Friday Open Thread

It's a jail day for me. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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  • Don't know what to make of (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 12:41:04 PM EST

    The White House dismissed the bulk of President Barack Obama's premier panel of outside intelligence advisers earlier this year, leaving the blue-ribbon commission largely vacant as the public furor built over the National Security Agency's widespread tracking of Americans' telephone calls.

    The President's Intelligence Advisory Board stood 14 members strong through 2012, but the White House website was recently updated to show the panel's roster shrinking to just four people.

    In the past four years, the high-powered group has waded into the implications of WikiLeaks for intelligence sharing, and urged retooling of America's spy agencies as the United States withdraws from big wars abroad.

    Some analysts say the panel would have been an obvious choice to dig into the profound questions and concerns contractor Edward Snowden raised by leaking details about the NSA's bulk collection of telephone metadata and internet traffic.

    But the board's thin ranks at present -- and the remaining members' close ties to Obama -- may have fueled the decision the president announced last week to turn instead to a brand new and still unnamed body of outside experts to delve into the privacy issues raised by surveillance in the "Big Data" age.

    When I first read your comment (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by sj on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 04:21:24 PM EST
    my thought was "I wonder why so many people left at the same time". Okay, what I really wondered is if ethics may have kicked in, and some or most of the resignations were in protest of some sort.

    Then I read the article and found out that they were kicked off the Board. And regarding those involuntary terminations this statement was issued:

    "A number of PIAB members have recently departed their positions and in staffing the Board, we look carefully at the President's needs and ensure that the group is comprised of individuals with the skills and expertise to meet those needs," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told POLITICO via e-mail.

    I wonder what it is exactly that the President thinks he needs that these 10 members didn't provide.

    Like you, I'm not sure what to make of this. I just doubt that it's anything good.


    Deja Vu... (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 12:50:38 PM EST
    another prosecutor after protesters for writing on the sidewalk with water-soluble non-permanent chalk.

    So if you're keeping a list, you have the right to free speech via chalk as long as you aren't protesting banksters and/or coppers.  

    Or as Joe Strummer put it more simply..."You have the right to free speech.  Provided, of course, you're not dumb enough to actually try it."

    While I Agree... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:11:20 PM EST
    ...I don't care how you say or write "F the Police" or "F Pigs" you are playing with fire.

    It's like they wanted to get arrested.  And of course the cops do what they do best, over-react.


    Too true... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:24:34 PM EST
    you can get arrested for the look on your face, I'm more surprised prosecutors decide to prosecute nonsense like this.  

    One would hope someone along the slaughterhouse line would say "just wash it off and lets move on to more important business".  Cases such as this, if an arrest even occurs, should be immediately dropped. How petty can the law be?

    Not that I agree that non-permanent easily removed chalk should be treated the same as spraypaint graffiti in the eyes of the law to begin with...we need a chalk exception for public property in the name of free speech and free expression.  This type of "vandalism" (lol) should be encouraged as an alternative to real vandalism, not prosecuted.


    You're right, but (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:28:08 PM EST
    Cases such as this, if an arrest even occurs, should be immediately dropped. How petty can the law be?

    Then what stops them from doing it over and over again if nothing happens?  How about a fine, at least?


    I fail to see... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:32:02 PM EST
    whats so terrible about chalk writing & drawing on the sidewalk catching on...it makes walks more interesting, and the rain erases it all in good time.

    Must everything be so sterile & boring?  Variety is the slice of life.


    These aren't pretty pictures (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:53:41 PM EST
    You wanna use the f-bomb?  Do it on your own property.  

    And they were warned and did it anyways.  Then they came back and did it again.  Sorry - these aren't kids who didn't know any better. The city powerwashed the sidewalk at a cost of thousands of dollars.

    Fine them the cost of the cleaning and let them go.


    What is this 1913? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:00:03 PM EST
    We're still getting worked up over f*ck?  Seriousky...What the f&ck? ;)

    The taxpayers got ripped the f8ck off on the cleaning fee...you don't need a powerwasher to remove chalk.  A gallon of water and a pushbroom and 2 minutes elbow grease....good as new.  Or as I said above, just wait for rain and it's gratis cleaning.  Granted, that might be a bit of a wait in Nevada.

    The prosecutors office too...no regard for taxpayers.  All too common from so many of our local, state, and federal employees who got it twisted and think they're our bosses.


    I Love Graffiti... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:55:31 PM EST
    ...at least when it's done well.

    But I don't think anyone wants to see "F the police" where someone feels like witting it.

    I really like the idea of people airing grievances on the side walk, it's like online ratings.  Sans the profanity, I don't see an issue.

    The cops should be ticketed for stupidity in calling a power washing service and having the nerve to charge $250 to remove, removable chalk.

    Make them all appear in court, no tickets, just burn a half day down at the courthouse.  In my personal experience, that is far bigger deterrent than any fine.


    Gratuitous use of profanity in public (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:22:51 PM EST
    with the sole intent to annoy others can probably to punished.  But use of the "F-word" in the expression "F--- the police" strikes me as identical to the embroidered message "F--- the draft" on a young man's jeans jacket, which he wore to court, that was held by the Supreme Court in 1969 to be protected First Amendment speech on a political issue.

    This strikes me as a non-problem (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by sj on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:55:35 PM EST
    It isn't any different conceptually than kids drawing hopscotch or sidewalk art.  Granted, the profanity was totally unnecessary...

    It is in the fact (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:59:50 PM EST
    that they were warned and came back and did it again.

    If your kids did something, you warned them not to do it again, and they did it again anwways, I highly doubt you would say, "Oh, it's ok."


    I warned you... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:05:13 PM EST
    not to express yourself! lol

    That fact that a warning was issued (none / 0) (#21)
    by sj on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 04:12:34 PM EST
    Doesn't make it a problem in and of itself. That idea is a total non-starter to me. If everyone had that kind of neurotic need to obey authority, there would have never been reform of any kind -- minor or major.

    If I warned my kid not to waste my paper making silly drawings, or to stay away from that other kid because I didn't like his origins, I am the one with the problem. And if my kid nevertheless felt compelled to draw or to befriend another child, it doesn't make him wrong. And I might get mad, but frankly, I think that child should defy me because I would be in the wrong. Not my kid.

    Now if my child defied me and ran across a busy street without looking both ways, that is an entirely different matter. I don't the concept of "discernment" is particularly unusual.


    Maybe they were just quoting... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:03:18 PM EST
    N.W.A....Late 20th Century American poets.

    Yeah.... (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:21:56 PM EST
    ...casue NWA didn't run into any 1A issues.

    Didn't they give rise to Cheney's and their 'music is killing society' non-sense.


    I remember Bush the 1st... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 02:32:56 PM EST
    getting pissed off, and Tipper Gore.

    Ice T's hardcore band's "Cop Killer" was not well received either.  Everybody's a critic;)


    1A (none / 0) (#4)
    by ragebot on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:05:51 PM EST
    Reasonable time, place, and manner 1A restrictions have been approved by courts for as long as I can remember.

    When some bozos from that crazy Baptist church that hates gays and almost everyone else wanted to burn a Koran at a Muslim event in Detroit the courts said they had to stay one block away.  There was also some kinda restriction about riding a bike wearing a Tshirt that was anti Muslim.

    From reading the article it seems like there was also profanity involved which often leads to restrictions on where 1A stuff can be done.

    Not saying I like the idea but I will point out that I do Ironman triathlons and there have been restrictions on triathletes/friends writing words of encouragement on the roads the bike course goes over.  In fact some folks were hit with misdemeanor charges for using chalk on the roads.

    While there may be some politics involved here as long as there are no due process issues in who get hit with charges this may fly in court.


    It's worse than I thought... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:29:06 PM EST
    if they'll charge you for an encouraging word at a triathlon, I better tell my sister to confiscate the chalk my nieces use to draw in the street outside their house.

    otoh, like I always say, "if you've never been arested in this country you've never lived free".


    Is this (none / 0) (#24)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:31:43 PM EST
    Free speech, or writing on something that doesn't belong to you?

    Seems to me the intention of the writers was to draw this very response from the city, otherwise they could have cleaned up their own mess or not written on the sidewalk in the first place.

    I suspect they would have been disappointed and tried again if police called in a K9 unit to wash off the graffiti and made no charges.


    The public sidewalks are not private property (5.00 / 6) (#80)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:43:18 AM EST
    So no, the protesters did not deface property that "d[id]n't belong to [them]." One of the Supreme Court's very first important First Amendment cases held that the public streets and sidewalks, from "time out of mind" (1980 case quoting a 1939 case), have been a proper forum for the free expression of ideas. Under First Amendment precedent, it's a time, place and manner issue, as well as a question of whether the City's enforcement policy is "content neutral."

    Picketing or (none / 0) (#99)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:56:49 PM EST
    public assembly are different from marking the sidewalk.

    If the sidewalk graffiti is allowed then so should chalk or water based signs to attract customers to a business, signs warning people away from a business that doesn't use organic veggies, political campaign signs both pro and con, local events, gang signs to mark territories.

    Libraries are public, but you still have to follow the rules and check out the books and not mark them up.


    You may think you are disagreeing with me (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:08:08 PM EST
    but you're not.  As I said, "time, place and manner" as well as content neutrality would apply. In no way did I suggest that the chalkers would prevail under those standards -- although I would hope the authorities, as a matter of discretion and good judgment, would refrain from arresting or at least from prosecuting. I was specifically responding to and directly refuting your prior comment about marking up property that "d[id]n't belong" to them.

    Gotcha (none / 0) (#134)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:58:28 PM EST
    I should not have said, did not belong to them, as opposed to they had no rights to alter.

    Regards the costly cleanup, many cities have sweetheart deals with contractors that all the agencies within the city are forced to use no matter how stupid.


    I Never Wanted to Believe (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:12:37 PM EST
    I never wanted to believe that my dad was stealing from his job as a road worker.  But when I got home, all the signs were there.

    STOP (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 03:39:39 PM EST
    LOL! (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:44:01 PM EST
    In the Name of Love? ;-)

    Before you (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:43:49 AM EST
    break my heart.

    Think it over. (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Angel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 06:41:48 PM EST
    Think it over. (none / 0) (#145)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:04:30 AM EST
    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:36:01 PM EST
    He was a signtologist?

    A powerful film (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:30:36 PM EST
    The Butler.  Truly powerful; and, packed with events masterfully woven through the Eisenhower through most of the Reagan years as lived & witnessed by The Butler. A worthwhile epilogue invites reflection not only of the central character's unusual tale in two Homes, but also reflection in our own.

    While we do not usually go rushing out to see a film -- that's an understatement, since we rarely go out to a movie (like maybe once or twice a year)-- even my husband seemed rapt and said that it was "very good."  Now, for me, that is really saying something.

    Mixed reviews from top critics (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:15:13 PM EST
    at Rotten Tomatoes. Even the ones who praise it overall still complain about manipulation, overly sentimental, even laughable and Forrest Gump moments.

    I thought the storyline had great potential. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 09:27:59 PM EST
    But in my opinion, I found "The Butler" to be disappointingly contrived and staged, especially during several key scenes in which a little subtlety would have spoken volumes. Instead, the film made clear that it had an important message to impart, which it did by hitting me in the head repeatedly with a hammer.

