Sunday Night Open Thread

Homeland is back tonight, the Good Wife is not.
Our last open thread is full, here's a new one. All topics welcome.

Our open threads have been filling up much more quickly the past few weeks. They close automatically at 200 comments. So please don't be a blog-clogger. No one should have 20 or more comments in a single thread. And there's no need to take up a comment space just to say "wow" or "me too." Comments are for your thoughts and observations. An open thread just means you get to pick the topic you want to write about. Whether it's politics, what you cooked for dinner, TV, your pet, it's all fine.

As always, no name-calling (including calling others "trolls") and no personal attacks or profanity. TalkLeft welcomes all points of view. No one is a "troll" because they don't share your (or my) viewpoint. On the other hand, repetitive chatter -- making the same point over and over is objectionable, and those commenters will be limited to the number of times they can comment in a particular thread. If you want to have an extended conversation with a single commenter, please find another site for that. Open threads are not for extensive personal banter between two people. [More...]

Lastly, urls must be in html format (code) because our margins are narrow and long ones skew the site. There's a link button at the top of the comment box. Don't forget to preview. If you don't want to take the time to do that, then don't put urls in your comments. I cannot edit comments, only delete them, and that's what I will do when I see an unformatted url. So if you spent a lot of time writing your comment, and you're not sure if you are following the rules, save it on your own computer so it doesn't go to waste.

Our comment rules are here.

Thanks everyone. Your turn now.

< Pakistan Military Kills Al Qaeda Leader Indicted in U.S. | Obama's Race Interview on BET >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Superstar-the Karen Carpenter Story (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 07, 2014 at 08:49:22 PM EST

    Director Todd Haynes is well-known for his arty, fictionalized depictions of music iconography. Velvet Goldmine was a glam rock epic, with characters modeled after Bowie and Iggy, while I'm Not There features seven different actors portraying "fictional" facets of Bob Dylan's personality or mystique. Both films blur reality with stylized interpretations, but neither takes even a fraction of the liberties Haynes exercised with his 1987 grad school student film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story.

    Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is technically illegal to exhibit, although since the advent of YouTube, it's a bit of a moot point (the upload embedded below was posted in 2012). Karen's brother Richard sued Haynes for copyright infringement. MOMA has a copy but even they aren't allowed to screen it. Even if Haynes hadn't used Carpenters songs, there's a good chance Richard Carpenter would've found basis for a lawsuit. Haynes portrays Karen as the victim of her narcissistic and tyrannical family, even suggesting Richard was closeted.

    The whole 40some minute film is at the link.  It worth the time.

    That was odd... (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 12:18:31 AM EST
    but interesting and somehow moving.  I want to say that I found the actors a little... stiff.

    That spanking inserts (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:19:20 AM EST
    were my favorite.  Wtf?  

    Todd Haynes also wtrote and directed (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 07, 2014 at 09:24:10 PM EST
    the intriguing "Safe," with Julianne Moore. (1995)

    I had heard about (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 07, 2014 at 09:58:27 PM EST
    the Carpenter movie but never seen it until it turned up on my FB page.  I think it's a minor masterpiece.  The site used the word hypnotic, that works for me.  Once I started I could not stop watching it.  It amazing how much drama a menace get gets out of those Barbie dolls.

    I had some trouble downloading it from the site so I went  straight to YouTube and it worked much better.

    Never saw safe but it's now on the list.


    Ralph Baer.. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by desertswine on Sun Dec 07, 2014 at 11:14:56 PM EST
    Inventor of the Odyssey game system - obit.

    "Forget it. Just build the damn TV set."

