So named because of the narrow band on their heads, these penguins catch slumber every second they can
By MATTHEW ROZSA
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 4, 2023 6:15AM (EST)
(Salon) Nearly all animals need some form of sleep to survive, but not all of them sleep in the same ways as humans. Take chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus), the adorable two-foot-plus waddling birds named for the distinctive and dignified black stripes at the bottoms of their heads, which are indigenous to the islands and shores of the Southern Pacific and Antarctic Oceans.
Now a new study in the journal Science reveals that chinstrap penguins have a very unique way of sleeping. Instead of getting six-to-eight hours at night like humans, chinstrap penguins sleep thousands of times per day in four second spurts but accumulate a daily 11 hours of sleep in the process.
Researchers from France, Germany and South Korea learned this by studying 14 chinstrap penguins sleep patterns with an electroencephalograph, which measures brain activity. While the chinstrap penguins swam in the ocean or nested on King George Island, which is near Antarctica, they regularly faced threats such as aggression from other penguins or predatory birds like the brown skua pursuing their eggs. As a result, sleeping for lengthy periods can be risky, so they evolved an ability to enter rest states in spurts of up to four seconds. This results in chinstrap penguins sleeping more than 10,000 times each day. As the authors concluded, "The investment in microsleeps by successfully breeding penguins suggests that the benefits of sleep can accrue incrementally."
Of course, just because the scientists proved that the penguins achieved some level of sleep during those four second bursts, the exact quality of the sleep is another matter entirely. It is entirely possible that the chinstrap penguins pay for their so-called "microsleeps" by not being fully restored when they wake up just like humans who experience dementia-like cognitive ability when too sleep deprived. ...............(more)
Curtains for Moms for Liberty: The fallout of a rape charge shows the far-right group is floundering
Curtains for Moms for Liberty: The fallout of a rape charge shows the far-right group is floundering
Gov. Ron DeSantis bet big on the book banners, but after electoral losses, even he's pushing them out the door
By AMANDA MARCOTTE
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 4, 2023 6:00AM (EST)
(Salon) At first, there was little that was surprising about a report that Christian Ziegler, the husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, is under police investigation in Sarasota, FL following a rape allegation. The modus operandi of Moms for Liberty and their allies is implying, often outright falsely accusing, everyone from drag queens to school librarians of being sexual predators. Lurid finger-pointing from conservatives is often, as most folks have figured out by now, a form of psychological projection. It hasn't even been two weeks since the release of a similar story outing a Philadelphia organizer for Moms of Liberty for his 2012 conviction of sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy.
Just as predictable were the details dug up by local reporters for the Florida Trident that the alleged victim told police "that she and both Zieglers had been involved in a three-year consensual three-way sexual relationship." The report alleges she had been alone with Christian Ziegler, who is also the chair of the Florida GOP, the night of the alleged rape. Time and again, we have seen this story play out: The self-appointed guardians of everyone else's sexual morality often have rather exotic sex lives of their own. Just ask Jerry Falwell Jr.
But what is genuinely startling downright shocking, even is there are signs that these revelations could result in bona fide political consequences for the Zieglers. Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose support of Moms for Liberty played a huge role in the group's skyrocketing to national prominence, didn't mince words when asked about the allegations Thursday night. He called on Ziegler to resign, saying, "Hes innocent till proven guilty, but we just cant have a party chair that is under that type of scrutiny."
The speed with which the Zieglers are being tossed overboard is fascinating because it wasn't that long ago that the couple were some of the biggest rising stars in the GOP, especially in Florida. DeSantis aligned himself so firmly with Moms for Liberty that they seemed all but an official part of his presidential campaign. He gave a keynote address at the Moms for Liberty conference in Philadelphia in July. He also did innumerable events highlighting the group's work in banning books in school, terrorizing teachers for being LGBTQ or allies, and intimidating educators out of teaching facts about history that conservatives would rather keep hidden. Bridget Ziegler played a strong hand in writing Florida's "don't say gay" law. DeSantis even appointed her to the tourism board he constructed to harass Disney for daring to speak out against his anti-LGBTQ agenda. .......................(more)
The Supreme Court Case That Could Upend a Century of Tax Law
The winners are the rich.