    The white characters in particular were nothing but two-dimensional cardboard cutouts -- ironically, not unlike how blacks and other minorities have often been portrayed in film for decades. You had a number of big-name and very able actors playing five presidents over the course of several decades, and not one of them was even remotely believable in their performances.

    And seriously, what was up with Louis, the son? As the film would have it, that guy somehow managed to find himself in the middle of every single pivotal civil rights event of the mid-20th century, sitting at that Woolworth's lunch counter, getting firebombed as a freedom rider, being fire-hosed while demonstrating in Birmingham, and standing at the side of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis on the day he's assassinated. Then he turns into a stereotypical Black Panther, complete with beret, while his girlfriend morphs into an Angela Davis clone, complete with the 'fro. And I'm left thinking, "Oh, how cliché!"

    Now, The Spouse happens to agree with you and not me, and she says I'm being way too critical, and maybe I am. Perhaps it's just me, but I really expected a lot more from "The Butler" than what I subsequently saw onscreen. I went into the theatre wanting to like it, I really did -- but in the end, I just couldn't.

    Were I to recommend a movie about the African-American experience that's presently in the theatres, it would be the heart wrenching "Fruitvale Station," which bowled over audiences and judges alike at the Sundance Festival this year, and was produced by Forest Whitaker, the star of "The Butler."



    I bet I'd agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 11:43:40 PM EST
    I'm hesitant to see it for exactly the reasons you cite. And isn't Oprah in it too? At this point, I don't think I can buy her in any role but that of a corporate CEO.

    Seems like a lot of movies about race are suffocating in political correctness (eg., "The Help" which was just embarrassingly bad!). The best movies I've seen about race in 1960's America were actually made back then, and didn't sugarcoat everything. "Sweet Love Bitter" with Dick Gregory and Don Murray, and "Nothing But a Man" with Abbey Lincoln and Ivan Dixon are two I'd recommend.


    Octavia Spencer, who won an Oscar ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:39:06 AM EST
    ... for best supporting actress in "The Help," also stars in "Fruitvale Station," and delivers a powerhouse performance as Oscar Grant's mother. She also served as the film's executive producer.

    I can't recommend "Fruitvale Station" highly enough, because unlike so many films like "The Help" and "The Butler," it deals with the reality of race in the here and now, telling the story of a high-profile incident which occurred at the aforementioned Oakland BART station on New Year's Eve 2008-09.

    The police officer who shot Oscar Grant in the back was ultimately found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months in prison for the killing. "Fruitvale Station" calls on us to ponder the cheap value our society apparently places on the lives of young black males.



    Its good (none / 0) (#58)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:28:03 AM EST
    to watch the full video from different people who filmed the actual event at the Bart station. I don't see it as any commentary on the value of life, more the fragility of life and danger in taking unneeded risks.

    Grant escalated a situation that posed no risk to him into one that had high risk. The price the cop paid wasn't for Grants life, it was for culpable negligence in the accident that resulted in Grant's death.

    Except for the reaction in the public I missed the part of the actual event that was about race.


    Oscar Grant was shot (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:56:15 AM EST
    in the back while lying face down.

    An accident?  The cop pulled out his gun and shot someone in the back who was subdued, lying face down on his stomach.

    If the roles were reversed, Oscar Grant would have been sentenced to death.


    Did the cops pull anyone else off that train? (5.00 / 5) (#79)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:42:20 AM EST
    No, just the black males were singled out. For starters, making that sort of assumption -- i.e., if there's a disturbance and there are black males in the vicinity, the odds are better than even that they're responsible --  is called "racial profiling" for good reason.

    And secondly, the guys who DID start the disturbance were allowed to either remain onboard the train or leave the BART station, so Oscar Grant and his friends were not the culpable parties who needed to be detained.

    Now, I can accept and believe that the officer who shot Grant in the back didn't mean to do so, and that he really meant to reach for his taser, because he was only on the force for a short time and he was somewhat inexperienced.

    But the underlying point is that Grant should never have been singled out and detained by the BART police in the first place. That he WAS singled out and detained was due solely to the color of his skin, and that's what makes his tragic fate and case about race, and not about law and order.



    Recent court decision on case (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:35:59 PM EST
    Former Officer Johannes Mehserle, who fired the shot that killed Grant on Jan. 1, 2009, served 11 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter, and is also a defendant in the damage suit by Grant's father and four of his friends. While allowing claims against Mehserle to go to trial, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a ruling last week stressed the role of the lead officer at the scene, Anthony Pirone.

    Based on a plausible view of the evidence, the court said July 30, Pirone had no legal justification for forcing Grant and a friend off of a train and onto the platform, where the fatal encounter occurred. link

    Witnesses also say that Grant was not involved in the fight.


    I read the first half (none / 0) (#170)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:28:51 PM EST
    or so of the full 9th court decision, the retelling of events seems to be the most favorable to the plaintiffs, and that the facts of the case need to be decided by a jury. Seems like a good idea, I can wait for it.

    Wow (none / 0) (#103)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:43:51 PM EST
    have you watched the video's of the event?

    Early news report

    When cops arrived at the station the fighting was still going on, and continued on the platform, nobody appears to have been "selected". Four people were sat down next to a wall. The guy to Grant's immediate right looks white with his hands in the air. When the cop says they are going to be arrested Grant stands up to leave and cops wrestle him to the ground. Grant puts his hands under him so the cops can't see them or cuff him. They get one cuff on and Grant keeps the other hand under him. The cop stands up and says I'm going to tase him in front of a dozen or so people on the platform actively filming the event and taking pictures.

    The cop pulls his gun and fires, then immediately reacts to the mistake and Grant raises up on his uncuffed hand and says you shot me.

    The deal with the cop I think he is still rattled from a gun incident an hour earlier, and more rattled by the crowd and Grant reaching for his waistband. A terrible accident, many mistakes, no race issue I could see.

    I couldn't find any racial details in searching on the people who were sat down at the wall, but of the four only Grant was clearly dark skinned. If you have better sources I would like to see them, but it seems like this is another case where many felt free to lie, or express opinion as fact.


    You do a good job of presenting (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:00:14 PM EST
    the defense version (that is, the accused police officers' version), which a jury found sufficiently persuasive in the criminal trial to create a reasonable doubt.  But there is another view of the evidence, which the District Attorney's Office found sufficient to bring murder charges, and which a judge found sufficient to allow it to go to the jury.  And which the Transit Authority was worried enough about to pay Grant's survivors a $2 million settlement.  As noted in another comment above, those competing versions will be the subject of another trial, as the accused police have refused to settle the civil case, at least so far.

    Yeah, I watched them. (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:00:24 PM EST
    The question is, did you, really? They were all minorities on that wall, no whites. The cops involved were all subsequently fired for their conduct, and the officer who fired the fatal shot, Johannes Mehserle, was initially indicted for murder, but later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter (and rightly so). In fact, "Fruitvale Station" opens with the damning video, and not just a select clip, but the entire lead-in to the shooting -- with the audio.

    Interesting that you would also link the initial report of the shooting, written within 24 hours of Grant's death, and not take note of the subsequent stories that were filed when much more was known about what really went down that night, and which is now all a matter of the public record thanks to the trial.

    It's almost like you made up your mind right then and there on January 2, 2009 as to what happened, and are filtering everything else out that runs counter to your comfortable narrative, as though the black guys somehow have to be at fault, even partially -- because hey, that's simply the way it is, just as it's always been.

    Nobody's saying that Oscar Grant III was some sort of saint, and "Fruitvale Station" rightly shows that he was both a troubled young man, and further involved in the initial altercation on the BART train that fateful night.

    But the officers who were waiting for the train as it pulled into Fruitvale Station in those early morning hours took what was a smoldering situation and threw gasoline on the embers, rendering it chaotic. Then they initially misrepresented what happened with the call to dispatch, "Shots fired," when in fact there had been only one shot, the one accidentally fired by Officer Mehserle into Grant's back.

    The BART cops handled the entire situation both very badly and even incompetently, by initially approaching the incident with preconceived notions. It led them to racially profile one set of passengers while letting the instigators go free by default, and thus set in motion a tragic chain of events which left them entirely culpable in Oscar Grant's death.



    Always happy to learn (none / 0) (#138)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:02:28 PM EST
    You have some links?

    Specifically related to selection of the people detained vs released.

    First time I looked at anything was when ABM posted a link and said Grant was cuffed at the time he was shot. I followed the link and it looked that way to me as well. I then looked for more sources and watched what appeared to be the same video, but without the end edited where Grant is shown turning over and raising himself up with his uncuffed hand. This gave me some doubts regarding other claims.

    I've watched about an hour of video now, and it looks to me that nobody was "let go", four people are sat down at the wall, and another person is cuffed off to either side, six total. Grant and one other person look AA, others look otherwise, but I haven't found any good information either way.

    Family and many sources are saying Grant was cuffed and did nothing wrong, that appears false.


    I'm not going to argue with you any more. (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:23:43 AM EST
    You apparently are going to see what you want to see. The civil case brought against the ex-BART cop by Oscar Grant's father and his friends (the ones who were singled out and detained at Fruitvale Station with him) has been cleared to move forward, and if you're really that interested, you can follow it there.

    But as you do, keep in mind that BART is a government agency, and as such has deep pockets. It would never have settled with Grant's mother and his daughter, had its attorneys not felt strongly that they were seriously on the hook in terms of culpability and liability for Grant's death.


    See what? (none / 0) (#166)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:39:45 PM EST
    What is it I am seeing or not seeing, six people are detained, two have dark skin and appear AA, the other four I can't tell and found no further information on. Grant clearly raises up on a uncuffed hand after the shot.

    Those are factual points, my only opinion is that assuming the shooting was intentional isn't rational.

    I found no information with any detail on events prior to detaining the six, or what any claim of profiling would be based on.


    A Soldier's Story (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:31:41 AM EST
    with Adolph Caesar, Howard Rollins Jr, and Denzel..

    A very powerful film that didn't soft-petal "the realities of race"..


    re your first paragraph (none / 0) (#66)
    by DFLer on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:40:37 AM EST
    ..typical of a Speilberg project...the broad brush...or spray can...not unlike the extremely disappointing "The Color Purple"

    Or "Amistad." (none / 0) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:05:43 PM EST
    As a filmmaker, Steven Spielberg is anything but subtle. When he's good, he's very good. At his worst, he's ingratiating and patronizing.

    Just my observation, but I believe that Spielberg often doesn't trust his audience to reach an obvious conclusion on their own, so he feels compelled to lasso and hogtie them and shove his underlying premise about race, violence, anti-Semitism, etc. in front of their faces.

    That's how I felt, watching "The Butler" -- lassoed and hogtied, and considered by the director to be too stupid to get it otherwise. It was a noble attempt that proved very clumsy and wooden in its execution.



    On feeling manipulated by a film (none / 0) (#91)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:38:05 PM EST
    BTW, I felt the "suspension of disbelief" pull in The Butler ... and, I gave myself over to it because the film had onion-like layers, allowing the viewer to experience all or part of it.  

