Saturday Open Thread

I've been so immersed in covering the George Zimmerman trial, I forgot to put up an open thread for other topics yesterday. Only one more week to go, and then I'll be back to regular blogging on other topics.

This is an open thread for all topics except Zimmerman. Please put Zimmerman comments in one of the threads on the trial threads.

< Defense Opens With George Zimmerman's Mother | Zimmerman Trial: Defense Evidence Issues >
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    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 58 & 59 (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:33:26 AM EST
    Vol. 58 -- "For the Love of the Sport" (link)

    Vol. 59 -- This one is either called "The Young Dick Cheney Chronicles" or "Democrats Love Them Some Drone Killin', Too." (link)

    Waiting for the thunderstorms in Park City, Utah. Ensconced in the nicest vacation manse I'll ever stay in -- courtesy of my wife's brothers and sisters and mother, who rented it for their bi-annual reunion. Place has five master suites all with sunken jacuzzi tubs and showers with multi shower heads AND built in steam-room capability. Just sick. Might as well live like the emperor does at least once. And, perks aside, I'm a lucky man to have my in-laws, beautiful people the kind of family I yearned for as a kid. Peace out, my TL lovelies.

    Weather is horrible here, too. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:53:10 PM EST
    But, I think you just described paradise. The scenery, the lodging and the in-law family that you love so much. They must be special and with hardly any family left (a brother and his daughter and her kids, but they live far away), I envy you very much.

    Have fun!


    christinep (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:50:57 AM EST
    Congratulations are in order for your choice of three nations of the original 21 where Snowden was seeking asylum. You obviously nailed your picks.

    Now that Ecuador is probably out (too much employment dependent on flower exports to the US) and you're looking at Nicaragua or Venezuela, how do you choose?

    Put yourself in Snowden's shoes.

    Obviously anytime a new President of either nation takes over, your freedom could be in peril.

    Venezuela passed a resolution in 2009 changing their constitution and eliminating term limits thereby allowing the potential of president for life. That's a Snowden positive. Also it's a 6 year term and Maduro was just elected in April. Another plus. And with Maduro 50 years old and with Venezuela tending to keep their Presidents (Chavez was President for 14 years), Snowden may not have a thing to worry about for at least 6 and probably 12 years. A plus. Venezuela has one of the worst murder rates in the world. A minus. Maduro barely won his election. A minus

    Nicaragua has a constitution that should have prevented the re-election of Ortega but with a little court stacking he's back. He may also be aiming for president for life. A plus. He only has a 5 year term and was elected in 2011. A minus. But Nicaragua is a safer country (a plus). Ortega is 17 years older than Maduro (a minus). But he wins his elections easily. A plus.

    Both have a shot at effectively remaining elected dictators with nothing to stop them from running again. Ortega won his Nicaraguan election handily. Maduro's Venezuelan victory was razor thin.

    Who do you choose. Younger leader with a more crime ridden country winning a close election? Or older leader in a safer country winning elections easily?

    The length of your freedom could depend on it.

    PS (none / 0) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:20:05 AM EST
    Looks like Bolivia has offered too making us a perfect 3 for 3.

    Lots of negatives for Snowden here so I'd guess he'd take a pass. The Morales term ends in 2014. A negative. He's technically term limited with this his second term. A negative. He's trying to change the constitution to allow re-election but how long that will take is not conducive to Snowden's situation. A negative. But they have the lowest murder rate of the three. A positive.

    I would think the constitution currently preventing Morales from running again makes this a gamble not worth taking.


    Bolivia... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:58:14 AM EST
    Not bad.

    The Obama administration really stepped in it big time by getting President Morales's plane grounded in Vienna for 13 hours.

    Can you imagine our reaction if Obama's plane was diverted and grounded for 13 hours while some country figured out if he was carrying someone they didn't like...

    Anyway, the heavy-handed bumbling and contempt for Latin American countries paid off for Snowden.

    I hope he finds comfort in exile.

    Frankly, with Obama's penchant for offing people he doesn't like, I think he will be living in fear for the foreseeable future.


    He'll be in fear (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:13:53 PM EST
    of being jailed no matter where he winds up. There are no guarantees when you've made yourself a bargaining chip.

    The lack of flyover was meaningless. These were always the three best possibilities for him. His problem now is he needs both Cuba and Russia to cooperate if he wants to fly commercial. Or someone to drop a couple hundred thousand for the cost to fly private and avoid flyng over any country with a valid extradition treaty.

    JFK or Langley are still just as possible as Caracas. Getting to Caracas from Moscow is no easy task. Does Wikileaks want to drop $200,000 for a flight on a Gulfstream? Does anyone that owns a Gulfstream want to be in hot water with the US? And for whoever here recently suggested Russia would fly him on a military plane...Seriously?

    Lucky for Snowden he likes staying inside. His gf said she had to trick him to go outside in Hawaii. That inside lifestyle he prefers is likely making hotel life quite easy to live with.


    I believe, (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:54:40 PM EST
    correct me if I'm wrong, that Snowden is not technically on Russian soil. So, they will not be in a position to impede his departure even if they wished to do so - which I believe they do not.

    If the country granting asylum also grants citizenship (as Iceland did for Bobby Fischer) he will have a valid passport and nobody should be able to stop him from traveling.

    I think that the prospect of jail is the last thing he would have to worry about. Kidnapping under the cover of darkness, or an errant drone accidently incinerating him are more likely eventualities imo.

    That these three Latin American countries are granting him asylum is directly linked to the ham-handed contempt meted out to President Morales by countries yielding to US pressure - again imo.

    My orientation toward all of this is that Snowden did us a favor by letting us in on an aspect of the true nature of how our government operates. Calling him a spy is laughable.

    If the US government is monitoring our communications, the only people ignorant of that fact were we, the citizens. And, knowing about it hasn't made a damn bit of difference anyway.

    And it doesn't even seem to have mattered to any of our "allies" either that we have been routinely spying on them as well. What are friends for if we can't spy on each other? I had thought it would have been highly appropriate for France to have offered asylum after they learned (if they hadn't known already) that we have been monitoring their communications - and also as long overdue payback to all the "Freedom Fries" horsesh-t from the gone-but-apparently-not-forgotten GW Bush era.

    But no.
    France caved.
    The US is all-powerful.

    Good luck to Snowden.
    I have profited from the information he has provided.
    But I have an uneasy feeling that he is not long for this world.


    With all this spying, monitoring (5.00 / 5) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 05:55:03 PM EST
    and intelligence gathering, it seems that the Evo Morales fiasco is a prime contender for, at least, a prize for cost ineffectiveness.  For starters, who determined that Edward Snowden was on the Bolivian presidential plane?   And, who determined that the "re-routing" to Vienna and a search ("voluntary or involuntary") of a head of state's plane returning from official business, was a plausible idea.

     I would start by asking if the fact that Snowden was known to be at  Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and the Bolivian presidential plane departed from another airport, Moscow's Vnukovo airport, apart 35 miles apart,  was noted and factored into the actions taken.  


    Isn't (none / 0) (#158)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:53:29 AM EST
    incompetence underlying all of this -- including the massive gathering of data?  While all these resources are being devote to gathering electronic data, we don't seem to be any safer or any more knowledgeable.  

    While our rights have eroded and we don't (5.00 / 4) (#161)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:06:46 AM EST
    seem to be any safer or any more knowledgeable, billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars are funneled to well connected contractors and corporations. Which probably is the primary reason for the existence and expansion of this mammoth blight on a our democracy.  

    Ah well, look over there someone on food stamps lives on king crab legs and greedy seniors are sucking on 300 million government teats. Cut food stamps, meals on wheels, WIC and SS and Medicare.      


    The proverbial "rock & a hard place" (none / 0) (#19)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:54:25 PM EST
    Consider that: (1) Bolivia appears to be the one posturing the most ... the country needs attention & other things, especially making the most after Morales' political moment in the sun by joining in after the two other countries (2) Nicaragua may have potential for him as the country in past decades seems to have engaged in all kinds of trading (think international arms trading, e.g.) ... but, yoi, it could be quite an inhospitable environs, and (3) The obvious oil big-time player and international renegades' choice award would be Venezuela...that would be if--as you and Politalkix suggest--one didn't take into account the fact that this Venezuelan President is not H. Chavez and the probability that this is a short-term transitional government is high (as well as the other probability that Venezuela edges closer in ties to the US, in the years to come, since Chavez is gone.)

    I keep coming back to Putin's role for lots of reasons, not the least of which he is still in the best position to call the shots.  Does he want some agreement about a relatively free hand in the longtime thorn of Chechnya or does he hear more strongly the siren call of the oil-friendly Venezuela & the Assad cue?  Remember that Putin stood solemnly in the front of the mourners for Chavez fairly recently ... but, might Russia's age-old interest in deep European inclusion push in another direction?  One could write a book....


    I don't (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:21:23 PM EST
    think that you can call President Morales' plane being diverted and held up for thirteen hours his "moment in the sun".

    More like a gigantic pain in the keister.


    It sure helped him with his constituents, tho (none / 0) (#27)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:44:13 PM EST
    There is a lot of intrigue in international dynamics... always has been in every country.  As Russian history demonstrates, there surely is a hall-of-fame commemoration for some of the antics over the centuries in Tsarist Russia/Soviet Union/post perestroika Russia...we can all learn a lot about established professional eavesdropping in embassies and in the art of the trade.  Likewise, we in the US had our own early intro to playing-with-facts in the XYZ Affair. But then, nothing beats the all-purpose coup approach (way before the Egypt situation) so popular in South American history (See Disappeared Ones as a topic in Chilean & Argentinian history.  See the earlier deposing of Inca leaders by the Spanish in Peruvian history.)  Oh...see the still-desperate living standard situation of the indigenous people in Bolivia, even with their own leader, Morales...guess he needed some bolstering of his image, maybe.

    Really, lentinel, I get no kicks out of pointing out these--shall we say--inconsistencies that all politicians in all countries do reflect from time to time.  But, if you would look without preconceived notions at the "drama" of all this & look at international practices that have always been there, a lot of the tactics of the past few weeks (coupled with the ever-present rumors) are nothing new to any of the countries.  That doesn't make if pure/good/morally correct, it just displays in modern imagery what has always been there ... so that all can cheer on/support/wave a flag for their preferred player.  Realpolitik, perhaps...otherwise known as R. Morgenthau's International Relations intro to graduate studies.


    I'm (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:11:55 PM EST
    going to have to re-read what you wrote several more times before I feel I know you are saying.

    For the present, what I know is that the US has treated the people in Latin America as so much garbage for generations. It has manipulated its politics to the advantage of rich corporations and to the detriment of the local people.

    The treatment of Morales - the utter contempt for a Latin American head of State orchestrated by the Obama administration was insanely callous and stupid. I repeat: INSANELY callous and stupid. As in - the actions of someone who has taken leave of his senses and his brains.

    We don't need any more enemies; and we certainly don't need to intensify the distrust and dislike that already festers South of the border.


    It's nothing more, and nothing less than (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:29:28 AM EST
    the Bush-Obama interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine.  
    "One word, Benjamin."  Yes, Mr Rove?  "Empire."  How's that, Mr Rove?  "It's what we do, Benjamin.  When it's over, you'll write about it; the rubes will read about it - but neither you nor they have anything to do with making it."

    What strikes me about this (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:57:18 AM EST
    blunder is that we were willing to take the risk of offending Latin America all for what?  The cat is out of the bag, so why seem so desperate?

    I share the same opinion (none / 0) (#24)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:48:10 PM EST
    about what you wrote "Venezuelan President is not H. Chavez and the probability that this is a short-term transitional government is high".



    Snowden had best head for jungle. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:04:46 PM EST
    That might lead to the same Bolivian fate (none / 0) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:18:02 PM EST
    as Butch and Sundance.

