Content Advisory

Content Advisory: Whereas: this blog occasionally employs "colorful language,"

may also occasionally contain implicit and explicit references to

tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, as well as sexuality,

and favors logic over dogma, any or all of which may offend some,

and whereas I may occasionally give disclaimers,

but I do NOT give "trigger warnings,"

therefore, be it resolved that: this blog is intended for mature readers.

However, this blog is not age-restricted.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taxpayer Subsidies for Wealthy Corporations?

From Jim Hightower's Commentaries:

The corporation rips off its huge workforce by paying poverty wages and no benefits, then directs the workers to the food stamp office and other government-funded safety-net programs. 

Read more:
Why are we subsidizing McDonald's?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Texas Abortion Limits Ruled Unconstitutional

From MSN News:

A federal judge says that Texas' abortion restrictions violate the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients.

AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge has determined that new Texas abortion restrictions violate the U.S. Constitution, a ruling that keeps open — at least for now — dozens of abortion clinics that were set to halt operations Tuesday had key parts of the law taken effect.

In a decision released Monday that the state is certain to appeal, District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote that the regulations requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital creates an undue obstacle to women seeking an abortion.

Read more:
Federal judge: Texas abortion limits unconstitutional

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gia'na t'Prell, Romulan Temporal Sciences -- The Prize, and the Price (Fan Fic)

As the room came back into focus, I found my balance and composed myself, breathing calmly, my eyes shutting out the light briefly, then darting around to take stock.

So many timelines.

Even "mirror" dimensions for all of them.

I am in the Prime again?  Everything seems to suggest that I am, but perhaps a few readings are in order.  Ship chronometer, check.  Sensors, check.  Crew compliment, check.  Duty officers?  Bridge officers?  Department Chiefs?  First, Second, Third Officers?  All check out.

Ship name?  Well, no, that changes too often.  Real name, code name, code name, real name, translation into thlIngan, translation into Aenglish, translation into Kolaric.  Temptress, Seduction, Seductress, Talon, Honor Blade, Tabadi, -- Empire, Republic, Federation, Syndicate ...

Even my own name, for that matter.  One day D'ian, another G'iana, another Di'on, or Gessatra, or G'Dessa, or Gessa, Charvon, Melani, Liviana, Gi'an, G'Pressa, Charvanek, Thea, t'Prell, T'Prell, ir'Virinat, the Succuba -- Tabadi, Agent, Operative, Spy, Saboteur, Asset, Medic, Doctor, Nurse, Ambassador, Entertainer, Researcher, Scientist, Engineer, Advisor, Governor, Adjutant, Colonist, Refugee, Prisoner, Diplomat, Bartender, Counselor, Commander, Technician, Captain, Ael'Riov, General, Vice Admiral, Lieutenant General, galae'Enriov, Praetor, Princess, Senator, Empress -- it all depends on the context of my mission.

At least one thing is certain.  I have the Memenda, the Honor Blade, the Sword of the Raptor Star, the Talon, the Lost Sword of S'harien, the Third Sword of S'task, whatever name one might give, the name failed to convey the awesome and terrible authority and responsibility which came as its companion.  The price of the prize.  Honor and Passion joined.  It sits here in my ready room.  I found it on Dewa-III, now ch'Mol'Rihan.  I retain custody of the Sword of the Raptor Star.  This custodianship is an honor, and my greatest passion.

The prize I sought was never the Enterprise.  No, I had my own vessels.  The Romulan Star Empire had superior vessels even then.  The Enterprise had to be scanned, however.

Hmm, yes.  Things to be learned from the vessel while it remains in our custody, after all.  From behind a temporal cloak, this time.  The Azure Nebula is filled with temporal anomalies, after all.  We shall appear as a T'Liss in place of the D7 off the starboard side of the Enterprise.

Enterprise.  Prize, Price.  I always arch a brow.  This curiosity of the Federation Standard Aenglish language had not eluded me before, and it will not elude me now.  But who was the trap, who the bait, who the trapper, who the trapped?  More to the point, who was the Prize, and what was the Price?

Spahkh, the First Officer, Chief Science Officer, whom they called "Spock."

He was my intended Prize.

Kirk, however, had other things in mind.

Kirk, the Captain of the Enterprise, sought the new cloaking device installed on my flagship, and all the ships in my fleet.

While I sought Spahkh's heart, Kirk plotted to obtain the cloaking device, leaving Spock as a decoy and distraction.

