Norma Bates 
Member since Jun 4, 2010


Renowned ICE Lecturer (International Consultant on Everything). Performance Artiste. Bi-Partisan Trophy Escort. Nanny. One busy little beaver, I.

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Lolling, lounging and luxuriating in L.A.

Updated on March 1, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Recent Comments

Re: “The Jack Jones, Marcel Williams execution thread

Apparently it does, Plainjim. On both sides, tragically?

No matter that every supposed "benefit" of the death penalty has long been shut down by decades of objective (dare one say "scientific"?) research and study from every conceivable perspective: justice, economics, social good, et al.

Death penalty proponents dismiss the real facts to fabricate "alternative facts" ("closure" - which upon examination is just another word for "revenge"). They relish shilling the heinous details of the original homicide - about which nothing can be done nor lives brought back - to distract from their committing another heinous homicide as "punishment" - perpetuating the cycle by making homicide as revenge socially acceptable and even desirable.

Do capital punishment opponents also "fabricate facts?" Or just this defense attorney, who thinks that's doing his job?

It's just this defense attorney (and colleagues like him), Plainjim: not capital punishment opponents as a group.

Collectively, opponents of capital punishment (capital "closure," if you dismiss the vengeance at its heart) have facts on their side. That's why we oppose it.

Facts will ultimately prevail, as they have in every other western country but this one.

Meanwhile, in 2015, most executions took place in China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the USA - in that order. (Think about it next time ISIS beheads somebody.)

Great company we're keeping.

22 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Norma Bates on 04/24/2017 at 9:08 PM

Re: “The sunny Sunday line

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Selma, Alabama (need I say more?) - "Jeff" to constituents - as Trump's Attorney General who's promised to renew the War on Drugs (started and popularized by another Republican POTUS, Richard Nixon, in 1971 and a tragic abject failure ever since) - is a blind agenda-driven idiot.

"You can't sue somebody for a drug debt. The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that," Sessions told the press.…

Uh, Jeff, that's the point.

Before prohibition, alcohol distributors took their disputes to court or settled them in the market. After prohibition, they used Tommy guns.

The violence in the drug trade is likewise a byproduct of prohibition.

"Manufacturers, distributors and users of illegal drugs cannot avail themselves of the court system when disputes arise. Sessions' implication that the problem is inherent in the drug market, however, is simply false. The reason drug market participants can't go to court is because the government refuses to let them."

Tell it to yet another hypocritical "faith"-based evangelical anti-science Southern throwback.

Bless his heart.

15 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Norma Bates on 04/23/2017 at 6:16 PM

Re: “The sunny Sunday line

As I was saying to the Darlenes just the other day - well, let Chauncy DeVega paraphrase me:

"There is a deep crisis of faith and trust in America's political and social institutions. Americas political culture is highly polarized and divisive. The Republican Party has embraced a strategy of destroying the existing political rules and norms that make effective governance possible. Today's conservatism is regressive and reactionary. It is an enemy of the commons and of the very idea of government.

"Racism, bigotry and nativism compelled Donald Trump's voters to act out in a nihilistic temper tantrum.

"Voter demobilization and gerrymandering have subverted democracy and given Republicans a political chokehold on the country.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin used his country's intelligence agencies to undermine the 2016 presidential election by manipulating the American news media and Republican voters in favor of Donald Trump.

"But none of these forces would have been so powerful if not for a deeper cultural rot and moral weakness in American society. This is what philosopher Henry Giroux has described as the 'culture of cruelty.' It is the intersection of creeping authoritarianism, militarism, surveillance, violence by the state against its citizens, gangster capitalism and extreme wealth inequality, the assault on the very idea of community and government, widespread loneliness, and social dominance behavior against the Other."

Of course, Chauncey goes a step further than I, because my plate's too full: he interviews Giroux.

Unfortunately, Hank's a realist, not a blind optimist: so he's not invited to a lot of meet-and-greets.

"Its a democracy that's on life support. It can't breathe. I don't think we are tipping over into neofascism. I think we've tipped over. Its just a more subtle form of neofascism than anything we've seen in the past.

"I remember in 1980, watching Ronald Reagan get elected. . . . I thought, 'Holy shit! This is really a turning point.' But it didn't hit me existentially the way the Trump election did. I woke up the next day and I felt paralyzed. I felt that we had entered into something so dark, so real, so evil that there was really no precedent for it in terms of its all-encompassing possibilities for death, destruction and violence.'"…

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Norma Bates on 04/23/2017 at 5:24 PM

Re: “The gloomy Saturday line

My, but the phone's busy this morning. Thank god for VPN.

Insiders seem to be bearing down on the facts surrounding Carter Page (among so many other facts they're bearing down on).

For one thing, before the election, the FBI had verified enough of the infamous Russian "water sports" anti-Trump dossier to convince a judge to issue a FISA warrant to track Page.

Now the issue's become: why weren't we informed, before the election, that a top Trump foreign policy aide (Page) "was acting as an agent of a foreign power, including possibly engaging in clandestine intelligence gathering for a foreign government?"

Why, instead, was the national news all about the FBI investigating Hillary's email server, right up to election day - ultimately dead-ending at nothing?

