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Sunday Open Thread

I have nothing to write about. Trump has become boring and predictable. Only the ignorant and persons who can't manage their perceived anger will vote for him.

Things seem stable for the time being in Sinaloa. Yes, a nephew of Zambada-Garcia got killed, but he seemed like a straight arrow working for a seafood company. Maybe it was road rage?

These kidnappings/killings seem to have more markings of Alfredito Beltran Guzman (son of Alfredo Beltran Leyva, for whom the U.S. Government is seeking a Life sentence and a $10 billion forfeiture),rather than CJNG, although some say the two groups re collaborating. Again, if Alfredito Beltran Guzman is behind it, it sounds like a family spat to me, not an attempt to gain physical control over big swathes of territory.

ISIS on the brink of losing Sirte, Libya. The West has been claiming this for months, but it could be true this time. What does it mean? The BBC has a new article examining what's next for ISIS after Sirte.

[More...]

The MTV Music Awards are on tonight. Brittany Spears is going to be a featured performer. She was on Carpool Karoake this week with James Corden. It was easily the worst one he ever did. She barely sang, when she did, it was in a whisper. Or she lip-synced. Poor James did all the heavy lifting, including hitting the high notes she didn't even bother to try for. She came across as as a dumb teenager (she's 33) and someone severely in need of a brain from the Scarecrow. Maybe that should be her next part--in the Wizard of Oz.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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  • Display: Sort:
    J. Edgar Hoover - the man and the secrets (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 08:47:47 AM EST
    I'm reading this right now and, ooooo boy.   I don't read a lot of non fiction but this really does not read like non fiction.   Much of it reads like pulp fiction, some is just totally f'king unbelievable.

    If interested yu can read the book here at Google books

    Or you can read about it here in this LATimes review

    Let me assure you that Curt Gentry is no Kitty Kelley. His goal, which he achieves, is not to sift through a life hunting only for what titillates, but to write a rounded biography, cradle to grave. It just so happens that Hoover's cradle and grave were in Washington, D.C. He was a home-town boy, and there wasn't much to say about him before he went to the Justice Department--unless you want to talk about his success as a high school cadet captain, or his speed as a delivery boy, or the boil that disfigured his nose--and there wasn't anything to say about his life after he left the Justice Department, because he died there. The FBI was his life. What he did there, Gentry writes, was done partly as a super patriot, but also simply in defense of his hometown, to protect it from the evil world outside as he envisioned it.

    It is a strange and truly frightening read.  Reassuring in a way in this time of insane politics to know our country has survived insane megalomaniacs before.  And "insane" is an overused word.  Hoover was insane.  And the really scary part is that everyone knew it AT THE TIME.

    I got hooked on reading this in a funny way.  I was surfing the interwebs and I came across the strange story of Bert Horgson.  It is the strangest and most frightening abuse of power I have ever heard of.   It doesn't sound possible.  Really.  Just not possible in anything but the fevered imagination of a fiction writer.   But by all accounts it's true.   That story, which as the LATimes blurb says, is not at all the focus of the book but more of an aside that just gets a few paragraphs, is what hooked me into reading the rest.    And as unbelievable as it is it pales compared to the really evil and dangerous stuff this man - who to this day has name on the FBI building in DC - did.  Here is Burts story in a nutshell-

    The diary purports that from at least the mid-1930s onward, Hoover would require selected agents to take on special undercover assignments, often lasting for years, as women or drag queens in high heels and skirts. Sources speculate that Hoover, unable to dress openly as a woman, forced some of his underlings to take up his habit so he'd feel more normal. He reportedly enjoyed training these agents himself, selecting their outfits, applying makeup and fixing hairdos. Most men hated these assignments and many were threatened with firing or even jail time for their cooperation.