I had special Vulcan dishes prepared for Spahkh.  I served him Kali-fal.  I offered him a place with me in the Tal'Diann.  I whispered a secret in his ear.  I changed into more comfortable attire.  We began to make love.

There was an interruption.


I slapped him.

He appealed by demanding the right to the rite of statement.  I granted this.

He began defending himself to me.

Not to the Empire.

To me!

I interrupted.

He corrected me.

He resumed.

In the midst of this, his ship managed to lock on to him and beam him aboard, but I leapt into the transport beam with my arms around Spahkh.

That was my choice.

So is this.

When it was all over, and I was alone again with Spahkh, he stated that obtaining the cloaking device was his only motivation when he came aboard the Memenda.  The nuance in his vocalization, however, left room for something unsaid.  He had taught me already that omission of information did not constitute lying, to a Vulcan.  I had to be careful with my choice of words with this one, because other things were also excepted in the Vulcan sense of the idea.  His goal having been obtained, that is all he came away from the Talon with, I accused.  No, he countered me.  He said that I underestimated myself.

A challenge, and a surrender.

Well, Spahkh.  It will remain our secret, my prize, your heart, your price, my name -- and my heart.

He escorted me to my quarters aboard the Enterprise.

Somewhere, somewhen, I am certain he can sense the smile in my eyes ... and a chill in his heart ... and a thrill in his soul.

And I sit calmly watching, scanning, observing the timeline for any further deviations.  There have been too many already with these vessels and their crews, and here I am again, altering the timeline further by observing from yet another perspective.

But Spahkh's heart will remain my prize.  Not Nyota's.  Not Christine's.  Not T'Pring's.  Not Saavik's.    Not in this timeline.  This is my Prime Timeline, and I'll guard it.  My prize, my price.

[Author's note:  In case the reader is wondering exactly what this story is, check my commentary in this post:
Star Trek: The Original Series -- Digitally Remastered   ]

Star Trek Online is a registered trademark of CBS Studios Inc.. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
All Star Trek Online or Star Trek art, images, and lore are the property of CBS Studios Inc.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I Beg You to Quit Pretending

From Owning Pink:
Show us your imperfections. I dare you. ...

Will You Join Me?
Will you be brave enough to be yourself, to strip off at least some of your masks, to reveal to us who you really are?

Read more:
I Beg You to Quit Pretending

Tal'Diann Archive - Mission File : The Enterprise Incident - Introductory Material ((STO In Character file transfer from Romulan Military Intelligence))

faiihrir s'Tal'Diann

Shanaku rhae >
/ Pathal Faikarum 
- *~ The Enterprise Incident ~*
--- ch'R Memenda
--- Di'on Charvon (Liviana Charvanek akden, Ri-Fvillhu Thea akden), Riov ehrefvai s'galae'ch'Rihan


Irhihae'edh Aenglish rhae>

[ Begin translation - Federation Standard - Courtesy of the Tal'Diann of the New Romulan Republic ~

Enhance & Restart>

Tal'Diann Archive

Mission File
- *~ The Enterprise Incident ~*
--- I.R.W. Memenda ("Honor Blade")
                                         Code Name:  *~The Talon~*

--- Di'on Charvon (alias Liviana Charvanek, later Praetor Thea), Fleet Commander, Romulan Star Navy

In old style Terran reckoning, before the Federation Starfleet's Stardate had become the standard, the year 2268 (Stardate 5027.3) saw many interesting incidents.

Among them was a mission known in the Tal'Diann archive as "The Enterprise Incident."

Images and log file excerpt follow. 

The Imperial Romulan Warbird, Memenda ("Honor Blade"), Code Name:  "The Talon," arrives on the scene."

Riov Charvon in the Memenda confronts the Starfleet incursion.

A T'Liss Bird of Prey arrives on the scene off the starboard side, another Romulan D7 having decloaked on the port side of the intruding Starfleet vessel.
The Talon poised to take her prize, Riov Di'on Charvon ponders briefly.  "Log.  This captured Federation vessel is the famed Starfleet ship, NCC 1701, The U.S.S. Enterprise.  A prize indeed.  But ... Tal'Diann file on this ship and its captain is incomplete.  Some of the data suggests this vessel would not do such a thing without orders or a very good reason.  Why is this ship here?  Is Kirk the Commander of the vessel?  Why would the Federation's Flagship not only violate the Romulan-Federation Neutral Zone, but even intrude into Romulan Star Empire territory?  And a Vulcan First Officer. ... I shall have the ship's Commander, and First Officer, over for a chat.  End log."