    The Bolivian fate of Che Guevara (none / 0) (#17)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:31:55 PM EST
    And Che Guevara knew Latin America better and had more admirers there than Snowden...

    But perhaps Snowden will not try yo start a revol. (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:39:17 PM EST
    Oculus, please do not disappoint (1.00 / 4) (#25)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:00:25 PM EST
    his admirers who have conferred sainthood on him.

    Do you think he will ever try to log into a computer?


    You (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:16:00 PM EST
    never did answer directly:

    Are in agreement with PRISM and what the NSA is doing?

    Do you think these programs are a good thing?

    Do you think we have a right to know that they exist?


    Hey, lentinel! (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:51:11 PM EST
    To whom are your questions directed? The posts don't indent this far in the thread, and that sometimes makes the conversation difficult to follow. Thanks. ;-)

    The (none / 0) (#54)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:43:33 PM EST
    question was addressed to Politalkix - to whose comment I was replying.

    Politalkix had just replied to Oculus - and referred to people who defended Snowden as, "admirers who have conferred sainthood on him."

    So I felt it appropriate to ask once again, a) whether P. was in agreement with PRISM and the actions of the NSA and b) whether P felt that we, the people, had a right to know about the existence of these programs.


    In actuality, she is only disappointing you (none / 0) (#26)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:28:17 PM EST
    and your silly revenge fantasies.

    Revenge fantasies? LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:20:35 PM EST
    He wants revenge for what -- confirming for everybody what many long feared, but most apparently still refuse to admit, i.e., the obvious?

    To be perfectly honest, I'm bored with Edward Snowden. He's all too predictably become the issue, rather than his revelations, and that's sad.

    In retrospect, perhaps it would have been better had Snowden never gone public with his identity. He and cohort Glenn Greenwald should've simply laid their bombshell out there and let the revelations speak for themselves. Instead, they opted to grant multiple personal interviews, and looking like they rather enjoyed the attention they were getting. Thus, they quickly became the focal point for the media, rather than the original subject matter.

    And now, thanks to the dubious personal coverage they've garnered for themselves, they're looking less a modern-day Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of Watergate days, and more like Roxie Hart and Velma Kelley from Chicago.



    I think shoephone is talking (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:00:38 PM EST
    about Pkix revenge fantasie...not Snowden's

    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:09:10 PM EST
    that Snowden has been allowed to become the issue. But you blame Snowden for that. You think he has "enjoyed attention".

    I blame the administration's posturing and actions, along with a predictably low level press, and an exhausted and defeated populace that is so used to being abused that it has given up trying to defend itself.

    I cannot however say, as you did, that I am "bored" with Edward Snowden.
    And I must say that the interview I saw with Snowden - he looked far from someone who "enjoyed attention". He looked concerned and to me he looked a little bit frightened - as well he should be. I can't understand your seeming contempt for the man.

    I find myself concerned with his safety - and his life.

    My orientation: I think that PRISM and the actions of the NSA are abominable - and I'm glad that Mr. Snowden took the risk of revealing this information to the general public. I would have preferred that Mr. Obama had been the one to reveal these programs to us - particularly PRISM - a relic from the disgusting tenure of GW. Bush.

    But, it fell to Mr. Snowden.

    In so doing, which I repeat I feel as a public service, Mr. Snowden has put himself in a direct confrontation with a government run amok - one that will kill or indefinitely detain someone who it deems having aided the "enemy". (In this instance, the "enemy" would appear to be us.) A government that will, despite some verbal assurance to the contrary just a few days ago, "shuffle jets" and hassle a head of State just to get at him.

    So, no.
    I'm not bored with Snowden.
    I'm fed up with the Obama-Bush administration.


    Lentinel: And the Lincoln Administration (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by jbindc on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:58:43 AM EST
    I noted a few differences... (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by lentinel on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:48:48 AM EST
    between the Lincoln-Stanton era and our own.

    From Snowden:

    "I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the President, if I had a personal e-mail..."

    That takes in a whole mess of people who being monitored - like everybody - with nearly a half million people on the payroll with the capacity to monitor you or me or our accountants.

    The article also says that,

    "In 1862, the House Judiciary Committee took up the question of "telegraphic censorship" and called for restraint on the part of the administration's censors."
    To my knowledge, there are no similar calls for restraint from any committee of Congress.

    Also, in Lincoln's time, when the war ended, his measures were withdrawn.

    Since there is no way to define an end to the "war on terror", and new enemies are designated on a regular basis, I doubt we will ever see the government relinquishing any the power that it now possesses.

    Lastly, though I might deplore the interception of messages sent by telegraph and the intimidation of Journalists in Lincoln's time, I can't help but feel that his motives were purer than today's Bush-Obama fishing expeditions.


    A few thoughts here: (none / 0) (#131)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:35:29 PM EST
    lentinel: "Lastly, though I might deplore the interception of messages sent by telegraph and the intimidation of Journalists in Lincoln's time, I can't help but feel that his motives were purer ..."

    When employing such dubious caveats as a means to further engage in your favorite pastime, i.e., denouncing the Obama administration, you best first have your history in order.

    Because FYI, the Lincoln administration suspended the right to habeas corpus, instituted a secret police, and arbitrarily arrested -- all without warrants or due process -- thousands of Northern citizens, including newspaper owners and editors, state legislators, U.S. Congressmen, and even the governor of Indiana.

    When people in New York City revolted against the implementation of military conscription in 1863, the president authorized the deployment of an entire division of the Union Army to brutally assault the dissidents and suppress the riots.

    The utter thoroughness with which President Lincoln effectively and officially suppressed dissent in the North actually prefigured many of the methods later employed by 20th century totalitarians. And from the wreckage of the Civil War, emerged the supremacy of the modern U.S. federal state you're ever so eager to condemn with regularity.

    In his conduct of the Civil War itself, President Lincoln encouraged his military officers to violate international law, the U.S. Military Code, and the moral prohibition against waging war on civilians.

    By late 1863, Lincoln sanctioned his generals and admirals to employ the concept of total war and wage it with brutal efficiency against the Southern population, by bombarding and assaulting them in their cities and towns; burning their homes, barns and villages; countenancing the use of rape as a weapon of war; and destroying or pillaging all foodstuffs, transportation networks and shelter, so as to leave them destitute in the cold of winter, deny them effective relief, and break their will to further resist.

    While I can also argue that all of this was unfortunately necessary, given the dire times and urgent circumstances which existed 150 years ago, nevertheless it is a fact that President Lincoln's actions went well beyond the mere "interception of messages sent by telegraph and the intimidation of Journalists," as you so casually mischaracterized minimalized them for purposes of advancing your argument.

    Further, the sheer scope of hardship, not to mention the number of casualties and deaths resulting from Lincoln's edicts, far and readily eclipse anything thus far perpetrated and / or authorized by the Obama administration.

    Finally, when next you're tempted to argue historical vagaries regarding the purity of someone's motives, you'd do well to heed the advice of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jane Addams, who rightly defined immorality's essence as rooted in one's own tendency to make or offer exceptions for one's actions and justifications.



    It (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:00:12 AM EST
    is difficult for me, at present, to get past your opening salvo in which you claim that "denouncing the Obama administration" is my "favorite pastime".

    PRISM was set up by Bush, for whom I have a certain degree of contempt.

    It is still around, with its descendant, the machinations of the NSA.

    Obama is engaged in hounding the man, for whom you have expressed a certain whiff of contempt, Mr. Snowden.

    Bush and Cheney, whose names I do not even enjoy typing, are all aflutter defending these programs and the current occupant of the White House who is engaged in defending them as well.

    If you think it is pleasant to any degree to express a human reaction to these events, I can't possibly identify with you.

    You probably have some interesting things to say about the negative qualities of Lincoln and his administration. I will try to read them at a later time.

    But beginning your comments with a personal insult does not inspire me to read further for the moment.


    Consider (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:05:35 AM EST
    I think Snowden may have revealed himself the source of the info the press was disclosing to take the heat off the press.  

    Donald...your commentary on Lincoln (none / 0) (#142)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:42:33 PM EST
    is, unquestionably, brilliant.  For a number of reasons extending far beyond the instant communication, this historical reminder about the development and evolution of these United States needed to be stated.  Thank you very much.

    I don't think Snowden set out to (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:36:05 PM EST
    become the issue; I think he struggled with finding the best way to make known what he found, the best people he felt he could trust to help him do that, and the best way to protect his life.

    What I have seen is a calculated campaign to first discredit Snowden, and then pull those helping him, like Glenn, into that negative campaign.  I've seen James Clapper and Keith Alexander flat-out lie to Congress - with no repercussions.  Last I checked, lying to Congress is a crime - I think there are a few baseball players who can attest to that.  Which is really something to think about, isn't it?  Baseball players get charged with lying to Congress about steroid use, but high-ranking members of the administration apparently get to lie with impunity.  

    I never saw the personal interviews as being about getting some measure of fame; I can think of better ways of being famous than incurring the wrath of a vengeful government.

    And let's remember, that as a contract employee, Snowden wasn't covered by the Whistleblowers' Protection Act - he would have had to count on an Inspector General or a Congress that had already demonstrated little willingness to entertain that the government was overstepping its bounds.

    The "dubious personal coverage" was never really in their control; you can't tell me that a sneering David Gregory, calling into question Glenn Greenwald's journalistic bona fides and asking why Glenn shouldn't be arrested, was something they planned.  No, that was the reaction of a Versailles-style press doing the bidding of the people who give them the access to power and allow them to believe that they are more important than they really are.


    We may discover (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:52:17 PM EST
    That it will be hard for us to believe some of what is going to be revealed if we did not at some point have a face and a persona to link to it...a tangible person.

    I hope we don't end up going there, but I have a bad feeling that what is going to come out is going to be so corrupt that we won't want to believe it, and it would have been easier for us to dismiss it as crazy talk without the image and impression of another human being revealing it.  If it violates everything we believe and trust in as Americans it would be easy for those involved to say "Huh Uh", and we would all want that to be so so badly.

    Clapper already Huh Uh'd to the whole universe and was lying his arse off completely.  If there is more to reveal it isn't going to be good.  I think Greenwald held off on reporting more sooner because he has been threatened too.  Just thinking about that, this is going to be really ugly most likely.


    I don't think he did, either. (none / 0) (#135)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:08:55 PM EST
    Anne: "I don't think Snowden set out to become the issue; I think he struggled with finding the best way to make known what he found, the best people he felt he could trust to help him do that, and the best way to protect his life."

    But nevertheless, that's how it predictably played out. He and Greenwald should have better anticipated the resultant and well-telegraphed backlash. Instead, they offered their adversaries a distinct and obvious target when Snowden first revealed his identity.

    That said, I also note that hindsight's always 20/20. I truly appreciate what they both did here, so I'm loathe to further critique their means of technique when that's really not the core issue we should be discussing.



    Whether or not (5.00 / 4) (#162)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:08:42 AM EST
    GG and ES could have anticipated that ES would become the issue, they might have hoped, as do I, that in the end, we are all smart enough to focus on the substance of what was disclosed, which is far more important than who delivered it and how, IMO.  I think we're playing into the attempt to make ES the issue here.  Also, as posted above, I think Snowden quickly came out as the source of the info at least in part to save GG the trouble of having to deal with invasive inquiry into his sources.  

    Have to disagree, Donald (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by kmblue on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:05:00 PM EST
    Greenwald, at least, knew all about the backlash to come.  He has said on TV (sorry no link) when you don't like the message, trash the messenger.  I'm pretty sure G warned Snowden.  But they had the courage to go ahead anyway.

    The other side wants people like (5.00 / 3) (#173)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:38:22 PM EST
    Snowden and Greenwald to consider the backlash, Donald, in hope that they will decide to remain silent.  

    You don't think they looked at the treatment people like Thomas Drake and William Binney and John Kiriakou got, and considered how exponentially worse it was going to be for them because of the magnitude of what Snowden had?

