Archive for Culture

Fingers Crossed For Diana Nyad

For 35 years she had tried to swim from Cuba to Florida

It looks like she might finally succeed! At age 64. What an inspiration for aging boomer women.

Diana Nyad was just 10 miles shy early Monday morning of reaching a goal she’s been chasing for 35 years.
Nyad, 64, is on her fifth attempt to swim the 103 miles from Cuba to Florida without a cage, wet suit or flippers.

At 3:54 a.m., her support team tweeted, “10-mile countdown is ON!” Nyad had never before come so close to Florida in previous attempts, and on Sunday night she broke Penny Palfrey’s record for the farthest anyone has managed on the trek without a shark cage.

In 1997, Australian Susie Maroney completed the swim from within a shark cage. She was 22 at the time.

Nyad’s website reported the leaders of her five-boat support team were planning her final route into Key West, taking into account tides, currents, shipping lanes, reefs and “swarms of jellyfish.”

As of 4 a.m., the website said, “Diana is swimming strong after 43 hours non-stop. She knows where she is and it’s giving her added strength.”
Nyad is using a special mask to prevent jellyfish stings to her tongue — a key factor in her failed attempt in August 2012. Thunderstorms also helped thwart her last year.

Handler Bonnie Stoll wrote on the site Sunday that Nyad was in good spirits.
“The only concern is that she is throwing up everything she eats. She’s quite nauseous from sea salt, but that’s to be expected,” said Stoll. “We’re giving her enough calories and nutrition. We’re just going to keep feeding her, and we hope that some of it is going down. She’s not weak. Her stroke count hasn’t changed.”

The Los Angeles woman has said this is her final attempt. She said on her website that she wants to prove “it’s never too late to chase your dream.”

This is her website. And this is her location in real time.

I sure hope she completes it this time. I am thrilled for her.

- Aggie

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Teaching Kids To Hate America And Each Other

Trayvon Martin dialogues

What a dumb society we are.

Middle and high school students in San Diego, California will be encouraged to vent their frustration that the world lacks justice when they return to school and participate in the “Trayvon Martin dialogues” this fall.

The board of San Diego Unified Schools unanimously approved a proposal recently to establish classroom forums to discuss the death of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot during an altercation with a Hispanic man, George Zimmerman, in Florida last year. A jury recently acquitted Zimmerman, who claimed that Martin struck first and shot him in self-defense.

The sponsors of San Diego’s Trayvon Martin dialogues, however, believe the resolution of the case has produced in teenagers “feelings of fear, anger, and skepticism that they will live in a just society,” according to The College Fix.

The full proposal calls for forum participants to explicitly condemn “stand your ground” laws, which permit citizens to use force to defend themselves in dangerous situations instead of retreating. Florida’s law was erroneously credited with prompting the conflict between Martin and Zimmerman, though the matter never became a significant factor at the trial, since Zimmerman had no option to retreat, according to his official testimony.

The dialogues will “allow students to talk about the world view that prompted George Zimmerman to confront Trayvon Martin,” and “allow students to speak honestly about the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that could give one person an unfair advantage over another and the pros and cons of their perceptions,” according to the proposal.

Marne Foster, a San Diego school board member and sponsor of the proposal, said that she had three black sons, and that any one of the could have suffered a fate similar to Martin’s.

“They are still living in a time reminiscent of Emmitt Till,” said Foster, referencing a black teenager who was beaten to death by a white mob in 1955.

Where to begin? Trayvon Martin apparently attacked George Zimmerman, who had a broken nose, lacerations on the back of his head, and grass stains on his back. Zimmerman shot him in self-defense. In contrast, Emmet Till was tortured and murdered by a mob. Rather than trying to bring the country together by raising a generation of kids who understand the constitution and the jury system, San Diego is perpetuating falsehoods and ignorance. In the end it will lead to more violence as unstable kids act out the anger that they learned to experience in school. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

- Aggie

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Scott Brown’s Wild Brother

Makes Billy Carter look tame

The brother of former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown was arrested Thursday night in Connecticut on a number of charges, including impersonating a police officer.

Police responding to reports of a man with a gun found Bruce W. Browne, 46, of Wolcott, Connecticut driving a blue Crown Victoria with what appeared to be a disc and antennas mounted on the trunk along with “hide-away” lights.

Browne was wearing military-style pants, according to police. Inside the car in plain view, officers say they found three loaded 9 mm handguns, a black nylon duty belt with two sets of handcuffs, a police baton, 12 fully-loaded magazines with a total of 101 hollow point and 102 ball 9 mm bullets.

