If you follow the NFL closely, you've heard the story about Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Martin left the team, claiming that Incognito was bullying him. In the last couple of days stories have been surfacing from the Miami players that, no, Richie isn't a bully.
This is what we know: Martin was a two-time All-American lineman in college. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins last year to play left tackle. We also know that ever since high school Incognito, for whatever reasons, has been kicked off a number of teams he's played on. Incognito is now indefinitely suspended pending (apparently) a team investigation.
One figures that it men who are six and a half feet tall and weigh over 300 pounds just can't be bullied. Maybe "bully" is the wrong term.
We have phone calls where Incognito left phone messages for Martin, calling him an n[word], telling him he was going to [defecate] in Martin's mouth, and threatening to kill Martin's mother. The counter story is that Incognito was merely trying to motivate his teammate.
In most of the world this kind of motivation doesn't work. Martin, whose parents are lawyers and who graduated from Stanford, apparently didn't get motivated by this. When Bill Walsh was a coach he didn't abide hazing or bullying. Jim Harbaugh, the current Niners coach and Martin's coach in Stanford, doesn't allow for it. This is his second year with the team. At some point, if as some rumors have it, coaches on the team wanted to "toughen up" Martin perhaps they might have noticed that their strategy wasn't working. If they were completely unaware of Incognito's motivational speeches over the course of two seasons, then maybe there is a problem with communications skills of the coaching staff.
Some defenders of Incognito say, "Hey, everyone uses the n[word] in locker rooms. Richie was an honorary brother." He apparently wasn't Jonathan Martin's honorary brother. I've never had an honorary brother threaten to kill my mother and s[word] in my mouth. If I did I don't think I'd get all warm and cuddly and brotherly.
Granted, I got cut from my high school freshman football team because I wasn't aggressive enough, so I haven't had lots of experience in towel-slapping locker room antics.
But I think that the big point here is the simple "different strokes for different folks" and when you find that something isn't working then you try something else.
Now it sounds like a lawsuit of some sort may be coming. Incognito, who's bounced from team to team because of his effervescent personality quirks, may be nearing the end of career. Maybe, despite his bona fides in college, Martin isn't cut out to be a pro football player. Or maybe he'll end up playing on a team where the coaches have better human relations skills.
I wouldn't bet on the health of Miami quarterbacks with two starting linemen off the team.
An excellent essay about what this is all about. I've always said that racism is a means to an end. The author agrees.
When I have described the well-considered, coherent political and economic strategies of the conservative white South, as I have done here, here and here, I am sometimes been accused of being a “conspiracy theorist.” But one need not believe that white-hooded Dragons and Wizards are secretly coordinating the actions of Southern conservative politicians from a bunker underneath Stone Mountain in Georgia to believe that a number of contemporary policies — from race-to-the-bottom economic policies to voter disfranchisement and attempts to decentralize or privatize federal social insurance entitlements — serve the interests of those who promote them, who tend to be white Southern conservatives.
Just as a strategy is not a conspiracy, so it is not insanity. Ironically, American progressives, centrists and some Northern conservatives are only deluding themselves, when they insist that the kind of right-wing Southerners behind the government shutdown are “crazy.” Crazy, yes — crazy like a fox.
Another mistake is the failure to recognize that the Southern elite strategy, though bound up with white supremacy throughout history, is primarily about cheap and powerless labor, not about race. If the South and the U.S. as a whole through some magical transformation became racially homogeneous tomorrow, there is no reason to believe that the Southern business and political class would suddenly embrace a new model of political economy based on high wages, high taxes and centralized government, rather than pursue its historical model of a low-wage, low-tax, decentralized system, even though all workers, employers and investors now shared a common skin color.
So the struggle is not one to convert Southern Baptists to Darwinism or to get racists to celebrate diversity. The on-going power struggle between the local elites of the former Confederacy and their allies in other regions and the rest of the United States is not primarily about personal attitudes. It is about power and wealth.
