Saturday Morning Open Thread: Words Have Weight

In case you haven’t already seen this mini-epic from Joshua McKerrow, “Photojournalist. Capital Gazette. Chesapeake News Guild.”

70 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:


  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m soooo lonely here all alone alone alone…..

  3. 3
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m here for a couple of minutes anyway. Procrastinating on getting ready to leave for the market in an hour.

  4. 4
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: 😘 so, what’s new?

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: I’m reading how the Brits are running headlong towards a cliff in the full knowledge of the cliff but not slowing down, not turning, just running with all the other lemmings towards certain doooooooom:

    On Friday, a government assessment warned a no-deal Brexit could lead to six months of chaos on key cross-Channel routes, with ferries between Dover and Calais and Channel Tunnel traffic facing disruption until the end of September 2019.

    A letter sent by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, (pdf) to the pharmaceutical industry and NHS said: “The revised cross-government planning assumptions show that there will be significantly reduced access across the short straits, for up to six months.

    “This is very much a worst-case scenario; however, as a responsible government, we have a duty to plan for all scenarios.” Ministers are drawing up plans to fly in vital drugs and give priority to lorries carrying medical supplies at gridlocked ports.

    Kent county council’s leader, Paul Carter, called for emergency measures to prevent lorries entering the county to avoid chaos on the roads. “We now need far more input and information from national government in how they are going to work with us,” he said.

    With the Commons vote on a withdrawal agreement expected to result in it being rejected by MPs, the risk of a no-deal Brexit could increase.

    A “responsible government” wouldn’t be needing to plan for self inflicted chaos to begin with.

  6. 6
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I guess it should be comforting to know the USA doesn’t have the market cornered on stupid election outcomes. But it’s not.

  7. 7
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Maybe the Queen will step in and say, “Enough of this bollocks.”

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: My wife and I are gonna go into STL this afternoon to spend some time with a long time running buddy and his wife whom I don’t see near enough of these days. Usually he and I are limited to spur of the moment lunches on the rare occasions I’m in STL on a weekday, so this will be good.

  9. 9
    Platonailedit says:

    When is our next #fridayfix?

  10. 10
    Eclare says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Such a own goal. What is going to happen with the Channel Tunnel?

  11. 11
    Eclare says:

    @Eclare: Can’t edit, an own goal.

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    RE: the McKerrow thread — saw that yesterday on Twitter, and it made me tear up, which ain’t easy because I’m a tough old bird. Survivors integrate their losses into their lives because they have no choice, but they never really get over having sudden, senseless carnage visit a space where people are supposed to be able to live and work in peace.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    Individual 1 is a horrible person, and we should all shame him everyday for his misdeeds

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: We can always look to the birds for a sounder Wisdom:

    In sea mariner lore, an albatross is considered a good omen, and for almost seven decades, one bird has spread generations of blessings across the Pacific Ocean.

    Wisdom, a 68-year-old Laysan albatross believed to be the world’s oldest known wild bird, has returned to her home at the Midway Atoll national wildlife refuge for yet another winter – and laid yet another egg to add to the already impressive brood that she has built up over an impressive lifetime.

    Biologists with the US Fish and Wildlife Service think the almost-septuagenarian has birthed and raised as many as 36 chicks over the years. Should her latest egg with her longtime lover, Akeakamai, hatch, fledge and take to the open sea, it will be her 37th.


    Like many albatrosses, Wisdom returns nearly every year to the place she was born for nesting and mating. Midway Atoll, a two-and-a-half-sq-mile island belonging to the US that was the site of the decisive Battle of Midway during the second world war, remains mostly uninhabited when it comes to humans. But come winter, more than 1m Laysan albatrosses flock to the beaches to nest.

    Albatrosses spend 90% of their lives at sea, soaring over the northern Pacific Ocean and feeding on squid and fish eggs. The fish and wildlife service estimates that Wisdom has clocked more than 6m miles in her travels – according to the Cornell lab of ornithology, Laysan albatrosses can range anywhere from the Aleutian Islands and the southern Bering Sea to Costa Rica.

