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Mira's Journal
Mira's Journal
May 31, 2014

Take a look at the beautiful submissions for "Spring" - Seasonal Contest coming up/Photography Forum


We are 10 photographs short and would like for you to enter if you have one that says "Spring" to you. All the requirements are that the longest side is no more than 800 pixels, and that you took the photograph yourself.

I would so love it if we could attract new folks to take part in our contest.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. It's the last day to submit. The preliminary voting threads are going up tomorrow.

Thanks, and enjoy!
May 31, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest at Angelou's funeral

Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest at Angelou's funeral ---Ghouls seem to be gathering

Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., is planning to protest the funeral of Maya Angelou, the award-winning author and international celebrity who died Wednesday at her Winston-Salem home. Angelou was 86.

Rebecca Phelps-Davis, a church spokeswoman, confirmed Friday that five to 10 of her fellow church members will stage a demonstration at Angelou’s funeral. Angelou’s family hasn’t officially announced the funeral arrangements.

What do you think of Westboro Baptist Church’s planned protest at Maya Angelou’s funeral?

What do you think of Westboro Baptist Church’s planned protest at Maya Angelou’s funeral?

Phelps-Davis said that Westboro Baptist decided to stage the protest immediately after Angelou died. The church is known for its protests at the funerals of American military personnel. It says that God is punishing the United States because its armed forces support gay rights.

The church will protest Angelou’s funeral because Angelou supported same-sex marriage and gay rights, Phelps-Davis said. The organization’s demonstrators will stand on a sidewalk or another public place near Angeou’s funeral site and display signs against the iconic author.

Phelps-Davis also defended the hateful messages about Angelou that Westboro Baptist members and followers have posted to Twitter.

“Maya Angelou had a platform that she never used to glorify God,” Phelps-Davis said. “Same-sex marriage will destroy America.

“The American people are making a mockery of this death because they are treating Angelou like she was their best friend,” Phelps-Davis said.

The Rev. Serenus Churn is the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church where Angelou was a member for more than 30 years. Churn, who led the first memorial service for Angelou on Thursday, discounted Westboro Baptist planned protest.

“It is unfortunate that they are some sick people filled with hatred and malice,” Churn said. “They are trying to desecrate the memory of someone who spoke for fair play and justice.

“Dr. Angelou was always concerned with equality of all human beings,” Churn said. “That is what they are opposed to. Nothing that they will do will diminish her stature.


May 30, 2014

Scientist consider new names for Climate Change - Borowitz reveals the ones in English

NEW HAVEN (The Borowitz Report)—After a report from the Yale Center on Climate Change Communication showed that the term “climate change” elicits relatively little concern from the American public, leading scientists are recommending replacing it with a new term: “You will be burnt to a crisp and die.”

Other terms under consideration by the scientists include “your cities will be ravaged by tsunamis and floods” and “earth will be a fiery hellhole incapable of supporting human life.”

Scientists were generally supportive of the suggestions, with many favoring the term “your future will involve rowing a boat down a river of rotting corpses.”

“Any of these terms would do a better job conveying the urgency of the problem,” Tracy Klugian, a spokesperson for the newly renamed Yale Center for Oh My God Wake Up You Assholes, said.

May 30, 2014

Emergency dispatcher suspended over conversation on Angelou’s 911 call

A Winston -Salem /Forsyth County emergency dispatcher has been suspended with pay over comments he made that were picked up in a 911 recording connected to Maya Angelou’s death.

Angelou, 86, famed poet, actress and activist, died early Wednesday morning at her home in Winston-Salem after a long illness.

In the county’s recording of the 911 call made by Angelou’s caretaker, an emergency dispatcher can be heard in the background discussing an interview Oprah Winfrey did last fall with the BBC that generated some controversy.

Winfrey and Angelou were close friends.

“These comments are unacceptable and we have opened an internal investigation to look into the circumstances surrounding this event,” Forsyth County EMS Director Dan Ozimek said in a statement.

Ozimek said the telecommunicator, John Ruckh, has been suspended with pay pending the investigation. Ruckh has worked for Forsyth County EMS for 24 years.

Ozimek said he discovered Ruckh’s conversation when reviewing the tape on Wednesday. Ruckh was not the primary dispatcher on the call but was in the same room.