    Frankly, over the years, there are very few films one can see without feeling a bit "manipulated." Isn't that a purpose of cinema? At times, I turn like you away from the film because I resent being formed into a mold by the director.  Other times, I don't.  For me, in The Butler, I knew as I watched that the "hook" for me was so much of my own memory & political formation being replayed in the movies' chronology.  Yep, the elder son's role was a mere device, IMO, to set up the father & son conflict and generational divide layer of the film; the device worked for me because it explored the divide among father & son (and mother as well.)

    Elsewhere on this thread, the similarities with a Roots film approach is mentioned.  Definitely.  And, both contained factual elisions and movement flaws.  But, both films also teach from a perspective that I could not possibly know in my bones.  The "teaching" aspect about the emotions of a necessarily different experience growing from the early days in the cotton fields to life as a butler in the WH would be hard to tell, IMO, without feeling hit-over-the-head.  But, it was a soft mallet:)

    I woke up in the middle-of-the-night vaguely thinking about all the issues touched-on by the film.  No dyspepsia; lots of early early a.m. thoughts.


    But some of the practitioners of the art are much better adept at hiding their intentions than are others.

    All I'm saying is that director Lee Daniels didn't necessarily trust his audience by hitting us over the head repeatedly with the obvious, wielding his treatise about race in America as though it were a club by which he'd subdue the opposition, rather than a concept to be comprehended and understood in depth.

    Daniels has great promise as a film director. But this time out, he was not subtle in his approach at all, when subtlety would've spoken volumes, and I found the film embarrassingly clumsy and awkwardly staged at key points. In short, he got in the way of his own movie by resorting to stereotypes when he didn't have to do that, which left me feeling disappointed.



    I have my eye on that movie as well (none / 0) (#26)
    by sj on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:37:46 PM EST
    For me the question is: Do I go to the theatre or wait for the video? It's kind of an important question because I rarely see movies at the theatre.  Umm... unless the special effects warrant it.

    Thanks for sharing your impressions.


    No unusual sp effects; but, all solid acting. (none / 0) (#29)
    by christinep on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:51:15 PM EST
    Metacritic 66/100 (none / 0) (#27)
    by Mikado Cat on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 05:42:07 PM EST
    IMDB shows it as a 5.5 out of 10. Seems it gets that high of a score because some so love the idea they give it a 10. Best to read a variety of reviews before dumping a $20 and 132 minutes of your life.

    On what basis ... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:01:55 PM EST
    Metacritic 66/100 IMDB shows it as a 5.5 out of 10. Seems it gets that high of a score because some so love the idea they give it a 10.

    ... do you make this claim?  Did you also conclude that it "seems" like the 24.2% of people who gave it a "1" rating did so because they hate the idea?


    BTW - If you take a look ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:27:27 PM EST
    ... at the IMDB discussion boards re: this movie, you'll see a lot of racist (and homophobic) attacks on the movie and the director.

    Saw a few (none / 0) (#140)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:11:27 AM EST
    Most of it seems like the normal discussion of a movie. Seemed like an even pairing of nasty comments both ways, I didn't see anything homophobic, but just read a few threads and some back ground pieces.

    It's funny ... (none / 0) (#154)
    by Yman on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:50:00 AM EST
    ... when someone repeatedly uses that qualifier - "It seems like" ...

    You can make almost any claim after using it.


    I looked at the distribution (none / 0) (#59)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:38:02 AM EST
    and read a few dozen of the comments, and the 10's looked like fanboy responses from people ready to give it a 10 before they saw the movie. If you read a lot of reviews on a lot of movies, it gets easy after awhile to sift out the reviews that either love or hate a film because of how it suits them personally.

    Also telling is that nobody in the metacritic reviews gave it higher than an 88, makes unlikely any fair minded viewer would give it more than an 8 or 9, so its not a great leap to see the 34% giving it a 10 as doing so for more then entertainment value. People giving it a 1 should likewise be dismissed.


    You have to distinguish (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by NYShooter on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:54:54 AM EST
    between professional critics/reviewers, from plain, ordinary folks. Regular people are perfectly o.k. with rating a movie by how much they "liked" it, or not. I know that sometimes I'm in the mood for an uncomplicated, easy to follow flick. I really don't know about the movie's cinematography, directing, lighting, etc. I'd suggest some TV shows for illustration: Bonanza, Gunsmoke, 77 Sunset Strip, and so on. You know they're not 100% authentic, and the acting may be slightly below Brando's but, you can still enjoy the heck out of them. Let's just say that after a grueling day of trying to scratch out a living...... Me + Archie Bunker + a beer + bowl/popcorn + pungent smelling herb (optional) = Heaven.  

    BTW, this movie, "The Butler," sort of reminded me of that made-for-TV series, "Roots," from years ago. I really enjoyed watching it, but, realistic, it was not. Every White was a despotic, soul searing, swine while every AA was a Jesus Clone.


    Wrong again (none / 0) (#67)
    by Yman on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:41:40 AM EST
    By your standard any "fair minded viewer" shouldn't deviate from the maximum review score by more than 10%?


    I have no idea what "dozens of comments" you read, since the ratings on IMDB are not linked to comments and their are presently only 16 user reviews.  If you mean comments on the discussion board, you would have no idea if a commenter on the discussion board voted and, if they did, what their vote was.

    BTW - Another reason you may want to revisit your methodology is that, in fact, the NYT reviewer gave it a "100", presumably (in your mind) thereby legitimizing those scores of "10".


    Now Yman I'm not sure that (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:24:25 AM EST
    you are being fair. The cat likes math. By that self described qualification alone, he should be considered an expert on movie reviews and on health care. ;o)

    I read them all (none / 0) (#107)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:58:50 PM EST
    It sure "seemed" like dozens, and I didn't limit myself to just IMDB user reviews either.

    Time will clarify the merit of the film, but I stick with my advice for now, read a variety of the reviews before plunking down your money as many did not find it a 10 or 9 or 8 or 7 or 6 or 5, but worse.

    I would tend to avoid it just for Oprah bashing that poor shopgirl for publicity.


    That wasn't all of your "advise" (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Yman on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:56:02 PM EST
    Time will clarify the merit of the film, but I stick with my advice for now, read a variety of the reviews before plunking down your money as many did not find it a 10 or 9 or 8 or 7 or 6 or 5, but worse.

    Of course people should read a variety of reviews.  They should also ignore any "reviews" from people who try to minimize good reviews by stating false facts and claiming to have read "dozens" of reviews that don't exist.  But since you already stated we should ignore the "1" ratings (19.8%), that leaves the "4"s, "3"s, and "2"s (which account for only 11.5% of the votes).  

    Your accusation against Oprah is as amusing (and baseless) as your other claims.


    Hold on just a second there (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by sj on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:27:40 AM EST
    I'm not really an Oprah fan, and I think the incident is overblown, but get serious here. The store is blaming a language barrier, but I don't believe for an instant that a sales associate at a store that sells hand bags for the ridiculous price of $38,000 has a problem communicating in English. Or French, or Italian and maybe even Arabic. In any case, pointing at the item is pretty darn clear. That "poor shop girl" stood to make a nice little sum in commission, I expect, and she declined to provide the service that was asked.

    You can avoid the movie for what ever reason you choose, but deciding that it's because she "bash[ed] that poor shop girl" is one of the more ridiculous reasons that I've heard.


    Well, we all express opinions (none / 0) (#115)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:42:03 PM EST
    And the drift of your opinions in this thread (at least to this reader) could be summed up by the last sentence of your above comment.

    When we saw the movie yesterday, we happened to sit next to an older black couple.  At the end of the film, we ended up chatting a bit ... as the woman remarked how moving the film was for her.  This afternoon, I talked briefly with a friend of mine who is planning to see the movie tomorrow ... as a very young white girl, she attended a segregated school in Mississippi; when she graduated from high school, she left for DC as fast as she could; and, now, her daughter is happily married to black man whose parents experienced significant discrimination as younger people in Tennessee and, today, they also found deep expression in the film.

    Apart from film critics & very experienced movie buffs, films such as this one have a way of mirroring our own background.  I can't recall now whether you have seen the film nor do I recall why you would characterize the admittedly offending (via store spokesperson's apology)salesperson of a very exclusive Swiss store as "poor."


    The cat's opinion is not based (5.00 / 4) (#122)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:18:49 PM EST
    on his viewing the film. Per his comment, he would tend to avoid it because Oprah is in it.

    And... (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 06:13:25 PM EST
    he is ticked off at Oprah because a salesperson in a ritzy Swiss store would not show her an item she requested to see because the salesperson determined that she couldn't afford it.  Fascinating.  It surely must have been because she was not dressed well enough or because she was a little over-weight or ???  

    Yes, I am assuming how MCat looks at problems, issues, individuals, rodeo clowns, movies where black/white relationships are  involved.  The reason: So far, the Cat's evaluation of every such instance finds no issue. Yes, I am letting it get on my one last nerve today because that elephant in the room is all too predictable.


    According to Oprah (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:30:31 PM EST
    she was in full Oprah Winfrey gear. She had on a Donna Karan skirt and sandals. Seems Donna Karan sandals start in the neighborhood of $200 and end somewhere over $1,500. Skirts average about $900 but can go for over $4,000.

    The clown was right and the people who objected were wrong. The "poor" sales girl was right and Oprah was bashed her for publicity reasons and Grant caused his own death by his actions.

    Hmmm what were you saying about the elephant in the room.


    What does (none / 0) (#177)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:32:58 PM EST
    wearing a $2k outfit have to do with being offered a $25k purse as an option to the $38k purse?

    Why is it racism?

    Shopgirl is the term the salesperson self identified herself with.

    You are correct, I rarely shop for $38k purses in Swiss shops, but if I wanted one I would make that clear, not walk out and bash the employee.


    Because objectively, (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by MKS on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:42:09 AM EST
    Oprah is loaded, and someone with fashion knowledge would see she was dressed to the 9s......The only basis to decide she could not pay was that she was Black.

    Assumption she could not pay? (1.00 / 1) (#196)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:07:17 PM EST
    Nothing in the shop is cheap, NOTHING, Oprah was shown a similar purse, which most normal even rich people would likely consider. Suggesting a $25k purse that is similar is not assuming she can't afford anything, just has some sense of value.

    Okay...enough already (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:10:45 PM EST
    Mikado: In your several comments respecting this & similar matters, I have not discerned that you have found/seen nor regarded any action as an indication of discrimination.  My question to you is: Would you know it or admit it if you were hit over the head with it?  If I were to guess, based upon your stretching & reaching in the Oprah Swiss incident, you are toying with the other readership here.  Words that come to mind for your "arguments" are disingenuous, dissembling and dishonest.

    Coud you provide me with a link (none / 0) (#180)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:35:12 AM EST
    to an news article that states the sales woman offered to show Oprah a $25,000 purse. Since you have made that claim numerous time that link shouldn't be too difficult for you to produce.

    As I said (none / 0) (#197)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:18:21 PM EST
    I don't know the exact price of the other purses that were offered, but none are priced less than nice cars.

    Link to in depth coverage.

    `It's absurd,' she said. `Oprah came into the business, wanted to see the crocodile bag. She inquired about the price. When my saleswoman told her that it cost 35,000 francs and then offered to show her cheaper ones, she walked away.


    If you did not know the exact price (5.00 / 2) (#200)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:21:54 PM EST
    of the other purses that were offered, why did you state numerous times that she was offered a $25k purse as an alternative?