Browne also allegedly had a black tactical bullet proof vest with the word “POLICE” embroidered on the front and back with a silver metal TSA badge attached.

Investigators say earlier in the day, Browne commandeered a boat by identifying himself as a “Police/Coast Guard” official.

He allegedly produced an expired Coast Guard identification.

TSA and US Coast Guard officials said Browne is not affiliated with either agency.

Wow.

- Aggie

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ABC News Editor, Formerly Transgendered, Now Male Again

Perhaps we should start an odd hour. An hour a day devoted to odd stories.

ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn wig and announced he was transgender and splitting from his wife. He wanted to be called Dawn.

But now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don.

“I accused my wife of playing some kind of cruel joke, dressing me up in a wig and bra and making fake ID’s with the name ‘Dawn’ on it. Seriously,” Ennis wrote in an e-mail to friends and colleagues Friday, explaining his shock after he woke up from what he called a “transient global amnesia” last month.

The email was first obtained by the website NewsBlues.com

“It became obvious this was not the case once I took off the bra — and discovered two reasons I was wearing one,” he said, referring to his hormone-induced breasts.

“I thought it was 1999 . . . and I was sure as hell that I was a man,” Ennis said in the e-mail titled “Not Reportable, Very Confirmed.”

“Fortunately, my memories of the last 14 years have since returned. But what did not return was my identity as Dawn,” said Ennis, who had been wearing lipstick, skirts and heels.

“I am writing to let you know I’m changing my name . . . to Don Ennis. That will be my name again, now and forever. And it appears I’m not transgender after all.

I wonder how many young transgenders will undergo surgery and then, a month or a year later, discover that it was a mistake? What weird times we live in.

- Aggie

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Bloomberg Overreached In NYC Soda Ban

Illegal

New York City’s crackdown on big, sugary sodas is staying on ice.
An appeals court ruled Tuesday that New York City’s Board of Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally when it tried to put a size limit on soft drinks served in city restaurants.
The state Supreme Court Appellate Division panel upheld a lower court decision that had delayed the measure before it took effect in March.

Obama needs to step in and deem the soda ban the law.

- Aggie

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With Apologies To Dog Lovers…

This is hilarious

This is a member of the young generation of O-bots explaining what happens to the family dog after the first kid is born. In my case, oh those many years ago, it was a cat.

When I first met Velvel, he was peeking out from a cardboard box in the back seat of my boyfriend’s Saturn wagon. I was just back from a weekend away, and John had come to pick me up from the train station with the best surprise a man can give to a woman he loves: a puppy.

A puppy! Man, I loved this puppy. A border collie–American Eskimo mix (basically a shrunken border collie, but cuter), we named him after my dad’s Hebrew name, which is actually Yiddish and means “wolf,” though we didn’t know that at the time. He just looked like a “Velvel.” You know what I mean. (We get a lot of: “Volvo?” No. “Vulva?” No. Do you think we’d name our dog Vulva? It’s VEL-VEL.)

Velvel quickly became the center of our lives. Weekends consisted of taking him to the dog run or the dog beach or the dog park. I developed a very specific, high-pitched, raunchy voice for Velvel, because he had a lot to say. Remember when there was that big dog food scare? We freaked and started spending Sundays cooking huge batches of homemade dog food that filled our apartment with the disgusting aroma of chicken livers, broccoli, and bone meal. Velvel watched TV on the couch with us every night and slept on our bed. Sometimes I let him sit in the front passenger seat of the car and I took the back. We had a multistep system for brushing him out, which we did regularly and with discipline. We gossiped about the other dogs in our neighborhood and marveled at what a better and cuter and smarter dog Velvel was compared to them.

Then I got pregnant. Actually, pregnancy was fine. I still loved Velvel when I was pregnant. The night before I was to be induced, I thought more about how bringing a baby home was going to impact Velvel’s life than my own. “This is going to be very hard for him,” I told John. We’d have to be sensitive to his needs, we agreed. After the baby was born, we did exactly what “they” say to do: John took the newborn hat from the hospital for Velvel to smell, to prepare him for the tiny human heading his way. That was probably the last nice thing we ever did for him.

A friend of mine once told me that before he had a kid, he would have run into a burning building to save his cats. Now that he has a kid, he would happily drown the cats in the bathtub if it would help his son take a longer nap. Here is how I feel about that statement: Velvel, avoid the bathroom.

It’s not that I don’t love my dog. It’s just that I don’t love my dog. And I am not alone. A very nonscientific survey of almost everyone I know who had a dog and then had kids now wishes they had never got the dog. This is a near universal truth, even for parents with just one child, though I have more.

