Tuesday Open Thread

It's time for an open thread. I don't know if it's the four day weekend or what, but I'm having a hard time catching up with all that's going on. Please, fill us in.

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    This would explain certain commenters ... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Sailor on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 01:36:43 PM EST
    ... on this site:
    Lohse, a social work master's student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.

    Heh... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 01:44:06 PM EST
    Too true, Sailor:
    "Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader," Lohse says. "If your world is very mixed up, there's something very comforting about someone telling you, `This is how it's going to be.'"

    Nice surprise (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 02:03:04 PM EST
    It is always nice to see that a study backs up what we already know. Thanks for making it official, Sailor.

    Psychotic (none / 0) (#12)
    by Peaches on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 03:03:48 PM EST
    "Our study shows that psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader," Lohse says. "If your world is very mixed up, there's something very comforting about someone telling you, `This is how it's going to be.'"

    I am finally getting around to reading Frommes "Escape from Freedom" per Soccerdad's suggestion. THis study would confirm many of Fromm's theories on authoritarianism and nuerosis. It makes sense. As I have been reading Fromme, I find myself constantly thinking of my brother, a chronically depressed individual who recently was born again. He is a bush supporter and thinks Bush is fighting evil in the world. He's my brother and I love him, but he needs medication and he suffers immeasurably from the insecurity of living in a  free world that seems to punish him in random ways in his quest for companionship, a career, etc. A right wing conservative christianity has temporarily relieved him of this insecurity, although he still needs medication.


    I would think that... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 03:20:46 PM EST
    A right wing conservative christianity has temporarily relieved him of this insecurity

    ...probably just masks it, no?


    yes (none / 0) (#14)
    by Peaches on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 03:29:21 PM EST
    His relief is not a cure, obviously. He has a mental illness, that much is for sure. The certainty provided by his new-found religion helps alleviate the uncertainty in the real world. This is why Fromm thinks our society suffers from a collective nuerosis. Thus the title "Escape From Freedom." I think some of us suffer more than others, but we all seek some form of escape.

    Fromm's idea of collective nuerosis sounds... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 03:42:54 PM EST
    ...very close to this from Alan Watts::
    We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms- Most of us have the sensation that "I myself" is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body--a center which "confronts an "external" world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflectt this illusion. "I came into this world." "You must face reality." "The conquest of nature."

    This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences.

    I wonder if your brothers' 'new-found religion [that seems to] help[ ] alleviate the uncertainty' might actually exacerbate it over the long term, by allowing him to not deal with it?


    perhaps (none / 0) (#17)
    by Peaches on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 03:52:45 PM EST
    Edger, but also perhaps wishful thinking on your and my part. We all seek escape, some of us in our jobs, some of us in our marraige, some of us on the internet at TL, and some of us in religion. Who is to say one form of escape is better than the other.

    Embracing a conservative religious philosohy has never been an option for me (rational thinker and all who tends toward a radical skepticism), but I have often been envious of the seeming enthusiasm and happiness that is redily apparent in some forms, crevices and sectors of Christianity. Gospel music for instance. Anyone who has listened to soulful gospel music (or Bach, for that matter) and not recognized that the soul comes from Christianity and worship is not listening. A church service can literally move you in powerful waves of emotion. What is the source of that power and soul?  

    That said, my bros a little whacked in the head (I still love him dearly, though)


    I'm a little whacked in the head, too. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 04:00:57 PM EST
    We probably all are, maybe. Like you I could never embrace a religion - it would feel too much like going backwards to a time when my mind was more closed after spending years trying to open it as much as possible.

    As far as where the 'soul' in music, gospel or otherwise, comes from, I like Dadler's and Rushdie's ideas here:

    our sense of good and evil, our sense of right and wrong, our moral sense precedes religion. It's not created by it. It is, in fact, what creates our need for religion.

    Well, (none / 0) (#20)
    by Peaches on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 04:14:21 PM EST
    I not sure I agree with that. I think our sense of right and wrong is something we gain through social consensus of which religion plays a part. What I meant by soul transcends the social part and has little to do with morality and duality (both social creations in my view). I was talking about the spiritual which can take many forms, but remains mysterious and beyond comprehension.

    Consensual reality... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 04:24:04 PM EST
    ...is I think the social reality that we are drawn into a bit at a time from the moment we are born. But I think there is a more fundamental reality underlying it. Some call it 'Tao', others call it 'God', still others, physicists for example, would term it the most basic field in their field theories., and others like Tillich, 'Ultimate Ground of Being'. Whatever the name given it is that thing 'mysterious and beyond comprehension' that generates everything and from which all else arises, no? For me, that is 'soul'.

