Thursday, September 3, 2015

Leave Megan Kelly Alone Even If You Don't Like Megyn Kelly

If Trump supporter want to criticize Megyn Kelly of Fox
News, fine. Just leave Megan Kelly, 24, of Pittsburgh alone  
There's a woman named Megan Kelly who I'm sure you've never heard of. She's 24 years old, and a project manager for a marketing company in Pittsburgh.

Sounds fine, but she ain't famous.

However: This is a public service announcement to all you Donald Trump fans who don't like Megyn Kelly.

Megyn Kelly, the Fox News host, pissed off Trump and his supporters weeks ago when she asked some Trump blunt questions during the Republican debate. Trump is still going after Megyn Kelly over that, and so are his supporters.

Which brings us back to Megan Kelly, the Pittsburgh project manager. She's been getting a TON of nasty emails from Trump supporters. They're apparently confusing Megan with Megyn, says Gawker. 

Stop it!  I don't know what Megan Kelly's opinion of Trump is, but it's surely spiraling downhill now that she's getting all those mistaken nastygrams from the Trump contingent.

Gawker notes that it's hard to understand how the Trump crowd got Pittsburgh Megan Kelly's email address anyway. It's not obvious, so logical guesses probably didn't work. But then again, many of Trump's supporters aren't particularly logical.

Also, Gawker points out the obvious. It's very easy to Google Megyn Kelly the Fox News person, and obtain the correct spelling of her name. It would also be easy through Google to obtain  her email address.

But a hallmark of Trump and many of his supporters is unfocused rage, so why focus their anger on the right person? When any Megan Kelly would do.

Crazy Ants Revolve Around A Ringing iPhone

Who knew? A ringing phone makes ants weird
It kinda drives me crazy when I'm in the middle of something and the phone rings.

That seems to be true for ants, too. Watch the video below of ants milling around an iPhone, and watch what they do when the phone rings. Totally weird!

According to 7News in Australia:

"'It's an unavoidable consequence of their communication systems,' said biologist Simon Robson, a social insect specialist at James Cook University. 'Having the ants together like that, the shape of the phone may have something to do with it and the vibration might get them a bit more excited, but a lot of ants will do it even without the phone.'"

Still, this is pretty cool. Watch:

Fired Law Professor And Jerk Says U.S. ISIS Policy Critics Are Treasonous. Ugh.

William Bradford thinks people who criticize
the War on Terror or military actions
are guilty of treason. So much for the 1st Amendment
West Point law professor William Bradford is now a former West Point law professor.

He was found to have exaggerated his academic achievements.

But that's not what's really infuriating about Bradford.  I don't know bow a scary guy like this got into the position of teaching law to West Point cadets.

Here's the deal: Basically, he's saying anyone who criticizes U.S. policy toward ISIS is treasonous.

According to The Atlantic, academic scholars who disagree with Bradford's views on the terrible terrorist group ought to be arrested because they are somehow aiding and abetting the terrorists.

It's not that the professors Bradford targets like ISIS. They hate those awful people, like most of us do. They just don't completely agree with all of the "war on terror" policies the United States has had in the past decade or so.

Bradford's language as to how these scholars are guilty of treason are straight out the McCarthy Red Scare tactics of the 1950s. The supposed pro-ISIS scholars, who are anything but, are guilty of "professional socialization, pernicious pacifism and cosmopolitanism."

So apparently it's treason for these professors to socialize with each other, call for peace and tend not to be particularly nationalistic.

Bradford calls the academics he opposes the "fifth column." The Atlantic says Bradford actually believes the scholars should be treated as "unlawful enemy combatants" which would theoretically open them, the schools they work at, their homes, and even  journalists who quote them to a military attack.

Well, then. There goes the First Amendment! And let's combat ISIS by becoming as militaristic, fundamentalist and lacking in human rights as they are! That'll teach 'em!

Luckily, Bradford is out of West Point now, and presumably there are more sane law professors teaching our fine young men and women there.

However, as The Atlantic puts it: 

"But it leaves unanswered the question of how he got hired there in the first place, given his checkered past and allegedly exaggerated credentials. And it also fails to explain how a scholar pushing these ideas seems not to have raised red flags any earlier."


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Josh Daniels Finally Brings Simon Cowell To His Emotional Limit On X-Factor

On X-Factor Josh Daniels,  left, turned in such
a good audition that he made Simon Cowell cry.  
I usually don't watch the singing talent/reality show X-Factor, but one contestant caused a HUGE stir this week with his audition.

The most telling reaction was a silent one from the show's longtime curmudgeon Simon Cowell.

