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LongTomH

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Member since: Wed Oct 13, 2004, 05:42 PM
Number of posts: 8,511

Journal Archives

What Bullets Do to Bodies

Huffington Post: What Bullets Do to Bodies. This is a long article, parts of it are disturbing; but, you really need to read it. The opening says: "The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day." Probably the hard core '2nd amendment' advocates in Congress wouldn't be affected -- after all, they're sociopaths and psychopaths. What this might do is stiffen the spines of Democratic Congresspersons to oppose this horror.

The first thing Dr. Amy Goldberg told me is that this article would be pointless. She said this on a phone call last summer, well before the election, before a tangible sensation that facts were futile became a broader American phenomenon. I was interested in Goldberg because she has spent 30 years as a trauma surgeon, almost all of that at the same hospital, Temple University Hospital in North Philadelphia, which treats more gunshot victims than any other in the state and is located in what was, according to one analysis, the deadliest of the 10 largest cities in the country until last year, with a homicide rate of 17.8 murders per 100,000 residents in 2015.

Over my years of reporting here, I had heard stories about Temple’s trauma team. A city prosecutor who handled shooting investigations once told me that the surgeons were able to piece people back together after the most horrific acts of violence. People went into the hospital damaged beyond belief and came walking out.




That stuck with me. I wondered what surgeons know about gun violence that the rest of us don’t. We are inundated with news about shootings. Fourteen dead in San Bernardino, six in Michigan, 11 over one weekend in Chicago. We get names, places, anguished Facebook posts, wonky articles full of statistics on crime rates and risk, Twitter arguments about the Second Amendment—everything except the blood, the pictures of bodies torn by bullets. That part is concealed, sanitized. More than 30,000 people die of gunshot wounds each year in America, around 75,000 more are injured, and we have no visceral sense of what physically happens inside a person when he’s shot. Goldberg does.

................//snip



Rafi Colon had a gunshot wound in his stomach that took months to heal:

The holes in his intestines leaked stomach acid and burned away the surrounding tissues and skin, leaving less skin available to eventually stretch over the wound and close it. Colon learned to sop up the excess acid from his exposed intestines with gauze pads and later with a machine that sucked the acid through a tube. When his friends came to visit, they had a hard time looking at him. He messed with them once by asking a buddy to get him a Rita’s water ice, Philadelphia’s version of a snow cone. He knew what would happen when he ate it. The water ice was red, the Swedish Fish flavor from that summer, and 30 seconds after he swallowed it, the red water ice came oozing out of the hole in his intestine. His friends bolted.




Another gunshot victim begins a long, painful road to recovery.

Bill Nye's Answer to the Fermi Paradox



Named for its originator, the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, the Fermi Paradox asks the question, "if chances are that we're not alone in the universe, how come we haven't heard from any of the other alien civilizations?"

According to Bill Nye, he and the Planetary Society hold the opinion that we probably haven't been listening hard enough. The Science Guy goes on to explain how NASA is boosting efforts at intergalactic communication.


Note that Bill doesn't seem to subscribe to the idea of a 'Great Filter' that limits the lifetime of an intelligent species, or makes its emergence unlikely in the first place.

Peter Capaldi Reads A Captain's World War One Letter: The Christmas Truce, 1914



The tragedy of war; men who could have been friends in other circumstances forced to kill each other for a war that will be a footnote in history.

Nazis, Neo-Confederates and Roy Moore......oh my!!!!!

Roy Moore’s Foundation Cashed At Least One Check From Actual Nazis.

A Huffington Post review of tax documents has found that the Foundation to Defend the First Amendment, a fascist organization formed by infamous Holocaust-denier Willis Carto, donated $1000 to the Foundation for Moral Law in 2005.

The Foundation for Moral Law is the successor to a defense fund set up for former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore. Ostensibly created to pursue a culture war agenda through the courts, IRS records show that the “charity” employs Moore’s entire family and has provided him with more than $1 million in personal income.

............//snip

Pat Shannan, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist who served on the board of FDFA in 2005, recently endorsed Moore in a fawning blog post that described him as “our ideal Alt-South candidate.”

............//snip

Of course, Moore received a six-figure income from his foundation over six years while repeatedly claiming that he did not get a “regular salary,” so it would be more accurate to call him ‘an Alabama con artist’ and a ‘slimy, calculating, self-interested, insincere American.’

Carto’s organization is hardly the only example of racists and hate groups donating to Moore’s foundation. Their single largest donor is neoconfederate Michael Peroutka, a former board member of the League of the South. Moore’s foundation has hosted the group’s Secession Day events before.

Why, oh why isn't the media screaming about this?!?!?

I haven't received any such emails and I'm an Our Revolution member.

May I point out that Our Revolution candidates won in 2016 and 2017; Our Revolution also supported local and state resolutions that won in both years.

If you want to keep the Blue Wave going, expelling Our Revolution members from the party would be counterproductive. (Yes, some of them are independents or Third Party; but, most are still Democrats.)

Actually, the largest number of 2017 victories were by progressive candidates

'Tsunami' of Progressive Victories Delivers Massive Repudiation of Trumpism.

Progressives are already organizing for 2018.

Why Did The Elephant Cross The Road?

It's not a joke. Man Bikes Away From Sprinting Elephant, Realizes What’s Happening When Elephant Beckons To Woods:



Just like that, the elephant starts charging the biker!




Fortunately, the biker escapes before anything happens—but the elephant seems to have another motive.

Once the biker has been chased off, the elephant does an about-face and turns to face the oncoming traffic. There are at least three to four cars coming, though upon seeing the massive obstacle in the road, they all do the smart thing and stop.