So read it all. It’s very entertaining.

- Aggie

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Et Tu, NOW?

NOW refuses to take a stance on Weiner

What hilariously bizarre times we live in…

On Thursday, NOW-NYC, which describes itself as “the founding chapter of the National Organization for Women,” refused to take a stance on whether disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner should remain in the race for the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York.

On June 10, NOW-NYC announced its endorsement of City Councilwoman Christine Quinn for the Democratic nomination in the city’s mayoral race.
When Breitbart News phoned the office of NOW-NYC on Thursday and asked for the organization’s view on Mr. Weiner’s suitability for the office of mayor, we were told that the chapter’s spokesperson and president, Sonia Ossorio, was unavailable for comment.

According to the organization’s website, Ms. Ossorio, who has served as NOW-NYC’s president since 2005, “remembers her first NOW protest at the opening night of the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in 1999, which had no women musicians and made no apologies for it.”

So.. she can stick her nose into the management of the Vienna Philharmonic, but she can’t be bothered to comment on misogyny in her own back yard. Could it be the giant D next to Weiner’s name?

- Aggie

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We Are A Sick, Sick Society

Family that Zimmerman rescued afraid to speak out, Leftists claim overturned SUV, on fire, with children onboard… STAGED

We are beyond repair.

A couple George Zimmerman helped rescue after their family after their SUV flipped over on a Florida highway canceled a news conference Wednesday, citing the possibility of ‘blowback’ against them.

Mark and Dana Gerstle had planned to talk about the assistance they received from Zimmerman, who was recently acquitted of charges in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that they changed their minds, deciding they didn’t want to be in the spotlight. After discussing the situation with family and friends, O’Mara said they realized that being connected to Zimmerman right now could be toxic.

“They wanted to thank him publicly,” O’Mara said. “They thought that they could not, for the possibility of blowback against them.”
O’Mara brushed aside suggestions Wednesday that his client’s actions in helping save a family from a car wreck were somehow staged, noting that multiple government agencies and witnesses have backed up the family’s account.

“The same people who refuse to accept the jury’s verdict, just want to be angry, just want to hate George Zimmerman, are still going to,” O’Mara said. “Even if we had a videotape of the accident, they would still say it was made up. So you can’t really respond to people who just don’t want to listen to the truth.”
Zimmerman, 29, and another man helped the couple and their two children out of a flipped SUV off the road near Interstate 4 last week. The family wasn’t hurt.
“I think what happened with them today was they were very worried, and I think they were advised by family and friends that they really shouldn’t get involved with anything to do with George Zimmerman…and that’s really sad,” O’Mara told reporters, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Yes, it is sad, but it is also sick. I can’t think of another word. It is like a cancer that just grows and grows, despite chemo, surgery, and radiation.

- Aggie

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A Stopped Clock Is Right Twice A Day

The writer has written, and retracted, some nasty comments about Israel (from a Jewish Leftist perspective), but his comments on race in America are compelling.

I don’t like what George Zimmerman did and I hate that Trayvon Martin is dead. But I also can understand why Zimmerman was suspicious and why he thought Martin was wearing a uniform we all recognize. I don’t know if Zimmerman is a racist. Yet I’m tired of politicians and others who have donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin and who essentially suggest that I am a racist for recognizing the reality of urban crime in America. The hoodie blinds them as much as it did Zimmerman.

One of those who quickly donned a hoodie was Christine Quinn, the speaker of the New York City Council. Quinn was hardly a lonesome panderer. Lesser politicians joined her and, like her, pronounced Zimmerman a criminal. “What George Zimmerman did was wrong, was a crime,” Quinn said before knowing all of the facts and before the jury unaccountably found otherwise. She was half right. What Zimmerman did was wrong. It was not, by verdict of his peers, a crime.

Where is the politician who will own up to the painful complexity of the problem and acknowledge the widespread fear of crime committed by young black males? This does not mean that raw racism has disappeared and some judgments are not the product of invidious stereotyping. It does mean, though, that the public knows that young black males commit a disproportionate amount of crime. In New York City, blacks comprise 23.4 percent of the population yet they represent 78 percent of all shooting suspects — almost all of them young men. We know them from the nightly news.

Those statistics represent the justification for New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk program, which amounts to racial profiling writ large. After all, if young black males are your shooters then it ought to be young black males that the cops stop and frisk. Still, common sense and common decency — not to mention the law — insist on other variables such as suspicious behavior, but race is a factor, without a doubt. It would be senseless for the cops to be stopping Danish tourists in Times Square just to make the statistics look good.