(Mother Jones) The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in Moore v U.S., a case that nominally involves the right of the US government to tax a couple, Charles and Kathleen Moore, on foreign corporate profits they have yet to receive.
Sounds arcane, but the case, bankrolled by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, could potentially neuter Congress ability to tax the swollen assets of Americas shareholder class. Indeed, a decision in favor of the petitioners could potentially wreak havoc on a century of tax law, upending provisions Congress enacted to curb tax abuses by some of Americas wealthiest citizens.
To get to the crux of the matter, I reached out to Steven Rosenthal, a senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and a former staff attorney for Congress Joint Commitee on Taxation, who has intricate knowledge of tax law and has written quite a bit about the case. (Here are his shorter and longer versions.)
So this case is just the means to a bigger end?
The Moores are really, in my view, a stalking horse to block Congress from being able to tax billions, maybe trillions of dollars in gains that now often escape taxation completely. How do I know? Well, there was a Ninth Circuit dissent by Judge [Patrick] Bumatay, a Trump appointee. Bumatay said that if the courts cannot keep Congress in check with a realization requirement, Congress could yet start taxing wealth and billionaires. ................(more)
What to America is John Brown?
Maybe a lesson about people who refuse to learn from the instructive dissent of social movements
By AILISH HOPPER
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2, 2023 5:45AM (EST)
(Salon) On December 2, 1859, the United States carried out its first execution of a prisoner convicted of treason: a white man who challenged slavery. Today, America still cant imagine a nation of white people who dissent from white supremacy. That's partly because we can't imagine healthy dissent.
As a professor of peace and conflict, I am often teased about my support for the 19th-century militant John Brown. Peace Studies involves studying alternatives to violence, and certainly not the advocacy of violence, so I admit that Brown is a difficult figure to square with my work facilitating multi-partisan and multi-ethnic collaborations. Brown, who was hanged in 1859 for raiding a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, VA, aiming to support enslaved peoples escape to freedom, had also clashed with pro-slavery groups during the battles known as Bleeding Kansas, including an alleged midnight ambush and slaughter of five pro-slavery leaders.
After decades of giving speeches arguing against slavery, and leading conversations and appeals to the wealthy and powerful, Brown was impatient with this pacifist approach, which insisted on moral suasion, as mainstream abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison called it what we'd now call changing hearts and minds or changing the narrative.
What, to America, is John Brown? Maybe a lesson about people who refuse to learn from the instructive dissent of social movements, whatever side theyre on. But the fact that there are only three statues of Brown in the country tells us something of a particular shame attached to his legacy. I dont think the shame is for his violence. I think its for our white history of coordinated repression, instead of the moral courage needed to finally create a just, multi-ethnic democracy. ................(more)
ROLLIN TWP. A hunter has died after being shot by another hunter Thursday morning in western Lenawee County.
The victim died at the scene in the 15000 block of Rome Road in Rollin Township, Lenawee County Sheriff Troy Bevier said in a news release. Investigators were on the scene as of 11:15 a.m. Thursday.
Lenawee County Central Dispatch received a call about the shooting at 9:43 a.m. and immediately dispatched emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officers to the scene, the release said. The Addison Fire Department, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Lenawee County Sheriffs Office are working together on this investigation.
(Mother Jones) Where to even begin? The investigative journalism outlet Florida Center for Government Accountability has a story today alleging that Christian Ziegler, the chair of the Florida GOP, sexually assaulted a woman. This would be enough to attract attention, but this woman was allegedly having a ménage à trois with him and his wife Bridget, the erstwhile crusading chair of the Sarasota school board and a co-founder of the parents rights group Moms for Liberty.
