Wednesday Morning Open Thread

Today is National Signing Day for college football recruits. In the only news that matters, new Florida coach Will Muschamp is doing decently in holding the recruits Urban Meyer had lines up, but is not adding much to the class. Probably a Top 15 class. Next year is when you can judge Muschamp on recruiting.

Open thread.

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    I wish I understood why it isn't enough (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:43:44 PM EST
    for those who oppose a woman's right to an abortion to just make the personal decision not to ever have one, but it isn't.  Now, they would like to codify that there would be no federally assisted abortion coverage in "certain" cases of rape:

    The broad anti-abortion measure would restrict federally-assisted abortion coverage to cases of "forcible rape," excluding in that definition instances where women are drugged and raped, where women say "no" but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, and various cases of date rape. It also excludes instances of statutory rape in which minors are impregnated by adults. The victim in all cases would be denied abortion coverage under Medicaid and forbidden from seeking health care tax benefits.


    The measure would also raise costs for businesses who want to offer employees insurance plans with abortion coverage, by eliminating health care tax deductions and benefits that have long been a part of federal law.

    The bill has 10 Democratic co-sponsors.

    I guess they're afraid that all those despicable, lazy women who are already living on the government's dime will otherwise just claim "rape" to get their convenience abortions...

    I am disgusted beyond words.

    So what do they (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:02:10 PM EST
    accept as proof that she physically fought off her attacker?  That she's been beaten half to death?  This measure is despicable.

    Of course it is; it's supposed to be, (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:14:35 PM EST
    because by the time we get over our anger and disgust - if that's even possible - at women being put in such an untenable position, we will have failed to notice that the real intent of the bill is to make the Hyde Amendment a permanent law.

    Which is plenty disgusting, as well.

    From that link I posted to the Clarkson piece, I found this list of how our rights have been steadily eroded and bargained away just sickening:

    All but one of these states (South Dakota) follows the Hyde exceptions of rape, incest, or life endangerment. The report details the disproportionate burdens placed on disadvantaged women, and observes that "women of color disproportionately depend on such coverage, making abortion funding a matter of racial justice as well as economic justice and women's rights."

    But the federal restrictions did not stop there. Over the years, Congress has also legislated against access to abortion services for women in the military and Peace Corps, disabled women, residents of the District of Columbia, federal prisoners, and women covered by the Indian Health Service. Indeed, it could be argued that except for the legal right to an abortion, federal policies constitute the greatest abortion reduction program of all.

    "Prior to 1996," states the NNAF report, "legal immigrants and US citizens were equally eligible for Medicaid." But the 1996 welfare reform law signed by President Clinton required a five-year waiting period before most new legal immigrants could even apply. Less than half of the states fill in the five-year gap with their own funds, and nine states permanently deny Medicaid coverage to non-citizen residents.

    Makes me want to cry knowing how much hardship and pain these kinds of policies have imposed on women and girls; I sure wish I could invoke my conscience and refuse to pay taxes allocable to war, but I'm a woman - I don't get to make those kinds of choices.


    There will be a lot of bad bills (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:11:14 PM EST
    that pass the Republican House.

    Bills like this one are the reason why the filibuster rules should NOT be changed.  Let the House members grand stand for the party.....

    ....41 votes in the Senate means the bill dies...


    They'll just keep bringing it up (none / 0) (#69)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:21:20 PM EST
    When they get the majority in the Senate and the WH.  

    Could be as soon as 2012.


    41 works for the minority (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:28:38 PM EST
    Republicans have shown that....

    Ha! (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:32:59 PM EST
    You forget they vote in lockstep and assume no Dems will agree with them!

    Remember Will Rogers' adage:

    "I am not a member of any organized party - I'm a Democrat." :)


    Saw this (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by sj on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:05:17 PM EST
    at Shakesville (Shakespeare's Sister) a few days ago.  Disgusted beyond words is right.  40 years of progress undone in about 2-5 years.

    It was posted here then (none / 0) (#114)
    by Towanda on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:50:36 PM EST

    Sometimes it surprises (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by sj on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 09:56:50 PM EST
    me that I don't read every word on this site. :)

    How Revealing (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by daring grace on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 06:09:28 PM EST
    this is about the character and mindset of those who are designing this legislation--who even have these kinds of ideas.

    What a vile glimpse into their own sexuality, not to mention their attitudes about their own mothers, sisters, wives and daughters that they even imagine this kind of evil claptrap--let alone propose it to enact into law.

    Even if it is merely a cynical bone tossed to their mobs of supporters.


    One does wonder (none / 0) (#121)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 06:18:55 PM EST
    how they would feel about it if one of their mothers, sisters, wives, or daughters were raped and became pregnant.  Note- I am not wishing this on them in any way shape or form.  But I do wonder what their attitudes would be.  (Of course, I also assume that they all have enough money to pay for their loved one's abortion, if necessary.)

    Debra Wasserman Schultz (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 08:10:53 PM EST
    is reported to have referred to the bill as violence against women.

    Geez, from this clip (none / 0) (#56)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:47:33 PM EST
    it seems like claiming "rape" (I hate to put that word in quotes) isn't even enough.

    Check out Digby's read today. Chilling. (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:48:03 PM EST
    I was just going to post this: (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:01:34 PM EST
    And Digby points out, quite rightly, I think, that the attempt to redefine rape is likely just a distraction from what the GOP - with the assistance of some Democrats - is trying to do: codify the Hyde Amendment.

    She cites a post by Frederick Clarkson, - here - and says:

    It points out that with Obama's startling public comments that Hyde is "tradition", a consensus rather suddenly formed among DC liberals that this battle was no longer on the agenda. I know that when I heard it, I felt a sick feeling in my stomach --- the feeling you get when you know that the goalpost has just been moved halfway down the field. The "tradition" is one of Democrats selling out women over and over again. Read Clarkson's piece to see how the health care bill did it again.

    I know the feeling she's talking about, and it gets worse when I realize that Obama would have no problem codifying Hyde.  Sweetie.


    Here's the link: (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:55:55 PM EST
    Are you familiar with Ayn Rand's (none / 0) (#59)
    by observed on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:52:11 PM EST
    admiration for the sociopath William Hickman, who murdered and dismembered a 12 year old girl?
    Apparently she based Galt and Roark on Hickman to a great extent.