The conversation is a bit garbled on the 911 recording and takes up less than a minute of the 7-minute call, but Ruckh appears to be saying that “Oprah has fallen out of grace” with a lot of people and asks someone if they have heard her recent rant. He says she is upset because people are not supportive of President Barack Obama and, apparently paraphrasing one of her statements, says that racism is alive because so many white people have been raised in the era of hating black people.

More, and the audio of the conversation here:


my comment:

if you read all of it, and if you listen, you will see this is not in my opinion a gravid problem with a Southern, local, dispatcher. I think it will be resolved. To me he seems well disposed toward Ms. Angelou, and understanding of the gravity of the situation with this famous and special citizen of our town.

May 28, 2014

Nobody Expected THIS To Happen When These Four Women Walked On Stage. Whoa!

Admittedly,when a friend told me that I had to watch this video of a quartet, I thought to myself “how exciting can this possibly be?” Well, I’m glad I watched the video because these four ladies from Germany blew my expectations out of the water! Known as Salut Salon, the quartet are not only great musicians, they are very talented comedians!

Read more at http://www.metaspoon.com/quartet/#7byWpgsPrQREVTqD.99
This piece is called “Competitive Foursome” and after watching the video, I can totally see why. I would love to see them live!
May 26, 2014

Imagine a White People's Party ---Gene Nichol / Point of View / Raleigh News and Observer

In the months ahead, every Tar Heel will be forced to choose whether to re-embrace racial supremacy and exclusion.

By Gene Nichol

Last month, Sen. Rand Paul mentioned that which must not be named. “You go to a Republican event, and it’s all white people,” he said at a gathering at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He had earlier chided fellow Republicans, saying: “If we want to be a party of white people, we’re winning.” A few days ago, he added for good measure that Republicans have “gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing,” insulting African-Americans. Man. Good thing he’s not a Democrat.
I thought Paul’s candor would provoke an intra-party firestorm – with fellow Republicans either lambasting the accuracy of the “white people’s party” claim or berating him for poking at the elephant in the room that other Republicans ignore. Neither occurred – suggesting Paul’s statements were both true and untroubling. Think on that.
The North Carolina Republican Party holds impressive super-majorities in both houses of the General Assembly. Though our state is 23 percent African-American, the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate have no black members.
So when they retire to craft our policies – repealing the Racial Justice Act, passing voting restrictions largely aimed at African-Americans, packing black voters into gerrymandered legislative districts, rejecting the paid-for Medicaid expansion, crushing unemployment compensation, limiting welfare benefits – no black member rises to address the issues. A white Republican governor and an all-white Cabinet round out the sweep. Some will say this is impolite to mention. Accurate, but impolite.
The racial lineup frequently triggers an appalling aesthetic. Dismissive white legislative and executive officials call Moral Monday protesters “morons” and “outside” agitators – evoking images of the desegregation era. State representatives treat “NAACP” as a tacitly assumed epithet rather than the historic champion of American promise it is.

Incumbent legislators run campaign commercials disparaging the Rev. William Barber – moving beyond “dog-whistle” to overt, racialized politics. It calls to mind the stunning 2012 Republican National Convention when a huge, almost entirely white sea of delegates listened to speaker after speaker denounce a young black president for “dividing the nation.”
But operating the N.C. Republican Party as a white persons’ assemblage violates more than notions of aesthetics. Given our foundational aspirations, given our history and struggle, and given the moving and inspired premises of our national undertaking, operating as a white people’s party in 2014 is both stunningly immoral and overtly dismissive of our defining constitutive societal purpose. It shames us as a people.
Imagine that under a strange, somehow enforceable, truth-in-labeling demand, our Republican Party were forced to rename itself the White People’s Party. Would a young, tech-driven libertarian explain: “I don’t like capital gains taxes, so I joined the White People’s Party”? Would an accomplished and respected investment banker declare: “I’m committed to the carried interest exception, so I vote for the White People’s Party”? Would a devout, patriotic evangelical forthrightly proclaim: “We need prayer in our classrooms, so I’m with the White Party”?