For some time, the initiative has rested with the Southern power elite, which knows what it wants and has a plan to get it. The strategy of the conservative South, as a nation-within-a nation and in the global economy, combines an economic strategy and a political strategy.
The economic strategy is to maximize the attractiveness of the former Confederacy to external investors, by allowing Southern states to out-compete other states in the U.S., as well as other countries if possible, in a race to the bottom by means of low wages, stingy government welfare (which if generous increases the bargaining power of poor workers by decreasing their desperation) and low levels of environmental regulation.
The political strategy of the Southern elite is to prevent the Southern victims of these local economic policies from teaming up with allies in other parts of the U.S. to impose federal-level reforms on the Southern states. Voter suppression seeks to prevent voting by lower-income Southerners of all races who are hostile to the Southern power elite. Partisan gerrymandering of the U.S. House of Representatives by conservatives in Southern state legislatures weakens the votes of anti-conservative Southerners, if they are allowed to vote.
If voter suppression and vote dilution strategies fail, the Southern conservatives can still try to ward off unwelcome federally-imposed reforms that might weaken control of the Southern workforce by Southern employers and their political agents, by policies of devolving federal programs to the states, privatizing federal programs like Social Security and Medicare, blocking the implementation of new federal entitlements like Obamacare or a combination of these strategies.
To date the response of progressives and centrists, as well as moderate conservatives in the North (who have a quite different tradition) to what might be called the Southern Autonomy Project has been feeble and reactive. The South acts, the rest of the country reacts.
Here Midwestern Republican legislatures or governors try to copy the South’s anti-labor “right-to-work” legislation, and labor activists and liberals react. The legislatures in the South and their allies elsewhere pass voter suppression laws, and civil rights groups scramble to counteract them. Now the Southern-dominated Tea Party in the House shuts down the government and threatens to force the federal government into default. In this game of “Whack-a-mole,” the Southern right and its neo-Jacksonian allies in other parts of the country always has the initiative.
Instead of waiting for the next Southern conservative outrage, and treating it as a single, isolated example of inexplicable craziness, the rest of America from center-left to center-right should recognize that it is dealing with different aspects of a single strategy by a regional elite — the Southern Autonomy Project. It is time for the non-Southern American majority, in alliance with many non-elite Southerners of all races, to target and attack every element of the Southern Autonomy Project simultaneously. If the neo-Confederates want to wage political and economic war, their fellow Americans should choose to respond with political and economic war on all fronts, not on the terms and in the places the Southern conservatives choose.
Setting political difficulty aside, it is intellectually easy to set forth a grand national strategy that consists of coordinated federal policies to defeat the Southern Autonomy Project.
A federal living wage. At one blow, a much higher federal minimum wage would cripple the ability of Southern states to lure companies from more generous states which supplement the too-low present federal minimum wage with higher local state or urban minimum wages. (Strong national unions could do the same, but that is not a realistic option at present.)
Nationalization of social insurance. Social insurance programs with both federal and state components, like Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), allow Southern states to be stingier than many other states, creating more desperate workers who are more dependent on the mercy of employers and elite-dominated charities. Completely federalizing Medicaid (as President Ronald Reagan suggested!) and other hybrid federal-state social insurance programs would cripple the Southern Autonomy Project further.
Real voting rights. Using the authority of the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Congress should completely federalize voting requirements for all federal, state and local elections, making it as easy as possible for U.S. citizens to vote — over the objections of kicking and screaming neo-Confederates.
Nonpartisan redistricting. Partisan redistricting by majorities in state legislatures should be replaced by nonpartisan redistricting commissions, as in California, New Jersey and other states. The redistricting commissions should be truly nonpartisan, not “bipartisan” arrangements in which incumbent Republicans and incumbent Democrats cut deals to protect their safe seats from competition. (Electoral reforms like instant run-off voting and proportional representation are struggles for a more distant future).