~ End Federation Translation.  Tal'Diann Interstellar Language Department, Tal'Diann Archive ]
Hannam rhae>
/ This is the introduction of a file the Tal'Diann has begun declassifying and translating as part of the new spirit of openness during these early months of D'Tan's stewardship of the New Romulan Republic and its Senate  More will follow..
Shanaku sahhae>

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All Star Trek Online or Star Trek art, images, and lore are the property of CBS Studios Inc.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tal'Diann Recruiting Message (In-Character)

 Tal'Diann Recruiting Message

The Tal'Shiar is without honor.  Songs will be sung of those who stood cooly against them and defeated them in glorious battle, leaving a calm legacy of honor for the future.

Social Credibility, Honorable Ethic, and Passionate Virtues of the Orion People, the Klingon People, and the Romulan People.  These lofty ideals are alien to the psychopaths of the Tal'Shiar and their conditioned dupes.

Tal'Diann (Romulan Military Intelligence) is allied with the Orion Syndicate and the Klingon Empire.  Tal'Diann assets, agents, saboteurs, and spies are also KDF Intelligence operatives.  Give Vishka my regards.

Tal'Diann holds to the same lofty ideals of Social Credibility, Honrable Ethic, and Passionate Virtues of the Kolari, the thlIngan, and the Rihannsu.

Tal'Diann supports the Republic ch'Mol'Rihan, D'Tan, and the New Romulan Senate.

Under D'Tan's new policy of openness, Tal'Diann makes available the record of a mission undertaken by one of our own.

Riov Di'on Charvon was among Tal'Diann, and took a squadron of Klingon-manufactured D7 cruisers to answer an incursion into Rihan territory by what appeared to be a rogue UFP Starfleet vessel in a mission tagged by Tal'Diann as "The Enterprise Incident."

Those who seek to understand what a Rihan Intelligence community would be like without the psychoses of Tal'Shiar would do well to review the records of this incident.

Gessatra ir'Virinat t'Prell
Fleet Admiral,
Tal'Diann (Romulan Military Intelligence)
Vice Admiral,
Star Navy of the New Romulan Republic,

Klingon Defense Forces Intelligence,
Orion Syndicate Intelligence


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All Star Trek Online or Star Trek art, images, and lore are the property of CBS Studios Inc.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Belonging Is Important

From PsyBlog:

A new study finds that when social relationships provide an all important sense of belonging, people feel life has more meaning (Lambert et al., 2013).

Read more:
Sense of Belonging Increases Meaningfulness of Life

Interview with Marga Vicedo

From Advances in the History of Psychology:

The podcast series, New Books in Science, Technology, and Society (part of the New Books Network), has just released a new episode featuring an interview with Marga Vicedo on her recent book, The Nature and Nurture of Love: From Imprinting to Attachment in Cold War America ...

Read more:
Interview: Marga Vicedo on The Nature and Nurture of Love

New Book: The Nature and Nurture of Love

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bisexual Identity

From Washington Blade:

Bisexual women face unique challenges in both dating and advocacy within the LGBT community. Even the term bisexual itself is loaded and some women who others may consider bisexual prefer to identify in other terms due to negative connotations that are sometimes associated with bisexuality. ...

... Many bisexuals face stereotypes from both the heterosexual and the gay and lesbian community. ...

... The LGBT activist community often neglects to put bisexual women and men in the forefront. ...

Read more:
Bisexual women seek to define themselves

Let's Break Some Bisexual Myths

From Salon:
America still can’t accept Lady Gaga’s bisexuality — or anybody else’s

Record of Neanderthal Archaeology Rediscovered

From e!Science News:

A record of Neanderthal archaeology, thought to be long lost, has been re-discovered by NERC-funded scientists working in the Channel island of Jersey. The study, published today in the Journal of Quaternary Science, reveals that a key archaeological site has preserved geological deposits which were thought to have been lost through excavation 100 years ago.

Read more:
Archaeologists rediscover the lost home of the last Neanderthals

From BBC News:
Jersey's place in Neanderthal history revealed in study

Archaeologists find last Neanderthals at Le Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey

Fundamentalists and TERFs in an Unholy Alliance Attempting to Encourage a Hate Crime?