    And if you remain in a reading mood... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Bill Arnett on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 02:59:12 PM EST
    ...take a look at Konrad Lorenz' thesis "Aggression" and you will see why the world is falling apart now, why it will continue, and why it is inevitable.

    I warn you though: This is the most comprehensive, complicated, and difficult to read book you can imagine. It's easy to find yourself re-reading a paragraph or page two or three times in a row before the light bulb pops on and leaves you gasping for breath at the revelations revealed.

    Lorenz just thought on an entirely different level than the vast majority of us and the concepts he espouses are breathtaking.

    Lorenz was more commonly known for his work on the "nature/nuture" controversy and the books and articles written by and about him referred to him famously "bonding" with baby goslings by imitating the motions of a mother goose.


    Two words... (none / 0) (#1)
    by desertswine on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 12:22:13 PM EST
    ...but I'm having a hard time catching up...

    Ojo Caliente.

    Looks like... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 12:45:33 PM EST
    ...a great place. :-)

    Maybe... (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 12:59:23 PM EST
    it's too far from Denver, though.

    looking for extra holiday work? (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 01:06:04 PM EST
    Seems there's a Santa shortage in Berlin, Germany.  The tradition there is that The Big Guy makes house calls while the kids are still awake, for a nominal service charge plus Mom and Dad setting up the presents.  Seems a nice way to make a few last-minute bucks....

    via Rawstory today (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 01:29:07 PM EST
    Are Cheney's days numbered? Analyst claims influence waning.

    A senior columnist for the inside-the-beltway publication Congressional Quarterly speculated on MSNBC's Hardball this afternoon that Vice President Richard B. Cheney may be the next to exit the Bush Administration, a report first caught by ThinkProgress. ThinkProgress has the video here.

    he'll leave (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by scribe on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 02:21:21 PM EST
    fingernail gouges in the floor, when they drag him out.  That's the only way he's going.

    Plus, I'd bet he's managed to figure out a way to charge those hunting lodges to the gov't.  Those cost serious coin, even for a rich guy like he's managed to become.  And, most of them have long reservations lists - nothing like being VP to (have managment) jump (you without asking) to the front of the line, huh?

    Don't let us kid ourselves - Deadeye has devoted his entire life to Power, its acquisition and use.  As VP, he is, as I have said elsewhere previously, in the best of all worlds - he has a heap of power, the laws written to cabin the President's power arguably do not apply to him as VP, he has managed to install his own loyalists throughout the Executive Branch (they'll work on carrying out his policies and warping the gov't to them regardless;  as someone said "the geisha does not need to be told what to do"), and, in reality, he can kick back and relax any time he wants.

    The last - kicking back and relaxing - is perhaps the most insidious and subtle way he has of controlling his puppet Bushie.  The Unit is daily confronted with problems likely beyond his skill, intelligence and mental capacity.  He relied for a long time, and still relies, on Deadeye.  For advice, counsel, and ideas.  When Deadeye goes silent, Bushie is without the advice, counsel and ideas and has to do something.  Either he starts jonesing for Deadeye, begs him to come back, or goes off and really screws things up worse (such that Poppy has to step in).

    Like I said elsewhere, Deadeye's position as VP is like in the sci-fi program - he's both in this dimension and not in it, at the same time.

    If nothing else, this Administration is a lesson to future presidents to choose their advisors carefully and to never, ever allow one of them to be in a position as central as Deadeye.  Beginning from the VP selection process he hijacked, Deadeye has managed to control, suborn, coopt or remove anyone who'd give the Preznit independent advice or otherwise deviate from making the Gov't into, effectively, a dictatorship under his control.  Remember the extensive background dirt files he required all potential VP contenders to provide, which conveniently wound up leading him to choose himself?  And how all those contenders would reach only a short distance from the party line before their leash snapped taut and they returned to the ranks, tail between legs?  What do you think could make all those proud, tough pols cower so abjectly?  Love of W?  Self-control?  Fear of Deadeye and Rover is more like it.

    And, FWIW, that's why Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson are so important.  They defied the dictator, survived, and brought on violent retribution.  Anyone who's ever watched (or played) football or hockey knows that, while you might get penalized for the hit which violates the rules (the Ref might miss it, after all), you will get penalized for retaliating.  Every darn time.  

    Deadeye forgot that lesson.


    Heh. :-) (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 03:45:08 PM EST
    fingernail gouges in the floor, when they drag him out.

