Open Thread……………………………………………..Sunday, October 12

October 12th, 2014 117 comments

halloween housesfall-leaves-th

Fall here.  Most of us have a yard-full of leaves that have fallen much earlier than usual.  29 and 66 are lined with leaf watchers, many headed to the skyline drive to observe Mother Nature at her very best.

Its time to plant bulbs.  Iris, daffodils and tulips all get planted in the fall.  In spring we are always surprised and treated to the joy of our efforts.

Where are you leaf-watching?  What are you planting?

 

Categories: General Tags:

Spare us the character assassinations

October 24th, 2014 11 comments

We are at the height of the election season.  Nearly everywhere I go I see character assassinations rather than an honest discussion of policy differences.  TV is full of ads telling lies on one opponent or the other.  Perhaps “lies” is too strong of a word–gross distortions of the other persons position might be better.

Looking around the blogs, I see more of the same.  Some of the blogs are known for this type of behavior.  One local blogger likes to distract with bright shiny objects that don’t matter a lick.  If the perceived opponents can be vilified, he is having at it, regardless of the truth or relevance.  Why would voters care how someone wore a hat, or  what body type they were ?  Those issues fall into the  irrelevance category.

It is important to remember, in the words of Thomas Jefferson:

Come on locals, let’s clean it up.  Candidates, if you are profiting from local folks trashing your opponent.  Tell them to stop.

It’s really just that simple and you know who you are.

Categories: Elections Tags:

Major cheating at UNC: NO Class

October 23rd, 2014 10 comments

no class unc

According to businessweek.com:

The University of North Carolina on Wednesday admitted its academic-fraud-for-athletes scandal was worse than the public has previously been told. That’s saying something. After all, the practice at Chapel Hill of steering football and basketball players into fake classes had already made North Carolina the epicenter of a national debate about the corrupting effects of the $16 billion college athletics industry.

Several considerations regarding this widespread

1.  The deceit was widespread and aimed at keeping athletes eligible. For years, UNC officials have resisted the obvious indications that academics were compromised to promote sports. That resistance has finally collapsed. The latest in a series of university-sponsored investigations revealed that over 18 years—from 1993 through 2011—some 3,100 students took “paper classes” with no faculty oversight and no actual class attendance. Almost half the students enrolled in the phony courses were athletes. Many of the basketball and football players “were directed to the classes by academic counselors” assigned to advise athletes, UNC said in a written statement. “These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible.”

In other words, to keep members of UNC’s top-rated basketball team on the court, professional “counselors” encouraged flat-out academic fraud.
Read more…

Categories: Education/Schools, General, Sports Tags:

Terrorism strikes Canada

October 23rd, 2014 8 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

OTTAWA — A sudden spasm of violence jolted the government center of Canada’s capital on Wednesday morning, as a gunman killed an honor guard soldier at a war memorial and then opened fire inside the nearby Parliament building, triggering a lockdown and hours of confusion in Ottawa.

The assault shocked a country that rarely experiences gun violence but has witnessed two attacks on members of its armed forces in recent days. Earlier this week, a soldier was killed in a hit-and-run that authorities have called an act of terrorism. In each case, the soldiers were targeted by individuals who had been barred from traveling abroad by Canadian authorities.

“We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday night in an address to the nation.

 

Read more…

Categories: Terrorism Tags:

Blackwater Guards found Guilty

October 23rd, 2014 26 comments

Newyorktimes:

WASHINGTON — Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards were convicted and immediately jailed Wednesday for their roles in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that marked a bloody nadir in America’s war in Iraq.

A jury in Federal District Court found that the deaths of 17 Iraqis in the shooting, which began when a convoy of the guards suddenly began firing in a crowded intersection, was not a battlefield tragedy, but the result of a criminal act.

Read more…

Categories: US Politics, War/Military Tags:

Party with the Palins

October 21st, 2014 64 comments


Let’s party with the Palins, redneck style. Has there been a more common candidate in recent memory?

Andrew Jackson apparently led a fairly rough and tumble life. Perhaps the Palins are the incarnation of Old Hickory.

We came too close to having Sarah Palin in the White House. Where is Billy Carter when we need him?

Categories: General Tags:

Monica Lewinsky: Hell hath no fury

October 21st, 2014 40 comments

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Timing is everything.  Monica Lewinsky, who laid low for the past 16 years, has resurfaced.

usatoday.com:

Teary eyes brought out sympathetic murmurs for Lewinsky today, after she got emotional in a speech to more than 1,000 millennials at Forbes magazine’s inaugural 30 Under 30 summit in Philadelphia.