    These are not stupid, cavalier, impulsive people who didn't know exactly what was coming in their direction.  To think they could have managed it better assumes they had any control over the rest of the media or the government that was speaking through far too many of them.

    And why would it have mattered had Snowden kept his identity secret?  He's already been called a coward for not staying here and facing the music, so how much worse would it have been if he'd chosen to remain anonymous?  And how long would it have taken for his identity to be discovered?

    There was never going to be a magic point at which the government and the media were so impressed with how well Snowden had managed his whistleblowing that they were going to leave him alone and concentrate instead on looking into what he had revealed and putting pressure on the government for some accountability.  For heaven's sake, Donald, the media have sat quietly by as Clapper and Alexander have lied to Congress, repeatedly.  This is where we are, Donald - at the point where government officials can lie to Congress and it's ok.

    In what world does that make sense?  The kind we don't want to think we live in, the kind too many people are struggling to excuse, the kind where telling the truth gets you in trouble.


    Shoephone, don't get mad (1.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:01:54 PM EST
    say something funny...

    Who's mad? (none / 0) (#63)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:52:38 PM EST
    Certainly not me. You, on the other hand, are increasingly exercised about Snowden. But if you really need some humor, this is one of the funniest things I've seen in the last couple of weeks. (Be forewarned: one must have a natural sense of humor to "get it.")

    Hopefully at Christmas (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:33:05 PM EST
    Someone will design a dog toy Snowden, and those who have all the time and energy to hate him can post videos to youtube of their dogs dismembering and disemboweling Snowdens over and over again :)

    I love dogs... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:29:43 PM EST
    so, no need to scare them with that imagery :)  Seriously, I strongly disagree with anyone--libertarian or not--who would steal/take/purloin classified US information.  To me, such a person should face the consequences of his/her actions here.
    Now, since we can chew gum & walk at the same time, I also believe that the more important discussion that such action provokes and that we have needed in the aftermath of 9/11 is a positive.  It allows us all to take a look at, make corrections to, or bring a major change--as the case may be--in our approach to national security that emanated from the 9/11 tragedy.  In fact, I think that the Udall-Wyden proposal is a good starting point.  But, it involves all of us, not just one young man thinking he knows best for all of us.  Here is my preachy self, yet also a core-belief self: The law has to count ... not one of us gets to pick & choose (even if we may turn out to be morally right)...to applaud or condone the situation where an individual can thumb the nose at a democratically elected government & its laws without accountability tears at the foundation of that law & government.  It can have harsh consequence; but, as an old government employee, I've seen situations where individuals sought & obtained whistleblower status ... honestly, there are avenues--politically, legally, or investigatory.  In my eyes, those with integrity, act with integrity...they do not run away (Note: Brief reference only will be made now to the destinations to which you run, and what that might suggest about the runner.)

    For myself & everyone else that I know, it is safe to say that our reactions, responses are not about hatred.  There is some anger; but, that differs from hatred.  The closest that I can come to describe feelings from my end may have been stated by CBS commentator Bob Schieffer (with whom I certainly do not always agree) when he remarked in special remarks at the outset of the run to Hong Kong:  Schieffer observed that, as a journalist, he was concerned about getting more info about how far we had gone in the balance between desire for security & right of privacy since 9/11...he went on to say that while "I do not know this man <Snowden>, I do know that he is no hero" & listed the characteristics of one who is...adding that Snowden "appears to be a narcissistic young man who thinks he knows more than he actually does."  That characterization in mid-June on Face the Nation best describes my assessment of the persona.  Not hatred; rather, strong disagreement about the method leading to anger mixed with a sense of pathos.  

    Finally, when I was growing up, there was a popular schmaltzy song for awhile--"No Man Is An Island"--I've always believed that (without regard to the song) AND, taking it further, no man can be a law unto himself in a representative democracy.


    Unless you are Booz Allen (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 05:49:29 PM EST
    and the NSA and the secrecy of the past two administrations.  They have made themselves an island unto themselves.

    None of you guys blowing and bellowing about Snowden even touch the subject that Booz Allen is a private contractor either, it is not YOUR GOVERNMENT.  It is a contractor same as Blackwater Xe is, and the private contractors that the CIA used to torture Iraqis with with less oversight and zero documentation.  Because people in uniforms get a bit touchy about blatant lawlessness and spend half their careers documenting everything they do because the laws around them are very established.  Those damned uniforms are much harder to buy off into silence too, they work for peanuts anyhow half the time while deriving self esteem because they are protecting the Constitution.  That's why they work so cheap, and are a bunch of rubes anymore if you guys won't quit promoting such contractor profits and lawlessness.

    Intel is partitioned to protect, and the partitions go to Booz Allen to die?  Ya'll are nuts empowering such blatant zero oversight lawlessness and hypercapitalism.  JMO, but you need to pull your head out of your arses before you suffocate.


    Oh, but I beg to differ (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:41:27 PM EST
    If you look back over the threads, I was one of the first (if not the first) to write about the contractor issue throughout the federal government.  The expansion of contracting out--including personnel, legal, etc.--began in earnest during the Reagan administration might  and expanded throughout the 90s, reaching an apex about 2004 when the big defense contractors became the central player in clearances for security.  It was the "reward the buddy" system that many of us saw during the Reagan onset/onslaught. During the 90s, I & others openly raised the stated cost-effectiveness of the process... but, recall that the push toward the popular privatization process steamrolled the Agencies...and, no one (including liberals) were paying attention.

    But, that's past...we are where we are.  And now, we have an opportunity & a reason to initiate some necessary corrections.

    Meantime, I'm neither "bellowing" nor "blowing."  To the contrary.  IMO, we need to take this a step-at-a-time, realize the many downsides of pretending to save money by cutting government employees (civilian and military) in order to game the system by claiming to reduce government jobs while doling the $$$ out to the contractors.  The system of vast contracting-out throughout the government has been a growing invitation to abuse in more than budget matters...now, we see where it can & will go.  I expect change throughout the departments & agencies.

    The contractor issue, disgusting as it is, is separate from the matter of an individual who refuses to stand here & face the consequences of his purported actions.  That is significant, MT.  


    You are crazy as hell (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:50:50 PM EST
    One thing I have learned.  The more words, the more B.S enclosed.

    You don't need NSA contractors.  You have them now obviously to outrun pesky things because the tech has caught up with need, did a long time ago.

    You better think about all this as it sits real hard, because everything you have is at stake and if not you...your children and grandchildren or any other American citizen that has ever been important to you or meant something to you.  There particularly is NO REASON for the partitions to go die at any contracting firm except seeking lack of oversight and outrunning the existing tightly documented and regulated uniforms.  Same as it ever was since 9/11 and people in power deemed coloring outside the lines something that MUST happen.


    MT you bring out so many good points (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by ZtoA on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:10:37 PM EST
    " There particularly is NO REASON for the partitions to go die at any contracting firm except seeking lack of oversight and outrunning the existing tightly documented and regulated uniforms."

    ...deserves to be repeated. I too am not OK with out sourcing surveillance with all the lack of oversight and accountability involved. Booz Allen's accountability is ONLY to the shareholders, wherever and whoever they may be.

    The technology exists and data will be collected and used - that genie is out of the bottle. But who uses it and with what accountability and transparency is the issue - not Snowden. He is a side show.


    We have been busy at life (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:57:07 PM EST
    So as far as blogging goes, reading from time to time and shocked.

    I am shocked at how Americans somehow got Booz Allen Hamilton mixed up with their NSA.  This is not so.  It's like thinking that Goldman Sachs is the Fed.

    It reminds me of when my husband got home from the first year in Iraq and he was furious over contractors.  He gets over there in uniform, and who are these other guys with guns and no commander who your commander has words with, no way to formally disagree with them or get them on your page?  And they would shoot up the streets, start civil war, and then the uniforms were supposed to straighten all that out.  He was furious when he got home, and then the Blackwater contractors were attacked in Fallujah and somehow Kos at Dailykos already had enough understanding of the contractors over there that he issued the phuck those guys statement.  He took loads of heat for that too because everyone had Blackwater mixed up with their soldiers, but the two are not the same thing.  Not the same thing at all, and time told the tale that contractors were used specifically to carry out lawlessness and Kos was right.

    As some people get their NSA mixed up with Booz Allen, they might want to do a google on who else has Booz Allen handle their intel. The list of oppressive countries that are not democracies is disturbing if Americans are really going to mix up their public servants serving a democracy with Booz Allen.



    Here's one contract (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:20:25 PM EST
    Not a democracy


    They also created for the UAE their own version of the NSA, but UAE is an absolute monarchy.

    Booz has also been accused by Anonymous of joining forces with H.B. Gary to manipulate media.

    They are not Cinderella, and we are not a handsome Prince in this story :)


    Excellent link, Tracy (none / 0) (#70)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:22:34 PM EST
    And from their own press release.

    MT (none / 0) (#78)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:32:57 PM EST
    The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and a few other monarchies in the Middle East have been our "allies" for many decades. As I said many times before, US foreign policy has always been determined by "national interests", this did not start with GWB or BHO.
    Would your husband be happier to protect the interests of allied nations wearing his US military uniform or would he prefer that the monarchy defended itself using hired contractors?
    Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait in 1991. Would your husband prefer that the US military be sent to rescue Kuwait (if something like this happened now) or would he prefer a country like Kuwait to defend itself using hired contractors? What would he like to do if Iran attacks UAE or Saudi Arabia today? Would he prefer the US military to save the Saudis and UAE or have these countries hire contactors to defend themselves. Since you brought up the situation regarding your husband, I am asking these questions to you. I do not have any other reason.
    The world is not ideal and many of the things you are bringing up are not new (I do not think that Christinep ever said that we are the handsome Prince and they are Cinderella, despite your attempt at making a rhetorical point). We have had the same foreign policy over decades, i.e. a foreign policy guided by "national interests" like most other countries. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia came into existence during the presidency of FDR who immediately established diplomatic relations with the kingdom, sent oil companies to prospect for oil and allowed the creation of ARAMCO.
    Christinep seemed to be interested in having a genuine discussion regarding the use of contactors and she seems to be closer to your POV in this regard. I cannot understand why you are have taken such a dismissive tone regarding what she has to say.

    My husband serves the people of the United States (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:48:54 PM EST
    first and foremost.  He must follow the orders of his commanders and they must follow the orders of their elected CIC.  He is also libel if he follows an illegal order though.  If his commanders issue an illegal order he must disobey it.

    When he takes his oath of office when he reups though....he swears to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic.  Secret here....he doesn't serve Bahrain in any form or fashion...doesn't give a $hit, not his nation, not his people.

    Some soldiers who are Liberal, and Libertarian, and Independent, and Unaffiliated, and Republican can recite the Constitution of the United States word for word too.  And some carry it around in their front pocket daily, and some of those people were whistleblowers in the Iraq War and they were on the record voting Republican.  They defied the Bush Administration attempting to give illegal orders.

    Who knows, someday soon he may be laying siege to the home offices of Booz Allen.

    You on the other hand are scary and a danger to democracy :)  You are going to shoot your eye out with that kid :)


    Hey, politalkix (none / 0) (#98)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:06:04 AM EST
    Thanks for the nice words...

    While your point about broad contractor use on the international level and certain armed conflicts is well-taken, my concern about the size of contractor usage in so many aspects of government boils down to "span of control."  It doesn't take long to learn, firsthand, that a contractor doesn't make your management responsibilities go away (nor should it); yet, it is easy to be lulled into thinking that the manager needs to check in periodically with the contract operation.  I do think that we have expanded contractor operations too far in the traditional government roles of personnel, budget, & legal operations.  As for managing contractors in a military operation, we do need to review how we can best get the results to which you allude while not losing management control over what could be a classical mercenary operation.

