d2's blog

Post Register self-censoring Dilbert. Because teh Gay.

Hmm. One of these things is not like the other -- today's (2/8/2014) Post-Register's Dilbert:

But today's Dilbert.com was (Crime to be Gay)

The Post-Register has quietly self-censored, and a quick search reveals they reprinted the January 30, 1995 Dilbert: A Lighter Laptop

Yesterday's Dilbert.com (2/7/2014), (Nuke the Taj Mahal) also talks about anti-gay laws. Post-Register readers ironically got Hosed:

A search shows that was the Jan 28, 1995 comic: (I have an Idea)

In 2013, Scott Adams commented that the public opinion blowback sometimes causes him to self-censor. He'd concluded that what he felt was some of his best work just isn't worth days of responding to blowback.

Like Scott Adams, the Post-Register has decided to slink back into comfortable convenience rather than (snort!) publish a syndicated cartoon that mocks India, but coincidentally mocks Idaho's legislature, too. It's a strange row publisher Roger Plothow chooses to hoe: The Post-Register has printed hard-nosed pro-equality editorials from Corey Taule. And they're sticking to their editorial guns over the innocuous 'controversy' of changing which comics to publish: We've endured weeks of letters to the editor as readers protest dropping stale old cartoons for newer ones. Throughout, the Post-Register remains resolute about ditching BC, Kathy, Blondie and Shoe for new comic strips like Wumo, Soup to Nutz, etc. But the Post Register silently preemptorily caved without even mentioning their self-censorship when Dilbert mocks anti-gay laws. During a week when anti-gay laws are prominent Idaho News.

Last week, the Statesman's Dan Popkey was similarly inept: Popkey wrote a piece on Teabagger Vito Barbieri's Tourettes-like grandstanding. Barbieri has repeatedly been blurting out incorrect / inflated numbers of how much of 'our money' the Idaho Legislature was spending. Rather than mocking Barbieri's lack of decorum, Popkey quoted numerous people and wrote an article so inconclusively noncritical that it's likely inflated Barbieri's warped ego until now he'll probably NEVER SHUT UP.

Yet the day before, Popkey pulled slight of hand to dismiss the Idaho 44 protest for 'Add the 4 words'. Popkey wrote that Nichole LeFavour's remaining in protest until she was also arrested was 'Look At Me' grandstanding, and headlined his editorial by paraphrasing Bart Davis's view that LeFavour harmed the protest. Now, if LeFavour simply left without being arrested like the other 43 protesters, Popkey and conservatives could have pounced on her for being a fair-weather protester unwilling to face arrest. So, rather than examining Idaho's grotesque lie ("worsens their chance at a hearing"), Popkey found a way to redirect attention and demean the protesters. Frankly, I haven't been this disgusted by a political writer since DFO at the Spokesman babbled that his (ahem) softballing questions to Bill Sali was an essential quid pro quo to being granted an interview in the first place.

Newspapers silencing themselves is tragic, since if not the press, then who? Molly Ivins (or Finley Dunne) said it best: a newspaper's job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Tolerating a bigoted effort to undermine a basic tenet of civil society maliciously wrapping itself in a mantle of 'freedom' isn't acceptable, either. Society is intrinsically about constraint of **BEHAVIOR**, regardless of ideas. And in a free society, ideas or beliefs can be spoken freely, but we restrict **practices** deemed corrosive to civil society. Milquetoast editorials stating false equivalencies at a time like this aren't ok. When misguided people seek to undermine fundamental civil institutions, there can be no equivocating.

Hopefully, both papers will reconsider. I won't hold my breath.  read more »

Lori Otter's grade? C-minus. Lacks thesis statement, needs proofread

Wow, apparently Idaho First Lady Lori Otter didn't get taught the First Celebrity Rule of the Internet: DO NOT GO INTO THE COMMENTS!!!

Diana Ravitch posted an article nearly a month ago about the ongoing Republican war on teachers and education. When someone called Guv'ner Skinnyjeans' wife a dilettante, Miss Lori posted a punctuationally-and-grammatically-impaired rant, deploring teachers (shock!), educational blogs, and in trophy tradition, "mean people". She has run-on sentences, a ton of half-ellipses (I really can't complain, I abuse the shit out of three-dot ellipses), misspellings and leaves out the occasional word, all while lamely tooting her own horn as an English teacher. Beleaguered teachers and liberal grammar nazis will absolutely love this post. Be sure to check it out, but here's a taste:

...I am entitled to my opinion- don’t insult me by inferring that I only do what my husband wants me too.. hello- what century are you living in?..I have the right to support things in my profession that I think are good for it. It has always surprised and disappointed me that teachers or educational forums such as this accomplish little except allowing adults to say mean and unfounded comments, things which do not have to be defended or factually supported… Which I might add is something we would not want our students to do. So.. That’s all I have to say -I am a teacher, a very good one I might add, I am qualified to speak on education..just as much as all of you are and will continue to do so.. I am perfectly fine with disagreeing with points of view.. But really? Yes.. Nice matters. . Thanks.

