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Wednesday Open Thread

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  • Where is the next Mandela? In a prison cell. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 02:09:55 PM EST
    An exceptionally good blog entry by Will Bunch (his blog is called "Attytood" (which parodies a Philadelphia accent)) on the site of the Philadelphia Daily News. (reposted from a Monday addition to Friday's open thread)

    I'll cast my vote for Leonard Peltier (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 02:22:42 PM EST
    Wrongfully convicted, shafted by the federal government, and sitting in jail for decades now. Here's the documentary about him, INCIDENT AT OGLALA narrated by Robert Redford.

    Part 1
    Part 2

    And for the real story, get the book IN THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE by Robert Mathiessen.

    Parent

    One of the best books I have read (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:53:47 AM EST
    Horrifying story, so well written.

    Since moving to Florida I have read his 'Mr Watson' trilogy too, combined in the one-volume "Shadow Country". Vividly captures the character of the place and the people on the early 20th century.

    Parent

    I just finished Bone By Bone (none / 0) (#143)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:17:31 PM EST
    not long ago. One of the most wrenching historical accounts of growing up in poverty I"ve read. Matthiessen is a Great writer.

    The real life Ed Watson grew up in "Bloody Edgefield" County, South Carolina, as did Blood Meridian protagonist John Joel Glanton..

    Parent

    PETER Mathiessen (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 02:25:57 PM EST
    Egad!

    And by "real story" I mean the bible of a book that Mathiessen offers up, with every detail and fact imaginable, and the book the FBI sued for years to keep off the shelves.

    Parent

    Great book. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 05:13:47 PM EST
    The behavior of federal government agents on the Pine Ridge reservation during the 1970s was nothing short of criminal and appalling. The late Russell Means, who led the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee with Dennis Banks, was always one of my heroes.

    Parent
    It's episodes like Pine Ridge (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:22:22 PM EST
    that remind me of what a sad joke it is when white middle class folks talk about who "belongs on Mt Rushmore"..

    Parent
    Well worth the repost Peter... (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:00:12 PM EST
    thanks for linking it...the writer is spot f8ckin' on.  Tomorrow's Mandela is today's public enemy...do the world leaders waxing poetic about Mandela even realize how full of sh*t they sound?  

    Parent
    No, KDog, (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:04:12 PM EST
    they do not.

    Parent
    Especially gauling... (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:20:58 PM EST
    is the local hub-bub over Obama's handshake with Raul Castro at the memorial...moments after the same sh*tbags were praising Mandela to the rafters.  I mean c'mon man!  Mandela was all about putting the differences of the past aside and building a brighter future...together.  All of us...black and white and yellow and brown, christian and jew and muslim and atheist, capitalist and socialist and communist and anarchist.    

    For every Mandela showing us the best we are capable of as a species, it feels like there are 10,000 sh*tbags showing the worst. Will our species ever get it's sh&t together, ever?  

    Parent

    At least one current world leader (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 07:03:16 PM EST
    got it right when Mandela was sitting in prison in 1981.

    link

    Parent

    A pretty cool college kid... (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:09:26 PM EST
    got it right in '81, today's world leader has gotta be a different dude.  

    See what happens kids when you quit smoking ganja and get addicted to power? One day your righteously protesting apartheid and racial injustice, and before you know it you're a protection racket for the banking cartel, occupying foreign lands, and ordering drone strikes. ;)

    Parent

    More Importantly... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:26:52 PM EST
    ...for every Nelson Mandela, there are thousands who never live to see the light of day, tortured, locked-up, or murdered.

    How many black people fighting for the same equality, right here in the US, not so long ago, ended up being just another victim of brutality and corruption.  thrown away in the name of power.  It's happening right now, on every habitable continent.  And throughout all of human history, only a very few make it out and manage to make real change, to one day admired by all of humanity.  And the countless processors who suffered unspeakable acts never to be known.

    I hate that a Nelson Mandela ever needed to exist, that some men are so power craven and ruthless there is no end to the atrocities they will commit in order to retain their status.

    Parent

    Bradley (none / 0) (#28)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 05:24:10 PM EST
    Manning comes to mind...

    And God knows what Snowden would face should he return to the US. As the fact of his revelations become increasingly appreciated and even extolled, he is still considered as a pariah and none dare speak of him.

    Opposing or exposing our government comes with stiff penalties and long prison sentences - coupled with a 21st century brand of cruelty.

    I'm not equating Manning or Snowden with Mandela.
    But I'm not separating them either.

    I am referring to the uncomfortable similarity of what our government has become with some of the crueler totalitarian regimes of history.

    Parent

    Don't overstate your case with hyperbole. (4.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 06:11:32 PM EST
    Our country was actually far worse in the 19th century in terms of human rights abuses and political intolerance, than it is today.

    For all our many current problems, we are hardly a totalitarian society, and I find it really offensive that you would seek to equate our country with "some of the crueler totalitarian regimes of history."

    Because I can assure you, were that actually the case, you certainly wouldn't be posting such comments -- at least, not for very long. Rather, I reckon that either you'd find yourself being held in some undisclosed locale pending charges of subversion or misprision of treason, or you'd be sustenance for the crustaceans prowling the bottom of the Hudson River or Chesapeake Bay.

    Offering up such overheated false equivalencies only serves to undercut your own arguments, many of which are otherwise often quite valid, because it makes you sound both irrational and intemperate. That tends to turn most people off, to the point where you end up preaching only to a very small choir of like-minded individuals. That's hardly the way to effect any sort of meaningful change.

    Cassandra may have had the gift of prophecy, but Troy was still heedless of her warnings about its fate, because its denizens thought her to be a crackpot.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Seems odd to (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by dk on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 06:25:41 PM EST
    have a comment objecting to the making false equivalencies in response to a comment that states expressly that it is not making an equivalency.

    Was there another comment that was deleted?

    Parent

    The false equivalency to which I objected ... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 09:30:29 PM EST
    ... was the following:

    "I am referring to the uncomfortable similarity of what our government has become with some of the crueler totalitarian regimes of history."

    Nobody here is denying that we have problems in the United States, because we most certainly do. And further, more than a few of those problems should give us cause for serious concern.

    But speaking for myself only, I consider it both hyperbolic and deeply offensive to equate our country with the likes of the Stalinist USSR, the Third Reich, Profirio Diaz's Mexico or Idi Amin's Uganda.

    That sort of rhetorical excess may be intellectually pleasing and even self-aggrandizing to the person who offers such statements, but quite honestly, I fail to see how such speech serves any useful purpose from a practical standpoint, given that it tends to alienate most of the very people one needs to convince in order to effect change.

    As a longtime local political activist, I've had to learn to temper my own speech over the years. From my experience, I find that the overwhelming majority of Americans really do love their country, and their numbers cut across the political spectrum. Conversely, I know very few -- liberal, moderate and conservative alike -- who enjoy hearing the United States regularly mocked, ridiculed and condemned by one of their fellow countrymen.

    The majority tend to take such hostile statements personally and will either react in kind, or at the very least, will turn their backs and pay no further attention. And again, how does that serve one's own cause, whatever it might happen to be?

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Well, similar (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by dk on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 09:46:27 PM EST
    is a different word than same.  Your second paragraph makes sense as an opinion, though I am still wondering what is has to do with the original comment.  

    Your next to last paragraph also confuses me (again if there was a deleted comment you were referring to, please let me know) for I didn't see anyone here mocking, ridiculing or condemning the "United States".

    As for your last paragraph, well, I guess it does makes sense that it would be your opinion given your self-identification as a local party functionary, but my opinion of that is perhaps best represented in the a line from the article Peter linked to above:

    It is a sad thing of human nature -- our desire to be a member of the herd and to chortle at the misfortune of the rebels who dare to question the status quo, At least until he or she wins.


    Parent
    "Local party functionary" (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 01:35:01 PM EST
    versus someone who is a rebel who dares to question the status quo.  That framework does stack the deck....Who wants to be a "functionary" and who does not want to be a "rebel?"

    But hyperbole, ridicule and verbal bomb throwing have limits.....

    How did Mandela do it?

     

    Parent

    Pres. Mandela managed it because he ... (none / 0) (#132)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:56:59 PM EST
    ... readily understood the concept once articulated in this country by former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, that while you campaign in poetry, you must govern in prose.

    And to effect that, one must find first endeavor to seek common ground with one's erstwhile adversaries, and then be willing to compromise when necessary for the greater good.

    "It's either my way or the highway!" makes for great political theater. As a basis for sound public policy development, it tends to be quite counterproductive.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    ... "a local party functionary." I first cut my teeth in environmental and land use activism as one of the co-founders of a grassroots coalition, which succeeded 25 years ago in stopping in its tracks the wholesale resort development of the final stretch of open coastline along our island's south shore, the Ka Iwi Coast of east Oahu.