    Albatrosses take mating and nesting seriously, forming bonds with their mates for life. The Cornell lab describes their courtship displays as elaborate; they include “coordinated movements in which the birds touch bills, spread one or both wings, bob their heads, place their bill under one wing, and pause with their bill pointed at the sky”.

    Once they’ve met their mates, the birds will rendezvous at the same nest site every winter – and go through some iteration of the courtship process again, Flint said. “There is preening and a dance,” she said. “They’re very tactile animals. They sit closely and preen each other and snuggle. We can’t know what they’re feeling, but they exhibit the kind of behaviors that reinforce a bond and a connection.”

    Researchers first noted Wisdom’s relationship with Akeakamai in 2006 and are unsure if she had other mates before Akeakamai. But albatrosses are believers in co-parenting, and will take turns incubating an egg, caring for the chick and foraging for food over the ocean. Should this egg survive, Wisdom and Akeakamai will spend about seven months on Midway Atoll incubating and raising their chick.


    “Midway Atoll’s habitat doesn’t just contain millions of birds, it contains countless generations and families of albatrosses,” Kelly Goodale, a fish and wildlife service refuge biologist, said in a blogpost. “If you can imagine when Wisdom returns home, she is likely surrounded by what were once her chicks and potentially their chicks.”

  15. 15
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: have a nice visit and lunch! Just got done emailing our exchange student from 28 (!) years ago, who is spending Christmas Day with us.
    It’s good to visit with old friends.
    Edit: even if you’re an albatross 😊. Nice story.

  16. 16
    satby says:

    One more cuppa joe, then off to the first of two markets today. The second in support of the rescue group, and after prepping last night I’m out of labels and some products and have to make more tomorrow.
    Two weeks until Christmas.
    Heck, so busy that I still have porch cat.. And the Humane Society hasn’t bothered to call me again to ask when I’m bringing her back.

  17. 17
    Aleta says:

    self inflicted chaos + purposeful chaos = reason to grieve

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    And the Humane Society hasn’t bothered to call me again to ask when I’m bringing her back.

    Maybe they’re trying to tell you something.

  19. 19
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    As they say on pro-Brexit twitter, “Respect the Vote, but only the first Russian and white nationalist gamed one. Now that consequences are actually known, no new vote should be taken, much less respected.”

    Wonder how those idiot midlands voters and vampire city financiers are going to feel when NI says “bugger off” and unites with the Republic, and Scotland bails?

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Rose McGowan’s most embarrassing moment?

    The time I accidentally used a thong to tie up my hair instead of a scrunchy and went out into the world with a thong on my head.

  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

  22. 22
    Amir Khalid says:

    Repost of some serious stuff from the previous thread:
    Some days, I’m embarrassed to be Malaysian. There was a rally in KL today against the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which the UN adopted in 1965. PM Dr Mahathir was supposed to attend SUHAKAM’s (the Malaysian Human Rights Commission’s) celebration of Human Rights Day on Sunday, but said he would not because SUHAKAM wants Malaysia to accede to ICERD; he says Malaysia will not do this.

    Malaysia’s constitution establishes Islam as a national religion (in a country where only about 3/5 of people are Muslim) and gives a special position to indigenous ethnicities, of which the largest and most powerful is Malay Muslims (my own ethnic group). Malay Muslims are instinctively and fiercely protective of the privileges that come with this special position. They consider any assault on it, like acceding to ICERD, an assault on their faith, their race (which they love more than they love their country), and their motherland (which they consider uniquely theirs, above the claims of non-Malay Malaysians). There is an out and proud racism at work here, which I feel has become toxic in the context of national unity, and which will be famiiar to my American friends who see “white nationalism” in their own country.

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Wonder how those idiot midlands voters and vampire city financiers are going to feel when NI says “bugger off” and unites with the Republic, and Scotland bails?