    Ayn Rand (5.00 / 0) (#137)
    by cal1942 on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 12:44:55 AM EST
    is, IMO, a sociopath.

    My point being that Republicans (none / 0) (#60)
    by observed on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:53:03 PM EST
    are deeply influenced by Rand.
    Apparently that's like taking John Wayne Gacy as a mentor.

    Nonsense (none / 0) (#145)
    by Rojas on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 08:55:41 AM EST
    Your slur is a gross distortion.
    Rand had no regard for the religious fundamentalists who are the drivers behind these issues. In fact, it was her disdain of the hyper morality of all types of true believers that stands out. This in part appears to be to be the basis for your Hickman slur.

    The first thing that impresses me about the case is the ferocious rage of the whole society against one man. No matter what the man did, there is always something loathsome in the "virtuous" indignation and mass-hatred of the "majority." One always feels the stuffy, bloodthirsty emotion of a mob in any great public feeling of a large number of humans. It is repulsive to see all those beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives, virtuously condemning a criminal, proud and secure in their number, yelling furiously in defense of society.

    This qoute actually reads like something that could be written by one of the few defense attorneys who still post on this site.


    Her quotes speak for (none / 0) (#163)
    by observed on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 07:29:34 PM EST
    themselves. She was a moral imbecile (intellectually also, of course)

    Yes they do (none / 0) (#167)
    by Rojas on Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 03:21:02 AM EST
    One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives.
    Ayn Rand, "A Last Survey -- Part I", The Ayn Rand Letter Vol. IV, No. 2, 1975.

    Clearly you have some issues kid. Perhaps you are just a bomb thrower. It's been thirty years since I've read any of Rand's prose but it's simply not rational to draw parallels between her and the fundamentalist mindset that so much of her work condemns.


    Her mindset is very absolutist. (none / 0) (#168)
    by observed on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 09:59:53 AM EST
    You also have no rational counter to the fawning over Hickman. Lastly, knock off the "kid" stuff: I'm not one,but even as a teenager I could see her ideas were worthless.

    Standard Poodles... (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:41:51 PM EST
    Wow, what fantastic dogs! I always thought of toys and miniatures when thinking of poodles.

    These are a poodle of another color. I'm thrilled that Angel Eyes has two, and convinced me to adopt one.

    They really are neat (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 07:38:42 PM EST
    I was like you until I met a couple of them at the dog park and realized how active and rough and tumble they are. Now a friend has the cutest white puppy standard with black patches on his eyes. Just adorable.

    They're smart as whips, too (5.00 / 3) (#128)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 07:51:47 PM EST
    Maybe too smart for their own good, sometimes.  ;-)
    We've always had standards and I love them.  They take to obedience training really well.  They have no problems being "farm dogs."  Too many people think of them as some kind of fancy frou-frou parlor dogs.  They're not.

    How cool Jeff (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 08:08:42 AM EST
    I'm so glad you got one.  I firmly believe that the only reason why Standard Poodles aren't used more often for service dogs is because of the coat upkeep and the difficulties that some disabled would have tending to that all the time.

    One of the top scoring dogs in the obedience trials in my area is a standard poodle.  I love them so much.  Don't tell the German Shepherds this, but giant poodles don't make a life out of subtley challenging the authority ALL THE TIME either and some would wonder if that wouldn't make them a more pleasant dog too to own when compared to a German Shepherd :)


    Oh, I'm still partial to Engish Pointers, (none / 0) (#96)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:44:50 PM EST
    Bullies, Shepherds and mutts. Just adding standard poodles to the list. The might jump ahead of Rotties in my estimation.

    Good to read something positive. (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:47:40 PM EST
    Two-three weeks till pitchers and catchers (none / 0) (#103)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:02:44 PM EST

    Yes indeed. (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:09:48 PM EST
    More good and interesting news. (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:15:37 PM EST
    I'm tinkingof tree long weekends of Mardi Gras. One in Mobile, on in N'Awlins, and one in Acadiana. Connected to this, I'm playing a lot of New Orleans and Cajun music from Youtube.

    I just played Dr John's "Tipitina," Montreal jazz Fest, 1976. While this was blaring out, with Dr Johns speaking and singing, my bully Cookie jumped to the arm of the chair, tail a metronome, and showered me with kisses.  love the cadence and rhythm of Dr John's voice. I wonder if I speak like that to my dogs. Now it's time to work on the Nawlins accent... ;-)


    New Orleans Jazz Fest is high on (none / 0) (#112)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:43:30 PM EST
    my "to do" list.

    i'll meet you there, (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:46:55 PM EST
    whether Angel can make it or not. she'd understand.

    Besides, there's a history of privateers (none / 0) (#116)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:52:29 PM EST
    out of Baratria Bay...

    The first pirate movie I remember seeing (5.00 / 3) (#130)
    by caseyOR on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 07:56:31 PM EST
    was The Buccaneer, starring Yul Brynner as Jean LaFitte, and featuring Inger Stevens (of The Farmer's Daughter fame). At my Catholic grade school we were shown a major movie once a month, the whole school gathered in the gym. It was all courtesy of the Mothers' Club and the kindly Sisters of St. Benedict who taught us.

    Anyway, this movie is set in New Orleans during the War of 1812. I date my love of the pirate's life to this film. For the longest time I thought New Orleans was the home of all good pirates.

    So, Jeff, if you are in NOLA, take a little time to check out possible pirate ships for us, please.


    Don't expect to hear much jazz (none / 0) (#139)
    by shoephone on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 01:12:36 AM EST
    this year. It's now a jazz festival in name only.

    Standard poodles (none / 0) (#129)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 07:52:42 PM EST
    are supposed to be very smart

    Female members of Congress (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:21:12 PM EST
    better at bringing home the bacon to their districts than their male counterparts.

    Congresswomen bring back more money to their legislative districts on average and attract more co-sponsors to their legislation than their male colleagues, a recent study found.

    The study from political scientists at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy found that women in Congress tend to bring, on average, 9 percent more money in federal projects to their districts than men. The difference equals $49 million in extra funding for federal discretionary programs, the study found.