"The FBI and a judge found probable cause that Trump hired a man who was secretly working with the Russians. We had the right to know this before the election."

Say the growing chorus of tenacious Washington players.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Norma Bates on 04/23/2017 at 11:22 AM

Re: “The gloomy Saturday line

Home from another incandescent evening, memes neatly hung up, snuggled in bed under Pratesi, sipping a warm cup of organic cocoa and catching up on all things Melania in Vanity Fair.

She's depicted as disinterested and bored with FLOTUS duties, as aren't we all, so that's perfectly understandable.

Melania's a simple Slavic girl with iconic bone structure who "just wants a luxurious home where she could indulge her hobbies - Pilates and reading fashion magazines, according to People - in peace, and a promise that she would never have to return to drab Eastern-European prospects."

I know. Who didn't think he'd go for a Nobel rocket scientist his third time at bat - right?

Just as I was about to memo myself to have my people let her people know I care - a still, small voice within me quoted Dan Savage verbatim.

"Pretty Melania," he said, is a birther "who went on TV to push the same racist conspiracy theories about Barack Obama that her husband did."

"She's an immigrant who doesn't give a shit about the plight of other immigrants," he said. "She's famously a plagiarist. And she's brought ruinous lawsuits against journalists and bloggers accusing them of among other things, potentially interfering with her ability to profit off her role as first lady."…

7 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Norma Bates on 04/23/2017 at 4:02 AM

Re: “Jones, Williams lose bid for stay over midazolam

"Thousands Across The U.S. And The Globe March For Science In Defiance Of Donald Trump. An estimated 600 marches are taking place across the world."

It's Earth Day.

"President Donald Trump clearly doesn't care much for science. He's proposed to slash budgets for programs including the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA. He wants to cut $900 million to the Department of Energy's Office of Science. He ordered the National Park Service to stop tweeting. He's called climate change a 'hoax' and doesn't trust vaccines.

"Saturday marks the 47th Earth Day, and thousands of scientists and non-scientists alike are marching in solidarity around the country and beyond to send a clear message to Trump: Science isn't going anywhere."…

Arkansas HATES science. The science and facts of the death penalty, abortion, LGBTQ Americans, racism and planned segregation, women's equal pay, or unions and workers, gun control, et al., - you name it, Arkansas prefers vengeful, superstitious, irrational Christian fundamentalism over objective, researched and verified facts.

Meanwhile, Arkansas falls further and further behind by virtually every measure - idiotically blaming "outsiders" (those damned Yankees) for your self-inflicted bottom-of-the-barrel status.

Religionists - since long before the printing press and with increasing desperation ever since - have fought an inevitably losing battle against widespread factual knowledge and science - because it destroys bigoted, xenophobic, misogynist, homophobic religious religious dogma.

Their latest tactic? Eliminate public schools. Replace them with charter schools and "voucher" plans that funnel taxpayer monies to religious indoctrination centers (unconstitutionally, through deceitful workarounds).

And you really think you're ever going to have a Tech Park that's anything but a decade or more behind everybody else?

Arkansas offers one of the least receptive climates for science in the 50 states.

It's wonderful - to read her of your few students each year who win scholarships in one or more scientific fields.

It's pathetic that virtually all of them will graduate and leave Arkansas for more hospitable and rewarding locales. But who can blame them?

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Norma Bates on 04/22/2017 at 11:52 AM

Re: “Jones, Williams lose bid for stay over midazolam

So true, TS.

Every time we in a galaxy far, far away think Arkansas's well-earned reputation can't possibly get any worse - it inevitably does.

As the article I cited on yesterday's Open Line (which you read, TX) says about America's two entirely different countries:

"In one of these countries live members of what Temin calls the FTE sector (named for finance, technology and electronics, the industries that largely support its growth). These are the 20 percent of Americans who enjoy college educations, have good jobs and sleep soundly knowing that they have not only enough money to meet life's challenges, but also social networks to bolster their success. They grow up with parents who read books to them, tutors to help with homework and plenty of stimulating things to do and places to go. They travel in planes and drive new cars. The citizens of this country see economic growth all around them and exciting possibilities for the future. They make plans, influence policies and count themselves lucky to be Americans.

"The FTE citizens rarely visit the country where the other 80 percent of Americans live: the low-wage sector. Here, the world of possibility is shrinking, often dramatically. People are burdened with debt and anxious about their insecure jobs if they have a job at all. Many of them are getting sicker and dying younger than they used to. They get around by crumbling public transport and cars they have trouble paying for. Family life is uncertain here; people often don't partner for the long-term even when they have children. If they go to college, they finance it by going heavily into debt. They are not thinking about the future; they are focused on surviving the present. The world in which they reside is very different from the one they were taught to believe in. While members of the first country act, these people are acted upon.

"The two sectors, notes Temin, have entirely distinct financial systems, residential situations and educational opportunities. Quite different things happen when they get sick or when they interact with the law. They move independently of each other. Only one path exists by which the citizens of the low-wage country can enter the affluent one, and that path is fraught with obstacles. Most have no way out.

"The richest large economy in the world, says Temin, is coming to have an economic and political structure more like a developing nation."…

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Norma Bates on 04/22/2017 at 11:24 AM

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Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism


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