Abolish the Senate filibuster. The filibuster is not part of the U.S. constitution. It has been used by Southern white conservatives from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first to preserve Southern white power and economic privilege. This relic of premodern British parliamentary politics should be abolished. Democracy means majority rule. If the Southern Right loses a battle in Congress, it can try to round up allies and win next time. It should no longer be able to paralyze the Senate, the Congress or the federal government as a whole.
Abolish the federal debt ceiling completely. The federal debt ceiling is another institution like the filibuster which has now been ruined by being abused by Southern conservatives. Now that the Southern right is trying to turn it into a recurrent tool of hostage-taking when it loses votes in Congress, the federal debt ceiling should be abolished. The federal government should be authorized to borrow any amount necessary to fund spending appropriated or authorized by Congress, if there is any shortfall in tax revenues.
Put all these policies and perhaps others together, and you have a National Majority Rule Project capable of thwarting the Southern Autonomy Project. The best defense is a good offense.
Does saying this make me, a white Southerner, a traitor to the South? Among the beneficiaries of a National Majority Rule Project, if it succeeded, would be middle- and low-income white Southerners, whose interests have never been identical with those of the local oligarchs. Particularly among the Scots-Irish of Appalachia and the Ozarks, there have always been many Southern white populists and radicals — from the West Virginian and Kentucky Unionists of the Civil War to New Deal liberals in Texas — who have understood the need to ally ourselves with non-Southerners in national politics to defeat the local Nabobs, Bourbons and Big Mules. The true Southern patriots are those of us who want to liberate the diverse population of the South from being exploited as wage earners and from being disfranchised or manipulated as voters. Another term for the National Majority Rule Project might be the Southern Liberation Movement.
Will the initiative remain with aggressive Southern reactionaries, as their fellow Americans try to appease them or react on a case-by-case basis against a feint here or a diversion there? Or will an aroused national majority, tired of being pushed around by a selfish Southern minority of the shrinking American white majority, finally fight back?
Posted at 12:54 AM in Belief Systems, Bigotry, Business, Civil RIghts, Class Warfare, Creationism, Crime, Culture, Current Affairs, Economics, Elections, Flat Earth, Hate, Hate Groups, History, Homeland Security, Hypocrisy, Poverty, Public Health, Racism, Republicans, Scapegoating, Sociopaths, Workers | Permalink
...is getting tested.
More people in Louisiana's Republican Party think Obama is to blame for the post-Katrina government actions than George Bush. Obama wasn't President for another three years after Katrina. Bush was.
This is not a hard one to figure out. How stupid do you have to be?
A significant chunk of Louisiana Republicans evidently believe that President Barack Obama is to blame for the poor response to the hurricane that ravaged their state more than three years before he took office.
The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, provided exclusively to TPM, showed an eye-popping divide among Republicans in the Bayou State when it comes to accountability for the government's post-Katrina blunders.
Twenty-eight percent said they think former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, was more responsible for the poor federal response while 29 percent said Obama, who was still a freshman U.S. Senator when the storm battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more responsible. Nearly half of Louisiana Republicans — 44 percent — said they aren't sure who to blame.
Bush was criticized heavily when he did not immediately return to Washington from his vacation in Texas after the storm had reached landfall. The government was also slow to provide relief aid and Michael Brown, then-director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), admitted in a televised interview that he learned that many of the storm's victims at the New Orleans Convention Center were without food and water well after the situation had been reported in the press.
Brown's handling of the response ultimately led to his resignation, but Bush offered an infamous endorsement of the FEMA chief only days before he stepped down.
"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," Bush said.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh advised his religious listeners on Monday that “intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming” and also believe in God.
At an event on Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry had said that climate change was “a challenge to our responsibilities as the guardians–safe guarders of God’s creation.”
“What about God’s creation called a fetus?” Limbaugh asked on Monday. “See, in my humble opinion, folks, if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming.”