    Brexit can never fail, only be failed. So I’m gonna go with “Vindicated/”

  24. 24
    Aleta says:

    Waved albatross stand at nearly one metre high and sport waved markings across their breast. During the breeding season, pairs greet each other by rubbing their bills together. This is followed by one or both of the birds standing bolt upright. Then they often either stand with their beaks pointed towards the sky, emitting the strange wailing sound that I’d heard earlier or pose alert with their beaks wide open, before continuing to rub bills again.

    Sometimes, they clack their beaks rapidly like a pair of castanets then stop abruptly to preen over their shoulders or to move their head fluidly from side to side in a comical manner. Then they might take a break or attend to their nests before resuming this unusual behaviour once more.

    Robert Fuller

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m sorry you have to deal with that. Hope you don’t end up with your own Trump.

  27. 27
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    As a firm believer that everything is better with bacon, even I feel this might be going to far:

    Ohio State University students can fuel up on pork as they study for finals. A bacon vending machine has been installed at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences on the university’s Columbus campus. It offers cooked bacon strips and bacon bits for $1. The Ohio Pork Council sponsored the machine, and it received bacon donations from Smithfield, Hormel and Sugardale. Proceeds from the machine will go toward Ohio State’s meat science program. Members of the program will be responsible for machine maintenance. The machine will remain on campus until 13 December.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Amir Khalid: Ugh, I’m so sorry that is happening. Those of us who believe in equality will just have to keep pushing back against ignorant racists, all over the world. No choice!

  29. 29
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Such a cool story. Thanks for sharing it!

  30. 30
    Aleta says:

    Blue footed boobies courting
    I can see how their appearance suggested the name. And not just the feet.

  31. 31
    Aleta says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m sorry to hear that.

    I read this last night, The Hill.

    The U.S. government assesses that since April 2017, Chinese authorities have indefinitely detained at least 800,000 and possibly more than 2 million Uighurs, ethnic Khazakhs, and other members of Muslim minorities in internment camps,” Busby, the deputy assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labor, told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Tuesday.

    “Reports suggest that most of those detained are not being charged with crimes and their families have little to no information about their whereabouts,” he said. … “The apparent goal is to force detainees to renounce Islam and embrace the Chinese communist party.”

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Aleta: I love that dance. Sadly, I can not get sound with that video and half the pleasure is in the clacking or their bills and their trilling.

  33. 33
    Aleta says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would have liked to hear the clacking. And trilling.

  34. 34
    Schlemazel says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I wrote a short story back when Prince Chuck was still with wife #1. The basis of the story was that the Thatcher Government brought the nation to its knees so Chuck called on his old navy buddys and they took the throne from Liz and he made himself the government as King.

    It was a SiFi/fantasy obviously and I really like the story but my writing is crap, can’t write dialog to save my soul. I read the other day that there is a play in England where Chuck is King but gets squeezed out by Hank in some backroom deal. I guess the idea of royal intrigue carries@Aleta: on into modern day

  35. 35
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Was in my local supermarket yesterday and there was an elderly woman, using some sort of walking aid. She was proudly carrying her shopping bag which had the EU flag reconfigured so that the stars formed the O in NO.

    It was all I could do not to demand loudly that she give her medication and NHS care to those who voted Remain when the drugs shortage that’s expected with a no deal Brexit occurs. As it was I bit my lip and gave her a dirty look as I passed her.

    As for potentially losing NI and Scotland, there was an opinion poll showing something like 80% of Brexit voters would be cool with Scotland leaving the UK if that was the price of Brexit. NI and Scotland are just losers and takers, England is better off without them. They are money sinks, taking our tax money and giving nothing in return. /

  36. 36
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Controversially, owing to its potentially disastrous erosion of the rule of law coming from the mouth of a president, Trump has objected to Mueller’s tactic of “flipping” witnesses – Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, Cohen, Manafort (temporarily) and counting – arguing that it amounts to an enticement to lie. “You know they make up stories, people make up stories,” Trump told Fox News in August. “This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping. For 30 to 40 years I’ve been watching flippers … It almost ought to be outlawed. It’s not fair.”

