Monday Open Thread

Update: Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg is back at Guantanamo. The Pentagon now says 45 of the 166 detainees as on hunger strikes, 13 are on tube feeds, and two are hospitalized for observation. Follow her on Twitter, she posts frequent and accurate updates.

Those kids, they sure do "the darndest things." This story about a six year old who took the family car to get more chinese food from the restaurant his family had eaten at the night before, and made it three miles before being stopped by the cops, made me laugh.

Is force-feeding the hunger striking detainees at Guantanamo torture? The group Physicians for Human Rights says it is.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Congress says "Yes we can." (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:17:29 PM EST
    Jail for you riches for us.

    Insider Dealing For Insider Trading: Congress Guts STOCK Act Reporting Requirements

    Congress approved a bill Friday to eliminate expanded financial-disclosure reporting requirements for Senior Executive Service members, just days before the new requirements were to go into effect.

    The bill indefinitely suspends the filing requirements for 28,000 Executive Branch employees, including SES members. The Senate approved the measure by unanimous consent Thursday evening. The House followed suit Friday.
    The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which Congress passed last spring, was designed to deter insider trading by members of Congress and some 28,000 senior federal employees. Under the bill, these feds were be required to file reports of new transactions in stocks, bonds, commodities or other securities that exceed $1,000 to the Office of Government Ethics -- information that would eventually wind up on a publicly searchable database .

    Along with SES members, the new measure also exempts congressional staff. http://tinyurl.com/cn4ltqs

    Hagel cancels drone medal (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:20:57 PM EST
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is canceling the creation of a new military medal for drone and cyber warriors, and instead wants military leaders to develop a special pin or device that would be attached to already existing medals or ribbons. link

    I throughly approve of this decision.

    Drone "Warrier" medals - (5.00 / 4) (#113)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:43:21 PM EST
    Yeah, with Hemorrhoid clusters for these chairbound videogame freaks.

    "If companies are people..." (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:00:50 PM EST
    by Professor James Livingston, Rutgers University, an NYT op ed, argues for a return to tax rates for corporations of earlier times.  For most of the 1950's , corporate income was taxed at 52 percent and the federal government collected about a third of its revenue from this source.

    Today, that tax rate on corporate income is no higher than 35 percent and the corporate-tax share of federal revenue has fallen to about 9 percent.  And, American companies routinely avoid taxation by moving their idle cash  offshore.

    Personal income taxes (which have stayed at about 45 percent of federal revenues since 1950) and payroll taxes (FiCA, Federal Insurance Contribution Act--Social Security and Medicare) now provide the federal government with almost 80 percent of its yearly revenue.

    Professor Livingston concludes his analysis by observing no downsides to replacing payroll taxes with increased taxes on corporate profits, wherever they're made or held.  We can lay solid foundations for economic growth and pay for those "entitlements" simply by going back to the tax principles we used to have--a very conservative idea.  

    That Would Require... (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:05:47 PM EST
    ...removing just about every politician in Congress.  Elizabeth Warren is the only person I think would vote 'yeh' today.

    Want to be sure we have a bad economy? (2.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:17:24 PM EST
    This would be a good way to start.

    The post WWII world is not coming back.  Those tax rates were lowered for a reason.  We still have some of the highest corporate rates in the world.  We should be looking at lowering them.  Not raising them.


    Slado (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:02:00 AM EST
    there is the top rate established by the Gov, then there is the "actual" rate that is paid, 2 different things

    there is a part of the traditional Republican base concerned about small businesses, which tend to be decent and honorably accept their obligation to society to pay what they owe, their fair share

    then you have the multi-national Corps with an army of tax experts that desires to straight out cheat Americans, they use paid lobbyists to move Republicans their way, they regularly pay little or NO tax, at first it was easier because these were the biggest employers in America (GM, GE) now they create jobs overseas

    Mitt Romney is in the same cabal, with his offshore tax haven, Cypress should be the  template to establish just taxation, and a financial transaction tax, small enough to dissuade speculators (short term greed) not investors (long term stability)


    less than 2% effective tax rate seems awful low (5.00 / 4) (#106)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:22:27 AM EST
    Somehow I think you are smart enough to know that the effective tax rate indicates what a corporation actually pays in taxes.  

    General Electric has become the symbol for multinational corporations that have their headquarters in the United States but pay almost no taxes -- its effective corporate-tax rate averaged less than 2 percent from 2002 to 2012 link

    I am retired with a very modest income. For reference, I would qualify for an insurance subsidy based on income if I wasn't receiving Medicare. Even with my limited income, my effective tax rate was considerably higher than "less than 2% from 2002 to 2012."



    though the actual facts mean very little if you are of the opinion that big corps should pay more than they are now.

    Don't see any facts in your comment (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:21:35 PM EST
    Would you like to provide facts on the effective rate of taxes that G.E. paid in U.S. federal corporate taxes for that period.



    If I were to show you (none / 0) (#114)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 01:06:12 PM EST
    that GE paid significantly more U.S. federal corporate taxes for that period would you then change your mind and say that big corps pay enough?

    If you could show me that (5.00 / 3) (#115)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 02:45:14 PM EST
    G. E. actually paid an effective rate of 35% in U.S. Federal income tax during the last 10 years, then I think we could have a discussion on whether or not the federal corporate tax needs adjustment.

    In 2010 G.E. had a $5.1 billion profit from its operations in the United States. According to a spokesperson they paid a small amount of U.S. Federal taxes for 2010.    


    are of little concern if your opinion is that the big corps don't pay enough.

    By throwing around completely false numbers like "2%" as a starting point, you very effectively stop any discussion of tax rates from taking place.

    Regarding taxes paid on 2010 profits; that is a result of GE losing a pile of money the previous year in 2009.

    Obviously corps are required pay the gvt taxes each year when they make profits, but if they lose money in a year, does the gvt give them money back?

    Of course not. Instead, the gvt allows corps to deduct the money they lost this year from the profits they make in following years, and corps pay taxes on what remains.

    iow, at a 35% tax rate, if corp makes $100 in a year, the corp pays the gvt $35 in taxes. But the reverse is not true; if a corp loses $100 in a year, the gvt doesn't pay the corp back $35.

    Instead, the gvt allows the corp to apply the $100 loss to following years' profits and pay tax on the what remains.

