Department Of The Calm Before The Storm
Aka, I’m Supposed To Post This Kind Of Mindless Minutiae On Facebook…
I’M SO HAPPY WITH MY DOLLAR TREE PURCHASE!
After years of using our nondescript, Bed Bath & Beyond everyday flatware precious family heirloom silverware for scooping out cat food, I recently said to moiself, “Self,” I said, “the next time you pass a Dollar Tree store, why not pop inside and pick up a couple of forks?”
Two forks now reside upstairs by the cat food cans. The utensils are seemingly satisfied with – dare I guess, even proud of ? – their singular, humble-yet-vital raison d’etre.
My contentment knows no bounds.
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Department Of The Storm
Aka, I May Be A Terrible Person…
But damn, I wish I’d written this headline:
Justice Scalia Dead Following 30-Year Battle With Social Progress
Should I feel guilty for rejoicing upon hearing the news of someone’s death?  While I’m not exactly dancing on his grave, full disclosure: my first reaction upon hearing that SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia had died:
Pity it wasn’t a car crash and he didn’t take one or two of his buddies  with him.
Sound harsh? It’s “nothing personal,” as they say. Over the years I’ve said good riddance upon hearing the news of certain people’s deaths, for example, the architects of apartheid and Osama Bin Ladin, among other political and social tyrants. And yep, on a certain level I do equate them: Scalia was a judicial tyrant, hostile to those cherished American ideals of liberty, justice and equality for all.
Sure, I’ll miss Scalia’s batshit crazy rantings bizarre flights of phraseology and imagery (“jiggery-pokery” and “Platonic golf,” in particular) but I’ll not miss his retrograde, religion-soiled worldview and blatant hostility to the advancement of human rights.
As the Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor put it in her Freethought Now blog post, Why Scalia Was a Fugitive From Justice, Scalia was a “judicial version of a bible literalist…who dressed up the old ‘states’ rights’ arguments  in the bizarre new clothing he termed ‘originalist’ interpretations of the Constitution.”
The thing is, Scalia wasn’t just your blowhard bigot uncle pontificating at the neighborhood watering hole. He held a powerful position and thus had a loud and far-reaching megaphone, through which he advocated ideologies that do real harm to real people.  Unlike your drunk uncle, Scalia got to hide his prejudices, fear and loathing behind the skirts of a judge using an originalist interpretation of the US Constitution. 
A sampling of the many Scali-ism which reveal his bigoted, science-hostile, religiously-warped mindset, include him
* referring to voting rights as “racial entitlements;”
* equating homosexuality with “reprehensible” conduct including incest and murder;
* comparing the quest for LGBT human rights to flagpole sitting and saying it would be okay to jail gay people – i.e. criminalize gay “behavior” – because some (straight) people don’t like them;
* defending sentencing “retarded” people to death via the everybody’s doing it argument: i.e., if mentally-impaired people continue to receive death sentences from juries then that must be socially acceptable;
* dissing the establishment clause to an audience of schoolchildren and telling another group of children that that humanity was only in its 5,000th year of existence;
* arguing that African-Americans would be better off in slower schools;
* boasting that his refusal to recuse himself from a case about then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force — after he’d just returned on a duck-hunting trip with Cheney — was the “proudest thing” he’d done on the SCOTUS;
* saying the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause didn’t apply to females and thus there is no protection against discrimination for women in the US Constitution, and advising a female law student to skip taking “frill classes” like “law and women;”
* referring to a female SCOTUS justice (Sandra O’Connor), when she refused to join him in trying to overturn Roe v. Wade, as “irrational” and “not to be taken seriously;”
* dismissing the liberties and protections provided in the Bill of Rights (“The majority wins. If you don’t believe that, you don’t believe in democracy”) and equating the protection of minority interests with protecting pederasts and child abusers;
* cavalierly proclaiming  that torture wasn’t “punishment” and therefore couldn’t be considered “cruel and unusual;”
* rejecting the findings of science while believing that the existence of atheists is proof of a living, literal devil….
Okay; ding dong the witch is dead. And I feel a need to wash my hands after typing just a sample of the scary shit that man has done and said over the years.
Moving on: for something resembling demographic equality and representation, for the next SCOTUS nominee we need a justice who is female and who did not attend an Ivy League and/or East coast law school, who is originally or currently FROM THE WEST, and whose worldview background is secular/atheist…or, okay Jewish or Buddhist or Sikh or Baha’i or Hindu, anything but Christian and definitively not another Catholic.
Ah, if only The Onion’s dream came true:
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Department Of This Should Come As No Surprise
It turns out publication bias (that is, studies purporting to discover some phenomenon are more likely to be published than studies failing to find one), which is common throughout psychology, “is greatly exacerbated in sex/gender research,” found a 2014 paper in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, citing studies going back 20 years.
(from the article, Pink Brains, Blue Brains? Mindful magazine, February 2016
Translation: it’s more interesting to think you’ve found a difference than to confirm a non-difference. Ergo, a study which alleges to find a “sex difference” in male and female __________ (cranial structures; interest in sports; capacity for empathy; penchant for eating one’s own naval lint) gets published and gets press, while the subsequent 19 studies which find no difference receive little-to-no attention.
BTW, the answer to the article’s title rhetorical question, which has been addressed in many other studies, is a resounding WTF? no – who made that claim? Brains do not have a gender. The idea that there’s anything fundamentally different about men’s and women’s brains is a myth, despite what $chlock-peddler$ like that Venus and Mars bull$hit arti$t would have you buy (literally), is codswallop.
Ain’t that right, Angry Tiki Man Man?
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Department of Ahhhh…….
This photo from daughter Belle illustrates her claim that “one of the perks of working in a natural history museum  is that you and the specimens sometimes match.
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May you find exceptional happiness in humble purchases;
May the perks of your workplace be artistically fulfilling;
May the color of your brain continue to be irrelevant;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Answer: it depends, both on the Someone and the death.
 Whose surnames rhyme with BombAss and A-flea-toe.
 “States’ rights” is a code term, often used to shield the potentially offensive and controversial intentions of the person employing it. It is typically used by conservative politicians (remember George Wallace?) to bring racial images and attitudes to mind without actually having to say the words. Ronald Reagan infamously used that nudge nudge wink wink code to appeal to the racist ideology of the old white southerners whom he sought to bring into his coalition of voters (and without whom he would have lost the 1980 election).
 Including and especially, IMHO, re his attitudes toward gay people.
 You know, the logic and justice of applying the mindset of 240 years ago – when women could not vote and blacks counted as 3/5 of a person – to contemporary society law and politics.
 In a 2004 Interview with CNN.
 In her case, that of her school’s (the University of Puget Sound) – Slater Museum .
Feb 19, 2016 @ 01:21:08
Feb 19, 2016 @ 07:06:13
It’s one of those wonderful old British words…and something I may have once inadvertently served for Sunday dinner. 🙂