"Yes.. Nice matters." I guess the question is whether it matters more than a systematic campaign of sabotaging the education of half a million of Idaho's kids or more before we re-embrace Idaho's progressive free-public-education origins.

Meanwhile, I suspect someone'll teach her that other little Celebrity Internet rule. It's likely happening today. Hell, even my ten-year-old surfs youtube enough to viscerally know that online comments are Where Intelligent Discussion Goes to Die.

H/T: Sisyphus

Retiring minds

Intrigued that Benedict is retiring. Maybe the Mormons'll notice.

Modern medical advances increasingly make lifetime appointments fade into leaders struggling to serve after they're able, but at least the Supreme Court and Pope can be selected from younger candidates. The Mormon automatic selection of whoever has the most seniority of the Council of Twelve statistically games the system toward geriatric woes.  read more »

McCall: quake or something manmade?

From Weiser to McCall, folks are reporting an earthquake (4:30am MDT, Thursday May 17th). Problem is, there's nothing on regional seismographs big enough for someone to feel.

The best technical explanation (no sensors nearby, so maybe it really happened and had become unusually faint at those distances) -- well, I guess it's possible that Idaho would be so cheap that they'd discontinued seismographic data collection everywhere.

Next up is sonic booms or explosions that only woke up some people. Meh.

Best answer? Guv'ner Otter otter call Scott Stevens on his handy-dandy Big Red Conspiracy Phone. Just watch out for (ahem) barnyard residue, Boss.

Oh, and a quick 'Buh-BYE!' to George Hansen's lost spawn, crazy ol' man Hart. I'm gonna take his primary loss as a ray of hope: It should serve reminder that there are levels of miscreancy that, despite Republican poobahs' belief otherwise, everyday Idahoans won't condone. The party bosses pretend to not know this, but why else would they be so afraid of openness and public accountability for themselves.

Remembering Sunshine, 2 May 1972

May 2nd marks the 40th anniversary of the Sunshine Mine disaster. If memory serves, the Sunshine fire remains the worst hardrock disaster and one of the worst mining disasters in US mining since mine safety laws were put into place after 1779 men died in US mines in just 3 years (1907-1909). 91 people died in the Sunshine fire, including rescuers who succumbed to the smoke.

Some links: US Mine Rescue's account, and recent Sunshine Mine Interviews by NPR.

Merry Christmas, Blue Idaho

And deep, heartfelt thanks to everyone for your writing here at 43sb. Words can't convey how much I appreciate your efforts and this site.

A musician and song came to mind this morning, which I've shared if you click the link below.

More than 20 years ago, a friend booked an amazing acoustic guitarist named Billy McLaughlin for a performance at ISU. Billy and his band showed up in a big van crammed full of sound gear, instruments, speakers and people; they'd driven 1000 miles nonstop out from Minneapolis. They played an amazing show to a good crowd here in southeast Idaho, then we hung out (possibly at the Hindenberg?) for a while. Then they turned around and headed back to MN. Turns out, despite the gig being booked many months in advance, their agent hadn't found *any* gigs between there and here in either direction. Even on 1988 prices, I doubt they covered the gas money to get here.

I saw Billy again when we had him play at Mac's in Pocatello, around 1998 or '99. He'd been on the road for months, alternating between partnering with another musician and solo gigs like ours, traveling this time in a wicked-beautiful retro 1960's motor coach -- That coach was gorgeous. It must have had an acre of chrome in the coolest art-deco lines, and was powered by Detroit's finest in drivetrains and engines. I think Billy said he'd paid $60k for it and if he ever stopped touring, it'd resell for the same amount. If you've gotta tour, that's the mode of travel I'd recommend.

Around that time, Billy's career was quietly taking a tragic turn. He started having difficulty playing his trademark frenetic two-handed fretwork. He'd suddenly have hand spasms, play wrong notes, and ruin his own performances. In interviews, Billy said it was terrifying because there wasn't initially a diagnosis and he was left wondering if he was subconsciously sabotaging his playing or quite literally going insane. These muscle spasms literally destroyed his career, and it took him years to track down the obscure neurological cause, Focal Dystonia.