    So if a corp loses $100 in 2009, and makes $100 profit in 2010, instead of the gvt paying the corp $35 for their 2009 losses, and then the corp then paying the gvt $35 for 2010 profits, which all nets out to $0 taxes for 2009-2010, the corp pays the gvt $0 in taxes for the 2009 losses and then applies the $100 of 2009 losses against the $100 of 2010 profit and pays 35% on the remainder, which all nets out to the same $0 taxes for 2009-2010.

    That way the gvt gets the same net amount of taxes for 2009-2010, but doesn't actually have to pay money back to the corps.

    Pretty clear who has the power in this relationship, which, of course, is generally how it should be.


    O.K. let's make this easy for (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:15:55 PM EST

    Please provide me with a link to any year during the ten year period that G.E. paid 35% in U.S. Federal income tax.  


    from your 2% claim.

    I understand ... (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:25:58 PM EST
    ... why you won't provide a link backing up your claims.

    I didn't back off of the data I presented (5.00 / 4) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:33:27 PM EST
    I merely asked you to provide "facts" on the effective rate that G.E. paid in taxes over a 10 year period.

    I understand why you haven't provided any facts to back up your comments at all. I understand why you won't state what effective rate that G.E. paid during that period because it would disprove that corporations are paying too much in taxes.  I understand why you can't document any time during that period that G.E. actually paid 35% in U.S. federal corporate taxes because they never did.  

    If you want to claim that 35% is too high or that the U.S. collects the highest corporate taxes in the world, you have to prove that companies actually pay 35% to the federal government in taxes.


    you changed the subject to "not 35%." That's called backing off, and I understand why you did it.

    If "I want to claim 35% is too high"?  "[I] can't document that GE paid 35%"? etc., etc.? I did not claim any of that, nice strawmen.

    My point is that GE paid significantly more than the false 2% number that you claim. To me, double that rate is significantly more. As is 3x that rate. And 4x that rate. And 5x, 6x, and approximately 7x that rate. Look at the graph, average over the decade was approximately 14%.

    You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, and if your opinion wasn't bolstered by BS I might even share your opinion, but if you present BS you will be called on it.


    Let's take the data that you provided (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 05:59:36 PM EST
    and look at just the effective rate per G.E. company filing for 2010 of 7.4 percent.

    In a regulatory filing just a week before the Japanese disaster put a spotlight on the company's nuclear reactor business, G.E. reported that its tax burden was 7.4 percent of its American profits, about a third of the average reported by other American multinationals. Even those figures are overstated, because they include taxes that will be paid only if the company brings its overseas profits back to the United States. With those profits still offshore, G.E. is effectively getting money back. link

    So once again we are back to what G.E. actually paid in taxes. The effective rates you linked to are bogus as far as what was actually paid in taxes.

    Then of course we have tax holiday (2004) that Congress gives these corporations to allow them to bring the funds back into the U.S. without paying taxes and the other legal ways they have found to bring the funds back into the country tax free.

    The money -- including hundreds of billions in profits that U.S. companies attribute to overseas subsidiaries to avoid taxes -- is supposed to be taxed at up to 35 percent when it's brought home, or "repatriated."
    What nobody's saying publicly is that U.S. multinationals are already finding legal ways to avoid that tax. Over the years, they've brought cash home, tax-free, employing strategies with nicknames worthy of 1970s conspiracy thrillers -- including "the Killer B" and "the Deadly D. link

    Also one of the main objectives of the "Fix the Debt" CEOs is to allow corporations to bring the funds back into the country tax free.


    I need to leave now, but I'll look into it more tomorrow. Thanks.

    Some information on the 2004 corporate tax holiday (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 10:51:04 PM EST
    on profits sitting offshore.

    ...America's most flush corporations are once again demanding a "one-time" corporate tax holiday on their more than $1.4 trillion in profits sitting offshore. They claim it will stimulate the economy more cost-effectively than President Barack Obama's more direct approach to job creation. "Repatriation," the argument continues, will free up billions upon billions of dollars that are "trapped" overseas by excessive federal tax rates.

    Do corporate advocates for repatriating overseas profits have a legitimate case? Not anymore. The federal government has already gone the "tax holiday" route -- in 2004 -- with disastrous results.
    ...They promised that the tax holiday would create jobs. In fact, they even named their holiday legislation the "American Job Creation Act of 2004." But their holiday didn't just fail to create the promised jobs. Their holiday enriched corporations that actually destroyed jobs in the months right after they received their tax windfall.

    One government study looking at the first two years after the repatriation windfall found that 12 of the top recipients laid off more than 67,000 American workers. These firms collectively brought back home more than $100 billion, nearly a third of the total amount repatriated by all firms that took advantage of the tax holiday. Collectively, these early job killers pocketed an estimated $32 billion in savings from taxes they otherwise would have had to pay.

    A review of U.S. employment data filed with the Securities and Exchange Committee found that 13 firms profiled in this report cut their U.S. workforces by 60,701 jobs in the two years following the 2004 tax holiday (2004-2006). The 13 companies are YUM Brands, General Electric, International Paper, Eastman Kodak, Kraft, Honeywell, Intel, Eli Lilly, Starwood Hotels, Praxair, Lexmark International, Hasbro and Boston Scientific. link

    Re: the Pro Publica/Fortune article (none / 0) (#129)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:02:47 PM EST
    "ProPublica and Fortune's Unhelpful Post on GE's Taxes - Taking the company's word for it to rebut The New York Times". - Columbia Journalism Review

    More on what G.E. publicly reports on filings (none / 0) (#133)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 07:10:48 AM EST
    and how it is manipulated. This information is from the link you provided.

    GE, like other publicly traded companies, publicly reports one set of tax numbers to calculate its earnings but uses a different set, which remain confidential, to calculate what it owes the tax collector.
     Many U.S. multinational corporations keep some profits abroad, none more than GE: Its total was $94 billion at the end of last year. As long as corporations tell their accountants they intend to indefinitely invest those profits outside the U.S., they don't have to make a provision for federal and state taxes on them. If the profits stay abroad, they remain untaxed.

    GE, in 2008 and 2009, told its accountants that about $3 billion of overseas profits were going to be indefinitely invested abroad. Previously, the company had not made that investment decision, so it was required to set aside a bookkeeping provision of about $1 billion for U.S. taxes. That provision impacted publicly reported earnings when it was taken.

    GE never actually paid the $1 billion in taxes. And it doesn't say when the previous accounting provision of $1 billion was taken. But, lo and behold, in 2008 and 2009, when the company sorely needed higher profits, there they were, thanks to a tax benefit! It didn't have to sell more jet engines, or turbines, or kitchen appliances.