    Your comment #142

    Asked about a $38k purse and the shopgirl with limited English skills told her the $25k purse was very similar. How is this about race?

    Your Comment #177

    wearing a $2k outfit have to do with being offered a $25k purse as an option to the $38k purse?

    Your comment #196

    Suggesting a $25k purse that is similar is not assuming she can't afford anything, just has some sense of value.

    Not real sure why you felt the need to embellish your comments with the addition of a $25k purse.

    While the Daily Mail would not be my 1st choice for source material, I read the link you provided and found this bit about the sales person interesting.

    but she was sent there from the sister-store in upscale St. Moritz to help out.

    Somehow, I struggle to believe that anyone working in an upscale store in St. Moritz speaks limited English especially when the sales person in question has said that her English is o.k.



    A billioniare (none / 0) (#142)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:28:36 AM EST
    Asked about a $38k purse and the shopgirl with limited English skills told her the $25k purse was very similar. How is this about race?

    It is using the race card to promote a movie, just like the comparison to Till.

    ***BTW I have no idea the prices of the other purses the shopgirl offered her, but doubt very much any will be cheaper than my next car.


    shop girl (5.00 / 4) (#143)
    by sj on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:49:18 AM EST
    shop girl, shop girl. Apparently you are not only incapable of seeing racism, you are comfortable with sexism as well.

    Also, it's clear you have never been to an exclusive European shop. Limited English skills, my a$$. If she was hired with limited English skills then the shop deserves to lose a sale of $38,000.


    On my list to see (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:20:25 AM EST
    We rented Oblivion last night.  It was good, interesting storyline, has drones in it being drones too.  I've certainly been less entertained for more dollars.

    We saw Woody Allen's new one (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:53:46 AM EST
    "Blue Jasmine" last night. Terrific acting, including an Oscar-worthy lead performance by Cate Blanchett. With a background of major white-collar crime, I recognized some folks I have come to know through my work as well - Alec Baldwin nailed the rich, narcissistic scammer. And many more great characters.  Not a comedy.  We also saw "Fruitvale Station" earlier in the week -- a somewhat fictionalized look at the last day in the life of the victim of a notorious police shooting in Oakland -- and liked it a lot, too.  Some of the criticism I've read, saying it is too sympathetic to the lead character (in an emotionally manipulative way), was unwarranted, I thought.

    Those are the two very best films ... (none / 0) (#90)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:21:09 PM EST
    ... of an otherwise skimpy summer movie season, in my opinion. I hope Academy members remember both, come Oscar time.

    Obama condemns (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:17:19 AM EST
    the actions of the interim government of Egypt. Yet, he infers support of the motives of the current regime:

    The stated rationale:

    While Mohammed Morsi was elected president in a democratic election, his government was not inclusive and did not respect the views of all Egyptians.

    In typical Obama fashion, he gives a hint of acceptability to the motives of the crackdown by Egypt's "interim" government, if not its methods. Both sides of the fence is his favorite spot.

    For many years now, spanning at least the last two administrations, in the US of A, we have had "democratically elected" governments, only to find that they were hardly inclusive and did not respect the views of all Americans. I would amend that to say that it respects the views of very few Americans. Like, maybe, 1%.

    Were our disaffected to take to the streets, I fully expect, based on our history regarding the treatment of protesters by head-cracking coppers, that our very own regime would not be all that different than that of Eqypt's military.

    And Obama would condemn them and support them.

    I don't agree with all Obama (none / 0) (#160)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:20:33 PM EST
    does, but you have hit on one of the most sensitive areas the administration has to deal with.

    Al-Qaeda is a threat to anyone that does not share their ideals.  Anyone disagree?

    The Muslim Brotherhood, am I an Islamaphobe for fearing this group?    

    Democracy, it is something the president supports, as does the Muslim Brotherhood.

    What should Obama say?  What do you or anyone say to fix Egypt in a way that brings peace and stability without providing sanctuary for Al-Qaeda?

    I sincerely would love to see all plausible solutions.


    Well, I don't know about (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by NYShooter on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:44:37 PM EST
    All the solutions, but, I can offer at least one:

    How about us, The United States of America, calling Al Qaeda's bluff by getting out of the internal management of the Middle Eastern countries in question and removing support from the despotic, confisticatorial, dictatorships ruling those countries for the benefit of a very few Oligarchs on top?

    If they still come after us "for our freedoms," or because we refuse to convert to Islam, we can bomb the He!! out of them with a clear conscience.


    Exactly, Shooter (none / 0) (#162)
    by Zorba on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:15:46 PM EST
    How about that?

    I like the idea of not (none / 0) (#175)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:43:04 PM EST
    interfering up to a point.  

    I think Obama's statements were consistent with the situation. Morsi did not keep his promises of inclusion and put himself above the law.  There were protests to remove him.  The new military government has not found a way to end the violence and the President has voiced his disapproval.

    I hope Egypt is able to find its own solution with no more bloodshed. There are many countries at risk of being affected by this mess.  If things spin out of control, they all should be involved in any response.


    Shooter (none / 0) (#168)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:24:53 PM EST
    What is "us" here?
    Is "us" only the USA or is it USA + Israel?
    This is a very important question to answer.
    The solution that you have provided is incomplete because you have not worked your way through the Israel part of the equation.

    Wasn't (none / 0) (#171)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:27:49 PM EST
    that basically how the whole mess of the current middle east started, Carter pulled the plug on the Shah of Iran and Khomeini assumed power.

    What seems worse than a dictator is a power vacuum that Al Qaeda seems prepared for, and the local opposition is not. Disengagement needs to be a careful process, which isn't well suited to a 4 year term and potential policy shifts. We need consensus and a long term plan.


    No, it did not start when Khomeini (5.00 / 2) (#176)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:44:19 PM EST
    assumed power. In relationship to Iran, it started in 1953 and not in 1979.

    Please tie this in to current day (none / 0) (#184)
    by Visteo1 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:12:28 PM EST
    Egypt, so I can understand the relationship.  I think the timing of Carters actions in Iran coincide with the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel.

    MO Blue is referencing (5.00 / 3) (#185)
    by Zorba on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:40:19 PM EST
    the 1953 overthrow in Iran of the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh.
    The coup saw the formation of a military government under Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, who progressed from a constitutional monarch to an authoritarian one who relied heavily on United States support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979.
    Link. The similarity to Egypt is the overthrow of an elected government and the take-over by the military, although the military in Iran installed the Shah of Iran, Mohammed-Reza Pahlavi. The United States and Great Britain were hip deep in the 1953 coup in Iran. A recently declassified CIA document acknowledges this.
    Sixty years after the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, a declassified CIA document acknowledges that the agency was involved in the 1953 coup.

    I often wonder... (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:07:33 PM EST
    what the Middle East would like today if the US & UK, on behalf of British Petroleum, had not orchestrated that coup to overthrow the Iranian George Washington.

    And/or if the State of Israel was a piece of Germany instead of a piece of Palestine.

    It could well be a relatively stable democratic part of the globe, instead of a bloody mess.

    Or I'm kidding myself...human beings and bloody messes go together like white on rice.


    Interesting speculations, Dog (none / 0) (#190)
    by Zorba on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:28:20 PM EST
    You should write an "alternate history" piece.

    Watched an Alternative History Movie... (none / 0) (#195)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:47:45 PM EST
    ...on Netflix about if the south had won the War.  It's was a journey into stupidity meant to slam the south, but none the less interesting.

    According to the movie, we would still be using horses to get around.  But post-Snowden I can't say that I would mind dialing technology back a bit.

    And kdog, with all the hate in the world, the only way people won't be killing each other is when they aren't enough left to fight.  

    I mentioned this in another post, since the days of jesus the world had only seen complete peace for something like 70 days.

    One benefit is the world population is like 1000th of what it would have been without wars.  And at the rate we are killing the planet, there is a good chance without any war the earth would be a polluted lifeless rock.


    The comment I replied to (5.00 / 3) (#187)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:51:56 PM EST
    did not confine the subject to just Egypt and my reply was not about Egypt.  

    It stated the whole mess of the current middle east started when Carter pulled the plug on the Shah of Iran and Khomeini assumed power. I do not believe that the whole mess in the middle east started at that point and I think that an accurate assessment of history would prove that events prior to 1979 had a major impact on what happened in Iran.

    I thought I made it clear that my reply was specific to Iran when I qualified my comment (In relationship to Iran). I am also unclear how the treaty between Egypt and Israel somehow proves Mikado Cat's statement that

    Wasn't that basically how the whole mess of the current middle east started, Carter pulled the plug on the Shah of Iran and Khomeini assumed power.

    Just trying to swing the discussion (none / 0) (#206)
    by Visteo1 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:49:20 PM EST
    back to Egypt.

    Maybe... (none / 0) (#193)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:20:21 PM EST
    Al-Qaeda is a threat to anyone that does not share their ideals.  Anyone disagree?

    But I could say the same about the US of A.

    It is a threat to anyone it considers to be a threat to its interests.

    And look - we have invaded a number of countries to prove it.


    Al-Qaeda has one single focused goal (none / 0) (#198)
    by Visteo1 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:20:59 PM EST
    and an overall strategy for acheiving its goal.  

    Gee, I guess the US lacks focus with all that civil rights crap and how to encourage it across the world and at home. (read sarcasm) Sure the US has other stated interests.  It just gets so complicated for the US.

    I never really understood how someone could say that al-Qeada hates freedom.  More correctly put, al-Qaeda embraces one freedom: that the world be be freed from all the other false religions to serve only Allah and to be governed by al-Qaeda's version of Sharia law...Death to fake-Muslims, atheists, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and all the rest that resist al-Qaeda's goal.

    Everyone is an enemy of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda is an enemy of everyone.  I can find no comparisons to al-Qaeda.


    I (none / 0) (#201)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:47:14 PM EST
    really don't see how you can miss that the US is as interested in spreading its version of Christianity. Of course, the real interest is in dominating other countries for the purpose of economic gain, but it is couched in claims of being a Christian country and spreading goodness.

    Have you seen the photo of the Enola Gay, ready to take off and deliver its lethal contents - the Atomic Bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima to incinerate 150,000 at one go - being blessed by a Priest wishing God speed?

    Have you heard W - touting his Christian spirituality as he launched a horrific assault on the civilian population of Iraq?

    I find many comparisons to al-Qaeda.
    British colonialism for one.
    American imperialism for another.
    Not to mention our buddy, the Germans....


    Maybe for some, lentinel (none / 0) (#204)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:29:24 PM EST
    But this is one of those posts that make me itch (or something.) While there may be some "evangelical" types that see the world in terms of a revived Crusader approach, most of us do not approach foreign policy in that way.  Bush & his people ... maybe.  But, you would do a disservice to so many others, myself included, who approach the Mideast conflagration these days in terms of a "religious" context.