    The diary recounts at least one case in the 1950s in which Hoover had the mother of an agent jailed on trumped-up charges to keep him on duty as a red-headed, high-heeled gun moll. Perhaps the weirdest case is that of 24-year-old Bert Horgson, a six-foot Swede who left his family and girlfriend in Minnesota in 1935 to fight Nazi spies with the FBI. Once Hoover caught sight of him, however, the slim, blue-eyed Horgson was instead given a different assignment -- and spent the remainder of his career in dresses and high-heeled pumps as Hoover's "special agent."

    The diary recounts how Hoover kept Horgson from quitting by alternating promises of reassignment with intimidation of both Horgson and his family. Hoover even went so far as to have Horgson's legal identity changed from male to female -- making it illegal for him to dress as a man for most of the 30s, 40s and 50s -- and had agents make sure he complied. Even Hoover's death in 1972 brought Horgson no reprieve. In a final bizarre ploy from beyond the grave, Hoover left orders that the 60-year-old FBI man was to be confined to a special high-security nursing home as a national security risk.

    Horgson found himself forced to remain "Bettina Horgson" until his death 29 years later. Horgson died in 2001 at the age of 89 in a government nursing home in Washington, D.C. One government source says, "this is one of the strangest, and most flagrant abuses of power I've ever heard of."



    I should say (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 09:10:31 AM EST
    Those Burt paragraphs are not taken from The Man The Secrets - from which I can't cut and paste - but from an excerpt from another book on Hoover.

    Parent
    Interesting .. What is the name of (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 12:36:03 PM EST
    the other book?

    Parent
    I am not among your enablers (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 12:49:51 PM EST
    I only respond to you to mock you.   You have a question?

    Google is  your friend.

    Parent

    Howdy, you only reveal your lack of (3.00 / 2) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 01:09:09 PM EST
    common courtesy. I am not shocked or surprised.

    You made your claim. It is up to you to prove it or accept the fact that it appears that you cannot.

    Or else the source is such that a reasonable person would find it unreliable or unbelievable.

    My own interest was not piqued by the actions of Hoover. That he should never been the Director or allowed to remain once he was is beyond dispute.

    No, it was this from your concealed source that grabbed me:

    Hoover left orders that the 60-year-old FBI man was to be confined to a special high-security nursing home as a national security risk.

    Horgson found himself forced to remain "Bettina Horgson" until his death 29 years later. Horgson died in 2001 at the age of 89 in a government nursing home in Washington, D.C

    Since I know of no "government nursing homes" for retired employees....and since it exceeds belief that a person could he held against his will, without due process and in secret as a national security risk for 29 years.... Your source appears to be as wild as those on the Far Far Right who write of Federal prison camps waiting to be filled on the order of Obama.

    Parent

    i googled it (none / 0) (#15)
    by linea on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 01:25:30 PM EST
    all i could find were a couple goofy conspiracy sites and even they used "reportedly" when telling this tale.

    someone has challenged this as unreliable and i followed up and made an honest search to check whether this is a myth. dont you feel fairness requires that you post a reliable reference?

    Parent

    Is there something wrong with you? (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 01:30:19 PM EST
    Or him.  I could find the source if that statement in about 30 seconds as I suspect most here could.   Perhaps you and ppj should pool your efforts.

    For the record I fell absolutely nothing us "required" of me by either of you.

    This will be my last response to either of you.  Talk among yourselves.

    Parent

    Wow (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 10:16:21 AM EST
    that is scary for sure.

    Parent
    Hoover is an embarrassment (none / 0) (#5)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 10:26:13 AM EST
    to the history of this country and the legacy of the FBI. I have written my own Senator numerous times demanding that his name be removed from the FBI building in DC. That is an insult to the American people.

    Parent
    Truly (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 11:25:31 AM EST
    But you know we all hear that.  I of course have heard it for my whole life basically, still, I really had no idea.  And I believe most people do not.

    About the building, there is a lot about the building in that book.  About the reaction to how it looks, about how it, because of Hoovers repeated redesigns - widely viewed as a way to keep his job "until it was done", about how because of those redesigns and the crony mafia contracts to build it remains the most expensive building ever built by the federal government.  At least in DC.