    Let's go back to the 7.4% for 2010. Your article states that it is "GE's tax rate, for earnings-reporting purposes." Let's restate what the article said about the validity of the tax numbers used for earnings-reporting purposes: "G.E....publicly reports one set of tax numbers to calculate its earnings but uses a different set, which remain confidential, to calculate what it owes the tax collector."

    Also, "GE's Tax Burden: Net effective tax rate (Source: Company filings)" I am fairly sure that G.E.'s tax burden on U.S. activity includes payroll and state and local taxes and not just U.S. federal corporate taxes which was the subject under discussion. To emphasize how this would distort the effective tax rate on federal tax paid: My personal effective tax rate years ago was 36% when I calculated it to include FICA, federal, state and local taxes (my # did not include sales tax etc.).  


    However, regardless of what the actual effective tax rates are that corps are paying in the US, because they are keeping significant foreign profits offshore and paying foreign taxes on those profits instead of bringing them here to the US and paying US taxes, clearly the effective taxes they are paying in the foreign countries are less than the effective tax rates that they would pay in the US, no?

    Using creative accounting techniques (none / 0) (#136)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 09:45:05 AM EST
    to get U.S. tax subsidies on some of their business, move non subsidized profits earned in the U.S. to offshore countries, and expenses to the U.S. to get "tax refunds" here in the states definitely gives them a tax benefit that they would not have if they maintained their U.S. profits here in the states. Those "creative accounting" techniques would still be used even if the U.S. lowered their stated corporate tax rate to match the offshore companies. The only difference would be that G.E. and others would drain even more funds from the U.S. Think about it.

    OK, I thought about it. (none / 0) (#137)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 11:32:51 AM EST
    If the effective US corp tax rates were on par with the effective tax rates of the countries the US is competing with for those tax dollars, why would "G.E. and others would drain even more funds from the U.S."?

    Nope now you are changing horses (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 11:48:13 AM EST
    in mid stream. Corporations and corporate owned politicians are not talking about the "effective" tax rates when they state that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. They are talking about the 35% tax rate which they want to lower to 25%. The 35% rate is not the effective tax rate. G.E. like many other multinational corporations are already paying a effective tax rate that is less than 25%. Reducing the top tax rate by 10% they can still pay the same games and further reduce their overall tax liability and get refunds from the U.S by manipulating where and how profits are recorded.  

    Giddy up, giddy up, hi ho Silver
    Giddy up, giddy up, hi ho Silver

    The corps pay less than 35% because the profit amounts that are taxed are different (lower) than the profit amounts they claim to their stockholders.

    iow, "profits" as defined for tax liability purposes are different (lower) than profits as defined for their stockholders.

    I think the logic goes something like this, if a corp claims $100 in profits for stockholders purposes, but only $50 of that is defined as profits by the IRS, they will pay 35% on the $50, which equals 17.5% effective of the $100.

    Because the US corps are keeping their foreign profits in the foreign countries, it is clear that that 17.5% effective rate is greater than the effective rate they are paying on their foreign profits that are kept in the other countries, therefor they keep the foreign profits in those other countries.

    So, in the scenario above, if the US corp rate is dropped to 25% and everything else is kept the same, the corp would pay 25% on the $50, which equals 12.5% effective on the $100.

    Would that be enough to motivate corps to bring increased foreign profits to the US? I don't know.

    Would the increase in US tax receipts on any increase in foreign profits brought to the US with a 25% rate, be greater than the 10% drop in  corp tax receipts due to the lower rate? I don't know that either.

    I read something yesterday that said that corp taxes as a % of GDP in the last quarter was equal to the ave % over the last 3 decades, or something close to that.


    Maybe you read this (none / 0) (#143)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 04:03:42 PM EST
    As Foreign Profits Rise, Corporate Tax Rates Fall

    Over the past three decades, profits averaged 9 percent of gross domestic income. In the final quarter of fiscal year 2012, though, they amounted to 12 percent. That increase amounts to an extra $450 billion a year in profits. Those extra profits were enough to lift corporate taxes to 1.7 percent of GDP despite the low effective tax rate.

    Let me repeat that. An extra  $450 billion a year in profits was the cause even though effective corporate rates fell.

    Corporate Taxes As Percentage Of Profits Now Lowest In Decades

    Corporate Tax Revenues Nearing Historic Lows As A Percentage Of GDP, Report Says

    How low do you want to go?

    If multinational corporations pay an effective rate of 1% in Ireland, do you want to want to match that effective rate here?


    What is your solution then to the problem (none / 0) (#144)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 05:50:13 PM EST
    that you outlined of foreign profits staying offshore?

    Now the numbers you presented sound real (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 04:56:34 PM EST
    nice. You know those that say if you lose $100 last year you can write that loss off against this years profits. Yep, that sounds real nice and it is actually how the system works. But the only problem is that G.E. actually made a pretax U.S. profit from 2002 through 2010. Let's use real numbers shall we:

    G.E. Pretax U.S. profit

    2002  $12.0 billion
    2003   10.8 billion
    2004    9.1 billion
    2005   10.1 billion
    2006    9.1 billion
    2007    8.7 billion
    2008    4.6 billion
    2009    1.6 billion


    Whoops there needs to be a correction (5.00 / 4) (#116)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 03:06:29 PM EST
    to my comment that G.E.'s said that they would pay a small amount of 2010 U.S. Federal taxes on their $5.1 billion profit in the U.S. Small was an overstatement according to this G.E. spokesperson.

    And, more importantly, the NYT sent us an AFP article in which GE spokesperson Anne Eisele--the same spokesperson who wrote the comment below--said the following: "GE did not pay US federal taxes last year because we did not owe any."

    Bah! (none / 0) (#130)
    by desertswine on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 09:56:31 PM EST
    They're keeping their money and their profits offshore.
    The 70 U.S.-based companies studied hold $1.2 trillion in profits around the world. GE and Pfizer have built up the most money outside the U.S., with $102 billion and $63 billion respectively, according to securities filings. Apple Inc.

    Oh too much... (none / 0) (#131)
    by desertswine on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 09:59:35 PM EST
    My allergies are giving me fits.  I think I'll feel better if I go out and kill a tree.

    Wonder why they would keep it ofshore (none / 0) (#140)
    by Slado on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 03:10:56 PM EST
    This is not rocket science people.

    If I owned a corporation I would pay my accountants to keep my money where I would get the lowest affective tax rate.

