Wednesday Open Thread

Edward Snowden says he'll stay in Hong Kong and fight extradition.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    CONSCIOUS vs. SUBCONSCIOUS, vols. 30-35 (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 03:05:54 PM EST
    Vol. 30

    Vol. 31

    Vol. 32

    Vol. 33

    Vol. 34

    Vol. 35

    (All praise bi-polar OCD! Peace, my good peeps.)

    Pervasive surveillance of (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 05:16:23 PM EST
    all Americans by an agency of the Department of Defense (i.e, NSA) is grossly understated by President Obama who claims that it is just a modest invasion of privacy.

    Even if the surreptitious gathering of "metadata" is the true extent of the intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens, it is a sea change in the relationship among governmental agencies, (plural given the practice and potential for information sharing) the military and private citizens.  Much about private lives can be obtained from such data.

    Moreover, the possibilities for additional uses and abuses are not a fantastical slippery slope as James Rule (NYT op ed, June 12) reminds us.  With investments of $billions, it would be naive to think that the program would do anything but be built and outfitted further for new uses.  We need only sit back and wait for the inevitable misuses and abuses. Indeed, having the data and not using the data for other amenable uses may be viewed as showing incompetence by bureaucrats and pose electoral danger for politicians.  

    As Professor Rule cogently argues, "those Americans who think the supposed trade-off between privacy and security is 'worth  it' need to ponder all the likely consequences."  And, as we are learning, it is not paranoia to believe that your communications are being monitored--guess that is the good news.  The likely price of the panopticon is the bad news.

    CIA Deputy Director Morell Resigns (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:22:34 PM EST

    And yes, Virginia, he actually used the cliche line that he "wants to spend more time with his family."

    But, hey, he's not going to be out of government altogether, just out of accountability range.

    Obama has appointed Morell to the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, a group of mostly retired people who help advise the White House on intelligence policy.

    My very own congressman (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:31:03 PM EST
    Grayson proposes law changes for defense spying.

    It is a start. So glad to have him representing my district!

    Wow, the contrast of so many (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:44:14 PM EST
    old white guys in the room vs some ticked off women. The hearings in DC re: military vs sexual assault. Just looked up from the computer to my TV with the sound off. Many of those guys really look like they could use some sunshine, lol!~

    I bet they were longing for the old days (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:26:19 PM EST
    when women were there to serve them coffee and keep their mouths shut.

    Jesus Mary & Joseph... (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 11:20:49 AM EST
    that's alotta spam!

    Site Violator (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Dadler on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 11:29:12 AM EST
    about a million words worth. jaysus.

    Ibragim Todashev (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:35:15 PM EST
    DOJ: We will decide if probe is needed in FBI shooting case

    June 9, 2013|By Jerriann Sullivan, Orlando Sentinel

    U.S. Department of Justice civil-rights division has pledged to conduct a separate investigation into the FBI's fatal shooting last month of Ibragim Todashev in Orlando -- but only if it decides one is necessary.

    The agency announced its position in response to the American Civil Liberties Union's call for an independent examination of the May 22 shooting. The FBI is part of the justice department.

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:50:12 PM EST
    just finished speaking at the White House today on LGBT Pride Month.

    Earlier today the Senate confirmed Nitza Quiñones Alejandro, Obama's nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Definitely a first for the demographic making her the first openly gay female Hispanic Federal Judge.

    Hopefully soon, these are adjectives that will no longer need to be mentioned when describing Judges when they are nominated and gain confirmation.

    According to Think Progress, there are now 7 times as many openly gay Federal Judges on the bench as there were when Obama took office.

    OMG! Next thing you know, ... (none / 0) (#140)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:35:16 PM EST
    ... all those gays and lesbians are going to want, like, real civil rights and equality and stuff. This is madness, I tell you! If we don't draw a sharp line here, why, before you know it, they'll want to actually be considered for jobs according to merit and professional qualifications! When will it all end?



    With all due respect to my L.A. Dodgers, ... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:43:46 PM EST
    ... why in the Hell aren't they offering to pay for any of this?:

    San Jose Mercury-News | June 13, 2013
    Injured Giants fan Bryan Stow returns to Santa Cruz after insurance company cuts off care - "Ending two years of medical care at facilities around California, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow recently returned to Santa Cruz.  Stow, a 44-year-old former paramedic, was attacked outside Dodger Stadium in March 2011. He has been treated for a severe brain injury in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and most recently at the Centre for Neuro Skills in Bakersfield, his family said. The Stows' insurance company determined full-time care was no longer needed, so it ceased payments for the Bakersfield center and Stow came home in early May, said Bonnie Stow, his sister."

    I'm sorry, but this is bull$H!+.  Mr. Stow was beaten nearly to death on the Dodgers' property in a violent attack, apparently for the dastardly crime of being a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day in March 2011.

    That the attack even occurred was due in large part to former Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt being too f***ing cheap to provide an adequate security umbrella over the entire stadium complex, which includes the parking lot.

    The team's new ownership consortium, headed up by former L.A. Laker and NBA Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson, needs to step up to the plate and do the right thing here, and take care of Bryan Stow's ongoing rehabilitation needs. And no insurance company should ever be able to unilaterally decide when you've received enough treatment and then pull the plug on payment.


    Was there no financial settlement (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:49:52 PM EST
    between Stow and the Dodgers? Like, a HUGE financial settlement? If not, is it too late for Stow to file a lawsuit?

    This guy should be rolling in Dodger $$$$, not that the bucks would in any way make up for his lifelong injuries. But still.


    google around (none / 0) (#133)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:56:38 PM EST
    various stories have Stow's family and SF General Hospital/the City of SF all suing the Dodgers. Stow, reportedly, for 50 mill.

    And I hope he wins (none / 0) (#135)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:06:47 PM EST
    The Dodgers dropped the ball on this one (pardon the weak pun).

    ... the Dodgers committed two errors and blew a 4-1 lead in the top of the 9th the other night, and lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    The Dodgers (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:05:39 PM EST
    are certainly culpable here.  Morally and ethically, at the very least, if not legally.  They really do need to do the right thing.
    And as for the insurance company?  What do people expect?  Whoever thought that "insurance" was the best way to provide for health care?  Most companies are for-profit and need to satisfy their shareholders, and even the non-profits are not doing the greatest job.
    Single Payer, Universal Health Care, Medicare For All.  I don't give a royal rat's patootie what you call it, we need it.

    eh? (2.00 / 2) (#136)
    by cassandra1313 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:02:16 PM EST
    Government run single payer (whether Medicaid or Medicare) hardly provides infinite amounts of  services even now.  

    Eh? (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:06:40 PM EST
    Who said anything about an "infinite amounts of services"?

    Millions of words (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by sj on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:10:51 PM EST
    written on this and you are still there?



    Aha! So, cassandra, it was YOU who ... (none / 0) (#147)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 09:32:23 PM EST
    ... borrowed my bong for infinite amounts of hits, and were too stoned to return it.

    Well, phooey (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 05:48:47 PM EST
    There are way too many rabbits all over the place this year.  They're really going to wreak havoc in the garden.  I saw two bunnies mating today out back, so even more rabbits expected.  (And no, I don't think they're cute.  They're pests.  When I see a rabbit, I think first "Garden pest."  And my second thought is "Stifado.")
    I suppose we could put up rabbit fencing, but our garden is really huge, and it would take a whole lot of fencing.  We do have an electric fence around the garden to keep deer out, but of course the rabbits can get under that easily.
    And yes, we shoot rabbits, don't we?   ;-)

    Your garden's rabbits are like (none / 0) (#6)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:26:22 PM EST
    my garden's slugs.

    It's war!


    You betcha, shoephone! (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:42:16 PM EST
    Although I suppose, to most people, rabbits are "cuter" than slugs.  But where my garden is concerned, it's definitely war!
    I just hope that the black bears, which have been increasing in the area in recent years, don't decide to eat our apples, peaches, and cherries.  Last year, a black bear climbed up in our largest cherry tree and got a lot of the fruit.  Not that big a deal, since it's a huge old, old, cherry tree, not a dwarf or semi-dwarf.  We don't pick most of those cherries, anyway, since they're too high.  We have several semi-dwarf cherry trees for picking, and the bear didn't bother them.
    One of our apple trees and our peach tree were decimated by deer last year, though, and we have put an electric fence around them (the other fruit trees are already protected by an electric fence, and the deer stay away).  However, if Mr. or Mrs. Black Bear decide to eat the fruit on an electric-fenced tree, there's not much we can do about that.  I cannot imagine that an electric fence would stop a bear.  

    Bears?! You've won the wildlife sweepstakes! (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:09:48 PM EST
    That would scare the bejeezus outta me. And I don't know of anything that would deter them either.

