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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: 9,304

About Me

I stand in solidarity with the world in disgust with and unwavering opposition to the 45th pResident. The misogynistic, racist, vengeful, volatile, lying, cheating, narcissistic bully is unfit to serve.

Journal Archives

Supporting Gillibrand, Harris, etc., while opposing Franken's resignation

Life is complicated. I've been very conflicted about this issue since well before Franken was accused.

Year after year in our history we've seen women being put on trial for the crime of daring to tell the truth about what happened to them, and countless women who didn't dare speak out because of that sort of unjust treatment. It is infuriating & heartbreaking.

Judging by the experiences of my female friends & family members, any statistic claiming much less than less than 100% of women having dealt with some sort of uninvited, unwelcome, or inappropriate sexual advance is understating the facts.

On the other hand, how can justice be served if an accusation, any accusation, is taken unquestionably as proof of guilt? And, not to dismiss any inappropriate behavior of this nature, but how can there be no recognition of the difference between various degrees of misconduct?

So, I've been very vocal about my disagreement with any decision about or by Franken before the ethics investigation was completed. There is a lot to be suspicious about as far as the timing and nature of the accusations against him.

On the other hand, I've also been really disappointed to see so many DUers go well past that idea and into vehemently attacking Franken's accusers in misogynist ways, like saying Tweedon's behavior on stage invalidates her right to complain about sexual misconduct by others.

That's the kind of thing that's kept many women silent about abuse. Hardly different from comments like, "Well, look what she was wearing. She was asking for it," and, "You know, she did sleep around" as justification for rape.

I'll admit, my first thoughts on seeing Tweedon's behavior on stage were along the lines of it seeming odd and suspicious that she could behave that way and then be offended by Franken's actions. But I analyzed that. She was acting a version of herself on stage, and her actions may even have been loosely planned. Also, most men, while having every right to be offended by such behavior, aren't.

Well, I'm sure this is already TLDR for most, and I know I'll find few friends by refusing to take a side, but it's a complex issue. So, even if no one even gets this far, I may as well finish my thoughts.

I continue to feel it was wrong for Franken to be forced out. I feel like we are now in a great battle for Democracy and losing Franken is losing one of our best warriors. However, I believe Gillibrand and the others are also warriors in a different war and are standing on principle and in solidarity with all of women and against sexual misconduct.

As one of Gillibrand's major efforts has been working on the problem of rape and sexual harassment in the military, her call for Franken's resignation seems completely logical and consistent.

I may not believe the best decision at this moment was to stand on principle, but do think that's what those Congresswomen did. So I think it would be wrong to condemn and abandon the Democratic women in Congress for standing up for women in general.

So, there you have it. Flame away.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Dec 11, 2017, 07:58 PM (33 replies)

I've been very conflicted about this since well before Franken was accused.

Years of women being put on trial for the crime of daring to tell the truth and the women who didn't dare speak out because of this injustice is infuriating & heartbreaking.

Going by the experiences of my female friends & family members, any statistic claiming much less than less than 100% of women having dealt with some sort of uninvited, unwelcome, or inappropriate sexual advance is understating the frequency with which this occurs.

On the other hand, how can justice be served if an accusation, any accusation, is taken unquestionably as proof of guilt?

And, not to dismiss any inappropriate behavior of this nature, but how can there be no recognition of the difference between various degrees of misconduct?

So, as far as this particular case at this particular moment, I don't take it lightly. But I come down on the side you've presented so well here. Thanks for your post.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Thu Dec 7, 2017, 02:40 AM (0 replies)

Good question, as the title of the article on the Mediaite site

is this:
New York Times Corrects Trump for Claiming The Paper ‘Set Up’ Bob Corker

This inquiry sent me down a rabbit hole on the use of single vs double quotation marks. Oi vey.

Single Quotes or Double Quotes? It’s Really Quite Simple.
By Andrew Heisel

If you are an American, using quotation marks could hardly be simpler: Use double quotation marks at all times unless quoting something within a quotation, when you use single. It's different in the greater Anglosphere, where they generally use singles in books and doubles in newspapers. It's still pretty simple, but nothing so straightforward as here.

