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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 26,155

Journal Archives

Oil spill closes part of Miss. River in Louisiana


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard says a 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River is closed until further notice while crews clean up oil from a barge that hit a towboat between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The collision happened Saturday afternoon near Vacherie (VASH-uh-ree), 47 miles west of New Orleans. In nearby St. Charles Parish, officials say public drinking water intakes on the river are closed as a precaution.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough (KOHL-klah) says the barge was one of two loaded with light crude being pushed by the Hannah C. Settoon. He says it hit the Lindsay Ann Erickson, which was pushing grain barges.

Colclough says nobody was hurt and all barges remained secured. Colclough says officials don’t know how much oil spilled, but only a sheen of oil is reported on the river.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/02/23/oil_spill_closes_part_of_miss_river_in_louisiana/

Tricky Dick vs. the New York Times: How Nixon declared war on journalism

A former Times journalist recounts the Nixon administration's feverish attempts to shut down the paper's reporting


Excerpted from “Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles

On Sunday June 13, 1971, a story was published on the front page of the New York Times under a three-column headline: “Vietnam Archive: Study Traces 3 Decades of Growing U.S. Involvement.” I thought it was the most boring headline I had ever read; no one would read this article.

It was the first installment of the series of articles that became known as the Pentagon Papers. When we published it, my colleagues at the Times and I had been expecting all hell to break loose. It was the first article in a planned series based on leaked Defense Department documents showing decades of deception and duplicity: how the American people had been misled about our involvement in Vietnam. But with this boring headline, I wondered if all our expectations of a huge explosion following publication would be wrong. All that day, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it didn’t.

Indeed, the nation’s press on that Sunday was more interested in Tricia Nixon’s wedding the previous evening. I had watched excerpts of it on TV. I noted with interest some of the high-placed dignitaries who were there, and wondered how they would react to the bombshell story right there on the front page the next morning, next to coverage of the wedding.

I took a radio with me out to my dock on the lake next to my house and turned it to the news stations to see what sort of commotion the publication had created. None to speak of. The news broadcasts were all about Tricia’s wedding, with a word or two about the Times’ publication of a Vietnam archive.


Conservative Christians Selectively Apply Biblical Teachings in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate

What conservative Christians miss in the religious liberties debate swirling around same-sex marriage.

Conservative Christian groups in Arizona cheered the passage Thursday of legislation that would allow individuals and businesses in the state to deny service to same-sex couples due to religious beliefs.

All eyes have shifted to Governor Jan Brewer, who must now decide whether to sign the bill. Similar legislation died in Kansas last week, but has also been introduced in Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

The Arizona law seems to apply to services beyond those tied to weddings, but same-sex weddings are the impetus for these bills. Specifically, they are in response to lawsuits against three different Christians who refused to photograph, bake a cake, and sell flowers for same-sex weddings. The backers of these laws claim that a Christian cannot, in good conscience, provide a good or service for a same-sex wedding because it violates the teachings of Christianity.

If these bills become law, we could see same-sex couples being denied service not just by photographers and florists, but also restaurants and hotels and pretty much anyone else who can tie their discrimination to a religious belief.


“Hipster” Christianity: 9 hilarious attempts by the religious right to be cool

They want so badly to be hip — and yet they fail so spectacularly


This article ori
ginally appeared on ALTERNET.

It’s evident that social conservatives have a serious demographics problem. If they are realistic, they realize that appealing primarily to white rural Christian fundamentalist males over 55 has its limitations. As a result, some of them have been making an attempt at youth outreach. But when social conservatives try to flaunt their hipster credentials and demonstrate that they aren’t as old, as white, as male, as uptight and sexually repressed as you think, the results can be embarrassing or awkward. And in many cases, their message is still one of repression. Below are nine examples of attempts to use “hipster” imagery to sell a socially conservative or Republican message.

1. Chicks on the Right

Miriam Weaver, aka Mockarena, and Amy Jo Clark, aka Daisy, the Indiana-based Republicans who publish the Chicks on the Right website, acknowledge that the Republican Party has an image problem in the United States. They assert that they started their blog because “conservatism needs a big-time makeover” and they are tired of conservatives being stereotyped as “stodgy old white guys.” Just to show you how hip they are, Daisy and Mockarena (who host a political talk show on WIBC-FM in Indianapolis) declare that they prefer skinny jeans, miniskirts and stiletto heels over a more buttoned-up conservatism. But once readers get past the fun imagery, Chicks on the Right is full of the usual Christian right clichés one hears nonstop on AM talk radio: caring about the poor is “socialism,” the ACLU is anti-religion and anti-family, Sarah Palin is a “true patriot,” health insurance should not cover female contraception, etc. Chicks on the Right is an obvious attempt to lure young women over to the Republican Party, but Daisy and Mockarena certainly aren’t trying to accomplish that with a lot of original ideas.

