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Open Thread………………………………..May 1

Glastonbury Tor at sunrise on Beltane
Glastonbury Tor at sunrise on Beltane

May 1 is significant to people in and around the United Kingdom because  of Celtic folk lore.  Many people celebrate Beltane, or a spring fertility ritual.   Americans tend to celebrate May Day.  That custom has sort of gone the way of the high button shoes.

Regardless, May 1 is a time of great merry-making, especially among the young.

EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 30: Beltane Fire Society performers celebrate the coming of summer by participating in the Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill April 30, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The event celebrates the ending of winter and is a revival of the ancient Celtic and Pagan festival of Beltane, the Gaelic name for the month of May. The festival was first organized in the mid 1980's. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images)
Young stags romp

Disruptive protest: No place in a civilized society

Towleroad.com:

Anti-LGBT Bible-bearing Christians entered Target stores in Tennessee, Illinois, and Oregon this week telling customers they need to repent for shopping there because of the transgender bathroom policy.

Says the man:

“Target this is your wake up call. The Bible says that from the beginning God made them male and female. He didn’t make them transvestites. He made them male and female…Target, this is your warning. You will be judged according to God’s standards. Not man’s, but God’s…You need to repent…You will be judged. And if there are Christians in here, supporting this abomination, shame on you! … But you justify this place. You have to stand by the bathrooms because perverts can go in there. Because transvestites allowed.”

The customers aren’t amused, many of them telling him to “shut up and leave.”

In Bradley, Illinois one of these “Christians” put a mall on lockdown and prompted a massive police response because store shoppers thought the man was an “active shooter”….

So is this what it has come to? This dude obviously doesn’t understand the difference in transgender and transvestite. I seriously doubt that I would be able to detect a transvestite in the bathroom.

It is obviously anyone’s own choice whether to shop at Target or not. If you dislike their policy, write them, tell them, and go elsewhere. No one has the right to go in a store and disrupt the shopping experience for others.

I might also add this is how I feel about political gatherings. No candidate should have to hop a fence to go speak. A rally is not the time to act out, throw objects at cops and disrupt society. We are a nation of laws and not thugs. We aren’t a banana republic.

What if you don’t like the candidate? Protest peacefully or stay home. Political rallies cost the taxpayer a fortune anyway. Let’s not pile on more because of disruptive, criminal behavior.

This “Operation Rescue” approach to politics and ideas we don’t like is just un-American.

 

Trump becomes presumptive nominee of the GOP

Trump has won Indiana.  Ted Cruz has dropped out of the race. Kasich is still in but has no chance of winning.

Where does that leave the Republican Party?  Has Trump changed the face of the traditional GOP?

The pundits and talking heads have gone wild.  The Trumpites have been seen as the usurpers and the new face of what defines a Republican.  Supposedly they want change and feel that ‘the establishment” has been unresponsive to them.

I don’t have an opinion at this point.  I am just sitting back and watching the circus.

Your opinion, por favor.  What is this phenomena?  Has Trump replaced what we normally think of as the GOP?

Israeli killer goes to prison for life

ben david

Washingtonpost.com:

 The ringleader of a group that kidnapped and burned alive a Palestinian teenager two years ago — a revenge killing that shocked many here because of its savagery — was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison plus 20 years.

Yosef Haim Ben-David was convicted of murder and kidnapping last month. Ben-David, 32, the owner of an eyewear shop in Jerusalem, lived in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. He is married with a young daughter and is the son of an ultra-
Orthodox rabbi.

The killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014 was part of a summer of violence that contributed to the war between Israel and the Islamist militant movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Before his sentence was read in court Tuesday evening, Ben-David made a brief statement. “I apologize for what happened,” he said. “I ask forgiveness of the family for all that happened.”

Ben-David said he had served as a volunteer for one of the emergency response teams that assist ambulance crews at the scenes of accidents and attacks. “I attended to both Jewish and Arab bodies,” he said. “I always considered the human form and respect for the dead to be holy.”

Good.  Ben-David did a horrible, evil deed.  His country, Israel,  found him, tried him,  found him guilty and sentenced him to prison for killing a Palestinian youth.   He is getting what he deserves.   Can we safely assume that when Palestinians  kill Jews their country will hunt them down, prosecute and sentence them to prison with equal vigor?  That doesn’t seem to be happening.

 

Indiana: Home of the gay Doritos

Rainbow-Doritos

Huffingtonpost.com:

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Wednesday that bans what he called “gay colors” to be worn by boys in public elementary and secondary schools in the state

Pence referred to pink, chartreuse, teal and magenta, in particular, as “gateway colors” for young boys who might have an inclination toward homosexuality.

“Governor Pence believes that if boys wear clothes with colors traditionally worn by young girls, this can cause gender confusion for the boy,” said Hugh Strait, a spokesman for the governor.

Pence’s announcement comes as the state prepares for Tuesday’s presidential primary.