Yet some of us don't seem happy with what we've got. For several years now in teaching writing classes to college freshmen, I’ve noticed some students adopt another rule: double quotes for long quotations, single quotes for single words or short phrases. They'll quote a long passage from Measure for Measure accurately, but when they want to quote one of Shakespeare's words, a cliché, or some dubious concept like "virtue," they'll go with single quotes.

It took me a while to understand what was going on, but after thoroughly studying it I developed a rigorous explanation for this staggering decline in standards: kids today.

But then I looked up from their papers to find this usage in the manuscript of a friend's novel. Then I saw them in another friend's manuscript—this time, of an academic book. Then I turned to the Internet and they were everywhere—in a local news story, in a paper by a college professor, in a blog on social marketing, in a blog on the education system, on the website of the Children's Literacy Foundation. In each case, the same short/single, long/double quote rule was followed.

Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Tue Oct 10, 2017, 06:53 PM (0 replies)

Why Mass Shootings Keep Happening

This is an excellent article about how some believe that implementing a program based on "threat assessment" can help decrease these shooting incidents. I remembered the article and searched for it. It turns out Esquire just reposted it yesterday. It's a long read but well worth the time.


Sure, he was Trunk Full of Guns. But was he one of them? Was he a psychopath? He didn't think so. He had come as close as a human being could possibly get to abandoning his humanity. But he hadn't. He wasn't, well, evil. And he didn't think that even the most prolific shooters necessarily were, either. He knew them—he knew what they had gone through because of what he had gone through.

The pathway to violence: That wasn't just a term of threat assessment. He didn't know what threat assessment was. But he had been on the pathway and remembered its milestones. And so when he got an e-mail asking if he had any ideas about stopping mass shootings, he volunteered to talk. He didn't just have ideas; he wound up doing a kind of threat assessment on his former self, if only so that people might be able to assess the threat—and yes, the humanity—of people like him.

Trunk does, however, think often of the person who is out there right now feeling the way he used to feel. The person with a grievance. The person with a plan. The person with a gun—hell, an arsenal. The person we feel powerless against, because we don't know who he is. All we know is what he—or she—is going to do.

Can he or she—they—be stopped before they become what we in America call "mass shooters"? We are so convinced they can't be that we don't even know if anyone is trying to stop them. Can they be understood? We are so convinced the evil they represent is inexplicable that we don't try to explicate it. Mass shootings have become by now American rituals—blood sacrifices, propitiations to our angry American gods, made all the more terrible by our apparent acceptance of them. They have become a feature of American life, and we know very well what follows each one: the shock, the horror, the demonization of the guilty, the prayers for the innocent, the calls for action, the finger-pointing, the paralysis, and finally the forgetting. We know that they change everything only so that everything may remain unchanged.

But we are wrong about that. Mass shootings are not unstoppable, and there are people trying to stop them. They are not even inexplicable, because every time Trunk hears of one he understands why it happened and who did it. We have come to believe that mass shooters can't be stopped because we never know who they are until they make themselves known. But Trunk was almost one of them once. He was a heartbeat away. And what he understands is that shooters want to be known, not through the infamy of a massacre, but before they have to go through with it. They want to be known as much as he, years later, wants to remain unknown, walking to the bus stop in the rain.

Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Tue Oct 3, 2017, 03:46 PM (0 replies)

Trump wants to save Confederate statues, but he didnt care about the artwork on his own building

Trump Tower, the skyscraper that put the former real estate developer on the map, was steeped in controversy after the future President reneged on a promise to save valuable pieces of artwork.

The contentious tale goes back to 1980, about a year after Trump bought the Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Ave. and 56th St. in Manhattan.

That cross street is now home the 62-story Trump Tower, constructed by undocumented Polish workers and completed in 1983.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offered to take a pair of sculptures from the 11-story Art Deco building, which Trump planned to raze to make way for his Trump Tower.

Trump reportedly promised to remove the statues, estimated to be worth several hundred thousand dollars, if it wasn’t too costly.

His demolition crews soon began chipping away at the 15-foot high sculptures without much warning.