    Sad (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 08:01:49 AM EST
    i met this guy once.  In the early 80s after a very early background in computer imaging I got a job working for this man here-

    Mr. Steven T. Mayer, Steve serves as an Advisor of Muse Research & Development, Inc. Mr. Mayer is an Independent Multimedia Consultant to a number of corporations. He served as an Advisor of Intel Corporation and Nintendo Co. Ltd. He was a Founder and served as Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of ComF5 International, Inc. Mr. Mayer served as Chief Engineer, Business Strategist and finally, senior executive for Atari video games. Mr. Mayer Co-founded Atari Corporation in 1973 where he served as chief architect of coin-operated games and home programmable game systems. He founded Warner Communications Labs -- the central research facility for Warner Communications. He served as Division President of Warner Communications-Entertainment Software since 1985 and its Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning

    At Warner/Atari research labs in NYC.  It was the best job ever.  All we did was experiment with new things and new ideas.  He had left with a ton of money after founding Atari and wanted to make home video games which at that point were really in their infancy.  The place was really just a playground for him and the people he was lucky enough to hire.  One of the things he did was have tons of guest speakers and Ralph was one of them. One of the things I did there was to shop for and buy the best off the shelf equipment at the time.  One was a video animation system that we used for making "sprites" or game characters.  I would have a patch of fat pixels about 10x10 that I could turn on and off to make the little dudes move.   This state of the art multi 10s of thousands dollar machine could display a total of 16 colors on the screen at once.  sixteen
    I also bought a early 3d system.  It was AWSUM.   We didn't really have to produce anything.  All we had to do was look busy having fun.
    I got the job because I was working for another company in the same building called Genigraphics and one one my way to work I got into the elevator with Steve.  I asked him was they did and we started talking.  I started the next day.
    It really was the best job I ever had.  Eventually it ended when the money ran out.


    BTW, Wiki has an entry for (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:09:01 AM EST
     "wet foot/dry foot."  U.S./Cuba diplomacy during the Clinton administration

    The sad truth about the current financial system (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 06:31:41 AM EST

    "We've got a financial system in the U.S.," she said, "where California teachers have to protect their pension funds by hurting manufacturing in Ohio."

    It is an interesting story (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 08:51:22 AM EST
    But IMO it focused mostly on and is about a 1%er getting beaten up by 1%ers.  California teachers pension funds aren't the big winners, the big firms managing pensions funds and being called "activist investors" are the real winners.  They scrape the cream off the top.  The pension holders just hope to have a pension.

    Cracks me up, Timken was a big big Romney supporter....one of the founding fathers of "activist investing", does Timken make the correlation?  Or is he going to continue to blame California teachers?


    CraZy Funny and Sad... (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:31:44 AM EST
    ...worse parking job eva.

    It's so bad I would think it's fake except she actually hit a car, maybe two, and the police did track her down and fine her.

    It wasn't even clear (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:48:49 AM EST
    until the end what she was trying to do!
    Unbelievable that someone could be such a bad driver.  I'm sure she's done stuff like this before, and I'm surprised they haven't yanked her license yet.

    I wanted to reach into my computer and grab (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:52:01 AM EST
    the wheel of the SUV myself.  I wonder if this person is as stupid as their driving makes them appear?

    LOL! At least one of those cars wasn't mine. (none / 0) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:09:59 PM EST
    I really shouldn't say anything on this particular subject, because only two weeks ago I wasn't paying sufficient attention and backed into the cement base of a lamp post in the parking lost of our local neighborhood Safeway. And I did so with such force that I cracked the rear bumper of my car, to the tune of $613.52! Rather than report the mishap to the insurance company and risk our rates getting jacked on account of it, I paid for the repairs out of pocket.

    But with that embarrassing admission out of the way, you never met one of my best friends in high school, a teammate from my baseball team. He was such a notoriously terrible driver in those parts that my mother would actually let us have the car in order to ensure that I'd drive, whenever the two of us decided to go out together.

    My buddy once insisted to Mom that he "never hit anyone." She agreed, but noted that he hit things instead, such as light poles, trees, curbs, garage doors, etc. He even took down an entire retaining wall in the back of his parents' house -- just backed right out of the garage and into it, burying rear half of the car with bricks and dirt in the process. Needless to say, they were not amused.

    For the longest time he was the worst driver I'd ever seen personally, that is, until recently. That dubious accolade now belongs to my elderly Chinese-American neighbor, a woman in her late 60s who's a leadfoot and likes to drive like a bat out of hell. She garnered the prize earlier this year when she hit her own teenaged grandson late last year as he was walking up our townhouse complex road, and broke his leg.