    Also: From the early days of our republic, we have openly championed the right/authority to act within the scope of national interests.  I was just thinking about the Monroe Doctrine...and my long ago American history classes.


    Opposed as well (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:12:57 AM EST
    to outsourcing War.  If there had been a draft to support "war" in Iraq, it might never have happened, and certainly, it might never have continued.  We lost the franchise when we made military service "voluntary."  

    Baloney...I've benn there, MT (1.00 / 1) (#65)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:51:47 PM EST
    Short words; not histrionics.

    You've benn where? (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:22:38 PM EST
    More shells to come too (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:53:52 PM EST
    Better hang on.  I have been through this contractor business before though, so when it was revealed this was "contracting" I was already prepared for crazy $hit.  I believe it is on its way :)

    Trace it from Reagan, MT (1.00 / 0) (#67)
    by christinep on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:07:49 PM EST
    Like you, we've all seen it coming...for a long time.  So, now, what is the step-by-step beginning tomorrow....

    Oh, and can the put-downs, please. All the expletives or would-be expletives do nothing to advance any discussion.


    Too many people focused on Snowden (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:45:46 PM EST
    And not on what he is giving us.  Everything has been shrouded in complete secrecy too, that is why we didn't "know" even though we suspected.  The ACLU can't file anything if they don't even know what programs are technically "called".  And the ACLU has been on Booz, they have smelled the stink coming off of Booz Allen for a long time now.

    If we didn't have someone come forward we had nothing to use to attempt to protect ourselves with and right the wrongs.  I am done with the Obama administration after this.  He goes into my stack of survived them Presidents now.  Not only did he allow this, he is determined to not come clean or fix anything.

    We have an apology from Clapper, apologizing for lying to us.  That's it.  And they will still listen to our calls without a warrant.  I write stuff like this on a blog, they are probably listening to my calls.  Anybody blogging here and upset about what Snowden has revealed going to tell me you haven't thought the same thing when you hit post?

    We are living in a nation of fear now.


    Footnote to Leopold (1.00 / 0) (#97)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:51:16 AM EST
    Check it out...the expansion of the contractor practices (sometimes known as & leading to $$$ for buddies) grew immensely under the tutelage of the Reagan administration.

    If you don't like to hear that...tough! Take your potshots from behind the door OR man-up (as they say these days) and explain your position up front.


    And it's so much bigger than anyone (5.00 / 6) (#72)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:31:10 PM EST
    could possibly have imagined.

    Glenn Greenwald:

    I've written an article on NSA surveillance for the front page of the Sunday edition of O Globo, the large Brazilian newspaper based in Rio de Janeiro. The article is headlined (translated) "US spied on millions of emails and calls of Brazilians", and I co-wrote it with Globo reporters Roberto Kaz and Jose Casado. The rough translation of the article into English is here. The main page of Globo's website lists related NSA stories: here.

    As the headline suggests, the crux of the main article details how the NSA has, for years, systematically tapped into the Brazilian telecommunication network and indiscriminately intercepted, collected and stored the email and telephone records of millions of Brazilians. The story follows an article in Der Spiegel last week, written by Laura Poitras and reporters from that paper, detailing the NSA's mass and indiscriminate collection of the electronic communications of millions of Germans. There are many more populations of non-adversarial countries which have been subjected to the same type of mass surveillance net by the NSA: indeed, the list of those which haven't been are shorter than those which have. The claim that any other nation is engaging in anything remotely approaching indiscriminate worldwide surveillance of this sort is baseless.

    As those two articles detail, all of this bulk, indiscriminate surveillance aimed at populations of friendly foreign nations is part of the NSA's "FAIRVIEW" program. Under that program, the NSA partners with a large US telecommunications company, the identity of which is currently unknown, and that US company then partners with telecoms in the foreign countries. Those partnerships allow the US company access to those countries' telecommunications systems, and that access is then exploited to direct traffic to the NSA's repositories. Both articles are based on top secret documents provided by Edward Snowden; O Globo published several of them.


    But contrary to what some want to suggest, the privacy rights of Americans aren't the only ones that matter. That the US government - in complete secrecy - is constructing a ubiquitous spying apparatus aimed not only at its own citizens, but all of the world's citizens, has profound consequences. It erodes, if not eliminates, the ability to use the internet with any remnant of privacy or personal security. It vests the US government with boundless power over those to whom it has no accountability. It permits allies of the US - including aggressively oppressive ones - to benefit from indiscriminate spying on their citizens' communications. It radically alters the balance of power between the US and ordinary citizens of the world. And it sends an unmistakable signal to the world that while the US very minimally values the privacy rights of Americans, it assigns zero value to the privacy of everyone else on the planet.

    This development - the construction of a worldwide, ubiquitous electronic surveillance apparatus - is self-evidently newsworthy, extreme, and dangerous. It deserves transparency. People around the world have no idea that all of their telephonic and internet communications are being collected, stored and analyzed by a distant government. But that's exactly what is happening, in secrecy and with virtually no accountability. And it is inexorably growing, all in the dark. At the very least, it merits public understanding and debate. That is now possible thanks solely to these disclosures.

    Jesus - no wonder the government needs cyber-contractors - and no wonder it isn't hard to get a job or a security clearance.


    Jiminy Christmas (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by shoephone on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:08:56 PM EST
    No wonder Obama wants Snowden's head. The question is: who will be the first congressional rep or senator to ask for Clapper's head, Alexander's head...and Obama's too?

    The Upshot? (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:05:15 AM EST
    Nations around the world will invest in developing their own or a unified, non-U.S. internet and will take government ownership or commandeer national telecom companies to replace U.S.-based or cooperating telecoms.  It could presage a major blow to the U.S. economy. What a colossal blunder this all is from the perspective of national security, as many countries will turn against us.  And, did the NSA and Admin etc. really think they could keep this a secret forever -- that's what this spying house of cards depended on?  It goes to show the poverty of ideas the U.S. has about how to win over hearts and minds around the world.  Oh, yes, I know, building and maintaining true friendships and alliances is so messy, and takes so long, and, why do that when you can press a telecom button and scoop of all the information you don't have the where-with-all to digest?

    "NSA in bed with Germany" (none / 0) (#104)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:51:53 PM EST


    "The partnerships are organised so that authorities in other countries can "insulate their political leaders from the backlash" if it becomes public "how grievously they're violating global privacy," he said.

    The interview was conducted by US cryptography expert Jacob Appelbaum and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras using "encrypted emails shortly before Snowden became known globally for his whistleblowing", Spiegel said.

    On cooperation with Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency, Snowden said the NSA provides "analysis tools" for data passing through Germany from regions such as the Middle East"


    It's not just the US (none / 0) (#87)
    by jbindc on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:53:56 AM EST
    France does it too. I will go out on a limb and say so do most countries that have the technological capabilites.

    PARIS -- Days after President François Hollande sternly told the United States to stop spying on its allies, the newspaper Le Monde disclosed on Thursday that France has its own large program of data collection, which sweeps up nearly all the data transmissions, including telephone calls, e-mails and social media activity, that come in and out of France.

    Le Monde reported that the General Directorate for External Security does the same kind of data collection as the American National Security Agency and the British GCHQ, but does so without clear legal authority.

    The system is run with "complete discretion, at the margins of legality and outside all serious control," the newspaper said, describing it as "a-legal."

    Nonetheless, the French data is available to the various police and security agencies of France, the newspaper reported, and the data is stored for an indeterminate period. The main interest of the agency, the paper said, is to trace who is talking to whom, when and from where and for how long, rather than in listening in to random conversations. But the French also record data from large American networks like Google and Facebook, the newspaper said.

    Le Monde's report, which French officials would not comment on publicly, appeared to make some of the French outrage about the revelations of Edward J. Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor, about the American data-collection program appear somewhat hollow.

    Of course, they say it's "different" than the US plan, and they don't do it to allies.  Uh huh.

    Seems we are all intercepting each other's calls and data...


    So, to avoid having to remember (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 02:09:49 PM EST
    What your nation stands for and to avoid having to focus on fighting to protect your rights, you would rather cruise the Internet looking for reasons to stare at other countries and nations that are not your own and barely if at all within the scope of your abilities to affect at all?  You certainly can have very little affect until you clean up your own backyard.

    To me, one of the follies (none / 0) (#164)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:20:24 AM EST
    of all this is that we believe all this spying makes us safer.  It seems the expenditure of all this money and the preoccupation with data collection as opposed to analytic thinking is not getting us much that is worthwhile, and certainly not stuff that is worth the loss of Constitutional rights.

    Could you imagine if, during the Cuban missile crisis, the JFK administration had dispensed with the rigorous debates and research of EXCOM and instead had contractors sifting through trillions of bytes of so-called info?  This saddens me that no one believes real analytic thought and debate has any purpose -- too hard!  And it is so easy to rely on the so-called data, never minding what it takes to interpret it properly.  Or, perhaps, the reason to have all the data is to go fishing for data to back up whatever policy is being pursued at the moment.  


    How do you know (1.00 / 1) (#195)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:20:16 PM EST
    that the non-domestic data being collected about other countries is not being analyzed or rigorous debates and research are also not being conducted?

    Well, golly, if "everyone's" doing it... (4.20 / 5) (#110)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 03:03:07 PM EST
    I guess it's nothing to worry about, two wrongs apparently do make a right, and whatever other bumper-sticker, embroider-it-on-a-pillow aphorism makes the sick feeling go away, right?

    Like Mom and Dad used to say, as all of us moms and dads have said - I don't care what all your friends are doing, it's not okay with me that you're doing it.

    I guess if we turned up evidence that the US was roasting puppies over an open pit, you'd set to work finding us examples of other places where they do it, or where it's even worse.

    Why can't it ever be enough that it's wrong? If we're leaders, why can't we set an example of doing things right, instead of finding ways to justify things we know to be wrong?  There are still people trying to argue that torture works, for heaven's sake.

    Why on earth do you try so hard to make people feel better about our government doing something we all know is wrong?


    That's one small step for Anne (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:25:05 AM EST
    One GIANT leap in logic.

    I don't recall saying any of the nonsense you just spewed, including excusing our behavior because "everyone is doing it too". That is a made up argument that is all in your head because that is ALWAYS your first (over)reaction.

    I was merely pointing out a news article that shows that it is not just the US is doing this kind of surveillence, and that this is not new. Especially since France has been so hypocritical in its criticims of the US,and it turns out they are doing it too.


    Well, here's the thing, jb: (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:58:37 AM EST
    when what someone chooses to add to the conversation is "merely pointing out" that whatever it is that people are opposed to is going on everywhere else, or being done by everyone else, that conversational choice ends up becoming a de facto opinion.

    My point, in case you missed it, is why should it matter what "everyone else" is doing?  Why isn't it enough that we know it's wrong regardless of what other countries are doing?

    Did you answer those questions?  Well, no you didn't, and you didn't even explain why anyone should need your helpful information in order to form an opinion.

    Do you see yourself as some kind of disinterested debate monitor, or do you have actual opinions you can be direct about?


    I have opinions (none / 0) (#167)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:05:08 AM EST
    But even when I am agreeing with folks like you around here, I seemt o get castigated and railed on, so, instead I am trying to focus on adding more information to the story and letting others make up their own minds, because you actually don't really care what I think.

    My point, in case you missed it, is why should it matter what "everyone else" is doing?  Why isn't it enough that we know it's wrong regardless of what other countries are doing?

    I got your point, but I disagree with your premise.  I think it's very important to know what others are doing. especially when I keep reading around here about how bad we are because we do this, while pointing out that other countries aren't, or have stopped - as if to imply that they are more enlightened. It's naive to think we are the only ones, or that this is a new thing.  If you're outraged now, then you haven't been paying attention.

    And frankly, I don't need to express my every opinion, because you seem to do that enough for everyone.

    Good day.


