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It was at this point that the authors of the Declaration of Independence said...oh boy. Now what? Or maybe they didn't. The point is, enjoy the continuation of your four-day weekend, and here are some links.
  • Friday was the Earth's annual aphelion day! What is aphelion day, you ask? Excellent question, especially because I love etymologies. It comes from the Greek apo, meaning, "away from," and helios, which (of course) means "sun." And it's the day that the Earth is at its furthest distance from our star in its annual orbit:
    At 9 a.m. PDT on Friday, the Earth was more than 94.5 million miles from the sun -- the farthest away it will get from our life-giving star for the entire year.

    At that time we were about 1.5 million miles farther from the sun than the Earth's average distance of 93 million miles, according to

    The Earth moves in a lopsided elliptical orbit as it travels around the sun. That orbit takes it closer to the sun during the Northern Hemisphere's winter, and farther from the sun during our summer. The Earth will next reach is closest point to the sun -- perihelion -- on Jan. 2, 2014.

    I don't think I need to tell you what peri means in Greek, do I? Good.
  • I could be wrong, but I don't think calling for a return to the era of gas chambers is ever a good idea. The Attorney General of Missouri, however, disagrees.
    Intent on moving forward with scheduled executions at any price, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said this week he would resort to the gas chamber while other methods are tied up in court battle.

    Koster’s comments are the latest move to push forward executions, as litigation over the humanity of lethal injections using the anesthetic propofol continues. Koster dismissed concerns over the cruelty of reviving the gas chamber in an exchange with The Associated Press, saying, “The premeditated murder of an innocent Missourian is cruel and unusual punishment. The lawful implementation of the death penalty, following a fair and reasoned jury trial, is not.”

    I'll bet he considers himself pro-life and what not.
  • Dominionist author David Lane is calling for martyrdom in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in the Windsor case that struck down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act. Because the fact that gay people can now get married is somehow equivalent to being fed back to the lions in the good old Coliseum days.
    The only America that actually exists is one in which "marriage" includes same-sex couples and women have a Constitutional right to kill their babies. To be faithful, Christian witness must be witness against America.

    God has his winnowing fork in his hand, and he's ready to use it. There's likely to be a lot of chaff, blown away like mist. But there will be a harvest. We're being sent into an oven, but Jesus will crush the grain of the harvest so that, baked in the fire of the Spirit, it will become bread for the life of the world.

    Bringing back gas chambers...being sent into ovens...can they just make it stop?
  • Courtesy of the New York Times, you now know more about deer contraception than you ever did before. Or at least, you will if you follow through on the link.
  • I've been saying this for a long time. Spiders are misunderstood creatures. People keep blaming them for all the infections, insect bites, and poison oak rashes they get. But it's simply not the case:
    The vast majority of "spider bites" are caused by something else, research shows. One study Vetter cited found that of 182 Southern California patients seeking treatment for spider bites, only 3.8 percent had actual spider bites, while 85.7 percent had infections.

    And a national study found that nearly 30 percent of people with skin lesions who said they had a spider bite actually had methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. Other things that can cause symptoms that mimic spider bites include biting fleas or bedbugs, allergies, poison oak and poison ivy, besides various viral and bacterial infections, Vetter said.

    Vindicated, at last. And so are the spiders.
  • An excellent essay by Ira Chernus on patriotism and conservatism.
  • Let's review the last couple of columns by David Brooks, shall we? The one published on June 27 was titled "A nation of mutts" and it expressed some handwringing about how America will no longer be an outpost of Europe, but an eponymous "nation of mutts." He then followed that up with this:
    It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.
    Paging the ombudsman! Cleanup in the op-ed aisle!
  • Did you know that in California, it takes a two-thirds supermajority for most local tax measures for schools and infrastructure to get voter approval? At the Los Angeles Times, George Skelton says it's high time to change that. Thankfully, the Democrats in the legislature couldn't agree more.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sometimes there are no words one can add (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pixxer, Pam from Calif, JML9999

    all I can do is tell you to follow the link.  It will become clear why.


    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:05:05 PM PDT

  •  An immigrant's image of America - a diary (0+ / 0-)

    on the rescued list that IMO is not getting enough attention, possibly b/c of the title. I found it well worth reading and thinking about:

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:08:34 PM PDT

  •  So on Friday, was the entire planet supposed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox

    to raise their arms above their heads and go Whhheeeee!