Of course not. Such justifications and protestations would immediately and conclusively be dismissed out of hand. No set of allegiances or commonalities would work to validate association with an overtly race-based political party. Admitted exclusion trumps the bartering of normal politics. It rejects the foundation of our polity.
But is the reach of moral responsibility so thin it can be escaped by the transparent tool of branding? Is it acceptable to operate as a white person’s party as long as you never admit it? Does the fact of exclusion fade before the disingenuous assertion of brotherhood? Can one, without blame, aid and abet the repudiation of equality? Is the labeling all that matters? Too much blood has been spilled, too many life chances crushed, to settle for pretense.
It can be comforting to assume the choices we face are less astounding than they are. In the months ahead, every Tar Heel will be forced to choose whether she will, eyes wide, re-embrace racial supremacy and exclusion. We are children of the American South. Our leaders may seek to ignore our history, but they can’t escape its shadow.
It makes no difference if the proponents of exclusion wear genial smiles and speak, oddly, of American values and Christian tenets. It has happened before. We all lose – not just African-Americans and other citizens of color – if we retreat to a white people’s politics. And we lose badly, perhaps irreparably. Who would have guessed we’d mark the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education this month by deciding whether to embrace or reject its inclusionary premise?

Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. He doesn’t speak for UNC.

May 24, 2014

<<<<Comment Thread for the Seasonal Contest “Spring”>>>>

Please comment/ discuss/ enjoy this thread about the submissions to the Seasonal Contest “Spring”

Here is the link to the submission thread


May 24, 2014

<<<<Please submit a photo for the Seasonal Contest “Spring” - here>>>>

Submissions will be limited to 30 entries, and the contest will start on June 1st.
I would like to have it finished by the 10th of June or thereabouts to create space for the June contest.
I know the timing is a bit abbreviated for submissions to come in - only a solid week and a day. So please don’t tarry, show your favorite from this Spring or one from your files.

It is not a blind contest, and you are free to submit what makes you happy except please limit photo editing to a reasonable amount.
I would prefer your photo look like a photograph instead of a digital design. If you aren’t sure, ask the group in a separate thread. You’ll get plenty of feedback to specific questions.

Please keep your entry no larger than 800 pixels in its longest dimension and under 300K in file size. If you need help posting a photograph or with image sizing, just ask.

Please be sure to include a "Title" for your photograph in the Subject line of your post.

The winner of the seasonal contest agrees to host the next seasonal contest or recruit someone else to host the contest.
The winner of the Spring Contest or his/her designated substitute will start the
summer contest on September 1st.

The host/hostess is allowed to enter in the seasonal contest.


An entrant to this contest, by submitting a photograph, is giving permission for that photograph to be copied to Demopedia or to a linked Gallery and included in a DU Calendar that will display the photographs entered for this contest for the purpose of publicizing future contests and/or commemorating current and past contests. The entrant retains all other rights to the photograph being submitted. Neither Demopedia and/or a linked Gallery may use any photograph submitted for any purpose other than to display the photograph being submitted by the entrant, and neither gains any real or implied ownership rights to the photograph.

This submission thread is for photo entries only, no comments, no questions just the photographs in this thread please.
If you want to comment on the photos, or discuss, or ask questions I have created a separate thread for that and the link is here:

Please realize a seasonal contest is not limited to flowers and weather, it includes things like seasonal holidays or happenings, so be creative.

I look forward to seeing your submissions, and, like I said, please get them in as soon as you can!

May 22, 2014

An Apology from Prince Charles we would not know about without Andy Borowitz

LONDON (The Borowitz Report) – In response to the international uproar created when he reportedly compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler, His Royal Highness Prince Charles today issued the following letter of apology to the Russian people.

My dear Russians,

Yesterday, it was reported that I compared your President Putin to Hitler. If by making this comment I have in some way offended you, I am deeply sorry. Adolf Hitler was one of the horrible villains in world history, and comparing President Putin to him was uncalled for.

What I should have said, and what I say to you now, is that this Putin chap can be a bit Hitlery at times.

Let’s take, for example, his penchant for taking territory that doesn’t belong to him and then adding it to his country and so forth. Would you call that behavior Hitlery or not Hitlery? From where I sit, it’s more like something Hitler would do than something he wouldn’t do, and so the verdict must be, yes, the chap is being rather Hitlery when he does that.

And, while we’re on the subject, what about Putin’s use of tanks? Also very Hitlery. Again, let me be clear: I am not calling him Hitler—but if you think you can use tanks and not come off a tad bit Hitlery, you’re not right in the head.

Since I made my remarks, some British politicians have suggested that I abdicate my position as Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne. In other words, they believe that I do not have the right to free speech. If memory serves, back in the nineteen-thirties another chap went around trying to punish people for speaking their minds. I’m not going to name names, but if the shoe fits…

Yours truly,

H.R.H. Prince Charles


May 22, 2014

Just when you thought it was safe……..(Matson cartoon)

adding a favorite visual

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