As covered in this recent post, a young Male-to-Female Transsexual student in a Colorado school was given permission to use the appropriate gender restroom (under a Colorado anti-discrimination law, one of the best, if not THE best, in the United States), and, according to initial investigations by a Trans* advocate (but see the fourth link under "Followups" below, in which the family of the child speaks up, as reported by the same Trans* advocate), one parent got their panties in a bunch over it after students and staff at the school did not react the way he or she had hoped, so he or she contacted an unethical and delusional group of fanatics to pass a false story on to national media outlets (again, information is emerging which suggests that the media and/or PJI may have taken this upon themselves, as noted in the fourth link under "Followups" below, but see also the original blog post linked at the beginning of this paragraph, in particular the transcript of the interview with the school's superintendent).

Although the story has been demonstrated to be false, and reported as such by Progressive news sites, the fanatics have, far from admitting wrongdoing and apologizing, increased their efforts, now apparently trying to encourage someone to commit a hate crime against this girl, and attempting to smear those who dare to speak the truth of the matter.

Read more at A.E. Brain:
Bearing False Witness - Continued

Followups from The Transadvocate:
GLAAD condemns fake “report” of harassment by transgender student

YOUR HELP REQUESTED: HRC condemns fake trans harassment charges, ex-gay group dodges my fact checking, family & friends open up

California signature gatherer caught lying to trick people into discriminating against trans children

Family of Colorado trans kid targeted by harassment hoax speaks up

PJI Has Wildly Varying Tones & Talking Points On Jane Doe & AB 1266

Followup from A.E. Brain:
Bearing False Witness - Part 3

Related (also from The Transadvocate):
Insidious: Extreme Pressures Faced by Trans People

Afterword from SuccubaSuprema:
I can only hope that Federal Law Enforcement takes action on this, and that Justice is done to the hate-mongering liars, while no harm comes to the young Trans-girl.

And, once again, for anyone who remains unaware of the fact that Transsexuality is a physical condition, and not some sort of psychosis, the evidence is available here.  For those who are not prepared to read peer-reviewed, scholarly and scientific journal articles (this is not license for Fundamentalist Religionists or Fundamentalist TERFs to ignore facts that contradict their sacred cow patties, however), this video might be more accessible.

Followup from Salon:
Anti-LGBTQ group admits it lied about transgender student “harassing” classmates

Followup from A.E. Brain:
Bearing False Witness - The Spectral Evidence of Violation and Rape

Related (from GLAAD):
Memo to media: ENDA includes gender identity

Update from The TransAdvocate:
Pueblo Chieftain: Florence School Board Upheld Superintendant Vendetti’s Report

Is This Why Stonehenge Was Built Where It Is?

From The Daily Mail:

... nearby pools which never froze over
  •     Warm spring is just walking distance from the stones
  •     They explain why mesolithic settlers were in the area
  •     Post ice-age wildlife would have flocked to the water

Read more:
'Stonehenge's secret revealed at last': Ice Age man was drawn nearby pools which never froze over

An Interesting Article on Star Trek

From The Good Men Project:

One Man’s Trek Through Male Friendship

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All Star Trek Online or Star Trek art, images, and lore are the property of CBS Studios Inc.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Republican lawmakers have engaged in 'massive resistance' to the Affordable Care Act.

I really do not like posting all this political stuff, but it's important to call people's attention to what's going on, who's doing it, and how it affects them.  All too frequently, it's also necessary to point out the information due to the ethical implications.

From MSN Money:

Henry Aaron, a renowned health care economist and senior fellow at think tank the Brooking Institute, compares the red state movement against Obamacare to the 1950s policy of "massive resistance," the name given to efforts by some politicians in the South to prevent black children from attending school with white students after the Supreme Court's landmark desegregation ruling. Indeed, a September survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 23 percent of adults want elected officials to try to make it fail.

"The idea that you have a duly passed law, confirmed by the courts, that is affecting tens of millions of people, and you have state officials doing everything in their power to block the enforcement of the law of the land," says Aaron, "is in the same corner of the box, so to speak, as a massive resistance." ...

The real losers in this fight may be the consumers who actually want health insurance in those states. They may have to pay higher prices for coverage, which some critics have blamed on lawmakers’ relinquishing control of the marketplace. And if constituents approach their state representatives with questions about the law, some Republican congressional representatives decline to answer. ...