    Apparently I'm not the only one (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:17:02 PM EST
    who is rarely sure of the intent of your posts. You were incensed earlier (or appeared to be) because a comment you intended as a joke was addressed seriously.  The thing is your posts have no ... tenor, I guess you would call it. It's hard to know when you are agreeing because you leave out things like "I agree" or "in addition" or "moreover" or "also", so sometimes you are unfairly castigated. Comments made in agreement aren't much different from comments in opposition.

    I don't expect this comment to have any effect at all on your writing style. That's hard to change even if there is will to do so. But I thought you may want to know why you sometimes get unwarranted pushback.

    BTW, you might also be getting some unfair pushback because, while you may be posting this sort of link as additional information, other commenters (Pkix) are posting similar links in repeated attempts to normalize the surveillance (and other breaches of good governance).

    And this is just silly:

    And frankly, I don't need to express my every opinion, because you seem to do that enough for everyone.
    Anne expresses her own point of view when she posts a link. It seems to me that you have two options: state your own point of view or continue to be misunderstood. Maybe there are more choices than that, but I can't think of them.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:40:26 PM EST
    you may be right to a degree and I will try to improve.  But a good clue for what my opinions are is when I start a sentence with, "I think," "I believe" or "In my opinion".  I try to be very careful about stating what is my opinion and what I am posting as fact.

    That being said, however, there are those around here that, when I do express an opinion, or mainly, when I try to present another side to the story when the conversation gets a little too deep in groupthink (which, yes, it really does - sometimes it's like reading a liberal version of the Limbaugh Show with the dittoheads), I am immediately assigned motivations and opinions and pinned as "starting arguments", "being a law & order person" (thereby OBVIOUSLY wrong), without some actually considering that hey - I actually have a point, or gasp! I could be right.

    And maybe if I am being lumped in with rabble rousers, well, I guess that falls on the reader to discern what is being said and if there are questions, then to inquire as opposed to accuse.


    I see what you are saying (none / 0) (#183)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:41:42 PM EST
    And I understand your care to separate opinion from fact. You also try to separate legal opinion from personal opinion (I don't have that dilemma because I only present personal opinion. IANAL so I have zero legal opinion).

    But that's not all I'm talking about. I'm talking more about "lengthy" quotes from articles that you present with no personal commentary.

    If you're playing devil's advocate and presenting no opinion but only discussion material then say so. If you agree with the premise then say so. If you disagree with the premise then say so. Or stop being surprised/irked at how others interpret what you are presenting.

    At least at that point if there is ... robust discussion ... it's about the right stuff. And by the way, when it comes to opinion, there is no such thing as being right -- it's an opinion, not a fact. An opinion is an expression of world view. You will advocate for your POV and I'll advocate for mine. Occasionally one of us will reach the other with something previously unconsidered. That's how it's supposed to work. And by the way, while you may have a point, you aren't right. Neither are you wrong.

    I mean, I might think you're wrong, but that would be my opinion, not a fact. And I, like you, am entitled to as many of those as I want.

    What you consider to be "groupthink" is really more of a point of view in common. Maybe some people here are influenced by the opinion of their on-line "friends" but I personally don't think this blog has too many weak-minded individuals (... uh, that would be my opinion). I think anyone who has been here any length of time knows very well the starting point of a regular commentor.

    And, FTR, it is also my opinion that it is not at all up to the readers to discern your intent. I have no idea why you think it is up to us to "discern" it when you have made no effort to express it.

    There. Was that a bone for us to fight over?

    PS: In my opinion you are a lawn' order person. You are far more comfortable with authoritarian boundaries than I am.  And when you start presenting that point of view I will present my own as something for you to think about.

    Maybe. Or maybe I'll just ignore it :)


    You say "law- n- order" (none / 0) (#185)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:07:10 PM EST
    I say "People who want to live as free people, those who want to make choices, should also then be willing to live with the consequences of those choices within the framweork set out in our laws and Constitution." (Freedom comes with responsibility, doncha know). As I have said several times around here - "You (the general 'you') may have had a very good reason for doing what you did, but that does not excuse your behavior."

    I think too many people nowadays are looking to be excused from behavior that they chose to engage in. It's the "It's not my fault!  It's the rule/law that's stupid so I shouldn't be held accountable!"  (It's also right up there on the political side with the just as tedious, "Well, the other side is worse," argument).  

    As far as everything else, you are also forming your opinion based on what I say about the cases and topics posted here, which is a very small sampling of things that go on in the world of criminal justice and politics. I'm not all "lawn order" on everything, and while I believe justice should be tempered with mercy, I also don't believe that many/most people should get 3,4,5,6 or more bites at the apple.  I believe in second and maybe third chances - after that generally, you either need help and refuse to get it, or you are just trying to scam the system (and the public) and you need to be stopped.

    I like to post things that I find interesting and sometimes that are against the "groupthink" because I think it makes for a more robust and interesting discussion than just saying, "I agree here's why, and if you don't you must be 'lawn order' / Republican / unable to read etc."

    So yes, we disagree on that. But I keep coming back because, generally, I like the discussions and I learn a great deal from the very smart people that post here. There are a few posters whom I can't stand to read, because I find them obnoxious, but even some of the people I butt heads with - well, I still look forward to reading their comments because they are interesting.  You can't even begin to know how many things I have shared with other people what I have read on this blog and in the comments.



    Well, not exactly (none / 0) (#186)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:16:12 PM EST
    As far as everything else, you are also forming your opinion based on what I say about the cases and topics posted here, which is a very small sampling of things that go on in the world of criminal justice and politics.
    Frankly, I remember few of the actual cases you've discussed (well, I remember the GZ case, but I have no idea what you've said about it because I think those threads are, well... frankly speaking I think they are a cesspool).

    What I remember is your POV. I'm trying to recall where you have advocated for mercy.  Refresh my memory?


    Maybe I haven't (none / 0) (#188)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:25:50 PM EST
    On the cases written about here - but they tend to be high profile and  many times heinous crimes, so no, I don't expect I felt like like any of those people should get a slap on the wrist or were all victims of police overreach or corruption.  That's ok - this is criminal defense site, so that's the POV expressed here.

    That doesn't mean in many cases I don't feel mercy.  And by feeling mercy, I also don't mean that some things should be whitewashed away either.


    Whle I agree with this (none / 0) (#189)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:39:23 PM EST
    I say "People who want to live as free people, those who want to make choices, should also then be willing to live with the consequences of those choices within the framweork set out in our laws and Constitution."
    You take this premise much further than I do. Because I think that care must be taken to ensure that the framework is just that, and not a boundary. To me those are different things.

    But what you say about laws is what I say about taxes. Essentially that they are the cost of living in a civilized society.

    I like to post things that I find interesting and sometimes that are against the "groupthink" because I think it makes for a more robust and interesting discussion than just saying, "I agree here's why, and if you don't you must be 'lawn order' / Republican / unable to read etc."
    There you go again presenting things as a binary choice :)

    Moreover you present it as if I had said it. Which I did not.  But if you don't want to show your cards -- and your POV -- don't get offended when you are misunderstood.

    But this is true of me, too.  There are lots of smart people here.

    You can't even begin to know how many things I have shared with other people what I have read on this blog and in the comments.

    We don't disagree (none / 0) (#190)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:44:29 PM EST
    But what you say about laws is what I say about taxes. Essentially that they are the cost of living in a civilized society.

    This is what I'm saying.  And to live in society, we all have to follow the same rules.  Those who choose not to, should then have to take the consequences - whether that is a fine, jail, social ostracization, whatever.

    I'm just so tired of people making excuses and expecting not to be held responsible when they clearly screw up.  And other people making excuses for them.

    That's all I'm saying.


    We all have to follow the same rules? (5.00 / 2) (#193)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:09:00 PM EST
    Except we don't all have to follow the same rules. The rules only apply to ordinary people and you seem to be o.k. with that. You appear to have very strict guidelines of how individuals must adhere to the laws of the land and be held accountable for their actions. Yet repeatedly post comments that excuse or rationalize the actions of our government.

    Now you may be tired of ordinary people making excuses and expecting not to be held responsible, I OTOH am tired of the excuses used to justify the actions of our government.



    Like what? (none / 0) (#194)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:17:12 PM EST
    I'm rarely sure... (none / 0) (#109)
    by sj on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 02:22:59 PM EST
    ...of the intent of your posts. Are you sounding alarms? Are you shrugging it off because everyone else is doing it, too? Are you justifying it?

    OTOH, more information is always good, so maybe it doesn't matter why.


    You and a thankfully precious few others (5.00 / 6) (#94)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:37:18 AM EST
    have consistently tried to personalize this issue from the start.

    Snowden is not the issue, despite your insistence on discrediting him and devaluing his one small contribution to sunlighting a dirty little corner of government.

    The issue is that the mechanisms enabling a turnkey police state are in place and seemingly rational people are perfectly comfortable with this.


    christinep (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by kmblue on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    I might agree with you, if all the banksters hadn't walked away scot-free.

    As to the banksters & their ilk (none / 0) (#187)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:22:18 PM EST
    Although I understood in a dollars & cents way, why the banksters were approached so lightly--namely, the devastated economy that the too-big-to-fail boys & girls essentially caused as well as the two wars as well as the need for regulatory action of some sort in the health care arena etc. etc.--it made me sick that the $$$ crooks in banking were only lightly castigated.  

    So...we might find that we agree on some things.  Then, there is the whole matter of what actual actions could have been taken in the midst of the mess that had been building for some time & culminated in the 2008 to @2010 timeframe...what could have been done without harming ourselves even more because of our anger over what they had done...the classic "What do you want to do; burn down the barn to kill the rat?"  

    But see...my approach (my opinion only as sj discussed elsewhere in this thread) is that there are times when the get-even or anger/vengeance driven motif is a great way to vent, but that--more often then not--the day after the vent, a community still has to pick up the pieces & pull together the community that would even be further divided.  Darn, I'm getting mellow ... or it may be something like not wanting to tear something down (especially where strong divisions exist) to show that I was right.  Who knows?  What I do find is that my urgency these days seems to be about continuing progress where it has been made.  Bit by bit.  A primary concern, personally, is the importance of immigration reform; and that, for sure, will yet be a huge struggle.  Thanks.


    What? (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 05:54:58 PM EST
    Although I understood in a dollars & cents way, why the banksters were approached so lightly
    So explain it in a dollars & cents way, because I don't understand it at all.

    Do you mean the that justice department doesn't have the dollars and cents to prosecute?

    Do you mean that the banksters have the dollars and cents influence the regulators?

    Do you mean that the banksters have the dollars and cents to influence the legislators?

    Do you mean that their dollars and cents make them more intrinsically more valuable?

    Some other meaning?

    Please explain with the heck you mean by the phrase above. And hopefully without the stream of consciousness digression stuff?


    I was referring to the dollars & cents of (none / 0) (#197)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:02:48 PM EST
    the interconnectedness of international banking.  My recall is that various economists--nationally & internationally--disagreed about what steps had to come first, second, etc.  Principally, tho, I also recall (generally) that a downside of globalism was that without immediately stabilizing the national/international situation--and, thereby, delaying putting resources/efforts into a principal focus on seeking (justifiable) retribution--many economists, including the President's economic advisors counseled rebuilding the banking process at the outset via various loan and financial incentive/disincentive programs.  Part of that counsel stemmed directly from the concern for ripple effects in a number of countries, such as Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Germany, etc. (all of whom had also played the greed game.)  

    It certainly wasn't pretty as former Congressman Barney Frank, lead "expert" in Congress at the time, honestly noted.  But, other "experts" cautioned against playing too nice...see any of many Paul Krugman's columns during that era.  Arguments on both sides.  For me, my heart went with Krugman; my head went with the stabilization argument made at the WH.

    As for your other questions, I'm not sure if they are rhetorical or presuppose an answer.  Perhaps, you can answer that.  