    My grandmother, (none / 0) (#65)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:41:55 PM EST
    who was in her late 80's at the time, had so many (minor, fortunately) accidents in one year that her insurance company cancelled her car insurance.  At that point, my parents, who had been trying to get her to stop driving for several years, just went over to her house and took her car away.  They had wanted her to stop driving before, but she was very stubborn about it.  And you ain't seen "stubborn" until you've dealt with a Greek Yia-Yia (grandmother).  Especially one from Crete- the Cretans are known for their extreme stubbornness, even among the Greeks.   ;-)
    And yes, they wanted her to move in with them, as well, but she resisted this until she got very ill some years later.  Fortunately, at least she lived in a city where she could walk to stores.  But it made more work for my parents, who were always going over to her house to take her food, take her to church and other places that were inconvenient for her to get to, and make sure everything was working well in her home.

    Same With My Grandma... (none / 0) (#69)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:52:13 PM EST
    ...but much easier in that they just gave her cab money and in Wisconsin, only an idiot would rather get in their own car in the winter, than a hot cab.  But she fought and fought, never got in a wreck, but that is hard to do when you don't exceed 5mph.  

    I remember me and my brother hiding when she drove us around as kids.  She would be going down main street and holding up traffic doing a comfortable 10mph, which decreased as her age increased.

    The funny thing is she loved huge cars and she was tiny, so all you would see is this big Impala or Bonneville with a poof of white hair behind the wheel.


    My grandmother decided for herself ... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:14:55 PM EST
    ... at age 84 that she was too old to drive. My grandfather, OTOH -- well, somebody really should've taken the keys from him after he was cited at age 90 for driving down a pedestrians-only mall off Colorado Blvd. in downtown Pasadena. But alas, neither my mother nor her siblings could ever muster the courage to do so. Even in his dotage, he could still bully his own children.

    I have several good friends (none / 0) (#81)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:30:22 PM EST
    who are in their 80's, live alone, and still drive.
    Two of them should not be driving.  I wouldn't let them even drive me to the corner store.  In fact, they should probably both be in assisted living facilities.  Their kids have tried to suggest this, or moving in with them, but they are not hearing any of it, sadly.
    The other one is a better driver than I am, and even better than most of the people I know.  I would not hesitate to have her drive me across the country.  She is active, volunteers all over the place, and keeps up a schedule that would exhaust me.   ;-)
    It all depends upon the individual.

    When I worked for meals on wheels (5.00 / 4) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:38:48 PM EST
    everyone was supposed to be "housebound".  But they all drove.  It's really case by case.  We have a 96 (or 97 I forget) year old in the family and she is a better driver than most people I know.  She is very funny.  If she is riding with you and you dawdle she will shout "Let's go! You're driving like an old woman!"

    Only whimps do that in cars (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ragebot on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:10:18 AM EST
    My friend Rick Moore's classic

    Ode to Credit Card Captians

    The funny thing is when I got on youtube to get this link the commercial before it played was from a sail boat charter company.


    Unsubscribe (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:12:04 AM EST
    Has anyone else had/have issues unsubscribing to 'unbelievable sale' emails.  I have unsubscribed form Old Navy at least 3 times and yet I get emails at least twice a day.  They aren't the only ones, just the most persistent.  And I haven't bought anything there in years.

    Over Thanksgiving I decided to unsubscribe to every email that was commercial, as of now I would say about half of them took.  Instead of 10 emails waiting for me when I wake, now there are about 5.  

    It's getting to the point that I won't do business with them, no matter how ridiculous the sale.  I mean seriously, do  they think they are original with a subject lines like, "Did you miss Cyber Monday" or "Cyber Monday all Week/Month Long".

    On a cool note, Macy's has an option to email the receipt, which is good for me in that I tend to lose receipts and like knowing what I paid for something later.  And they didn't take the opportunity to send me any spam.