“You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create,” he continued. “The vanity! These people — on the one hand, ‘We’re no different than a mouse or a rat.’ If you listen to the animal rights activists, we are the pollutants of this planet. If it weren’t for humanity — the military environmentalist wackos — the Earth would be pristine and wonderful and beautiful, and nobody would see it. According to them we are not as entitled to life on this planet as other creatures because we destroy it. But how can we destroy it when we’re no different from the lowest life forms?”
“And then on the other end, ‘We are so powerful. And we are so impotent — omnipotent that we can destroy — we can’t even stop a rain shower, but we can destroy the climate.’ And how? With barbecue pits and automobiles, particularly SUVs. It’s absurd.”
Interesting photo essay about today's KKK.
As Paul Harvey used to say, and now for the rest of the story.
During the height of the George Zimmerman trial, when media attention was focused heavily on Stand Your Ground Laws and the question of whether or not a white man would be found not guilty of killing an unarmed African-American teenager, the shooting death of 13 month old Georgia infant Antonio Santigio, also made national media headlines. After the mother, Sherry West, told police that her baby was killed by two black teenagers, the right-wing went crazy with this story. Meme’s about the killing could be found on every social media web-site, public page and in every group where the Trayvon Martin story was discussed. Most of these meme’s showed photos of the infant side by side with one of two accused African-American teenagers.
For months, right wingers have levelled accusations of reverse racism against the President, the DOJ and even the media. There have been outcries of disparity against white people because no prominent politicians spoke out about the case, no protests were held, it was not declared a hate crime, the teens weren’t sent to Gitmo to face terrorism charges and especially because the two were not immediately sentenced to execution. To Republicans and racists, the case appeared to be anecdotal proof of everything they believe about black people; that they are scary, they are dangerous -they are baby murdering monsters. The case was repeatedly cited to “prove” that people like George Zimmerman have every right to gun them down black kids, like Trayvon Martin, at will.
In spite of the social media “outrage” and the right-wing media narrative, however, the Baby Santiago case only illustrates just how prevalent racism really is in the United States. Just days after Sherry West told police her 13 month old was shot and killed by two black teens, West’s 21 year old daughter went to police to tell them that she suspected her mother may have killed her infant brother. Ashley Glassey told CBS News in March, that her mother has serious mental health issues. These include a diagnosis of bi-polar with accompanying schizophrenic tendencies. West also talked with the media about how she was removed from her mother’s care at the age of 8, because of abuse and neglect in the home. Immediately after the shooting, Glassey said West began asking questions about how long it would take her to collect the insurance money. West’s daughter also told both media and police that her mother made conflicting statements to her, regarding the child’s death - including different stories about who was shot first. West’s inconsistencies and suspicious behavior caused her own daughter to tell police and reporters that she suspected her mother was not telling the truth about how the infant was killed. CBS News reported several days later that police had not followed up with Glassey, nor had they taken her statement. A follow-up call by the press to the police, was never returned.
On July 16th further evidence was released to the public that implicates the parents involvement in the child’s death. Police tests immediately following the shooting revealed gun powder on the hands of both Sherry West and the baby’s father, Louis Santiago. Santiago claimed that he was nowhere near the scene of the shooting. This evidence too, was withheld for months, until the defense attorney in the case demanded that it be released in mid July.
When we look at the Zimmerman case and the Baby Santiago case side by side, what we see is how racism plays out in the United States. When a white man openly admitted to shooting and killing an unarmed black teenager, the public immediately jumped to his defense. On the other hand, when two black teenagers were accused of shooting and killing a white child, the public immediately cried out for their executions. Zimmerman was guilty, the two teens may very well be innocent, but public perceptions about these two cases shows that what matters most is the skin color of the accused killers.