    (If you've ever seen the 1953 Academy Award-winning film "From Here to Eternity," the iconic love scene with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr was filmed on the Ka Iwi coast at a spot called Halona Beach, which has since also become known informally as "Eternity Cove.")

    We won because we were compelled to make the issue political, first amending the area's zoning designation from resort to preservation by using the initiative process to bring the issue to a successful public vote, and then ousting three city councilmembers -- including the Council Chair -- in the following general election, who voted for development in the face of public opposition, and replacing them with three of our own people.

    I ran those campaigns, and further did it on the fly and on the cheap, in the face of a ton of money thrown at us in opposition. And that's how I first came to the attention of local Democratic politicos. Some people liked to say and / or think that I was co-opted by the political powers that be, whereas I saw an opportunity to work the refs from down on the actual playing field, rather than from the bleachers.

    Further, that coastline was designated a state park and is thus forever protected, thanks in part to my subsequent service as senior staff in the Hawaii State Legislature. Truthfully, it was the only favor I ever asked of my bosses in fourteen years of service up there at the Capitol, and I'm very thankful and grateful that they listened and granted the request. Gov. Ben Cayetano signed the measure into law in May 1999. The framed photo of signing ceremony is the one political picture I have of myself on display in my office, and I'm very proud of my role in making that happen.

    If you ever visit Honolulu, please go to Haunama Bay Marine Reserve and then enjoy the magnificent vistas from various points along the Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline. And as you do, I hope that you will also come to appreciate the considerable effort it took on our part to keep it that way.

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
    -- Margaret Mead, Ph.D (1901-1978)

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Thank you, Donald. (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by christinep on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:21:32 PM EST
    Thank you for all your contributions to governance ... with special appreciation for your real-life environmental initiatives and implementation.  

    Your reminder about former Governor Mario Cuomo's insightful poetry-prose comment so long ago is also much appreciate.

    Parent

    Ka Iwi Action Council? (none / 0) (#124)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:54:24 PM EST
    Save Sandy Beach Coalition?

    Parent
    Yes. (none / 0) (#127)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:33:50 PM EST
    I was with the original Save Sandy Beach Coalition in the late 1980s, and that's where I first learned the political ground game. Other members who also got into public service because of those titanic land-use battles were the late Sen. Mary-Jane McMurdo; Gary Gill, Deputy Director of the Dept. of Health; and the Honorable Michael Wilson, who became a judge on the State's First Circuit Court.

    I was not a member of its successor organization, the Ka Iwi Action Council, because by the time it formed, I was working in House leadership and thus had a conflict of interest. But I did everything I could to support them from where I was, and I got my boss to introduce the legislation that made the Ka Iwi shoreline a state reserve.

    Were you perchance living out here at the time? Those were pretty heady days politically, and I was much more "in your face" with regards to the powers that be than I am now. We sure knew how to garner public attention back then, that's for sure.

    For example, it was my idea to erect a cement-colored cardboard wall across the front of City Hall and the State Capitol, which symbolized the developers' interests which came between our elected officials and the people they were supposed to serve. A lot of those officials didn't like our tactics, but came to grudgingly appreciate them because they struck a chord with voters and worked.

    That's something I'd probably not consider doing today; indeed, I might even be aghast were someone to resurrect that idea and replicate it. Back then, we used the chafe at the Hawaii Democrats' "Old Guard," and now, I recognize that some younger citizens out here view a lot of us in much the same manner, the way we once viewed and characterized our own party elders.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    I did not live there. (none / 0) (#131)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:55:07 PM EST
    I was pretty heavily involved in two successful grassroots actions here in CA, so I was interested in yours.

    Parent
    Well, there. (none / 0) (#133)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:01:58 PM EST
    We definitely have something in common. And I have a real soft spot for my old home state. Both Hawaii and California have grown at much the same rate over the past half-century, with populations which have doubled in size, and our battles over land use and open space have been remarkably similar on more than one occasion.

    Parent
    Yes, land use. This is (none / 0) (#135)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:11:46 PM EST
    Congratulations. (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:55:48 PM EST
    I know that area around Ahmanson Ranch well. It's just gorgeous country. You time and effort spent in its preservation was well worth it, and future generations will thank you for your foresight.

    Quite frankly, we need to preserve large swaths of green space in, around and about our urban areas, if only to provide some oases of refuge and sanity for our urban denizens.

    In my opinion, that the greater L.A. metro area remains even remotely habitable is due primarily to the opportunities for serious recreation and respite offered by its vast surrounding wilderness areas, such as the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; the Angeles San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forests; and the Channel Islands and Joshua Tree National Parks.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    The earth has moved (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 10:25:53 PM EST
    I totally agree with Donald.

    Parent
    Way to go Jim... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:08:36 AM EST
    ya just ruined Donald's Christmas ;)

    Parent
    Thank you, Jim. (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:04:39 PM EST
    "I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: 'Our country, right or wrong!' They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: 'Our country --- when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.'"
    -- U.S. Sen. Carl Schurz (R-MO), "The Policy of Imperialism," Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, vol. 6, pp. 119-20 (1913)

    I lost my father in the Vietnam War, and while people may disagree about the nature of that conflict and whether it was in our national interests to have been there, the fact of the matter is that he died in the service of his country, and I'd really like people to understand and respect that.

    I'm not at all adverse to hearing constructive criticism and reading insightful critiques of our country, because I reserve for myself the right to offer the same. But the unrelenting vitriole which can be unleashed and directed toward the U.S.A. by some individuals -- and not necessarily just here -- does get very tiresome, especially when it appears to be a knee-jerk reaction and done without purpose. Yesterday was just a little more than I can normally tolerate, I guess.

    I recognize that we all sometimes walk around with a chip on our shoulder, looking for excuses to be offended. But the unyielding nature of that self-inflicted irritation of late, which is at least partly reflective of the highly-charged political times in which we presently live, should rightly give us all pause.

    We'll never solve our country's problems by ridiculing one another's opinions and impugning each other's patriotism. At the end of the day, we have to be able to talk to one another and find common ground. The sheer breadth of our diversity should define us as a people, and not divide us as a nation.

    I fully understand why some of the regulars here might want to take a time out from the discussions, and I hope to see them again soon. To be honest, I've actually thought of doing that myself of late, and I'm sure there are some people who dearly wish that I would take myself up on the proposition.

    I guess what I'm saying is that we all could do well to temper our emotions and control our passions, and then try to really listen to what others have to offer, even though we might ultimately have to agree to disagree. It is in the spirit of what native Hawaiians call Ho'oponono, a concept by which one makes right with the people with whom one has or enjoys relationships.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Well, I missed all the kerfunkle (none / 0) (#195)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:59:50 PM EST
    and really hate to see anyone go but it's a mostly free country, or at least it use to be.

    Donald, we have vastly different backgrounds. I grew up as a sharecropper's son so I know many of the problems up close and personal. They are what made me into a Social Liberal that left the Democratic party, Carter was the last Demo I voted for outside some local stuff, over Vietnam and what I saw as continual comparisons of us and "them."

    Right now I see very little real difference in the two from a global view but a vast difference on some policies. I think Obamacare is a squandered opportunity to actually do something and Obama's foreign policies are out and out disasters that will probably get us in a sure enough shooting war  before it's over. I think some of the Repubs have it right about some things. I find the IRS going political very very scary. So should Demos because once they become hired guns the question is not who the victims are but who hires them. Yeah, the Repubs will use them asap.

    So I hope our agreeing doesn't destroy your Christmas!

    Parent

    No, it doesn't. (none / 0) (#200)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 01:42:54 AM EST
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Jim.

    Parent
    The similarity to which lentinel refers... (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:00:42 AM EST
    ...can be quite small and distant, and still be uncomfortable.

    Parent
    But he never said it was small and distant. (none / 0) (#139)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:42:03 PM EST
    That's simply a caveat offered ex post facto. He made a direct correlation between the U.S. and the crueler regimes in world history.

    It doesn't matter if it's a discussion over U.S. policy with regards to Jewish immigration prior to World War II, or our government's efforts to curb nuclear proliferation, or the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi. The constant impugning of public officials'  motives and repeated condemnations of their actions, both real and perceived -- well, for the most part, I've tried try to ignore it, but sometimes I find it just impossible to do so, given my own personal and family history.

    Look, it's one thing to be a gadfly, and as someone who's been involved in policy development, I can appreciate those who press us to consider all potential consequences. I mean, maintaining a healthy skepticism is good, but so often with lentinel, it seems to amount to nothing more than criticism simply for its own sake.