“It is only my fourth time delivering a speech in public,” she said. “So if I seem nervous, forgive me, because I am. And a little emotional, too.”

It was Lewinsky’s first public speech since she resurfaced for the first time in years in a Vanity Fair essay in May. It was also her most extensive public remarks since she was outed as President Clinton’s go-to intern for extracurricular sex in the White House in the late 1990s.

Now 41, she was there to talk up her plan to launch a “cultural revolution” against cyberbullying, which she says helped ruin her life. The revolution will be be Twitterized; she just joined.


 

There is a little more to all this than just cyber-bullying.  Lewinsky became a prominent national figure because of her behavior.  Her attempts to paint herself as a victim fell on deaf ears with me.   Think what you want about Bill Clinton.  Monica wasn’t a victim.  She was a grown woman and most importantly, she knew that Clinton was a married man.

I am sure she fantasized that he would leave Hillary and marry her.  She had had at least one other affair with the director of a play she was in.  He, too, was married.  Perhaps Lewinsky was a collector of men.  She calls herself Patient 1.  That doesn’t even make sense.  Boo Hoo, Monica.

She isn’t a victim.  If you don’t want to be in an instant fish bowl, don’t fool around with a married man who just happens to be the most powerful man in the world.  The world will be watching and  some of its inhabitants will have something to say about you and your behavior.

The ‘woman scorned” is coming out in her and is exhibited by her timing–right before Hillary announces her bid for the presidency.  Lewinsky still looks stupid and bitter.  I expect her efforts to scuttle Hillary will have the reverse effect.

 

Categories: Current Events Tags:

Flip Benham harasses gay weddings in NC

October 20th, 2014 3 comments

flip benham

Rightwingwatch.org:

 

With gay marriage now legal in North Carolina, it was only a matter of time before Flip Benham of Operation Save America started crashing wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. The North Carolina-based pastor, who is the father of Religious Right activists David and Jason Benham, reportedly disrupted several weddings at the Mecklenburg County and Courts Office in Charlotte last week. Benham’s group, which in July disrupted a memorial service at a Unitarian Universalist congregation in New Orleans, “interrupted several couples’ weddings as supporters held up a large rainbow flag to block his view,” according to the North Carolina LGBT publication Q Notes. “Another protester waved a bible in the air as he screamed several profanities and vulgarities.”

 

Read more…

Does your boss make you sick? (literally)

October 20th, 2014 No comments

devil bossgirl bad boss

Washingtonpost.com:

Having a bad boss can make your work life a misery, but it can also make you sick, both physically and mentally, researchers say.

“The evidence is clear that the leadership qualities of ‘bad’ bosses over time exert a heavy toll on employees’ health,” says Jonathan D. Quick, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a co-author of the book “Preventive Stress Management in Organizations.” “The evidence is also clear that despite the rationalizations some leaders may use to defend their stress-inducing, unsupportive style, such behavior by leaders does not contribute to improved individual performance or organizational productivity.”

Research has linked having a lousy boss to an increased risk of heart attack, Quick said. Chronic stress that can result when someone must deal daily with a bad boss has been linked to high blood pressure, sleep problems and anxiety and is also associated with several unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive use of alcohol and overeating.

Read more…

Categories: Labor/Workers Tags:

Ebola conspiracy theories and the village idiot

October 18th, 2014 42 comments

ebola white house

Politico.com;

Along with the onslaught of news stories about Ebola have come the inevitable conspiracy theories, some half-baked and nonsensical and others thoroughly researched—laid out to reel in even reasonable folks.

 In one corner of the Internet, we learn that President Obama created the Ebola virus—or Obama-Ebola—to “infect the DNA of Christians and to destroy Jesus so that a New Age of Liberal Darkness can rise in America.” Obamacare, we are told, is the cover organization to find the cure, and the virus will infect all Americans in the next month.

Read more…

Categories: Extremists, General Tags:

Meet the new Ebola Czar

October 18th, 2014 2 comments

Everyone else had other jobs to do. Klain has a reputation for getting things done and being able to network. He understands policy.

Do we need an Ebola Czar? It probably wouldn’t hurt. Meanwhile, the jury is still out.

If I were a betting woman, I would bet that we temporarily suspend commercial air travel between Western African countries and the USA. What do you think?

Categories: General Tags: