Amendment 83 passed by the voters leaves all of Article 2 in tact yet teases out one group, same sex couples, for disparate treatment, an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality.   The  Arkansas constitution and the Arkansas amendment are at odds with one another (perhaps it could be fixed if the voters had deleted Article 2 in its entirety, but that would likely prove unpopular).  The opinion returns to the US constitution to recall the purposes of the Bill of Rights and impact of popular vicissitudes on minorities.  

    Of course, the opinion will need to stand the test of the Arkansas Supreme Court (and US Supreme Court, perhaps)  but it seems to me that the legal experts cited in the Captain's comment either did not read the opinion or have a curious agenda.


    Thanks Dan (none / 0) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:27:40 PM EST
    I always learn something here.

    Update: Pulaski Circuit Court (none / 0) (#153)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 15, 2014 at 02:50:07 PM EST
    Judge Chris Piazza struck down all Arkansas laws preventing same sex marriage, thereby expanding his earlier order finding such bans unconstitutional.  The State Supreme Court noted that a prohibition on county clerks issuing marriage licenses still stood, prompting the subsequent clarification.

    While it would seem that this was implied in the original decision and that a constitutional decision would trump a state statute--if a ban is unconstitutional, so too is a statute--a reading of inconsistency by some county clerks  was causing confusion (some were issuing marriage licenses, some were not).   The judge also denied a motion to suspend his decision (the clarification.)


    Thanks (none / 0) (#177)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:42:55 PM EST
    Been out running around all day.  Had not heard this.

    It's interesting (none / 0) (#62)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:15:24 PM EST
    That the state AG has said he does not think the ban is constitutional but will appeal because it's his job.  No idea what that means for the outcome but it's interesting.

    It's not that unusual for a lawyer (none / 0) (#64)
    by Peter G on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:20:19 PM EST
    to defend a legal position that s/he does not really agree with.  What is hard is to come up with a legal argument to support a ban on marriage equality that isn't just rhetorical or plain silly.

    I guess (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:35:30 PM EST
    But honestly nothing about this is usual for these parts.  Many here were totally gobbsmacked.  My fundie brother has apparently stopped speaking to me.  There is a lot of deer in the headlights when it's mentioned (which I make sure happens a lot) this is the kind of thing other people have to deal with not here in the shallow end of the gene pool.

    I have also been surprised by the sympathy of some from whom I would have never expected it.  I guess that's the nature of change.


    Your brother (none / 0) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:52:25 PM EST
    thinks you are to blame for a court decision?

    There are some lawsuits winding their way through the courts here in Georgia and I would be surprised if they won unless the supreme court knocks them down. So I can kind of understand how people got gobsmacked by this decision.


    I tried once to get in ins head (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:14:29 PM EST
    And discovered it's a scary place where logic and physics don't apply.  I don't do that any more.
    Before the last election we had a long discussion about his reason for hating Obama and it turns out it's because of "what he is doing with the homasexhuals".  Direct quote.
    Excuse me? I said.
    You know, puttin um in the army n stuff.
    I explained that he really didn't have that much to do with that and that the people who testified before congress was the SedDef and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.  
    Well Obamas behind it. He said.

    I think he is very insecure in his own tendencies.  A frightened and and insecure person.


    This is the former (none / 0) (#78)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 06:33:39 PM EST
    Educator with advanced degrees.

    Who thinks the earth is 6000 years old.


    Anybody (none / 0) (#106)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:47:40 PM EST
    can get sucked into the cult mentaility though even people who are smart.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#105)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:47:03 PM EST
    I know some people like this. Talking to them is like peeling an onion. Once you get past the first layer they find something else to throw out there. Even if they are able to understand what you are saying they then start moving the goal posts to soemthing else. Honestly I told one of them why don't you just say you're a republican and you're a loyal one and you'll always vote for republicans instead of sounding like some kind of scared ninny. Truthfully they are scared. They'll say a lot of things about how they're scared of this and scared of that.

    The cruz of the matter is that the world has changed and this particular group of people can't seem to adjust for one reason or another.  


    I see my brother as a (none / 0) (#109)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:57:16 PM EST
    Sort of tragic figure. In another time he would have been the guy burning people at the stake.
    And making sure you knew he felt terribly guilty about it.  

    I'm looking to buy several (none / 0) (#120)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 01:12:21 AM EST
    Apple tablets. Ipads. Used, refurbished, quantity discounts. I don't need them to function like most do, but need the apple interface and only video loop and audio loop capacities. I don't want to spend lots of money. Any ideas?  

    Apple (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by squeaky on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:51:08 AM EST
    If you are going to make an art work or do something as a public service, or whatever it is..  try going to Apple and other computer stores and ask them to help you. Also cities and tech stores often have tech recycling days or programs, maybe you can hook into one of them.

    Many people do not throw out their old outdated computer.. they often give them to kids, or older relatives, which is usually a terrible idea because the kids need up to date tech..  and the relatives or friends wind up upgrading (or repairing) the machines at significant expense..

    Also, you can post an ad on Craig's list or other classifieds, bulletin boards, asking for what you want and offering to pay for shipping and handling.