    Maybe I'm getting somewhat thin-skinned in that regard, and I really need to stop prattling on about it. I've said my peace, albeit ad nauseum, and I'll shut up now.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    I suggest (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:17:00 AM EST
    you take a gander at this post by Jeralyn.:

    It is illuminating.

    Parent

    As far as I know (none / 0) (#104)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 01:03:29 PM EST
    the U.S. does not have political prisoners.  

    Parent
    What about Gitmo? (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 01:40:21 PM EST
    Jeralyn just put up a post about it...I quote the Ret. General from the link.

    There are currently 162 men there, most of them cleared for transfer, but stuck by politics.

    And that's just the most obvious examples...I think Bradley Manning certainly qualifies, and Peltier, and others.

    Parent

    Interesting definition (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:24:53 PM EST
    of "political prisoner," KDog.  If by "political prisoner" you mean someone who would not still be in prison were it not for Congress playing politics, without regard to whether they were locked up legitimately at first -- which is not the way the term is ordinarily used, but is what you say about the Guantanamo "detainees" -- then a great many drug prisoners qualify, at least after serving five years or so at most, and so do most now in prison for possession of child pornography (not production or sale), white collar criminals serving sentences over ten years, and on and on.

    Parent
    We have no express designations (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:14:56 PM EST
    of a crime such as "enemy of the state" but we certainly do have people in prison for committing what are defined on the books as crimes, purely to advance their political beliefs, often nonviolently and causing little if any damage to anyone or anything. Animal rights activists, Catholic radical "Plowshares" activists, tax protesters, anti-choice abortion obstructors, "giving material aid" to designated organizations, charitable fundraising in violation of various economic embargoes and sanctions regimes, threatening public officials, etc., etc.  

    Parent
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 214 (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 02:13:42 PM EST
    Fun with authority figures. Your mileage may vary. (link)

    vol. 213
    vol. 212

    (And this is hilarious as I look at it, a little bonus pic, my favorite shot from our wedding, coming up on 17 years ago New Year's Eve.)

    Happy Wednesday, my friends. I'd say humpday but it's so tacky. And I would never be tacky, oh no. ;-)

    I know... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:53:50 PM EST
    from personal experience you're wife is a good sport D, but you sure do push the envelope...even at the damn wedding!

    But that's probably one of the many reasons she loves ya isn't it;)

    Parent

    I have a few others (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 08:17:22 PM EST
    Which evidence even more Good Sportyness on my lovely wife's part. The fact that she just smiled in this one like it was no big deal, come on. I'm a lucky dude, no doubt.

    Parent
    It would be hysterical... (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 02:17:02 PM EST
    if it wasn't such an insult to the deaf, and at such a solemn occasion.

    Unbelievable

    And speaking of disrespecting ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 05:02:49 PM EST
    ... solemn occasions, there's the ubiquitous Sen. Ted "Carnival" Cruz, who staged his own walk-out at the Mandela memorial service when Cuban President Raul Castro's turn came to speak, and then called ABC News to tell them about it.

    Parent
    Where's the John 3:16 sign and rainbow wig (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 02:24:26 PM EST
    Did someone say, oh sh*t, our signer is stuck in traffic, get up there Joe and do some jazz hands?

    The story is simply absurd.

    Parent

    Uber-absurd... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:01:23 PM EST
    my best guess is the clown must be related to "somebody important", and needed a job.

    Parent
    Just a thought, but maybe... (none / 0) (#12)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:52:13 PM EST
    people flying off to wrong conclusions. There are many sign languages whether for the deaf or for those with other types of communication difficulties, i.e. for learning disabled unable to read and where finger spelling is completely superfluous. There is sadly very little homologization with sign languages. Or maybe the fella is just not very good at it, or inept, but to accuse him of fakery at this point is perhaps early days yet... jmo.

    Parent
    Valid point taken... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:56:06 PM EST
    the clip I saw looked like a bad SNL sign language skit to me, but I don't know signing from a hole in the wall.

    Parent
    C,mon! The folks at SNL never did that. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:41:29 PM EST
    They did THIS.

    ;-D

    Parent

    There is One Sign language... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:56:55 PM EST
    ...for 11 African dialects.

    From what I read the guy was repeating the same gestures, but do it to a cadence, and not using any sort of facial expression which apparently is important when signing in the language that is universal in either Africa or South Africa, I can't remember which one.

    When it was happening, people from all of there world were complaining, so I don't think anyone is flying off the handle.  If it's an actual sign language, they can't find anyone who knows it.  And the experts seems to think the guy was just repeating the same handful of gestures over and over.

    Speaking of signing, if you ever see someone signing a spelling bee on TV, pull up a chair, ditto for the close captioning.  

    How do you communicate a word that is being used because it's obscure and/or hard to spell, to people who can not hear without spelling it ?  It's entertaining and you really see how gifted some of the signers/typers are.  Even if they know it, I suspect they are told to never ever spell it correctly before the contestant.

    Parent

    That's true. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 05:43:15 PM EST
    And South Africa also has 11 official languages. English, Xhosa, Zulu, and Afrikaans are the ones you'll most often hear spoken throughout the country, but there's also Tswana, Swati, Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Venda and Northern Ndebele, all of which are regional. It's a pretty big country.

    Nelson Mandela's native language was Xhosa. He learned English in order to become a lawyer, and then Afrikaans while he was imprisoned on Robben Island, so that he could converse with his jailers. South Africa's current president, Jacob Zuma, is Zulu.

    The overwhelming majority of South Africans I met during my time there were multilingual. As you can imagine, communications can be rather complex, and people do make a great effort to accommodate one another in that regard. I can't imagine what it's like to sign for the hearing impaired with so many languages.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Nope. Every story, from the start (none / 0) (#32)
    by Towanda on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 06:14:17 PM EST
    -- and I have read all closely, as this is an issue about which I care -- has quoted signing experts explaining quite well and clearly that this is not a case of a different sign language or the like.

    And since yesterday, most stories also have reported that this is a repeat offender, who was been the cause of past complaints from the signing community to the South African government.

    Just a thought:  Did you read any of the reports, which would have spared you the exercise?  (Of flying off to the wrong conclusion, that is.)

    Parent

    The only "wrong conclusion" is yours... (none / 0) (#45)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 10:04:09 PM EST
    because I have not come to any conclusion which is precisely why I used words and phrases such as "just a thought", "maybe", "perhaps" and "early days yet", so I don't know what I said that could merit your rather incisive finale mimicking my own words in what seems to me a not very friendly tone.

    In answer to your question:

    Did you read any of the reports... ?

    Yes. And the same as you "all closely", (at least "all" from what I consider the serious press), and I noted they all use caveats when referring to the man as a "fake", "fraud", etc., which made me think that it may not be as yet all cut and dried.

    And please, you are not alone. I also "care" about the issue, and very deeply, perhaps because I happen to be an independent voluntary advocate for adults with severe learning disabilities (many also with physical disabilities including deafness) or as the US rather more pejoratively, at least imo, refers to them, with "intellectual disabilities". (as an aside the Indian term is precious and we should all adopt it, i.e. "people with different abilities", as they so are!).

    I could also note that as an independent advocate I have experienced official advocates wrongly accuse me of stepping on their toes, so as in every report I have read so far the complainants are mainly from the DFSA it occured to me that maybe, and I reiterate, just maybe, there might be something of a turf war here.

    In any case, I reiterate, I have not come to any conclusion, just waiting to see how it pans out, and meanwhile I concord absolutely and word for word with "The Limping Chicken" (independent news blog for the deaf in the UK)

    "If the accusations that the man was a "fake" turn out to be true, on a day when the world saluted a man who fought oppression, a guy stood on stage and effectively oppressed another minority - deaf people."


    Parent
    Then, watch the videos (none / 0) (#48)
    by Towanda on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 10:29:20 PM EST
    for yourself.

    A fake.  Knows half a dozen signs.  Not trained, not certified (and there is certification in South Africa).  And, again, a repeat offender reported before -- so it was an insult to the signing community for the government to employ him again.

    Parent

    You are barking up the wrong tree... (none / 0) (#49)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 11:41:06 PM EST
    As I said before, the wrong conclusion is yours because I have not come to any conclusion as you have for some strange reason wrongly concluded, something I believe my first post makes clear if you read it properly.

    I have watched the videos. But when did I say the man's signing is not limited and repetitive. And I have never said he was properly signing either, nor that it was an officially recognized sign language or a non official one, nor that he was competent, trained nor anything else. In fact my post was all maybes. Maybes based on the fact that there are many sign languages, some such as makaton, (used here for those with very few communicational possibilities), which are very limited and repetitive, and because even the official British Sign Language has very significant regional differences.