    That would enable me to make more money, pay my people more and reinvest in my company.

    You lower the corporate tax rate here and you will have more companies keep their money here.

    You raise the tax rate, and the effective tax rate along with it, and more companies will keep their money overseas.

    It's not wrong, it's common sense.


    From the link...

    Philip Dittmer reported that every study found the U.S. effective corporate tax rate to be substantially higher than the average in foreign nations.

    Never let facts and common sense get in the way of a good argument.


    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Yman on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 03:58:39 PM EST
    Never let facts and common sense get in the way of a good argument.

    ... and never get an article written by a conservative think tank confused with "facts".

    CRS: U.S. Has A Slightly Lower "GDP Weighted Average" Corporate Tax Rate Than Other OECD Countries.  In addition to all of the studies cited in this report, the same conclusion has been reached in many other studies, by  the Government Accountability Office, the Treasury Department, and the World Bank (see Paying Taxes 2009, Doing Business 2009).

    In short, our effective corporate tax rates are about average for OECD countries.


    LINK (none / 0) (#141)
    by Slado on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 03:11:41 PM EST
    Sorry about that.



    update (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:38:21 PM EST
    of the 2 confirmed dead - one is an 8 year old boy.  Over 100 people injured - more than a few of which have lost limbs and are in critical condition.

    The upside?  The immediate presence of medical personnel in the area and the abundance of excellent hospitals will probably be the reason the death toll doesn't get much higher.  It seems like all the major hospitals are dealing with 10-30 patients each, which is why it's been hard to get a good count of the injured.

    I missed all this until just now (none / 0) (#103)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:17:30 PM EST
    Horrible. Thankful you are safe...must check on another friend in the area.

    Bob Perry Dies (none / 0) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 01:04:22 PM EST
    Yes, the swiftboating financier.

    No comment.

    Oh, man (none / 0) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:51:12 PM EST
    I'm sure you could write an entire thesis on that man from some of your previous comments but I guess you're going on the theory of not speaking ill of the dead.

    It seems that conservatives are routinely passing away these days.


    Nevada Buses Mentally Ill Out of State (none / 0) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 01:27:00 PM EST
    People should lose their jobs, doctors should lose their licenses, and a few should be thrown in prison.

    Since July 2008, Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas has transported more than 1,500 patients to other cities via Greyhound bus, sending at least one person to every state in the continental United States

    Nevada's approach to dispatching mentally ill patients has come under scrutiny since one of its clients turned up suicidal and confused at a Sacramento homeless services complex. James Flavy Coy Brown, who is 48 and suffers from a variety of mood disorders including schizophrenia, was discharged in February from Rawson-Neal to a Greyhound bus for Sacramento, a place he had never visited and where he knew no one.

    The hospital sent him on the 15-hour bus ride without making arrangements for his treatment or housing in California; he arrived in Sacramento out of medication and without identification or access to his Social Security payments. He wound up in the UC Davis Medical Center's emergency room, where he lingered for three days until social workers were able to find him temporary housing.

    His papers from Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services read: "Discharge to Greyhound bus station by taxi with 3 day supply of medication" and provided a vague suggestion for further treatment: "Follow up with medical doctor in California." Brown said staff at Rawson-Neal advised him to call 911 when he arrived in Sacramento.


    Every state should send them a bill for the cost of treating these folks long term.

    The gentleman in the article (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:09:07 PM EST
    had what appears to be serious mental health issues including schizophrenia. A 15 hour bus ride is stressful for people without mental health problems. What if Mr. Brown had harmed himself or others during the journey.

    The way we treat people in this country is disgraceful.



    This is all too true, MO Blue (none / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:13:33 PM EST
    It has always been pretty bad, but with shrinking budgets at all levels of government, it's only going to get worse.    :-(

    Truth be told, a lot of communities ... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:05:35 PM EST
    ... across the country have that similar worst-kept dirty little secret. Consider that the population of meropolitan Los Angeles has been growing at an annual rate of 10% over the last 15 years. Surveys have repeatedly shown that over half of these new arrivals are actually from out of state; many of them have been recipients of one-way bus tickets courtesy of their former hometown. Some other interesting facts about L.A.'s resident population of homeless and transients:
    • The average age is 40; the average homeless women tend to be younger than her male counterpart.
    • 33% to 50% are female.
    • Men make up about 75% of those homeless who are single.
    • In any given year, from 33% to 66% of single individuals will be identified as having substance abuse issues.
    • In any given year, from 42% to 77% of L.A.'s homeless do not receive public benefits to which they are entitled.
    • 20% to 43% are in families, typically headed by a single mother.
    • An estimated 20% are physically disabled.
    • 41% of adults had previously been employed within the previous twelve months.
    • 16% to 20% of homeless adults are actually employed.
    • About 25% are mentally ill.
    • As children, 27% of L.A.'s homeless came from  foster care or group homes; 25% were physically or sexually abused.

    Communities in the northeast and midwest will generally send more than a few of their homeless to California, because the chances of dying of wintertime exposure in the great outdoors are far less than would otherwise be the case if they remained in place like Chicago or Buffalo.

    As for Las Vegas, that city has been in rocky fiscal straits ever since the housing market collapsed in 2007-08, and like many "responsible" local communities, the first things on their budgetary chopping blocks are social services. Cheaper to just ship 'em out of town, than to incur the additional expenses of an already large homeless and transient population.

    Sad to say, this is what's currently passing for a humane public policy in many American communities. As the late Walt Kelly's Pogo once observed, "We have met the enemy and he is us."



    Great... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:27:30 PM EST
    ...but the link doesn't concur.

    DJ Jaffe, executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org., a nonprofit think tank, said his group often hears anecdotally about patients being "dumped" from one county to another.

    "Discharging severely mentally ill patients inappropriately is policy in this country," Jaffe said. "But getting rid of them altogether by busing them out of state is, I think, rare. I am shocked by these figures. It seems to be almost routine in Nevada."

    I think you are confusing homelessness with mental illness.  These are people at mental health facilities being discharged by bus because of doctors orders.  

    Not homeless people given one way tickets.


    But upwards of one in four ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:34:25 PM EST
    ... people who are homeless are also mentally ill. That's a not-insignificant percentage.

    But Were they Diagnosed... (none / 0) (#48)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:14:19 PM EST
    ...before or after, and did a mental health facility prescribe them to be relocated ?

    I get what you are saying, but to me there is a hell of a difference between the police shipping off the undesirables, and forcing people being treated for mental illness on buses by health care 'professionals' as part of their discharge instructions.