2. 1Flesh

As backward and retrograde as they are, Christian right websites that favor a hipster look can be good for comic relief. 1Flesh.org would be funny if the site weren’t promoting a blatantly irresponsible message. Full of MTV-ish graphics, the site describes 1Flesh as “a grassroots movement dedicated to bringing great sex to the entire universe through the power of organic family planning.” But it’s actually a far-right Christian fundamentalist site that encourages unprotected sex and urges young couples to avoid using “unnatural” contraception methods such as condoms and birth control pills (thus increasing the risk of unplanned pregnancies). The phrase “personal responsibility” is often used on the right, but when it comes to encouraging responsible sexual behavior, 1Flesh fails miserably.


From Puritans to Ken Ham: The long history of creationism in America

Modern-day creationist rhetoric has its roots in the Puritan desire to make America into a "City of God"


In the annals of great American nuttiness, the recent live-streamed creation vs. evolution debate between former kids’ television host and all-around mega-egghead Bill Nye and Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham will forever hold a distinguished place. Held on February 4 at the Petersburg, Ky., Creation Museum, which serves as the flagship enterprise for Ham’s Christian fundamentalist Answers in Genesis ministry, the science vs. religion smackdown showcased two competing theories about the origin and nature of life that have come to shape much of the sociopolitical discourse in modern America.

It’s unlikely that the debate ultimately changed any minds, but it did demonstrate a long-running historical theme that has made the U.S. fertile ground for the belief that God created humankind with a providential purpose. Since the days when the Puritans first arrived on its shores, Americans have believed that their nation was specially ordained by God to create a perfected society on earth untainted by the sins of the Old World. The origins of the simultaneously maligned and revered notion of “American Exceptionalism” can be found in the earliest Puritan attempts to forge a Godly society out of America’s supposedly uncivilized landscape, and this early attempt at creating heaven on earth made the U.S. susceptible to creationism.

Although Ken Ham is a native Aussie, he comes from a country spawned, like the United States, from the once-powerful British Empire. Australia and the U.S. share many cultural similarities, including a penchant for fundamentalist Christianity, and Ham’s twenty-plus years in America preaching the gospel of Young Earth creationism have made him every bit the pugnacious adopted Yankee. Ham’s beliefs are, to put it scientifically, flat-out bonkers. He contends that God created humans exactly as depicted in the Book of Genesis; that the earth is only 6,000 years old; that humans once coexisted with dinosaurs and, most significantly, that the Bible is the literal, inerrant word of God. Yep, Ham is the most extreme type of biblical literalist, and has no compunctions about using the Bible as the complete guide to history, geography, paleontology and theology all in one neat package.

Ken Ham’s beliefs don’t even represent the majority of American Christians, whether they be Evangelical, Catholic, mainline Protestant or otherwise. Heck, Ham is even too out-there for televangelist Pat Robertson, who declared on his “700 Club” broadcast that “to say that it all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense and I think it’s time we come off of that stuff and say this isn’t possible.” But if Bill Nye the Science Guy seemed at times to be utterly flummoxed over the awe-inspiring logical fallacies that characterize Ham’s beliefs, it’s worth noting that this debate was less about evolution and more about competing ideas about the nature of human existence.


SB 1062 forcing Brewer to consider issues tied to faith, discrimination

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez
The Republic | azcentral.com
Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:24 AM

Gov. Jan Brewer was the focus of intense lobbying Friday from groups on both sides of a controversial bill that has raised questions about faith, discrimination and Arizona’s tattered national image. Brewer and her staff monitored Senate Bill 1062 as it made its way through the Legislature and won approval Thursday with overwhelming Republican support.

As usual, Brewer has been tight-lipped about how she will act — she rarely comments before bills reach her desk. But she told a cable news network she planned to closely review the “controversial piece of legislation” that, among other things, would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense against a lawsuit. Gay rights activists say the law would permit outright discrimination.

The Republican governor plans to meet with advisers in and out of her office, members of the business community, lawmakers and others as she weighs whether to sign the bill into law, her advisers said.

“They’ll go over every aspect of the bill — the pros and the cons, the risks — all of it,” said one insider familiar with the inner workings of the Governor’s Office and how Brewer approaches legislation. “In this instance, you have a bill that had a party-line vote. It puts her in a difficult spot.”


The long dark tea-time of the soul and lonely days and lonely nights of Ted Nugent


Why Matt Bevin (McConnell's primary challenger) has fizzled (Hint: Same sex marriage - DV)

February 22 at 12:00 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's Republican primary challenger dealt with fallout from the revelation the he once backed a government program he uses as a punching bag. Then he stoked controversy with remarks about gay marriage. It all came as McConnell continued to avoid the pitfalls that have ensnared some of his Senate colleagues facing heat from the right.

The result is that with three months until the primary, Bevin's bid to defeat McConnell faces increasingly long odds. "He's having some trouble," said veteran political observer Al Cross, a former Louisville Courier-Journal political writer.