    Deer season. I am surprised I haven't seen any deer this spring. Last spring there were two hanging around, separately, chomping on the garden and traipsing around the patio, the male getting very bold, like maybe it it wanted to hang out and fire up the barbecue, and then inspecting my car...


    I had a bear on my deck (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:18:14 PM EST
    which meant he had to climb 8 stairs. He came up to raid the bird feeder and look in the sliding glass doors. He was a little scary 5 feet from my face. But the coolest animal encounter this year was the Momma Bobcat and her two babies who walked across our yard down by the pond about two months ago.

    Well, they're only (none / 0) (#18)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:30:50 PM EST
    black bears, not grizzly bears, shoephone.     ;-)
    Black bears are not typically aggressive.  Unless, of course, you get between a mother bear and her cub/cubs.
    Leave them alone, and they'll leave you alone, for the most part.
    We haven't seen as many deer around lately, either, now that I think of it.  I wonder what's going on?  

    We have deer (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by cpresley on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:19:36 PM EST
    fencing around our gardens. The vegies are all in raised bed and we wrapped tiny squared chicken wire around the bottom of the deer fencing. We have had this setup for about 4 years and it has kept out the deer and rabbits.They will eat anything that grows through the fencing, but that I guess is only fair. So far the bears have stayed away.

    A male black bear killed a man in Alaska ... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:52:59 AM EST
    ... just the other day. Black bear attacks certainly aren't common, but they're also not unheard of, either.

    While large predators like bears and big cats are often the primary source of fear in our fertile imaginations, the most dangerous and unpredictable animal in North America is probably the moose.

    One should always use caution in any chance encounter with a large wild animal. Even a white-tailed or mule deer buck has been known to get ornery toward humans during the rut.

    (When we were in Africa, we learned that the animal which presented the greatest mortal threat to man was not the lion or leopard, but the hippopotamus. Hundreds of people are killed by aggressive hippos each year. We saw a large bull hippo charge our boat on the Zambezi River in Botswana's Chobe Nat'l Park, mouth agape, to deter us from getting too close to his harem of cows. To say that it was impressive and frightening is an understatement.)



    Yes, I realize that (none / 0) (#35)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 10:56:45 AM EST
    black bears can kill.  They're just not as aggressive as grizzlies.
     And we certainly don't approach them!
    Heck, I won't approach a dog that I don't know very well, never mind wild animals.  Plus, even with smaller wild animals, you have to worry about the possibility of rabies.

    Trans: Forget the bears (none / 0) (#39)
    by christinep on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:18:09 PM EST
    ...its those darn wascally wabbits that are to be feared.  (Just kidding, Zorba :) )

    Lets sic Bugs B. on 'em.


    By the by (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by christinep on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:20:01 PM EST
    Kudos for lightening things up a bit, Zorba.  You are a good community-builder. (Except for the rabbits, of course.)

    Oh, no, not Bugs! (none / 0) (#43)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:30:03 PM EST
    He'd just teach them to eat all the carrots, as well as everything else they eat!
    Maybe Elmer Fudd.  Of course, he's pretty hapless and has never had any success going after Bugs..........

    What do you do with your peaches? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:04:03 PM EST
    Do you freeze them or can them? This year when the Elbertas (original peach) come in, I was thinking about canning them because I have frozen them before and the uses are kind of limited for the frozen ones.

    If there are enough of them, (none / 0) (#78)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:31:06 PM EST
    I make peach jam and peach nectar.  I have canned them in the past, but we prefer the jam and the nectar.
    Unfortunately, in our zone, some years we get tons of peaches, and some years we get zip, depending upon the Spring weather.  This year, not many peaches, I'm afraid, and last year the deer got them all.  
    I may have to break down and buy a bushel at the farm stand.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#137)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:05:21 PM EST
    for replying. I might make a little peach jam but we really don't eat a whole lot of jam and my youngest will only eat grape.

    ... is that there is no rabies. That's one of the reasons why we have the strict animal quarantine / prohibition laws that we do, which far too many recent arrivals tend to complain about when they try to bring pets or favorite animals:

    "Oh, but my dog / cat / camels (in the case of the late Doris Duke) could never have rabies. Make an exception for me." Uh, no, let's not. Camels tend to spit at people when they get irritated.

    "But, I'm special." No, you're not. And neither is your ocelot.

    "But, don't you know who I am?" No, not really, when you get right down to it. So sorry, but no ferrets, either.

    "What do you mean, I can't bring my pet boa constrictor?" What part of the law that says No Snakes Allowed don't you understand?

    "But my macaws are, like, totally cool." You know, macaws are even more totally cool in their own native habitats -- just not so much in ours.

    "This is an outrage! You haven't heard the last from me!" Maybe not, but we can guarantee you, that female monitor lizard gravid with eggs which you were trying to smuggle in from Indonesia sure has.


    There's an interesting docu (none / 0) (#86)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:56:01 PM EST
    out about the exotic pet fetish some people have in this country..

    And it's far from being just jaded rich people who "have everything" and need a new diversion, 'ala Mike Tyson and his pet tigers..

    Some people are as "out there" about their pets, or totem animals, or whatever they are, as they are about their religious and sexual obsessions. Completely impervious to the sway of rationality..



    Exotic pets have done a real number ... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:46:43 PM EST
    ... on indigenous species in this country. One need only look to the havoc that imported Burmese pythons are presently wreaking on the ecosystem in southern Florida.

    We just have an out-and-out ban on the importation of such species, with no exceptions. Even then, you'd still be surprised to see what people will try to bring in to the islands. I wasn't necessarily joking when I wrote my previous comment about the egg-laden monitor lizard, which some clown tried to smuggle in his suitcase.

    Out local State Dept. of Agriculture personnel (who enforce our animal quarantine laws) caught a 6-ft. boa constrictor in our valley just a few months ago. Somebody had to have brought it in, but once it was captured, nobody would own up to it for obvious reasons, given that they committed a felony.



    In that documentary.. (none / 0) (#154)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:39:18 PM EST
    an animal control fellow in, I believe, Ohio, was called to a residential neighborhood because a little kid was walking around the neighborhood with a live gaboon viper (one of the world's ten most venomous snakes), that had gotten loose from an exotic-pet-fancier's garage, draped around his neck..

    Needless to say, it was miracle a of miracles the kid wasn't bitten.  


    I was so ticked the other day (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:31:48 PM EST
    my slugs/snails got a boiling salt water bath :) How dare they take out my young seedlings!

    I think they are on official retreat, or I won the war for now, as I have quite a snail graveyard, lol!~


    Mine get the salt treatment! (none / 0) (#14)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:40:25 PM EST
    But when it's really bad in early spring I have to use bait. And I know metaldehyde is harmful to pets if they get into it, but I don't have dogs or cats, and metaldehyde is the only active ingredient that actually works on these destructive monster Northwest slugs.

    I bait also. (none / 0) (#53)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:11:04 PM EST
    But I have to use a pet safe one. Usually works well. And Roxy! likes to hunt them sometimes at night. I'll see her nosing around and then hear a crunch. YUCK.

    OK, your dog's eating habits (none / 0) (#58)
    by shoephone on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:27:51 PM EST
    just officially made me ... ill.

    Do you find that the iron phosphate products actually do the job of getting rid of them?


    They do (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:49:06 PM EST
    The second year I was here I started using them at the end of rainy season and it made a huge dif. The snail/slug prob here is pretty big. You can walk down the sidewalk on a rainy day and there's herds of them cruising around, shudder. I prob should have done one more treatment this year as we had some odd weather and late rains. They almost wiped out some plants by my back door, but I won that battle :)

    Yeah,it's pretty gross when you hear Rox go crunch! Worse when you step on one in your socks at night, even worse when you step on the same one again the next morning! Yup, that was last night and this AM . . .


    Hey, think of (none / 0) (#108)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:03:13 PM EST
    Slugs as just snails without shells.  Lots of people like escargot, after all.  Maybe the slugs are delicious, at least to the dog.       ;-)

    My grandmother used to regularly line ... (none / 0) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:04:31 AM EST
    ... the outside boundaries of her garden beds with salt. That seemed to deter them.

    Out here, we have these ugly Giant African Land Snails that are the size of golf balls. Talk about a voracious pest! Yuck. I wonder whose bright idea it was to introduce them?


    I was originally just going to salt (none / 0) (#50)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:09:06 PM EST
    but I was kinda ticked, so I decided to go the boiling salt water route directly on their daytime hideouts ;)

    I use an organic safe product earlier in the year a few times during the end of rainy season to get a handle on them. I just seem to have a renegade crew out there this year.