    To begin with and for the record, I have opposed (via organizing events & participating in them & whatever else I could do) earlier incursions by the US into places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.  I still do.  Egypt brings up many issues, however. Not the least of those issues is the zeal with which the Muslim Brotherhood has burned Coptic Christian Churches and begun the process of instituting anew the veil and the subservient position of women.  Taking a look around the Arab world where the brotherhood is predominant, it is hard to ignore the repression and brutality that they have evidenced toward women and toward other religions.  My concern (or maybe problem at this point) is that I cannot turn away from what Malala--the young girl who was almost killed by the Taliban in Pakistan for wanting to go to school--is and represents.  We talk blithely sometimes, in these United States, about how this or that is constricting us and, while it is important to remain ever vigilant to encroachments on rights, the sheer and demonstrated brutality against women and other sects by the Brotherhood and like-minded in the Mideast is reprehensible.


    I have not seen such a photo. (none / 0) (#209)
    by Visteo1 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:41:02 PM EST
    I do not doubt you, that would be an interesting link.  The bomb, however horrific, was intended to save many more lives from a potential land invasion.  Japan did not know we had a limited supply of atomic bombs and surrendered.    

    When you invoke G*d in your rhetoric, you walk a tightrope.  I question GW's sincerity during the election, his eyes lighting up as he called on his followers.

    If you can find a reference with respect to Iraq, where George invoked the name of G*d; I would be more interested in seeing it than an Enola Gay photo.

    Sorry, but I even have trouble making a comparison between Hitler and al-Qaeda, sick as they both are....but I'll try.  

    Al-Qaeda is more noble than Hitler because they proclaim a faith that G*d has granted them the right to kill every person on the planet that stands in their way of world domination and their version of Sharia law.


    Surely shoephone you (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:19:49 AM EST
    know that Bloomberg is doing it for their own good.

    Just the tip of the iceberg (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:40:48 AM EST
    Two Democratic senators say new reporting by The Washington Post about invasions of privacy by U.S. intelligence is "just the tip of a larger iceberg."
    Democratic Sens. Rob Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both members of the Intelligence Committee, said in a joint statement that there are more details to come:

    "The executive branch has now confirmed that the rules, regulations and court-imposed standards for protecting the privacy of Americans have been violated thousands of times each year. We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.
    In particular, we believe the public deserves to know more about the violations of the secret court orders that have authorized the bulk collection of Americans' phone and email records under the USA PATRIOT Act. The public should also be told more about why the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has said that the executive branch's implementation of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has circumvented the spirit of the law, particularly since the executive branch has declined to address this concern."

    Sundown (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 06:36:22 AM EST
    "The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer." -- Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)

    NSA Spying: The Three Pillars of Government Trust Have Fallen
    EFF, August 15/13

    • First, the Executive. After a review of internal NSA audits of the spying programs provided by Edward Snowden, the Post lays out--in stark detail--that the claims of oversight inside the Executive Branch are empty.

    • Second, the FISA Court. The Post presents a second article in which the Chief Judge of the FISA Court admits that the court is unable to act as a watchdog or stop the NSA's abuses: "The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court," its chief, US District Judge Reggie B. Walton, said in a written statement.

    • Third, the Congress. Last week, Representative Sensenbrenner complained that "the practice of classified briefings are a 'rope-a-dope operation' in which lawmakers are given information and then forbidden from speaking out about it."

    I can see her lying back in her satin dress
    In a room where you do what you don't confess

    Sundown, you better take care
    If I find you been creeping 'round my back stairs

    Sundown, you better take care
    If I find you been creeping 'round my back stairs

    She's been looking like a queen in a sailor's dream
    And she don't always say what she really means

    -- Gordon Lightfoot


    A (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:51:20 AM EST
    great quote from Edward R. Murrow.

    He is missed.

    No one has replaced him. Not even close.


    Greenwald I think (none / 0) (#71)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:41:27 AM EST
    has done a pretty good job. He never would make a very good stenographer.

    And the EFF.

    "Horsehockey for Dummies", by No Such Agency aka We Saw You Comin': Includes "NSA's Bizarro Dictionary", "Question Misdirection", "the 'Under this Program' Dodge", and last but by no means least "From Downright False to Impossible to Understand" & all kinds of other cool  & creative ways to snooker the suckers.

    A Guide to the Deceptions, Misinformation, and Word Games Officials Use to Mislead the Public About NSA Surveillance
    EFF, August 14/13

    It's been two months since President Barack Obama first said that he welcomes a debate about NSA surveillance, which he once again reiterated last week at his press conference. Unfortunately, it's very hard to have a real debate about a subject when the administration constantly and intentionally misleads Americans about the NSA's capabilities and supposed legal powers.

    Infamously, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper was forced to apologize for lying to Congress about whether the government was collecting information on millions of Americans, but that was merely the tip of the administration's iceberg of mendacity and misdirection. At this point, it seems nothing the government says about the NSA can be taken at face value.

    more and better lesser evil grinning...

    I see (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:20:13 PM EST
    what you are saying about Greenwald.

    But, thus far, I see Murrow as someone who was able to communicate in a manner I haven't seen since.


    Greenwald has replaced Edward R. Murrow? (1.00 / 1) (#98)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:53:11 PM EST
    OK, I just picked myself up off the floor. They couldn't be more different. Murrow was instrumental in taking radio reporting into the field, specifically World War II. Greenwald has not pioneered anything new in journalism.

    G is anti-government. M wasn't. He interviewed many establishment figures.

    The great majority of G's writing career has been commentary on what others are or aren't doing and his viewpoint is obvious. M had years of relaying news, not commentary.

    For those who don't know the difference: G presents "the other side" only to shoot it down. M often showed different perspectives.

    G focuses on a handful of topics, mainly having to do with civil liberties. Murrow covered the spectrum of news, from McCarthy to migrant workers.

    Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Anderson Cooper are a few of the big names who have followed in Murrow's footsteps. (This statement isn't a comment on how well they succeeded.)


    It is (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:55:51 AM EST
    my impression that Murrow confronted the powerful.

    It is also my impression that Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Anderson Cooper never did.


    Perhaps I wasn't clear. (none / 0) (#104)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:55:54 PM EST
    What I meant - and said - was...

    Greenwald I think has done a pretty good job. He never would make a very good stenographer.

    Easy to mis-interpret by not reading both sentences, or by wanting to, I suppose.


    I can pretty much guarantee that (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:17:00 PM EST
    as soon as Suzie saw "Greenwald" whatever followed looked to her like hieroglyphics and sounded like noise; in other words, Suzie has had her mind made up about Greenwald, and based on some of the screeds she has written when wound up about him, I'd like to request that we avoid doing that.

    Apparently, she has put Assange in the same category, and there is no reasoning with her about either of these people.


    Anne, condescending much? (2.00 / 2) (#124)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 06:08:11 PM EST
    I've read a great deal on both Greenwald and Assange, and yes, I have strong feelings. Are you going to be changing your opinion on the two men any time soon?

    Personal attacks are the lowest form of debate.


    Are we talking about this Greenwald? (none / 0) (#114)
    by Visteo1 on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:39:13 PM EST
    Just an interesting piece on snooping in the public domain.

    Anne, how do you feel about Greenwald when acting as purely a journalist?


    Yes... I read here a lot (none / 0) (#120)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:02:30 PM EST
    which is why I often don't bother replying to some of people here anymore. ;-)

    Don't forget (none / 0) (#108)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:04:28 PM EST
    the collapse of the forth branch, a trustworthy media.

    Given the media's own sordid history, ... (none / 0) (#169)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:28:00 PM EST
    ... including the fact that Congress's 1898 declaration of war against Spain can be laid directly at its warmongering feet, when has American journalism ever been trustworthy?

    There are a number of instances in our history when journalism's performance was less than honest and stellar. It's nothing new, really.


    Gee... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:49:41 AM EST
    John DeLong, the N.S.A. "director of compliance" (now that's a title to remember) says that, ".. the number of willful errors was "minuscule," involving a "couple over the past decade."

    That is "willful" errors, mind you. Not the unwillful.

    Of course, "errors" is not exactly what is of concern to me.

    The problems are created by the rules and programs that allow this mega-surveillance of US citizens - not the "errors".

    Flim-flammery from Mr. Compliance imho.


    Heh. (none / 0) (#121)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:04:23 PM EST
    Unwilful means that they often just can't restrain themselves when temptation dangles, I think.

    If Senators Wyden and Udall (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by sj on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:51:41 AM EST
    keep this up, they could potentially make the Democratic primaries interesting after all.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 101 (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:33:53 AM EST
    "Why treason charges..." (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:16:51 PM EST
    "...against the NSA whistleblower don't hold up."

    There are a number of narratives  being floated by the usual suspects to attempt to demonstrate that Edward Snowden is a traitor who has betrayed secrets vital to the security of the United States. All the arguments being made are essentially without merit. Snowden has undeniably violated his agreement to protect classified information, which is a crime. But in reality, he has revealed only one actual secret that matters, which is the United States government's serial violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution through its collection of personal information on millions of innocent American citizens without any probable cause or search warrant.

    That makes Snowden a whistleblower, as he is exposing illegal activity on the part of the federal government. The damage he has inflicted is not against U.S. national security but rather on the politicians and senior bureaucrats who ordered, managed, condoned, and concealed the illegal activity.
    Here in the United States, it remains to be seen whether anyone actually cares enough to do something about the illegal activity while being bombarded with the false claims that the out of control surveillance program "has kept us safe." It is interesting to observe in passing that the revelations derived from Snowden's whistleblowing strongly suggest that the hippies and other counter-culture types who, back in the 1960s, protested that the government could not be trusted actually had it right all along.

    by Philip Giraldi at, uhhmmm, TheAmericanConservative.com

    Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases

    USA v Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (2.00 / 0) (#38)
    by cate999 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 09:48:24 PM EST
    The point of this order (none / 0) (#84)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:56:30 AM EST
    is to allow materials to be disclosed to defense counsel, for the investigation and preparation of Tsaernev's defense, without those records all becoming public.

    Oops, sorry (none / 0) (#119)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:01:29 PM EST
    I misspelled Tsarnaev's surname.

    Gosh darn it, Peter, (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by NYShooter on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:13:03 PM EST
    if you have trouble spelling a simple name like, "Tsarnaev," There's no sense in my asking your opinion of the peasant author, " Варсонофий Пантелеймонови&# 1095; Крестовоздвиже&# 1085;ский." And, since you have trouble with simple Russian names, here's his name translated into English. Even you couldn't botch up this embarrassingly simple version, "Varsonofy Panteleimonovich Krestovozdvizhensky."

    I appreciate your support, Shooter (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:59:18 PM EST

    you're welcome... (none / 0) (#179)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:57:46 AM EST
    ..any time....

    New committee => delay (none / 0) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 12:49:50 PM EST
    plus they've gotta line up new suppliers for croissants, overpriced coffee, new ipads, etc.

    Geograhical Illiteracy (none / 0) (#30)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 06:03:50 PM EST
    Makes you wonder just how accurate much of what the news media says is.  (Well, no, I don't really wonder.)

    MSNBC Geography.

    Anybody who has ever visited New York, or Pennsylvania for that matter, or who knows even the least little bit about the geography of the United States, is pounding their heads on their desks about this one.

    Did they hire former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez? (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 08:28:21 PM EST
    When that huge earthquake hit Chile a few years ago and we went on tsunami warning out here, there was Rick Sanchez on CNN, standing in front of a large map of the Pacific and saying breathlessly that no wonder Hawaii was in danger, given its close proximity to Chile -- while all the time, he was looking at and pointing to the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador, while the rest of the panel was too geographically illiterate themselves to correct him.