    As for your last paragraph, sj....well, you are delivering an insult for my honestly held opinion.  At least, that is my read.


    I had only one question. (none / 0) (#200)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:42:31 PM EST
    My other "questions" were attempts at soliciting clarification without being handed unsourced assertions and recollections.

    As to your last paragraph, I have spent about a half hour amusing myself with how to respond without yet another insult. Some examples...

    A) Given some of your comments to other posters, I would have thought you had a thicker skin on the receiving end...

    B) In light of your new-found sensibilities...

    C) My other "questions" were attempts at getting clarification. Silly me. I know you don't provide links.

    You see my dilemma? Believe it or not, there is no malice in these admittedly somewhat less-than-kind thoughts. Ah well, you probably aren't as entertained by it as I am, so I'll leave you with the words of Connor McLeod which, for some reason came to mind:

    I apologize for calling your wife a bloated wart hog. And I bid you good day.

    BTW (none / 0) (#201)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:10:44 PM EST
    "Highlander" is probably my all-time favorite movie although contemporary reviews called it "a mesmerizing triumph of style over substance".  Which, alas, is probably true. But at least it is a little more highbrow than my other favorite movie.

    OK, kmblue (none / 0) (#192)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:00:02 PM EST
    So now you want to argue that two wrongs make a right. I am seeing that sj has given you a "5" rating. This is after she lectured everybody that 2 wrongs do not make a right when it was pointed out that France and Germany also conduct their own surveillance and the behaviors of leaders of those country were steeped in hypocrisy.

    Go figure!


    Lordy (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 06:28:08 PM EST
    This is what passes for logic in your world? Or is this what passes for humor?  Is there another option, because I see neither logic nor humor.

    And I didn't lecture "everybody" about anything. I pointed out the logical fallacy you were employing and continue to employ. So once again you are doing battle with straw men of your own creation.


    christinep (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by kmblue on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    I might agree with you, if all the banksters hadn't walked away scot-free.

    sorry (none / 0) (#182)
    by kmblue on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:29:58 PM EST
    for double post.

    That's ok (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by sj on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 04:43:54 PM EST
    I thought you said it because it bears repeating :)

    "Running dog" toy (1.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:59:57 PM EST
    of Putin getting dismembered by the first dog, Bo (or all our dogs) is not such a bad idea :-).
    We seem to be in agreement.

    I'd take Venezuela... (none / 0) (#143)
    by kdog on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:45:00 PM EST
    they have a history of granting a fresh start and citizenship to a Western fugitive, like my main man Henri Charriere aka Papillon.

    And it's the home of 6 Miss Universe winners!

    With his computer skills, I'm sure he could live like a king down there once he learns the language, if he doesn't already speak spanish.


    Nicaragua would be my choice (none / 0) (#179)
    by fishcamp on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:49:14 PM EST
    because while the fishing is excellent in Venezuela it's even better in Nicaragua.  BTW almost all the women in Caracas have to go to the beauty parlor once a week to try and become one of those Miss Universes.  Also almost every house has bars on the windows to prevent robbery.  I don't like it there.

    A Third Amendment case in NV (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:33:32 PM EST
    Yes, you read that correctly  - a Third Amendment [as well as Fourth Amendment] case was filed in Henderson, NV.

    h/t Volokh

    Henderson [Nevada] police arrested a family for refusing to let officers use their homes as lookouts for a domestic violence investigation of their neighbors, the family claims in court.

    Anthony Mitchell and his parents Michael and Linda Mitchell sued the City of Henderson, its Police Chief Jutta Chambers, Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley, and City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister, in Federal Court....

    The Mitchell family's claim includes Third Amendment violations, a rare claim in the United States....


    What happened to that family (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Peter G on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:43:43 AM EST
    is outrageous, and clearly illegal (under Nevada statutes, I'm sure, as well as under the Nevada and U.S. Constitutions) if the allegations of their complaint are true.  But the Third Amendment claim is far-fetched.  Police are not "soldiers" within the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, at least, even when they deploy military weaponry and other gear and improperly employ military tactics.  Nor is commandeering a private residence what the Framers meant by "quartering" soldiers in the residence (making it their assigned place to live). Of course, when the authorities repeatedly misuse the legally-potent term "war" to describe their policy solutions to public problems, it kind of invites (or may be designed to produce) the fuzzy thinking that would justify war-like action, which is to say, on the domestic side, a "police state."  That said, the police action, as described, is such a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment that the invocation of the Third seems like a distraction at best, if not a publicity stunt by their lawyers.

    What on earth... (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by kdog on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:52:34 PM EST
    were the Henderson police thinking?  That's f*ckin' nuts.

    If the founders were here and could see what the police have become, I'd think they'd might call them soldiers, especially federal police forces like the FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE.  The war on drugs, for example, could be called a civil war.  I like how they threw the 3rd in there, maybe it will spur some debate about para-military style "policing", and more such 3rd Amendment challenges.


    Very interesting. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 01:46:10 PM EST
    I want to brag about my niece (5.00 / 14) (#34)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:17:03 PM EST
    Don't let any mixed up kid you know give up! Anything is possible.

    Her parents divorced when she was two and she lived with my ex-SIL. The ex was married, became a nurse to find a rich doctor (she TOLD me this!). She succeeded but he didn't like rebellious teenagers so at 16 she sent her off to live with my brother and his now ex-wife who didn't want her (the ex, not my brother). She became pregnant at 17 and came to live with me.

    For over three years this troubled girl and her angel baby lived with me. She met an Army man with custody of three boys. They married and about a year later had child #5. He had three tours in Iraq (and now is out with disability/PTSD). While he was gone and she raised five kids, she started college. She's very very smart. She graduated 2nd in her class pre-med, in just three years.

    She joined the Army to go to med school for free while she supported this family of seven. She's in her 3rd year and at this time is 1st in her class.

    I'm so proud of her! Almost any kid, given a chance and good advice, for which I take some credit, can change their life, get a dream and live it. After school and residency, she'll owe the Army seven more years, but she actually likes the Army lifestyle.

    Brava to her! (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:18:29 PM EST
    And to you as well, as you helped shaped a girl into a fine young woman!

    Aw, Teresa, that's a beautiful story. (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:43:56 PM EST
    I'm sure she is very grateful for the love and guidance you gave her.

    Just goes to show us that ... (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:46:48 PM EST
    ... no child or adolescent should ever be treated as though she or he is a disposable commodity. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and pinch-hitting, and ending the game with a walk-off homer.



    Thank you guys! (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 05:35:39 PM EST
    And you're so right, don't give up on kids. It's never too late to turn your life around.

    All I really did was love her and talk to her like a person that mattered. I love her very much.


    Breaking: Plane crash at SFO. (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:40:18 PM EST
    An Asiana B777 widebody jet arriving from Incheon-Seoul, South Korea has crashed upon landing on Rwy. 28L at San Francisco International Airport late this morning.

    The aircraft itself broke apart, burned and is a total loss, but miraculously, it looks like nobody was killed, although 40 of the 291 passengers aboard were injured, 10 of them critically.

    As of this writing, SFO is closed, and arriving aircraft are being diverted to Oakland, Sacramento and elsewhere.

    Incredibly calm (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:53:37 PM EST
    never flustered air traffic controller directing other air traffic as it took place

    If you didn't know in advance there was a crash you might not know until near the end.


    Update: One dead, 30 injured. (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 05:22:16 PM EST
    Update on plane crash: 2 dead, 1 missing, (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:13:57 PM EST
    130 injured.

    Final update: (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:54:11 AM EST
    Out of 291 passengers and 16 crew members, there were two fatalities and 180 injuries, at least five critical.

    According to accounts from survivors and NTSB officials, it sounds as though the aircraft's incoming trajectory on short final had it online to plow into San Francisco Bay just short of the Rwy. 28L threshold. The pilot realized it and tried desperately to pull up and abort the landing, but the B777's tail clipped the runway's lighting pier, causing the aircraft to cartwheel and hit the runway itself very hard. It looks like the tail section practically disintegrated on impact.

    My condolences to those who lost their two loved ones today, but it could have been much, much worse had they gone into the water.


    Unreal (none / 0) (#47)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 05:34:11 PM EST
    Looking at the damage and how much burned! Wow and wonderful. I just saw this and turned on the TV, so I don't know if the passengers got out prior to the fire.

    Looks like a miracle to me.


    To be honest, my reaction is (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Peter G on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:11:42 PM EST
    that Boeing builds a hell of a plane, to allow nearly all the passengers to survive that kind of accident, many of them entirely uninjured.

    Yes. And kudos to the flight attendants and (none / 0) (#146)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:13:40 PM EST
    people sitting in the exit rows, who must have paid close attention to the instructions.

    I think of all the times I've flown, and ... (none / 0) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:17:16 AM EST
    ... the only mishap that's ever occurred -- knock on wood -- was when I was on a Hawaiian B767 on its takeoff roll down the runway at Sacramento Int'l early one foggy December morning, and we ran headlong into a flock of flying geese coming in the opposite direction. You could hear the impact from inside the aircraft.

    The pilot immediately aborted takeoff and braked the plane, and we returned to the terminal for inspection. After consulting the crew, Boeing actually flew some engineers down from Seattle to give the plane a further go-over. Four hours later, they announced that the impact with the geese had been so severe that the hydraulic lines controlling the flaps in both wings had been ruptured, and we were grounded.

    Hawaiian eventually sent us by motorcoach down to San Francisco to get a flight out later that evening. We got home 14 hours late, and each got a $250 voucher for use on a future Hawaiian flight because of the inconvenience. But none of us were complaining, because it could easily have been a lot worse that day, but for the flight crew's quick reactions.



    Since this is an open thread (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by ZtoA on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:26:44 PM EST
    I really wish Zorba might consider commenting again. I always love the culinary threads.

    I recently got a Nutribullet, at the suggestion of my healthy daughter and love it. It is so easy to clean! (and since I hate to clean when I'm working 12-14 hours a day that is good) And I can actually ingest kale now. My recipe for breakfast smoothie is: baby kale, baby spinach, parsley, cilantro, blueberries, broccoli, chia seeds, lemon and stevia - and whatever is fresh and left over. It actually tastes good --- hard to believe but true. You can go super healthy and add acai, goji berries, avocado, and a host of other normally disgusting foods.

    Going to be making pickles tomorrow... (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:34:36 PM EST
    our cucumbers are so plentiful this year that we can't keep up with them.

    So, dill and bread-and-butter pickles it is.  Going to do spears, chips and slices - something for everyone!  I did three quarts last weekend - didn't process, we'll just eat them in a couple weeks.

    Hoping the tomatoes will be just as plentiful - we made the best salsa last summer, and I can't wait to make more!  That and spaghetti sauce.  If the world ends, salsa, spaghetti and pickles for all!


    Not to say (none / 0) (#83)
    by ZtoA on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:27:56 PM EST
    that Zorba only does culinary!!!

    I'll be doing peaches this week, making a variety (none / 0) (#89)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:35:50 AM EST
    of jams and jellies which will become gifts to family and friends.  Peppers and potatoes and tomatoes will be next.  Spent last weekend making basil pesto, had to harvest the plants before the heat killed them off.

    I miss Zorba, too.


    Behind the scenes in Egypt: (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 03:23:10 PM EST

    I wonder (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 03:47:46 PM EST
    Will the determined of Egypt end up showing us how you deal with Booz Allen too :)  Booz Allen is very eager for the Arab spring to become summer.

    Booz Allen is starting with the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Omar. It will eventually move on to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain and other countries as they recover from the turmoil associated with the Arab Spring.

    In the Middle East, Booz Allen is targeting defense, security, civil infrastructure and commercial opportunities, with a particular emphasis on information technology and cybersecurity.