    My bank also offers that option, email receipts, speaking of... like a month ago I went to withdraw more then my daily cash limit.  I went to the drive through and they were closed, but I still needed the cash.  The ATM has an option to talk to a teller, pushed it and wholla a teller via ATM camera who was able to help me, even asked what denominations I wanted.  Very convenient. HERE is what it looks like.

    Yes (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:25:33 AM EST
    I have tried to unsubscribe to several businesses and they just won't take.  Ugh.

    Often, emails offer the (none / 0) (#52)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:41:22 AM EST
    option of blocking certain incoming email addresses.  If yours does, try blocking the idiots.
    What I do is have my one email for family and friends, and then another one for all the commercial stuff.  I don't even look at that one every day.  Maybe once a week.

    Making Pot Roast today (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:34:45 AM EST
    the house smells like heaven should smell.
    Wish you were here.

    Recipe? (none / 0) (#82)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:37:45 PM EST
    I don't really use one (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 05:32:08 PM EST
    its one of my favorites that I have done for years so I honestly couldn't tell you the exact measurements but this looks like a pretty good place to start.
    I part from that in several ways. I use more burgundy an chicken stock because I cook it longer (usually about 5 hours at a slightly lower temp) adding more a about half way through so it doesn't burn.  Also I chop up a small batch of veggies at the beginning to add with the herbs so the turns into mush that makes the sauce and then about the last hour I add tons of potatoes carrots celery onions and mushrooms In big chunks and let it all cook together for about an hour.  It makes the veggies awsum.

    It was sublime btw.   I am holiday level stuffed.


    Btw (none / 0) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 05:43:11 PM EST
    i usually make a big toast because it's great with its own veggies but also one of my favorite pizzas is shredded pot roast and pepperoncini with mozzarella.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#119)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:40:42 PM EST
    My bro-in-law's Grammy nomination (5.00 / 5) (#48)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:32:15 AM EST
    Gotta pump it one more time, cuz my sweet sista's husband, Scott Mayo (link), has done himself good. Got the nom for Sergio Mendes' MAGIC album in the Best World Music Album category, a disc on which he composed, arranged and played (sax, flute, keyboards I believe). So thrilled for my lovely little sister that she'll get to put on the bling and hit the red carpet. And, as I've said before, Scott is probably the single most positive, generous and humble cat I have ever met, especially relative to his overflowing talent, so he deserves this honor, and the fun ride that comes with it, more than anyone I know.

    Peace out, y'all.

    Congrats to him! (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 05:44:57 PM EST
    Is this the same relative that was on The Voice (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:11:50 PM EST
    last season?  I seem to recall seeing him playing a horn in the band.  Anyway, what a fabulous recognition for your BIL.  Congratulations to all of you in his family.

    Yep, that's him (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Dadler on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:58:01 AM EST
    He was on Dancing With the Stars this season, has some pics from the finale on his website, just below the Grammy post.

    Peek behind... (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:32:23 AM EST
    the blue wall of silence and corruption by a former member of the St. Louis PD...Linkage.

    "The number of people in uniform who will knowingly and maliciously violate your human rights is huge. At the Ferguson protests, people are chanting, "The whole damn system is guilty as hell." I agree, and we have a lot of work to do."

    More police misconduct, including lies about (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:59:34 PM EST
    the investigation into this incident.

    And Another... (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:09:44 PM EST
    Punched in the face while handcuffed in a police car - but her cop attacker will NOT be charged: Prosecutors say officer who left woman, 23, with a broken eye socket 'acted professionally'  LINK

    The woman weighted 120 lbs.


    This one might take the cake... (5.00 / 6) (#80)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:29:31 PM EST
    from 2006...cops beat the living sh*t out of a 12 year old girl, claim to mistake her for a prostitute...as if that makes it ok!  

    Some arsehole drops a dime that there are 3 white prosititutes soliciting in the area...but the 12 year old girl was not white, nor soliciting.  

    Insults to injury...they arrest her at school weeks later for resisting arrest!  One of the thugs goes on to win "Officer of the Year"!  What in Sam Hill is going on 'round here????  