    Assange backs the Pauls (none / 0) (#34)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 07:51:12 PM EST
    Assange has given an interview in which he says:
    ... nearly every Democrat in Congress has been co-opted by the Obama legislation or DC social networks. There is now an extreme center in the US where the Democratic administration and a large chunk of the Republican Party have come together pushing forward very fast in a dangerous direction that compromises the future of the US democracy. The Libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is the only useful political voice in the US Congress presently.

    This was the most complete transcript I could find. He also praised Matt Drudge as a news media innovator.  

    He repeated the principle: "... transparency for the powerful, privacy for the rest of us." I think he's hypocritical because his supporters have spread information on private individuals, such as the women who accused him of sexual assault, and he has not condemned them.

    Although I generally agree with the principle, the question arises: Who decides who is powerful and who isn't? By U.S. legal standards, Assange is a public figure, and he certainly has some power.

    If he's elected to the Australian Senate, he said, he would "... introduce [an] Australian media innovation fund to have every Australian eligible to be paid for their intellectual content: blogs, popular twitter feeds, videos they produced, books they made available free for download. And to cut out funding the middle man. That's a mechanism that can incentivize millions of Australians to produce content to educate other Australians and the world."

    There are some obvious problems here: 1) Not everyone has the skills to produce their own videos, books, etc., and not everyone has access to fast, 24-hour Internet access. The digital divide hits poor and rural people the hardest, and Australia has plenty of both.

    1. Who decides who is eligible? The government? What are the criteria? I wouldn't want to fund writing that has incorrect information. That's propaganda, not education. But the government would have to hire an army of fact-checkers.

    2. Since the early '80s at least, journalists and media scholars have been saying the problem isn't a lack of people expressing their opinions, but a lack of factual analysis.

    Although (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:48:56 AM EST
    the Pauls can be flaky at times, I find I must agree with Assange that they are the only, or most visible, members of Congress to express opinions which run counter to the excepted right-wing drivel that dominates our media and our government.

    And, even though Matt Drudge mostly makes my flesh crawl, he is an individual who created an influential source of information and opinion - outside of the the box of conventional commercial media.

    We need people on the left to do likewise. As many as possible.
    And if they can make a living at it, so much the better.

    Sure there are problems once government funding is proposed, as you have noted. But it is an idea worth pursuing. Wouldn't a US version of Assange's idea, "The American Media Innovation Fund" sound intriguing? Personally, I like it.

    This idea reminds me of a journalist during the Vietnam war era:
    I. F. Stone. An independent thinker, he created his own newsletter that had many subscribers and published information gleaned from material that, although public, was largely unknown to most and ignored by mainstream commercial media.

    I think we have plenty of factual analysis. Here on TL, for example.
    We also have plenty of people, as you say, expressing their opinions. The problem we have is the lack of power to implement the opinions that are based in fact.

    If, as you say, Assange has power, it is from the power of his ideas. But, as you know, he has been essentially incarcerated for some time now by people who fear them. He is willing to pay that price, but he shouldn't have to. I know about the charges against him pending in Sweden, but I am of the opinion that he would willingly confront them if there weren't the prospect of the US government extraditing him where he would be subject to the sort of horrific treatment according Bradley Manning while awaiting trial.


    As John Goodman in Oh Brother said (none / 0) (#73)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:01:21 AM EST
    "it's all about the money, boys!" The scorched earth libertarian types in this country can always find a billionaire or two to bankroll 'em. Green Party and Occupy types in this country not so much..

    Things are getting more than a little pathetic when some on the Far Right are better on a lot of issues than many "mainstream" political figures..Shades of Spain and Germany in the Thirties?  


    The worst (none / 0) (#109)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:14:41 PM EST
    thing in politics is the need for politicians to seek out funds in huge amounts in order to campaign. I know two people who ran for serious offices, and the money needed is just crazy with each of them spending out of pocket the price of a nice house. Neither stood much of a chance vs the party picks and big money backers, who just upped the money a notch.

    The system vastly favors incumbents, so any change will need to come from the ground up, not politicians down. Maybe the numbers spook people, but would it be really a "bad" thing to spend a billion on public financing of all federal level elections? Force candidates who accept money to participate in real open debates.


    "Strange bedfellows" lentinel (none / 0) (#87)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:09:02 PM EST
    As you know, the Pauls & Drudge definitely represent the Libertarian "Let them eat cake" (or "let everyone fend for themselves") society. The Pauls & Drudge may appear to coalesce with a person's particular viewpoint about foreign policy & privacy -- but, that stems from their isolationist view of the world that also includes the "no foreign aid" and related mantra of no-government-help foreign or domestic.  Pauls & Drudge are part of the "let no foreigner in" right-wing brigade, the no-amnesty, no path-to-citizenship bunch.  Pauls & Drudge rank right up-there (or down-there) with the far Right's approach to non-regulation as to the environment, as to safety & OSHA protections, as to Civil Rights (See, for example, the questions about the 1964 Civil Rights Act that Pauls first refused to answer and, consequently, dodged for years.  See also how father Paul tried to play both sides on the abortion & gay issues for years in order to fit in with his Repubs.) IMHO, the Pauls & Drudge types define the ugly Libertarianism that regards the barbed-wire fence as the best invention.

    But then, if Pauls & Drudge are appealing to Assange, well....  Finally, from reading your comments over the last few years, I feel that you have a strong and genuine passion for a progressive, humanitarian society.  (Sometimes, I also feel that you are inclined to sweep overboard the good steps in our society because of your real frustration with the slowness of progress in a society such as ours. Now, that is only my opinion and why we can sling it out on those occasions.)  As for Assange & his ilk:  My impression is that he should get a newly minted award as Top International Snake-Oil Salesperson, because the end of which he speaks more & more fits the greedy corporate hustler. His ideas look more & more like the ideas of the Pauls & Drudge. This spotlight seeker is a me-firster; and, as such is nowhere near the secular sainthood that he claims.

    Now, that I got that off my chest....


    What (none / 0) (#93)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:16:03 PM EST
    I can say is that when I have seen Ron Paul speaking, in the Republican "debates" for example, I have agreed with him more often than not.

    I don't know how to define "libertarian".

    I don't know, these days, how to define "democrat", or "republican"

    Sometimes, I hear somebody saying something that makes sense to me.

    About Assange, I'll just have to disagree with your assessment.


    It does not surprise me (none / 0) (#128)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:49:53 PM EST
    that when you have seen Ron Paul speaking in Republican debates you have "agreed with him more often than not".
    Here are Paul's policy positions. link.

    That's (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:46:58 AM EST
    about all I can say about him.

    Sometimes he says things, anti-war things, in the context of a debate in which all of the other participants have their fangs out and spittle running down their rimless lips.

    As I said, in that context, I agreed with him  more than not.

    I went to the link you provided and found many of the positions he is reported to have taken to be things with which I either disagree, or would have to research further. For example, he opposed "do not call" legislation by the government on the grounds that it would give the government a foot in the door for getting into our personal phone records. Seemingly, "do not call" legislation would be something I would welcome. I seldom answer the phone anymore until I see who"s calling. But he certainly has a point about the government using this kind of power to snoop on us - as is their proven penchant.

    In brief: I'm not a supporter of Ron Paul.
    I have, however, found some of the things he says to ring true to me.


    Lentinel (none / 0) (#159)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:16:15 AM EST
    it is understandable how you would say:

    I can say is that when I have seen Ron Paul speaking, in the Republican "debates" for example, I have agreed with him more often than not.

    It is likely the right questions were not asked.  He did not waiver over time, like which Mitt.  He comes across as someone with integrity.

    He piqued my interest enough to go to youtube and watch numerous interviews.  Many aligned with what I feel...like the drug war is a failure and needs to end.


    I agree with you (none / 0) (#165)
    by sj on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:29:30 PM EST
    He appears sane in public appearances. The crazy shows up later. As for the "right questions" -- frankly none of the Republicans want to be asked those.

    I was looking for the shocker (none / 0) (#129)
    by Visteo1 on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:16:26 PM EST
    It is in the intro...
    The central tenet of Paul's political philosophy is that "the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else."

    I remember in one speech how he would gut the federal government.  It was so out there that I thought he could never get congress to go along with it.  


    Both Pauls are substantively about (none / 0) (#130)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:33:45 PM EST
    $$$$.  $$$$ for corporations in terms of permanent tax cuts as a beginning.  $$$$ saved for corporations by slashing government programs respecting health, education, the environment, safety, and most related programs.  The effects -- I would argue-- would be more destructive of a federal government system than even the evangelicals could dream.  It is the classic "let's drown government in a bathtub" of Grover Norquist & his progeny.  (For those who might wonder about whether Chris can get emotional ... well, this is one major area.  I truly believe that the effects of such a me-ism approach to government would be inordinately destructive because it is really about the absence of community and the forming together of government.)

    Among the many other shocking policy positions (none / 0) (#131)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:44:08 PM EST
    of Paul, I also noticed this nugget relating to his attitude towards sexual harassment. (which also makes me think that the people who agree more often than not with Paul are creepy)

    "In his 1987 book, Freedom Under Siege, Paul expressed the view that those who experience sexual harassment in the work force should remedy the situation by quitting their jobs. He further argued that governmental oversight is warranted only where victims are physically forced into sexual actions.

    Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity. Why don't they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable."


    That is (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:53:02 AM EST
    indeed a shocking position.

    Stupid and clueless.

    I don't suppose he has worked for anyone for quite awhile.
    Not to mention intensely high unemployment. It's not as if someone can just quit and find another job right away.


    I don't think you need to call me creepy for saying that I agreed with him more than not during the context of the republican debates.

    I could say the same thing about people who support Obama - but I wouldn't.


    I don't think that you are still getting it (none / 0) (#153)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:23:44 AM EST
    Lentinel wrote "I don't suppose he has worked for anyone for quite awhile.
    Not to mention intensely high unemployment. It's not as if someone can just quit and find another job right away."

    I don't think you are still getting it. Why should the person who is being harassed, have to look for a new job, instead of the harasser getting disciplined?
    Based on views that Paul expressed, Anita Hill should have been at fault for not finding a new job but Clarence Thomas should not have been disciplined for creating an uncomfortable and intimidating working environment since he did not physically force himself on the victim. This is very creepy, IMO.


    I don't (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:53:57 AM EST
    think you are open to understanding what I am trying to convey to you.

    When I said that he probably hadn't worked for anyone for quite awhile, and referenced high unemployment - what I was referring to the way employers can harass and intimidate employees. If they have no legal recourse, they either have to put up with it, or quit. Even a relatively benign employer can be intimidating. I didn't have the impression that Paul had had much experience as an employee.
    And in an environment of high unemployment, it gives even more power to the boss because the employee has to either put up with it or starve.

    Of course the employee should not have to put up with it - and the employer who is being coercive, particularly in a sexual or personal manner should be taken to the bar of justice.

    What Anita Hill had to put up with with respect to Thomas is a perfect example. And a majority of the Senate installed this predator into the Supreme Court - even when confronted with evidence of sexual harassment that was, to me, totally convincing;

    As I wrote, taking what you wrote about Ron Paul's statement on this subject, Paul's position was stupid and clueless. Perhaps his view has evolved in the 26 years since he wrote what you quoted. One would hope so.