    And when did I say there was no certification in SA... I didn't. But the presence or absence of a certificate would mean little to me as I am not certificated as an advocate (there is a certificate in the UK) but that has not prevented two high court judges from congratulating me for my work and advocacy as litigation friend for two learning disabled adults in two very serious and complex cases for breach of trust, both of which were won.

    Parent

    Further information re the signer: (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:18:01 AM EST
    Your interpretation (none / 0) (#61)
    by Towanda on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:14:47 AM EST
    of my comments and the evidence is interesting for an interpreter.

    The guy now admits to hallucinating on the stage, to being schizophrenic, to sometimes being violent.  How long do you plan to defer concluding that something was very, very wrong in his hiring?

    Parent

    I understand some folks have left (5.00 / 6) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:56:59 PM EST
    Sad to hear it.

    That said, it might be safe to come back now.

    Welcome Back (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:15:36 PM EST
    How about posts re the "Volker rule"? (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:41:23 PM EST
    And/or the pending budget deal.

    Parent
    I don't think the people who left (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 05:01:49 PM EST
    Were the problem.  There are others.

    Parent
    The downraters need to quit (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:28:03 AM EST
    If people want BTD to return, civil debate.  Bullying and being over the top must end.  Pro-Obama individuals will have to feel welcome here too.  Think about allowing the worst O-bot in the world enough space and respect to feel like that can comment here, and we are probably there.  You can tell others you don't agree with them, but you can't run around with gang mentality.  

    Parent
    Exactly. And name calling (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by dk on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:31:19 AM EST
    (like calling people crazy) and thinking one's own lived anecdotal experiences trump other people's lived anecdotal experiences are also important to civil debate.

    Parent
    Of course I meant quitting those things. :-) (none / 0) (#68)
    by dk on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:35:44 AM EST
    n/t

    Parent
    Come on! (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:48:49 AM EST
    When bullies run wild.  You could have said something, a lot of people could have said something.  But no, they chose not to, settled for something different.  Days and days and days of open threads.

    Parent
    Do you think other commenters (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:52:41 AM EST
    "Saying something" in open threads would  have any effect (other than subject more commenters to the same reception)?

    Parent
    Hmmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:00:44 AM EST
    Maybe not.

    I guess this is where I blame my dad.  He would never intervene where bullies were concerned.  When I was 13 I challenged the neighborhood bully who was picking on my younger step brother and was rewarded with seven stitches in the middle of my left eyebrow.  When my pediatrician was sewing it up he told me casually, "You shouldn't fight with boys".  I sighed and told him I know.  He busted laughing, he was only kidding me, did not know I was there due to fighting a boy.  He was way too tickled. The next morning my dad took me to breakfast with all the construction workers.  My bright blue stitches were toasted all morning by a room full of sexy buff guys. I am probably broken now :)

    Parent

    I'm not sure I buy... (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:22:08 AM EST
    that it is possible to really, truly, "bully" somebody in a freakin' commenting section on a blog.  What are we, in junior high?  

    If you don't like a comment/commenter, or don't like a discussion...it's as simple as not reading/engaging that commenter, or hitting that off button thingy on your device.

    I mean c'mon guys..."bullying"? lol.  If those who support the pres or are happy with his performance can't take criticism of him, I think that says more about the president and his diehards than it does about the Rag Obama Rag "bullies".

    Or maybe it's me...  

    Parent

    Okay kdog (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:39:28 AM EST
    I came here to read BTD.  You were here before that I believe and I get that.  I would like for BTD to begin to post again though.  I have read and followed him for years now.  That is a scary thought, but he has over and over again made it evident that the debate is important to the democracy, getting the voters to the polls, and creating functional policy.  If you follow BTD you got THAT a long time ago.

    This is what really sucks too, at least for me.  He has been challenged many times about this concept of free debate he espouses.  Some of his peers have said that allowing that leads to what has happened here......OR MAYBE what IS NOT going to happen here because we can all snap out of it.  We can choose that.  Or one gang of bullies can cause another gang of bullies to form and we can watch a street fight here every day.  Choices, choices, choices

    Parent

    What's happened here? (none / 0) (#96)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:26:07 PM EST
    People are taking it all too seriously...that's what happened here, and it's all downhill from there.

    True, I was here long before BTD.  When it was just Jeralyn, TChris, and Last Night in Little Rock blogging about criminal justice issues and the politics of crime.  

    When BTD arrived I was one of the fools thinking "whats with all this wonkish election sausage-making stuff? Who is this dude?".  But I grew to enjoy him and his posts too...maybe it was the Bruce Springsteen connection.

    That's the ticket, lets talk about music for a week! ;)

    Parent

    Man kdog (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:40:49 PM EST
    #1. Tell that to the down rating hit squad.  This is a blog, there isn't the f2f aspect around here, and down rating because you disagree is IN YOUR FACE when you have no other human inputs to go by.

    #2. Have you ever written anything for a political blog?  When I read your comment it is once again as if you think someone dumb enough to write for you deserves the worst you have to offer, if that's what you feel like offering that day.  Their efforts are worth little to nothing.  They are the ones who are stupid right?  So I guess BTD gets it, and he is choosing to not be stupid anymore.  If you are willing to spend time here though, and comment here, it is worth something to you.

    Parent

    Downratings? (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:49:20 PM EST
    1.  That's an easy fix...ignore ratings, just read the comments, and reply to the comment if you disagree or have something to add.  Ignore comments even.  Next problem? ;)

    2. I most definitely do value my time here, the hostess and contributors, and the commenting community.  I've made friends, met people in the real world, learned a lot, and hopefully been food for thought for others.  I think if you're gonna write on the internet you need thick skin and infinite patience for knuckleheads like us...or best not have a comment section.


    Parent
    Exactly, kdog (none / 0) (#128)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:38:52 PM EST
    just ignore the ratings. I have never given one and have never paid any attention what, if any, anyone has given me.

    But I do miss the old dudes. They would actually debate without snarking and being nasty.

    Parent

    Exactly, kdog (none / 0) (#129)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:41:35 PM EST
    just ignore the ratings. I have never given one and have never paid any attention what, if any, anyone has given me.

    But I do miss the old dudes. They would actually debate without snarking and being nasty.

    Parent

    If we're lucky, BTD will (none / 0) (#82)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:02:49 AM EST
    post a meta diary!

    Parent
    I am certain he'll correct me idpf I'm wrong, (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:32:38 AM EST
    but I think BTD wishes for responsive, intelligent comments. And sometimes he also wishes for everyone to unquestioningly agree w/him.

    Parent
    "Sometimes?" (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:49:44 AM EST
    I chose my words w/great care. (none / 0) (#111)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 02:10:14 PM EST
    I have disagreed with him (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:39:46 AM EST
    I do it with civility because, I have seen what happens when you make a different choice.  He ignores me when I disagree.  It hurts my feelings but I get over it ;D

    When Edger showed up here though BTD welcomed him because having a big left opinion is something BTD obviously regards as important to the debate and functional policy development.  But BTD isn't particularly on the tip of the leftwing.  He is personally pretty centrist.  As I often am so he is usually an easy read for me.

    Parent

    MT, you disagree with someone?? (none / 0) (#130)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:43:12 PM EST
    Say it ain't so!

    ;-(

    ;-)

    Parent

    Not around here lately :) (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:06:39 PM EST
    Because this place got to be just like hanging out at No Quarter.  I went back to DailyKos because I want to participate in a healthier environment.  I can only take so much Obama hatred, and then it's just pointless to listen anymore.  Haters gonna hate, haters gotta hate, that's about all it began to amount to.

    Parent
    This damages your credibility MT (none / 0) (#141)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:56:31 PM EST
    I just visited NoQuarter and TL commenters or hosts are NOTHING like those T-pots! There is absolutely no debate there, and it is racist and hateful. I understand you are super happy with Obama these days (has not always been so) but disagreement is not hate. Saying that makes you seem irrational.

    Parent
    With all due respect, I believe ... (none / 0) (#142)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 06:11:18 PM EST
    ... that MT was referencing how "No Quarter" used to be years ago, before host Larry Johnson became unhinged with his anti-Obama "Get Whitey!" tirades, which attracted myriads of right-wing dung flies and drove off otherwise sane readers who wanted nothing at all to do with that race-baiting nonsense.

    There really is a vast difference between what "No Quarter" is today, which is Crackpot Central, and how it was eight years ago when it actually had reasoned discourse.

    Parent

    she COULD have meant that (none / 0) (#155)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:27:47 PM EST
    but that's not what she said. NQ did not go insane racist hate because of commenters. It did so because of the blog owner and author of the posts. He also deletes and bans any dissenting voice. That is not what TL is.