    One is despicable, tho other is criminal, IMO.


    Consider that the population of meropolitan Los Angeles has been growing at an annual rate of 10% over the last 15 years.  Surveys have repeatedly shown that over half of these new arrivals are actually from out of state; many of them have been recipients of one-way bus tickets courtesy of their former hometown.
    Specifically the
    many of them have been recipients of one-way bus tickets courtesy of their former hometown.

    Many of the homeless who have substance (none / 0) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:31:54 PM EST
    abuse problems are what is referred to as dual diagnosed. IOW they have one or more mental health issue(s) along with the substance abuse problem(s).

    Those with co-occurring disorders face complex challenges. They have increased rates of relapse, hospitalization, homelessness, and HIV and Hepatitis C infection compared to those with either mental or substance use disorders alone.


    Happy Jackie Robinson Day (none / 0) (#3)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 01:32:07 PM EST
    Great article on Reason

    that reminds us that not only was Jackie a pioneer he also happened to be one of the greatest ball players of all time.

    Happy April 15, everyone! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 01:35:15 PM EST
    The IRS says that if you live on the island of Maui, you are more likely to cheat on your taxes than are other residents in Hawaii. Further:

    "In all, researchers identified clusters of potential tax cheats in more than 350 communities in 24 states, mostly cities and towns but some neighborhoods, too. About one-third of them were in California, with most near Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lahaina and Kahului (both on Maui) are the only Hawaii communities on the list."


    For me, it has always been Happy Birthday (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by christinep on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:21:43 PM EST
    And, since taxes in our house are always dealt with before the 15th (especially after having to pay more than imagined one early year), mostly the day is given to being Thankful for life & for everyone around me...and for a nice dinner & martini (Boodles, of course.)

    Unfortunately and very sadly, the Boston Marathon tragedy makes the worst tax mess look like wonderful news.  Right now, my feelings are of sadness, disgust, and anger.  And, yes, I'm jumping to conclusions in view of the connections seen in the past between April 19th (or thereabouts) and homeland-grown terrorism.  It is Patriots Day in Boston, Tax Day, and who knows what else.  Damn it.


    Remember (none / 0) (#5)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 01:44:51 PM EST
    It's only cheating if you get caught.

    Watch yourself Slado... (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:03:42 PM EST
    remember Jeralyn's recent post, the IRS can read your email without a warrant.

    I, for one, love the IRS so much I send a box of chocolates with my return;)


    You little ki$$a$$! (none / 0) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:08:54 PM EST

    Is the King Jealous ? (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:29:02 PM EST
    Talk about calling the pot black...

    Where in my post did I say in jest ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:38:59 PM EST
    ... that I kissed the IRS's a$$? Further, I would never encourage anyone, even in jest, to cheat on their taxes. It doesn't make it okay just because others claim to have done so and gotten away with it -- well, so far as they say, anyway. If you're a tax scofflaw, you have to be lucky forever. The IRS only has to catch you once.



    Thought You Referring to... (none / 0) (#49)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:16:48 PM EST
    ...the curator of the website which you routinely pucker up for.

    Oh, my. (none / 0) (#100)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:59:56 PM EST
    It looks like someone's skivvies were in a bunch today.

    I Was Clowning Around Donald (none / 0) (#107)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:28:17 AM EST
    Please remind me to tell my kids to ... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:08:15 PM EST
    ... never listen to Uncle Slado's "advice."

    No you definately don't want to do that (none / 0) (#69)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:01:58 PM EST
    My wife meticulously keeps track of all our financial records because she's convinced we will be audited one day.

    I keep telling her it's a waste of time because we aren't cheating but she says you never know.


    Yes, (none / 0) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:22:29 PM EST
    but can't the IRS THINK you are cheating even if you are not? I keep records like your wife. She could be my twin in that account.

    I got audited (none / 0) (#77)
    by kmblue on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:51:03 PM EST
    for 2010, and I ain't got no money.  Figure it was a random pick.  Something to keep in mind.  The bill was almost a thousand, I ended up owing them nothing.

    Lahaina? Yeah, it's overrun with desperados, so (none / 0) (#96)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:11:51 PM EST
    we'd better do some on-site audits.  And maybe take lunch, fresh fish tacos, at I'O.

    Baseball Beat... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:15:27 PM EST
    Matt "Lil' Seaver" Harvey strikes again, 8 innings of 2 hit 1 run ball in frigid Minny over the weekend, bringing the phenom to 3-0 with a 0.82 and 25 K's in 22 innings.  He's the toast of the town!

    Nest start is slated for Friday against Strasburg at New Shea...gonna be a hot ticket!

    Breaking News: (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:16:14 PM EST
    There have been initial reports of two explosions having occurred inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel, near the finish line to today's Boston Marathon. The hotel is presently on lockdown.

    Emergency workers are swarming the finish (none / 0) (#22)
    by caseyOR on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:37:07 PM EST
    line area for the Boston Marathon. The TV networks are broadcasting raw footage live right now.

    The explosions appear to have occurred at the finish line of the race by the grandstands. The medical tents are packed with people injured by the explosion, many it seems from flying glass.

    There is blood all over the sidewalk, and what Brian Williams keeps saying are white powder burns.

    The runners have been rerouted around the explosion sight.


    TV reporting (none / 0) (#32)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:47:02 PM EST
    the blasts were about a minute apart, near the finish line to the Marathon.

    First one appears to have been in front of "Marathon Sports", a sporting goods store.
    The next was on the sidewalk somewhere in the immediate vicinity.

    Reporting that about a block's worth of windows in the stores, etc. were blown out.

    Many injuries, consistently being described as "horrific", probably from flying glass.  Some reports that the glass "Came out" from the business.

    Explosions occurred shortly after the end of the Red Sox "Patriot Day" game;  Fenway is about 400 yards from the finish line.  "Patriot's Day" is a holiday in Mass. and parts of New England.

    Reporting "many major traumatic injuries", that the ambulances and first responders were well-coordinated after initial confusion and being blocked from victims by the fencing set up to separate spectators from racers.


    timing (none / 0) (#34)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:53:25 PM EST
    not when the elite runners cross, but when the masses crossed.  They just confirmed it's 2 bombs.

    Breaks my heart, I was just there yesterday... tend to avoid the crowds.


    Reporting (none / 0) (#35)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:56:24 PM EST
    a 3rd explosion now

    I believe it was a controlled explosion (none / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:00:55 PM EST
    the police found the device and possibly set it off.