    What a wonderful image. ;-)


    Nope (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 06:40:35 PM EST
    More mental masturbation...I won't bother to argue the "loosing influence," it doesn't matter. There is absolutely no way that Bush would have another person in that position.

    Shooting by Atlanta police (none / 0) (#8)
    by scout prime on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 01:51:55 PM EST
    Did you see there is new info regarding the shooting of 88 year old Kathryn Johnston by Atlanta police? Their informant has recanted and claims police told him to lie. Also they had no knock authorization. Last week officials said they had knocked and announced. Here is more if interested. I was wondering if you saw it and what thoughts you may have on it

    Yep, I posted it on the thread (none / 0) (#11)
    by Sailor on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 02:55:04 PM EST
    Told you their story was a fairy tale. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Bill Arnett on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 03:01:24 PM EST
    Colo. Homeowners Association relents (none / 0) (#21)
    by scribe on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 04:23:18 PM EST
    and apologizes.  The Peace Symbol wreath can stay.

    You'll recall:

    The homeowners' association demanded Jensen remove the wreath from her house, saying it doesn't allow flags or signs that are considered divisive.

    The board got the message, it seems:

    None of the three members of the board in the scenic town 270 miles southwest of Denver was available for comment late Monday.

    Especially the board president, who thought it a Satanic sign and fired those of the board who disagreed with his conclusion:

    Kearns and colleague Jeff Heitz both had their phone numbers changed to unlisted numbers Monday. Tammy Spezze, the third board member, did not return a call seeking comment.

    And, regular folks stepped up for peace:

    Jensen, a past association president, said she was overwhelmed with hundreds of calls of support and offers to help her pay the $1,000 fine that would be due if she kept the wreath up until after Christmas.

    "We would like to thank everyone who has contacted us with moral support and offers of financial support. We are grateful to hundreds of complete strangers who felt so moved by this story they contacted us," she said.

    One for the good guys.  I wonder what Newtie would have to say about this?

    CP - y'gotta start following the tabloids (none / 0) (#23)
    by scribe on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 04:44:57 PM EST
    because, to the Times, this is just too dirty and declasse to cover in detail.  [N.B. The boldface below is mine.]

    According to today's NYDN (which is now devoting several pages to this case, following the Post):

    Everyone seems to agree somebody shouted a warning about a gun moments before the cops fired 50 shots at a trio of unarmed young men in a car.

    The question is who shouted. A civilian witness named China Flores - who admits to a long history with the law - insists it was one of the three young men who called out, "He's got a gat! He's got a gat!" to his friends. The young man, Trent Benefield, had seen a tall figure approach, holding something black at his side.

    The tall figure was an undercover cop, and a published account citing police sources maintains that he was the one who shouted, "He's got a gun! He's got a gun!"

    But the young men did not have a gun. The figure who approached them did. And Benefield would later say he and his two friends had no idea the man was an undercover police officer.

    If Benefield was indeed the one who shouted, there remains the possibility that the other cops thought the warning had come from the undercover approaching the car. The cops would not have expected the three young men in the car to be the ones to call out that somebody had a gun.

    After all, the cops had tailed the three young men from the Kalua Cabaret in Jamaica, Queens, suspecting they had a gun. The cops may well have mistaken the sudden shout about a gun to be confirmation from their comrade that the suspects were indeed armed.

    At the same time, by Flores' account, the shouted warning prompted the driver of the young men's car to speed away from the curb and repeatedly crash into an undercover vehicle in an attempt to flee.

    A further possibility here arises, a twist of tragic irony: Perhaps the same warning that caused the young men to flee also caused the cops to fire.

    So, the up-to-two-drinks-allowed* cops follow the three partygoers from the troubled bar** at about 4 am Saturday.  One of the partygoers, maybe, says to his buddy that this other guy - an undercover - has a gun.  The three guys, seeing the undercover (who's in role, likely looking suitably seedy and dangerous), take off at the warning "gun".  The other cops, hearing the same warning "gun", open up on the black men trying to get away from the gun, not from any crime.

    And, the detective union is still blaming the victims, for "using the car as a deadly weapon", notwithstanding that the police violated their own rules by firing into the vehicle.



    Kelly conceded that one of the two undercover officers who were also inside the Kalua Cabaret on 94th Ave. in Jamaica before the shooting had a couple of beers, but he said it was not a factor in the incident. Sources identified that cop as a woman but did not divulge her name.

    "We authorize them to have two drinks and no more," he said. "This whole initiative started at 1 o'clock in the morning. So they were in the club for as long as three hours."