The accusations in the storywhich Mother Jones could not independently verifyare wild, to say the least:
The woman, according to sources close to the investigation, alleged that she and both Zieglers had been involved in a longstanding consensual three-way sexual relationship prior to the incident. The incident under investigation by Sarasota police occurred when Christian Ziegler and the woman were alone at the womans house, without Bridget Ziegler present, the sources conveyed.
Sources also corroborated that a search warrant was executed on Christian Zieglers cell phone and that investigators continue to conduct a forensic examination of the electronic device. Christian Ziegler is also alleged to have secretly videotaped the sexual encounters between the couple and the woman, sources said.
The story links to a police report obtained through a Freedom of Information Request for information involving Christian Ziegler. Nearly every word of the report has been redacted except raped and sexual assault complaint.
If this scandal appeared in a book, it would certainly be banned by Moms for Liberty, which has called for sexually explicit material to be removed from school libraries, especially those that involve same-sex relationships of any kind. The group has been at the forefront of the movement to remove LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum from classrooms. ..........(more)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom not only stood up for his state but made a great case for Joe Biden on Fox News
By HEATHER DIGBY PARTON
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 1, 2023 9:57AM (EST)
(Salon) When Florida Gov. Ron Desantis agreed to debate California Gov. Gavin Newsom, it's unlikely he knew his presidential campaign would be flailing to the extent it currently is. But he still should have thought twice. Whatever he thought his political skills might be, he is terrible on the debate stage. He's managed to barely hold his own in the sad Trumpless GOP primary debates that have been dominated by his rival, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, but he did himself no favors on Thursday night when he finally met with Newsom on Sean Hannity's Fox News show.
The questions were all loaded with statistics in favor of DeSantis designed to put Newsom on the defensive. I don't think there was even one data point he presented that put Florida in a more negative light. So it was up to Newsom to provide context and correct the record which he did quite effectively.
For instance, DeSantis was programmed to insist that Californians are moving to Florida "in droves" which he did approximately a dozen times, and maybe those Fox viewers were convinced. But it's just not true. (As Newsom pointed out repeatedly, per capita more Floridians have actually moved to California than the other way around.)
DeSantis pretty much just stood there like a potted plant obviously wanting to get past the subject as soon as possible. Just yesterday, a poll was released showing that 62% of Floridians want to vote the right to abortion up to 24 weeks into the state constitution and that includes 52% of Republicans. He made a huge mistake in judgement on that one. ...................(more)
Ombre West usually takes the Yellow Line as part of her commute to Oakton Community College in Skokie. But the train line has been shut down since a crash on the tracks sent nearly two dozen people to hospitals, leaving West and other commuters to rely on replacement shuttle buses or alternate ways of getting around.
West, 20, estimated the shuttles have added an hour to her trip from her home in Evanston to school in the neighboring suburb.
More than two weeks after the mid-November crash on the tracks, the three-stop line that runs from Rogers Park to Skokie, also known as the Skokie Swift, remains closed as federal regulators investigate CTA equipment design and outside conditions, and the CTA reviews operations on the line.
The closure has frustrated commutes for riders trying to get to their homes, work and school, who instead must rely on the free shuttle buses the CTA is running to replace train service, or find other transportation. And it has left questions for riders and those who were injured about why the train failed to stop before slamming into a snowplow on the tracks, and whether the crash could have been prevented. ..................(more)
The violence is Trump's goal
It is both the means as well as the goal of Trump's fascist political project
By CHAUNCEY DEVEGA
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 1, 2023 5:45AM (EST)
(Salon) Todays Republican Party is a de facto political crime organization. And although he is now facing hundreds of years in prison and the loss of his business empire, Donald Trump remains the Big Boss. He rules through fear, intimidation, and the threat (and reality) of violence. For a recent example, those Republicans who dared to oppose Trumps choice for Speaker of the House found out very quickly that such behavior would be met with intimidation and violence.