Evidence in the Baby Santiago case seems to point more and more toward the fact that the two black youth accused of this shooting are innocent of the crime they’ve been blamed for. Yet their pictures have been plastered all over social media, and they’ve been labelled as “baby killers” – a favorite phrase of the right-wing since the day of the shooting. Can we hope that there will be a fair trial for these youth? Can we hope that our justice system will not continue to convict the innocent, while allowing the guilty to go free? Can we hope that the media will report fairly and accurately on this case? Can we hope that the Georgia court system will be fairer and more just than the one in Florida?
And what of Sherry West? If it turns out that a southern white women did in fact kill her own infant in order to collect some insurance money, will American’s show the same level of vehemence they did when they believed it was two black teens who killed Antonio Santiago? Will they still cry out for execution, or will they see the case differently, if the killer turns out to be middle-aged, white and female, rather than young, black and male?
And then there is the question of the jurors. Will there be another jury of all white women, women who have to choose between two scenarios; Did a soft-spoken white, southern woman (whom they surely can identify with) actually shoot her own infant – or the alternative, did two black hoodlum gangsters try to rob her, killing her baby in the process? Can such a jury be found in Georgia that is able to set aside their underlying stereotypes about women, about blacks, about society and of course, about themselves, to listen to facts, examine evidence and come to a just decision?
As the long-standing tradition of racism in the United States is challenged by minorities and non-minorities across the country, the question of whether or not these two young men can hope for justice is a lingering one. There is overt racism, which we see hear every day from politicians, public figures and members of the general population. There is also an undercurrent of racism, one which convicted these two teens without question, from the moment Sherry West first levelled her accusations. It’s the same undercurrent that caused the public to view Trayvon Martin as a threat, even though he was an unarmed teenager, walking home from the candy store. The question is, will racism lead to the conviction of two innocent teens, arrested and tried for a crime they did not commit? Will people finally be able to step back and ask themselves how and why they “knew” those teens were guilty, from the moment they set eyes on them? And then will they finally be able to also ask how and why they just “knew”George Zimmerman wasn’t guilty of murder? Both these cases were tried in the minds of the American public, long before the evidence was heard, before the trials had even begun.
Racism is a threat to every American. The Baby Santiago case may prove that it’s not just the African-American population or the Latino population or the Muslim population, that suffers the consequences. If something does not change, murderers will continue to go free, while innocent people’s lives are destroyed. If our underlying belief system continues to reinforce the idea that the black person is always the guilty party, there’s little to stop people like Sherry West and George Zimmerman, from staging murders of white people or black people, of teenagers and even toddlers of any color, having full confidence that as long as they implicate a black person, no-one will even question their innocence.
Paula Deen ordered African-American workers to “dress in an old-style Aunt Jemima outfit” and ring a dinner bell, according to a woman who is still employed at the disgraced cook’s Georgia restaurant.
Following Deen’s dramatic fall from grace after her admission that she had used racial slurs, The New York Times‘ Kim Severson went to Savannah to check out the former food network host’s crumbling empire. Severson spoke to Dora Charles, a black cook who helped Deen open her Lady & Sons restaurant over 20 years ago.
“She said, ‘Stick with me, one day if I get rich, you’ll get rich,’” Charles explained. “It just passed me by. You know, I’m not going to run behind her and say, ‘You promised me, you promised me. Where my half? Where my part?’ You know? It wasn’t all about that. Actually, all I was looking for was a good salary.”
But Charles said that when Deen launched her Food Network show, she was was only getting paid $6.50 an hour.
“I told her, at times, I didn’t even have enough money to buy my own medications,” she recalled, demonstrating how Deen once casually tossed a $100 bill at her when she complained that she couldn’t afford her medical bills.
“She was sitting across the table and she said — it didn’t reach me — and she said, ‘Here’s a hundred dollars, go buy your medicine.’”
Severson noted that Deen had admitted during a May 17 deposition that she had wanted to dress waiters likes slaves for a Southern-style wedding.
“Yeah, she wanted [Employee Ineata Jones] ‘Jellyroll’ to dress like that as well,” Charles remarked.