    But Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who was part of the team that convicted the Gambino family boss John Gotti, said not only is “flipping” a witness fair, it is “exceedingly common” in group investigations. “This is what you do when you’re investigating the Gambino crime family, or a motorcycle gang, or any other group of criminals that are engaged in a conspiracy,” said Cotter. “You’ve got to get inside. And usually you need somebody on the inside to tell you what’s going on, and that opens up some doors.”

    All the former prosecutors the Guardian spoke with cautioned that they did not mean by their analysis to say that Trump is a mob boss, or that the Mueller investigation is strictly an organized crime investigation. But the similarities kept coming up.

    Daniel Goldman was deputy chief of the organized crime unit in the southern district of New York, where he was an assistant US attorney for a decade. “To play the mafia analogy out a little further,” Goldman said, “mob bosses hold sway over their soldiers because they hold the purse strings for their soldiers and their soldiers’ families, particularly when they go to jail, and they sort of rule with an implicit iron fist that reacts to cooperation with violence up to, potentially, death. Trump holds sway over his associates through his presidential pardon power and he’s not afraid to explicitly reference that power in connection to individuals who may have information about his own criminal activity. And so the parallels are very strong.”

    Sure, he’s not a mob boss, he just does everything like a mob boss would.

  37. 37
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Amir Khalid: Religion ruins everything. Currently, it is leading towards another world war.

  38. 38
    Schlemazel says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    China is trying very hard to make sure that the atheists are doing their part is getting people killed for their beliefs.

    The whole world has gone insane and religion, or the lack there of, is just yet another excuse

  39. 39
    MazeDancer says:

    Send some good thoughts to Gwen Collins-Greenup. The Sec of State runoff in Louisiana is today.
    Knocking wood for her victory.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: Bolsonaro abolishes human rights ministry in favour of family values

    Brazil’s far-right president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, will abolish the country’s human rights ministry and has named a conservative evangelical pastor to run a newly created ministry which will oversee women, family and human rights – and also the country’s 900,000 indigenous people.

    The plan, announced on Thursday, has prompted outcry from feminist groups, indigenous activists and LGBT campaigners, who fear it indicates that human rights will be downgraded under the incoming government.

    The new minister, Damares Alves, is a lawyer, evangelical preacher and congressional aide, who co-founded a group that rescues indigenous children from situations of danger and evangelises in indigenous communities.

    She opposes abortion – illegal in Brazil in most cases – believes that women were born to be mothers, and said she plans to work for the “invisible” people in society, such as Gypsies and women who cut sugar cane and tap rubber.

    In 2016, she told an evangelical congregation: “It is time for the church to tell the nation that we have come … It is time for the church to govern.”

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    The whole world has gone insane and religion, or the lack there of, is just yet another excuse

    I have always wondered at the atheists who speak of their lack of faith with such religious fervor.

  42. 42
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @satby: Is it significant that the 2 countries that hsve so long viewed themselves as the dominant world powers (AngloSaxon) succombed at the same time to a disasterous attack from the same power?

    Self-satisfied in their (our) assumed ‘moral/genetic superiority'(?!?!)

  43. 43
    Schlemazel says:

    every group has its extremist. I am confident that there are violent pacifists out there

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    How smart is an octopus? Smart enough to figure out how to open a jar (go to the 3:30 mark in the video).

  45. 45
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I am confident that there are violent pacifists out there


  46. 46
    Platonailedit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: When religious nutjobs can speak of their ‘faith’ with such fervor (and mayhem), why shouldn’t those who oppose these bigoted whackos speak with fervor? At least, the later group does not kill or indulge in large scale violence.

  47. 47
    DavidC says:

    I think that “Selene” is my friend’s niece, who wrote this.

  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    At least, the later group does not kill or indulge in large scale violence.

    Stalin was an atheist.

  49. 49
    Schlemazel says:

    I have seen that video. I now feel very guilty that I enjoy eating octopus

  50. 50
    Platonailedit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Fair enough, though his later day ‘purges’ were mostly for political power grab, not because he hated religion.