    There is a lot about the building.  After reading it you almost (but not quite) understand why it really should be called the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

    Parent

    On Sunday nite tv (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 08:54:55 AM EST
    I would DVR Brittany and watch the 2 hour finale of The Night Of.

    The Night Of (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 10:30:30 AM EST
    Became riveting quickly.

    Parent
    Steve Avery's Lawyer requests more (none / 0) (#8)
    by McBain on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 11:45:40 AM EST
    evidence testing. Kathleen Zeller is Avery's new lawyer. She's had a lot of success getting innocent people out of prison, including Ryan Ferguson in 2013. Avery's legal team during the filming of "Making a Murderer" are no longer representing him.

    "Mr. Avery is requesting, and is willing to pay for, the most comprehensive, thorough, and advanced forensic testing ever requested by a criminal defendant in the State of Wisconsin,"

    Zellner also wants to use newly developed radiocarbon tests to determine whether the samples of Avery's blood found in Halbach's car came from a fresh wound or from a sample taken years earlier. (A key theory of Avery supporters is that the blood in Halbach's car was planted using a sample taken when Avery was wrongly imprisoned for a 1985 rape.

    I've never been convinced of Avery's guilt.  Too much shady behavior from the Manitowoc County police. Hopefully, there will be a new trial.  


    prison or not? (none / 0) (#9)
    by thomas rogan on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 11:45:57 AM EST
    From NY Times
    A man suspected of stabbing two nuns to death in their rural Mississippi home confessed to the killings on Saturday, according to the police.
    Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, was arrested on Friday and charged with two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of Sister Margaret M. Held and Sister Paula J. Merrill, 68, whose bodies were discovered on Thursday at their shared home in Durant, a town of 3,000 people that had gone years without a murder.
    "Sanders was developed as a person of interest early on in the investigation," Lt. Colonel Jimmy Jordan, the director of the state's Bureau of Investigation, said in a statement.
    Mr. Sanders has a history with the police. In 1986 he served six years in prison for an armed robbery in Mississippi, and last year he was convicted of a felony D.U.I. He had been on probation since September, Grace Simmons Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, said.

    So much for probation of repeat felons with a history of at least one violent crime...

    i agree with warehousing (1.00 / 1) (#10)
    by linea on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 12:26:04 PM EST
    but im not sure this was predictable from the information i have.  he commited an armed robbery and was in prison from 1986 to 1992 and then 13 years later was placed on probation for a DWI. you feel the judge in the DWI case was too lenient given his previous conviction twenty years ago?

    Parent
    "I agree with warehousing" (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 01:18:24 PM EST
    The term "warehousing" simply means storing inmates until their sentence is complete, neither punishing them nor trying to habilitate them.  By definition it is incompatible with the other two.  It is justified by the desire to keep these people off the streets, and "protect" society by ensuring their absence.  Where it fails in logic is that most sentences are for finite periods of time, and those sentenced will eventually be released.  They will have learned new skills and new negative feelings against the authorities and against society in general.

    "I agree with warehousing"

    Please, take a moment to consider that statement.

    I believe it to be among the most f'ked up things i have ever seen posted in all my years on the defense advocacy site.

    Parent

    it's like (none / 0) (#17)
    by linea on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 01:47:09 PM EST
    you go out of your way to be offended by my most innocuous statements. correct me if im wrong but im pretty confident warehousing is the current system in use by america. the english concept of men in (monastic) cells doing pennance (hence, penitentiaries) have long been abandoned as has the theory of teaching trade skills (hence, reformatories). as your own post points out, warehousing rejects the concept of punishment and is simply removing dangerous people from society. that's the currect theory.

    why you would get huffy with that preamble in a post where i challenge an assertion that the judge did something wrong by giving a person probation for a DWI makes no sense. did you read the rest of my post?

    Parent