    I'm not even going to click your link! Have you seen the giant hot pink slugs from down under?


    I sure hope PETA... (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:14:02 PM EST
    isn't monitoring this thread along with the NSA;)

    No, PETA (none / 0) (#56)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:22:39 PM EST
    must be too busy protesting the so-called "humane officer" ( what a misnomer) who shot five feral kittens in someone's back yard in Ohio.

    "Humane"....lol (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:08:44 PM EST
    I hope that guy loses his badge, and especially his gun.

    The police department (none / 0) (#80)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:34:39 PM EST
    already "exonerated" him.
     I wonder if he shot and killed song birds when he was younger, too, just for "fun."     :-(

    If he was a good shot... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:36:53 PM EST
    it could have been a humane killing, my main beef is letting the kids watch and talking about "kitty heaven"...wtf is wrong with people sometimes.

    Heard gunshots, yes.

    In a follow-up interview, the homeowner, who was not named, told police she was aware that the feral cats were going to be euthanized but did not expect it to occur on her property, Police Chief Mike Freeman wrote in a post on the department's Facebook page. "The complainant explained she felt overwhelmed due to the fact that her children were inside the residence and heard the gunshots," Freeman wrote.

    The kids heard (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:02:25 PM EST
    the shots, and they knew the cop shot the kittens.  Traumatizing enough for them, I would think.

    Indeed. (none / 0) (#92)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:13:44 PM EST
    I would think that (none / 0) (#107)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:00:42 PM EST
    they could have baited a humane trap and taken the live kittens away, at least.
    We had to call animal control years ago about a stray dog who was chasing and upsetting our beef cattle.  I couldn't get near the dog- she kept running away.  The animal control guys were very good about bringing the humane trap out, baiting it, and coming back to pick it and the dog up when I called them back.
    They didn't send someone out to shoot her.  Heck, we could have done that ourselves, but we certainly did not want to shoot her.  She was just a scared, stray, hungry dog.  Unfortunately, she was scaring the cows, who had newborn calves, so she had to be removed.  

    One person's pest rabbit (none / 0) (#110)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:14:14 PM EST
    is another person's pest cat.

    My dad used to have a garden and when he first started he would live-trap the groundhogs and carefully relocate them miles away.

    And then, after the 5th or 6th time they systematically mowed rows of his just-sprouted veggies down to the ground, he simply ran a pitchfork through the critters he caught and called it a day.

    I'm am pretty shocked this guy shot them with his handgun, probably 9mm? Overkill, to me.

    But, in a pragmatic sense, it sounds like it was efficient and humane.

    Must have left a mess though...


    And I'm betting (none / 0) (#113)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:28:34 PM EST
    That he left the mess for the homeowner to clean up.
    When we have to shoot a rabbit in the garden, we take care of it ourselves.
    I must admit that I have a different feeling about dogs and cats than I do about deer and rabbits.  We have lots of feral cats around here.  Over the years, I have been able to rescue a few feral kittens, get them health care, shots, spay/neuter them, and tamed them to be pets.  If you get them young enough, you can socialize them.
    We also have a neighbor who works with a group to humanely trap, spay/neuter, vaccinate, and release feral cats who are too old to be tamed.
    I don't think this is practical with rabbits and deer, though.

    That's a slight relief... (none / 0) (#91)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:13:22 PM EST
    sh*t with recent news cycles being what they are, we should simply be glad a stray bullet didn't find it's way in the house.


    I'm sure that (none / 0) (#55)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:14:34 PM EST
    Sammy the Slug, the mascot of U.C. Santa Cruz, is terribly offended by your vicious attacks on his cousins.     ;-)

    Ha. I went to school at UCSC... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by shoephone on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:24:47 PM EST
    but the only Banana Slugs I hung out with were of the human, soccer-playing variety...

    lol!~ (none / 0) (#65)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:54:04 PM EST
    what's funny is, I'm not generally a killer. I like to let nature do it's thing out there, until you f*ck with my veggie starts!

    Well, I wouldn't even care (none / 0) (#74)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:27:02 PM EST
    about bunnies all over, but they are murder on my veggies!  So they must die!
    I saw two of them mating yesterday, over by the barn.  Man, talk about "slam, bam, thank you ma'am."  Lasted all of 15 or 20 seconds.  And, of course, that means more bunnies.  Rabbits, like cats, are reflex ovulators, which is part of the reason there are always so many rabbits and feral cats around.

    "Bunnies Must Die" sounds like ... (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:27:03 PM EST
    ... a great title for Dadler's next children's book.

    Or the sequel to "Fatal Attraction." (none / 0) (#105)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:51:07 PM EST
    I'm sure we all remember that scene...

    I was thinking the sequel would be ... (none / 0) (#116)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:38:11 PM EST
    ... "Banal Affliction," chronicling the Michael Douglas character's struggle with a recurrent yeast infection in his tonsils.

    I'm with you kid... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:29:00 PM EST
    live and let live...till you f*ck with me or my food.  It's only natural;)

    Something is chomping away on my zinnia starts. (none / 0) (#112)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:27:45 PM EST
    I suspect slugs. So, about the boiling salt water. Where did you por that water? Where do slugs hang-out during the day? I'm guessing you did not pour the water on your veggies.

    I have everything planted in raised beds. Should I pour the boiling salt water on the ground around the beds? Would that get the slugs, but save the vegies and flowers that are in the beds?


    This is where mine hang out (none / 0) (#118)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:41:54 PM EST
    between the pots and the raised bed Dark and damp :) so that's where I poured the water. I have a major pruning/clean up done in the yard late winter/early spring and use that to basically make it a less friendly environ for them (along with putting out the safe bait.

    In your case, I would do just salt around the outside of your bed, or pick up some Sluggo and sprinkle it in the beds as it's safe for plants. Salt will kill plants (yup, been there!) I also use coffee grounds and egg shells to help deter around my young veggies (plus both are great for plants!)


    Sluggo is okay for the vegies, too? (none / 0) (#122)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:48:41 PM EST
    I can sprinkle Sluggo in the beds, around the outside edges, say, and both flowers and vegies will be okay?

    Yup, I sprinkle it all over and plants and pets (none / 0) (#125)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:57:45 PM EST
    are safe. My LL and her partner have a small urban farm thing going on and they use it also.

    You can also use the copper stuff (none / 0) (#141)
    by shoephone on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:48:33 PM EST
    around the raised beds.

    One thing I've concluded is that, even though I really enjoy watering in the early evening (kind of a winding down, relaxing thing), it keep the soils so moist that slugs love it. So, it's really better to water early morning if you can, so that the day's warmth and sun deters the little monsters.


    About the coffee grounds. (none / 0) (#124)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:52:21 PM EST
    Do you sprinkle them around the perimeter of each plant? Do you mix the grounds into the soil? Is there such a thing as too much coffee grounds? How often do you apply coffee grounds?

    I drink coffee every day, so I have a continuous supply of grounds.

    I have a terrible problem with leaf miners attacking the chard. Would coffee grounds deter the leaf miners, do you think?


    I usually leave the grounds on top as they (none / 0) (#127)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:07:31 PM EST
    work into the soil eventually. I went to Starbucks the first time and they gave me about 15-20lbs of strong grounds, I sprinkled it quite liberally over the beds, kinda like a top layer. Boy did it smell good, especially when I watered! The plants love it. I do every week or two. Less during fruit production time as then I start using something for setting blooms/veggies/fruit. I had a MM plant supply store by me for awhile and the guys taught me some stuff about feeding the plants ;)

    I alter my personal coffee grounds between the plants and the compost pile and generally pick up SB grounds once or twice since I'm now growing year round.

    I can't remember if the grounds deter miners. I know I've had them, but they aren't a huge problem (as in I think I only had them once). It may have been towards the end of a season . . .


    Depends (none / 0) (#128)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:11:47 PM EST
    Roses and epsom salts :) but true, in generally you don't, that's why you edge with it. Same with ash. And vinegar.  I try and keep Sluggo on hand, but I won't hesitate to hit the salt or boiling SW if it's going to save  my young plants. I've had them wipe out beds overnight.

    Wes Montgomery alert! (none / 0) (#146)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:47:01 PM EST

    You might not see this, because it's almost Friday... If you don't reply, I'll post it again in the next open thread.

    but - there is a new Wes album out - live broadcasts from the Half Note in NYC c. 1965.

    He plays chorus after chorus.
    Also - one guitar solo - I hadn't heard him do that..

    Info here: Wes Montgomery

    It is, imo, a must.


    Purchase a (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 09:38:14 PM EST
    product called "Repels" and spray around the edge of the garden. It will keep rabbits, squirrels and deer away.