    I wonder how many times something like this (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:53:55 PM EST
    happens daily, because you know it does.

    Ugh! (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:23:40 PM EST
    Even when I lived up there in college, the brutish reputation and behavior of the Seattle police often belied the liberal values of the city's residents, whom they ostensibly serve. I've never understood why they tolerate it.

    Sick. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:24:41 PM EST
    Do Not Forget Tonight... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:50:50 PM EST
    ...the greatest team to ever take to the gridiron will be on the TV.  Just kidding, but the Packers play the Falcons tonight.

    I really don't like commentators assuming that GB is going to win their next three just because the teams they play really suck.  It's bad mojo and the Pack lost to the Saints, who are battling the Falcons for the worst record to ever make the playoffs.  There is a good chance 7, maybe even 6, wins will take the AFC South.

    It is driving me nuts that they have an 'expert' chiming in about reply considering they are about as accurate as a coin.  Stop, it's not helping the NFL when former officials say one thing and officials on the field do another.  Replay is suppose to improve the game, not make people wonder WTF.

    Go Pack !!!!

    ... as long as they don't have to play the Seahawks again. Seattle's defense has looked overwhelmingly dominant these past three games against the Cardinals (19-3), 49ers (also 19-3) and Eagles (24-14), the last two being on the road. Philly could only muster 9 first downs, 139 yards in total offense and 18 minutes' worth of time of possession in yesterday's game, with 35 of that yardage coming on a busted coverage TD pass in the 3rd quarter.

    Rumors abound after San Francisco's inexplicable 24-13 loss yesterday to the lowly Oakland Raiders, which have 49ers' coach Jim Harbaugh departing the team once the season's over. And at 7-6, the Niners are all but eliminated from the NFC playoff hunt this season, with the prospect of facing the Seahawks again for the second time in three weeks -- this time in Seattle. (One possible destination for Harbaugh is Oakland; he apparently twice spoke with Raiders' owner Mark Davis yesterday, before and after the game.)

    And finally, let's please keep Kansas City running back Eric Berry in our thoughts. Doctors at Emory University Med. Center in Atlanta have now confirmed his initial diagnosis of lymphoma, and have further determined it to be of the Hogkins variety. It's very treatable, but it will be a hard slog for him nonetheless.

    Enjoy the game tonight.


    Not Worried About Seattle... (none / 0) (#152)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:46:42 AM EST
    ...they are punks, who don't stand a chance at Lambeau in December.  Packers were robbed last season of a win because of pseudo-officials.  That put us on the road in the playoffs and while they had no chance to go to the SB that year, that loss has not been forgotten.

    SF is out, so a win at Seattle would be this years spoiler, they could essentially knock them out of the playoffs, they're in a four way tie for the wildcard and any loss could ensure they don't make the playoffs, even with 10, maybe 11 wins.

    There is a small chance, a 6-10 team will host a 10-6, maybe 11-5 team, which is absurd, but if Julio Jones is on that team, that is not going to be an cake walk.

    Not saying the Pack is going all the way, only that Seattle will not be the team roadblocking their path.


    Close (none / 0) (#164)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:22:02 AM EST
    they're in a four way tie for the wildcard

    Seattle is in a 3 way tie for the wildcard spot and currently wins all wildcard tiebreakers.

    Betting against a team that is the defending champ, that has given up an average of less than 7 points a game over the last three weeks, and beat the Packers by 20 in their matchup earlier this season, is not a wise choice.


    Betting Agaist the Pack at Home... (none / 0) (#170)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 10:07:04 AM EST
    ...is a worse choice, IMO.  But right now, either team could conceivably not make the playoffs.  The Pack plays the Lions last game, and the Lions already beat them, so the tie breaker for the division goes to the Pack only if they beat the Lions, which means winning every game left.  Big hill to climb.

    If I am not mistaken, didn't Seattle sneak in the playoffs like 3 years ago with 8-8, this might be the year they don't make it at 11-5.  They hold the tie breaker now, but only because they haven't played in their division, that will not be true in 3 weeks and Seattle has 49ers and the Cards. If they don't win 2 of 3, they will not get in.  Lions have easy schedule, the Cowboys won't do it, they are incapable of winning big games and Romo is beat up.