John Baron, a Trump Organization executive who later turned out to be Trump in disguise, told the newspaper the preservation was scrapped because “the merit of these stones was not great enough to justify the effort to save them.”

And what of the Art Deco grillwork and figures? The LRB cites a Vanity Fair interview with Trump: “Who cares? Let’s say that I had given that junk to the Met. They would have just put them in their basement. I’ll never have the goodwill of the Establishment, the tastemakers of New York. Do you think, if I failed, these guys in New York would be unhappy? They would be thrilled! Because they have never tried anything on the scale that I am trying things in this city. I don’t care about their goodwill.”

Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Thu Aug 17, 2017, 09:43 PM (10 replies)

So Fox and Breitbart, etc., are mad at Bruce Springsteen, again.

RollingStone.com posted the video under the title, Watch Bruce Springsteen Taunt Trump With 'Don't Hang Up' in Australia, explaining in the related article:
Bruce Springsteen trolled Donald Trump with a cover of the Orlons' "Don't Hang Up" in Melbourne after the president's disastrous phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Springsteen opened his Melbourne concert with an acoustic rendition of the peppy 1962 pop hit, hoping its story of a rocky teenage romance might serve as a diplomatic salve. "We stand before you, embarrassed Americans, tonight," Springsteen cracked as he introduced the song, adding, "We're gonna use this to send a letter back home."

Poutraged admirers, defenders, and enablers of Donald "America-Basher in Chief" tRump are reporting through their Ministry of Propaganda outlets that Springsteen declared himself, 'Embarrassed' to be an American', inciting the RW base to fire off a barrage of strongly worded comments and tweets. Of course, being embarrassed to be an American and being an embarrassed American as a guest in the country whose leader the US president just yelled at and hung up on are not quite the same thing, but then nuance never was a strong suit of the Trumpistas.

According to FoxNews.com,
Bruce Springsteen, a once proud American with his song “Born in the USA” said at a concert in Australia he's embarrassed to be an American.
(Sorry, not liking to this, but it can easily be found in a search.)

Discussing his song Wrecking Ball, a denouncement of the Wall Street bankers who crashed the economy, Springsteen told the Guardian:
"I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream," Springsteen told the conference, where the album was aired for the first time. It was written, he claimed, not just out of fury but out of patriotism, a patriotism traduced.

"What was done to our country was wrong and unpatriotic and un-American and nobody has been held to account," he later told the Guardian. "There is a real patriotism underneath the best of my music but it is a critical, questioning and often angry patriotism."

Anyone who has been paying attention would know that Born in the USA was also a song of questioning and angry patriotism, not the declaration of nationalistic pride it's often been misinterpreted as. The songwriter very publicly objected to Ronald Reagan using the song as a rallying cry for the Republican candidate's campaign, and has not been secretive as to the reason he asked them to cease and desist.

Breitbart.com also claimed, in a piece entitled, Bruce Springsteen Tells Australia Audience He’s ‘Embarrassed’ to Be American :
It seems the 67-year-old E Street Band leader is using his tour across the Australian continent to take shots at the Trump administration.
(Nope, not linking to Breitbart either. The quotes will easily lead you to the story.)

The RW base is really riled up that Springsteen has dared to disrespect the pResident and criticize America. Oh, the Irony and the Hypocrisy. Someone ought to write a book.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Tue Feb 7, 2017, 01:47 AM (66 replies)

As long as it was an intelligent, thoughtful, literate, levelheaded, fair-minded,

feminist, anti-racist, social justice warrior atheist who believes in reasonable regulations of the "free market", I'd do all I could to get them elected and be thrilled when they were.

My biggest concern regarding religion and politics is that the Constitutional requirement for separation of state be accepted, championed, and enforced.

But since we seem to be moving even farther away from that ideal, I'm guessing we will not have an atheist president for a very, very long time, if ever.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Mon Feb 6, 2017, 09:08 PM (0 replies)

She is utterly discredited by her self-admitted peddling of "alternative facts" (AKA blatant lies.)