    Nicolas Winding Refn (none / 0) (#173)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:18:30 PM EST
    Who does trippy better than anyone (Valhalla Rising) is going to so a movie about the Elisa Lam story.

    For those of you who aren't familiar with this case...

    Lam, who was only 21, was last seen at the Cecil Hotel on January 31st, 2013, according to L.A. police. Her parents had reported her missing, and her body was discovered, nude and floating in the water tower of the hotel (a drinking source for residents), where she apparently was for two weeks. Now, if you can believe it, here's where the story gets REALLY disturbing.

    Lam's final moments were caught on the elevator security camera of the hotel. The footage you see below was taken moments before her death. In it you'll see Lam acting very strangely. She appears to be running from or hiding from someone... or something. Most perplexing about the video is that the door stays open the entire time, nearly four minutes. Then Lam contorts into some really frightening way that has to be seen to really be described, and the elevator doors shut. Then open and shut several times before the video ends. Watch the video, and then I'll tell you about how this story gets even stranger.

    Follow the links for more

    Idaho GOP primary debate (none / 0) (#175)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:31:48 PM EST
    Saw that (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by Zorba on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:20:12 PM EST
    The Onion couldn't have done a better job.
    I have thought for quite awhile that we are so scr*wed in this country, because we seem to have more and more whack-jobs running for, and let's face it, even winning, political offices.
    I don't see that those couple of loonies running in Idaho are all that much crazier than, for instance, Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert, and others.  It's just a matter of degree.

    The Cruz ilk (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:09:24 PM EST
    Is worse in a way because they are smart enough to not say the completely crazy stuff in public.  IMO that makes them more dangerous.

    At first I thought the names (5.00 / 2) (#184)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:25:23 PM EST
    Butch Otter and Russ Fulcher were made up. But nope.

    Evidently Monica Lewinsky was not well liked (none / 0) (#183)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:20:33 PM EST
    by staff at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. She still has a bad reputation there. Yes, she was seeing a married man at the time and talked about it all over the place, but that was not the problem. Allegedly she forged some document, after a staff member refused to write or authorize the document, in order to help her then-married-man-lover. I have quite a number of friends who teach or taught at colleges and universities in Portland. One friend who is now retired was a department head for many years at another college, and she said that the forgery incident is still a sore point for L&C college. They still have the original document and copies on file.

    Don't know why but I can't seem to get the link to work. It was covered by The Oregonian and the Eugene Register-Guard. I just read an article at the Eugene Register-Guard January 30 1998.

    How about this (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:00:27 PM EST
    And this has what to do with anything? (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Anne on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:20:19 PM EST
    ::rolling eyes::

    Anne I always like reading your views (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:41:25 PM EST
    and mostly agree with them. I wish you could have asked that question without rolling your eyes which means you pretty much dismiss any thoughts of mine on this issue.

    It may or may not have anything to do (none / 0) (#198)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:37:14 PM EST
    with her remaking of herself. But I found out today that she left a wake of scandal and anger in Portland for her unethical/illegal actions. If she is a totally remade person kudos to her. But her cravings for attention and exaggeration and 'bending' of rules in this academic circle left many questioning her motives.

    I heard she was expelled. I can't find online info if she ever actually received her degree from the college. The degree is in her Wiki and maybe she has it on her resume but who knows?  It's been called into question for me since I know these people and friends of Lewis and Clark staffers.


    Oh, my friend tells me that (none / 0) (#185)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:33:30 PM EST
    she stole stationary from the school and wrote a letter of recommendation for her married lover from the L&C drama department. He was trying to get a drama teacher job.

    She also said that Lewinsky was (none / 0) (#186)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:36:48 PM EST
    expelled from the college. I can't find that on a google search tho.

    According to the Daily News (none / 0) (#187)
    by squeaky on Thu May 15, 2014 at 08:49:45 PM EST
    Ken Starr had a copy of the forged letter..  this story does not make lewinsky or her mom look very good...

    Yes, Ken Starr's team contacted the school (none / 0) (#193)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:19:26 PM EST
    and got a copy of the letter. The original is still on file. I'm certain the staff at the school were very conflicted about Ken Starr, but they supplied the copy. Apparently he decided not to use it.

    The school will not go to the bother and expense (none / 0) (#195)
    by ZtoA on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:26:57 PM EST
    of officially authenticating it. That would be for some prosecutor's office to do. I have heard, tho, that she was caught and expelled by the school. Her reputation at the school was that she liked to brag about her powerful connections to the point that many of her peers simply did not believe her. Some of her friends did not believe she had a 5 year affair with that married drama teacher. She baby sat for a kid of him and his wife. But they actually did have an ongoing love affair.

    And the "pal" mentioned in your link was actually her lover - more than a pal.


    Anyone watching Rosemary's Baby? (none / 0) (#190)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:13:10 PM EST
    About to start part two.  Far enough into skip the commercials.  I thought part one was not horrible.  Zoe was good as usual.

    (Since I have already screwed up the new open I thought I would post in this one which is almost full anyway)

    Part 2 is better (none / 0) (#200)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 09:42:16 PM EST
    I'm liking it