    Parent
    No Quarter had the commenters (none / 0) (#157)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:33:50 PM EST
    That IMO comments here got very close to being on par with and they also had the bloggers enjoying that, co-creating that, and willing to feed them.  Do you see the difference here?  Our blogger is no longer willing to feed us.  He is not interested in co-creating the environment that developed here.

    Parent
    respectfully don't agree (none / 0) (#160)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:47:33 PM EST
    Larry Johnson created his blog and allows only hateful, misinformed, racist comments - he deletes and bans push back. He has NO comment policy for name calling or civility. The name calling there is crazy and repulsive.  The commenters are selected only because they all agree. J does not allow that, nor BTD. If BTD does not want to blog here then he'll do what he wants. If he only wants to blog here for admiration and agreement then a more exclusive blog might serve his desires more. He is not "our" blogger and we are not his devotees.

    Parent
    I have never ever interpreted (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:55:24 PM EST
    BTD to be someone that had to have admiration or agreement.  Maybe he isn't your blogger but he is mine.  I don't believe you speak for a majority.  I think you want to, but I don't believe you do.  I also believe that Jeralyn desiring BTD to blog here is an indication to me that his needs and satisfaction carry a lot more weight with her than yours or mine do.  I think Jeralyn works to have basic respect for all but BTD is her peer, her invited peer in this blogging endeavor.  You and I are not on that level.  I notice that you invite BTD to go elsewhere, are you part of the ownership of this blog?  

    Parent
    I don't invite BTD to do anything. (none / 0) (#163)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:07:22 PM EST
    He is an incredibly intelligent and passionate adult with vast experience under his belt and a wide range of interests. He'll do what he pleases. He and J have the prerogative and power to censor comments and they do so sometimes. I just think commenters censoring other commenters, or commenters self censoring because of their viewpoints is a bad idea. That is part of what blog owners and bloggers should do.

    Parent
    Contributors Armando Llorens (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:08:45 PM EST
    BTD is most certainly our blogger. He is a much respected contributor, to TL... and many follow his posts and comments here.. calling those people devotees is twisted, imo..  and as for this:

    If he only wants to blog here for admiration and agreement then a more exclusive blog might serve his desires more.

    What a load of crap..   nasty in fact, imo.  I would not be surprised if your comment is deleted for misstating fact and sliming one of TL's bloggers.

    Parent

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:12:45 PM EST
    Did not mean to insult and I actually DON'T think commenters are devotees. But when it comes to censorship I think that power lies with the blog owner and the BTD.  Commenters censoring other commenters is a "load of crap". I am giving BTD respect.

    Parent
    I sincerely hope Armando (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:22:43 PM EST
    will continue too be "our" blogger, and not solely as to sports, which is not my passion. Not sure I would term myself his "devotee," but I would hate listing access to his on line thoughts.

    Parent
    I come close to being a "devotee" (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:28:05 PM EST
    and I would hate if if he left for good. I think the Z trial was a trial for him - and I don't blame him. His readers can only ask him to continue to post, and I do so with respect.

    Parent
    And... (none / 0) (#171)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:29:25 PM EST
    he has the power to set the tone in his posts. I respect that.

    Parent
    Hahahahaha (none / 0) (#174)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:34:03 PM EST
    You, oculus, are the one here who comes closest to devotee... it is sweet...

    Parent
    I recently got to meet an author I (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:54:07 PM EST
    admire. The friend who introduced us referred to me as a "groupie."  That seemed a bit strong.

    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#184)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:01:54 PM EST
    Devotee is a bit more classy than groupie..


    Parent
    "Devotee" smacks of religion, however. (none / 0) (#186)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:43:21 PM EST
    "devotee" was somewhat (none / 0) (#190)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:12:47 PM EST
    hyperbolic of me. Sorry.  "Devotee" means blind faith, and I as a BTD follower i do not have blind faith. I am more like a "groupie". I do not think that anyone here is actually a "devotee".

    Parent
    You think so squeaky? (none / 0) (#187)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:47:45 PM EST
    I see her give BTD a little heck when she thinks he is taking a wrong tack.  And always, I have an admiration for oculus as I do PeterG and others because they possess legal knowledge and understanding that I do not possess.  That is one reason why I read here though, because the lawyers weighing in give me an understanding and glimpse into a portion of the debates that I must also often win as well to enact the political policies I want enacted.

    Parent
    While oculus has a legal background (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:09:48 PM EST
    I like oculus because she can get more humor into one line than I can pull off in an entire day.

    Parent
    I am thrilled at least person does not (none / 0) (#199)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 01:02:53 AM EST
    think my comments are "critique."

    Parent
    Hmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 12:51:27 AM EST
    A crush, maybe...not quite the right word...  anyway she is the closest... devotee is wrong, as is groupie....  there must be a word for it..

    you are second IMO...  but quite different quality of awe than oculus has..  sweet too, in a different way..

    anyway BTD has a lot of support here and most of us, IMO, have been honored that he chose to blog here.

     

    Parent

    How do you feel about (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 12:59:28 AM EST
    "afficiando"?  (I reserve the term "groupie" for my going to sbsurd lengths to hear those conductors/musicians for whom I have the greatest respect.)

    Parent
    OK (none / 0) (#172)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:30:22 PM EST
    I guess I missed something here...  but suggesting that BTD is looking for a non-dissenting fan club is really off the mark. He may have a healthy ego and enjoy the attention, but that is minor to his sincere interest in good discussion and encouraging activism, debate as a political tool.

    And to suggest the the comment that started the froufrou was dissent or honest debate, if that was what you were referring to, was the last straw because it was dissent or honest disagreement, is really wrong. It was a flip comment that was insulting. As are many of the comments when it comes to Obama.

    Parent

    we are all speculating here (none / 0) (#176)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:39:58 PM EST
    who really knows why BTD is not posting as much as before? I certainly don't. It was suggested that he did not like to post here because of some of the comments. That may be true or may be totally off base. Only BTD knows, we don't.

    "Flip" comments about a president - or any political leader are pretty common. The question I ask myself is "what is behind these flip comments?". Both major parties are experiencing major tensions and fault lines. Don't you think that is interesting? I do.

    Parent

    Not Interesting (none / 0) (#179)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:46:39 PM EST
    Predictable and one note songs..  it gets to be grating, particularly when someone wants to discuss something good that the administration has done. Even a debate about why it may not be as good as it seems would be interesting, but any discussion around Obama policy gets shut down by the haters. I do not find this interesting.

    It is mind numbing for me. People on automatic can be insufferable, particularly when it is in purple prose.

    Parent

    well I find it interesting (none / 0) (#180)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:52:09 PM EST
    I'm sorry you find it grating tho. You already know who it going to be dissatisfied - no news there. I've never found that those opinions or comments have "shut you (or anyone) down"!  No commenter has censored you to date. Good!

    Parent
    Which is why I usually skim or skip (none / 0) (#183)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:57:56 PM EST
    predictable comments. What I really dislike is the down-rating, psych analysis of one commenter by another, and ad homs.

    Parent
    agree (none / 0) (#191)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:20:38 PM EST
    except about the "hate" (none / 0) (#192)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:21:11 PM EST
    "dislike" that us (none / 0) (#193)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:23:03 PM EST
    that's "is" (none / 0) (#194)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:25:24 PM EST
    Its late here, at least for me)

    Parent
    You "like" that stuff???? (none / 0) (#196)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 12:17:29 AM EST
    You must be joking. (none / 0) (#181)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:53:27 PM EST
    I've stayed out of this topic for days now, but, you must be joking.
    [BTD's] sincere interest in good discussion and encouraging activism, debate as a political tool.
    And by "you" I mean you, MT, and any other poster who's trying to sell that particular bridge.

    From day 1, post 1, comment 1, BTD has responded, more than any other TL headliner/commenter/poster ever (as long as I've been here, since the day the Daniel Pearl beheading video was released) to any disagreeing "discussion," "debate," "flip comment," whathaveyou, with irritation, impatience, insult and profanity - far above any other poster here and with vastly more vitriol than Jeralyn herself, TChris, Last Night In Little Rock, or any other poster is allowed.

    Please don't try to rewrite history.

    Parent

    Sour Grapes? (none / 0) (#185)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:04:59 PM EST
    Sounds like you have not made convincing arguments and BTD shot them down...  I do not think it is fair to generalize about BTD based on the treatment your comment got from him, but I can understand where you are coming from.

    Parent
    Thanks for the chuckle. (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:05:04 PM EST
    My credibility is damaged? (none / 0) (#149)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 07:44:24 PM EST
    I am not "super happy" with Obama these days.  But I AM IRRATIONAL about President Obama either, and I don't believe there is anything redeeming about being so. He isn't a Republican and everything he touches doesn't automatically turn to $hit nor is he singularly responsible for how crazy Republicans are or if the day is overcast out.