    What you need is a mating pair ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:30:31 AM EST
    ... of great horned owls, and a big tree for them to roost and nest. They love to eat rabbits -- and anything else they can catch, for that matter. Do you have any other resident carnivores in your locale that dine on rabbits?

    My grandparents had a big pine tree in their front yard in Pasadena, and they had a pair of horned owls living in it when I was in high school. They never had a squirrel or rabbit problem with the owls holding court at their place.

    I also learned that great horned owls are one of the very few apex predators which will prey upon skunks, because while the owl's binocular vision is extraordinarily keen, its sense of smell and taste is correspondingly very poor, so the skunk's musk glands is no deterrent to a hungry horned owl.



    I like owls, myself (none / 0) (#34)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 10:51:36 AM EST
    But I think that our neighbors who have cats and let them go outside (not to mention those who have small dogs who go outside in their yards) might be a bit alarmed if we imported a pair of great horned owls.       ;-)

    That's true. (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:28:59 PM EST
    George Kalomiras of Crystal Lake, IL can certainly vouch for that.

    The owls (none / 0) (#83)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:39:29 PM EST
    don't make any distinction between any of the small animals.  If they're small enough to pick up and fly away with, they'll do so.
    I'm glad the man was able to rescue his dog.  Poor traumatized dog!  Bet the man was pretty traumatized, too.

    They're amazing, numinus (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:08:56 PM EST

    Years ago, a redneck friend of mine shot one, cuz he just had ta kill somethin' after a frustrating day's deer hunting (and then, to add insult to injury just left the carcass there to molder in the dirt), and a few days later someone broke into his home and stole his entire gun collection valued at many thousands..

    He made the connection between the two events before I did.



    Yes, owls are (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:20:03 PM EST
    amazing.  All of them.
    Years ago, I heard a flock of crows screeching and cawing something awful.  I went out with a pair of binoculars to try and see what they were making such a fuss about.  They were swarming and chasing and owl!  Owls normally sleep during the day, but the crows must have found the owl napping and started to chase it.
    I guess crows really, really don't like owls.
    And your erstwhile buddy was a jerk, BTW.  

    Interestingly, mockingbirds ... (none / 0) (#121)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:46:29 PM EST
    ... will do likewise. When I was at my mother's in Pasadena a few years ago and was out on an afternoon walk, I watched several of them relentlessly harass a horned owl perched in a large tree on the campus of my old high school, until she / he got annoyed and flew off in search of a quieter roost.

    Crows and owls are archenemies (none / 0) (#155)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:45:56 PM EST
    A guy down the road from me set up a big plastic owl on his roof to scare away the starlings (yet another wonderful introduced species) and ended up with his rooftop being divebombed day-and-night by a flocks of angry, not be dissuaded, crows..

    a buddy of mine lived in small town Kansans... (none / 0) (#99)
    by Dadler on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:19:27 PM EST
    ...for a few years recently, and he'd call me with ad-hoc hunting stories with a similar sort of unwritten code about them. His "favorite" examples would always occur when his redneck cousin was giving him a ride home from the tractor painting plant they worked at. They lived in a town of maybe a hundred people, and would take farm roads home. His crazy cousin would be drinking, booming Black Sabbath or bad country (quite the spectrum) from the car stereo, driving 90 on a dirt road, then would slam on the breaks on a dime, sighting a critter worth bagging in one of the fields or spaces in between. My buddy said the guy ALWAYS made sure to call the owner of that land, tell them he had dinner in his sights and was he cool to shoot it. Then...boom! Dinner was taken down.

    My boy lasted a little less than two years out there, looking to "reconnect" with family and save some coin. Freestyle hunting hospitality or no, small (as in miniscule) town life in Kansas eventually drove him crazier than he thought big town SoCal life had.


    I should add that my buddy called me once... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Dadler on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:22:02 PM EST
    ...when the critter in question was about to be bagged, so I could hear the whole thing go down, Sabbath (circa Ronnie James Dio not Ozzy, blah) t in the background. The sound of the gunshot, then the midwest rebel sort of yell, enhanced with a Miller Lite King Can, you can't wish those kind of memories into existence.

    Ronnie James Dio.. (none / 0) (#153)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:28:46 PM EST
    didn't he just die?

    All I can think of is Man on the Silver mountain by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. Been outa' the loop fer awhile..

    I guess any critter that didn't light out for the territories after that infernal racket would've been one of the first to be culled in the proverbial survival-of-the-fittest race anyway..

    They'd have as much chance of longterm survival as the moles, robins, sparrows, and any unfortunate migrant workers would in Ted Nugent's backyard..


    dio is dead indeed (none / 0) (#156)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:00:22 PM EST
    long live ozzy.

    and ted nugent would bowhunt for his own brain, if he thought there was any chance of success.


    and have you been checking out my toons? (none / 0) (#157)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:01:43 PM EST
    "conscious vs. subconscious"? lemme know if you think they're actually funny.

    I think he's been doing that (none / 0) (#158)
    by jondee on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:14:53 PM EST
    right along without realizing it.

    Speaking of conscious vs unconscious..

    The toons rock, my man. Though not quite as utterly filthy, tansgressive, and jaded-sensibility-bludgeoning as my usual preferred fare, they're definately a welcome enlightening, palette-cleansing experience. A positive addition to the logosphere, blogosphere, or whatever we're calling it these days..  


    I've actually... (none / 0) (#195)
    by Dadler on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 09:21:19 PM EST
    ...been holding the more prurient ones back. But they'll make their appearances.

    What did he shoot -- an owl or a chihuahua? (none / 0) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:25:08 PM EST

    Snowden's odd new sympathies (none / 0) (#4)
    by Politalkix on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:11:30 PM EST
    Calling all TL chefs and gardeners (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:28:33 PM EST
    How do I go about drying fresh herbs for later use? I occasionally buy fresh mint for my mojitos or fresh basil for caprese salad, and typically I don't use the whole bunch before it goes bad. I'd like to be able to dry them to use fro cooking later. Anyone ever done that?

    It is summer time and I plan on drinking a lot of mojitos - but not enough to to not waste mint!

    Zorba and NYCstray probably know best (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:33:14 PM EST
    but, honestly, I just tie the bundle, hang it upside down inside the house, and within a couple of days I've got dried herbs. I crush them and then seal them up in either a small ziplock or a little spice jar.

    My method works well for (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:34:33 PM EST
    thyme, oregano and rosemary. (I don't ever cook with dried basil, only fresh.)

    Dehydrator (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:32:25 PM EST
    A dehydrator does the job..  or puree the mint or basil first and then freeze.. ice cube trays are handy as mentioned above..or freezer bags work fine.

    Fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, fresh vidalia onion, (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 09:07:19 PM EST
    chopped, with chopped smoked mozzarella, drizzled with balsamic vinegar = Summer.

    I've always wanted to get one (none / 0) (#60)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:36:09 PM EST
    Have you ever dried fruit in one?  I think that might be quite tasty, too.

    Fruit (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:26:07 PM EST
    Yes, dried fruit, garlic for homemade garlic powder, celery for celery salts, meats for jerky.. etc.. very handy device..

    And it really helps when making chicharrónes yumm..

    most ovens do not go low enough to dehydrate without killing the natural enzymes in fruits and veggies. 115ºF- 120ºF is ideal..

    or even 130ºF which is high for raw foodies.. but recommended for dehydrating, is hard to control in an oven..


    How are you making celery salt? (none / 0) (#106)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:59:40 PM EST
    Inquiring mind here :) I have one I was letting go to seed for the seed, but some celery salt would be good also . . .

    Celery Salt (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:40:42 PM EST
    Dehydrate celery leaves... grind up with celery seed and and salt..

    Ahhhh! Thank you!!!! :) (none / 0) (#119)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:42:42 PM EST
    How does it work for jerky? (none / 0) (#130)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:29:43 PM EST
    Because we get lots of venison here, and I would like to make venison jerky.  Do you partially cook the meat first, or just slice it up thin and go from there?
    Dehydrators sound fascinating and useful.  I really, really need to get one.
    Another kitchen item, to go with the pressure-canner, two food processors, blender, KitchenAid mixer with tons of attachments, hand-cranked pasta maker, juicer-steamer, etc!
    I love this stuff!  Thanks for the heads-up about the dehydrator!

    Venison Jerky (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:28:30 PM EST
    Slice into 1/4"-1/2"  thick strips, marinate, dehydrate at 130º-140ºF...