 

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Virginia Republican Convention: WTF?

corey2

Washingtonpost.com:

 Supporters of Ted Cruz dominated a slate of delegates that Virginia Republicans chose Saturday at their state convention, further demonstrating the Texas senator’s mastery of the delegate-selection process.

Of the 13 national delegates picked by party activists here, 10 are Cruz supporters and three support Donald Trump. The tally represents the biggest chunk up for grabs of the 49 total delegates who will represent the state at the national convention in Cleveland this summer.

Despite bruising primary ­losses around the country, Cruz is betting that Trump will not make it to the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the party’s nomination, and he is working to woo delegates who would be loyal to him at a brokered convention.

Cruz came in a distant third in Virginia in the March 1 primary but had enough supporters among the 2,610 party activists who filled an arena at James Madison University on Saturday to win critical delegates.

 

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Lucifer in the flesh

 

CNN.com:

Washington (CNN)Former House Speaker John Boehner called Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” in a withering interview at Stanford University published Thursday.

In it, he repeated many of the same attacks he used last month while calling on his successor, Paul Ryan, to seek the Republican nomination.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner told Stanford’s David Kennedy, a history professor emeritus, according to the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Boehner also said he was “texting buddies” with GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and friends with former House colleague and fellow Ohioan, John Kasich.
Cruz was a thorn in Boehner’s side when Boehner was Speaker of the House. Between Cruz and  Tea Party Republicans, Boehner threw in the towel.  He is rumored to have called them all jackasses and probably a lot of other things.
How many mainstream Republicans feel like John Boehner does?  What exactly is a mainstream Republican?
I am of the mindset that those who feel betrayed really don’t understand the meaning of compromise.  No one party usually gets it own way on everything.
lucifer

Georgia O’Keefe, Michigan schools and vaginas

 

okeefe

Washingtonpost.com:

Any serious discussion of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work is bound to touch upon her provocative use of feminine imagery.

The great American painter is celebrated not only for her renditions of Southwestern landscapes and New York skyscrapers, but also for her iconic, colorful flowers. Despite repeated denials by the artist prior to her death 30 years ago, critics have long held that those flowers were overt allusions to female genitalia.

Allison Wint, a substitute teacher at a middle school in Battle Creek, Mich., told the Detroit Free Press that she was hoping to provoke a thoughtful dialogue about historical interpretations of O’Keeffe’s work on Friday when she used the word “vagina” during a discussion with eighth graders.

Now, Wint claims that the verbal reference to female anatomy — a word she freely admits to having used — has cost her a job at Harper Creek Middle School.

“Yes, I did say that word; however, I was saying it in the context of art history,” she told CBS affiliate WWMT. “I wasn’t being vulgar.”

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Skeptical justices hear McDonnell case

Washingtonpost.com:

Supreme Court justices on Wednesday seemed prepared to overturn the 2014 corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and perhaps make it harder for prosecutors to bring charges against politicians who provide favors for their benefactors.

Justices on both sides of the ideological divide expressed concern about federal corruption laws that could criminalize what they variously called “routine” or “everyday” actions that politicians perform for campaign contributors or supporters who have provided them with gifts.

“For better or for worse, it puts at risk behavior that is common,” said Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who along with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. suggested that the federal corruption laws are so vague that they might be unconstitutional.

Aspergers man charged with child porn

 

 

NBCWashington.com:

A Virginia man who has Asperger’s syndrome spent four days in jail after being indicted for downloading child pornography, but his grandparents told News4 he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong.
The time 27-year-old Mikey Dejerolme spent in jail in Stafford County left him shell-shocked, his grandparents said, and he emerged acting like a 6-year-old.
“About the third night there, he did not think he was going to make it out,” said his grandmother, Nina Dejerolme. ”He’s not very forthcoming with emotion but that night he told me goodbye and I love you.”
Now he often won’t let go of his grandmother’s hand.

Nina and Tony Dejerolme, who raised Mikey Dejerolme since he was a toddler, think charges should not have been filed.
In April 2015, deputies knocked on their door. They found child porn on Mikey Dejerolme’s computer.

His grandparents said they’ve determined he followed a peer-to-peer link while downloading music. While he is intellectually bright, he is like a 12-year-old emotionally, his grandparents said.
“I explained to Mikey that was bad what he did and it’s illegal and he can’t do that,” Tony Dejerolme said.
Ohio Victim May Have Been Target of Facebook Threat
“I made a mistake in having those [pictures] on there,” Mikey Dejerolme told News4. “I didn’t like them.”

This situation is absurd.  Charges need to be dropped.   Sadly, this could happen to anyone.  Mikey is 12 emotionally.  12 year olds are curious.  How many pre-adolescents get into unsavory stuff on the internet and take a good look because they are curious?    Mikey should be treated as though he were 12.  Charges should be dropped and the grandparents will monitor his computer activities.

Why waste the tax payers money prosecuting this young man?

Speaking of Bob McDonnell….

Washingtonpost.com:

Along with the state officials and law professors who are happy that the Supreme Court this week is reviewing the corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, add inmate No. 24775-001 at the federal prison in Oakdale, La.