    Parent
    Sorry, meant to type (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 07:54:46 PM EST
    I am not irrational about President Obama either, and I don't believe there is anything redeeming about being so.

    Parent
    "...I think BTD wishes for ... (none / 0) (#77)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:48:40 AM EST
    ...responsive, intelligent comments."

    But he gets people like me instead.

    Them's the breaks, sometimes.

    Parent

    You and I come off as intelligent (none / 0) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:13:38 AM EST
    At least twice a year.  That's not nuthin :)

    Parent
    Peace, please. (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 05:19:46 PM EST
    Who left? (none / 0) (#51)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:47:23 AM EST
    I'm confused. Which is nothing new, admittedly.

    Parent
    Check the Friday Open Thread... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:36:03 AM EST
    I think the list includes edger, shoephone, Mo Blue, & Anne on a self-imposed hiatus.  

    Parent
    Wow (1.50 / 2) (#56)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:55:17 AM EST
    Missed that...  seems like a win/win for TL...

    Parent
    A little harsh don't you think? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:02:31 AM EST
    Maybe (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:31:36 AM EST
    BTD self imposed exile ends and other's begin...  

    And, given that I do not enjoy most of the comments of the newly departed, I do understand that that may be a very minority position here.

    But, it does appear that the departed commenters are available by email and will be commenting elsewhere where their comments are better received. From what I read, they do not like it here and may have found a better place..   those that like their comments can follow them.

    so win win seems not so harsh... but I do see your point CoralGables.

    Parent

    Beg to differ my friend... (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:07:51 AM EST
    consider my arse Switzerland in the commenting spats...I'll miss 'em till they return, just like I miss your viewpoint when you go on hiatus.

    All I want for Christmas on TL is a return to civil disagreement, and for everybody to stop taking themselves so damn seriously.  

    Said it once I said it a hundred times...we're not changing the world here, we're all just knuckleheads on a blog.

    Parent

    You are Kind as Always (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:44:37 AM EST
    All I want for Christmas on TL is a return to civil disagreement, and for everybody to stop taking themselves so damn seriously.  

    well, I do not see the commenters who have left ever taking themselves less seriously...   but, then again, I may not be seeing things as clearly as you see them..  

    Parent

    We're not changing the world, or even other (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:13:28 AM EST
    commenters' opinions., so yes, civil disagreement.  

    Parent
    It's very rare... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:38:38 AM EST
    but I've had my mind changed, or at least been driven to question my belief or view.  

    Tis a beautiful thing, when it happens.

    Parent

    I have been driven to question my (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by vml68 on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:29:55 PM EST
    belief/views many times and have had my mind changed on a few occasions.

    As for the posters who have left or are taking a break, Zorba, Sj, Anne, MOBlue, to name a few, I found them very knowledgeable and have learned quite a bit from them.

    And, you my friend have taught me a thing or two about true generosity of spirit and compassion for others. So, thank-you.

    Parent

    I'm a fan of civil disagreement (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:05:02 PM EST
    What is off-putting is day in and day out of mopey-whiny and happy with nothing. There are some people that live in a perpetual state of bitchiness. It gets really old.

    Parent
    Sure, but without them... (none / 0) (#118)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:21:10 PM EST
    ...TL is much less colorful and representative. It's not like we're the Taiwanese Parliament (link).

    I say we get back to the ugly lovely mess we've always been. But that's just me.

    Peace.

    Parent

    Change (none / 0) (#120)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:27:00 PM EST
    One thing you can bet on...  and TL has gone through some significant changes..  

    And, if you like disagreements, I do not see that abating given that a homogenous group has pulled out..  

    And, I seriously doubt that we are rid of them so not to worry about this change, my bet is that it will be verrrry short lived.

    Parent

    And I really don't think many people... (none / 0) (#119)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:26:20 PM EST
    ...just "live in a perpetual state of bitchiness." I think they disagree with you or me vehemently. And that's it. It's the vehemence that gives it life, not the disagreement. But, I agree, there is of course a limit to one's patience with anything they find unpleasant, be it a political belief or a debate about that belief that one suspects might go on forever.

    Such is life.

    Parent

    Well said... (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:34:42 PM EST
    internet commenting histories on a political blog are in no way a complete picture of someone's life.  I'm sure our friends on hiatus are shiny happy people when they aren't talking about politics...we see it when the topic turns to cooking, or family, or other lighter fare.

    I look at it as a form of venting...we are or at least feel powerless, voting is pretty much pointless, no voice in government...so we vent.  And friends let friends vent...it's therapuetic.

    And on the flip, I guess it's fair to say friends know when it's time to give the venting a rest.  Problem is CG, there is so much to vent about, it's a bottomless pit of legit gripes up in this country! ;)  

    Parent

    While "vehemence" can enliven, (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by christinep on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 07:57:49 PM EST
    it can trample ... if overdone.  IMHO, the ante kept going up.  And, if that happens, those who differ surely must be accorded the opportunity to display and offer the same "vehemence."  Unfortunately, what usually happens in those situations is not mutual discernment, but mutual disenchantment.

    It is possible, I think, to put forth one's position passionately without disparaging another in order to do so.  Toward that end, dropping the comedic characterizations and cutesy personal descriptions would go a long way.  (Or, at least, if one wants to dish it out, that same one should recognize that the dish may be tossed back at him/her.)

    Parent

    All true (none / 0) (#153)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:15:23 PM EST
    There comes a time though when nothing can happen other than breaking dishes, and we reached that.  BTD obviously will not post in that climate or the climate that quickly leads to that.

    I don't post this to you in particular, so please don't take my comment that way.  I post it here because some have argued that what was taking place was okay, and you have placed up here where that left you and others, and now we are full circle and find ourselves in one of those situations where someone will eventually have nothing left to throw but the kitchen sink.

    For those who think what was going on was a fine and wonderful thing to aspire to, pretty sure that as long as that is our agreed goal here.....we get no postings from BTD.

    So what do we all want?  Do we want our own singular way and everything and everyone else be damned?  Or do we want to enjoy the postings of BTD?  I want to enjoy the postings of BTD

    Parent

    I think most everyone reading this blog (none / 0) (#158)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:38:51 PM EST
    greatly appreciates and enjoys BTD's posts. But censoring comments (even self censoring) does not attract blog owners or authors. They are the leaders of this wonderful, thoughtful, informative site and thus are responsible for the tone and content. Allowing dissension and debate sets this site apart from NQ or DK. Commenters are willing to listen to other views  and actually consider them. This is so incredibly unusual. I agree with kdog - the internet requires a bit of a thick skin and tolerance.

    Parent
    It doesn't seem reasoned to me (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:47:15 PM EST
    To place this on BTD being thin skinned.  He has thicker skin than any of us.You are correct that this site allows more dissent and debate than others, and that is why so many have enjoyed this site.  Please note though that BTD is no longer posting political commentary, where the group conscious here has taken it is apparently something he does not want to be affiliated with.

    Parent
    If he does not want to be affiliated with (none / 0) (#162)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:01:47 PM EST
    push back  then he is a bit thin skinned. He can have a little bit of a temper too, which usually reads as passion and conviction of thought. If he or J want to censor the site it is their choice, and they do from time ti time. THEY set the tone and agenda. Commenters censoring other commenters - or self censoring is a bad idea.

    There are a few Republicans and Libertarians who are tolerated on this site and they usually provide food for thought - or at least entertainment. There are strong Obama and brand D supporters here too - you, Donald, Christine, PK, MKS and many more. Y'all are smart as he!! and I always want to read your views - tho don't always agree. I've changed and expanded my thinking many times because of TL. THIS IS NOT A LARRY JOHNSON T-POT KIND OF SITE! Just ignore the ratings, most readers don't care about them at all.

    Parent

    See, this is where it gets goofy (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:12:11 PM EST
    I am not a strong Obama supporter.  I blast him when dissatisfied very easily.  He is not Satan though, he is not the Antichrist, he is not George W Bush.

    I am not an Obot either though.  But a few posts about something he does well or something I am satisfied with will earn me flames, and when a disagreement becomes defined then the UNOs rain down from hell.  This has been a toxic environment to even entertain that president Obama is not Satan.  If an Obot showed up, a true Obot, you guys would end up picking your teeth with their bones.  I don't think creating that sort of environment is something to be proud of or desire.  