Since then, unable to undo this localized rebellion against focussed repetitive muscular activity, Billy has found a narrow way through. Starting in 2006, he's worked to relearn guitar left-handed. He's again pretty amazing, and he's garnering attention as an inspirational speaker, an advocate for Focal Dystonia victims, and he also arranges and coordinates musical projects. Still, it's his Wintersongs that jump to my mind each Christmas morning.

(>Billy McLaughlin, Carol of the Bells)


ComScore

Again, a cool yule to you all.  read more »

Panics and 70-90% tax rates

From gooserock on Daily Kos:

The American economy has been bubbles, panics and depressions for our entire history except for the 50 years when we had 70-90% top marginal rates.

  • The Panic of 1819
  • Panic and Depression 1832
  • Panic and Depression 1836
  • Six Year Depression 1837-1843
  • The Panic of 1857
  • Panic and Depression 1869-1871
  • The Panic of 1873
  • The Panic of 1893
  • The Panic of 1901
  • Panic, Global Crash and Depression of 1929

And as soon as we cut the rates back under Reagan we got the S&L panic & crash, and now this.

Let's do the time warp again!

Sorry about a day of our site looking like May 23rd all over again.

I've spoken with the ISP, and we suspect that it must somehow be Senator McGee's fault.

There are perfectly valid medical explanations for all this. I got a concussion. My cab dropped me off at the wrong house. An otter was chasing me. I'm rushing Alpha Chi Sigma's. Well, now that that's been fully explained, I think we'll all agree that it's better if we just put it behind us once and for all -- The central committee has called for a vote.

All in favor, say Aye.

(three 'Aye's heard from the McGee table).

All opposed by the same sign:

(a groundswell of 'Aye's)

Ah, good. The Aye's have it. Let's speak no more of this or any other tawdry bit of silliness involving Senator McGee's personal proclivities.  read more »

The Iowegians have spoken (can we skip the primaries?)

The eyes just sort of follow you, don't they...   Congratulations to Michele Bachmann for winning the straw poll in Iowa, and especially for outdoing RommneyCorp and Huntsman combined by a ratio of 9 to 1.

And mad feminist props/congratulations to the N.O.W. for defending her last week-- it's cool they took a stand against the double standard exhibited by some lame newsweakly that called her the Queen of Rage as if anger or indignation is a political no-no.

Focussing on anger is reminiscent of 2008's nattering about Hillary's appearance as if it mattered politically when several porcine congresscritters offer such blisteringly ugly counterevidence (it's amazing those greasy old white dudes can retail-politic themselves enough to attract a spawning partner, let alone get elected).

But let's just put a little pin in the Faux Congratulations chat for a sec--

Candidate Bachmann's glaring flaw isn't about words like weak, raging, fashionable, pretty, angry, uppity or any other irrelevancy aimed by ugly old goats of the establishment toward tokenizing and trivializing the political career of minority candidates. It's NONE OF THOSE THINGS. Bachmann's problem is her political record and the positions she takes.

Batshit Insane kind of **matters** in presidential prospects, dunnit? Dunnit?!


 read more »

Great chinese province of Ada doesn't do it for me

http://theintelhub.com/2011/06/08/china-wants-to-construct-a-50-square-mile-self-sustaining-city-south-of-boise-idaho/

http://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/commentary-mainmenu-43/7443-china-the-new-investment-savior

Anyone else heard about this craziness? It's from the tinfoil-hat sector, but both mention content from 1 or 2 days ago published in the Statesman.

This guy's my new hero (biking crackdown in NYC)

Talk about being committed to his cause -- until I figure out how they CGI'd out his crash padding, this guy is SO my new hero:

Is national politics entirely tone deaf?

Pundits: Dems must move rightward. Obama: Compromise. Cantor (R): We're going to investigate EVVVERYTHING. Rove: If I exaggerate, I can get everyone nattering about Political Correctness, which my party hates because they suck at it. Republicans: Rich people need more tax breaks.

Aside from us DFH bloggers, I'm not seeing a progressive narrative anywhere, but at least everyone else is brain-dead and enthusiastically charting a course for their own 2012 debacle...

Robo-R - it's like Whac-a-mole!