Bevin, a Louisville businessman, was veered off message after a Wednesday interview on Janet Mefferd's radio show in which he suggested legalizing gay marriage could lead to parents being able to marry their children.

"If it's alright to have same-sex marriages, why not define a marriage -- because at the end of the day a lot of this ends up being taxes and who can visit who in the hospital and there's other repercussions and things that come with this -- so a person may want to define themselves as being married to one of their children so that they could then in fact pass on certain things to that child financially and otherwise?" Bevin asked.


Sarah Palin’s Heavy Metal Grandma Show for animal killers is coming. You should be excited.

By TBogg
Saturday, February 22, 2014 16:18 EST

Former John McCain novelty act and english-as-a-third-language-when-saying-stuff word mangler Sarah Palin has another new teevee show starting real soon.

It is called Amazing America With Sarah Palin and it is the story of a small town girl who grew up and went to six or seven jucos and slightly bigger cosmetology schools so that she could talk sports on ActionNewsTeam-Wasilla, but instead she became the mama grizzly mayor of the meth capital of the Mat-Su valley, and then briefly the governor of that state that looks like Canada’s hemorrhoid.

And if that is not amazing enough, professional Sunday morning talk show guest, John McCain, once asked her to be one myocardial infarction away from being Leader Of The Free World.

So amazing and only in America!

However, upon further review, it looks like her show is going to be on the Sportsman Channel – which is like channel 3214 on your cable box – and it will probably be about killin’ stuff, ‘Murican=-style.

So here is a WWE-inspired rawk-out-with-your-Glock-out commercial of Sarah struttin’ her stuff for thirty seconds, which is about eight seconds longer than Rich Lowry needs to ‘fire all of his guns at once and explode into space ‘, if you know what I mean and I think you do…


Go to the link to see video--Don

Also, too…. (and I did not make these up):

TBogg @tbogg

Other shows on Sarah Palin's new network sound like porn shows: Hardcore Pursuit, Kings Of Gettin'Em, Mathews Dominant Bucks, YoungWild

5:33 PM - 22 Feb 2014



Posted with permission

UPDATED: George Takei: Boycott Arizona if governor signs Gay Jim Crow law

Source: Raw Story

By George Chidi
Saturday, February 22, 2014 17:02 EST

George Takei fired a virtual photon torpedo Friday at Arizona in a scathing letter addressing legislative passage of an anti LGBT law allowing for discrimination in services.

The “Razing Arizona” letter published on Takei’s blog calls for the LGBT community to boycott the state if it enacts the law, which passed the state House of Representatives on Thursday by a 33-27 vote, largely along party lines.

“This “turn away the gay” bill enshrines discrimination into the law,” Takei wrote. “Your taxi drivers can refuse to carry us. Your hotels can refuse to house us. And your restaurants can refuse to serve us. … You’re willing to ostracize and marginalize LGBT people to score political points with the extreme right of the Republican Party. You say this bill protects ‘religious freedom,’ but no one is fooled. When I was younger, people used ‘God’s Will’ as a reason to keep the races separate, too. Make no mistake, this is the new segregation, yours is a Jim Crow law, and you are about to make yourself ground zero.”

Takei notes in his letter that his husband Brad Altman and he have strong ties to Arizona. Altman was born in Phoenix, and the couple vacation in Show Low, Takei wrote.


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/22/george-takei-boycott-arizona-if-governor-signs-gay-jim-crow-law/


Jeff Flake, Arizona Senator, Calls On Governor Jan Brewer To Veto Anti-Gay Bill

Posted: 02/22/2014 8:33 pm EST Updated: 02/22/2014 8:59 pm EST

Jeff Flake, Republican senator from Arizona, joined a chorus of critics against a state bill that would let businesses deny service to gay customers based on religious beliefs.

Flake tweeted that he hopes Governor Jan Brewer vetoes the bill.

Jeff Flake ✔ @JeffFlake

I hope Governor Brewer vetoes SB 1062

5:37 PM - 22 Feb 2014

The Arizona senate passed SB 1062 on Wednesday; Governor Brewer has five days from when the bill arrives at her desk to decide whether to veto it. If she does nothing, the bill will become law. Arizona Central reported that, as of Friday afternoon, the bill had not yet been delivered to Brewer.




Ariz. Lawmaker Who Voted For Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill Now Wants It Vetoed


The pressure is mounting on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) to veto a disputed piece of legislation that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT individuals on the basis of religious freedom.

State Sen. Steve Pierce (R), who voted for the bill, now says it was a bad idea and wants to see the bill vetoed. “I screwed up,” Pierce told Capitol Media Services on Sunday. “I’m trying to make it right.”

The Republican lawmaker told the Prescott Daily Courier that he doesn't like the attention the bill has brought to the state, although he believes the purpose of the legislation has been misconstrued.

"I don't like the negative picture of Arizona, and I'm on board asking the governor to veto the bill," Pierce said.