Indeed, much of the obstructionist regulation has focused on blocking assistance for consumers -- either literally banning navigators from certain locations, as in Florida; creating other barriers, such requiring navigators to pay fees or obtain surety bonds; threatening to penalize navigators who go beyond their job capacity; or requiring the navigators to undergo additional tests and training.

Read more:
Obamacare: It's a different law in red states

Friday, October 18, 2013

Journal of the History of the Neurosciences - New Issue Available

From Advances in the History of Psychology:

The fall 2013 issue of the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences is now online.  Included in this issue are articles on the research into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep in the 1960s, investigations of animal electricity by Alexander von Humboldt (above), and the academic status of neurobiology in Argentina in the 1920s, among others. ...

Read more (and get the link to the new issue) here.

The Bridge of the R.R.W. Di'on Charvon

A few ScreenShots of the bridge of the R.R.W. Di'on Charvon, a Tulwar Dreadnought Warbird commanded by my Romulan character in Star Trek Online, Vice Admiral Gessatra ir'Virinat t'Prell, Fleet Admiral of Tal'Diann.  Click the images to view larger.

Description of the shot above:
Subcommander Hiven (Chief Medical Officer, a Romulan man rescued from a Tal'Shiar holding cell where he was placed for speaking his mind) is standing to the right of the seated Vice Admiral.  Somewhat behind him, at a console, stands Subcommander Veril (Chief Engineer, a young Reman woman rescued from a combined Tal'Shiar/Elachi attack on her home colony).  To the left of and slightly behind the seated Vice Admiral stands Subcommander Tovan Khev (First Officer and Chief Tactical Officer, a young Romulan man about the same age as the Vice Admiral, and one of her childhood friends from the colony of Virinat, who escaped the Tal'Shiar/Elachi attack on Virinat with Gessatra).  Standing at a console in front and slightly to the left of the First Officer is Subcommander D'Vex (Chief of Operations, an older Romulan man, also from the colony of Virinat, captured by Elachi during the unprovoked attack on Virinat, and later freed from a stasis pod aboard an Elachi station).  On the raised landing to the rear of the bridge are two other young Romulan women;  behind and above the Chief Engineer, Subcommander Satra (Chief Science Officer, a refugee from yet another unprovoked Tal'Shiar/Elachi attack on yet another Romulan colony who had taken refuge among the Suliban and volunteered to join Gessatra's crew) stands concealed behind her console, and behind and above the Chief of Operations stands Subcommander Aeris (Chief of Security, offered as a potential recruit for Gessatra's bridge crew by Raenasa ch'Mol'Rihan, the New Romulus Command Center), partially obscured by her console.  The portal at the top of the stairs leads to the combined Ship's Captain's Ready Room (in this case, the Ship's Captain is Vice Admiral t'Prell) and Thalaron Generator Housing.

I am stating for character development purposes that Gessatra and Tovan are in their early 30s (in Human terms, although they are older chronologically, since the Romulan lifespan is longer than that of a Human), Hiven is in his mid 30s, Veril and Aeris are in their mid 20s, Satra is in her late 20s, and D'Vex is in his mid 40s.  Not shown here are several other members of Gessatra's Bridge Officer crew, including a Reman male (whose age I can't determine, although I would say he is probably no older than D'Vex), three more Romulan females (all in their 20s, I believe), and two Orion females (somewhere in the age range of 25-35 for each of these two), because everyone needs to sleep occasionally.

At the start of their careers (or rather, when I first started playing Gessatra), the time period was a few years before 2409 (the current year in Star Trek Online).  How many years, I'm not sure (nor do I recall any definite statement from the game's developers as to the precise length of time between the first mission of the Legacy of Romulus "season" and the standard "current game time" in STO (which has been the year "2409" for over three real-world years now).  However, the first mention of "Mol'Rihan" in the official chronology is from the year 2408, and this, it is said, refers to what was previously known as "Nova Roma" (a poor choice for name, for a number of reasons), a planet first mentioned in the official chronology in the year 2394.  "Nova Roma" cannot, however, be the planet now known by the name "Mol'Rihan" (more properly, "euhre ch'Mol'Rihan," literally "planet of [the] New Romulans"), as this planet was discovered after the Tal'Shiar and Elachi began attacking Romulan and Reman colony worlds, and the discovery was made by explorers from the newly formed "Romulan Republic," led by D'Tan and the Senate of the New Romulan Republic, whereas "Nova Roma" was chosen as the new site for the government of the Romulan Star Empire under the leadership of the Imperial Romulan Senate after the destruction of euhre ch'Rihan (the planet Romulus) due to the Hobus supernova.  I conclude based on this evidence that the beginning of the Legacy of Romulus "season" in STO had to be no more than 10 years before the current date, and (if the chronology isn't changed at some point in the future in order to make it more consistent with the idea that the start of Legacy of Romulus was in the past), possibly as recent as the end of 2408 or in the early months of 2409.  For the backstory of my character, though, I'm inclined to say that the attack on Virinat took place three years before the current date (which would put the attack in 2406), and that euhre ch'Mol'Rihan was discovered by the New Romulan Republic's explorers (among whom were included Gessatra and her crew) at the beginning of 2409.