I wish I had a solution to this problem. If I were a young black male and was stopped just on account of my appearance, I would feel violated. If the cops are abusing their authority and using race as the only reason, that has got to stop. But if they ignore race, then they are fools and ought to go into another line of work.

The problems of the black underclass are hardly new. They are surely the product of slavery, the subsequent Jim Crow era and the tenacious persistence of racism. They will be solved someday — but not probably with any existing programs. For want of a better word, the problem is cultural and it will be solved when the culture, somehow, is changed.

The last sentence is the most shocking – that the problems are cultural. He is probably correct, but it isn’t easy to modify culture.

At one time, I thought Barack Obama would bring the problem into the open and remove the racist stigma.

Instead, he perpetuated it. In his acclaimed Philadelphia speech on race, he cited his grandmother as “a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed her by on the street.” How about the former Barry Obama? When he was a Columbia University student living on the lip of then-dangerous Harlem, did he never have the same fear?

I skipped a lot in the middle. This is quite interesting from … let’s call him a Typical Leftist.

Aside: I saw a snippet of an interview with George Zimmerman’s parents. His mom is well-spoken, but (and?) has a very heavy Spanish accent. How in the world can the media pretend that George Zimmerman is not Latino? What level of Dante’s Inferno have we descended into?

- Aggie

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WHAT?

It is legal to fire attractive women because they are attractive

How bizarre.

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stood by its ruling that a dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he found her too attractive and worried he would try to start an affair.

Coming to the same conclusion as it did in December, the all-male court found that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior. The court said such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings, not gender.

The ruling upholds a judge’s decision to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit filed against Fort Dodge dentist James Knight, who fired assistant Melissa Nelson, even while acknowledging she had been a stellar employee for 10 years. Knight and his wife believed that his attraction to Nelson — two decades younger than the dentist — had become a threat to their marriage. Nelson, now 33, was replaced by another woman; Knight had an all-female staff. [Does he find the other woman ugly? - Aggie]

The all-male court issued its revised opinion Friday in the case after taking the unusual step last month of withdrawing its December opinion, which had received nationwide publicity, debate and criticism.

Nelson’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, had asked the court in January to reconsider, calling the decision a blow for gender and racial equity in the workplace. She had warned the opinion could allow bosses to legally fire dark-skinned blacks and replace them with light-skinned blacks or small-breasted workers in favor of big-breasted workers.

Ummm, if an employer claims to have a thing for African Americans, can he or she fire them because it might hurt his marriage? If an employer feels oppressed because he feels forced to hire Latinos, so as not to come up against anti-discrimmination laws, can he now fire them because his anger or sadness is affecting his marriage? What if you can only work around redheads, because all the other hair colors turn you on?

Ok, I understand that the broader picture is that we are a nation of men, not laws, and none of this matters. But it is peculiar.

- Aggie

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Morsi Gone?

News reports say he is no longer part of “decision making”

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy “is no longer a part of the decision-making circle,” the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper said Wednesday, citing “a senior official source.”
“The president is no longer able to make any political decisions now and a decision has been taken to prevent leaders loyal to the current regime from traveling overseas until the General Command of the Armed Forces are finished formulating their expected statement,” it added.
The announcement came less than two hours after the nation’s first democratically elected president offered to form an interim coalition government and as one of his aides and a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman said it appeared that a military coup was under way.

I have to say this about the Muslim world: They’re so dramatic! Arab Spring! The Gates of Hell Will Open! We Will Push You Into The Sea!

Do these guys ever just pop a brewski and sit in front of the TV, or hang out with friends at a picnic? They’re like teenagers, constantly in crisis.

BTL asked who we were rooting for? Me? I couldn’t care less. I am horrified that the Obama administration and the State Department run by Hillary Clinton (who will probably be our next President) is so naive and inept and dangerous. The Muslim parts of Middle East are immeasurably more dangerous than in the Bush era or perhaps any other time in modern history. We have buffoons running the show here. A lot of protesters and one American college kid have died so far, but we can assume that many more will perish as Egyptian society continues to fall apart. We could see hunger there. It is their fault that they are so disorganized but it is the fault of this administration that they didn’t realize it.

- Aggie

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Artists Helping The Egyptian Revolution

Like this:

15:35 Dozens of artists are protesting against President Morsi in the upscale Cairo neighbourhood of Zamalek. They are banging clogs in a nod to Queen Shagaret El-Dorr who was beaten to death by slaves using wooden clogs in CE1257.

Artists, especially those living in “upscale” neighborhoods, are so much more civilized than the rest of us, eh?

- Aggie

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