Boner of the Day

Boner Candidates for August 30th 2016

Boner Candidate #1: DIE SOMEWHERE ELSE

When Dr. Amjad Bahnassi, a psychiatrist who lives in the central Massachusetts city of Worcester, wants to visit his son’s grave, he braces for the drive to the Muslim burial ground in Enfield, Conn., about 60 miles away. It is the nearest cemetery devoted solely to Islamic burials — and, he said, it is filling up. Dr. Bahnassi, the chairman of the board of the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, knew the area’s Muslims needed a closer place to bury their dead. The group thought it had found one in rural Dudley, about half an hour away: a patch of more than 50 acres, past a sweet corn stand and deep blue ponds, where there is unused farmland and wetlands hidden from the road by trees and tangled bushes. But the organization’s proposal to build a cemetery there became a lightning rod in this small town. It was denounced at meetings and ultimately turned down by the Zoning Board of Appeals, prompting charges of bigotry and drawing scrutiny from the United States attorney for Massachusetts, who announced a civil rights investigation on Aug. 18 into the town’s actions. “I’ve been here since 1983,” Dr. Bahnassi, 56, a Syrian immigrant and an American citizen, said last week as he stood on the land. “I don’t deserve to die here?” Officials insist that they have been unfairly portrayed as biased against the Muslims, and say the society did not have standing to seek a permit for the cemetery because of a provision giving the town the right of first refusal for the tract, which belongs to Annabelle Moninski, a private landowner. “This is America,” Paul Joseph, a selectman, said at a meeting last Monday. “Anybody that wants to can make any accusation they want to, and that has happened consistently in this situation.” As the number of American Muslims increases and immigrant Muslims age, groups have sought to construct their own cemeteries, which are often less expensive than other facilities and are familiar with Muslim traditions including quick burials, bodies facing Mecca and, when allowed locally, no coffins.

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Boner Candidate #2: IT’S BACK TO THE PLANTATION FOR YOU

A Marietta teacher is facing disciplinary action for what one grandmother calls a demeaning educational game. Delores Bunch-Keemer told Channel 2 Action News she knew something was wrong when her 10-year-old granddaughter came home from Cheatham Elementary on Tuesday afternoon. She said her granddaughter is the only African-American girl in the classroom and was asked to play an interactive game that involved pretending to escape a plantation. The class was trying to find freedom on the Underground Railroad, where a roll of the dice determined whether a player would make it to the woods, Channel 2 reported. The teacher may have been trying to make a dramatic point about the suffering imposed on slaves, but the 10-year-old took her history lesson to heart. “She said she went back to the plantation six times,” Bunch-Keemer told Channel 2. The girl experienced the painful lesson of consistently feeling degraded because every time her roll of the dice put her back on the plantation, she was beaten by the master.

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Boner Candidate #3: WE DON’T LIKE HIS VIEWS, WE LIKE BEING LIED TO

The keynote speaker for Uintah County’s annual Uintah Basin Energy Summit is a controversial climate-change denier noted for right-wing propaganda and smear campaigns against scientists who warn about global warming. Marc Morano — who will join several prominent speakers at the Vernal conference, which runs Wednesday and Thursday — has been criticized for scolding on his blog scientists who warn of climate change, then releasing their personal emails, resulting in threatening messages. He once was chastised by former Wisconsin Republican Rep. Steve Gunderson for a column he wrote about a fundraiser for AIDS victims in which he insisted there were illegal drugs and illegal sexual activity, but no such evidence ever emerged. Morano had attended that event on behalf of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a hate group for its attacks on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Morano worked for Rush Limbaugh in the 1990s, then Cybercast News Service, where he published the since-debunked Swift Boat Veterans’ attacks on 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s record in Vietnam. He served as director of communications for Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, one of the Senate’s most ardent climate-change deniers. Morano, who has no formal education in climate science, also founded and became executive editor of Climate Depot, a website devoted to countering climate scientists’ warnings about global warming. In 2012, Media Matters dubbed him “Climate-Change Misinformer of the Year.” Morano recently produced the documentary “Climate Hustle,” which is a stinging rebuke of climate-change forecasters. Critics have panned the film as a mere promotion for those whose interests are advanced by the denial of climate change.

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