Josh Daniels, 21 performed the song "Jealous" by Labrinth. He reinterpreted the lyrics to sing about the jealousy he has that his best friend, who died a couple years ago, is happy in heaven and left Josh here on earth.

Daniels' performance was breathtaking, and he more than deserved the vote to move on to the next round.

Simon Cowell, for once, was speechless, and overcome with emotion. His mother recently died, so that was surely a factor.

Any singer like Daniels who can move an audience for any reason deserves success. See for yourself with this clip:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Gorilla And Toddler Have Fun Together

A toddler and a baby gorilla have a fun day with
each other recently at an Ohio zoo.  
This viral video has been on a lot of the news sites, but I can't resist putting it here, too.

It shows a baby gorilla playing hide and seek with a toddler.

The gorilla is on one side of a glass enclosure, the kid is on the other side.  This was at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio.

But they form a nice, quick bond, proving that all kids love playtimes. The video will make you smile.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Anti-Gay County Clerk Is Milking The Martyr Bit For Fun And Profit

Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis
is enjoying her role of rubbing her
"religious" convictions in all of our faces.  

This dumb clerk said she would wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule all the lower courts that have in recent weeks ruled against her efforts to not issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

The U.S. Supreme Court basically blew her off Monday, so now the ball is back in her court. She has vowed to go to jail rather than comply with court rulings.

The Martyr Complex again.


A county clerk in Kentucky named Kim Davis is really milking her 15 minutes of fame, extending that 15 minutes longer and longer for the fun and profit of martyrdom.

Her schtick: Refusing to obey orders to marry same sex couples along with straight couples to comply with the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying there is a Constitutional right to gay marriage.   

True, not everybody likes that ruling, but if you're a sworn government official, you have to uphold the law.

Davis said God's law is more important, or at least her interpretation of it is. It goes against her religious beliefs to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

Fair enough. If her religious beliefs bar her from issuing such marriage licenses, then she shouldn't. However, even though she considers God's law more important, she still has to comply with U.S. law.

The solution would be to resign as county clerk if her religious beliefs conflict with her job. Several clerks across the nation have taken that route. Those clerks, I support. I don't agree with their stance on gay marriage, but they took the honorable way out. They can't do their job because of their religious beliefs, so they found other jobs.

The clerks who resigned stayed honest and true to themselves. Can't argue with that.

I CAN argue with Davis. Courts have repeatedly ordered her to issue licenses, but she still won't.

(In a funny side note, Davis recently issued a marriage license to a straight couple. But what she didn't know was the male half of the couple is transgender. His birth certificate lists him as female, and Davis failed to check it. Ha Ha!!!)

Still, Davis is having her fun with her anti-gay lawyers.

As Michelangelo Signorile notes, Davis' intractability is a win/win. She gets to be part of the Conservative Martyr complex, in which you win notoriety and probably money for being "persecuted" by those "awful homo-fascists"

The right wing politicians win, too. Because if Davis ends up facing criminal charges or is forced out of her job as county clerk, they can point to the false notion that Christians are being persecuted in this country, religious liberty is under assault, yada yada yada.

Which is bullshit, of course.

Judge David L. Bunning of the U.S. District Court for Kentucky's Eastern District said this about Davis' religious rights:

"The state is not asking her to condone same sex unions on moral or religious grounds,  nor is it restricting her from engaging in a variety of religous activites. ....She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one many and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County clerk."

An editorial in the Lexington, Kentucky Herald-Leader said it best about Davis and her lawyers from the conservative Liberty Counsel:

"Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver continues to insist that elected public officials have a constitutional right to pick and choose which of their government duties they will perform based on their religious beliefs - in other words, that public officials can use religion to discriminate against certain citizens. 

Nothing could be more un-American. What he is advocating would destroy the rule of law, a foundation of our republic. And imagine the chaos, given the wide range of religious beliefs."

But Davis, the Liberty Counsel and their minions don't believe in America as it is. They want us to live in a theocracy, fashioned on their stilted, weird Biblical beliefs. They will not be happy unless everyone in the nation has the same religious beliefs that they do.

That means Davis and the Liberty Counsel really are un-American, as that Kentucky newspaper suggests.

However, most Christianists never take not for an answer, so Davis and the lawyers backing her will keep pestering us.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Music: Awesome Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats  
NPR featured some really great musicians yesterday -- a band called Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats.

Yeah, strange name. And the music sounds like it was made in the early 1960s or earlier.

"I really wanted to try to mix that Southern soul sound with a little bit of honky-tonk, and what our Missouri roots are," Rateliff told NPR.

Let's watch a couple of their videos and hear their music.

First: Their hit "S.O.B".

Here's an even better new song by them, called "Howling At Nothing"