Archive for drones

The Book Booth: April Come She Will Edition


From: Feed Your Need to Read

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: April Come She Will Edition

Spring has sprung and April is right around the corner. Ah, April, the month of baseball, sunshine, blooming trees, fragrant odors, lawns that need to be mowed. Maybe Eliot was right.

Speaking of smells, there is nothing quite like the aroma of a used bookstore. And if you'd like to keep that smell with you all day, you know can with this new perfume. H/T to my good friend, Caleb Bullen for finding this item that can be yours for a mere eighty dollars.
Eau de Old Books

We're still at the tail end of March and with it, the continuing athletic displays of collegiate hoops, known as March Madness. I am not one to fill out brackets, as I don't really follow the game closely. I'm sure it leads to madness and obsession, much like the characters in the books Flavorwire recently highlighted in an article from Emily Temple.

Speaking of obsession, one book club in Boston has, for the past 18 years, met to discuss one book and one book only. That book would be Finnegan's Wake. Hats off to such persistence.
Finnegan's Wake Book Club

Some booksellers and librarians clearly have too much time on their hands, producing book/song parodies. These are seriously a lot of fun. Enjoy.
Book/Song Parodies

Back in 1966, Paul Simon asked if the theater was really dead in his song The Dangling Conversation. (I seem to have old Paul Simon songs on the brain this week.) The same question has hung over the novel for well over a century now. Vox recently time-lined the proclamation of the book's demise here.
The Book's Demise? Not So Fast!

If the novel were really dead, and I have serious doubts about it, we could always re-read some favorites. I like to re-read books. I just recently finished re-reading David Hadju's Positively Fourth Street, a fine look at the early days of the folk revival in the early sixties, focussed on the intertwined lives of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Richard and Mimi Farina. But there can be dangers in going back to a well-loved book. Susie Rodarme examined some of those dangers here at Book Riot.
You Can't Read That Book Again (Or Maybe Shouldn't)

Alas, the famed historian of folk and blues music, Samuel Charters, has passed away at age 85. The New York Times had this lengthy obituary.
So Long, It's Been Good to Know You, Samuel Chambers

I have a few items from the intersection of books and politics to share. First off, it seems that Stephen King is no pal of Maine's teabagging governor. Governor LePage recently intimated that King does not pay taxes; King called him out.
King to LePage: Stop Lying

Meanwhile, activists helped to shut down Hancock Air Base in New York state and used oversized books to make their point in a creative display of protest.
Anti-Drone Activists

And who knew that the path to literacy in the Soviet Union could be so much fun? THIS IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK. DO NOT OPEN THIS LINK IN FRONT OF CHILDREN. Enjoy. H/t to old pal and publisher, Richard Grabman.
Soviet Erotic Alphabet

In happy news, the great songwriter Elvis Costello has a new memoir in the works, due to be published by a Penguin imprint sometime in October. This news will no doubt please SeattleTammy who is probably Mr. Costello's biggest fan.
Elvis Costello Memoir

May you all have sweet smelling weekends, filled with books and good music. Let us know what books you've got going, and, heck, tell us what music you are loving.


A Woman's View of Serial Genital Mutilation in Iraq (and everywhere else)


WARNING: graphic and troubling graphics below, please check your environment. Thank You.


Years ago, Kathy Griffin (a rather political comic with a strong voice) spoke of her having gone to Iraq during active U.S. conflict - the last time - that was absolutely in terrible taste but is something I've not forgotten in the interim - she achieved her point.

She had some sentimental moments (for Kathy) with our troops, then got into some dialogue later about one of the things that burned her as a woman: genital mutilation in the region, escalating every year and mega-egregiously offensive to women around the globe. Now ISIS is back in the mix, and Griffin's bit becomes that much more relevant.


She essentially described an overview of what was being done to woman and girls in shocking numbers, and it isn't pretty. Griffith got halfway through the train of thought before she dropped a term I'll always remember, "big bucket of clits". It was in the context of things she found hardest to accept, like Sharia Law and the fact that a high percentage of females lining up to have their clitorises sliced off and discarded.

Here's a bit more information from Unicef.

It's beyond heartbreaking this misogynist balderdash, we passed into torture a while ago … it is rumored and reported that Egypt manages to mutilate the genitals of nearly 95% of women. Many are done near birth, like a bris gone bad.


ISIS has brought all of this horror back to the front page. The tribal custom is old and has deep religious roots … this isn't just a punishment of mild chastising like we give date-rapers in our own country. It's a global ethics crisis.

Here are some words from activist women and victims themselves about this horrific practice.

War brings more need for wealth, arms and whatever strategies will work to keep the people down, help the regular poor and abused and violated girls and women, and historically defined as 'always' a bi-product of war: violence against women. Take your pick of countries to highlight, but at the moment Northern Iraq is in the spotlight.