Well, yesterday was unsurprising. Cheers to Edgar Malepeai and Brian Cronin, Wendy Jacquet and so many others: several stalwart blue districts remain in Boise, Bannock, Blaine and Latah. It's unnerving to see wins by less than 10% in Bannock, but that's what Idaho's 'not gerrymandering' districts 40-100 miles out of cities gets ya. Nobody's shocked that wingnut fever is rampant in Soda Springs.

Not surprised by the pasting Walt Minnick looks to have gotten. Saddened, because I think the world of John Foster and Serephin tells me A.K. Minnick is so awesome that I'll accept that Walt was just tapdancing on a razor-thin line, hoping to find a 3rd way.

But as bad as Team Minnick's gotta feel, imagine the pain that is East Idaho's moderate Republicans this morning. Republicans-for-Allred leader Sharon Perry gave me an earful when we sat together at the July 4th 'parade rules' mandatory meeting. They're waking up to an even worse hangover -- It's got to suck something fierce to lose hard to a robotic lockstep 'punch the R, not the name' (I just know there's jazzy video brightly chanting "it's like Whac-A-Mole!" hiding in JoAn Wood's closet) that you've spent decades cultivating. Welcome to our world, Republicans for Allred.

On a 43sb-neighborhood note, condolences to Sharon Fisher. It wasn't you, it's rural Robo-R.

Anything else I've missed? I'll try to get details on my rumor of challenges, and I forgot to ferret out data from Teton county -- they turned bluish-purple in '08; someone else find out details; I've gotta head to work.

Bring your ID when you go to vote, folks!

As we mourn Ted Sorensen, who passed away this weekend, keep JFK's famous "Ask not.." phrase in mind tomorrow. I got to hear him compare / contrast the Kennedy administration with Obama's when he talked in Denver during the '08 convention. When asked, he gently, gracefully tap-danced around the question of whether the line was his or JFK's. Even then, he was so very *frail*, so lean. Listening to him, that frailty vanished -- I was transfixed and could hear the wunderkind responsible for so much magic within Kennedy's writing, ideology and speeches. Researchers can debate who wrote those words forever; I won't.

Here's what you can do for your country: Get out and vote. And as boneheaded as Idaho's voter ID law is, it's easiest if you bring a photo ID! If anyone seems to get caught sidways of this, the law allows any voter on the rolls to vote once they've signed an affadavit.

Then, be sure to report back here with your impressions, what you hear or see. We've got GOTV going strong in Bonneville, and I'm told they're slating up poll-watchers to prevent any sort of shenanagins (unreasonable challenges, vote suppresion). And keep the news coming in as polls close. Especially good news. Or at least pics from good parties...

I doubt I'll be celebrating much of anything tomorrow -- I expect to be quietly contemplating my conversation with John Foster eighteen months ago. He explained their rightward tack and the supporting polls, and I said it wouldn't be enough to sway people that vote R unflinchingly. I hope I'm wrong near-term, but am not looking forward to long-term impacts of the race several prominent D's have run. We've got to craft and embrace a resonant Democratic narrative. Not doing so locally and nationally has led us to the November 2nd we face.

Still, every candidate and staffer has far more skin in the game than me. And with that devotion, they've earned my respect. Good luck to every Democrat on tomorrow's ballot. And my deepest thanks.

Melaleuca and copyright

There's considerable irony that Frank 'Vader' Vandersloot (and Melaleuca) think there's fair use value to their copyright infringement even after being denied copyright access.

Every other political attack group has learned the process: you put the words up on the screen while having them narrated (preferrably by Don De La Fontaine). No infringement is needed.

It's ironic, given how fond of copyright protections Melaleuca is when they *like* them.

As a reminder, a few years ago, Melaleuca freaked out about Tom Paine -- understandable, since Tom's got a certain je ne sais quoi to his writing. He said that Vader was aruging for a closed courtroom / hearing in his case against Melaleuca's former-golden-boy VP Wasden because there were things that'd come out that'd get Vader excommunicated, if memory serves. We got a hand-delivered cease-n-desist letter (I call it 'fan mail #1'). When I removed the offensive post and (in explanation) posted the cease-n-desist letter, Vader filed a DMCA Takedown, claiming I'd violated copyright.

Of course, Melaleuca had to retroactively file for copyright on the C&D letter, hire some copyright attorneys over in Boise (Idaho is a hotbed of Copyright law, doncha know!), and send them all off for a day in federal court to try to prove that my posting a scanned image of a DMCA takedown was a crime so egregious that the best first remedy was to tell them who the hell Tom Paine was.

