Dark n Stormy Knight
Dark n Stormy Knight's Journal
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: East Coast
Home country: USA
Current location: MidAtlantic US
Member since: Wed Oct 24, 2012, 09:05 PM
Number of posts: 1,780
Hometown: East Coast
Home country: USA
Current location: MidAtlantic US
Member since: Wed Oct 24, 2012, 09:05 PM
Number of posts: 1,780
The 2012 elections didn't turn out so well as a whole for the GOP, but the Republican State Leadership Committee issued a memo this month proudly explaining that it could have been a lot worse if not for the successful redistricting push spurred by its efforts.
The report -- drafted as a summary of the importance of the RSLC's Redistricting Majority Project (REDMAP) -- serves as a breakdown of the broader GOP plan to take control of state legislatures, giving Republicans free rein to mount an aggressive gerrymandering campaign that allowed the party to keep a House majority, despite getting fewer votes in those races overall.
This could not be more important.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Wed Oct 2, 2013, 01:38 AM (1 replies)
Republicans stand for is not someone I am drawn to.
Many of my friends I met back when I was hardly paying attention to politics. It just happened that the people who engendered feelings of love and respect turned out not to be Republicans.
And it's not as if all Democrats are exactly the same leaving us with mundane social lives, as some here have haughtily claimed.
Amongst my friends are teachers, carpenters, IT workers, gardeners, business owners, musicians, graphic designers, interior decorators, journalists, big rig drivers, auto mechanics, baseball players, veterinarians, cartoonists, photographers, and sales reps by profession.
They are hunters, gun haters, vegetarians, omnivores, junk food junkies, SUV owners, VW buggers, mini-van drivers, motorbikers, and bicyclists. Some are urban dwellers, others reside in the country. Some are potheads, some drinkers, some teetotallers. Some watch PBS, some loved The Jersey Shore, and others don't have tvs in their homes.
They are hashers (On on!), civil war reenactors, fox hunters, side saddle horseback champions, sailors, jousters, square dancers, and HO scale slot car collectors. Most are straight, but the LGBT community is reasonably well represented.
So, no, our parties are not boring.
Nor are our lives impoverished for lack of close pals who think Wall Street is over-regulated, or poor folk are all lazy, or gays are going to hell, or unions are evil, or Obama is a muslim communist marxist nazi, or that Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin would make swell presidents.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 06:55 AM (1 replies)
let's not forget that the reason they control the House and have as large a piece of the Senate as they do is thanks almost entirely to gerrymandering and lies.
About that gerrymandering, in case anyone missed it, Sam Wang did a great piece on this at the beginning of this year:
HAVING the first modern democracy comes with bugs. Normally we would expect more seats in Congress to go to the political party that receives more votes, but the last election confounded expectations. Democrats received 1.4 million more votes for the House of Representatives, yet Republicans won control of the House by a 234 to 201 margin. This is only the second such reversal since World War II.
Using statistical tools that are common in fields like my own, neuroscience, I have found strong evidence that this historic aberration arises from partisan disenfranchisement. Although gerrymandering is usually thought of as a bipartisan offense, the rather asymmetrical results may surprise you.
Through artful drawing of district boundaries, it is possible to put large groups of voters on the losing side of every election. The Republican State Leadership Committee, a Washington-based political group dedicated to electing state officeholders, recently issued a progress report on Redmap, its multiyear plan to influence redistricting. The $30 million strategy consists of two steps for tilting the playing field: take over state legislatures before the decennial Census, then redraw state and Congressional districts to lock in partisan advantages. The plan was highly successful.
Read the entire piece and view the excellent graphics here.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Sep 28, 2013, 05:01 AM (10 replies)
I have limited ability to engage in direct action. I also have limited finances, but I make small donations when I can. However, it is very hard to decide which groups to donate to.
The volume of emails I get from progressive groups continues to grow to the point where some days I just delete it all without reading. On the days when I do read it, I sign just about all of the petitions they ask me to, though I'm not sure it does any good.
