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Dark n Stormy Knight

Profile Information

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: 2,544

About Me

Liberal.

Journal Archives

It's OK if you can't discern and enjoy those characteristics. Many can.

On the surface "I Want To Hold Your Hand" is deceptively straightforward and regular in design. Its high-level form is a standard two-bridge model with only one verse (and no solo) intervening between the two bridges. Similarly, its phrase lengths appear for the most part to be symmetrically even, and its back-beat for long stretches sounds closer to conservative pop than rebelliously hard rock.

And yet, by the same token, just about everyone of the Beatles' early trademark tricks of the trade is to be found within it: the abrupt syncopations, non-intuitive two-part vocal harmony, falsetto screaming, an occasionally novel chord progression, even some elided phrasing. And of course, don't forget the overdubbed handclaps!

Perhaps it is just this paradoxical contrast between familiar and more daring elements that is at the heart of the song's phenomenal success.
http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/iwthyh.shtml

Before them, pop music might have had its rebellious aspect, but the Beatles opened our ears to a range of sounds both past their prime and revolutionary, unknown to our culture and, in the end, the new definition of it.

It actually started with their first American hits, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You,” in that post-JFK assassination winter of 1964. The hooks and chord progressions were original, the harmonies thrilling without striving for sweetness. Rougher voices would emerge soon enough, but only after John Lennon and Paul McCartney established that you didn’t have to sing super-pretty to be popular.
http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2014/02/09/life/doc52f5591ecf5de142802974.txt
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Wed Feb 12, 2014, 04:45 PM (0 replies)

Slow left lane drivers are self-centered and oblivioous, at best, and self-righteous jerks in many

cases.

Aside from drinking and driving, failure to keep right is perhaps the most hazardous action on roadways, said Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), also a co-sponsor
“One driver cruising along in the left lane can cause dozens of other drivers to become frustrated, leading to more incidents of aggressive driving and additional, unnecessary lane changes — which, in turn, lead to more accidents,” he said.
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/06/highway_left-lane_hogs_could_see_fines_double_for_failing_to_move_over.html


Driving slowly in the fast lane is more than just annoying, it's also illegal in many states. Wanna know if your 45-mph, Buick-borne grandma is breaking the law on the interstate? Just consult our handy map.P

The most popular law follows the Uniform Vehicle Code, which says a car driving below the "normal speed of traffic" should be driven in the right-hand lane. Because it indicates "normal speed" instead of saying "speed limit" a driver going above the speed limit but slower than most traffic is still in the wrong.
http://jalopnik.com/5501615/left+lane-passing-laws-a-state+by+state-map
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Wed Feb 12, 2014, 04:29 PM (0 replies)

I'm A Believer!! Obamacare success story.

I was one of the harshest critics here of the maddeningly awful healthcare.gov site. I have a master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology, so I have some related experience, and I could write a very long article on the many usability and other healthcare.gov issues (many even when the site is working as apparently planned.) I spent many, many frustrating hours on the site and on the phone with their CS reps and with healthcare "navigators". My blood pressure may never be the same.

Also, as an advocate of Medicare for all, I can find plenty of fault with the ACA.

However, I am extremely happy to report that starting this month we are saving $644/month on our premiums, and the coverage is basically the same. We now have an Independence Blue Cross Keystone HMO Silver Proactive Health Insurance plan. A small subsidy is helping keep the new cost low.

I'm not going to give any more personal details, so if anyone wants to doubt my claim, I understand. But as for me, I'm a believer.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Jan 27, 2014, 10:36 PM (22 replies)

How's this? GOP REDMAP Memo Admits Gerrymandering To Thank For Congressional Election Success

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.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/gop-redmap-memo-gerrymandering_n_2498913.html

This could not be more important.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Wed Oct 2, 2013, 01:38 AM (1 replies)

I'm with you, BB! Anyone who would identify themselves with the things that today's

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)

As if it's not bad enough that the Rs are holding the country hostage,

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)

Which progressive groups do the most with our donations?

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)

I just found out that one of my great great grandfathers served on the Confederate side

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)

I was joking, of course, but the commas are meant to clarify the written message, and, if used

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)
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