    Researchers also reported that female members of Congress sponsor or co-sponsor more legislation than their male counterparts and that their bills usually attract more co-sponsors.

    I do not feel Egypt's leader will last the month (none / 0) (#1)
    by Saul on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:18:11 PM EST
     I think he will leave.  What say you?  

    In his last speech where he said he would not run in September he also said he did not want to be exiled and that he wanted to die in his country.

    IMO I feel it was not good idea to have said this last part.

    I don't think he'll last until September (none / 0) (#2)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:20:29 PM EST
    If he stays too much longer, he may get his wish of dying in his country.

    Just heard and interview on NPR with a protester (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:31:34 PM EST
    in the square. He thinks as night falls it is going to get very bloody if something is not done immediately. He has seen knives and swords being readied by the pro-Mubarak thugs. He thinks it is the final gasp of desperation. The protesters have no intention on leaving after spending 9 days in the square fighting for change and coming so close.

    I'll be surprised if Mubarak lasts the week.


    He has to go (none / 0) (#5)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:42:38 PM EST
    Suleiman too probably.  Who can trust them after today?  I guess the protesters knew they couldn't trust them to begin with...that's why they didn't leave.

    I never considered Suleiman (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:26:52 PM EST
    personally desirable.  For me it has got to be what the Egyptian people want.  Suleiman has done my dirty work for me, what I want is a tainted opinion.  America wants these people to calm down and go home.  Americans want our economy to recover even if how our leaders are choosing to do it is going to starve them and their children on the global market scene.

    They couldn't leave Tahrir if they wanted to (none / 0) (#12)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:01:24 PM EST
    I've been reading tweets and live blog posts on NYT lede from anti-Mubarek protestors who are saying they are trapped in the square. The lights in the square have, apparently, been turned out -- it is dark, exits are blocked by thugs and military, and the only way out is through a mob of Mubarek supporters, who are reportedly now armed with automatic weapons.

    Tiananmen 2.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Gibbs is giving the most monotonous, MEANINGLESS press conference of our lifetimes. Fiddling while Cairo burns.


    Ben Wedeman's feed (none / 0) (#15)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:07:00 PM EST
    is crazy (twitter).

    thanks, I'll get that one (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:09:42 PM EST
    Lara Setrakian is good too (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:14:31 PM EST
    LaraABCNews (sorry,I can't link to twitter at work. I use it on my phone. ) I started following her during the Iranian protests.

    Wedeman's is one I'm following too (none / 0) (#21)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:19:54 PM EST
    Tiananmen was the example the NPR interviewer used (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:09:24 PM EST
    The protester said no ruler could remain in power after using so much violence on his people. Reporter said basically oh yeah, what about Tiananmen? Protester was hoping that the world media attention would protect them. I hope he is right.

    Just reported on (none / 0) (#22)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:26:03 PM EST
    NYT lede:

    Frederik Pleitgen of CNN reported a short time ago that some men he had spoken to said that they were state oil company workers who had been ordered to join the regime supporters on the streets.

    An earlier tweet from an anti-Mubarek supporter said she'd heard that thugs were being paid 50 Egyptian pounds ($8.50) a day to come into the square and start trouble. "50 pounds for my country!"


    The man inerviewed on NPR said the (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:29:30 PM EST
    camels and camel drivers were hired from the tourist areas by the pyramids. He has never seen a camel in Cairo in 35 years.

    Those guys hold tourists hostage (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:31:33 PM EST
    day after day.  But, probably no tourists to scam.

    Are you listening to Warren Olney (PRI)? (none / 0) (#31)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:33:22 PM EST
    Just reported that some anti-Mubarek protestors now hiding in the museum.

    Local NPR reporting that the museum is on fire (none / 0) (#41)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:07:07 PM EST
    Violence is the "friend" of Mubarak, (none / 0) (#48)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:25:34 PM EST
    he hopes it will provide a fig leaf for restoring law and order--by any means.  

    I think we need to be (none / 0) (#70)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:25:26 PM EST
    more supportive of the protesters.  We have an opportunity to stand up for principle and represent something new to the Mid East and we're not taking it.  

    That's how I feel (none / 0) (#76)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:41:03 PM EST
    It does require finding a new paradigm since we have been in the 'support the dictator to maintain stability' mode for so long. I know there are smart enough people around to do it - wish we would take advantage of the opportunity.

    Yes, others are calling for Obama (none / 0) (#117)
    by Towanda on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:53:14 PM EST
    to step up on this.  Interesting reading.

    Okay this is creepy (none / 0) (#6)
    by sj on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:43:49 PM EST
    It was creepy when "they" did it for Bush and it's creepy when "they" do it for Obama.

    I don't know how to get the screenshot, but the picture shows Obama with a halo effect and a sort of sorrowful expression.

    Wonder how long it took to capture exactly the right expression.

    They like (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:47:58 PM EST
    to do it apparently.

    Ick (none / 0) (#9)
    by sj on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:50:37 PM EST
    Definitely creepy.

    The fact that someone is collecting them in (none / 0) (#11)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:59:23 PM EST
    a website cracks me up.

    Seems like a cheap effect for lazy photographers more than anything else.


    Sure (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:45:44 PM EST
    Next year is when you can judge Muschamp on recruiting.

    Still would be nice if they played a team/game further north than Kentucky or further west than Louisiana.

    Florida (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:03:09 PM EST
    Clocking in at #14 on Signing Day (for now - it isn't over yet).

    Alabama leading the pack, followed by USC and Auburn.  (Texas #5???  They $uck!)


    Wash your mouth (none / 0) (#87)
    by D Jessup on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:18:54 PM EST
    Texas always has great teams and recruiting classes and we do it in state, it was Mushcamp that coached a defense that totally fell apart.  I'm glad that that he is gone.

    Boo! (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:20:05 PM EST
    I went to graduate school at Texas A&M.

    I DESPISE Texas.


