April 28, 2012 archive

Open Thread: What We Now Know

Now We Know: Student Debt Passes $1 Trillion Mark

Up host Chris Hayes summarizes the news of the week, including reports that student debt passed the $1 trillion mark and is growing at double the rate of mortgage debt during the height of the crisis.

Share what you have learned this week. Open Thread

American Third Parties Presidential Debate 2012

1:22.  Rocky Anderson (Justice), Roseanne Barr (Green), Stephen Durham (Freedom Socialist), Peta Lindsay (Socialism & Liberation), Kent Mesplay (Green), Jill Stein (Green).

(h/t Jest & Jeff4Justice)

Little League

Being ferociously uncoordinated I’ve never been much at team sports and still less at those that require skill.

I’ve always liked baseball though and it looks like it would be fun to play but I wouldn’t know.

When I was quite young I went to the ball fields behind my elementary school to try out for Little League.  I was hopeless of course, but they did take almost everybody and while I couldn’t hit even if the ball were perched on a tee, I could throw after a fashion and might occasionally catch one if it was carefully placed.

Alas my dreams of diamond greatness were not to be.  After failing miserably at everything else they sent me out in the field to see if I could stop grounders (almost) and shag flies.

The coach hit me a towering shot and mirabile dictu it somehow ended up in my glove.

I am convinced to this day that I would have been a bench warmer if I just hadn’t looked so surprised.

On This Day In History April 28

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 28 is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 247 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day, two events occurred involving the South Pacific. Separated by 158 years, one was a mutiny, the other a grand adventure.

Apr 28, 1789: Mutiny on the HMS Bounty (Mutiny on the Bounty): The mutiny  was led by Fletcher Christian against the commanding officer, William Bligh. The sailors were attracted to the idyllic life on the Pacific island, and repelled by the alleged cruelty of their captain. Captain Bligh and 18 sailors were set a drift in the South Pacific, near the island of Tonga. Christian along with some of the mutineers and native Tahitians eventually settled on Pitcairn Island an uninhabited volcanic island about 1000 miles south of Tahiti. The mutineers who remained behind on Tahiti were eventually arrested and returned to England where three were hanged. The British never found Christian and the others. Captain Bligh and the 18 others eventually arrived in Timor.

Years later on 1808. am American whaling vessel discovered the colony of women and children led by the sole surviving mutineer, John Adams. The Bounty had been stripped and burned. Christian and the other 8 mutineers were dead. Adams was eventually granted amnesty and remained the patriarch of Pitcairn Island until his death in 1829.

1947 Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia. His crew of six fellow Norwegians set sail from Peru on a raft constructed from balsa logs and other materials that were indigenous to the region at the time of the Spanish Conquistadors. After 101 days crossing over 400 miles they crashed into a reef at Raroia  in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947. Heyerdahl’s book, “The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas”, became a best seller, the documentary won an Academy Award in 1951. The original raft is on display in the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo. Heyerdahl died April 18, 2002 in Italy.


This week’s episodes originally aired November 4, 2005.

Duck Dodgers In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock, Season 3, Episode 19


Perhaps one of my favorites:

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan



       A bout of cold weather resulted in cherry blossoms appearing five days later than usual in the Tokyo area and three days later than last year.

   The Asahi Shimbun admitted that it failed to declare some ¥250 million in income over a five-year period, resulting in tax authorities requesting ¥86 million in back taxes.

   A class-action lawsuit filed against TEPCO by 14 residents of Iitate, Fukushima, in Tokyo District Court asked for ¥265 million compensation for “mental suffering caused by radiation exposure fears and life in temporary housing.”

   Chilean President Sebastian Pinera will donate a new Moai statue-similar to the large stone faces found on Easter Island-to a school in Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture after theirs was damaged by the tsunami last year.

   A day after Japan’s first executions in 20 months, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said, “the number of heinous crimes has not decreased, so I find it difficult to abolish the death penalty immediately.”

   Noda also pointed out that 85.6 percent of people polled by the Cabinet Office in 2009 said the death penalty is unavoidable, “depending on circumstances.”

   It has been revealed that the Japanese PM’s office “was not linked to the government’s nuclear disaster teleconference system when the nuclear crisis in Fukushima broke out” last year.

Popular Culture (Music) 20120427: The Moody Blues

I am very fond of The Moody Blues, although regular readers know that I am at heart a fan of The Who.  This short (probably two or three installments) was suggested to me by my dear friend Steve.  He and go back to the eighth grade, and we still speak almost every day, sometimes more than once per day.

To digress, I am very impressed with modern high speed communication.  We live almost 900 miles apart from each other, yet can communicate by telephone for essentially no cost since we both have unlimited cellular minutes.  When we were in the eighth grade, a landline station to station call cost around 25 cents per minute, end we lived only around 15 miles apart at the time.  How things have changed!

In any event, The Moody Blues were one of the older bands from the UK, having formed on 19640504, with the lineup appearing after the fold.  Mark I was not horribly successful, but Mark II were spectacular.

Pretending to be Heroines and Heroes

When the EEOC came down in favor of Title VII coverage for transpeople, I knew it was only a matter of time until the nasty people struck back.  But I didn’t expect the Associated Press to provide them with the platform.  Or maybe…I’m not surprised.

Before we get to that, I have a little about the trans-heroine of the moment.

Mia Macy is a veteran who became a member of the Phoenix Police Department.  In her last position with PPD she worked in conjunction with the ATF gun squad.  She was certified in ballistics by the ATF.  She was offered a job with the ATF lab in San Francisco.  She thought this would be ideal, since up until that point, she had been living as a man.

So she submitted an application and knew there would be a background check.  One problem, though.  Mia Macy had begun her transition by this time.  And the background check revealed that it would be Mia arriving to work in the position.

So Mia was notified that the position had been defunded and was no longer available.  One problem with that:  It was a lie.  Actually they hired someone else for the purported non-existent position.