    In case anyone was wondering, I'm watching this all on TV from the safety of my house, nowhere near the finish line, nursing a flu. Keeping a close eye on FB as my friends update with "I'm okay" statuses - I know there are people seriously injured, possibly killed, and I selfishly hope I don't know any of them.


    Here is a live news feed (none / 0) (#41)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:03:17 PM EST
    Thanks. (none / 0) (#45)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:10:49 PM EST
    Whatever you do stay away from ABC TV News. Diane Sawyer making a complete fool of herself reporting on this.

    If we have learned anything from the media (none / 0) (#71)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:04:26 PM EST
    we've learned to ignore any speculation from the talking heads and wait for confirmation from the appropriate authorities.

    With the rush to get news out there these days it is simply a given that they will screw this up and report bad information.


    It wasn't that she was speculating (none / 0) (#81)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:01:59 PM EST
    about the details. I was referring to how she was trying to tug at our heartstrings with silly comments about" how heartbreaking it is to hear about something like this from people with those lovely Boston accents."

    That was a WTF?! moment if there ever was one. I really wish she would retire. I can't stand her cloying silliness. She's never been in the same league as other anchors (which is really saying something, since they are mostly all blithering blathering idiots, more concerned with their perfectly coiffed hair than anything else).


    Cloying is exactly the right word (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by sj on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:47:36 PM EST
    She's always been a cloying nitwit.

    Glad to hear you are safely far from the (none / 0) (#46)
    by caseyOR on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:10:58 PM EST
    scene, CST.

    Whatever the cause of these explosions, many people have been hurt. This is bad, very bad.

    People on my TV keep mentioning Patriot's Day as if this might explain these explosions. What, if anything, are you hearing in Boston about such a connection?


    who knows (none / 0) (#51)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:18:27 PM EST
    I think of patriots day like evacuation day or bunker hill day - a made up holiday that's a good excuse to have a day off.

    If anything I think its tied to the masses of people, but who knows.  It's a freaking marathon, with people from all over the world... I don't understand this at all.  It's an international event, there's nothing nationalist about it - it's generally dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians.

    But I think most of the injured were just fans cheering people on.


    LA Times is reporting a number of (none / 0) (#53)
    by caseyOR on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:25:08 PM EST
    secondary explosive devises have been found around Boston including one at the Mandarin Hotel and one at the JFK LIbrary.

    Time reporter, Andrew Katz has confirmed via Twitter, that there was an "incendiary device" possible at JFK Library as well as "another device" in front of Boston's luxury Mandarin Hotel. He gained this information through a police scanner.

    I think the JFK Library incident is unrelated (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:33:27 PM EST
    "The director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum says that a 3 p.m. fire inside the building's mechanical room was not caused by a device and is apparently not related to the explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line."


    The JFK library is nowhere near the rest of this, and I believe it's the least visited presidential library in the country (which is a shame it's very nice).  So I would be surprised if it's involved.


    CST (none / 0) (#61)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:46:08 PM EST
    you would know better than me, but someone mentioned Fenway as 400 yards from the finish line. My couple times visiting Boston has it as more like a mile and a quarter from Fenway to the finish line. Am I senile or is the distance shorter than I remember?

    fenway (none / 0) (#62)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:50:17 PM EST
    Is not that close to the finish line.  A mile sounds about right.

    I recall that it's about a mile. (none / 0) (#65)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:53:20 PM EST
    Roughly a 20-minute walk.

    police commissioner (none / 0) (#66)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:53:40 PM EST
    just mentioned the JFK library incident as possibly involved.

    MEMA and Gov. Patrick just had a presser (none / 0) (#70)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:04:09 PM EST
    and the MEMA director advised that there was a 3rd explosion, at the JFK Library, after the fire report.

    They are treating that explosion as "related".

    There's some distance between the two sites, which indicates more than one person involved in setting them.

    They did not find any unexploded devices, correcting earlier reports.

    They also indicated that they have EOD teams safing the numerous packages, parcels and bags which people dropped on their way out.  They are treating all of them as "suspicious".

    And all cell phone service in downtown Boston has been shut off, "to prevent any remote-controlled detonation".


    Not sure what to think about Cell shutdown (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:22:13 PM EST
    the civil libertarian part of me is appalled but then I think about how I would feel if another bomb goes off that could have been stopped.

    Not sure where you heard (none / 0) (#72)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:11:59 PM EST
    the JFK Library is the "least visited" of the presidential libraries.  Cite?  

    It's not even logical -- do you really think more people would go to the Hoover Lib, or Eisenhower's, stuck in the middle of flyover country in Abilene, KS?  Or Carter's?

    According to this from last year, the JFK Lib is well up there in attendance compared to the others.  And unlike the (warmongerer) LBJ's Library, which charges no admission fee and thus is able to pad its attendance figures, the Kennedy Lib does charge for admission.


    apparently not (none / 0) (#76)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:25:05 PM EST
    just something I'd heard

    Announced that 2 more bombs (none / 0) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:25:12 PM EST
    had been found. Unsure if the 3rd. explosion was one of the two additional bombs that was intentionally designated or if they found 3 additional bombs.  

    TV was reporting police used (none / 0) (#55)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:26:20 PM EST
    what they called a "water cannon".

    Police/bomb squads use water jet devices to disarm/disable suspicious devices while leaving them in a state where they can be examined later.

    They're going trash-can to trash-can looking for more.


    CST, Since you are there (none / 0) (#36)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:56:37 PM EST
    please keep us posted with what you hear, see. This is horible.

    Sheesh. Boylston near Fenway. My old stomping grounds.


    Boston PD (none / 0) (#42)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:05:18 PM EST
    are saying 2 dead 22 injured so far

    Shortly after the end of the Sox' (none / 0) (#56)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:30:15 PM EST
    Patriot's Day game;  Fenway is at mile 26, i.e., about 400 yards from the finish line.

    CBS now reporting 2 more devices have been found and specialized techs are enroute/onscene to disable and dismantle them.  CBS also reporting these appear to be improvised and that intelligence sources tell them there was "nothing in the intelligence pipeline".

    The reporter deduces "I'll probably get yelled at for saying this, but it looks home-grown".


    That line from the reporter (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:58:07 PM EST
    was the first thing I thought of. But the police and other authorities aren't saying anything either way. They're being very deliberate, rather than knee-jerk -- good! Brain Williams on NBC on the other hand, just felt it important to remind us Americans that we should understand there's a need for all the surveillance cameras everywhere now. Thanks, Mr. CIA.