    My condolence (none / 0) (#94)
    by D Jessup on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:41:52 PM EST
    I feel sorry for anyone that went to agland, I know it must have been a trauma.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#99)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:50:39 PM EST
    Don't feel sorry - I enjoyed my time there.  I especially enjoyed Thanksgiving this year.  :)

    What's wrong with Bevo and Big Bertha? (none / 0) (#123)
    by MKS on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 06:23:37 PM EST
    Are you unAmerican or something?

    Bevo is drugged (none / 0) (#124)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 06:29:41 PM EST
    (Although he owes his name to Texas A&M, when after a great A&M victory in 1916 in which they beat t.u. 13-0, they branded Bevo with the score.  t.u. didn't like that, so fixed it so it said "BEVO".  t.u. also tells a different story, but it can't possibly be true because, well, they are from t.u.!)

    And don't get me started on those colors.....


    More sidewalk rubber glove treatment... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 12:58:06 PM EST
    allegations, this time the hometown authoritarian freaks I know too well, the NYPD.

    The right to be secure in your person, papers, and effects...damn founding father should have specifically specified the arse as off limits to government intrusion, but how could they have ever guessed it would come to stuff like this.

    Is my arse not my person? (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:02:48 PM EST
    It is kind of a philosophical question.

    Quote of the year (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:06:16 PM EST
    "This thing gave me a whole bunch of anxiety."

    I liked the quotes from... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:17:17 PM EST
    when the invasive intrusive perverted illegal incident was occuring...

    "You're violating me! You're violating me!"

    And part of me is jealous because when I got an unwarranted uninvited hand in my drawers on the roadside, there was no rubber glove...extra gross.

    Then again, lack of a glove might have been the only thing that saved my virgin arse, and limited the assault to only my junk, and of course non-private parts like legs, arms, back.


    Hey (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:27:24 PM EST
    Some people pay big bucks for things like that!  :)

    Some do... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:44:46 PM EST
    and thats a crime, ironically enough.

    Taking/Giving it by force is not, if you wear blue.


    I was going to say... (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:32:31 PM EST
    If they were not allowed to wear gloves the searches would be a lot less invasive.

    And (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:33:15 PM EST
    if no gloves - probably a lot grosser for them as well.  :)

    that's what I meant! The grossness would be (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:37:15 PM EST
    a deterrent to wanting to search.

    So how did you handle your particular (none / 0) (#26)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:30:34 PM EST

    Handle? (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:38:35 PM EST
    What was there to do bro?  He had a gun and authority and a gang of unmerry men, I had none of that.  I bit my tongue, swallowed all my pride and just took it. If I followed my natural instinct and resisted, I'd have been locked up and/or roughed up worse.

    Chalked it up as a cost of doing business on Planet Tyranny...and have tried harder to stay out of the net ever since.  I sure as hell wasn't gonna deal with more cops filing a complaint...not my style, they stole enough of my time and dignity during the incident.


    I hear you (none / 0) (#37)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:44:03 PM EST
    I honestly don't know how I'd react, especially if it was unwarranted. I have friends that are cops and I'm quick to tell them that they're all full of it, but that's because I know them. I don't know if I'd be lippy with one who was giving me the business.

    To be honest... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:47:44 PM EST
    it all happened so fast, I was face down on the hood with a hand on my junk while his partners in crime were tearing my car part before I could register wtf was even happening.  Bad scene.

    What was the alleged "probable cause" (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:11:01 PM EST
    for the stop?

    The old... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:19:27 PM EST
    "white boy in a 'known drug area'", of course.

    Full disclosure...I was trying to cop but I didn't, dread knew the spot was hot and shut it down...saved me an even bigger hassle.  


    Car registration up to date? (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:35:13 PM EST
    All car lights in working order?  No outstanding warrants?  Driving perfectly?

    Driving while kdog (none / 0) (#77)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:42:12 PM EST
    I wasn't even driving... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:53:54 PM EST
    Walking to my parked car is when I got assaulted.

    I assume they were watching the storefront and saw me go in and out...but dread was a step ahead of them.

    At first I thought dread thought I was the cop...that used to happen to me all the time.  I gave him the "c'mon man, I ain't no cop, I'm here all the time!", and thats when he told me the score about the block being hot.

    Cops saw my skinny white arse and thought I would be an easy mark to flip to the dark side I guess...but all I told them was I was in the market for a pack of gum and the store didn't have my preferred flavor, Fruit Stripe:)


    Were you wearing your Chivas GL shirt? (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:02:12 PM EST
    P.S.  I just bought 2 tickets for Mexico v. Venezuela at the "Q."  Expensive.  Happy b-day, tutoree.  The big 13!

    I was pulled over three times on my way (none / 0) (#135)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 10:17:05 PM EST
    home from San Antonio, there was an Amber alert.  Someone stole a car in Dallas with a baby in it and I was unfortunate enough to be driving the same make and color.  I was pulled over twice in Texas and then the last time 30 miles from my front door in Alabama.  The second HP officer that pulled me over came to my window and scared the hell out of Josh before he saw him.  He said to me almost yelling, "I need your license and get out and step to the back of the vehicle now!"  Then he saw Josh and held up his hand, took my license to his vehicle...came back and gave it back to me and told me to drive carefully and said I had probably had a long day.  Pfft....I was only halfway through it though.

    When I came to understand what was going on though I calmed down.  If someone had my child or one of my grandchildren....dear God, yes, pull me over.  Then I thought that maybe my being on the road was making things worse, I thought that maybe I should pull over and stay the night somewhere and make things easier for law enforcement looking for the car and not be a distraction.  I was almost out of Texas though, so thought again and decided to stay on the road.  As we got closer to home and I was not pulled over in LA or MS I hoped that maybe it was all over.  When I was pulled over in Alabama and almost home I was impressed with law enforcement getting the word out that well.  It was irritating though when the officer asked me where I had come from and I said San Antonio TX...his eyes got very big as he took my license to his car.  Then I got depressed because it looked like it wasn't over after all and a child was still missing.

    The next morning we checked the news and you won't believe this, it was a hoax.  A woman had her car stolen in Dallas and made up the story that her friend's baby was in the car because they think she wanted more officers looking for it because she had money she wanted back that was in the car.  They said they were considering pressing charges against her.  My vote right now is yes...please press charges against her, she made my day a certain sort of hell for nothing.


    you got pulled over (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 12:59:17 AM EST
    three times for the same Amber alert? If that happens again (chances are zero I hope) maybe you could ask the first cop that stops you to add to the Amber alert that your vehicle license plate is not the one they are looking for.