Let Faux Noise keep her. No legitimate news organization should allow her on unless they have trained their people to challenge the hell out of her BS immediately and on no uncertain terms.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sun Feb 5, 2017, 07:05 PM (1 replies)

Calling Yourself Humbled Doesnt Sound as Humble as It Used To

In which, among other things, Lincoln's humility is affirmed, yet another Kellyanne Conjob allegation is disputed, and a self-aggrandizing aspect of claiming "blessings" is revealed by the NY Time's wittily feisty Carina Chocano.

In the present-day vernacular, people are most humbled by the things that make them look good. They are humbled by the sublimity of their own achievements. The “humblebrag” — a boast couched in a self-deprecating comment — has migrated from subtext to text, leaving self-awareness passed out in the bathroom behind the potted plant.

Diving at random into the internet and social media finds this new humility everywhere. A soap-opera actress on tour is humbled by the outpouring of love from fans. Comedians are humbled by big laughs, yoga practitioners are humbled by achieving difficult poses, athletes are humbled by good days on the field, Christmas volunteers are humbled by their own generosity and holiday spirit.

And yet none of these people sound very “humbled” at all. On the contrary: They all seem exceedingly proud of themselves, hashtagging their humility to advertise their own status, success, sprightliness, generosity, moral superiority and luck.

When did humility get so cocky and vainglorious? I remember the first time, around 15 years ago, that I heard someone describe herself as “blessed.” An old friend of my boyfriend’s came to visit and spent the evening regaling us with stories of her many blessings. She wasn’t especially religious, which somehow made her choice of words worse. Every good thing in her life — friends, job, apartment, decent parking space — was a blessing: i.e., something deliberate, something thoughtfully picked out for her by a higher power. It took a while to put a finger on why it got on my nerves. The problem was that she couldn’t just let herself be lucky, because luck was random, meaningless, undeserved. Luck was a roll of the dice. She had to be chosen.

Printed recently in the NY Times magazine and available online here to subscribers and those who haven't exceeded their monthly free read (or clear their cookies).
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Sat Feb 4, 2017, 07:36 PM (2 replies)

Fake news is about to get even scarier than you ever dreamed

I read this a few days ago and was too freaked out to even discuss it. Talk me off the ledge, anyone?

At corporations and universities across the country, incipient technologies appear likely to soon obliterate the line between real and fake. Or, in the simplest of terms, advancements in audio and video technology are becoming so sophisticated that they will be able to replicate real news—real TV broadcasts, for instance, or radio interviews—in unprecedented, and truly indecipherable, ways.

One research paper published last year by professors at Stanford University and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg demonstrated how technologists can record video of someone talking and then change their facial expressions in real time. The professors’ technology could take a news clip of, say, Vladimir Putin, and alter his facial expressions in real time in hard-to-detect ways. In fact, in this video demonstrating the technology, the researchers show how they did manipulate Putin’s facial expressions and responses, among those of other people, too.

This is eerie, to say the least. But it’s only one part of the future fake-news menace. Other similar technologies have been in the works in universities and research labs for years, but they have never really pulled off what computers can do today. Take for example “The Digital Emily Project,” a study in which researchers created digital actors that could be used in lieu of real people. For the past several years, the results have been crude and easily detectable as digital re-creations. But technologies that are now used by Hollywood and the video-game industry have largely rendered digital avatars almost indecipherable from real people. (Go and watch the latest Star Wars to see if you can tell which actors are real and which are computer-generated. I bet you can’t tell the difference.) You could imagine some political group utilizing that technology to create a fake hidden video clip of President Trump telling Rex Tillerson that he plans to drop a nuclear bomb on China. The velocity with which news clips spread across social media would also mean that the administration would have frightfully little time to respond before a fake-news story turned into an international crisis.

Audio advancements may be just as harrowing. At its annual developer’s conference, in November, Adobe showed off a new product that has been nicknamed “Photoshop for audio.” The product allows users to feed about ten to 20 minutes of someone’s voice into the application and then allows them to type words that are expressed in that exact voice. The resultant voice, which is comprised of the person’s phonemes, or the distinct units of sound that distinguish one word from another in each language, doesn’t sound even remotely computer-generated or made up. It sounds real.

Read the rest here.
Posted by Dark n Stormy Knight | Tue Jan 31, 2017, 05:55 PM (15 replies)
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