The viewscreen shows ouahh ch'Mol'Rihan (the New Romulus system) from orbit around euhre ch'Mol'Rihan (the planet of the New Romulans, or "New Romulus"), which is the violet-ish planet in the foreground.  Note the two suns in the system.

A closeup of the Captain's chair and surrounding area.

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My Dream Axe

The Rickenbacker 350SH Limited Signature Edition (click to view image in original size)

Inspired and signed by Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, as shown in this link.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Government Shutdown Over, Default Averted, Debt Ceiling Raised

From CBS News:

Senate passes bill to end shutdown, avert default; House to follow

House Passes Bill to End Shutdown, Obama to Sign

SuccubaSuprema writes:  Watching the vote being taken in the House of Representatives (on C-Span, because I'm not the only person in the house and the other person was insistent on watching the actual vote), I could not help but notice that every vote against this was cast by a Republican.  This intransigence is due to a fallacy named variously "Bifurcation Fallacy," "Black-and-White Thinking," and "False Dilemma" (among other less common names), about which (and related matters) I am still working on a somewhat lengthy post.  Fortunately, some members of that party behaved responsibly and voted for it.


Central to the Topic

CBS News:
Congress ends shutdown, averts default, but at what cost?

There's a little pork in that bill: The 5 most surprising provisions in the debt deal

SuccubaSuprema writes:  Most of this "pork" is not even remotely controversial.

Also from CNN:
Republican congressman: It was worth the fight

SuccubaSuprema writes:  Come back from Lala-Land, Representative Mulvaney.  The real world is calling you (and all the other "Republican" Representatives and Senators who voted against an end to the shutdown) to pull your head out of your behind and face the simple fact that you're out of touch and in denial.  Nobody wants this childish kind of nonsense except Far Right Wing Extremists, of whom there are fortunately far fewer than you seem to believe.

Then again ...

Ted Cruz Admits Budget Standoff Was All About Building Fundraising Lists

SuccubaSuprema writes:  Maybe the shutdown is seen by those Far Right Wing Extremists who raised funds in excess of $1 million as a result of the stunt as "worth" the so-called "fight," but what about the damage done to the rest of the nation (and the public relations disaster for the Republican Party which is now suffering low approval ratings), and the economic costs?  Clearly, non-patriotic opportunism is alive and well in the 21st century.

The New York Times:
Republicans Back Down, Ending Crisis Over Shutdown and Debt Limit

Hands Empty but Spirit Unbowed, House Republicans Take Stock

The Washington Post:
Who voted against the Senate bill to end the government shutdown?

The Blaze:
U.S. House Passes Budget Deal, (Almost) Ending Shutdown – How Did Your Rep. Vote?

Jim Hightower's Commentaries:
A Congress of comics: Laugh 'til it hurts

The Huffington Post:
Michele Bachmann: Government Reopening Is 'A Very Sad Day'

Talking Points Memo:
Conservatives Learned The Wrong Lessons From The Shutdown Debacle


NBC News:
Poll: Amid shutdown, Republican falls further behind in race for Va. governor

The New York Times:
Calling America: Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello?

Voters’ Anger Over Shutdown Is Inspiring Democrats to Run


The GOP’s Alamo:  Republicans are wasting no time in rewriting the history of their own defeat.

SuccubaSuprema writes:  This is hardly surprising, as it fits the pattern of behavior the Far Right Wing Extremists have demonstrated repeatedly.  The story is, however, worth reading, because Knowledge Is Power.  Even more outrageous, though, is this next claim, picked up by The New Civil Rights Movement.

