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Dark n Stormy Knight

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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: 3,603

About Me

Liberal.

Journal Archives

The defenses of Donald Trump’s ‘Second Amendment’ comment don’t make sense.

I had been trying to compose a post about this, but fortunately found a professional had written it out for me.

Trump made the "Second Amendment" remark as he was already talking about a situation in which Clinton was the president. He said, "If gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks." There's "nothing you can do" in this situation because Trump is talking about a time in which the 2016 election has already passed and Clinton is president. If he wasn't talking about that situation, why would he say there was "nothing you can do?" During the election, there's something pretty obvious you can do: Prevent her from becoming president in the first place.

Then Trump immediately follows it up by saying, "But I tell you what, that'll be a horrible day." Again, this strongly suggests the time frame he's talking about is when she's already in the White House. Otherwise, both the "horrible day" comment and the "nothing you can do" comment that bookend his Second Amendment remark are total non sequiturs.
Check out the full WaPo article by Aaron Blake here.

In the piece, Blake also discusses the following attempt by Rudy Giuliani to defend of Trump's recent comment.

"We know Donald Trump is not particularly indirect," Giuliani said. "If Donald Trump was going to say something like that, he'd say something like that."

According to Blake,
He (Giuliani) says Trump is "not particularly indirect," but Trump is the king of political innuendo..

Here Blake links to another WaPo article, ‘A lot of people are saying . . . ’: How Trump spreads conspiracies and innuendoes. It's a good analysis of how Trump, and, I believe many politicians--RWers in particular--can say so much without ever actually, indisputably saying it.

Trump frequently couches his most controversial comments this way, which allows him to share a controversial idea, piece of tabloid gossip or conspiracy theory without technically embracing it. If the comment turns out to be popular, Trump will often drop the distancing qualifier — “people think” or “some say.” If the opposite happens, Trump can claim that he never said the thing he is accused of saying, equating it to retweeting someone else’s thoughts on Twitter.

Which I think explains why we shouldn't be surprised if someone carries out Trump's "second amendment" suggestion and Trump is not held the slightest bit responsible for it.

A lot of attention was given to this issue when infamous word-salad chef Sarah Palin came to our attention. A lot of virtual ink went to discussing her intensely cringe-worthy speaking style.

A lot of RWers seem to share this inability to clearly express themselves, yet, their supporters don't seem to find this problematic. Intelligence, logic, even specific plans for governing are not necessary in their speeches, as long as they convey their solidarity with the the Right Wing cause.

Here are links to some of the best of the other information I found on the subject:

A Linguistic Analysis Of Donald Trump Shows Why People Like Him So Much (video)

Donald Trump's use of grammar 'typical of children aged 11 and under'

What Language Experts Find So Strange About Donald Trump

Linguists explain why Sarah Palin has such an emotional connection with her audience This may also apply to Trump. For the scholarly, here is a link to a pdf of the academic study on which it seems this last article was based.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Fri Aug 12, 2016, 12:09 AM (4 replies)

Pennsylvania Absentee Voting

I've done some research on absentee voting in PA and it seems like the rules are explained differently in various places. Some sites seem to suggest there are only a few instances which qualify voters to do so absentee. But the actual application/request form for absentee ballot allows for a broader range.

On the form, you must choose one of these reason categories:

Section A: Absence from Municipality
Declaration that you are eligible to vote absentee because duties, occupation, or business will require you to be out of the district all of election day for the reason stated below (which you must write in, but which I suspect doesn't need to be any more detailed than a reiterate that one of the three require your absence. For instance, I will be out of town for my job, or duties require me to be absent from the district.)

Section B: Illness of physical disability
Declaration that you are eligible to vote absentee due to the illness or physical disability stated below (which you must write in.)


You can download the application asking for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you here: www.dosimages.pa.gov/pdf/AbsenteeBallotApplication.pdf

This, unfortunately for those of us who like to type in our forms, must be filled in by hand. Montgomery County has provided a version that you can fill on your computer before printing.

It's just slightly different from the other version. I'm using it. I'll send it in well before the deadline and report back whether or not my County (Chester) accepts it. They should. You can download this version from here: http://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/2214

The fact that the state doesn't provide a computer-fillable one is so 20th century. (Many of PA's government web sites fall into that category also. Some, for instance, are only accessible during business hours!)