    "What's great about the Middle East is we can get regional scale more easily than in other areas, like Europe," Jones said. "Everyone speaks Arabic, and there's historically been a hub-and-spoke arrangement that can lower the cost of doing business."

    HRC always wanted these Arab countries (none / 0) (#116)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:27:33 PM EST
    link to be under our "security umbrella" or "defense umbrella". link

    This has been the foreign policy goal of mainstream political parties for a long time.


    Everything changes (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:38:21 PM EST
    That was awhile ago now wasn't it?  Wonder if she meant for an umbrella to be Booz Allen Hamilton?  Before I jump to any conclusions about what Hillary wants done with a dead FISA and all these defense contractors who can look up my business any old time they feel a strong breeze, I think I will wait to hear it from her.

    Besides, Booz Allen gets confused (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:46:47 PM EST
    About whether or not it is the NSA, not the State Dept, at least not yet but going over their goals I suppose we must ask ourselves when is Booz Allen also going to be easily mistaken for or lay claim to being our State Dept.

    The personification of moly! (none / 0) (#117)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:28:51 PM EST
    "Moxy" (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:41:33 PM EST
    I like "moly" better (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:23:14 PM EST
    It leaves "holy" outta the picture altogether.

    This is one side effect (none / 0) (#121)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:43:06 PM EST
    of reduction in defense spending and closing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense contactors will seek more contracts from our "allies". Did you really expect them to close shop?

    So, the only alternative is make sure (5.00 / 7) (#123)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:48:20 PM EST
    the U.S. has enough war going to support the contractors?

    No (none / 0) (#126)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:04:16 PM EST
    We are closing wars, which is a progressive policy. I believe that many of the defense contracts are picking more space exploration projects and diversifying into commercial aviation, cyber security and in the energy sector.
    The US government wants its allies to spend more on defense so that the burden of defense spending does not fall totally on us. Some of our Middle Eastern allies are doing that along with some Far East nations.
    If the US government prevents Booz Allen Hamilton from picking up contracts in the Middle East, the Saudis and UAE are going to buy from French and Russian defense companies.
    Our foreign policy under the current President has been more progressive than it has ever been. The CIA is not toppling elected governments, we are not declaring war on countries that did not attack us, we are not conducting human experiments like the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, etc. I hope that the bigger picture is not lost while indulging in a back and forth discussion.

    The bigger picture still includes smaller pictures (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:21:56 PM EST
    with huge implications for the future. The Tuskegee experiments ended more than forty years ago (thank god) but drone warfare is being conducted today.

    The Tuskegee experiments (none / 0) (#133)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:49:43 PM EST
    were performed on people who had not done us any harm. Even the last Democratic President before the current one, Bill Clinton, enforced sanctions on Iraq for the entire term of his Presidency. Iraq did not cause any harm to us. Estimates of the toll of those sanctions are mind boggling. link
    Denis J. Halliday, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq for part of the sanctions era, expressed a widely held belief when he said in 1998: ''We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that.'' Even today, Clinton-era American officials ranging from Madeleine K. Albright, the former secretary of state, and James P. Rubin, State Department spokesman under Albright, to Nancy E. Soderberg, then with the National Security Council, speak with anger and bitterness over the fervor of the anti-sanctions camp. As Soderberg put it to me, ''I could not give a speech anywhere in the U.S. without someone getting up and accusing me of being responsible for the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.''

    Drones are being used against people who have declared war on us based on a religious ideology; they are not being used against people who are not fighting a war against us. It is ridiculuous to compare our drone policy with the Tuskegee experiments.


    No, here's whats ridiculous: (5.00 / 4) (#140)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:27:01 PM EST
    that you are incapable of acknowledging that innocent civilians are being killed by those drones, regardless of who they are meant for.

    Drones are 10 times more likely to cause innocent casualties than bombs or missiles unleashed from U.S. jets.

    Drones are themselves a form of terror for the people living in those towns and villages; many of those places are targeted nightly.

    It must be nice to live in a world where only certain things qualify as bad, and other things that don't hurt people in your own country are A-OK. What do you call that? Pariotism? Democracy? Looks to me like just old-fashioned willful denial that our government's current actions are maiming and killing innocents outside our borders.


    Really? (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:55:13 PM EST
    Closing wars is a progressive policy?  Remember stop-loss?  What's the non-progressive policy?  A draft?

    I don't know what it is a side affect of (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:44:45 PM EST
    I am supposed to be out of this active duty business in 3 mos or 23 mos.  I don't know yet.  But the person who lives here and has spent his whole adult life in uniform is then going to drive a big skidsteer and grow flowers for a living most likely :)

    So to be an American anymore means you have no imagination, old dogs no new tricks, defense contractors will be sitting around unwashed and living under bridges but cannot transition to fixing bridges?  I guess we need to move to a different country, we thought being Americans meant entirely something else.

    On second thought, If that's true, defense contractors are too spoiled and lazy to be Americans :)


    He'll help make us less dependent (5.00 / 3) (#136)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:12:14 PM EST
    on foreign flowers. Why have the Republicans never made this an issue.

    That's a pretty slogan (none / 0) (#137)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:20:32 PM EST
    Might have to steal that.

    Dig Baby Dig (none / 0) (#138)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:22:07 PM EST
    If only we lived in a more Liberal state (none / 0) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:24:29 PM EST
    You channel the talent that Don Draper surrounds himself in :)

    Surrounds himself with (none / 0) (#141)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 06:27:44 PM EST
    I am not bound for a career in advertising

    My five prejudices (5.00 / 4) (#147)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:06:01 PM EST
    In a very ornery mood. So I'm gonna "out" myself here. And there are probably more than five, but these are the prejudices I am most conscious of and, therefore, spend the most time fighting when I have to.

    *Wealthy people (Because I hate that money matters more than people in society)

    *The Tea Party (Because, on the whole,  notwithstanding the narrow agreements I may have with some regarding things like the nitpicking of small business, it is simply a painfully racist and hateful and inexcusably ignorant movement)

    *People who ID as Republicans (The Dems are useless, let me say that first. But the Repubs are useless AND malevolent. Big enough difference for my prejudice to sprout.)

    *"Legitimate" authority figures who carry weapons. (Because I have had far too many bad experiences with them, including being held at shotgunpoint by a cop who thought I'd robbed a liquor store when I was 12, and who didn't have the decency to apologize to a traumatized kid afterward).

    *Angry black men (because my brother and I were abused by just such a man when I was a child and my brother a toddler).

    Anyone else wanna step up and paint themselves with the brush of reality? I'm tired of the Trayvon Martin case and the obvious dysfunction it has brought out in everyone, myself included. So I'm laying my sh*t out there to stink up the joint.

    EVERYONE is prejudiced. And that means prosecutors and defense attorneys alike. But see, we know you can never own our prejudices publicly because it would negatively effect our business, career, lives. And THAT is the point. Workaday life, which Court is certainly part of, is largely a show, where we're all actors, playing narrowly defined roles, and so often those roles require us to conceal and lie about who we really are.  

    We all suck, IOW. If we didn't, this nation would be a much more evolved place.

    Dadler, you're very brave to share such (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:22:29 PM EST
    information on this forum.  You do give me food for thought, though, and should I ever be brave enough I'll share too.  

    For me it is people who think that just (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:20:26 PM EST
    because you are wealthy, you care about money more than people. Or that having a lot of money suddenly means that you are an evil 1%er.

    People who own guns. I understand if you are a hunter or someone who lives out in the boonies. I see no need for them otherwise.

    People who think that just because I am not white, I should be offended by every joke or stereotype that is not PC.


    Or as a guy on slashdot said... (none / 0) (#198)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:53:46 PM EST
    ..."The Republicans are the party of evil and the Democrats are the party of stupid."

    Kids these days.... (5.00 / 3) (#168)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:10:48 AM EST
    Kid to obama at a rally:
    "Dad says you're spying on us online"


    "He's not your dad."

    That's a keeper. (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:21:23 AM EST

    Personality (none / 0) (#169)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:12:44 AM EST
    Gun-toting Kansas teachers are on their own (5.00 / 3) (#171)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:04:12 PM EST
    Insurer Refuse to Cover Gun-Carrying Kansas Schools.

    An insurance company based in Iowa has refused to renew coverage for Kansas schools that permit teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms on campus, the Des Moines Register reported on Sunday.

    EMC Insurance Cos. made the decision after Kansas enacted a new law to allow the concealed guns on campus. The company told the newspaper the decision was based on financial policy, not politics. The company reportedly covers 85 to 90 percent of Kansas school districts.

    "We've been writing school business for almost 40 years, and one of the underwriting guidelines we follow for schools is that any on-site armed security should be provided by uniformed, qualified law enforcement officers," Mick Lovell, EMC's vice president for business development, told the Des Moines Register. "Our guidelines have not recently changed."

    Anybody asks, (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 03:06:13 PM EST
    Confidence Man. (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:42:05 PM EST
    Martin Dempsey: Edward Snowden Has Hurt U.S. Ties With Other Countries

    The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman says NSA leaker Edward Snowden's disclosures about U.S. surveillance programs have undermined U.S. relationships with other countries and affected what he calls "the importance of trust."

    Nice to see such a blazing intellect at the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It isn't Obama's spying that has done the damage. It's that Obama has been exposed as the flim-flam man many knew he was from the day he appointed Rahm as Chief of Staff.

    The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman is a smart guy, right?

    He cannot possibly be stupid enough to actually believe that anyone else could possibly be stupid enough to think he's making any sense here, can he?

    Oh. Wait...

    Clip from Fox news website (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:31:31 AM EST
    on the Alaska Senate race:

    And people think only the winners write the history books....

    "The return of Palin, the state's most high-profile Republican, appears unlikely despite the persistent beckoning of national conservatives. She hasn't run for elected office since resigning as Alaska governor to become the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and recently returned to Fox News as a paid commentator."

    I imagine the Fox job is about as (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:11:38 AM EST
    hard as Ms. Palin wants to work; she wants the spotlight and the microphone it'll give her without the work that would go with campaigning or - gulp! - elective office.  There's a wardrobe budget (but do they let you keep the clothes?) and someone to do her makeup.  She'll feel important.

    Since I don't watch Fox, it's probably the next best thing to her just going away altogether.

    Conservatives love her?  No, people who mistake their asses for hats love her, so in that sense, Fox is perfect for her.  Although I'm sure Britt Hume doesn't think she's as smart as he is.


    To be fair (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:21:44 AM EST
    It would be harder on FOX, where people are actually still watching, as opposed to getting a job on MSNBC, where apparently no one is watching anymore....

    Nope (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:26:38 AM EST
    It's always easier on Fox, because it has such a homogenous and intellectually incapable audience. You just need the schtick there, the viewers are still the sheep of all sheep. They are always easier to pander to. No brain cells required. MSNBC at least requires five or six, but maybe that's too generous. But no one, NO ONE, does stupid and proud of it better than Fox. They wear their mental incapacity like a godd*mn medal of honor. Dopes. BTW, the reason you KNOW how dumb the FOX crowd is...they cannot, for anything you offer, actually be intentionally funny. Every attempt at satire or humor on Fox is like amateur roast night at the Moron Klub. Conservatism, a slavish attachment to the status quo, is anathema to creativity and imagination. If only the Democrats had any themselves, but they're too busy being corrupt themselves.

    True (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:45:04 AM EST
    Like when Rachel Maddow snorts in a "wink-wink" kind of way about teabaggers and giggles like a 7th grader.

    Or when they doctor videos about a case-not-to-be-named-on-this-thread to make it a racial thing.

    Or anything Lawrence O'Donnell has to say.

    Those all take a lot of brain cells to process too.

    Even MSNBC interns  don't think they'e so great and are suing them for unpaid work


    Hey, we all know MSNBC sucks, so (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:57:14 AM EST
    why are you trying so hard to make a contest out of this?

    Suppose Palin had gone to MSNBC - do you imagine any criticism of her or of the network would be any less scathing?