    News coverage is abominable; what (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:09:00 PM EST
    a surprise.  As little as they know, they just can't stop speculating and bringing in "experts" on terrorism to opine on whether this is, you know, that kind of "terrorism."  

    We got no weather, no sports, no nothing, just hours of the only video they have on a constant loop, and speculation-passing-as-reporting.

    It's getting harder to focus on the real tragedy because of the irritation generated by the media's need to talk everything to death.

    When they told us the FBI said there was no intelligence in the pipeline, all I could think was, the only time the FBI seems to have any of that is when the FBI is concocting the operations and giving the perpetrators the materials they need.


    New York Post (none / 0) (#89)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:28:28 PM EST
    reporting suspect is a Saudi National.

    Also that they have video of someone placing backpacks in the area.


    The New York Post is not a reputable source (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:35:40 PM EST
    Historically bad reporting from them. Ahem. They also blasted a headline that said 12 people had been killed...

    They've got airtime to fill. (none / 0) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:06:05 PM EST
    Although, given their on-air contributions, they'd be better off just playing old MTV music videos from the 1980s, and occasionally interrupting when they have something new to report or update.

    CBS now reporting (none / 0) (#57)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:32:22 PM EST
    one of the additional suspected devices (of two) was found under the grandstand.  Also that they are homemade.

    Hard to tell whether accidental or not (none / 0) (#23)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:37:09 PM EST
    thus far. It was about three hours after the leaders finished but lots of back of the packers still on the course.

    boston.com is down (none / 0) (#24)
    by CST on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:37:17 PM EST
    can't get much info.  The hotel was the headquarters for the event.

    Just (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:00:07 PM EST

    Secret Service has blocked all pedestrian (none / 0) (#50)
    by caseyOR on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:17:29 PM EST
    traffic from Pennsylvania Ave. in front of the White House. Vehicular traffic was permanently blocked after 9/11. This is a precautionary measure following the events in Boston.

    The last two are the real reasons (none / 0) (#15)
    by sj on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:21:14 PM EST
    During a recent visit, a reporter asked the prison camp staff why they will not let the captives starve at Guantánamo Bay. Here are five replies

    •  It's not humane....
    •   "First, do no harm"...
    •   It's un-American...
    •   It looks bad...
    •   It's policy...

    It's generally (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:30:58 PM EST
    SOP everywhere - INS, DOD, prisons, the international community, etc..  What are the choices?

    1. Let them starve to death.  That will certainly go over well with the world community.

    2. Give protestors everything they want, even if unreasonable.  Not practical, as every time someone somewhere wants something, they will stage a hunger strike.

    3. Force feed them.

    Are there any other options I'm missing?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by sj on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:43:47 PM EST
    You are missing "4. Respect their choice."

    Did you read the article?

    The U.S. advocacy group, Physicians for Human Rights, argues that force-feeding hunger strikers is a violation of medical ethics.

    "If someone who is mentally competent expresses the wish not to be fed or hydrated, medical personnel are ethically obligated to accede to that person's wishes," said Dr. Vincent Iacopino, an expert with the rights group. "Under those circumstances, to go ahead and force-feed a person is not only an ethical violation but may rise to the level of torture or ill-treatment."

    "SOP" does not equal "right".

    What link? (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:46:27 PM EST
    There is no link to any article in your post.

    Never mind - I see it now (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:50:25 PM EST
    However, when you add stuff from the article, it comes across much differently than your chopped version:

    "We're obligated to protect life. I signed on as a nurse not to carry a rifle but to keep people alive, render medical care. I'm here to deliver therapeutic care as a mental health professional."


    "Allowing a detainee to harm himself is not only counter to our responsibilities under the laws of war, but is anathema to our values as Americans," says Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, the Pentagon spokesman responsible for detention and legal issues. "Allowing a peacefully protesting detainee to harm himself by choosing to sit by while he starves himself to the point of endangering his life is not only a violation of the very code followed by civilized peoples everywhere, but it is the worst kind of victor's justice: repugnant and wholly unacceptable."


    "It's our job to take care of them, to feed them and take care of their needs,"


    "We disagree with the ICRC opinion that they should be allowed to starve to death. That's not the position of the government. I don't know why that policy decision was made."

    I don't think so (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by sj on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:36:32 PM EST
    The heading is the actual reason. And, while I understand the feelings of the nurse being quoted, s/he doesn't set policy.

    As for "violation of the very code followed by civilized peoples everywhere", that comment at odds with "There is a discrepancy between the position of the United States and the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross]". It seems to me that the prisoners' very presence at Guantanamo is the greater "violation of the very code followed by civilized peoples everywhere".

    Frankly, I don't see their wishes as conceptually different from a living will or DNR.  A dying patient can decline a feeding tube and thereby starve to death. That situation also often causes internal conflict to medical professionals.

    When I read about this, I feel exactly the same way I felt when I saw the footage of people jumping out of the windows of the World Trade Center on 9/11.  I remember exactly (because I feel it again) how I felt at the choice they made -- that jumping to their deaths was preferable to the horror behind them.  The "horror behind" the prisoners at Guantanamo is less immediate but has been so long-lasting.

    This whole thing is just bad, bad, bad all around.


    Option 1... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:47:01 PM EST
    or Option 2 or a compromised Option 2...never Option 3.

    Force-feeding is torture, it's not even debatable.  Aside from the physical torture of up your nose with a rubber hose, there is breaking the last bit of free will the prisoner has...the right to refuse to eat, which should be considered an inalienable right, behind bars or not.


    Three Options... (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:01:48 PM EST
    ... really ?  One being "Give protestors everything they want".

    I know for GITMO, the outburst on Saturday was about privacy in camp 6.  So an option could be removing the cameras in cells in the facility that was constructed to mirror a medium security US facility.

    Another option might be to not imprison people who have been cleared for release.

    How getting them trials that aren't shames ?

    While I don't know, seems like they probably would be very happy getting the Constitutional rights we keep telling the world are what makes us great.


    You are talking about something (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:06:53 PM EST
    than the immediate concern.  That is a different conversation.

    These individuals engaged in a hunger strike are already in prison, so saying something lofty like "don't lock them up in the first place" is useless, since that horse has left the barn.

    Shrug - I know this sounds cruel, but I agree with you.  Give them what they want.  I don't believe in acquiesing to blackmail or extortion, and that's exactly what hunger strikes are.  I say, if they don't want to eat, then let them starve themselves.