And the slavery theme wasn’t just limited to Deen’s wedding fantasy, according to the Times:
Ms. Deen used Ms. Jones for restaurant theater. At 11 a.m., when the doors opened at the Lady & Sons, she stood in front and rang an iron dinner bell, something she had asked Mrs. Charles to do as well. An image of Ms. Jones doing just that was turned into a postcard sold at Paula Deen stores.
Ms. Jones was also in charge of making hoecakes, the cornmeal pancakes served to every guest. Ms. Deen had designed a station so diners could watch them being made. At both jobs, Mrs. Charles and other employees said, Ms. Deen wanted Ms. Jones to dress in an old-style Aunt Jemima outfit.
“Jellyroll didn’t want to hear that,” Mrs. Charles said. “She didn’t want to do that.”
“I said, ‘I’m not ringing no bell,’” Charles insisted. “That’s a symbol to me of what we used to do back in the day.”
“Do you feel like Paul Deen is racist?” Severson wondered.
“I do, I do,” Charles admitted after a long pause.
“Have you ever heard Paul Deen use the N-word?” Severson asked.
“I’ve heard her used the N-word,” Charles replied. “She say, ‘I tell all y’all n*ggers, that’s what’s wrong with y’all n*ggers now today.’”
Deen’s public relations team has argued that no employee was ever made to dress up like Aunt Jemima and ring a dinner bell.
“Fundamentally Dora’s complaint is not about race but about money,” they said in a statement. “It is about an employee that despite over 20 years of generosity feels that she still deserves yet even more financial support from Paula Deen.”
At the time of publication, Charles was reportedly still employed by Deen’s Lady & Sons restaurant, but she said she realized that her time there was almost over. She hopes to one day open her own restaurant.
God Spam, a religious blog I check in with occasionally, has an article up about what to do with Paula Deen.
In reality none of us really have to do anything. But it's an interesting take on the public discourse.
Did you guys see that Today Show interview with Paula Deen? The one where she looks directly into the camera and urges us to throw a big stone at her head and kill her? Yeah. I think we need to talk about that.
Here's what Deen, who is hemorrhaging money in the face of revelations that she's kind of a big racist, actually said. "If there's anyone out there that have never said something that they wish they could take back. If you're out there please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. Please, I want to meet you. I is what I is, and I'm not changing."
The celebrity chef is a Baptist, and she's quoting (sort of) John 8:7.This is the story in which Jesus tells an angry mob to stop stoning awoman to death for committing adultery. Except he doesn't tell them to stop. What he says is, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." And one by one, they walk away.
There are quite a few interesting things going on with this passage. First of all, it should be noted that many scholars don't believe it waspart of John's original text. There's decent evidence on both sides. It's possible, though, that this story was apocryphal, taken from another source and applied to Jesus. It's a pretty tidy anecdote with a good punchline. You can almost picture it popping up on the ancient Middle Eastern version of Snopes.
Nevertheless, it's one of the most-quoted things Jesus ever said. Thephrase "cast the first stone" is still in common usage, alongside with its secular descendent, "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
I say it's one of the most-quoted things Jesus ever said. I should clarify: we actually don't know everything that Jesus said in John 8.
Before and after he says the thing about stones, Jesus is writing on the ground. In fact, that's his immediate reaction to the situation: he bendsdown and starts writing with his finger in the sand. The men then start "questioning" him, according to John. Eventually, Jesus stands -- or just looks up, depending on your translation -- and questions whether they should be throwing stones. Then he goes back to writing, and the dudes decide to leave the poor woman alone.
What was Jesus writing? Nobody knows! This is the only time in theBible we see it happen. Some scholars believe he is drawing, not writing, since a peasant from Nazareth would probably not have known how to read. (Depends how much time you believe he spent in the temple, I guess.) Often it's suggested that it's the act of writing that's important, not the content; it denotes divine authority, much like God inscribing the Ten Commandments. Another popular theory: he was re-writing the words of a prophecy, specifically Jeremiah 17:3. The obvious theory, perhaps, is that he was writing down the sins of the men with the stones. Or the sins of the woman, in order to forgive her. Or both.