You must mail the application form to your local County Board of Elections. They will then mail you the absentee ballot.

I have to hand it to the Rs who provided a list of all Pennsylvania elections board addresses on the pdf with the (non-computer-fillable) application form, available here.

You can also get the addresses from here.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Aug 6, 2016, 05:51 AM (2 replies)

Trump vs. Palin

Maybe I hadn't been paying close enough attention before, but when Palin pushed her way onto the scene and came way too close for my liking to becoming our Vice President, I was genuinely shocked.

Sure, Dubya was alarmingly unenlightened, belligerent, and intellectually deficient. His habitual butchering of the English language was embarrassingly un-presidential. Particularly disturbing was his manner of speaking to the public as if we were learning disabled pre-schoolers, when it was the minds behind the BS his speech was meant to sell which deserved to be talked down to.

And that's just for starters.

But still, the support Palin garnered astonished and mortified me. She had most of Dubya's negatives plus a few. Her blatant, unashamed racism. Her exceptional ignorance of international affairs. I could go on.

Now we have Trump. Whether he even gets the nomination, much less becomes president, I find his popularity as a candidate for the highest office in the land (and probably world) stupefying.

I'm not sure though which is worse, Palin or Trump. What do you think?


(Moved after inadvertent posting in Democratic Primaries on the advice of 99Forever.)
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Fri Jan 8, 2016, 09:33 PM (8 replies)

Just don’t get hoodwinked into believing that Curt Schilling is not one of them.

Curt’s point that there are a lot of awful people on social media was a valid one as well, except he totally ignored the fact that he is among them.


Curt Schilling has both authored and shared some of the more alarming examples of hate speech I’ve ever seen a person of his profile make, and the response has been little more than a few eye rolls and a hope that maybe if we just ignore him he’ll go away. Towards the end of 2014 Curt made three posts on his Facebook page that I feel need to be discussed before his hero tour picks up any more steam.


So why bring all this up? Because all we’re hearing about now is what a hero Curt Schilling is for standing up for his daughter and going after the trolls who said horrible things about her, but who goes after Curt when he shares a post calling black people n***ers or posts political memes of 9/11 jumpers?


Curt talks about accountability, but where was the accountability for him? I certainly didn’t write to ESPN and demand that Curt get fired for the terrible things he shared, but according to pretty much everyone, that would have been the correct way to handle it, right? Accountability is a two way street, and Curt Schilling’s social media postings have crossed that line several times.

So while you listen to masses laud him as a hero for going after the cyber-bullies who attacked his daughter, just keep in mind that most of the people he retweeted have/had just a small handful of followers. Curt Schilling has a vast audience. Tens of thousands of people were exposed to his hateful and wildly offensive postings and yet there has been no recourse. He still works for ESPN and I can guarantee you he doesn’t think he did a single thing wrong by posting any of the three examples I’ve cited.


That post shares only a couple of examples of the sort of thing Schilling has frequently posted to his blog and other high traffic outlets.

And, I personally find it odd that, in light of the topic at hand, little has been said about Schilling's failure to speak out against similar reprehensible behavior in the GamerGate situation. Horrible as they were, the comments about his daughter were not made to her, but to him in a one-time situation. While in the case of GamerGate, the threats were made directly to the women and were ongoing.

So, while it's good to see misogynistic behavior denounced, before we jump on the Curt Schilling as feminist hero bandwagon, let's not forget that Schilling, deeply involved in the gamer world, did not and has not spoken out against the disgusting violent GamerGate threats made against women. In fact, I have a very strong suspicion that as long as such threats are made against liberal or feminist women, not only will he not speak out, he won't really mind at all.

More on Schilling's own personal brand of cyber-bullying here.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sun Mar 8, 2015, 11:39 PM (41 replies)

The patriarchy has been such a powerful and influential force over a long period of time that we can

safely assume that it has has significant influence on just about everything, but particularly things related to male-female relationships and sexuality in general.

You want to talk absurdity? Denying that one's sexual preferences, including kinks, within one's sexual orientation can be taught is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. Not in the least reality-based.

Most things are learned and what is learned is overwhelmingly influenced by the society in which one lives. And most things about the society in which we live have come down to us though the system of patriarchy. That's the reality.

Questioning whether what we've been taught to enjoy is ultimately positive for us as women and for humanity in general, is not a "Church Lady" thing.