Is there any way to know which groups are most successful in accomplishing progressive goals? I am quite far left on most issues, so I lean toward groups such as MoveOn, Bold Progressives, Left Action, etc.
Not that my tiny contributions matter that much anyway, but I'd still like to know.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Thu Sep 26, 2013, 04:59 PM (3 replies)
Proof against RWers' fear that education will destroy the "traditional values" taught in RW homes...
Coatesville Area School District superintendent Richard Como and Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato have gained national attention for their abrupt departures from their positions – and the slew of hateful and racist messages discovered on their district-issued cell phones. Board president Neil Campbell has called the texts “sickening and obviously unacceptable.”
The incendiary messages, which all date from this past June, are a regular cavalcade of bigotry. And a source told the Philadelphia Inquirer Monday that “What has been made public represents a fraction of the messages between the men.” In one exchange, the two riff on how “All should have whatever first names they want… then last name is !”
Over the course of their messages, they also speculate in details on other people’s sex lives, discuss a “Jew red haired ESL” teacher, “that ape,” “cotton pickers” and a “skinny bitch,” among others. Intriguingly, there’s also a reference to a “MAJOR sneak” who “made at least 1500 – 2000 on kickback.” But to be honest, my favorite is the damming understatement that “This fucking phone! No idea how to work!”
Full article and link to the unbelievably racist, sexist, stupid texts
The texts are a sewer of racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-Arab, anti-Latino, and antigay slurs, poisoned with language children are taught not to use.
If there is a group former Superintendent Richard Como and Donato failed to offend, it wasn't for lack of trying.
The texts are also puerile, nasty, superior, profane, and profoundly stupid, laced with a reckless and consistent contempt for students, faculty, and staff.
In one June text, Como asked of two staffers: "Please tell me no f-ing way that ape banged that white piece?"
Please remember at all times that Como is 67, an educator for more than four decades, who was fluent in creating hateful, lurid, infantile, and snarky texts. Como was Coatesville superintendent for eight years, a principal - though perhaps not so principled - for a decade.
Full article and, of course, a slew of racist, sexist comments defending the texters .
As Karen Heller ends her story cited above--Read 'em and weep..
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Thu Sep 26, 2013, 04:36 PM (0 replies)
in the Civil War. He and his brother were in the 40th Infantry Regiment.
FORD, CLEMENT R.: b. Baltimore, Md. Enl. 5/26/61 in Co. F, age 16. At first he was rejected but was officially enlisted 9/1/61. Present until WIA 8/18/64 at Weldon R.R. in right thigh. Furloughed 9/2/64. Present at last record 2/4/65. Farmer. Bur. family cemetery.
His brother, it appears, was killed in the war:
FORD, JOHN W.: b. Northumberland Co. Enl. 5/26/61 in Co. F, age 19. Assistant lumber dealer. MWIA during the 7 Days at an unknown battle. D. 7/1/62. Brother of C. R. Ford, who is two above.
My mom and I have been working on the family tree. Clement Ford was my mother's mother's mother's father. I grew up in MD, NY, and PA and have never lived anywhere else, but I knew my grandmother was from Virginia. We'd thought the family had been there for generations, but, weren't sure. And...I don't know...it just never occurred to me. I'm having quite an emotional response to this.
I wonder how many other DUers know their ancestors fought for the South.
On edit: Please note that this post and poll are about those of us who have ancestors who fought in the Civil War. It is in no way meant to demean or marginalize those DUers who, due to having no family members in the US at the time or whatever other reason, do not have ancestors who fought in the Civil War.
A number of replies have come from DUers who have no ancestors who served in the Civil and who are unhappy that there is no poll choice for them them. There can be only ten choices in a poll, so I can't add that. But, it really wouldn't make sense anyway, as far as I can see. What am I missing (aside from that poll response option, that is)?