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:09:50 PM PDT

  •  Tall Ships in Cleveland This Wkend. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, TerryDarc

    At Browns Stadium. $10 to park, $14 to tour the docks and go aboard some of the vessels.

    Image Hosted by

    I visited yesterday, still have the smell of ship in my nostrils.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:14:18 PM PDT

  •  Self Defense (0+ / 0-)

    is precisely what George Zimmerman will need for the rest of his life in jail for murdering a child just to satisfy his racist rage.

    Honesty is not a policy. It's a character trait.

    by Says Who on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:14:26 PM PDT

  •  David Lane knows how to stretch a metaphor, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if nothing else. A former bakeshop employee perhaps.
    Suppose you take your holy winnowing fork and..........

    •  I had to look up "winnowing fork" and there (0+ / 0-)

      actually is such a thing. In the days of multi-million dollar threshing machines, such throwback imagery deserves a nod even though David is an idiot.

      It's reminiscent of the kind of tortured support I'm reading on Al Jazeera in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and their bloodthirsty minions: same God, different religion.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

      by TerryDarc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:04:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I'd like to know is why... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...the same conservatives who thought it was so horrible for Obama's former pastor to say that God "damned" America for racism seem to have no problem embracing preachers who think God will curse America and bring all sorts of catastrophes down on us for supporting same sex marriage?

      Apparently, it's only unpatriotic to suggest God's judgment when it's coming from the left.  Either that or these assholes honestly believe that giving equality to gay people is so much worse than slavery, Jim Crow, and all the other horrible things that we've visited on African-Americans through the centuries.

      Twisted, aren't they?

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:56:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In this case (0+ / 0-)

        I am not sure that they are the same people. There are a lot of Christian righties who, like Peter Leithart quoted in that story, see "Americanism" as a heresy and even a form of idolatry. Their number is likely to increase. They also would have understood what Obama's pastor meant in context, even if they may not have agreed with his reasons why God should damn America.

        It is often difficult for people to disassociate their personal beliefs, religious or non-religious, from their idea of what the the national identity is, should be, or what the framers of the Constitution intended.  Tricky stuff, that.

  •  sure! Peri is the name of the dude who invented (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Gooserock, TerryDarc

    that scope thingie in submarines. has something to do with mirrors or prisms or little mice powered cages.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:20:43 PM PDT

  •  FAA: Airliner crashes on landing in San Francisco (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, TerryDarc

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal aviation official says an Asiana Airlines flight has crashed while landing at San Francisco airport. It was not immediately known whether there were any injuries.

    Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Lynn Lunsford says the Boeing 777 crashed at San Francisco Airport while landing on Saturday.

    A video clip posted to Youtube shows smoke coming from a silver-colored jet on the tarmac. Passengers could be seen jumping down the inflatable emergency slides.

    Twitter a Twitter

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:22:34 PM PDT

  •  Spiders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Amazing creatures!  When I lived in Khartoum, Sudan I came across camel spiders, including one which was hiding in my clothing.  Spiders do more good than harm to humans by consuming a lot of insects.  Spiders, like snakes, are misused as the "evil".  

  •  AG Chris Koster, the world is trying to tell you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    something, dipshit.
    What next? Selling 'hunting' licenses so lardy guys with pudding faces  can chase condemned cons thru 'game preserves' with hunting rifles? Maybe you can charge extra for hunting minorities. All in the name of good Christian fellowship of course.

  •  An idea for Missouri (0+ / 0-)

    Hey Mr. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster here is an idea to execute all them nasty criminals on death row in your state. Just get a bunch of gun nuts together and just shoot the bastards.
    Maybe you can get them to bid for the privilege. You might even make money for your state.  

    Hillary Clinton 2016

    by artr2 on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:38:24 PM PDT

  •  About spiders... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Once when remodeling an old farm house (mine) I watched as a gazillion baby daddy longlegs emerged from an egg sack. Got so excited I bought Willis Gertsch's "American Spiders". That was 27 years and many, many thousands of miles ago, but it's one of the few things that I've managed to keep on that journey.