And here is an extremely insightful article that addresses that in relation to 50 Shades.

The real reasons for the popularity of Fifty Shades, and for the persistent role of domination and submission in women’s sexual imaginations, are rooted in what it actually means to live life in a female body—and the truth about that is so dark it makes Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain seem as innocuous as a backyard sandbox.

So when people pontificate about women’s intrinsic sexual nature, I find myself thinking: How do you know? How can we ourselves even know? From earliest childhood, women’s experience of sex is so inextricably intertwined with all forms of male control that submission is forever eroticized in more ways than we can possibly unravel. As females, we have been dominated physically, politically, socially, legally, and economically, and pop culture endlessly reinforces the message. Hip-hop derides bitches and ho’s, an entire genre of blockbuster videogames depicts female characters as sexualized corpses or disposable prostitutes, fashion sells bondage dresses with leather cages, and Hollywood recycles domination themes from 9 1⁄2 Weeks to Secretary to Venus in Fur. Sex is fused with violence for countless women who suffer domestic abuse by husbands and lovers. More than a third of all female homicide victims are killed by intimate partners.


Given those realities, who can say what we would be like in a world where our sexual desires, and the way we express them, were freely chosen instead of imposed on us by a lifetime of social conditioning? Fifty Shades of Grey may represent the ultimate appropriation for capitalist consumption of themes that have resonated throughout history, but one thing its popularity can’t tell us is the truth about female sexuality.


Such a great article I think it needs its own OP. I'll try to get to that.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Feb 23, 2015, 06:06 PM (0 replies)

Video of the Moment: companion video to the Elizabeth Warren meme

OK, maybe the moment was 4 and half years ago, but, with all due respect (and that's a lot of respect) to Elizabeth Warren, I don't think anyone will every explain trickle down quite as well as Stephen Colbert did in this The Word segment:


And here is a transcript of the best/worst part, (The words from the screen next to Colbert a re shown in parentheses after the related script text.) But, watch the video. It's hilarious.

Yes. Deficits do matter. And that is as true today as the last time a Democrat was in office. (Back then we called them surpluses) In fact, Republicans have put their deficit nuts on the table. By repeatedly filibustering benefits to 15 million unemployed Americans, because that would add $33 billion to the deficit. And that would just be passing that bill onto future generations. (Of Chinese)

So, arguing to add $1 trillion to the deficit to give these tax cuts to the wealthy makes it look hypocritical and heartless. (Instead of just hypocritical) Well, here's why they're not. Economists know tax cuts for wealthy Americans benefit everyone. It's even got a name. ("Self-serving rationalization")

It's called the "trickle down theory". Here's how it works. Let's say I'm in the top 3% of wage earners. Because I am. And this Bud Light Lime is a refreshing tax cut. With lime. (Tastes great, less filing) Now, the bigger my tax cut is, the more money I can pour into the system.

Then, very soon, the benefits will work their way through the system, and trickle down. I mean, like a racehorse. Then, the other 97% of poorer Americans are welcome to have as much of that as they can collect. (Transcript courtesy of this Daily Kos Diary.)
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Jan 10, 2015, 08:39 AM (4 replies)

Massive fraud in the Social Security Disability system!

Appears to be a RW fiction.

Fraud appears limited to relatively few cases in the disability program, although it is difficult to know precisely how many beneficiaries could be working. A report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found that about 0.4 percent of disability beneficiaries were likely receiving improper payments, because they were working before or after they began receiving checks. Another report by Social Security's inspector general examined administrative law judges who were approving an unusually high proportion of disability applications and concluded that some of those approvals may have been mistaken. That group of beneficiaries also accounted for about 0.4 percent of all those receiving disability payments.

And while it's true that more and more people are on disability, this is largely a result of the fact that the workforce is getting older and more likely to be hurt or sick, according to Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-of-center think tank. About seven in ten disability recipients are at least 50 years old -- and that group is also expanding to include the women who entered the workforce at the beginning of their careers decades ago.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/01/07/social-security-disability-payments-would-be-cut-by-a-fifth-without-new-action/

Mo Better info at my subsequent post on the subject.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Fri Jan 9, 2015, 01:09 AM (2 replies)

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, 05:45 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, 05:29 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, 11:36 PM (22 replies)
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