(Another important bit of context: we're told that this situation Jesus finds himself in, is a "test" from the Pharisees who are seeking an excuse to lock him up. It was a Catch-22: if he said that the woman should be killed, he would be undermining the authority of the Roman government, because Jews didn't have the right to enforce this penalty. If he objected, he'd be in violation of the Hebrew law -- the law of Moses -- which ordered adulterers to be stoned. But Jesus did something they couldn't have predicted: neither.)
With her plea to the Today Show audience, Paula Deen is casting herself in the role of the woman. (Forgot to mention that this woman is often interpreted as being the prostitute Mary Magdalene. There's no concrete textual evidence for that, though. Back to you, Matt Lauer!) Deen is saying, "I made a mistake. I said something I shouldn't have. If you've never done it, you can cast the first stone." She is begging for mercy. And yet she concludes her statement by saying, "I is what I is and I'm not changing."
What makes me uncomfortable is how heavily Deen is playing the victim card. In our modern eyes, Jesus stopped the stone-throwers from delivering an outsized punishment, and a judgement that only God could pass down. Paula Deen lost a sausage endorsement after years ofracist behavior. Doesn't seem like the most over-the-top punishment to me.
Also, she didn't seem at all apologetic about using the N-word until she started losing money over it. She still doesn't seem especially sorry for her actions, or aware of why people were hurt by them. There's no forgiveness without repentance. Maybe that's why her apologies all ring hollow.
In another sense, though, the moral of John 8 applies. Jesus is saying that people have no right to judge what only God can judge. As a culture, we are so quick to condemn celebrities who are accused of wrongdoing, and for the most part, we do not forgive. I'm sure Paula Deen is experiencing a fan backlash that's wildly disproportionate to the crime, because that's the norm these days. "I'll never buy a Paula Deen cookbook again" is a reasonable fan response. Tweeting "Paula Deen needs to die" is not. No wonder she's feeling persecuted.
So WWJD about Paula Deen? In the story, he tells the adulteress that he doesn't condemn her, saying, "go, and sin no more." If I were Paula Deen's shoes, I'd take that as a cue to cut my losses (go) and rethink the way I treat other people (sin no more). But I'm not a diabetic Southernchef, and that's why I don't plan on picking up any stones.
In conclusion, analysis of the Aspa marginata found in Fumane Unit 9 shows that this fossil gastropod was collected by Neandertals, makers of the Discoid industry, at a Miocene or Pliocene fossil outcrop, the closest of which is located more than one hundred kilometers from the site. The shell was smeared with a pure, finely ground, hematite powder, probably mixed with a liquid. It was perhaps perforated and used as a personal ornament before being discarded, lost or intentionally left at Fumane Cave, some 47,6-45,0 cal ky BP. The minimum age of the Fumane unit in which the Aspa marginata was found predates the oldest available dates for the arrival of anatomically modern humans (AMH) in Europe  thus supporting the hypothesis that deliberate transport and coloring of exotic objects, and perhaps their use as pendants, was a component of Neandertal cultures [91,92,15]. That the pendant appears well before the presumed first appearance of AMH in Europe [93, but see 90,94] indicates that Neandertals made this art object without the influence of AMH. The use of this shell by Neandertals as a result of contact with immigrant AMH is also contradicted by the absence of this particular taxon of shell at Early Upper Paleolithic sites across Europe [95,96]. The only other Paleolithic occurrence is a specimen found in the Epigravettian horizons of Riparo Tagliente in the Lessini Mountains of NE Italy . Thus, this discovery adds to the ever-increasing evidence that Neandertals had symbolic items as part of their culture. Future discoveries will only add to our appreciation of Neandertals shared capacities with us.