    On the other subject at hand, saying that the position that Paul took in 1987 is creepy is not quite the same as saying, as you did, that were one to agree with many of the things that Paul said in the context of the republican debates of 2012 makes one creepy.

    I could say the same thing about those who nod approvingly at the utterances coming from the mouth of Mr. Obama - including his recent this-way-that-way statement on the brutality of the Egyptian military regime - but I wouldn't. I don't like to call names and characterize people. I can characterize their positions on different subjects, but it is a leap to assail the character of an individual expressing an opinion.


    Not just in 1987 but also in 2012 (none / 0) (#156)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:09:12 AM EST
    Ron Paul had the same view in 2012

    And Ron Paul on health care and medicaid (none / 0) (#157)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:17:17 AM EST

    In his own words....


    I went (none / 0) (#186)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:45:03 PM EST
    to the link you supplied - and I must say that Ron Paul comes off as incredibly dumb.

    He sees recourse for "violence", but the clip infers that he does not see the need of recourse for an employee who is being told - directly or indirectly - that a condition for employment is a personal or sexual relationship with the boss.

    It would seem that the context of the interview was the telling of an off-color joke in the workplace -  one that might appeal to some men, but was demeaning to women. Perhaps he was saying that workers should have to put up with it - because sh-t happens.

    I have to disagree with that also.
    But it becomes a little blurry to me when it comes to legal protection against speech - whether it be sexist or racist.

    I will need to see a little more than that clip to make up my mind about Ron - I would need to see it in context.

    But I will say that, as presented, Ron really comes off as clueless and insensitive.


    The only thing you have to know about (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:17:00 PM EST
    Ron and Rand Paul is that if they are making sense, check your watch, because once they reach the 5-minute mark, that will come to an end and they will make the inevitable turn to crazy.

    Charlie Pierce was the one who turned me on to that, and time and again, his 5-minute rule for the Rands has proved itself every time.


    This is what I was referring to.... (none / 0) (#191)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:13:56 PM EST
    A quote from Esquire Magazine article about Ron Paul at the Republican debate to which I had reference....

    All this started because Ron Paul said something he wasn't supposed to say. During the second Republican presidential debate in 2007, when they had him shunted off to the far side and gave him as little airtime as possible, the subject of Al Qaeda came up. "They attack us because we've been over there," he said. "We've been bombing Iraq for ten years."

    The idea that terrorists attack the U. S. because "they hate freedom" was always more of a slogan than a serious position, but it had frozen into Republican orthodoxy. "That's really an extraordinary statement," said an outraged Rudy Giuliani. "I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11." Even the moderator got huffy. "Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?" But Paul just continued in the same placid and rational way, oblivious to ordinary political calculations. "I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and talk about blowback. They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and free. They come and they attack us because we're over there. I mean, what would we think if other foreign countries were doing that to us?"

    Here is a link to the whole article (none / 0) (#194)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:31:14 PM EST
    in Esquire.

    I don't think this is black and white about Ron Paul.
    As I said, there are a number of things that I find myself agreeing with. Some, like his opposition to aid to Louisiana, I just don't get.
    Other things, as on the second page of this article, are at least food for thought for me - and do not appear to me to be the ravings of an idiot who is coherent only 8.3% or the time.



    It (none / 0) (#205)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:33:16 PM EST
    only takes Obama two or three minutes to go from seeming substance to drivel.

    So, we have a winner.


    I have commented on Egypt (none / 0) (#158)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:41:26 AM EST
    I have said repeatedly that it is wrong on the part of our government to outsource our policy regarding Egypt to Saudi Arabia and UAE. I have not nodded approvingly regarding all utterances coming from Obama in this regard.
    However, it is also misleading on your part to compare the situation in Egypt with the situation regarding sexual harassment and Ron Paul. It is true that physical violence against religious minorities and women increased sharply during Morsi's tenure and constitutional changes were made to Islamize the country. It is also a fact that the United States and many European countries tried very hard to bring about a political settlement between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood but their efforts were undercut by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Israel and Russia. It is misleading on your part to insinuate that the USA is turning a blind eye to the brutality of the Egyptian military. The only resistance that the Egyptian military is facing towards turning Egypt into a military autocracy once again is from the USA and the Europeans.

    I didn't watch the Republican debates (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by sj on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:19:15 PM EST
    But unless the current situation was discussed during the debates this entire comment is a non sequitur. lentinel referred to a specific situation.

    Try reading his comment again. Jeebus.


    Lordy (5.00 / 4) (#163)
    by sj on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:15:49 PM EST
    Your inability to read for content means you can't even tell when someone is granting you a point. Don't be such a sore winner.

    This is one of the (none / 0) (#192)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:17:14 PM EST
    quotes to which I referred.

    It was reprinted in an Esquire magazine article about Paul.
    It one of the statements that he made with which I found myself to be in agreement.

    All this started because Ron Paul said something he wasn't supposed to say. During the second Republican presidential debate in 2007, when they had him shunted off to the far side and gave him as little airtime as possible, the subject of Al Qaeda came up. "They attack us because we've been over there," he said. "We've been bombing Iraq for ten years."
    The idea that terrorists attack the U. S. because "they hate freedom" was always more of a slogan than a serious position, but it had frozen into Republican orthodoxy. "That's really an extraordinary statement," said an outraged Rudy Giuliani. "I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11." Even the moderator got huffy. "Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?" But Paul just continued in the same placid and rational way, oblivious to ordinary political calculations. "I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and talk about blowback. They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and free. They come and they attack us because we're over there. I mean, what would we think if other foreign countries were doing that to us?"

    Something to think about (none / 0) (#207)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:55:07 PM EST
    The matter of how our country responds to the fear of, and sometimes the reality of, terrorism is ONE issue.  An important issue.  But, remember that our own life and the overall life of the US is based upon so much more.  That the Pauls are enticing in a particular area ... well, the old stopped clock, as they say, can be right twice a day.  

    So, think about all that you hold dear when it comes to community and people caring for each other ... and the role of government in providing that leg-up and care. Do not overlook that the Pauls come down on the opposite side of all that.
    Yes, they may look like the Lermontov anti-hero (see Hero of Our Times) and they may remind us of the films about the rugged man against all the evils of the world (see the romanticism of the cowboy and a new Infiniti car ad appealing to our longing for the individualism of the West.)  The strong "individualism" of that type of literature and of that type of Libertarianism has an allure; but, it denies community and government at its core.


    Everything (none / 0) (#208)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:36:38 PM EST
    you say may be true...

    But it doesn't change the fact that ol' Ron stood up on National TV at a Republican debate and skewered the bu!!sh-t that the Bush administration had been dishing  out.

    Nobody else did.

    Nobody else did it at the Democratic debates either.


    Assange has power (none / 0) (#105)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:56:48 PM EST
    because of Bradley Manning. Manning's leaks brought global attention to WL.  

    In the beginning, Assange relied on other freedom-of-information activists, including John Young of Cryptome as well as the architect who devised the anonymous dropbox.

    Instead of being democratic and transparent, Assange has been an authoritarian leader who takes most of the credit. Daniel Domscheit-Berg recounted in his book how they exaggerated their computer power and their volunteers to gain respect from others.

    I read what Assange wrote about leaking info to make governments increasing secretive until people rise up. But that's the essence of revolution vs. reform. It's not a new idea.  

    Assange didn't invent leaking information. As a mechanism to broadcast information while keeping a source anonymous, WL failed dramatically with Manning, and I'm guessing it was because they relied too much on tech without understanding or taking care of the human side.

    Assange is essentially incarcerated because he chooses not to return to Sweden and face accusations of sexual assault.

    Lentinel, you understand that Assange prefers the Pauls over Democrats, right?

    Why should we fund an idea (paying everyone who wants to write) when we can see so many problems already? Even if we paid everyone who wanted to write, there's no guarantee their ideas would reach a wide audience. Already, there's a huge number of people writing for free online but only the tip of the iceberg get national attention.

    All in my opinion.


    What (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:05:10 AM EST
    "power" do you think Assange has except the power of his ideas?

    As I mentioned, he has been essentially incarcerated in London for quite some time now. He can't leave the embassy for fear of being arrested by the Bobbies and shipped to Sweden - a country that will not give him any guarantee that they would not ship him to the USA which has, imo, been torturing Bradley Manning for two years before he had even been convicted of anything.

    As I mentioned above, but you didn't take in, is that Assange has indicated a willingness to confront his accusers in court in Sweden if Sweden would agree not to turn him over to the US where he would face the possibility of being incarcerated in a manner similar to the horrific treatment accorded Bradley Manning. I don't blame him for not agreeing to go to Sweden under those conditions.

    Manning released information that I think has been helpful to American citizens in seeing what is being done in their names, but not disclosed to them, talked or written about.

    Assange gained some public awareness because of Manning's actions. But "power"?

    And how do you feel about the NYTimes and others that published the information provided to them by Assange? They did so because they thought the information was something of which the American people should be apprised. I, for one, appreciated it. Our government, that promised transparency, has been anything but transparent. Its representatives now lie and slither around without compunction.

    My reaction to your comment,

    "I read what Assange wrote about leaking info to make governments increasing secretive until people rise up. But that's the essence of revolution vs. reform. It's not a new idea."

    is - who said it was a new idea? And who cares if it is a new idea? The simple fact is that if needed reforms are not forthcoming, revolution is often the next step. That is historical fact. Assange isn't claiming to have been the one to have thought it up - only that it is time to reactivate the peoples' sense of power over their own lives - a power which has been stripped from them over successive administrations - both democrat and republican.

    My reaction to your comment:

    Assange didn't invent leaking information.

    is - who said he did? Are you saying that he claimed to have invented it? What is the point of saying that about Assange?
    Actually, Assange did not leak information. He published information provided to him, and offered it to other publishers as well.
    We all know, or should know, the important part leaking and publication of the "Pentagon Papers" had in stripping away national illusions about the War in Vietnam and helped in finally, finally ending the bloody thing.

    I get the impression that your beef with Assange is based in the belief that the government has a right to censor and hold back any information it chooses to from the people of the US and its representatives. It has a right not to be challenged, and it is under no obligation to provide oversight that is itself subject to evaluation and oversight.

    I think that is a dangerous position.

    Finally, your comment that Assange prefers the Pauls to the democrats... I have to respond once again: if true, so what?

    I sometimes would prefer Donald Duck and Goofy to most of our elected "representatives" who, as a group, seem to show unbridled contempt for the intelligence and welfare of the people of the United States.


    More about Assange (none / 0) (#173)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:57:02 PM EST
    We knew you were full of it (none / 0) (#35)
    by Politalkix on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 08:24:47 PM EST

    Oh Rafael, some of us always knew that you never meant all the leftist rhetoric you spouted to warm the cockles of a small, rigidly ideological group that resides inside the big tent of the political left. Thanks for proving us right once again. Yours sincerely, Politalkix.

    Two things to beware of: (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:45:37 AM EST
    I's who assert things under the guise of "we" and "us", and American liberals who speak in Lee Atwater-ese..

    There are couple of Big Tent types in these precincts who sometimes remind me of the liberals-for-Kennedy who wanted to kill Castro with poisoned darts..