    Parent

    "you guys" ???? (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:19:50 PM EST
    I actually do not come to this blog with an agenda. I work in an entirely different field from most here and I truly enjoy the debate. I'm not extremely emotionally invested here, but very much like the voices - ALL the voices. I simply do not think censorship from the non blog owner or blogger is a good idea. I think the debate here reflects much of the debate and disagreement occurring now in the D party. The R party is in a civil war. I find this all interesting. These are strange and interesting times. (btw I've always loved reading your comments)

    Parent
    I have mischaracterized you (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:28:24 PM EST
    I am sorry.  I am limited by this media when it comes to knowing you and humanizing you.  I suppose that is the challenge as we address each other, we must humanize each other.  Not always easy online.

    I read at blogs though where I am viewed as the enemy because I am not someone you can count on being an Obama supporter.  I go item by item and decide where I stand.  I have many things I am happy with where this President is concerned and many I am not happy with.  He is a Democrat though, he is my pick, I will pressure for what I want without hatred if I can manage it.

    Parent

    I am with you 110% on that! (none / 0) (#173)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:32:30 PM EST
    Nevertheless, the in-fighting in the two major parties is interesting. The Rs are splitting apart. Are the Ds??

    Parent
    We always do (none / 0) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:37:40 PM EST
    We are the party of thinkers and individuals.  We are always splitting, we split the check because we are poor, we split hairs because we care.

    The trick is debating well for functional policy that serves the needs of the people well and uniting when we must.  No easy trick.

    Parent

    very true (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by ZtoA on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:45:05 PM EST
    And we all have different styles. Some are a bit confrontational, some a bit wordy, some annoyed, some opinionated. Luckily I don't have to deal with all of these in person day to day (like many do - and lose patience with it). I work in solitude and am often a recluse, so I have the luxury to be patient. I understand that is a luxury.

    Parent
    It's almost easier being a lizard brained (none / 0) (#177)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:40:16 PM EST
    Republican and settle for being as correct as a stopped watch.

    Parent
    Bah! (none / 0) (#69)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:36:00 AM EST
    Come back to the five and dime, Jimmy and Jenny Dean. We need you here. Figuring out how to work the system is a good exercise. Plus, I like y'all, even those I don't agree with. Life is too short, let's find a way to find a way. Sigh...

    Parent
    Yay! (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Politalkix on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 07:08:27 PM EST
    And some folks you just can't get rid of, ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:36:48 PM EST
    ... like a crude and obnoxious guest at a holiday party. Hey, pass the canapés while you're up, will ya? Didja know your daughter's a real looker? And you guys got any other beer beside Bud Lite and Heineken?

    ;-D

    Parent

    BTD (none / 0) (#137)
    by kmblue on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:21:11 PM EST
    Glad to see you.

    Parent
    Nice to see you (none / 0) (#138)
    by kmblue on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:26:14 PM EST
    BTD

    Parent
    "Affluenza" (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:50:20 PM EST
    Nothing in the story... (none / 0) (#112)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 02:14:10 PM EST
    ...about how many decades until he'll be allowed to drive again.

    Parent
    Signs of civilized intelligent life... (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:59:27 PM EST
    in the NYS Legislature.

    Dead on arrival with Cuomo as Gov...that neanderthal still questions medical mj.  But I appreciate the effort State Sen. Krueger!  Disheartening that it's all about the Benjamins and not about sovereign individual rights...but whatever might work, and this is America after all...it's always about money.

    And how 'bout Uruguay?  Very f8cking cool.

    Uruguay all the way! (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:32:00 PM EST
    My new World Cup team to root for.

    Parent
    Amen... (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:37:52 PM EST
    Viva Uruguay!

    Lets hope the nations start dropping like dominos...and that we're not the last nation to get our head out our arse.  Special props to WA & CO...because of those two states we don't have a leg to stand on criticizing Uruguay's wise decision lest we look like uber-hypocrites.  Not that that has ever stopped us before;)

    Parent

    Several years ago, we visited the stadium (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by christinep on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 07:41:28 PM EST
    ... oh, the stadium in Montevideo.  We were part of a group seeing all the sights, etc.  My most favorite was a tango exhibition--because Uruguay claims its invention, if not inspiration, when talking about Argentina--and the closeness of the poised, sensual couple in a salon parlour was meant for sighing.  Yet, the pride of the country was clearly the stadium with its reminder of its glorious footbol championship history.

    Since then (and, now, a bit more) I say: Viva Uruguay!  

    Parent

    Latin America (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 07:55:36 PM EST
    isn't going wait around for the exceptionalist U.S to get it's yuppie, neoliberal "it's the economy, stupid!" head out of it's ass..

    Which is a great comfort to some of us..

    Parent

    Aloha, Loretta Fuddy (1948-2013). (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 01:36:29 PM EST
    Loretta Fuddy was the State Health Director and member of Gov. Abercrombie's cabinet, and she was a longtime friend of mine.

    Loretta was the only fatality in yesterday's crash of an 8-passenger Makani Kai Air Cessna Grand Caravan off Kalaupapa National Historic Park on the island of Molokai. The plane was forced to ditch into the ocean, just after takeoff from Kalaupapa airport, and the cause of the crash is presently unknown. The other seven passengers and the pilot all survived.

    Loretta had been on a site visit to state health facilities at Kalaupapa, which is still home to several score of Hansen's Disease (aka leprosy) patients, who had been first exiled to the settlement prior to 1969, when relocation to Molokai was finally deemed no longer mandatory.

    Loretta epitomized the very best in civil service and public health. She served in the Department of Health for over 30 years, and had been the head of the State Family Health Services Division from 2001 to 2011, when she was named by Gov. Abercrombie as State Health Director. She was the first director of the department who rose through the ranks to the top spot.

    Some of you may remember Loretta for what she used to jokingly call "my 15 minutes," when she made the decision to release President Obama's original 1961 birth certificate to the public last year, upon request of the White House, and then certified to the national media that it was indeed authentic.

    She was a good woman and dedicated public servant, and it is only fitting that while losing her life under tragic circumstances, it should be in the performance of her duties and in service to others. She will be dearly missed by a lot of people across these Hawaiian Islands, and my heart is heavy today.

    Aloha o'e, Loretta, me ke aloha pumehana. Farewell, my friend, with all the warmth of my love.

    May you rest in peace.

    In Father Damien's (none / 0) (#109)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 01:41:57 PM EST
    backyard.  Molokai is the most intriguing Island imo.  

    Parent
    He's now known as St. Damien of Molokai, ... (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:15:02 PM EST
    ... having been canonized in 2009 by Pope Benedict XIV -- as was Damien's immediate successor at Kalaupapa, Mother Marianne Cope, only last year.

    She's now known as St. Marianne of Molokai. She came to Kalaupapa with the Sisters of St. Francis at the expressed request of a terminally ill Father Damien. She took over his ministry, cared for him in his final days, prepared and dressed his body after his death, and then laid him to rest next to his beloved St. Philomena's church in Kalawao, on the east side of the peninsula.

    It was the still-operational hospital that was founded by St. Marianne Cope back in 1892 which Loretta was visiting in Kalaupapa yesterday, just prior to the plane crash which took her life. Perhaps not coincidentally, Loretta was a devout and lifelong practicing Catholic who once considered becoming a nun when she was young, and she loved Kalaupapa.

    Molokai is indeed a most intriguing and haunting island, given its often dark and turbulent history. And Kalaupapa is one of the most truly beautiful and spiritual places you can ever hope to visit, anywhere.

    It's definitely not an easy place to get to, but if you make the effort, you will discover that it's well worth the journey. Here, you'll walk in the footsteps of some remarkable individuals, who refused to just talk the talk of their church's hierarchy, but chose instead to put their faith into action and accomplishment.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    P.S.: I have a request to make. (none / 0) (#146)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 07:29:55 PM EST
    If anyone here happens to know the hosts over at Wonkette, could you please join me in asking them to pull this very tasteless bit of satire down about Loretta's death from their site.

    It's really not funny at all, and it has actually been terribly upsetting to Loretta's brother Lewis Fuddy, because someone e-mailed it to him this afternoon.

    Mahalo, and Aloha.

    Parent

    More Republican Family Values (none / 0) (#11)
    by Angel on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 03:31:25 PM EST
    He's been arrested. (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:42:47 PM EST
    Presumed innocent (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 06:03:26 PM EST
    until proven otherwise.  Even if he is a Republican.

    Parent
    Ooohh, Peter, you're no fun at all! (none / 0) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 06:16:31 PM EST
    ;-D

    What you said should really go without saying -- or one would certainly hope so, at least here if nowhere else.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    But see Comment #11 (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 07:04:11 PM EST
    which commenced this thread. It is so hard to remember to be consistent with your principles, when one of your adversaries appears to be caught out in hypocrisy.