Go read that last sentence again -- it still doesn't make sense 3 years later, unless Tom makes Vader crazy in ways Bubblehead can't begin to touch.

When Melaleuca lost that demand, we dropped back off their radar. I guess that's lucky, considering I haven't got a freaking clue who Tom Paine is.

Kudos to Vader, who has now claimed both ends of the jurisdictional fence when it involves copyright. He's apparently as morally flexible on copyright as he is on Marriage (he likes his own divorce, but rails against Teh Gay) and touting religion in political races (having Mitt Romney fly to Idaho just to stump against a fellow Mormon for wearing his religion on his sleeve was f***ing hilarious!).  read more »

Village Idiot makes Digby

It gives me no joy to point out that the Village Idiot got substantial mention yesterday on Digby's blog, though I guess I can take small consolation that PFAW, PrideDEPOT and Boise's Jody May-Chang are tracking his relentless dimwitted pushing of his American Taliban agenda.

Hmm, the rest of America got Bryan Fishwrap and the VI position here in Idaho was filled by Wayne Hoffmann, who is merely economically drain-bammaged. Not the best of trades, but certainly not the worst possible outcome.

Romney's mixed-up message

Mitt-the-Ken-Doll Romney, in an op-ed for USA-Today:

In a time of national crisis, we look to our president to acknowledge, as Harry Truman did, that it is at his desk where the buck stops.

President Obama, two weeks before Mitt Romney's op-ed:

I am the president and the buck stops with me.

Dunno about the rest of you, but I particularly enjoy Mittens Romney invoking Democratic president Harry Truman two weeks late. Then again, The Man With the Fisher-Price Hair is so up to his earnest pursuit of presidential gravitas that he'll deny anything: He deplores his own healthcare initiatives now that they're done on a national scale. He's abandoned moderate stances on making abortion safe/legal/rare. He wore his religion on his sleeve, then had wander the news circuit denying that southern Bubbas voted against him for being Mormon.

And let's not forget RNC chair Steele's description of Romney:

“Yeah, but let me ask you. Ok, Jay, I’m there with you. But remember, it was the (Republican) base that rejected Mitt because of his switch on pro-life, from pro-choice to pro-life. It was the (Republican) base that rejected Mitt because it had issues with Mormonism. It was the (Republican) base that rejected Mitt, because they thought he was back and forth and waffling on those very economic issues you’re talking about.” (interview on Bill Bennett's radio show, May 2009)

Frankly, in the last 2 years, Ken-Doll Romney has cravenly sprinted rightward from his centrist record while Massachusetts governor as he courts his party's base (aka Teabagger) votes. And it's not a statistically-noteworthy sample, but my own family members that liked him are disgusted by him after watching this, but he's still tacking toward the right. What the hell is up with this? Did I miss the poll where 'Waffling, 'Spineless', and 'Pretty boy' test as very presidential traits amongst Republicans?

h/t: brooklynbadboy at dkos

Testimony - Equality on Trial

"Why would everybody be getting married if it didn't do anything?"

Prop 8 supporters successfully kept media coverage out of the Prop 8 trial in California. In response, two filmmakers found actors to reenact the entire transcript. Most of us lacking 55 spare hours, interest hasn't grown virally. So they're trying it in bite-size pieces, including this powerful 20-minute segment of lead plaintiff Kristin Perry's testimony, reenacted by Marissa Tomei:


"It symbolizes perhaps the most important decision you make as an adult."

Hoffman's weaseling...

Trout gotta fly, osprey gotta swim, and Wayne Hoffman's gotta weasel.

Mister 'My donors are too fragile to be named!' has grabbed ISJ's reporting on a closed ISU parking board meeting. Hoffman's presented an open-meetings complaint. Alas, his legal research leaves a bit to be desired. Hoffman's botched the section of statute he was quoting (section 67-2345(5) in the Idaho Code doesn't exist).

As for the handwavy view that a parking committee is subject to open meetings laws because they make policy decisions depended upon by a public agency, Doesn't that sound a lot like the Idaho Republican Caucus' method of legislative decisions?

I mean, if we're going after public policy planning that blatantly violates the spirit and intent of Idaho's public meeting law, let's go after the big dawg, Wayne. Or are you just going to sit there piddlin' on the porch?

Vaughn Ward's not having a good week.

The good news is people stopped talking about Vaughn Ward being a Carpet-Bagger this week.

But if you ask me, carpetbagging ain't so bad-- Idaho's easy to love. And as nicknames go, C-bagger has to poll better than two-faced plagiarizing R.I.N.O.

 read more »

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