Dylan’s quotes came in response to a question about whether he sees parallels between Civil War-era America and the US of today. “It’s like … the United States burned and destroyed itself for the sake of slavery. The USA wouldn’t give it up. It had to be grinded out. The whole system had to be ripped out with force. A lot of killing. What, like, 500,000 people? A lot of destruction to end slavery. And that’s what it really was all about,” he replied.
He continued: “This country is just too fucked up about colour. It’s a distraction. People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different colour. It’s the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back - or any neighbourhood back. Or any anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery - that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that.
“If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”
This is a strange story with a lot of missing pieces. It could well be just coincidence that Reed happened to be collecting bomb materials before the plant blew up, and behaved like a grandstanding goofball afterward. Otoh, I am glad he is behind bars, even if for just a few years. That will keep him on ice long enough for new evidence, if any, to emerge. He will wind up on death row if the authorities can connect him to the explosion itself.
DALLAS — A few weeks after Bryce Reed proclaimed he would personally protect a Texas town devastated by a deadly fertilizer plant explosion, he was arrested by federal agents who said he collected materials to make a pipe bomb, driving suspicion that he might have been behind the blast.
Now, Reed is mostly a footnote. While he will be sentenced Wednesday in Waco for charges related to the pipe bomb, the former paramedic was never charged in the explosion in West, about 80 miles south of Dallas, where residents and town officials are still working to rebuild homes and schools.
“I don’t know if anybody’s paid much attention to that guy,” said Tommy Muska, the town’s mayor. “In my opinion, he had absolutely nothing to do with the explosion.”
An initial fire at West Fertilizer Co. led to the ignition of stores of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used as fertilizer that can become deadly when unstable. As many as 34 tons of ammonium nitrate detonated, causing an explosion that registered as a small earthquake and killed 12 people. It also displaced hundreds of residents and led to the demolition of more than 100 homes.
“Historian” (scare quotes out of respect for actual historians) David Barton is claiming that drinking Starbucks coffee is just like treason. Well, spiritual treason, as if the Bible were the Constitution and God were the President. Which, as it turns out, is exactly how David Barton would like America to be.
Barton, who has been embarrassingly discredited so broadly it’s a shock that anyone listens to him — except, you know for all those people who would like the Bible to be the Constitution and God to be the President. A Christian God, we should probably make clear.
Did you happen to catch our piece a few hours ago, “Want To Become A Conservative Anti-Gay, Anti-Women Bigot? There’s An App For That”? In it, we talked about this “awesome” (scare quotes out of respect for things that are actually awesome) app that helps conservatives find out which companies are anti-gay and anti-women, and then spend their dollars there.
It is a TV show about cartoon horses made for little girls.
Yet in just three years, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, produced by Hasbro Studios, has amassed a huge following among an unlikely audience - grown men.
They call themselves Bronies.
The appeal lies in stories with a moral outlook, the animation and the humour.
RICHARDSON — Richardson ISD officials apologized Wednesday to students and parents offended by a motivational speaker whose self-empowerment message included gender-specific roles for girls and boys.
Girls are nastier to each other than boys are, Justin Lookadoo told two packed auditoriums at Richardson High School. Being a man means protecting the weak — and women. High school boys and girls should be wary of putting too much into a romance that is almost certain to dissolve. Boys and girls should be true to themselves and not compromise to keep a relationship.
Some of his comments drew wide applause and later support from some students and parents. But he was also heckled in the auditorium — and on Twitter:
“Because why should a motivational speaker even try to not make hasty generalizations about every guy and girl in high school?”
District officials acknowledged that neither students nor parents were told about Lookadoo or his topic before the presentations. The district sent out a statement apologizing for that and to those who were offended.
“RHS and RISD approve of the broad messages shared with students related to self-empowerment and dating violence but do not support some of the terminology used by the speaker to generalize student behaviors.”
Lookadoo is a frequent speaker to secular and religious audiences. He last spoke at the high school in 2009, also at the invitation of the school’s PTA. Online, he’s easily identified as the co-author of a book that includes “dateable rules” based on a particular interpretation of Christian teachings. The rules refer to God and “the enemy” and tell women to be feminine, mysterious and confident and to let men lead. And they tell men to be honest, chivalrous, wild and adventurous.
Neither religion nor the “rules” were mentioned during his talks Wednesday. But some parents said they still wanted a better explanation about why Lookadoo was allowed to speak.