    Sounds good to me (none / 0) (#145)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:35:22 PM EST

    I loved mine (none / 0) (#61)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:41:43 PM EST
    I had about 10 trays for it and would do fruits and jerky. You can also make fruit skins. Oh, and dried tomatoes are nice to have in the winter :)

    Mmmmmmm (none / 0) (#63)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:47:38 PM EST
    I have to get one.

    you can use your oven, too (none / 0) (#73)
    by Dadler on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:25:17 PM EST
    on the lowest temp, works best if you have convection oven, but does work either way. that's how my wife makes homemade jerky.

    I've done it that way also. (none / 0) (#75)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:28:10 PM EST
    You can also make a screen table type of thing and use the sun. Or just put 4 bricks on the ground with a screen on it . . .  :)

    thanks, I was going to try that (none / 0) (#94)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:14:58 PM EST
    The oven is the dryest place in a Florida home in June. It is my only hope!

    Mint is best dried (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:49:11 PM EST
    hanging upside down, in the dark, in a very dry place.  Make sure your mint is clean and absolutely dry before hanging.  Tie the mint, on its stems, in a bundle.  Place it in a paper bag before hanging if you don't have a dark place to dry it.  Always, hang upside down.
    You can do the same with basil, but I also like to freeze it, finely chopped and mixed with olive oil, in ice cube trays, and then pop the basil cubes out and store them frozen in freezer bags.  Or make pesto and freeze that.
    Oregano also dries very well, hanging upside down in a dry place.

    PS. I sure wouldn't use dried mint in mojitos.  ;-)
    If you want mojitos throughout the year, it's not that hard to grow mint in small pots indoors.  Or other herbs, for that matter, if you have the space and some sunny windows.


    You can freeze pesto? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:35:46 AM EST
    I just learned something new. I love pesto; now I know I can prepare it in quantity and freeze the remainder for future use. Thank you.

    Yes, I've been doing it for years! (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Angel on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:23:15 AM EST
    All my friends know it's basil season when I show up on their doorstep bearing little plastic freezer containers with my homemade pesto inside.  I grow my plants inside containers on my back patio and when I have enough leaves I pick and prepare.  One nice thing about the frozen pesto is that it takes only a little time to thaw if you just plop the plastic container in a bowl of warm water.  Presto pesto.  :}

    You can chop them and (none / 0) (#12)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:36:31 PM EST
    and pack them into ice cube trays, add enough water, but not too much!, and freeze. Then put all cubes in marked airtight ziplock bags for later.

    I'm trying chopping and laying out on a baking sheet in the freezer and then when they are ready, putting in ziplocks today.

    For basil, I've just seen jars filled with leaves packed in kosher salt, haven't tried that one yet, but will :)

    Or, I sometimes chop and spread out on the wood cutting board over night, then jar.


    Oh, and you can also use olive oil instead (none / 0) (#13)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:39:41 PM EST
    for the cubes. I do both.

    Another thing I've done is made various types of pesto and frozen in cubes. great for a quick pasta dish ;)


    I knew you and Zorba (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by shoephone on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 09:22:57 PM EST
    would be on the same page. ;-)

    I knew I could count on you all (none / 0) (#72)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:22:29 PM EST
    Thanks so much! Lots of great ideas there!

    Our mostly unfettered right to bear arms doesn't (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:50:00 AM EST
    Seem to afford us any protection against our government re Mr. Snowden's reveals re our cellular and Internet privacy.

    What I don't Get... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:19:53 PM EST
    ...is this program is surely tracking the information to easily create a 'who owns guns list', yet for the most part that group has been silent.  Cross referencing gun store locations to location info from phones, to gun related searches on the internet and that a pretty accurate list of who owns guns and what level of commitment they have.

    PRISM has the ability to effect many of our rights and yet 40-some percent of Americans are cool with it.  

    Free Speech, sure, just know today it might not be recorded, but that's the plan if America doesn't shut this down.  Or worse, they are lying which seems far more likely.  If you can track it why would you not record it, that would be foolish from a security point of view.


    John Oliver on the Daily Show the other (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:16:45 PM EST
    night....the only way to keep the government from tracking your calls: gun phone!

    I think the NSA... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 11:36:50 AM EST
    is banking on nobody being willing to die for confidential gmail.

    Can't be Spam.... (none / 0) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:26:14 PM EST
    ...there is no link and it's not in English.  

    I always think the longer spams are some clandestine communications, in some sort of super deluxe code set in another language.  It will be removed and no one gives it a second thought.

    It's obviously (none / 0) (#44)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:33:57 PM EST
    a PRISM code keeping tabs of your whereabouts so as to keep track of your gun.

    Well, I don't think it's all that sinister. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:18:58 PM EST
    It was probably just some poor schmuck in Istanbul who got incensed when he recently saw David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" on DVD, and was simply trying to tell us his country's side of the story.

    LOL.... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:53:20 PM EST
    I hope the NSA agent assigned to monitor Talkleft speaks Turkish!

    Want me to go upstairs to the Booz Allen ... (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:21:03 PM EST
    ... office and ask them?

    Don't do that my brother... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:31:24 PM EST
    I'd imagine the place is still swarming with spooks....if I was you I'd take 2 weeks vacay stat.  

    Then again that might look "suspicious", and we're all suspect these days.


    It's in (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:35:23 PM EST
    Turkish.  No surprise there.
    I kind of wondered at first if it was some kind of communique about the protests in Turkey and Erdogan's heavy-handed responses.  But there is too much repetition, which makes me think that it may well be spam, written by someone who has figured out that nobody clicks the links.
    Although I wonder whom he thinks he's communicating with, since I doubt that there are very many Turkish speakers here.

    I think it is a Senate staff translation of (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:10:39 PM EST
     McCain's call for American intervention in Turkey. Not sure on which side (he, not me).  That would also explain the repetition.

    It's definitely spam (none / 0) (#46)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:43:18 PM EST
    I ran a few phrases through Google translate, and they were about selling/buying documents of some kind.

    Documents, eh? . . . . (none / 0) (#49)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:04:06 PM EST
    Well, it could be (none / 0) (#51)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:10:38 PM EST
    Some kind of translation service, I suppose.
    Or, it could be trying to sell falsified documents of some kind.....

    Hmm...documents... (none / 0) (#59)
    by shoephone on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:29:38 PM EST
    That raises the antennae.

    Encrypted (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:47:33 PM EST
    message from Kim Dotcom to Snowden using TL servers letting him know that spam lamb is better than turkish spam

    Hahahahahaha! (none / 0) (#88)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:06:37 PM EST

    Well, one phrase (none / 0) (#62)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 01:45:05 PM EST
    Said something about "what is the document," also "renewal certificates of authority."
    And something about "applications for authorization."
    Sounds pretty boring and bureaucratic.

    My Point... (none / 0) (#67)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:08:17 PM EST
    ...it's a secret code that is made to look like another language, like Turkish, so it just seems like spam.  IOW passes the Google Translate muster.

    But if a someone fluent in the language were to look at, it wouldn't make much sense because the underlying message, was converted to Turkish for concealment.

    Might be instructions for a hit man, banking information for a cartel, a line of code to hack DoD computers, or span from some idiot that forgot the link.

    It if was code, they can breather easier knowing it's gone for us to examine further...


    Although, one of the things (none / 0) (#96)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:17:40 PM EST
    you're not supposed to do when sending coded messages is repeat things so much.  That gives the computers something to latch onto in order to decrypt it.
    Or so they say.  Disclaimer to the NSA:  I know nothing about encryption or decryption!   Nothing, I swear, nothing!

    Siegfried... (none / 0) (#150)
    by shoephone on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:21:55 AM EST
    you'll never get away with it!

    Jeralyn zapped it. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:51:15 PM EST

    We must be getting a little tired (none / 0) (#90)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:13:21 PM EST
    of ruminating over, rehashing, and sometimes squabbling about, all the PRISM stuff, the NSA spying, Snowden, DotCom, Zimmerman/Martin, etc., since there are so many comments about gardening and garden pests and preserving the bounty of said gardens, and Turkish spam, of all things.
    Who knew that Turkish spam could generate so much speculation?  ;-)

    I thinks It's Because It's all Like Minds Today (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:04:13 PM EST
    Where is the opposition telling us the NSA is only making America a safer place to live and that traitors Manning and Snowden should be facing firing squads.

    Rick Perry did sign the Merry Christmas bill into law today.  Now there is no legal risk to saying 'Merry Christmas' in schools.  

    Good thing because it's been a real problem here in Texas...  

    Just another republican law for a problem that never doesn't exist anywhere but int heir heads.


    Merry Christmas, Scott. (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 07:16:36 PM EST
    Gosh, it feels so liberating to say that ...