    Parent
    And fired by Sen. Alexander. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 04:56:35 PM EST
    So ol' Lamar... (none / 0) (#76)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:46:46 AM EST
    ...ain't havin' none of that there "innocent until proven guilty" nonsense on his watch, huh?

    Don't see why he didn't just tie him up and throw him in the river to see if he floated like a pervert or went ahead and drowned like a good, decent person would do.

    Parent

    Well, to be fair to Sen. Alexander, ... (none / 0) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 01:01:17 PM EST
    ...  it's hard to see how the guy could continue to function credibly as the senator's chief of staff, given these allegations and the legal cloud that accompanies them.

    Were I the senator, I'd have placed him on paid leave of absence, and then sucked it up and braved the firestorm of criticism flung my way for supposedly "still having a pervert on the payroll," because yes, the man is to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt. But given that I'm not the senator, and further that I have no idea of the honorable gentleman's poll numbers in Tennessee, such talk is cheap.

    But really, the bottom line is that appointed congressional and legislative staff serve at the pleasure of the elected official who hired them, and Rule No. 1 in those positions is always "Don't Embarrass The Boss."

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Donald, did you know (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 12:48:53 PM EST
    the Hawaii Health official killed in a plane crash?

    Parent
    Yes, I was about to post on it. (none / 0) (#105)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 01:19:05 PM EST
    See below.

    Parent
    Australia High Court Rules Against Gay Marriage (none / 0) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 09:07:40 PM EST
    SYDNEY (Reuters) - The honeymoon was short-lived for Australia's gay couples who married in the past five days after the High Court overturned new same-sex marriage laws on Thursday, invalidating wedding ceremonies performed since Saturday.

    Around 20 gay couples had tied the knot since December 7, when Australia's first same-sex marriage laws came into force in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

    The court said the issue of same-sex marriage was a matter for the national parliament.




    Seems like the ruling was not so much (none / 0) (#40)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 09:19:56 PM EST
    "against gay marriage" as that under Australia's form of federalism, a particular Territory (like one of our states) did not have the authority to expand marriage rights, but rather that the decision had to be made on a uniform, national basis.  That is the opposite of the situation in the USA, of course.

    Parent
    True (none / 0) (#42)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 09:36:15 PM EST
    somewhat similar to the recent ruling in India. And it's not all bad to follow that route. Just not so good for those that have to wait out the process.

    Parent
    The recent, shocking decision in India (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 09:59:36 PM EST
    was the action of a two-judge Supreme Court panel overturning a 2009 lower-level appellate ruling that had invalidated the old, colonial-era anti-sodomy law.  As a result, gay sex is again criminalized in India, unless an appeal for reconsideration by the full five-judge supreme court succeeds.

    Parent
    That doesn't exactly come as a shock (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:28:07 PM EST
    from a country that's (unofficially) countenanced for generations things like throwing acid in the faces of untouchable children and beating and gang-raping untouchable women, because "Manu" said to do it..

    Parent
    Sometimes good sometimes bad (none / 0) (#46)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 10:23:09 PM EST
    the state by state route here works in some areas and is destructive and/or unfair in others. I do like the entire nation approach however when the system works well.

    Although admittedly in this country such an issue would likely never come up for a vote if it was dependent on the House bringing a bill to the floor.

    Parent

    Under well-settled U.S. Constitutional precedent (none / 0) (#53)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:21:29 AM EST
    the federal government cannot regulate family law, such as the definition and regulation of marriage.  Congress could not pass a national marriage equality law in the U.S., I don't believe, even if it were inclined to do so. (The federal courts, however, can ensure that the states don't place discriminatory restrictions on their own marriage regulations, as in the California Hollingsworth case.) One of the key aspects of last year's Windsor (DOMA) decision was that the attempt by Congress even to "define" marriage for purposes of federal programs and benefits encroached on state authority in that realm.

    Parent
    So could, say, Mississippi, ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:42:18 AM EST
    ...declare that anyone who got married at 18 without parental consent in, say, Indiana, wasn't married as far as Mississippi is concerned?

    Parent
    I believe so, (none / 0) (#86)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:16:52 AM EST
    yes.  Would welcome correction from anyone more knowledgeable.  This problem exists with marriages of first cousins, which are legal in some states but not in most.

    Parent
    Here is an excellent article (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 07:39:03 PM EST
    by Prof. Mark Strasser (Capital Univ. Law School, Columbus, OH) giving an accessible overview of the issue.

    Parent
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 215 (none / 0) (#50)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:45:46 AM EST
    The breakfast of champion assh*les. (link)

    Fight the power, my friends. Peace.

    The Senate is now working the way it should (none / 0) (#52)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:14:38 AM EST
    with presidential nominations. Debate, vote, debate, vote...and deep into the night if needed.

    All-nighters could continue for days. Democratic leaders said they were prepared to stay in session virtually around the clock through Saturday night to confirm a list of 10 nominees to a variety of senior posts.

    They range from lesser-known appointments -- such as Patricia Wald to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board -- to critical positions -- such as Jeh Johnson to be homeland security secretary.

    There are also several federal district court judge appointments on the list as well as nominees to Pentagon posts and the State Department.




    Detroit Deal? (none / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 09:34:40 AM EST
    A potential grand bargain  that could shield the Detroit Institute of Arts from the reach of creditors in the city's bankruptcy while bolstering at-risk city pensions took a key step forward today.

    The Detroit Institute of Arts embraced publicly, for the first time, the broad outline of a federally mediated deal that would protect its art from sale and spin off the museum from city ownership into an independent nonprofit. The deal would raise roughly $500 million from a consortium of national and local charitable foundations and funnel the money into retiree pensions on behalf of the value of the art at the DIA.



    That ought to break... (none / 0) (#64)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:30:03 AM EST
    ...any number of Republican hearts.

    I can almost hear their screams of outrage at union workers not getting completely shafted all the way down here in NC.

    And to add insult to injury, they don't get to "privatize" the museum, either.

    Quick, somebody find them a harbor and some tea bags.

    Parent

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#71)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:38:48 AM EST
    they don't get to "privatize" the museum, either.

    although under the plan, the DIA will no longer be city owned but an independent non-profit museum..

    In any case it does seem like the crisis is going to be abated.

    Parent

    Best case scenario; DIA merges. W/Cranbrook Inst. (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 10:45:00 AM EST
    Why? (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:12:30 AM EST
    Did not know that was on the table?

    How would it help Detroit's money woes?

    Parent

    Car book would be an excellent trustee of the art. (none / 0) (#110)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 02:06:53 PM EST
    Do the fundraising, etc.

    Parent
    OK (none / 0) (#113)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 02:27:30 PM EST
    But the museum has has no problems with its trustees, as far as I know.. the problem is the city of Detroit and its bankruptcy.

    But I am sure that Cranbrook would be a fine trustee...  although I think individuals are trustees... and they are usually rich, well connected, and/or have high status in some field..  and their job is to get donations..

    sounds like you have some information that has not been in the public sphere..  because it appears to be coming out of left field, so to speak, but If you have friends at Cranbrook send them a letter and tell them to get on board with DIA...  


    Parent

    Let's wait. I just think (none / 0) (#115)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:03:35 PM EST
    there is some risk involved. Think:  Barnes Collection. And, no. I have no inside connection w/Cranbrook.

    Parent
    OK (none / 0) (#116)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 03:14:22 PM EST
    Yes nothing is in the bag yet. But, I do not see this being analogous to the Barns Collection. The irony of Barns is that he hated the snooty museum establishment in Philadelphia in particularly Walter Annenberg ( it was mutual). So he set up outside of Philly and made a African American University the trustee... the irony is that the Museum establishment got the Barns in the end and Annenbergs was a big player.

    Parent
    Yes, I know. # of visitors (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:28:36 PM EST
    has greatly multiplied.

    Parent
    I meant "privatize"... (none / 0) (#83)
    by unitron on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:04:33 AM EST
    ...as in be forced to sell off all the art so that rich people could grab it at "economy in a recession" prices.

    Not to mention protecting it from the eyes of the grubby little commoners.

    Parent

    Oh (none / 0) (#88)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:20:56 AM EST
    Well if the works went to the auction block, the prices would not be "economy in a recession" prices. The prices would, more than likely be record breaking as the economy for those who would bid on the works have lots of money and see top of the line art as an asset that outpaces most other investments.

    But as has been noted by many, selling any of the DIA collection is foolish, it will not help Detroit, the pensions etc. Best thing for Detroit's finances, long term is to keep the art.

    Parent

    "Those me will break your bones... (none / 0) (#90)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:37:49 AM EST
    "...Don't know how to build stable homes."

    This one goes out to my moms, and all the rest. (link)

    Off to work, peace out.