The New Civil Rights Movement:
Michele Bachmann Explains How Shutdown Ended: ‘Republicans Were The Adults In The Room’

SuccubaSuprema writes:  Come again?  David Badash (the author of the article) summed it up rather nicely:  "Michele Bachmann‘s grasp on reality is getting weaker by the day. ... Let’s remember for a moment that the Tea Party is who created the shutdown and brought our nation to the brink of default."


CBS News:
Government shutdown, debt ceiling vote interrupted by House stenographer

US News & World Report:
House Stenographer Dragged From House Floor During Shutdown Vote

ABC News:
House Stenographer Credits ‘Holy Spirit’ for Her Rant Against Congress

SuccubaSuprema writes:  The Supreme Council of the 33° of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the SMJ has a nice F.A.Q. page which should dispel at least some of the assertions of the woman in question (of course, the reader will have to be rational if he or she seeks the truth, and part of being rational means letting go of bias, unwarranted assumptions, and paranoid propaganda).

Disclaimer:  many of the men in my family are (or were before they passed from this life) Freemasons, and several of the women in my family are members of the Order of the Eastern Star (as I once was myself before I stopped paying my dues because I had little time to be active) and/or other Auxiliary Bodies;  some will see this as cause for an allegation of vested interest, while others will recognize that I might actually know a little something about the organizations in question from first- and second-hand experience, rather than bias based on whispered rumors or shouted scare tactics invented by enemies of liberty.  Note, however, that I do not claim to speak for Freemasonry (no woman can be a Mason in a regular, legitimate Lodge or Masonic Body) nor any of its Auxiliary Bodies (some legitimate Auxiliary Bodies admit women as well as men, and some are for women only).  I certainly make no claim of speaking for every individual member of one of these legitimate groups, since some of the members may not be representative of the ideals of the organizations.  I myself am not representative of the ideals of the Order of the Eastern Star, which is a very definitely Christian organization, whereas I later became a traditional polytheist (which is another reason I stopped being active and subsequently stopped paying my dues);  note, however, that most legitimate Masonic and Auxiliary Bodies are non-sectarian to the point of not requiring affiliation with any particular religion or espousing any dogma apart from belief in some "Supreme Being" (specifics are left up to the individual to decide for him/herself) and the immortality of the human soul.  I simply point to sources of true information on the subject, in an effort to counter lies.

Oh, look. Some BIGOT(S) has/have decided to LIE in an effort to promote HATRED

From A.E.Brain:

Here's the story - a hoax, a malicious libel, deliberately designed to persecute one particular child.

A male student at Florence High School who claims to be a transgender has been harrassing girls in the bathroom......

No interviews. No sources, other than the Pacific Justice Institute. The same group that has lodged formal objections to teaching in science class that the Earth orbits the Sun as that contradicts Scripture, thereby "creating a hostile environment for those of faith".

The same group that objected to students being taught in biology class that Clownfish change sex, as that "goes against the family values of the majority". ...
Partial transcript of testimony by the school superintendent:

"VENDETTI: "Nothing has actually been verified with us. This is one parent basically bringing their viewpoint about this situation to the media because they weren't getting the responses that they hoped they would get from the district, from parents of students at the high school, or from the board and myself. So I think it's just an attempt to elevate the situation to a point where maybe some more attention can be drawn to that in the hope of having a different outcome. But to our knowledge and based on our investigation, none of those things have actually happened. We do have a transgender student at the high school and she has been using the women's restroom. There has not been a situation." ...

In view of one student's claim that the trans student has been a victim of cyberstalking -

"As a Christian girl who attends FHS, I'd just like to say that I've never been harassed by this individual not have I ever seen him harass anyone else. He's actually shy and a nice person. Do I think he should be able to use the girls bathroom? I'm torn. He either uses our bathroom and makes MAYBE 30% of the girls uncomfortable, or he uses the boy's restroom and gets beat up. I don't feel uncomfortable by him. Also, there are a lot of holes in this story. No parents initially complained. There was a mass Facebook message that included 150+ students and parents, outing him publicly. It was such a big deal, all electronic devises were confiscated if seen that day. THEN it was a problem and parents complained. This boy wasn't treated fairly. As a Christian, I had to put the truth out there. He didn't hurt or harass anyone."

And another student's claim of the trans girl being a victim of physical violence -

I am a girl at the school and a friend of the girl in question. I have to say that she is awesome!
There are a few problems that the principal isn't mentioning. I think they always like to cover things up?
She has been both physically and verbally threatened by some of the boys. They can be pretty scary. And the girls can say some hateful things. But it's much less than half.
More than anything she just wishes everyone would quit talking about her.