  51. 51
    Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!) says:

    @OzarkHillbilly Great News! Wisdom is definitely old enough to collect Social Security!

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    Religion is not so much the problem here, it’s racism.

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Platonailedit: So was Pol Pot. My only point is that atheism, like religion, are human constructs, and as such are used for both good and evil depending upon the person wielding them. Atheism in it’s most strident forms, such as under communism, is another tool of control, not at all unlike the Catholic Church during it’s long and bloody history.

  54. 54
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: They are truly amazing creatures.

  55. 55
    debbie says:


    I would never be able to find it now, but I remember reading about an octopus who escaped from his tank during the night, grabbed a snack, and returned to the tank.

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: Not too long ago one just flat out disappeared from the Monterrey (?) Aquarium.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Why do adult humans choose to travel on an airplane in their pajamas?

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    PJs seem to be the only way to food shop around here. :/

  59. 59
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve never personally experienced what you and he have experienced, but his thread made me tear up a little too. And while that happens more lately in our current environment, I don’t cry easily either. But the loss… it just seems like there is so much loss right now.

  60. 60
    Citizen Alan says:


    Is it really atheism to abandon belief in God in favor of belief in an abstract political entity that should be viewed as divine?

  61. 61
    Citizen Alan says:


    I have made the comment before on FB that 100 years from now, historians will say that World War 3 took place in 2016. It was fought entirely in cyberspace. And the victory of the New Russian Empire was so absolute that Great Britain was the first EU nation to commit national suicide while in America, a plurality of citizens joyously welcomed Czar Putin’s hand-picked viceroy as he took over the government.

  62. 62
    Miss Bianca says:

    Oh, damn it, this story has me sting-eyed weepy. Fuck Trump and his enemy of the people shit talk enabling the weak-brained, strongly-armed loonitocracy, just fuck him. And them. And a Merry Fucking Christmas to all.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    UttBugly says:

    I do not want Trump (or Limbaugh, Hannity, et al) to end as Republican martyrs, but I must confess I would be most pleased to learn that the majority of their ill gotten wealth was martyred to pay for their security.

  65. 65
    Karen says:

    All Brazil and the UK have taught me is that the decent, kind and compassionate people NEED to override the vicious, mean and nasty people who will always be there, We need to vote in more numbers than they do. What is worrying me is all of these ultra-right wing countries: Hungary and Italy, for example. Denmark is on its way. What is going on in the world to make the people of these countries’ people believe that fascism is the only way?

  66. 66
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Karen: I am betting that losing the WW II generations – rhe ones that suffered the actual horrors of fascism – might be a contributing factor.

  67. 67
    PJ says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Eh, more like we had sunk so low as “world leaders” that a small number of right-wing elites were willing to sell us all out to keep maintaining their power and lining their pockets. Their avid followers have always been here – during the Civil War, there were plenty of Northerners who were pro-slavery, and prior to WWII, there were plenty of people here who were either avid Nazi supporters or who admired Nazi Germany. Fortunately, they just weren’t the people running the country. France was not so fortunate in WWII – their elites would rather be ruled by Germans than have to share their wealth with socialists. I’m not sure that “this too shall pass” applies now, but it does point out that there is no “safe place” in history, there are always bad people who are in it for themselves and no one else, and it requires constant vigilance, and a functioning news media, to keep those bad people from power. Unfortunately, those bad people are now virtually the entire GOP.

  68. 68
    sukabi says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: State: “Let’s give priority to the lorries to deliver medical supplies ”

    County: “We must stop lorries from entering and causing gridlock.”

    What am I missing? Glad we don’t have the market cornered on stupid.

  69. 69
    artem1s says:


    Sure, he’s not a mob boss, he just does everything like a mob boss would.

    Worse, he does everything like Fredo

  70. 70
    wkwv says:

    My local suburban weekly paper was edited by John McNamara- he wrote two-thirds of the local content. I spoke briefly to Wendi Winters at Trader Joe’s a month before the shooting. The lunatic injustice of their murders is still haunting me. Trump and his “enemy of the people” garbage is unforgivable.

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