    There are more than a few (none / 0) (#115)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:34:50 PM EST
    here, at least, that are opposed to the erosion of our civil liberties.
    And Rick Perry and his ilk are jerks.  
    I leave you with a quote from H. L. Mencken:

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    Rupert Murdoch files for divorce ... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:14:44 PM EST
    Gees, why bother at his age? (none / 0) (#98)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:18:15 PM EST
    or is that age-ist of me?

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:31:21 PM EST
    filed for divorce and rehired Palin the same day. Coincidence? lol

    There is a pre-nup which limits (none / 0) (#120)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:45:55 PM EST
    what Wendi can get through divorce. I would think she could rake in more, maybe a share of the company, if he died while they were married.

    So, perhaps this is part of Murdoch's estate planning. You know, make sure his older kids, James and his sister, get the bulk of the company $$$, not Wendi or the two daughters Murdoch and Wendi have.


    Remember that sweet Cheerios commercial (none / 0) (#129)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:20:43 PM EST
    from a couple of weeks ago? The one with the cute biracial little girl? The one that brought out such ugly hate that General Mills disabled comments?

    Well, here is a parody of that commercial with an equally cute child. What say ye now, haters?

    h/t Shakesville

    Snowden wrote in 2006 (none / 0) (#148)
    by Politalkix on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 10:05:02 PM EST
    that "China is definitely a good option career-wise, and I've already got a basic understanding of Mandarin and the culture, but it just doesn't seem like as much "fun" as some of the other places. Who knows where the "needs of the service" will actually end up placing me, though."


    He had listed China as a country that he would like moving to and thought Scandinavia was overrated. So much for Snowden's distaste for authoritarian governments!

    This is getting interesting. We have to wait and see how everything turns out but I am not ruling out the possibility at this time that Snowden has defected to China for a nice payday and Greenwald is milking the cultists on the left in the same way the Limbaughs and Hannitys milk the cultists on the right.

    And what about senators Wyden and Udall? (5.00 / 3) (#149)
    by shoephone on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:20:23 AM EST
    Are they "cultists of the left" too?

    I love the whole killing-the-messenger game. It's a good distraction from the unconstitutional spying on Americans citizens.


    OT (none / 0) (#159)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 06:08:58 PM EST
    Great new Wes album out.



    Cool! (none / 0) (#160)
    by shoephone on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 06:44:30 PM EST
    This should be fun. I love the Smokin' at the Half Note recordings, so it will be interesting to hear his slightly earlier versions of "Impressions" and "Four On Six."

    By the way, I really enjoy the playing on Echoes of Indiana Avenue, but the sound quality is not very good. On that last cut, "After Hours" Blues", he turns his amp up so high that the distortion just about busts my eardrums. Overall, though, I really think it's great -- and it's nice to hear someone playing "Nica"s Dream" which no one ever plays anymore.


    This (none / 0) (#161)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 06:54:32 PM EST
    CD is something different.

    It is from live broadcasts.

    On most of the tracks, Wes is the only soloist - and he plays many choruses - doing things I have never heard him do before. Very free.

    One track is a beautiful guitar solo.

    I don't know - on the "After Hours Blues" you mentioned, the sound is OK on my disc... I love hearing the response of the audience as it can hardly wait until the next phrase.


    Many choruses on the solos (none / 0) (#162)
    by shoephone on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 06:58:39 PM EST
    will be great. That's one thing about the Echoes recording: his solos are way too short.

    I (none / 0) (#163)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:10:30 PM EST
    think you'll like this one.

    I see (none / 0) (#170)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 10:36:05 AM EST
    what you mean about the amp...

    I thought he was going for a "bluesy" type of sound - a la B.B. King.
    I thought there was some humor in that.

    But I really love the ambiance of that track. The laughing at Wes's phrases - and the sounds where they are waiting for the next one...

    That's the place I would like to be hanging out on a Friday or Saturday night. But I would need a time machine. Those places with that feeling don't exist anymore...


    My favorite laugh on those recordings (none / 0) (#199)
    by shoephone on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 12:18:13 AM EST
    is Wes's. He had a great laugh, really joyful sounding. And, since you have listened to a lot of his live stuff, you know that he often laughed during tunes. Some of the YouTubes are great for that too.

    I (none / 0) (#200)
    by lentinel on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 07:21:06 AM EST
    have another CD to tell you about - and since you mentioned Wes's voice, this one will resonate.


    The last track is of Wes talking about music - and in the beginning part he talks specifically about "practicing".

    This CD also is live and features extended solos by Wes.

    I wound up feeling that most of what is on record is only the tip of the iceberg.

    I guess you have seen that film on Youtube where he talks about tuning the guitar - and then later in the film (around 15:00) he helps the piano player learn "The end of a love affair".


    "Cultists on the left"? (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:18:12 AM EST
    Seriously, how does what Snowden wrote about China seven years ago as a naïve 22-year-old have anything to do with the core issue here, i.e., the NSA compiling databases on our nation's citizenry?

    Non-Sense... (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 09:38:20 AM EST
    What the article stated was:
    The comments offer plenty of evidence to suggest that the handle does indeed belong to the now-famous Snowden

    They purposely used ambiguity, "evidence to suggest", to suggest they are his words without actually taking responsibility if they aren't.  Then you posted them as fact without acknowledging they might not be.

    But more importantly, he mentions China being a good place to work, and now it seems likely he is there.  Is there a point other than China is bad ?

    I really wish the idiot brigade would stop acting like China is the devil, they are our biggest trading partner and our ally.  Their record on human rights isn't exactly stellar, but then again, they aren't so cowardice as to set-up a torture facility off-site so they can still wave their democracy and freedom flags.  I am sure their government spies on their citizens, but so do we, so what makes China so god awful ?


    Quite an understatement! (none / 0) (#165)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 09:25:16 PM EST
    that China's "record on human rights isn't exactly stellar". You have asked what makes China so god awful. I would have more respect for anything that you said in this regard if you went to China and criticized the government for all sorts of things that you accuse American governments for doing with impunity. But you are too clever to even contemplate doing that. You already know that if you did that and did not have the protection of the American govt, you would be thrown in prison, tortured and have your family targeted. Worse things could happen. You could even face trial before a kangaroo court and be summarily executed before a cheering crowd.
    Your rhetoric is also dated. The Obama administration has lectured other countries very little on democracy and freedom and never indulged in mindless flag waving unlike many other previous administrations. This administration also approached many governments across the world (early in its first term) to take some of the prisoners that were incarcerated in Guantanamo so that Guantanamo could be closed but other governments refused them.

    It is true (none / 0) (#174)
    by Zorba on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 02:11:40 PM EST
    that our protesters who criticize the government are not thrown in prison and tortured (at least, not usually, although this is not the case in our past history.  Among others, take a look at what happened to some of the Suffragettes.)
    However, in much more recent times, the OWS protesters have been pepper-sprayed and beaten.  Link.
    I expect a whole he!! of a lot more from our government, with its more than two centuries history of democracy and a Constitution that is supposed to ensure the civil rights of its citizens.
    And, oh, BTW, this administration also continues drone attacks which kill innocent civilians.  Not to mention the fact that this administration has asserted it's right to assassinate its own citizens, without due process, and in fact, has done so.  Link.
    Am I saying that China is some kind of bastion of human rights?  Of course not, not at all.
    But given our own history, and even what is still being done by this country, neither are we.  We have been given much, and much more should be expected from the United States of America.

    Your last sentence, Zorba, is important (none / 0) (#178)
    by christinep on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 03:27:51 PM EST
    for me because it helps me so much with perspective ... the matter of whether one views oneself or one's country as moving forward or as not doing enough.  Although I'm one of those individuals whose own prism sees a movement forward--albeit with occasional setbacks followed by course corrections--as part of the trajectory of US history, I do understand a bit more clearly why other liberals discouraged from time to time.

    A years-long friend, Susan, and I have had many long-winded conversations about particular US dilemmas over those long years ... and, sometimes, even tho we profess the same set of core liberal values, we sound so different. One time I wailed saying "Why do you always put the country down while at the same time seeming to tout a country no where near as forward moving as we are?" This type of back & forth went on for a while; then, over one issues, she said "Christine, I know that you don't think I like our country ... but, I love this country so much ... and, thats why I want so much for it to do better...because it can." <Not exact quotes, but close.>  Then, we talked about where we each put emphasis in discussion, in argument ... and, really, how the individual style & emphasis could impede our openness to each other's points of view.

    So, your last sentence about expecting more from those who have more hit home in explaining how passionate liberals expand the application beyond the individual to nations.  The spiritual injunction that calls for much from those to whom much has been given is always relevant.  My thanks.