    The problem with that is the US government looks bad either way, so it's probably better that these men don't get to commit suicide on a grand stage, and have the world condemn them for "allowing" them to starve to death.


    There's a dark irony in our forcing (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:22:21 PM EST
    people to live so that we can continue not to afford them any legal recourse to the indefinite nature of their detention.

    How humane is it to keep people alive so you can continue to deprive them this way?

    We did this to ourselves; the tragedy - over and above the damage to our vaunted image as standard-bearers of legal and human rights - is the detainees caught in this trap.


    Two More Layers of Irony... (none / 0) (#73)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:12:55 PM EST
    We spend countless millions trying, and succeeding, to execute people right here in America.

    But the criminals deemed too dangerous to relocate to American soil, are forced to remain alive.


    Why is that a different conversation? (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by sj on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:40:37 PM EST
    Removing the cameras is an action that could be taken immediately.

    A Hunger Strike is About.... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:50:25 PM EST
    ...publicity.  Shinning the light on the dark.

    I agree about blackmail/extortion, but I also believe in treating people humanely.  People don't stave themselves to death when you treat them like human beings, even the ones who are in prisons.

    People that are cleared to leave should not literally, be behind bars.  We spent a kazillion dollars on this facility and they can't build a facility that keeps them from leaving, yet is more inline with their status of not being criminals.  Like a half way house, where they can cook and watch TV and not be regulated and watch like criminals.  They shouldn't be there and they should be treated with that in mind.

    And while the horse has left the barn, you are the one who says people whould are responsible for the things they do, is this just for criminals, or should the people storing criminals be held to the same degree.  They screwed up, yet someone else is paying for it, seems counteractive to what you usually say about people and their actions.

    This isn't a problem that stated a month or two ago, they have had years to rectify it and they haven't.  It's time to stop labeling people who want Constitutional rights as blackmailers.  And people who are cleared to leave, but are still being imprisoned, as extortionists.


    Have any of you experienced this? (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by SuzieTampa on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 05:01:33 PM EST
    I have. I've had nasal-gastric tubes placed several times to relieve partial small-bowel blockages. The last time, I was crying and struggling with nurses holding me down. And I had the benefit of morphine.

    Yes, let's stop it at Guantanamo. But let's also try to come up with a better system in hospitals, where it's done daily. And, yes, I know I had a choice -- I could refuse it and risk my intestines perforating.


    There have (none / 0) (#27)
    by DebFrmHell on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:40:21 PM EST
    been two explosions at the end of the Boston Marathon.

    I don't think that's correct (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 02:43:37 PM EST
    The standard statutes of limitations for criminal tax offenses are 3 or 6 years, I believe.  Is there something else that I am not aware of?

    Did Not Know That... (none / 0) (#64)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:52:27 PM EST
    ...seems like the golden rule around here is a myth.  Thanks.

    I deleted thecomment (none / 0) (#67)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 03:53:54 PM EST
    iyou are replying to as it was incorrect.

    No more bras? (none / 0) (#79)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 05:09:57 PM EST
    New study shows wearing bras may be counterproductive.

    Gonna leave it at that ...

    Good. I've always suspected (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by brodie on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 05:28:35 PM EST
    there was something ... unnatural, unhelpful, illogical and irresponsible about those contraptions ... given how often I've fumbled with getting them off at crucial moments ...

    Okay, Yman (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:17:03 PM EST
    I want you to try jogging, play tennis, go horseback riding, or any kind of physical exercise, for that matter, sporting a B-cup or larger, without something to support those puppies.
    Other than that, no, I have never thought that bras were necessary.  ;-)

    ROTFLMAO!!! (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:59:55 PM EST
    You are too funny Zorba. You made me laugh today and I thank you for that!

    Glad to be (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:09:35 PM EST
    of service.   :-)

    Or even try to get through a normal day at work (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by ruffian on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:14:18 PM EST
    and have anyone pay attention to anything above your neck.

    No thank you, the girls can have their freedom in private.

    I know part of the idea is that the muscle will be stronger if you train it from a younger age...I wonder if the excess tissue we older ladies get is partially weak muscle? If I had known this 30 years ago maybe I would have tried it....but it is too late for me!


    I'd be happy to give it a shot (none / 0) (#97)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:13:37 PM EST
    ... might have trouble with the "sporting a B-cup or larger" part, though ...  :)

    LOL! Your friendly (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:30:47 PM EST
    neighborhood plastic surgeon might oblige.

    Yman (none / 0) (#134)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 07:44:38 AM EST
    What about the... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:43:02 AM EST
    ...manziere or the bro ?

    "You know, selling bras exclusively to women, we're really only utilizing 50% of the market" - Sid Fargus


    Well, I'm not! (none / 0) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 11:27:02 PM EST
    There is bouncing, (none / 0) (#110)
    by Zorba on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:13:53 PM EST
    and then there is bouncing.  As someone who sports D cups, just let me say that more than a little bouncing can be very, very uncomfortable.  Try it some time.   ;-)

    As someone who comes from ... (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 03:21:42 PM EST
    ... a family of well-endowed women, I hear you and sympathize with your plight. My sister had breast reduction surgery eleven years ago after she weaned her fourth child. She's not a big woman, but her breasts sure were -- let's just say outsized, and they kept getting bigger with each kid until it was just too damned uncomfortable -- and bras didn't really help, because the straps would cut into her shoulders. She's much happier for having had the surgery.

    New comments indicator pretty much non-existent (none / 0) (#82)
    by shoephone on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:04:54 PM EST
    even in Chrome and Safari, which, up until today, were showing new comments at least some of the time.

    For me, too; it's a pain once the (none / 0) (#86)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:09:46 PM EST
    threads get large.

    TL (none / 0) (#91)
    by jes on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:47:26 PM EST
    On top of the news in every open thread. What a hoot.

    An interesting Fifth Amendment case (none / 0) (#112)
    by jbindc on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:28:42 PM EST
    Arguments hear today at the Supreme Court.

    Issue:  Does the Fifth Amendment right to silence extend to pre-arrest dealings with police?

    I hope that nobody's flying on ... (none / 0) (#118)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 03:26:23 PM EST
    ... American Airlines today. The company has grounded its entire fleet this afternoon because of what it says is some big computer glitch, and untold thousands of travelers are being standed all over the place.

    They're back up and flying (none / 0) (#119)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 03:38:08 PM EST
    in twenty minutes.