“I felt that such a person with those publicly expressed views about gender roles would not have access to my child,” said Jaime Clark-Soles, a theology professor at Southern Methodist University and the mother of a junior at Richardson High School.
Students were told about Wednesday’s assembly on Tuesday. At least one student heard Lookadoo’s name, checked the Internet, and found the religious dating advice site.
A hunter in Norway aiming for a moose hit a man sitting on the toilet in a nearby cabin instead. According to local media, the bullet whizzed past the animal and struck the wooden wall of the cabin, hitting the man inside in the stomach earlier this week.
The man, in his 70s, was flown to a hospital southeast of Oslo with non-life-threatening injuries, Reuters reported. The moose escaped unscathed. Local police questioned the hunter, who said he didn’t know there was a cabin nearby.
After a video showing police officer John Pike pepper spraying Occupy protestors at the University of California-Davis campus in November 2011 went viral, Pike allegedly received death threats and suffered depression.
The stress was so great that Pike was able to reach a settlement with his former employer for $38,000 in a workers compensation suit this week for the psychological damage he suffered, reports the Guardian.
The visitor was David House, a Boston computer scientist, a friend of Manning’s and a co-founder of the Private Manning Support Network. On this, his first visit with Assange, he was hoping to open a channel of communication between WikiLeaks and Manning supporters, and to try to secure a significant role for himself inside the secret-spilling organization.
Instead, he found Assange was mostly interested in talking about Domscheit-Berg’s betrayal of WikiLeaks.
“He had started to talk more and more about Daniel during those few days, telling anecdotes, and it was clear that it was bothering him,” House says. In front of the fireplace, Assange finally got to his point, House says. Assange wanted House “to protect the future of WikiLeaks by obtaining access to a ‘corpus of lies,’ or something like that,” House says.
In a follow-up conversation later, Assange got more explicit, House says.
“He wanted me, and in fact told me, to get to Berlin … and obtain access to Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s apartment and to get access to the manuscript of the book that was being published, and to take this manuscript with me back to the London so he could see it before it came out,” says House, publicly discussing his experience for the first time.
What followed, by House’s account, was one of the more bizarre sideshows in the WikiLeaks drama: a feigned attempt by House to steal the manuscript and satisfy Assange of his loyalty.
It’s a sad coda to the already fairly pathetic shutdown tale. During the vote that ended the crisis, a stenographer grabbed a microphone and ranted about Freemason control of the United States while staffers pulled her away.
“He will not be mocked,” she said. “The greatest deception here, is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. Had it been … the Constitution would not have been written by Free Masons and go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.”
Video of the incident (from CNN):
WASHINGTON — When reports surfaced that House Republicans sang “Amazing Grace” during a Tuesday morning meeting, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) responded with a laugh.
“Isn’t that usually sung at funerals?” he joked with reporters.
But it turned out Connolly was more right than he realized. Right after the GOP conference sang the hymn — all three verses, according to one lawmaker — the meeting turned into a funeral for the latest proposal put forward by party leaders for raising the debt ceiling and ending the government shutdown. It turned out the plan laid out by House Republican leaders, which would have reopened the government and extended the debt ceiling for a few months, in addition to delaying a medical device tax under Obamacare, was dead on arrival.
Still, House Republicans leaving the meeting were pleased with their singing abilities. Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) took the lead in singing the hymn in place of the conference’s typical opening prayer, and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said later that he was moved that he and his colleagues were able to sing all three verses without the words written out.
“Isn’t that impressive,” Burgess told reporters.
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said Southerland is “a very spiritual guy, a soulful guy, and it was his turn to pray, and he led off with three verses from Amazing Grace.”
Told of Connolly’s joke about the song being sung at funerals, Fleming said, “Well, that’s really a level of cynicism that’s surprising even for Democrats, to be honest with you.”
And now…irony time:
On a more serious note, Connolly, who studied to become a priest before getting into politics, said it was curious that Republicans had chosen to sing “one of the most evocative hymns” in the midst of a government shutdown and on the verge of the country defaulting on its debt, a process that’s been prolonged by Republicans demanding concessions from Democrats.
“I hope they understand the derivations of those lyrics,” Connolly said. “It was written by a slave trader who came to be filled with remorse for his actions. His words say, ‘I was blind but now I see’ … He is remorseful for his past and takes responsibility for those actions and sees the saving light of grace, even for a wretch like himself.”