So, non-Civil-War-ancestor-having DUers, you can participate, if so desired, by posting in this thread. Just not in the poll itself. Maybe someone can start a new poll?
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:16 AM (185 replies)
correctly, can do just that. Imagine if when people spoke they never paused for a breath. The comma is the strategically placed breath.
I think it's better to err on the side of using them, because, for many people, the commas and other punctuation help organize the the parts of the sentence into meaningful segments. Easier for people like you to decide to just ignore them than for those who find them helpful to figure out where to insert the punctuation marks.
So, if they distract you, try just disregarding them. Just roll right over them. I think it'll work for you, but, of course, I could be wrong. Lots of commas for you to practice on in this here post of mine, so give it a try!
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sun Nov 11, 2012, 02:41 PM (0 replies)
he doesn't handle not working very well. Also, my parents lost over half of their retirement investments in the crash, so it's not completely by choice that he works.
Also, like many white Catholic men of his generation, he retains vestiges of the racist culture in which he grew up. He balked at voting for Obama in 2008. He said things about how the races were never intended to mix and some other weird race-related negative things about the candidate. Also, he really wanted Hillary.
But my mom and I called him on that racist crap and worked on him leading up to the election. He is a curmudgeonly, generally difficult man, so it wasn't easy. However, as we suspected he would in the end, he did vote for the black man who would become our president.
He has, over the past 4 years, become an ardent supporter. And, he despises Romney with a vehemence that may, however unlikely, surpass my own.
Yet, he still will not answer back to all the RW emails he gets from the Republicans he and my mom play bridge with. He gets mad when my mom does. He will not tell the Rs who start trashing Obama at the bridge table that he disagrees. He hates it when my mom does. Even though she generally just says, "We all don't agree, so let's not discuss politics here."
So, it is with great surprise and pride that I read these recent posts he made on facebook:
1. I came to FEMA in Sept 2011 to assist in the disasters Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene. My work is with the municipalities - townships, school districts, waste water treatment plants roads and bridges. Tears came to my eyes when the oath of office -- to defend the constitution etc -- was administered. Helping to restore these entities to pre-disaster or better condition has been a high point in my life's work.
I am very much convinced that this work could never, never be done by anything but a national government entity.
Update -- Yesterday, our FCO in Harrisburg, PA exhorted us to extend the same effort in responding to Sandy. Today too, I was very much heartened to see the Governor of New Jersey praise FEMA and to hear an NY congressperson look directly into a TV camera and say "Thank You FEMA". i am very proud to be able to help!
2. I find it utterly reprehensible that a man who has never held a position in the federal Government would stick his nose in the response to the event, and would do so by using it as a way to pretend that he cares. Care Sir, BY DONATING $30,000,000 of your wealth to the relief effort. send several of the Caddys lying around in your closed mansions. Put people in those homes. Stay out of the way of the Federal Government now and on election day.
3. It is slowly coming to me that anyone who buys Romney's BS can only be doing so out of racial bigotry.
Update: It's kind of late to add this, but I just remembered that my dad is on twitter: http://twitter.com/donhennigan
He doesn't post much, but if you want to encourage him with a follow, maybe he will start. (Please don't be misled by the "wealth management" tweet. As I said, he's still working not just because he likes it. And if Iggy tweets his ageist crap at him, my dad will probably tell him to go f*#k himself.) Here are a few of his old ones:
Chuckling at all R's antics to no avail ..POTUS will still be POTUS in Dec 2012 to 16.
@EricCantor Your tactics are BLACKMAIL. Be a man and address spending/revenue issue separately Don't ruin the with mafia tactics.