    So, what exactly are you driving at, Pol? That people who want to save the Rainforest are a "small, rigidly ideological, group", or that Correa became the President of Ecudor by appealing to a small, rigidly ideological group?  


    Saving the rainforests (none / 0) (#77)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:34:21 AM EST
    is a worthy and noble goal that should be pursued by all possible means. However, there are a number of politicians (like Correa) in Latin America and elsewhere in the world who are callous about improving the living conditions of people in their countries and use demagoguery focused on rigid ideology to obtain and maintain power.

    Keep getting "malicious content" (none / 0) (#40)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 11:32:08 PM EST
    warnings for TL, for about the past four hours. Is anyone else getting this annoying pop up? I run spyware/malware sweeps, but nothing gets flagged or caught.

    I haven't gotten one today, but ... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:55:15 AM EST
    ... I have over the last few weeks. It may not necessarily be TL itself, but perhaps another website that shares the same server, and your anti-virus probably recognizes the server as a potential source of malware.

    talkleft is on its own server (none / 0) (#88)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:09:54 PM EST
    there is no problem with TalkLeft.
    Please email me with concerns, don't post them in open threads.

    Okay. (none / 0) (#146)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:07:58 AM EST
    Will do.

    What virus protection (none / 0) (#57)
    by sj on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:15:01 AM EST
    are you running. I had a problem a while back that Norton couldn't resolve but it was fixed by running Malawarebytes.

    I haven't gotten (none / 0) (#60)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:50:46 AM EST
    any pop up warning for this site, and run Chrome, Avast, and Malwarebytes. The level of nasty stuff out there is crazy, almost like the early virus days with the bios stuff that was so hard to remove.

    I do a lot of searches, which sometimes has me clicking to sites with issues. Just after the first of the year I had a NASTY virus problem, and maybe half a dozen small ones since.

    My wife runs a secure company laptop, does almost no surfing, and has had about 4 major virus issues this year. Her system though is both secure, self checking constantly, its also paranoid and locks down if it detects anything and IT has to unlock it.


    I'm not seeing anything or getting any (none / 0) (#86)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:08:08 PM EST
    warnings. Neither my virus nor malware programs show anything wrong. Please email me with any problems. Try clearing your cache.

    Eyeing the White House? (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:15:55 AM EST
    Banning Big Gulps getting all that attention will not endear you to the Palin brigades?

    With all this veering to the right (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by shoephone on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:39:18 AM EST
    on law & order stuff, seems he'd be willing to shed the "independent" tag and run as a Republican (if they'd have him, which I still think is doubtful).

    Sure, (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:25:12 AM EST
    they'll have him.

    He'll buy "em.


    your first comment was deleted (none / 0) (#89)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 12:12:45 PM EST
    you can't call people "racist" here.

    The L.A. Dodgers beat the Phillies, 4-0. (none / 0) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 01:10:47 AM EST
    We're seeing history here, with L.A. posting the best 50-game stretch by a major league team since the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals. The Blue Crew is 24-3 since the All-Star break, and 15-1 in August. They've won 15 of their last 16 road games, and are now 8.5 games up on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    It's been 25 years since the Dodgers upset the Oakland Athletics in their last World Series appearance. Could this season mark their return to the Fall Classic? Stay tuned.

    Inauspicious beginning for Ryne (none / 0) (#53)
    by caseyOR on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:45:13 AM EST
    Sandberg as interim Phillies manager. Charlie Manuel got the boot from the Phillies, and Ryne got the nod, albeit temporarily.

    Now I will get to see if the Cubs made the right or the wrong choice last year when they did not give Ryne the manger's job.


    Phillies are weak this year. (none / 0) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:08:32 AM EST
    But I wish the Cubs had hired Sandberg, rather than Dale Sveum. IMHO, the guy with whom they need to part ways is GM Jed Hoyer.

    Update re Richard III: (none / 0) (#92)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:04:39 PM EST

    Ever (none / 0) (#94)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:18:16 PM EST
    since I saw Basil Rathbone playing Richard in, "Tower of London", the mere mention of his name creeps me out.

    Kevin Spacey spit in my direction while playing (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:33:27 PM EST
    Richard III in San Francisco!

    How American influence is getting undercut (none / 0) (#97)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:45:05 PM EST
    in Egypt. link

    Simple cherry tomato (none / 0) (#100)
    by Zorba on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:59:26 PM EST
    pasta sauce. The other day, I was wondering what to do with all the cherry tomatoes we were still getting, especially considering the fact that we are getting so many of the big red and yellow tomatoes now, as well as Roma's. I ran across this recipe from Macheesmo. It turned out quite well. Tonight, I am making pasta with a tomato vodka cream sauce, with the addition of crab meat. Chopped up and crushed Roma's, shallots (also from the garden), garlic, vodka, a little chicken broth, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, heavy cream, grated Romano cheese, our own fresh basil, crab meat. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

    Dry those little tomatoes! (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by nycstray on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:09:50 PM EST
    I just slice them in half and dry them. I do toss them in pasta with fresh herbs and cheese, but I'm trying to dry a lot this year for winter pizzas and pasta :)

    I have 16lbs of heirloom tomatoes, 8lbs of plums and 12lbs of peaches to deal with today along with tomato drying . . . Need to make linguini/fettuccine, ravioli and some pizzas also.

    Your tomato vodka dish sounds like it needs to be made at my place this week! Oh and thanks for the reminder, I need to make crusty bread today too. . not to mention laundry and cleaning . . . Oy.


    I'll have to try (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Zorba on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 03:57:06 PM EST
    drying the cherries. I can the Roma's, and make spaghetti sauce to can, but I've never figured out how to save the cherry tomatoes. Thanks! The vodka sauce: sautée some chopped garlic and shallots in olive oil and a bit of butter, add the vodka and reduce by half. Add your chopped and crushed tomatoes, some chicken broth, some red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer for awhile. Add some grated cheese and cream. Turn off the heat, add some chopped, fresh basil. Sorry about the imprecise measurements. I throw stuff in for this one. Maybe three or four garlic cloves, ditto shallots, about a cup of vodka, about maybe four cups of chopped, crushed tomatoes, about a cup of broth, about a half cup of heavy cream and a couple of handfuls of grated Italian cheese.

    No prob on the measurements :) (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by nycstray on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 04:36:16 PM EST
    A lot of my cooking is eyeball, toss and taste :P

    Another thing you can do with the little tomatoes is
    a potato dish. Cooked new potatoes sliced in quarters or bite size, halved little tomatoes, thin sliced red onion, fresh garlic minced, and fresh basil (a lot as it doesn't seem like as much after cooked. Toss it all with olive oil, S&P and pop under the broiler until everything is roasted. You can also hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice. I usually microwave a plate of new potatoes and add an almost equal amount of tomatoes with a decent handful of chiffonade basil. How do ya like those measurements, lol!?


    Just binged watched the final season (none / 0) (#118)
    by ruffian on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:00:45 PM EST
    of 'Damages' on DVD.  Timely subjects of leakers and an interesting Julian Assange-like character played by Ryan Phillippe. Glenn Close and Rose Byrne were excellent as usual. I truly did not see the ending coming - did not foresee the final twist at all.

    I really liked the entire series, but recognize it was probably time for it to end. At least going to Direct TV gave it some extra life, even though I had to wait for the DVDs to watch it the last two years.

    August afternoons in Orlando - only fit for such pursuits!

    Are documents appearing in Tsarnaev docket? (none / 0) (#136)
    by TycheSD on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:40:43 PM EST

    Are documents appearing in Tsarnaev docket? (none / 0) (#137)
    by TycheSD on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:43:21 PM EST
    This Protective Order was filed by the prosecution yesterday.  But this is #84.  There are plenty of numbers not even shown.

    See thread above (none / 0) (#139)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:16:11 PM EST
    starting at #38.

    The Sacramento Kings saga ... (none / 0) (#151)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:14:00 AM EST
    ... is back in the news again, after it was revealed that hedge fund mogul Chris Hansen, whose recent attempt to gain control of the Kings and relocate them to Seattle was roundly rejected by NBA owners, was the hidden source behind a recent covert $100,000 donation that bankrolled a local ballot drive to stop the city of Sacramento from building a new arena.

    Even Seattleites are aghast at Hansen's ploy, which may hurt the city's effort to obtain a new NBA franchise to replaced the since-relocated-and-renamed SuperSonics, and further cause the Seattle City Council to seriously reconsider the city's own arena deal with him.

    It was an inexplicably dumb move for such a smart guy, because Hansen may have also violated California campaign finance law in the process.

    If this keeps up, I may have to become a Sacramento Kings fan.


    Greeenwald's Husband Detained (none / 0) (#167)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:01:19 PM EST
    WTF? CLose links? Are they going to harass and detain all journalists and their spouses now?  9 hours?

    (Reuters) - British authorities used anti-terrorism powers to detain the partner of a journalist with close links to Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor, as he passed through London's Heathrow airport on Sunday.

    The 28-year-old David Miranda, a Brazilian citizen and partner of U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald who writes for Britain's Guardian newspaper, was questioned for nine hours, before being released without charge, a report on the Guardian website said.

    I find it hard to imagine (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by Peter G on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:04:58 PM EST
    that British law does not recognize a spousal privilege to refuse to answer otherwise compulsory questions directed against one's marital partner.

    FWIW (none / 0) (#181)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:13:23 AM EST
    (and it's from Wiki, so it might be a start to an answer):

    While spousal communications in England and Wales are no longer privileged, section 80 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (as amended) gives spouses or civil partners of defendants protection against being compelled by the prosecution to testify, except in limited circumstances.

    A spouse or civil partner of a defendant is almost always considered a competent witness for either side, and may choose to testify for or against their spouse. A defendant may, when relevant, compel their spouse or civil partner to testify on their behalf. The prosecution however, may only compel the testimony of the defendant's spouse or civil partner in cases of domestic abuse or violence or sexual offences towards persons under 16. When the spouse or civil partner is a co-defendant to the charges, they may not be compelled to testify.

    Note that while this gives special recognition to spousal relationships and civil partnerships, the law does not provide for a privilege and it is never possible to exclude evidence solely on the basis that it was a private conversation between a married couple.

    Very interesting. (none / 0) (#182)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:27:07 AM EST
    Thanks for doing my homework for me!

    Breaking Bad.... (none / 0) (#183)
    by ruffian on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:39:16 AM EST
    final season continues at breakneck pace.

    The scene near the end when Walt and Skylar are talking broke my heart. His eyes moving from gratitude to distrust, and her whole expression moving from concern to hurt to determination. Usually only Jesse can get to me like that.

    I love the unpredictability of this show.

    Another Florida SYG case? (none / 0) (#199)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:21:11 PM EST

    If these facts are true, seems pretty open and shut to me.

    Lordy, I hope not (none / 0) (#203)
    by sj on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:25:28 PM EST
    Another Florida SYG case?
    In fact, I sincerely, sincerely hope not.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 102 (none / 0) (#210)
    by Dadler on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:16:22 AM EST
    Obama seeks warrantless cellphone searches (none / 0) (#211)
    by shoephone on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 12:02:02 PM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 103 (none / 0) (#212)
    by Dadler on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:40:52 AM EST