He is otherwise known as Don E. Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, whom many of those same people supported when the justices decided — twice — that his conviction did not warrant an extended review.

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McAuliffe restores voting rights to felons


 

In a nutshell:

Washingtonpost.com:

McAuliffe’s restoration of voting rights will apply to former nonviolent and violent offenders. Anyone who has been convicted of a felony and has completed his sentence and been released from supervised probation or parole is eligible. The new voting rights apply to felons convicted in another state and living in Virginia.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe will allow more than 200,000 ex-cons in Virginia to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election, one of the biggest actions taken by a state to instantly restore voting rights.

The change applies to all felons who have completed their sentences and been released from supervised probation or parole. The Democratic governor’s decision particularly affects black residents of Virginia: 1 in 4 African Americans in the state has been permanently banned from voting because of laws restricting the rights of those with convictions.

“Once you have served your time and you’ve finished up your supervised parole. . .I want you back as a full citizen of the commonwealth,” McAuliffe said. “I want you to have a job. I want you paying taxes, and you can’t be a second-class citizen.”

The governor called the instant restoration of rights to these Virginians the natural next step to his incremental streamlining of a process that has already given 18,000 nonviolent felons their rights back. With the signing of Friday’s executive order, McAuliffe eliminated the need for an application for violent felons who had completed their sentences up to that moment.

 

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“Damaged masculinity,” guns, and mass shootings

There were 374 mass shootings in 2015, according the crowd-sourced database Mass Shooting Tracker. Watch this motion graphic and hear the 911 calls to get a complete picture of the human toll. (Gillian Brockell,Julio Negron/The Washington Post)

What was Eric Harris of Columbine notoriety without his killing instruments?  His journals give us insight into his mind.

Washingtonpost.com:

Harris was born with a birth defect in his leg. He also had a chest deformity that required surgeries just before high school. He had a noticeable, sunken chest. His hopes to follow his father into the military — to be a tough guy, a Marine — were likely to be unrealized.

Guns, he reasoned, could give him power and control.

“I am (expletive) armed,” he wrote in his journal. “I feel more confident, stronger, more Godlike.”

What was he without guns?

“The weird looking Eric kid,” Harris wrote.

Read More

School board to re-write school naming and renaming policy

Bristowbeat.com:

Prince William School Board members are considering a policy change to change how schools are named or renamed.

The agenda item is a response to the renaming of Godwin Middle School. There was no regulation to guide the board through that process as  regulation 854-1 does not mention anything about renaming schools.

It does dictates how to name a new school or facility, saying community committees must be formed. Those committees present their recommendations to the school board, and the school board then names the schools by majority vote.

Wednesday, Gainesville school board member Alyson Satterwhite asked the board to extend the regulation to include the renaming existing schools and facilities.

“I felt like we needed to put something into policy, so if a renaming came up again, we would have a policy to follow.”

School Board members all agreed with Satterwhite that the community should be involved in any future school renamings, but some went a step further, suggesting other changes to the regulation as well.

Good on the school board for having this discussion, even though it is too little too late.  Their ineptitude last March caused irreparable fractures and damage  in our community.  However, the time to move on upon us.  How do we go forward?

Several members suggested that schools should not be named after living people.  Good idea.  It becomes a popularity contest.  Ms. Jessie disagreed, saying that the school would have never been named for Fannie Fitzgerald had the rule been written policy  that only the deceased could be considered.  How nice that Ms. Fitzgerald knew she had been honored.  She and the other 3 black teachers who were the trailblazers when PWC schools integrated  absolutely should be remembered for their bravery.

Another board member suggested that schools not be named for people at all.  Still another strongly urged the board to consider people closely tied to the education community.

The discussion has begun.  The community needs to give the school board their thoughts and direction.  There was merit in most of the comments I read.

The topic that was omitted was how to decide to rename schools.  That should be an important consideration and I suspect it will become the 2000 pound  elephant in the room.  I say we do not rename schools.  Should a compelling need arise, we need to do it with dignity and honor.  There was no point in the dishonor that was heaped on Mills Godwin.  It was inexcusable.

Where do we go from here and how do we a avoid the Godwin debacle in the future?

 

Bathrooms: What’s all the hoopla about?

 

 

pee 2

Why do politicians involve themselves in these issues?

If a girl becomes a boy, unless he has had surgery, he can’t use the urinal.  Therefore, he goes into the stall.  The door is closed, what’s the issue?

If a boy becomes a girl,  then she goes into the girls’ room where there are stalls with doors.  There are no urinals.  Close the door, do your business and leave.  No politician needs to be involved.

If we are speaking of school environment, if the Moon-Howler solution doesn’t work, then build a unisex bathroom with a single stall.  One at a time.  Mission accomplished.

We don’t need 500 rules to govern bathrooms.

For people who want less government interference, the Republicans in North Carolina have really out-done themselves in the invasion department.

elephant pee