If the R's have, as they say that they do, a plan to create jobs, they must disclose it to POTUS. Otherwise Criminal & reprehensible
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Wed Oct 31, 2012, 03:14 PM (79 replies)
I'd had pretty much a negative opinion of Gloria Allred until a friend suggested maybe I didn't know enough about her and referred me to this article:
My opinion of her has improved quite a bit. An excerpt:
You know her as the lawyer who represented Tiger Woods’ mistresses and the blond allegedly groped by presidential hopeful Herman Cain. But Gloria Allred has also done pioneering work for women’s rights. Is it possible to be a righteous feminist advocate and a celebrity gun for hire?
BY JENNIFER SZALAI
Allred was admitted to the California bar in 1975, which happened to be the year that Time, in its Person of the Year issue, dedicated to American Women. She started a law practice with two classmates from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Michael Maroko and Nathan Goldberg, and they began to establish themselves as specialists in civil rights, including the burgeoning fields of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
In 1980, she successfully sued the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, which had been shackling pregnant inmates while they were in labor. In 1984, Allred filed a case against L.A.'s Catholic Archdiocese on behalf of a woman who was abused by seven priests and had given birth to one of their offspring; 23 years later, she won. Another client had been asked during a job interview about her menstrual cycle; Allred won a settlement after eight years of wrangling.
Her critics point to these early victories and draw a sharp contrast with her later work, wondering why the same attorney would deign to take on plights that seem more like fodder for gossip mags than grave affronts to justice. But Allred doesn't see the discrepancy in such stark terms—if she sees it at all. In her 2007 book, Fight Back and Win, she has a chapter called "Little Things Start Big Changes" in which she describes bringing suit against everyone from a dry cleaner (for charging more to clean women's blouses) to a kids' salon (for charging more for girls' haircuts).
The sheer range of cases is striking. And to each one—whether the client was a victim of rape or a reality-TV experience gone awry—Allred appends an "Empowerment Lesson." (Sample: "Standing up for integrity has its price, but it's one worth paying.") Allred seems to have taken "the personal is political" rallying cry of the '70s and run with it, finding both victimization and empowerment wherever she looks.
Indeed, Allred still uses the radical vocabulary of an earlier era. "I'm not an academic. I'm not a philosopher," she told me the first time we met. "I'm in the war zone, I'm on the battlefield. Often, there's going to be blood in the water." She concedes that women are "learning their rights, and they're fighting back," but she doesn't believe things have improved much for women in the four decades since she started practicing law.
If anything, she said, young women are prone to greater disappointment, "because they expect to be treated fairly, to be treated on their merits, not sexually harassed, not beaten, not deprived of their child support. 'It's 2012? I didn't think it was going to happen to me.' They're in shock." When pressed about whether she truly believes the situation is as dire as it's ever been, Allred is unrelenting. "It hasn't gotten better in 36 years," she told me, her brown eyes trained steadily on mine. "There are still wounded on the battlefield, and most of them are called women."
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Oct 27, 2012, 07:34 AM (42 replies)
But I'll post it anyway.
I've been reading DU since the summer of 2008, when I found it somewhat calming to know that not everyone in America thought Sarah Palin was just awesome.
I've resisted the temptation to join DU for at least two reasons:
1. I tend to become obsessive
2. I'm rather curmudgeonly and don't always play well with the other children
Both of which can wreak havoc with me and others. But apparently I've run out of willpower, so here i am.
I've read some DUers disparaging MSNBC, and I don't get that. I think Rachel Maddow does an amazing job of clearly laying out a case for nearly every issue she covers. I feel the same about Chris Hayes, who I think is also a massively impressive ring master.
I also have a soft spot, some may say in my brain, for my fellow loud Irishmen Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Matthews. I like Ed and Al, as well, and some of the newer ones seem good, too. But, I already watch too much damn tv (usually while doing other things, but still...) to get hooked on any more shows.
In addition to my MSNBC commitments, I have a one-hour-per-day, four-days-a-week session with Jon Stewart and, my hero, Stephen Colbert
Well, that's more than enough about me to start with. Thanks for having me and I hope you don't have to kick me out too soon.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Oct 27, 2012, 01:26 AM (12 replies)