    You are being very understanding about it.

    Probably a good thing you didn't stop in a hotel. Someone would have called in the car and I can just imagine the cops demanding to know what room from the motel/hotel office and then busting down your door thinking you were the Amber Lady. Would have scared you and Josh no end.

    Glad you made it back home safely.


    Thanks Jeralyn (none / 0) (#140)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 06:44:51 AM EST
    I don't think the first officer (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 08:37:01 AM EST
    would have pulled me over.  He had obviously called my plates in and everything was matching up.  But I did something that scared him.  He was right on my tail he said, at first I was driving the exact speed limit and then I started creeping up in speed like I was trying to shake him I guess.  I guess he was afraid then that someone had gone through a parking lot and had stolen plates off a similar car.  I think he even knew that our car was registered to a soldier because the first thing he did was walk to the front of the car and see if the car had a military window tag on it.

    He asked me why I did what I did, but I didn't even know he was back there.  Joshua had been sick that morning on the road and had thrown up once.  I was worried about him.  I thought he was sick mostly from a nervous stomach due to worrying about the surgery, but that was the only thing I was thinking about...trying to figure out if he was ill due to a virus, ill due to nerves, and does he need a medication from his doctor now for stress during surgery.  I had no clue at that moment that a highway patrolman was right behind me.  The second Texas highway patrolman was a little more stressed probably because I was about to cross the state line.  And it was over by the time I got to Alabama but Alabama obviously didn't tell all of her officers that it was over.  I had just pulled off I-10 onto the backroads leading home though, and that officer said he pulled me over because of that.


    Thank gawd this ended as it did. (none / 0) (#151)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 11:49:15 AM EST
    Really frightening.

    If I was a lesser woman (none / 0) (#154)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 02:25:16 PM EST
    I would have probably lost my mind during the second pulling over when the guy was yelling at me :)  The last time I was pulled over I had just spoke to my husband as we were coming off of I-10.  He was breathing a sigh of relief.  Shortly after that I phoned him while I was having my license and plates run again to say...hey, I'm pulled over again.  It was dark then though, so you were probably going to have a hard time following me and getting my plate number.  A car was about to be sandwiched between us on one of those infamous Alabama two lane backroad highways :)

    How is Joshua doing now? (none / 0) (#155)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 02:30:46 PM EST
    He's doing well (none / 0) (#156)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 02:47:11 PM EST
    I was going to send him to school today, a few days early.  He usually wants to go back a few days early, but one of his hips is bothering him.  It is rough on him in between the growing and lenghtening, his scoliosis is always throwing one of his hips out of alignment, then when his rods are lengthened and he is straighter it pulls on those ligaments in a different way.  We don't see any back pain, we have hip pain.

    Tough kid. (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by oculus on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 02:49:56 PM EST
    He is playing Call of Duty Black Ops (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 02:55:26 PM EST
    right now with a kid who has been one of his online friends for years now.  They have never met in real life.  His friend is Muslim and they are running around "killing" bad guys together.  I don't how Glenn Beck is going to take it when he finds out :)

    Depends. Is the kid a muslim socialist (none / 0) (#162)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 06:31:04 PM EST
    communist? Beck went to Locoland today...

    Oh god (none / 0) (#166)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 11:35:54 PM EST
    I'm afraid to know, but will probably have to know sometime tomorrow or be in the group of the unknowing.  And it has always bothered me being in that group.

    How could I have missed FL hiring (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:10:51 PM EST
    Muscamp?  ESPN

    He got tired of waiting for Mack Brown (none / 0) (#23)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:27:10 PM EST
    to call it a career.

    Speaking of football, I read online today that this will  be the first Super Bowl without cheerleaders. I wonder if they gave a discount on the price of the tickets (I think not).


    Wonder how Michigan is faring in the (none / 0) (#105)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:11:22 PM EST
    draft.  Really new coach.  

    Top 25 (none / 0) (#107)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:15:42 PM EST
    I think #23.

    WH reporters (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:31:08 PM EST
    claim White House is "shutting them out" and providing too little information on Egypt.

    Hmmm...Whom to believe?  Whom to believe?

    They could tune in to Al Jazeera for updates (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:33:50 PM EST
    Yeah, a tossup there (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:19:50 PM EST
    What, their anonymous spoon-feeders refusing to play ball?

    They will have to wait for the next Bob Woodward (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:20:49 PM EST

    Thats funny... (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:34:46 PM EST
    earth to journalists and reporters, you are suppose to find the story, not wait for the people you're supposed to be keeping in check to deliver a propagandized version on a silver platter.

    The media has been simply spell-checking government press releases for so long they forgot how to investigate I guess.


    Gibbs' press conference was nothing but (none / 0) (#33)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:34:43 PM EST
    hot air.

    It's not 2008 anymore (none / 0) (#34)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:35:05 PM EST
    Wonder what this portends for 2012....

    Vulnerable Democratic senators have raised far less money than their predecessors did two years ago, a sign that their party could struggle to keep its majority.

    Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) barely raised any money in the final quarter of the year, pulling in just $12,000 and reporting $444,000 on hand. Webb is considered vulnerable, and might face a formidable candidate and fundraiser in former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.).

    Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) raised just over $80,000 during the final three months of 2010, more than half of it from political action committees, and reported $1.4 million cash on hand.

    Several other Democrats, including Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), posted solid numbers, but none has more than $1.5 million cash on hand.

    The early numbers don't measure up to those that several of their Senate colleagues posted ahead of the past cycle. At the start of 2009, Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) all had more than $2.5 million cash on hand.

    Feingold began the 2010 cycle with $2.5 million, Boxer with $4.1 million, Reid with $3.3 million and Murray with $2.5 million.

    The fast start didn't save Feingold, who lost his reelection bid, but it helped the other three senators win in a tough year for Democrats.