I can't look at these hideous images without tearing up - but I think they need to be seen. Those poor girls are simply born the wrong sex to be valued in the MidEast and other oppressive regions, the War On Women is GLOBAL.


The al-Qaeda-Inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered all girls and women between the ages of 11 and 46 in and around Iraq's northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said on Thursday.



“It is a fatwa (or religious edict) of ISIS, we learnt this this morning,” said Jacqueline Badcock, the number two U.N. official in Iraq.

The “fatwa” would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, Badcock told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil.

“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said, according to Reuters.

WHY? Indeed. Don't see Jesus or Allah signing off on this one.


Breaking: U.S. Has Commenced Air Strikes in N. Iraq, Pentagon Says-VIDEO



The United States has begun shelling specific targets in Northern Iraq in an attempt to deter ISIS -- remember them, their main platform seems to involve female genital mutilation?

ISIS had trapped opposition (refugees) and has overrun clusters of 'Christian villages" in Iraq. President Obama is also having food and vital water airdropped to the victims and refugees. He himself used the descriptor of 'genocide' to judge the possibilities if action was not taken.

Over refugees are fleeing Northern Iraq, and 40,000 alone are trapped on Sinjar mountain. Isis told Yazidis were told to convert to Islam, flee or be killed.

They sound nice.

According to the New York Times Breaking News Alert:


American warplanes struck Sunni militant positions in northern Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon said in a statement, confirming the first significant American military operation since ground troops left Iraq in 2011.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary, said that two F-18 fighters dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery target near Erbil. Militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were using the artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Erbil, Admiral Kirby said in a statement.

The Daily Rundown with Chucky Todd had Friday initial reactions. They are varied on other pundit shows as well.

The strike followed President Obama’s announcement Thursday night that he had authorized limited air strikes to protect American citizens in Erbil and Baghdad, and, if necessary, to break the siege of tens of thousand of refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.

Then Josè Díaz-Balart had some superb coverage of the shillings on Northern Iraq.

And a vid on President Obama's decision.



GOP Freak Out Because They Can't Read


personal drone 2

One of the problems people have today is they're in a constant state of "hurry." They have so many things on their plate and time ticks by so quickly, they try to do too much at the same time. And the result is sometimes embarrassing.

Take reading regulations for an example. If you're going to run for political office, or if you hold political office, comprehensive reading is a requirement. New bills and proposals are constantly being put in front of you and your understanding them is paramount before you can vote on them. Or at least that's how it's supposed to work.

Talking Points Memo:

Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) reportedly used an aerial drone to capture images from his wedding to his long-time same-sex partner last month -- and the GOP is not at all happy about it.

Nothing about this should raise too many eyebrows unless you're a Conservative Republican. In that case the idea of a same-sex marriage is abhorrent. That could cause your blood pressure to rise and cloud your thinking. But surprise, that's not what has gotten the National Republican Congressional Committee's undies in a bunch.

Congressman Maloney 2Rep. Sean Maloney - Randy Florke

The straw that broke their back was Congressman Maloney used a drone to photograph his event. I think it's clever and very interesting. The Republican caucus group saw this differently.

The New York Daily News reported on Monday that Maloney had used a small drone to shoot video at his wedding in Cold Spring, N.Y. But the News also said that federal regulations prohibit the commercial use of drones like the one that he and partner Randy Florke used.

The National Republican Congressional Committee labeled Maloney's actions as a "stunning disregard for FAA rules regarding drone use."

"Stunning  disregard." Let's break this down. Here's the one word the Republicans are not reading -- giving them the benefit of the doubt that they can read at all. Today's "secret word" is COMMERCIAL, as in commercial use.

There is a prohibition with commercial use of such a drone, but not personal use. Unless the congressperson and his partner are planning on selling  copies of their wedding video, thus making the usage commercial, this is all completely legal. The chance these two men are planning such a commercial venture with this matrimonial commemoration video seems quite unlikely.

Thus, once again, the misinformed GOP, the Chicken Littles of the world, are screaming the sky is falling. If only it would, it might knock some common sense into them. That doesn't seem likely though. So ignorance of the law seems to reign supreme, once again, in the GOP headquarters.

And to think that the group pointing fingers and accusing another Congressman of breaking the law consists of the very same people who are supposed to know the laws would be laughable, if it were not so sad. It's one thing to be incompetent. It's another to open your mouth and prove it. This is just such a case.

So here's a lesson for all you GOP congresspeople. Before you accuse someone of something, do your homework. And take the time to read all the regulations, not just the ones that your eyes pick up while you're out doing something else, like fundraising or obstructing Congress.

For a change, do your jobs. We citizens would appreciate that.