    Christine, I do not always (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Zorba on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 05:55:42 PM EST
    agree with you, because frankly, I think that you are often way more willing than I am to give this country and its administration a pass.  However, I appreciate the fact that you, too, love this country.
    I have taken to the streets when I was much younger and I felt that our government was totally wrong about certain things, such as the Vietnam War and Civil Rights.
    I am no longer physically able to get out and demonstrate, although I do what I can by supporting causes I believe in, and calling, writing, and emailing my representatives.  But I agree with your friend Susan.  I love this country so much that I expect a much higher standard from it.
    Namaste, my sister.  Peace.

    Namaste, Zorba. (none / 0) (#189)
    by christinep on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 06:31:58 PM EST
    You Mean... (none / 0) (#201)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 09:35:25 AM EST
    ...those innocent people the United States government snatched off the streets of countries on the other side of the planet ?  There is a reason no one wants them and it's related to our treatment of them.

    You pretty much proved my point.

    What is worse, kangaroo court or never never being charged with a crime ?  Who knows, both are so despicable it's hard to say.  I do know that we lock up more souls than any other country.  A half million more prisoners than China and they have a billion more people than us.  That equates to a prison rate of about 6 times higher than China.

    I doubt we are more prone to crime...


    That's (none / 0) (#164)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:11:41 PM EST
    going to be the response: The guy is a commie.

    Help a bit here. lentinel (none / 0) (#166)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:06:04 PM EST
    What do you think about China, in general?  Do you think that it is the equivalent of America in terms of treatment of its citizens, living there, laws?  I ask because--in all honesty--the statements immediately above raise that question.  While it is not unusual to equate two entities in any situation where the protagonist is trying to show that there is no difference, somehow--at this point--I'm thinking that you would give an honest heartfelt take?  

    So that I'm not pulling any punches, my reaction is that equating the two is somewhat inconceivable & almost  laughable on a number of levels.  But, maybe, I'm stubbornly avoiding the comparison?  I don't think so; but, it is always worthwhile to check one's assumptions.


    What (none / 0) (#167)
    by lentinel on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:43:40 PM EST
    do I think about China?

    Firstly, I think it amazing that it has become a world power - rising from a country that was severely impoverished and colonized. An enormous country. They have made major strides in improving the lives of its citizens. They also have extended health care to its citizens. I am also impressed with their dedication to fast rail service - linking sections of the country.

    Their record on human rights - their suppression of dissent - is deplorable.

    But, I must say, so is ours. Ours has worsened since Bush. Guantanamo is an absolute disgrace. So is the treatment of whistleblowers by the Obama administration - and the increasing chill put on journalists. Fear is in the air - and it is coming from our own government.

    This is all, of course, my opinion.

    Not having lived in China, I can't equate their country with ours.
    There are some things that I admire about what they are doing, and others I don't.

    And I can say the same about the US.

    As an American, all I can say is that I am grateful to be let in on what our government is up to. If the government will not share with its own citizens what it is doing - but someone else will - and share it with a journalist - I am grateful.

    How else can I make an informed choice as a voter?

    When an Obama comes out and tells me about how transparent he is going to make government, and then gives us complete opaque darkness, I have a basis on which to judge the quality of his tenure.

    The point I was making above was, however, that I have seen Snowden attacked as a rightwinger, as a leftwinger, a commie, a traitor and a sleezebag. None of which deals with the real issues at hand: the content of his revelations about the NSA and domestic spying, and the issue of the legality of his disclosing this information to a journalist.

    In conclusion, I do feel that China is not an enemy of the US. It is a major trading partner. It is a dynamic country. Not to mention that it owns quite a chunk of the USA having lent it so much money...

    But I also feel that talking about China, while interesting, is a diversion from the fact that I think we have to take notice of what our own government has become - and think about doing something about it.


    My perception (none / 0) (#171)
    by christinep on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 12:21:53 PM EST
    concerning the level of freedom in the US is decidedly more positive than yours, lentinel.  That is not to say that the trend toward what I regard as a "reactive tightening super security" after 9/11 does not need revisiting.  It sure does...and that is why I'm looking forward to seeing how Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo) proposes to readjust the balance in proposed legislation that he and Sen. Wyden (D-Ore) are expected to introduce next week.  

    Where I have cause for optimism stems from my belief that the governmental system over the years has been able and flexible enough to make corrections to wrongs (e.g., civil rights) and troublesome matters (e.g., instituting laws against child labor, responding to environmental crises in establishing environmental laws,etc.) and to make course corrections in response to democratic pressures/push from its citizenry ... which is exactly what a democratic republic should do.  Personally, I feel that most of us got something right when recognizing the need for a more vigilant security in the throes of September 2001 and following AND I also feel that--like most responses to concerns in many governmental & non-governmental organizations, redress has a way of having a pendulum response.  Its the ol "Yoiks--I should have been more careful prior to X happening, but you can bet that will never happen again."  With the 12 years that have passed since that tragedy in America, we may well be more receptive as a nation, a people to tempering fear with a more liberal balance.  I've started thinking of it as emerging from a post-9/11 mindset into a Post-Post-9/11 day.  

    Anyway, thank you for setting out your view above in such a thoughtful way.  (I do note a bit of what I consider downplaying some of China's internal government oppression -- from the strict one-child limitation and its comprehensive policing to what-gets-to-me in a reflexive way, massive programs seizing & killing of dogs from the owners, etc.  I'd also point out that destructive colonization only added to the authoritarian oppression of the Dynastic tradition that China had to endure.  Yet, I do believe that China is & can be an important trading partner ... especially as the inevitable move of history here seems to disfavor the Tienanmen reality of the past & replace it with a growing openness among its newer generations.)


    It was quite amusing (none / 0) (#172)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:34:22 PM EST
    to see how much lentinel downplayed some of China's internal government oppression even on issues that are supposedly very important to the left. People who attempt to form independent labor unions to advocate for workers rights or protect the environment are routinely imprisoned in China. China has been able to lure corporations from all over the world and make the country a manufacturing capital for our planet because its government has forcibly denied its people rights to have fair labor and environmental laws.
    According to lentinel,the Chinese government deserves kudos for creating jobs that have lifted large sections of people out of poverty by forcing the kind of working and environmental conditions on its citizens that he would be up in arms against, if imposed in America. Go figure!

    Is China the story here? (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by shoephone on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 02:03:15 PM EST
    Or is the story the NSA's unconstitutional spying on American citizens?

    Deflect, deflect deflect...


    The phrase (1.00 / 2) (#176)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 03:12:45 PM EST
    "NSA's unconstitutional spying on American citizens" has the same ring as "death panels" to me.
    I have been reading about the NSA story and from what I have read so far, I have come across nothing that leads me to believe that the NSA program was designed for nefarious reasons. People can always be mindful of consequences in the way we use social media, how government interacts with companies that deal with social media or search engines and how these companies interact with global citizenry and governments around the world without running around with their hair on fire by imagining the worst from their government and the NSA.
    Some people on the left who cannot trust the government on any matter, wanted the government to run health care in this country. That irony is not lost on me.

    Bully for you, you trust the government (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by shoephone on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 03:32:08 PM EST
    Millions of people don't, and with d*mn good reason. If that upsets you, too bad. As for whether the spying program is unconstitutional, you have no bloody idea whether it is or isn't. What we DO know is that the FISA court handed down a decision telling the government to STOP a spying program two years ago because it was unconstitutional, and is now being forced to withhold the reason why. Until that information comes out, people are going to be suspicious and untrustworthy.

    You continue to rail against those "people on the left" as a cudgel to tell people to just shut up and get over it. Yeah, good luck with that tactic. And you STILL haven't answered my question about whether senators Wyden and Udall are just more "cultists of the left". Why are they so up in arms over this program?

    You have not offered any arguments to dispel the notion that the government has stepped out of bounds. All you've done is whine about the dirty f*cking hippies, that Snowden is a double agent traitor, and that the NSA shold be trusted by everyone because...because...why?

    You got nothin'.


    Shoephone (1.00 / 2) (#182)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 05:01:42 PM EST
    I can see that you are very frustrated because many others are quite skeptical about the things you believe.
    Long before I expressed anything on the Snowden matter, you conferred on him a hero status by comparing him to Daniel Ellsberg. It was you and some other posters who made Snowden the subject. If I may do the kind of speculation that you seem to relish, I will say that you are lashing out now and do not want to make Snowden or China the subject anymore because some doubt has crept in your mind that you may end up with egg in your face after more of the Snowden story gets revealed.
    You are now resorting to stomping your feet by repeating over and over again the word "unconstitutional". Let us wait and see what is "constitutional" and what is not without you deciding it for us. Your bag of tricks is as cheap as that of tea partiers who would make a spectacle while denouncing everything that the Obama administration did as "unconstitutional".