    Republicans need to pick up three or four seats in 2012 (depending on President Obama's reelection contest) to win back the majority in the upper chamber; the party has 23 Democratic targets to choose from. The GOP's chances also got a lift last month when Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) announced he would not run for reelection in a deep-red state.

    National Signing Day: very important (none / 0) (#40)
    by Andreas on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 01:47:49 PM EST
    That a "left" "liberal" Democratic blog is interested in a "National Signing Day" while fascistic thugs paid for by the United States of America and supported by the Democratic President slaughter workers in Egypt says a lot about the politically bankrupt character of those social layers within the Democratic Party.

    What is the basis for your statement (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:22:51 PM EST
    the U.S. is financially supporting "fascist thugs."  Al Jazeera's reporter says unable to determine who is firing guns in square in Cairo.  Not the military.  

    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:32:34 PM EST
    just another unhappy soul looking for a place to vent some frustration, due to their team not picking up enough big time recruits on national signing day, and choosing to take it out on perceived fascist thuggery.

    Well played... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:39:03 PM EST
    I was just gonna say "lighten up"...your answer much better:)

    I think the fascist thug in question is Mubarek oculus...one of our paid-for Middle East "allies".


    That is an easy conclusion to jump to. (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:46:48 PM EST
    But Al Jazeera's reporter in the square in Cairo says she doesn't know who is behind the thuggery there.  She is getting conflicting opinions from people in the square.  

    This is not true. (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Andreas on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:27:53 PM EST

    Evidence seems to be mounting (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:44:13 PM EST
    re: the identity of the protesters and Egypt's history with paid protesters.  See NYT, Al Jazeera, and Twitter accounts (Ben Wedeman, Nagla Rizk).  IMO, the proof is in the pudding...why are pro-Mubarak forces riding in on horses and camels, and armed?  Why now?  The whole thing was weirdly suspicious to begin with.

    Starting to look that way. Swords? (none / 0) (#82)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:04:28 PM EST
    Where does one acquire a sword in this day and age?

    That was the word one eyewitness used... (none / 0) (#84)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:09:10 PM EST
    Could have been machetes from other reports I've seen. May have been struggling for the English word for such a thing.

    I am becoming addicted to Al Jazeera. (none / 0) (#85)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:10:27 PM EST
    Wish I could get it on car radio.  

    I just finished reading "The Yacoubian (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:29:29 PM EST
    Building," a novel by contemporary Egyptian author Al Aswany.  Here is his take on what's happening:  The Independent  Aswany will write a book on what's happening.

    Thx...will look into that (none / 0) (#100)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:52:47 PM EST
    BTW OT, was it you that recommended 'Dance, Dance, Dance'? I'm listening to it now. Thoroughly enjoying it.

    Yes. I enjoyed it. Something different. (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:54:17 PM EST
    Have also listened to "Kafka on the Shore," and "After the Earthquake."  Checked out book "After Dark," but it's in Spanish!

    We've got (none / 0) (#109)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:32:14 PM EST
    a sword. It's a replica Samurai sword Mr. Z got at a flea market/antique shop long ago.  Not sharpened, but it could be.  (Plus his old fencing sabre, which really couldn't cut much, and I doubt it could be sharpened.)  And I've got a Damascus steel Japanese kitchen knife with a ten-inch long blade that is razor sharp, and could no doubt slice a person up as well as I slice up a roast.  But still, there are all kinds of places you can get swords.  Probably even easier to get in the Middle East.

    PS (none / 0) (#110)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:35:15 PM EST
    We've got a machete, too.

    Hopefully plastic, (none / 0) (#111)
    by lilburro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:38:32 PM EST
    from the Museum gift shop or something.

    Don't mess with the Zorbas! (none / 0) (#115)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:52:25 PM EST
    We are (none / 0) (#118)
    by Zorba on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:54:39 PM EST
    gentle souls, really.  I just happen to like really nice knives (remember, I do a heck of a lot of cooking), and Mr. Z happens to like swords.  ;-)

    Haha... (none / 0) (#143)
    by lilburro on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 08:13:58 AM EST
    that's what they all say Zorba...

    Ah, yes (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 03:03:15 PM EST
    I can see the news article now, lilburro.  The neighbors are interviewed and they all say "We had no idea!  They seemed like such nice people, always helping everyone!  We never would have suspected....."     ;-)

    If you can get it, you should try (none / 0) (#160)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 03:32:38 PM EST
    to look at the segment on tosh.o (Comedy Central) where Tosh wields a sword on a number of objects, to predictable results (warning: near the end of it is, in true tosh.o fashion, a pretty inappropriate scene).

    Oh - here's the link.


    Okay, it may be totally (none / 0) (#161)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 03:46:14 PM EST
    inappropriate, but I must admit, I laughed!  BTW, my Japanese 10" knife does a really good job of cutting up very large pieces of meat-  be warned!

    Some were bussed in with weapons (none / 0) (#83)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:07:39 PM EST
    Many chanting the same slogans. You know, like a tea party rally.

    I suppose they could have been fake-outs trying to make Mubarak look bad, but it seems unlikely.


    Interesting take on it (none / 0) (#86)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:14:55 PM EST
    at TPM, relating it to the post-Mubarak power struggles.

    Here's a weird one... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:08:44 PM EST
    breathalyzer tests to see a ska concert?  WTF Scotland?

    Not to mention if you're gonna invade people's breath to gain admittance to the ska beat, at least use tyranny gadgets that work...jeez.

    and you still need police at one of your events. Those were some pretty sorry excuses by the police and auditorium manager.

    Sweet Claire (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:10:43 PM EST
    Proposing a spending cap bill that "could cost me me my Senate seat":

    Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on Tuesday introduced legislation meant to cap Washington spending that she said could lead to her defeat in 2012.

    McCaskill, a freshman senator who faces a tough reelection, is co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that would force the government to hold spending at 20.6 percent of the nation's GDP.

    That would mean huge, and likely unpopular, budget cuts, as current federal spending stands at 24.7 percent of GDP. But McCaskill said she's willing to lose her election if it means the legislation will be approved.

    "If this bill is distorted and twisted, it could cost me my Senate seat, but it's a price I am willing to pay," McCaskill said in a floor speech supporting the bill on Tuesday.