    IMO if 49ers win, Seattle is out.

    I really like the last game this year being divisional for everyone.  For most teams that is the game that decides home-field or even if they get in, and I like that it will be in their control, for the most part.  No one will be sitting players out.

    What is super hilarious is that the Panthers are still in the hunt at 4-8-1.


    Tell that to ... (none / 0) (#189)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 02:22:42 PM EST
    Scott: "Betting against the Pack at home [in the playoffs] is a worse choice, IMO."

    ... fans of the New York Giants, who've beaten the Packers twice in Green Bay in recent playoff games (2008 and 2012) -- and IIRC, the last one really wasn't very close. The Pack has actually fared better on the road in January, with the exception of trips to San Francisco; their impressive march to glory in Super Bowl XLV went through Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago.

    And what makes you think the Seahawks can't take all three of its final games, especially when two of them are at home in Seattle, where they've gone 20-2 since the 2012 season? If they win out, they won't have to worry about wild card tiebreaker scenarios, because they'll have repeated as the NFC West champs.

    And FYI, Seattle's already stuffed Arizona and San Francisco in the last three weeks as I noted above (19-3 in both games), and and all three teams have given me no reason to think that there won't be repeat performances over the next two weeks.

    The 49ers' offense under QB Colin Kaepernick has been truly anemic of late, scoring only two TDs in their last three games. Against the hapless Raiders, they looked like a listless team that's given up the ghost for the season. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are playing with backup QB Drew Stanton now that Carson Palmer's done for the year, and while he did okay against the Chiefs on Sunday, he'll need to play the game of his life to overcome the Seahawks, whose defense is presently clicking on all cylinders.

    Of Seattle's final three contests, the game that gives me serious pause is the finale at home against the Rams, who just recorded back-to-back shutouts, albeit against lousy teams from Oakland and Washington. But they've also beaten the Seahawks earlier this season, so they're not necessarily in awe of them. And a season sweep of the defending Super Bowl champions would bode well for Jeff Fisher's team next year.

    Finally, given the way Atlanta stormed back from a 31-7 halftime deficit last night, Green Bay fans certainly can't take anything for granted down the stretch. Because if the Packers lose just once during the next three weeks and Seattle wins out (as most prognosticators currently expect), you can say adios to any potential playoff game between those two teams at Lambeau, and the road to the Super Bowl will again go through Century Link Field.



    The Good News... (none / 0) (#191)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 02:55:31 PM EST
    ...is this isn't some abstract discussion, in three weeks we will know the answers to the playoff questions.  

    No point other than it's why they play the game.  

    GB beat the Patriots, yet last night all they kept talking about is how the Pack can't shut down an explosive throwing offense, pleaze.  You sound like the folks over at ESPN who flop their views pretty much every week.  This week will be Atlanta, Atlanta, Atlanta...  Last week was GB, GB, GB...

    Divisional games are always more problematic than regular games.


    Sister-in-law cancer/marijuana update (5.00 / 8) (#106)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:02:29 PM EST
    After being unable to toke or vape for a variety of reasons post-mastectomy, and being unable to use cannabis edibles due to the taste sensitivity and nausea from chemo, and beginning to doubt it would work for her, my jaunt into the Mission to get her some pills (simple hash oil put into capsules) worked perfectly. She was easily able to swallow a capsule with water, avoiding the pukes she got from trying to down a brownie, and a half hour later, finally, joyously, she was able to eat real food, she felt happy and light hearted for the first time in months. I was so relieved for her, since she was becoming increasingly depressed. My wife is going down for a sista visit this weekend, so they should have a much better time. Thanks again to PurpleStarMD for being champs on price.

    Have a sweet night, my good peeps.

    Interesting (5.00 / 3) (#115)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:15:14 PM EST
    i just saw Mike Rodgers (r) compare the eminent release of the torture report to the Danish cartoons.  
    No sh!t.  
    Oh my god!  We can't do this! They will hurt us!  