    For whatever it's worth, anyone who is a devotee of any of this kind of media is showing how little they really want to think about what's going on, so whether Palin goes to the flagship station of conservative crazy, or the flagship station of the we-think-we're-smarter-and we-know-we-are-cooler crowd, it doesn't really matter.

    It's all garbage.


    Because (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:43:02 AM EST
    My original comment was a joke - she wants to work for FOX because it would be harder because people actually watch.  It would be NO work to be on MSNBC because no one watches anyway.

    Dadler got a little too serious about the average Fox viewer not being smart and yada yada yada.

    Everyone around here just needs to CTFO.


    You gotta understand (2.00 / 1) (#148)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:00:57 PM EST
    dissing those who disagree with you is very much a far Left thing... and to be fair a far Right thing.

    Those who practice it do not seem to understand that by doing so they just make themselves look bad.


    Everyone around here just needs to CTFO. (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:13:48 PM EST
    Sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    I think (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:09:44 PM EST
    Rachel has some brains, so did Keith.

    But I wonder why neither of them seem to be able to speak in a manner that doesn't sound like something scripted.

    I like people who talk in a manner that sounds like people talking.

    Doesn't seem too much to ask.

    And then of course, there was Ed. Shouting his head off in style.
    To the unfortunate recipient of his verbal blasts, it isn't much different from Limbaugh.

    I really can't understand, no matter what their political bent, how anybody can listen to any of them. And that goes for Chris, Hannity, O'Reilly and the rest of 'em.

    And that went for Buckley too.
    The "intellect". The "wit".
    Among the dumbest people I have ever heard.
    Says a lot about PBS...

    Speaking of PBS, you can have Lehrer too.


    Haven't You Heard... (none / 0) (#165)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:46:08 AM EST
    ...she might be leaving the republican party to form her own independent party, the Freedom Party.

    Tea baggers rejoice at the thought of a new logo.



    Didn't Palin resign her post as AK Gov ... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:26:00 PM EST
    ... the year following her most excellent adventure as John McCain's traveling salvation show? That's less writing history than rewriting it.

    Thank you (none / 0) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:34:41 PM EST
    someone finally read the passage for what it said (wrongly)

    That was the very first thing I noticed. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 05:00:33 PM EST
    That said, Sarah Palin's hardly worth the bandwidth still being expended nowadays to discuss her latest self-promoting antics ad nauseum.

    Pictures from passengers just after (none / 0) (#49)
    by Teresa on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 05:48:59 PM EST
    they got out look like a lot of the fire was later. I'd have been so scared to move. It's so close to the water and they're so lucky, except the ones who died or are injured.

    The climate of fear in Russia, today (none / 0) (#55)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:49:13 PM EST
    So it isn't just the United States that (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:56:26 PM EST
    fosters and exists in a climate of fear?

    The trial of Russian opposition leader, Navalny (none / 0) (#59)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:04:14 PM EST
    Uhhmmm.... (none / 0) (#74)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:50:52 PM EST
    U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Secrecy Defended By Obama Administration

    Eh? Defends secrecy of it? Heh.

    It's not working there, B. Back to the drawing board, bud.

    Yeesh. Couldn't they find someone competent to bankroll into the White House?

    So, they will do as they please (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:11:16 PM EST
    And hire out their intelligence thug work to Booz Allen and everything done will be secrety secret, pinky swear and all.

    Nobody knows right? (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:20:09 PM EST
    Just you and me, right? These guys are pros, right? If they wanted to keep a secret it would be a secret, right? Lol. ;-)

    And look at this $hit (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:23:10 PM EST
    Stinky Stuff

    I did not file to get my stuff after I went to Crawford though some thought that I should.  I knew what I did, I didn't need to see the photos :)  But now, if you file a FOIA request for what the NSA has on you, you aren't going to get anything.  What the hell are Americans supposed to do with that?  What they have collected on us all is classified.

    Well I'm asking for it, so that unclassifies it and I'll give you my address, and my IP addresses and all my phone numbers...you would think that would get my stuff out of the deep freeze.  I mean, if I was going to go lone wolf and someone at Booz Allen thought I was...that is what would get my stuff out of the deep freeze.

    This is the height of intolerable bull$hit.  This will not stand.


    C'mon MT. Look on the bright side! (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Edger on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 10:37:22 PM EST
    These guys are very reliable I hear. Pros, you know? Djeeze, if you forget something I'd bet they can probably tell you what it was you were thinking, even!

    But they won't, because it's a secret.  ;-)


    Scientist: End the War on Drugs (none / 0) (#91)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 08:30:41 AM EST
    CH: The pharmalogical effects of drugs rarely lead to crime, but the public conflates these issues regardless. If we were going to look at how pharmalogical drugs influence crime, we should probably look at alcohol. We know sometimes people get unruly when they drink, but the vast majority of people don't. Certainly, we have given thousands of doses of crack cocaine and methamphetamine to people in our lab, and never had any problems with violence or anything like that. That tells you it's not the pharmacology of the drug, but some interaction with the environment or environmental conditions, that would probably happen without the drug. Sure, new markets of illegal activity are often or sometimes associated with increased violence, or some other illegal activity, but it is not specific to drugs like people try to make it out to be


    Venezuela's Temporary Offer? (none / 0) (#92)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:02:05 AM EST
    Foreign Minster Elias Jaua said on state television late on Saturday. "We are waiting until Monday to know whether he confirms his wish to take asylum in Venezuela."

    Still no guarantee there is a route that would get Snowden from Moscow to Caracas. Any commercial flight could lose flyover rights with Snowden on-board. With that he would still need approval to land in Havana. A second possibility (if granted flyover rights) would be Moscow to Tehran and then direct to Caracas (that's a gamble).

    With no flyover rights, a third option is a chartered commercial jet headed northeast over the Barents Sea, then left above Finland, Sweden, and Norway and stay over water all the way to Venezuela. He would likely need a billionaire to step to the plate for the price of that charter.

    A fourth no one mentions; accept asylum then take a private jet north over water, then left and claim engine trouble for an emergency landing in Iceland and roll the dice. This of course would likely violate any flight plan and risk being intercepted as a Gulfstream probably couldn't fly north and make it to Caracas but this is hypothetical anyway.

    No matter, it appears Venezuela may be hedging their offer and ready to pull it off the table if the free agent, that may have reached his peak in interest, doesn't take it sometime in the next 36 hours.

    On a side note, Snowden can take pleasure in knowing he's not female. Abortion is banned in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, and punishable by anywhere from 1 to 6 years in prison.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 60 (none / 0) (#95)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:42:23 AM EST
    Volume 60 -- When crows build up immunity, all bets are off. (link)

    And the rest of last week's toons if you missed any:

    Vol. 59

    Vol. 58

    Vol. 57

    Vol. 56

    Vol. 55

    Vol. 54

    One more day in Utah, then it's a 12 hour drive home tomorrow, starting at the asscrack of dawn. Peace, y'all.

    Sunday morning (none / 0) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:26:48 AM EST
    Wow! Andy Murray just won Wimbledon! (none / 0) (#100)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:27:20 AM EST

    England must be going wild (none / 0) (#101)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:32:53 AM EST
    The last man from the UK who won Wimbledon was John "Fred" Perry in 1936 according to wikipedia.

    Yes, they've waited a long time! (none / 0) (#103)
    by Angel on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 11:54:22 AM EST
    It was a great match, and that last game was something else.  It was pure entertainment for anyone watching.  The crowds outside the stadium were going wild as they watched on the big screens.  I'm really, really happy for him, this was a phenomenal comeback from last year's loss.  He played like a champion, too, just never gave up on a single point.

    Blasts in holiest Buddhist temple (none / 0) (#105)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:18:21 PM EST
    Temple is in site where the Buddha received enlightenment.

    Since Buddhists practice detachment (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 03:58:07 PM EST
    You won't catch us running around with a bumper sticker pleading never forget :)

    If you meet the Buddha on the road too, kill him.  Because it isn't about worshipping the Buddha, it is about the path.  The place the Buddha supposedly received elightenment?  Many Buddhists question if a single Buddha ever really existed, and we look to the story's meanings and do not take it literally.  The Buddha would not want any of us getting overly attached to a building either.  It will only cause us pain :)

    When all is said and done, for most Buddhists, this will end as job creation.


    Squeezing health insurance out (none / 0) (#106)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:28:46 PM EST
    Broad Expansion of NSA powers (none / 0) (#107)
    by shoephone on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:35:22 PM EST

    The slippery slope, the intractable secrecy, the lack of real oversight. Such is the nature of our current "democracy."

    FISA court (none / 0) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:49:25 PM EST
    Of the 11 judges currently serving on the court, ten were initially appointed to the federal bench by Republican presidents. Only one, Judge Mary McLaughlin, was appointed by a Democratic president- Bill Clinton.
     Since 1978, when the FISA court was created, every Chief Justice of the United States -- Warren Burger, William Rehnquist and John Roberts - was appointed by a Republican president.
    This is quite disturbing in terms of the choices made by Burger, Rehnquist and Roberts, who are not supposed to be influenced by partisan or ideological considerations. Moreover, this matters. Judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents differ quite significantly in their judicial approaches. To cite just one example, among Supreme Court justices appointed in the last 30 years, those appointed by Republican presidents support civil liberties claims roughly 34 percent of the time, whereas those appointed by Democratic presidents support such claims approximately 74 percent of the time.

    One can therefore fully expect that a FISA court consisting of 91 percent Republican-appointed judges, even if they attempt to meet their responsibilities in good faith, is dramatically more likely to approve warrants for government surveillance than a FISA court consisting of judges appointed half by Republican and half by Democratic presidents link

    Candidate Obama: I will support (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:58:20 PM EST
    a filibuster re FISA revise.

    I'm sure the "far right" : ( (none / 0) (#127)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:08:28 PM EST
    members of the Democratic Party fully supported Obama's about face much as they currently support and defend the surveillance programs implemented by G.W. Bush and expanded by B.H. Obama.  

    Anyone happen to know... (none / 0) (#111)
    by desertswine on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 03:17:05 PM EST
    how to change your password on TalkLeft?

    Go to "user preferences protected" (none / 0) (#112)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 03:21:41 PM EST
    Thank you. (none / 0) (#152)
    by desertswine on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:48:17 PM EST
    Password (none / 0) (#118)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:31:09 PM EST
    Or you can click on the button that says "mail password" under the login..

    Thank you... (none / 0) (#153)
    by desertswine on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:48:41 PM EST
    Teresa Heinz Kerry (none / 0) (#128)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 05:20:17 PM EST
    the wife of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, is hospitalized in critical but stable condition in a Nantucket hospital. link

    Hospital spokesman said could not release any more details at this time.

    A New Anti-American Axis? (none / 0) (#150)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:39:25 PM EST

    "President Obama should see China and Russia as neither enemies nor friends, but as significant powers with their own interests, as the Snowden affair showed. Initially, Mr. Obama railed publicly and ineffectually at both, urging them to extradite Mr. Snowden. Only when he softened his public stance and hardened his private line did Beijing and Moscow begin to see the advantages of avoiding further confrontation."

    In other words, talk softly but carry a big stick.

    Quite a lot to think about here: (none / 0) (#151)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 10:43:11 PM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vols. 60 & 61 (none / 0) (#155)
    by Dadler on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:34:25 AM EST
    About to drive home from Utah to San Francisco. 12 plus hours, oh boy. Blah.  
    Vol. 61

    Vol. 60

    Happy Monday, my good peeps.

    Thanks for my first laughs of the day! (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Angel on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 07:45:27 AM EST
    Safe travels.

    Rick Perry (none / 0) (#175)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:22:09 PM EST
    gives a Texas version of a Checkers speech. He's not running for re-election in 2014 but it doesn't appear he'll pull a Palin.