Salons Tatyana Tandanpolie summarizes Trumps recent attacks as follows:
The office of the New York judge overseeing Donald Trump's civil fraud trial has received an onslaught of death threats and antisemitic abuse in the wake of the former president's online attacks.
New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron and his principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield have been bombarded with hundreds of threatening, harassing and disparaging telephone and social media messages, according to a new court filing reported by The Guardian. New York state court system attorneys in the filing argued for the imposition of gag orders on Trump, citing the serious and credible threats against Engoron and Greenfield.
Transcribed voicemails, which were disclosed in the filing, exposed the extent of the vitriol directed at the duo. Several death threats came alongside racist and sexist attacks. I mean, honestly, you should be assassinated, one said. You should be killed. You should be not assassin executed [sic]. You should be executed.
Resign now, you dirty, treasonous piece of trash snake. We are going to get you and anyone of you dirty, backstabbing, lying, cheating American. You are nothing but a bunch of communists. We are coming to remove you permanently," said another.
Trump has even been so bold as to amplify a post made on Truth Social fantasizing about a citizens arrest of Judge Erdogan and New York Attorney General Tish James for the crime of holding him accountable for under the law. For Trump, citizens arrest means violence and other harm. Trump, now in full mob boss mode, has escalated to harassing Judge Erdogans wife.
In reality, this behavior is part of a much larger strategy and goal by the Republican fascists and larger conservative movement and white right of ending American democracy and civil society by undermining the rule of law and replacing it with corrupt power. ................(more)
George Santos gets one thing right about Republicans: Their expulsion vote is "theater"
Whatever happens to the New York congressman, Republicans are still a party of grifters and con artists
By AMANDA MARCOTTE
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 1, 2023 6:00AM (EST)
(Salon) Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y. is probably not winning that Oscar, but it's not for a lack of trying. With the enthusiasm of a drag queen channeling Joan Crawford, the embattled GOP congressman has given us three over-the-top performances of outrage over the possibility that he could become the sixth person ever to be expelled from Congress. Last week, facing growing pressure from Republicans after his 23 felony indictments for fraud, Santos refused to resign in a 3-hour diatribe on X-Spaces. Insisting that Congress has "felons galore" who get "drunk every night," Santos argued that he is being unfairly singled out and compared himself to Mary Magdalene. Then on Thursday morning, he held a self-pitying press conference, accusing his colleagues of "bullying" him by planning to hold a vote on whether to expel him, likely on Friday.
"It's all theater," he raved.
Santos is almost certainly faking his umbrage. He's well aware that, in addition to the federal charges against him, the House investigation found "substantial evidence" that he stole campaign donations and spent them on designer clothes, Botox injections, and OnlyFans. Plus, he has a history of using the tactic of wildly exaggerated rage to intimidate people out of asking questions about his alleged fraud. In the case where Santos is accused of using a sick dog to raise money, only to abscond with the cash, the dog's owner claims Santos blew up at him when asked about the promised veterinary care. Basically, Santos screamed at the guy until his alleged victim gave up. Wielding fake anger like a weapon is unlikely to work in this case, though what do I know? Donald Trump uses the same move to keep Republicans in line quite effectively.
But as silly as this display was, in one small sense, Santos is right: If Republicans do move to expel him, it's nothing more than theater. Republicans don't care if one of their own is a fraud or a criminal. The most obvious example is Trump, whose indictment count sits at 91 charges across four jurisdictions, making Santos look like a piker. And that's not even counting the financial crimes Trump has committed. Trump is currently in a civil trial regarding his decades of fraud. The judge has already ruled that he's guilty in that case, and the only real question left is how serious the penalties will be. ..............(more)
Profile InformationGender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 76,571
- 2023 (1304)
- 2022 (985)
- 2021 (1108)
- 2020 (965)
- 2019 (39)
- 2018 (25)
- 2016 (656)
- 2015 (2194)
- 2014 (1284)
- 2013 (3188)
- 2012 (4013)
- 2011 (222)
- December (222)