    Cops making an arrest are supposed to identify themselves, but the NYPD has found no witnesses who say they did, sources said. Benefield, who was hit three times and was in stable condition yesterday, told a pal that he and those in the car thought the cops were hoods.

    "They didn't know they were cops," said Shamel O'Neal, 20, after visiting Benefield at Mary Immaculate Hospital. "They thought they were in trouble. They feared for their lives."

    **  The cops were, it is undisputed, there to get one more bust related to that strip bar, so they could complete the case to close it down:

    In March of this year, the club was hit with multiple violations following a raid by the Queens DA and NYPD.

    The raid resulted in multiple arrests on weapon, drug and prostitution charges, and city building inspectors followed it up and declared Kalua an unsafe fire hazard with an exit blocked by a padlocked gate.

    "It's a seedy strip joint, but the real draw was its reputation for cheap and eager underage hookers, who would meet patrons in the club and then go upstairs or out in the car," said a police source familiar with the club's history.

    * * *

    Following the March 2006 raid, the city seized the club's certificate of occupancy, and Queens prosecutors say they referred the case to the State Liquor Authority in April.

    * * * ...the SLA began taking steps in June to revoke the club's license for five violations, including allowing a weapon on the premises, hiring a convicted felon and, in general, "failing to exercise adequate supervision."

    Hearings ended Oct. 11, but as of yesterday, the administrative judge who heard the case still had yet to rule.

    "That [decision] should be soon," said Crowley. "It really hasn't taken that long."

    Meanwhile, since the SLA got the case, there have been several more prostitution and drug arrests involving the club, Queens prosecutors said.

    Undercover cops on the scene during last Saturday's shooting were there to make one last arrest to shut the club under the state "nuisance abatement" law, police officials said.

    why a Bush twin left Argy (none / 0) (#24)
    by scribe on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 04:57:11 PM EST
    It wasn't because the Embassy asked her to.  Per Gawker.com (second item):

    11/27/2006 - 9:00 pm - Village Restaurant - West 9th and 6th Avenue: Barbara Bush (the twin) slurping oysters and sucking face with a Chaddy guy. I didn't see a purse . . .

    Must be nice.

    But if they keep it up..... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 05:28:01 PM EST
    more people will start thinking like me, thinking the police are the ones to be scared of.

    I'm holding out hope that the latest NYPD "several dozen shots fired at unarmed innocent free man/men" incident (we seem to have one once a year or more)will open some eyes to the problems associated with the Guiliani model of aggressive policing.  Yes, there are no more homeless people looking to wash your car window for a buck at intersections, but you could get shot 50 times on the way home from work.  Nice trade off.  

    I think the people of NY have a better shot at getting justice under Bloomberg than Guiliani...there is talk of canning Commisioner Kelly over this, that would be a start.  Hopefully followed by some murder chages.

    Yours is not a new thought (none / 0) (#28)
    by scribe on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 06:24:14 PM EST
    Remember back about 1994, there was a federal judge who suppressed dope evidence in an NYC case, where the probable cause for the stop and search was running from police?  Decided Running from Cops was not only not probable cause, but also reasonable in many neighborhoods?  

    He got all sorts of pilloried by the Repugs, who had just taken power (or at least the election). I remember Bob Dole (among many) calling for his impeachment, etc., etc.

    Like Clinton and DLC types do, they let him out to dry.  As I remember it, DoJ filed a motion for reconsideration or appealed and the "no probable cause" decision.  Not surprisingly, DoJ won.

    Too often, Running from Cops seems, indeed, the reasonable thing to do, save for the fact that it's likely to get you a bullet in the back....


    Peace at last! (none / 0) (#26)
    by Avedon on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 05:53:57 PM EST
    Very cool & good for Lisa Jensen (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 06:03:01 PM EST
    And from the Houston Chroncicle:
    None of the three members of the board in the scenic town 270 miles southwest of Denver was available for comment late Monday. Kearns and colleague Jeff Heitz both had their phone numbers changed to unlisted numbers Monday. Tammy Spezze, the third board member, did not return a call seeking comment.

    Looks like Bob Kearns and his cohorts are cowering with their tails between their legs. As they should be.


    Edger (none / 0) (#29)
    by scribe on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 06:25:05 PM EST
    check #21, above....

    Boot camp sadists get charged with manslaughter (none / 0) (#31)
    by Aaron on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 10:10:32 PM EST
    If this killing hadn't been caught on camera these morally depraved criminals who hide behind badges would still be playing out their sadistic psychosexual control impulses at the expense of other people's children, just as many more are still doing in such facilities around the country.

    Eight charged in Florida teen's boot camp death