    I guess we probably should have thought about that before we violated every treaty we ever signed and every international law.

    Washington (CNN) -- Thousands of Marines have been put on a higher state of alert around the world in advance of the anticipated release of a Senate report on coercive interrogation techniques as a precaution, a U.S. defense official tells CNN.

    As my mama used to say, if you dance to the tune you have to pay the piper.

    But you want someone else to pay (none / 0) (#122)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:01:06 PM EST
    As a result, the issue received prominent media attention in some Muslim countries, leading to protests across the world in late January and early February 2006. Some escalated into violence resulting in more than 200 reported deaths



    I want you to pay (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:08:54 PM EST

    Uh-uh, guy. This one's on you. (5.00 / 3) (#140)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 07:44:37 AM EST
    You embraced the Bush Wars, you've denied the veracity of the torture allegations for like forever, you've insusted that waterboarding isn't torture, and for that matter, you've even still staked a claim to the existence of WMD in Iraq.

    No, Jim. The American people country deserve to hear and know the truth regarding what's been done -- and what you supported -- in our name.

    You don't get to move the goalposts on this one and shift blame, dude. It's all on you, and on your sniveling and cowardly friends on the right -- you know, the ones who were all gung ho for war provided, of course, that someone else did all the dirty work.

    You tighty-whitey-righties created this entire mess, and you need to be a mensch, admit your mistake(s), accept responsibility for what you wrought, and apologize to the nation and the world.

    But you won't accept responsibility, and you won't apologize. Your kind never do. And that's because by attempting to shift blame here, as you did above, you've proved that you're not a mensch.

    Not. Even. Close.


    Whey do you think (5.00 / 3) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 07:51:39 AM EST
    he is wringing his hands and playing concern troll?   Oh, won't someone pleeeeease think about the innocent lives.


    His version of innocent is....subjective.  And rather geographical and situational.  This is the first time I've seen him concerned about "innocents" in the Middle East.


    Donald (3.00 / 1) (#141)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 07:47:01 AM EST
    Are you at home?  What on earth are you doing up this early and on the computer??

    I was wondering too (none / 0) (#143)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 07:52:57 AM EST
    its early here.  Makes my head hurt to think about how early it us there.

    Or maybe it's late?


    True (none / 0) (#144)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:00:57 AM EST
    Maybe he's been partying all night and hasn't gone to bed yet.

    I couldn't sleep. (none / 0) (#190)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 02:36:17 PM EST
    While I've been on chemo, I generally go to bed early and am an early riser (5:00 a.m., usually). I actually fell asleep at about 8:00 p.m., but then suddenly woke up with a start at 1:30 a.m. Whenever I wake up like that, I have a very hard time dozing off again. So I got up and logged on, checked out TL, caught up on some correspondence from work, went back to bed at 4:00 a.m., and woke up again at 6:30.

    Someone always pays (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by FlJoe on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:15:18 AM EST
    But in your twisted world the (mostly) innocent pay while the guilty (your pals) skate.

    John McCain (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by christinep on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 12:54:38 PM EST
    spoke before the Senate today, with compelling eloquence, as he supported the extensive Intelligence Committee report. Senator McCain spoke of acting now and henceforth with honor and in good conscience--not to stray from that as the report details was done in the challenging aftermath of 9/11. He spoke of restoring again the values we all hold dear.

    From the other thread RE: Cuba (4.25 / 4) (#5)
    by Slado on Sun Dec 07, 2014 at 09:24:30 PM EST
    I read some more about the Embargo and while in principal I agree it should end it is not so simple.  I had no idea that all economic activity goes through the government.   So even if you get paid by another country for a service the government collects the money for your services and then pays you a small amount that is limited by their national limit on yearly earnings.

    So essentialy any money that goes into Cuba that isn't on the black market goes through the governent and they keep it and control it.

    Seems to me until this policy ends the Embargo could be lifted but we'd just be giving more money to the Castro regime and it would not help the people.   Now that oh could argue that if there was more money maybe they'd be a little more gnenerous but for me until the regime agrees to allow some small amount of capitalism to start lifting the Embargo would be meaningless.