    Bollocks (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by sj on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 05:45:59 PM EST
    It was you who made Snowden the subject. Right here in the first comment on the thread.

    What a load of b.s. (5.00 / 3) (#188)
    by shoephone on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 06:28:16 PM EST
    I never made Snowden the issue. And I referenced Ellsberg only in response to others' comments:

    1. You were making Snowden into a traitor, and, because Ellsberg has come out and called him a hero, I noted Ellsberg's statement. But I never made that statement myself. I never called him a hero. Maybe your beef is with Ellsberg, in which case, you are free write him a letter telling him he's a "cultist of the left."

    2. Christine was making a differentiation between "leakers" and "whistle blowers" and I posited that people can sometimes be both -- people such as Ellsberg -- to which she seemed to agree.

    If you want to have an honest discussion, great. But so far, you haven't done so.

    For me the only issue is the constitutionality of the spying program. Considering that the FISA court made the determination in 2011 that one of the spying programs was not constitutional, that's a pretty clear indication the issue needs exploring. If someone else wants to go off on a discussion about civil liberties in China, they can do that, but I'm not the one praising China, so quit bullsh*tting about what I've said. You are the one who continues to deflect, in any way you can. And frankly, you're not advancing your empty argument about trusting the NSA one little bit.


    Sometimes hyperbole (none / 0) (#186)
    by christinep on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 06:14:08 PM EST
    can cause another to state that the other's
    "hair is one fire."  IMO, shoephone, some statements do seem like "sky is falling" statements.  I don't know about politalkix, but -- in any kind of argument--there are personality-types like myself that immediately pull their hair when things seem too hyped, when they seem a bit like a polemic.

     For example, the reference to Sen. Udall, one of the Senators from my state (and one with whom I align) is a bit over the top in defining his concern as "up in arms."  I've watched local & national interviews with him; and, what he has said is that he is concerned & will introduce legislation probably next week to limit and/or define the limits more clearly about the metadata aspects of the program & surveillance in general.  He has specifically noted that he is not opposed to the expanded need for surveillance, nor is he opposed to the FISA court itself.  What he is focusing on is more transparency as well as adding reasonable limits to the post-9/11 expansion.  (By the way, earlier this week, he also noted quite calmly that his initial reaction to Snowden's actions is to be quite concerned about such individual acts.)  I'm noticeably predisposed to support Sen. Udall in the past & now, because he is thoughtful in his responses over the years and because he is not a grandstander.)

    You make some good, if provocative, points.  But, shoephone, we don't need to bash each other to have a discussion.  Maybe we could follow the lead of those such as Senator Udall in how we might best adjust/correct excesses in our national security program.  Is that ok for starters?


    How about if people stop referring (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by shoephone on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 06:40:06 PM EST
    to those concerned about the 4th amendment as "cultists of the left"? Would that be okay?

    Now, now ...talk about unresponsive (none / 0) (#194)
    by christinep on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 08:16:04 PM EST
    or deflecting.  I've not done that.  

    Two subjects...yet interrelated here (none / 0) (#175)
    by christinep on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 03:03:00 PM EST
    only to the extent that a principal player (namely, Snowden) sort of injected--wittingly or unwittingly--the comparison.  Shorthand: If I should claim Place A is spiraling downward & then leave to another place, Place B, which most would regard as demonstrably having a much worse record in having already spiralled downward ... well, it is hard to take parts of what is claimed seriously.  

    Yes, in the context of my first paragraph, these issues can & should be addressed separately as well as in the relative sense.  Similarly, the issue of metadata (aka govt snooping) and the issue of taking/disclosing information known to be classified by the government can and must be addressed independently.


    Exactly. They are different issues (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by shoephone on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 03:14:39 PM EST
    but the crux of the story is not where Snowden is hiding right now, or even what his motivations are in disclosing all this to Greenwald. And people are focusing on Snowden in order to deflect from the bigger issue, which is government spying, whether this is even acceptable to the FISA court (which declared other spying to NOT be constitutional in 2011, though the DOJ is putting the kibosh on any information being made public about why), and the fact that our elected officials are sworn to keep it all secret from us, because the Obama administration says "boo."

    Not meaning to be too repetitive (none / 0) (#180)
    by christinep on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 03:35:23 PM EST
    But the matter of taking & disclosing confidential information is a separate issue of law that will be addressed.  It may seem a deflection; but, in federal legal application, it is not.

    An individual variation: Two things can proceed almost simultaneously without negating examination of either...here, the FISA and data=gathering aspect and the alleged disclosure.  One or both may be found to be legal; and, one or both may be found to be illegal.


    But it's still a deflection of the discussion (none / 0) (#181)
    by shoephone on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 04:04:27 PM EST
    regarding the constitutionality of the program.

    Not to be too repetitive...


    The Discussion? (none / 0) (#183)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 05:09:35 PM EST
    Not sure how discussing legal issues regarding the individual and legal issues about government program are mutually exclusive or deflect from anything.

    It may Snowden's fate may be minor in your mind compared to the program he made public, but to many who come here to read and comment it is an interesting topic. The legal issues surrounding his act are certainly interesting to me, for one.


    His fate is not minor (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by shoephone on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 06:37:54 PM EST
    but it is not my priority issue. I have been concerned with the government's spying programs for years. I was disgusted when Bush and Cheney were doing it, and I'm still disgusted now that Obama has adopted the same policies. During the Bush years, two very close friends of mine who worked in government had their phone tapped. Everyone who had a phone conversation with them in those years knew that those conversations were being tapped, and likely recorded. You'll have to excuse me if that incensed me to no end, knowing that my conversations with them were being wiretapped.

    Commenters are free to discuss whatever they like here, unless J says don't. But taking the position that people concerned about the 4th amendment are just whiny "cultists of the left" is a really, really bad way to try and engage someone in discussion.


    OK (none / 0) (#192)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 06:52:06 PM EST
    Did not see where concern/discussion about constitutional rights was described as something that whiney left cultists engage in... has ppj chiming in..

    And commenters sholdn't bring up (none / 0) (#197)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 11:01:19 PM EST
    quotes from old comments of other commenters. I just deleted a comment reprinting something Shoeshone wrote earlier.  

    It (none / 0) (#196)
    by lentinel on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 09:35:11 PM EST
    seems to me that our "intelligence' was already adequate enough in 2000 or before without having had implemented the draconian features of the Patriot Act and NSA abuses.

    We knew that an attack was imminent, but chose to do nothing about it.

    And - I don't know what to make of it - but I can't get over the manner in which the towers fell. Straight down like a planned demolition. Excuse the diversion.

    To get back to the subject at hand: The NSA has been listening to our communications without warrants. It is an abuse of power. It is unconstitutional. It is un-American.

    Snowden revealed this information. The government - the executive branch and the legislative branch (which Obama said had been fully briefed) did not. We were promised a transparent government. We did not get it. Far from it.

    To digress into a discussion of the way China treats its citizens is, as I said, interesting, but is ultimately a diversion from a discussion of the way we are being treated by our own government. If we want to influence China, we should do so by setting an example.

    And, I repeat that I subscribe to what Benjamin Franklin said about the results we can expect when we give up our liberties in the hope of greater security: we will deserve neither. And, imo, we will get neither.


    About closing Guantanamo (none / 0) (#168)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:48:16 PM EST
    Here is a link-Amnesty International

    "Many European governments have condemned the ongoing detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. Now they can do something about it," said Clive Stafford Smith, Director of Reprieve. "Actions really do speak louder than words in this case; its time to turn the rhetoric into reality and get Guantánamo closed as soon as possible."

    The human rights organisations welcomed the actions of those countries which have already come forward to assist - such as France, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Hungary - but expressed disappointment that others had not taken concrete steps in line with the EU-US Joint Statement on the Closure of Guantánamo Bay. The statement, issued on 16 June 2009, expressed the readiness of certain EU Member States to assist with the reception of former detainees on a case-by-case basis.

     Nearly seven months since this statement was issued, only seven former detainees have been welcomed into Europe as free men

    politicalkix (none / 0) (#198)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 11:06:45 PM EST
    please don't recite what commenters wrote on other threads at other times. And please don't personally insult commenters. I'm not following the discussion or taking sides, I was just wondering why this thread has so many comments and glanced through the end and saw one where you accused another commenter of writing something different on an earlier date and quoted it, and another where you claimed another commenter never contributes anything in comments. Please don't make it personal or belittle people. You have expressed your views and others disagree. It's not a contest.

    The thread closes at 200 comments, so if you continue the discussion in a new open thread, please keep this in mind. Thank you.


    Facebook reveals details of NSA data requests (none / 0) (#169)
    by Politalkix on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:56:49 PM EST