    •  I would have gooshed the revolting mass. (0+ / 0-)

      Spiders don't bother me all that much, although I hope never to meet a brown recluse or black widow. We had hermit spiders in WA; I once found one glaring at me atop the sportcoat I was about to take out. Landlord said hermit spiders were nasty and I believed him.

      And don't get me started about CENTIPEDES.

  •  David Barton is scheduled to appear here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frederick Clarkson

    I am disappointed that this pseudo-historian found someone to sponsor him.  When asked if I were going, I am afraid I remarked that he was a charlatan and not a historian, not by education, experience, training or temperament.

    OTOH I also see the new Lone Ranger flick is under fire from various "super" Christians because Tonto is too "pagan" for their tastes. Matter of fact, the film has been denounced as anti-American since it shows Euro settlers praying before attacking Native American camps (and that never happened, we all know) and because the settlers were all shown as being evil or stupid by the script writers.  After all, we all know there were no inhabitants of the continent until Columbus got here.

    (Actually I ran across some folks who believe the Americas were settled 20K-30K years ago by Europeans who colonized the continent until they were wiped out by encroaching Asiatics entering on the other side of the continent. Stormfront refers to them as "Solutreans")      

  •  Yay California! About time (0+ / 0-)

    Minority rule is UN-democratic, hence unAmerican.

    People should be allowed to tax themselves in their local communities as they see fit. Allowing 34% rule is tyranny.

    (Before someone mentions Prop 8, we have always treated the rights of minorities as special and specially deserving of protection from the majority.)

    We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

    by Urban Owl on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:03:32 PM PDT

  •  If Jesus Christ preached on Earth today, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Good Samaritan would be gay.

    To the people who heard Jesus with their own ears, "Good Samaritan" was an oxymoron. Today, it's a cliche. David probably thinks that because He automatically equates Samarian with Good, he passes that test more easily than the best of the Apostles. Anyone truly worthy of the term Christian would know we have to find the people the Religious Establishment hates as much as the Pharisees hated the Samarians. That's the gays.

    The furor over Friday's [10.5] job report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news drives its members into a blind rage. -Paul Krugman

    by Judge Moonbox on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:14:18 PM PDT

  •  Re: David Brooks (0+ / 0-)

    So, um, how exactly does David Brooks' heart-felt lamentation that America is no longer an outpost of white Europe jibe with the right's habitual condemnation of eeeevil soshamalist Yurp?

    Can a sane person both hate and love the same thing?

  •  re: Missouri's state murderer (0+ / 0-)

    I have long held that conservatives are not pro-death penalty because they believe it represents some form of justice or moral good. As becomes clearer every day, conservatives are pro-death penalty just because they really, really, like to kill people and watch them suffer as they die.

  •  spiders are cool: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:51:06 PM PDT

  •  Very interesting article on deer contraception. (0+ / 0-)

    When I was checking that out, I saw this link to an article on "Valley Fever", a very serious, fungus caused illness that is spreading in the dust blown from areas in the dryer southern and southwestern area of the U.S.

    Nasty stuff, and climate change is exacerbating the problem.

    A Disease Without a Cure Spreads Quietly in the West

    But his most life-threatening encounter has been with coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever, for which he is being treated here. Coccidioidomycosis, known as “cocci,” is an insidious airborne fungal disease in which microscopic spores in the soil take flight on the wind or even a mild breeze to lodge in the moist habitat of the lungs and, in the most extreme instances, spread to the bones, the skin, the eyes or, in Mr. Klorman’s case, the brain.

    The infection, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled “a silent epidemic,” is striking more people each year, with more than 20,000 reported cases annually throughout the Southwest, especially in California and Arizona. Although most people exposed to the fungus do not fall ill, about 160 die from it each year, with thousands more facing years of disability and surgery. About 9 percent of those infected will contract pneumonia and 1 percent will experience serious complications beyond the lungs.

  •  Juxtaposing (!) stories of deer with sex ed ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... in Texas, I'm worried we're next going to hear about a great many "hot and bothered" young deer, who would never in a hundred years ever thought about it before ...

    If you need a reference, you gotta know it's to a diary by Meteor Blades.

    Oh, never mind!

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:15:05 PM PDT

  •  The aphelion doesn't seem to be (0+ / 0-)

    preventing grotesque heat waves across the US, does it?

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