Police involvement is appropriate.

Read more:
Bearing False Witness - a Chronology

SuccubaSuprema writes:

You'll note that Zoe (who owns the A.E.Brain blog) has pointed out that the story is falling apart, as female students from the school come forward to speak the truth of the story and show the claim to be a lie and the school's Superintendent explaining how this lie got started.  Zoe has provided links to her sources.  The original, sensationalistic claim (Appeal to Prejudice is not only a logical fallacy, but also a technique used in propaganda) from the Religious Reich, on the other hand, did not.

See also:
Fox Nation Touts Fake Story about Transgender Student Harassing Girls in School Bathroom
... where you will find the link to the full voice interview with the Florence-Penrose School District Superintendent, Rhonda Vendetti.


Update from The Transadvocate:
Anti-gay activist group admits trans school “harassment” is fake


Followup from A.E. Brain:

Bearing False Witness - Continued

Further Update from This Blog (any additional followups will be added to this second post on the story):
Fundamentalists and TERFs in an Unholy Alliance Attempting to Encourage a Hate Crime?

An Assessment of the US House of Representatives' Current Climate

From Jim Hightower's Commentaries:

Whacking yourself on the head with a ballpeen hammer would be stupid. But doing it again and again – that's insane.

Welcome to your US House of Representatives, presently led by a pack of tea party Republicans. They are so crazed by Obamacare that they repeatedly hammer themselves over the head with it, having voted 46 times (so far) to dismantle, defund, delay, deny, and otherwise destroy this landmark health care bill – all to not avail. ...
... Even the Senator from Oz, Ted Cruz, understood that the program had to be aborted before it was born. It will be so loved, Cruz candidly conceded (as he desperately tried to suffocate Obamacare with a painfully-long filibuster), that the public will be "hooked" on it for the long haul. ...

Read more:
GOP unhinged by Obamacare

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wiltshire Museum to Display 500 Stonehenge-Era Relics at a New Facility

Although The Daily Mail headline is grossly misleading (and I won't go into all the reasons why), the substance of the article is:

Britain's greatest treasures from the mysterious golden Age of Stonehenge are to go on permanent display for the first time ever.

This will be the largest collection of Early Bronze Age gold ever put on public display. ...

They will be displayed in the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, 15 miles north of Stonehenge, is exhibiting 500 Stonehenge period objects, including 30 pieces of gold treasure which have rarely been seen by the public before ...

'Many of the items may well have been worn by Bronze Age priests and chieftains as they worshipped inside Stonehenge itself,' said Mr [David] Dawson.

Dawson is described elsewhere in the article as Director of the Wiltshire Museum.  The article also features many exciting photographs.

Read more here.

Cinderella - Bad Seamstress Blues / Fallin' Apart at the Seams

Blues is categorized according to two main groups, Country Blues (sometimes called "Acoustic Blues," the best-known sub-group of Country Blues is Delta Blues) and City Blues (or "Big City Blues").  The distinction is made primarily by how elaborate the artist or group is.  A Country Blues piece may be done by a solo artist or two or more artists, with a small number of instruments, primarily the acoustic guitar (often played with a slide made of a bottleneck or even an improvised slide such as the back of a closed jackknife) and frequently accompanied by a "Blues Harp" (a type of harmonica).  A City Blues piece typically has electric guitar, drum set, and other instruments.

While many fans of Metal in the 1980s seemed to assume that Blues influence on Metal was never stronger, that contention is debatable.  Beginning by the 1960s, Rock artists began to make use of inspiration from both Country Blues and City Blues.  The Yardbirds, Cream, Led Zeppelin (yes, Led Zeppelin were around in the '60s), The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix are well-known examples.  Eric Clapton even covered "Crossroads Blues," originally written, performed, and recorded by Robert Johnson, sometimes known as "King of the Delta Blues Singers."  In the 1970s, Hard Rock was heavily influenced by Blues, and late '60s / early '70s Acid Rock included a strain that might be better named "Acid Blues."  About the middle of the '80s, however, Metal artists began to seriously study the roots of some of their predecessors (of whom the most influential were probably Led Zeppelin), and went back to those strong Blues roots.  One of the best examples of Blues Metal from the late '80s, the medley performed in the video below demonstrates clearly the influence of Country Blues on the Metal of the period.