    "It is a price I am willing to pay for my country, and more importantly, it is a price I am willing to pay for my grandchildren."

    Voters unhappy with the economy and federal spending handed the House to Republicans last fall, and lawmakers in both parties are determined to cut the budget. The Congressional Budget Office last week projected a $1.5 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year.

    Still, getting the federal budget under control is likely to mean steep cuts in spending and changes to Medicare and Social Security, which could put lawmakers in danger of losing their seats.

    Sounds like her constituents are smarter than her (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:16:16 PM EST
    We need MO Blue (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:33:44 PM EST
    Now it's her grandchildren (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by Towanda on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 05:58:59 PM EST
    guiding her.  Hmmm, the daughter who told McCaskill what to do in 2008 must be on the outs with Senator Mom.

    Here's hoping (none / 0) (#58)
    by sj on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 02:51:22 PM EST
    She's right AND the legislation fails.

    Another opinion on the constitutionality of HCR (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 03:35:51 PM EST
    Coming from Reagan's Solicitor General, Charles Fried, during his testimony in a Senate hearing:

    I am quite sure that the health care mandate is constitutional. ... My authorities are not recent. They go back to John Marshall, who sat in the Virginia legislature at the time they ratified the Constitution, and who, in 1824, in Gibbons v. Ogden, said, regarding Congress' Commerce power, "what is this power? It is the power to regulate. That is--to proscribe the rule by which commerce is governed." To my mind, that is the end of the story of the constitutional basis for the mandate.

    The mandate is a rule--more accurately, "part of a system of rules by which commerce is to be governed," to quote Chief Justice Marshall. And if that weren't enough for you--though it is enough for me--you go back to Marshall in 1819, in McCulloch v. Maryland, where he said "the powers given to the government imply the ordinary means of execution. The government which has the right to do an act"--surely, to regulate health insurance--"and has imposed on it the duty of performing that act, must, according to the dictates of reason, be allowed to select the means." And that is the Necessary and Proper Clause. [...]

    I think that one thing about Judge Vinson's opinion, where he said that if we strike down the mandate everything else goes, shows as well as anything could that the mandate is necessary to the accomplishment of the regulation of health insurance.

    Pro Mubarak protester numbers (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:33:26 PM EST
    are dwindling down now in liberation square now.  Anti Mubarak protesters now greatly outnumber them. It is being reported that pro Mubarak protesters were being bussed in while arriving with weapons....just like Republicans when they come to a protest to be the counter protest :)

    At least three people were killed today (none / 0) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:33:55 PM EST
    1500 reported injured. (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:44:18 PM EST
    Dr. interviewed on Al Jazeera. One young (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:49:13 PM EST
    man shot to death.  IDs on some counter-protesters:  secret police.  He also mentioned parliament members--but interview veered off.

    Shortage of blood supply. (none / 0) (#102)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 04:55:40 PM EST
    How many people were protesting in Cairo? (none / 0) (#122)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 06:23:18 PM EST
    A million?  2 million?

    Probabaly not even close.
    Using the best scientific data possible (keeping in mind that with the way things unfolded quickly, this is all just an educated guess), the real number is probably closer to about 100,000 in Tahrir Square.  Who knows how many others, as the crowd fanned out throughout the city, but even the AP's conservative estimate of 250,000 seems way too high.

    And this matters, because...? (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 07:03:00 AM EST
    I know there was some back and forth the other day about the size of the crowd, and if that's the point of your comment, I get that, but absent any reference to that earlier dialogue, it feels like all it does is downgrade the protest itself just because there weren't as many people there as had been originally reported.  I can't imagine that was your intent, so I'm trying to give you the benefit of that doubt.

    My feeling is that even if the actual numbers were only a percentage of what had been earlier reported, I would imagine that every person protesting was not just doing so in his or her name, but on behalf of all those who were too afraid, or too old or too young or disabled or whatever to participate in person; sometimes you have to consider what is in people's hearts, and consider the size of the risk people took to do what they did.  

    In a country where there isn't freedom to protest, it is quite something that 100,000 people - if that's really "all" there were - risked their lives, and the little freedom they are allowed, to come out to be heard.


    Because overstating crowd size (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 09:44:32 AM EST
    has distorted our understanding of events, especially political events, in this country as well?  I find reality-based reminders to be useful -- similar to Al Jazeera's reporting that the message that most Egyptians are getting on their state-run teevee is that the anti-government protesters are the thugs.  As I continue to try to understand what is happening there, just as I tried to understand what was happening here in 2008, a basic measure of media bias is overstating crowd size.  And it seems most endemic in American media (not just now in Egypt or in 2008 but chronically, per interestign studies of media hyperbole in other instances).

    Of course, many other factors such as those that you mention may have more impact in the end, as we also have seen before.  


    UNDERstating crowd size (none / 0) (#148)
    by sj on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 10:55:01 AM EST
    has also "distorted our understanding of events, especially political events in this country as well"

    I think correct estimation is important, but it's so very difficult to assess.  Not sure there's a solution.  Just opining.


    True, and a good point (none / 0) (#164)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 09:30:05 PM EST
    because we agree that whatever is the reality, we prefer it to mythology -- at least those of us interested in figuring out for ourselves what to think rather than have biased misreporting shape our worldview.

    When I see photos like we have seen (none / 0) (#150)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 11:44:29 AM EST
    this last week, I am not thinking, "gee, I wonder how many people are there?" and I'm not thinking, "well, if it's only 100,000 people, then shoot, that million-people thing was just the media making us think something important was happening - now I can just turn off the TV,"  - and the reason I'm not thinking those things is because all I can see is what looks like a sea of humanity, and that alone tells me that something important is going on.

    The pictures speak for themselves, in my opinion - especially in a country where there is risk in public protest, and all this estimating of crowd size just seems unnecessarily manipulative - whether it's overstating or understating.


    Because (none / 0) (#147)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 10:54:21 AM EST
    it's an open thread and I thought it was an interesting article - especially the science and art behind it. Because the topic is a serious one does not mean we have to look at every side story as VERY SERIOUS - they could just be informative, instructive, or, yes, just interesting.

    And as pointed out by Towanda - facts are pretty important to getting the story straight - even if it doesn't jive with the story we want to tell.