Seeing that they aren’t coming closer, the elephant takes a few cautious steps forward.




What happens next is both hilarious and adorable.

Once the coast is clear, the elephant gestures into the brush—and out follows his entire family! With his safe guidance, the elephant guides the mother and two children safely across the road without harm to anyone. As it turns out, the biker was just a distraction to the elephant’s larger goal.

Who knew that nature footage like this could come with its own plot twist?




Aside from being the cutest thing ever, this story teaches us to be more aware and understanding.

Though elephants are understandably intimidating creatures, they are also beautiful and empathetic animals that have been forced to live in communities with people in many areas. They have families and normal needs of their own, even if we can’t always understand their actions.

Because everyone in the clip was aware, nobody got hurt and the elephants made it safely across the road.


How can anyone be proud of killing one of these beautiful and intelligent creatures? We all remember that horrible picture of the Spawn of Trump proudly holding up the tail of an elephant he killed.

How the upper middle class keeps everyone else out - PBS News Hour

Leonard Cohen Democracy Is Coming to the USA



It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty ship of state!
To the shores of need
Past the reefs of greed
Through the squalls of hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on...

It's coming to America first
The cradle of the best and of the worst
It's here they got the range
And the machinery for change
And it's here they got the spiritual thirst
It's here the family's broken
And it's here the lonely say
That the heart has got to open
In a fundamental way
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a

It's coming from the women and the men
Oh baby, we'll be making love again
We'll be going down so deep
That the river's going to weep
And the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
Beneath the lunar sway
Imperial, mysterious
In amorous array
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a

Sail on, sail on
O mighty ship of state!
To the shores of need
Past the reefs of greed
Through the squalls of hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight
Getting lost in that hopeless little screen
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
That time cannot decay
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
This little wild bouquet
Democracy is coming to the u.s.a

Beware of Mike Pence's Dominionism

I know that many on DU are hoping that Trump may impeached or perhaps Section 4 of the 25th Amendment may be invoked:

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.


Section 4 [link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#1987:_Reagan.27s_alleged_incapacity|]was almost invoked late in Reagan's last term when it became apparent that Ronnie was losing it. If either route is taken to remove Trump from office, we still aren't out of the woods; we still have to deal with Mike Pence.

Pence has been labeled a Dominionist. Dominionism may be defined as:

Dominionism is the theocratic idea that regardless of theological camp, means, or timetable, God has called conservative Christians to exercise dominion over society by taking control of political and cultural institutions. The term describes a broad tendency across a wide swath of American Christianity. People who embrace this idea are referred to as dominionists. Although Chip Berlet, then of Political Research Associates, and I defined and popularized the term for many in the 1990s, in fact it had (along with the term dominion theology) been in use by both evangelical proponents and critics for many years.


Prominent dominionists in the Republican party include Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman, Ted Cruz, and Mike Pence.

Pence has been labeled a dominionist numerous times; a Google search on "Mike Pence dominionist" will turn up numerous articles, including this one by Jeremy Scahill: Mike Pence Will Be the Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in US History:

THE ELECTION OF Donald Trump has sent shockwaves through the souls of compassionate, humane people across the country and the world. Horror that a candidate who ran on a platform of open bigotry, threats against immigrants and Muslims, and blatant misogyny will soon be president is now sinking in. Trump appointed a white nationalist, Steve Bannon, as chief White House strategist — which was promptly celebrated by the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan. Bannon and other possible extremist Trump appointees, such as John Bolton, a neocon who believes the U.S. should “bomb Iran,” and the authoritarian Rudy Giuliani, are now receiving much deserved public scrutiny.

The incoming vice president, Mike Pence, has not elicited the same reaction, instead often painted as the reasonable adult on the ticket, a “counterbalance” to Trump and a “bridge to the establishment.” However, there is every reason to regard him as, if anything, even more terrifying than the president-elect.

Pence’s ascent to the second most powerful position in the U.S. government is a tremendous coup for the radical religious right. Pence — and his fellow Christian supremacist militants — would not have been able to win the White House on their own. For them, Donald Trump was a godsend. “This may not be our preferred candidate, but that doesn’t mean it may not be God’s candidate to do something that we don’t see,” said David Barton, a prominent Christian-right activist and president of Wall Builders, an organization dedicated to making the U.S. government enforce “biblical values.” In June, Barton prophesied: “We may look back in a few years and say, ‘Wow, [Trump] really did some things that none of us expected.’”

Trump is a Trojan horse for a cabal of vicious zealots who have long craved an extremist Christian theocracy, and Pence is one of its most prized warriors. With Republican control of the House and Senate and the prospect of dramatically and decisively tilting the balance of the Supreme Court to the far right, the incoming administration will have a real shot at bringing the fire and brimstone of the second coming to Washington.

“The enemy, to them, is secularism. They want a God-led government. That’s the only legitimate government,” contends Jeff Sharlet, author of two books on the radical religious right, including “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.” “So when they speak of business, they’re speaking not of something separate from God, but they’re speaking of what, in Mike Pence’s circles, would be called biblical capitalism, the idea that this economic system is God-ordained.”

Yeah, I know, Trump is a Trojan Horse for the Russians; but, he's also a Trojan Horse for the religious right! Even if Trump isn't removed from office, Pence is likely to be "the power behind the throne," like Dick Cheney. Trump's son, Don Jr., has said that Pence will be in charge of "domestic and foreign policy," while Trump would focus on the vague mission of “Making America Great Again.”"
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