    Add to that (none / 0) (#149)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 10:58:21 AM EST
    An "interesting" article about how this revolution is brought to us by Al-Jazeera - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    Change was Al Jazeera's raison d'être from the day 15 years ago when the upstart ruler of the tiny emirate of Qatar founded the channel, which he called Al Jazeera ("The Peninsula," named for the tiny thumb of desert that comprised his Gulf fiefdom). He hired a bunch of out-of-work Arab journalists who had lost their jobs with the BBC and gave them a mandate: Make his rival autocrats uncomfortable -- and boost his political juice throughout the region in the process.

    Even though the Egyptian government cut most Internet and cell-phone links, disrupting the ability of political activists to use social media to organize, satellite television (including an array of privately-owned Cairo-based stations) continues to be the great unifying force as Egyptians -- and Arabs across the region -- watch live coverage of the violence in the streets and Mubarak's faltering response.

    Journalism purists in the West may object to the idea of news organizations overtly helping to foster revolution. But the history of American journalism is replete with media activists: Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Adams, to name a few. The state of politics in the Arab world today has much in common with 18th-century America; the same is true of its journalism.

    That is not to say the Arab media is a monolith or that Al Jazeera is without its critics in the Arab world. Just as Fox and MSNBC attract partisans in the United States, Arabs turn to Al Jazeera, its Saudi-owned rival Al Arabiya or various other channels, depending on their politics. Many claim Al Jazeera supports the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, a notion bolstered by its recent WikiLeaks-style release of secret documents from the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which has undermined the Palestinian Authority. And there has long been a perception that the Qatar-based channel is anti-Mubarak. Whether that is a good or bad thing lies in the eye of the beholder.

    Why the quote marks around the (none / 0) (#152)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 12:00:57 PM EST
    word "interesting?"  

    If you don't view what's happening in Egypt as being about the people finally revolting against the government that has been repressing them for decades, why don't you just say so?  

    Or tell us why Mubarak isn't as bad as he is being made out to be.

    When you say that the revolution is being brought to us by al-Jazeera, it telegraphs skepticism about the validity of the protest - taken with your "aha!" on the matter of crowd size, it's hard not to think that for whatever reason, you think this is all a bunch of BS; if that's the case, I wish you would stop with the disingenuous comments and just own your opinions.


    Wow! You are in left field (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 12:18:47 PM EST
    And we are playing hockey. You are so far off my point that we are definitely not in the same game.

    I put "interesting" in quotes because, like my previous post, I mentioned that I post things that I find (wait for it) interesting. Not everything has to be about my support or lack thereof of what's going on - I'm interested in the side stories and the story behind the story.  My emphasis on the "interesting" part was apparently missed.

    But, again, I also believe in accuracy - something you yourself want from American media all the time.  Why would my desire to see accurate information be portrayed have anything to do with how I feel about the protests? (Answer:  it doesn't).

    And my point about Al-Jazeera, if you would have actually read the article, is that like American media, it also has a history and a bias.  Just like all media, it must be looked at with a jaundiced eye.  Is there a reason you also aren't looking for coverage from Al-Arabiya?

    I'm sorry things I find interesting are not as substantive as you would like them to be and that I dare question things like a media outlet you don't want to question.


    If only our revolution had been televised (none / 0) (#165)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 03, 2011 at 09:36:20 PM EST
    is what I keep saying to myself, watching Al Jazeera and other outlets for "citizen journalism" from Egypt.  And I see so many parallels -- including, yes, the vastly varying media coverage.

    And re our American Revolution, there are wonderful analyses of newspapers in the colonies and their coverage vs. what really happened.  Amazingly, I know, the papers most prone to misreporting were the Patriot papers.  Sam Adams was one of the worst at spin.

    But it worked.  So we will see whether the activist, advocacy reporting seen at times on Al Jazeera -- which is fine with me, and I only hope that some of it is reaching some of the Egyptian people spoonfed a far different story on their state teevee -- helps this revolution, too.


    Whatever Gator Boy. (none / 0) (#125)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 07:27:21 PM EST
    BTW--Chris Hanson would like a word with you.

    /had lines up?  Ah, the wonders of a Florida edumacation!

    Actually (none / 0) (#126)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 07:34:25 PM EST
    today Cris Hanson had a date with an Ohio State recruit.

    Curtis Grant? (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 08:13:53 PM EST
    That's where I felt the most love from.  Those guys recruited me in a different way.

    I wouldn't put anything past those Buckeyes.


    Sadly (none / 0) (#134)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 10:05:05 PM EST
    I was thinking of Chris Carter, though I prefer your answer much more.

    RE: Spartacus Live on Al-Jazeera (none / 0) (#136)
    by Harry Saxon on Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 10:50:29 PM EST

    While we wait for Egypt to finish cooking, there's some great footage to watch. It may not be warfare as practiced by Lee and Grant, but it's weirdly close to what urban combat must have been like before firearms. If you watch this clip from Al Jazeera--and let me say now, thank God, Allah or Odin, whoever, for Al Jazeera. Best network around, actual reporters on the ground in places other networks are too cheap or chicken to go.

    What you'll see in this clip is the quick transition from "peaceful demonstration" to urban warfare in Tahrir Square, the big zocalo in Cairo. Of course these transitions from "peaceful" to violence aren't all that clear down at street level. Even before rocks start flying, you've got a huge crowd of young males screaming as loud as they can, pushing each other to do something. And in a place like Egypt, just standing out in the street facing the cops is doing something in a big way. You can die that way, like one demonstrator did in another video from Egypt. It's a classic video. What it shows you is the answer to the question, "Who'd be the first to die of all the guys you know?" And the answer, unfortunately, is, "The bravest one, the one who really believes in what he's doing." That's what you see here: this guy doesn't notice that all his friends have slunk off, and he keeps flinging rocks at the cops. Then there's one shot. He falls down with a bullet in his head. It's funny, you know: you could make an argument against war from that, you could say that the first thing war does is weed all the bravest guys out of the gene pool. It would explain a lot, actually, like what happened to the Italians. Maybe the Romans just used up the brave ones.

    Click or War Nerd Me