    So basically as long as the government keeps its policies nothing is going to change and I have to put about 95% of the blame at their feet.   The few ruling elite enjoy a life of luxury, do just enough to keep the people in check and the misery goes on.

    Kind of like a North Korea unfortunately but not as brutal because nothing will change the status quo as long as the rulers can keep the system going.

    What's the classic definition of insanity? (5.00 / 8) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 07, 2014 at 11:44:45 PM EST
    Doing the same thing repeatedly, hoping each time for a different result. So, go ahead, keep the embargo in place and harrumph a lot about Castro because, you know, freedom, Mom and apple pie.

    After all, that embargo's only been in effect for my entire lifetime, so what's another three decades of allowing our Cuba policy to be driven by the demented likes of Sen. Marco Rubio, who couldn't even be honest about the circumstances which led his parents to emigrate to America.

    Or, we can chart a bold new course, and embrace the notion that proactive and positive change occurs whenever we're willing to engage and negotiate with our adversaries both real and potential, rather than simply give them the cold shoulder whilst talking and chattering amongst ourselves and our allies.

    If we truly desire change, then we must embody the change which we seek. Fidel Castro has for some time been in ill health, and at 88 years of age he's obviously not long for this world. And for that matter, neither is his brother and successor Raul Castro, who's 83. Sooner rather than later, they will both bid us an eternal adieu -- and then what?

    We have a real opportunity here to engage Cuba as it transitions to a post-Castro era, and what that transition will look like is really up to us at this point. It is a fact that both Fidel and Raul Castro have reached out to us on a number of occasions. They know that for their country's long-term sake, they need to reach some sort of accommodation with us. Ending the embargo is the right thing to do, and it's time to start that process, by conditioning its repeal on evidence of positive changes in Cuba's governance and human rights.

    Like I said in the previous thread, the Cold War is over. And in that regard, we should remember that at some point during that decades-long confrontation with the Soviet Union, we had to stop letting the Kuomintang in Taipei determine the course of our country's relationship with mainland China. By the 1970s, it was both ridiculous and wrong to continue holding fast to the political charade that the government-in-exile on Taiwan was the legitimate ruler of all China proper.

    Similarly, it's long past time we stop listening to that loud and often obnoxious little handful of perpetual malcontents in Little Havana and the the rest of south Florida, who've never ceased living in the past. We need to reject the shopworn screenplay they offer, and instead seek a new chapter in U.S.-Cuba relations as we move into the future.



    Donald, you are so right about (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:01:27 AM EST
    Marco Rubio and also Iliana Ross- Lethiten fits into the same category.  Both our country and the Cubans need to get past their old fashioned ideas and end the embargo.  The Cubans in the Little Havana section of Miami are quite vocal in their hatred of Castro, but hold little influence in Washington.  They are heard by Rubio, and Iliana Ross- Lethiten, who do have influence in Washington.  Rubio has become highly unpopular due to his lies.  We all know the embargo should be lifted, so why doesn't Washington listen?  There are airplanes, hovercraft, sailboats, and others poised and waiting to transport Americans to Cuba for all types of vacations.  At first your hotel room may collapse, and I would advise bringing several power bars, but those problems will be rapidly solved with the influx of US $$.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:48:42 AM EST
    Maintaining the embargo only benefits the present regime in Havana. At some point, the exiles in south Florida and their progeny need to shed themselves of their delusion that they can return to Cuba and restore the status quo as it existed before the Revolution. Simply put, that's never going to happen.

    Further, I daresay that most of their children and grandchildren, having been born and grown up in this country, would likely be no more open to a repatriation to the mother country, than were the Nisei and Sansei in Hawaii longing to return to Japan 60 years ago. The times and circumstances have changed. Our policies toward Cuba should reflect that.



    In my opinion, the staus quo will (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:57:59 AM EST
    remain if the U.S.'s lifting  the embargo requires the current Cuban government's changing to comply with your suggestions.

    I'd like to think that our diplomacy can be conducted with a little nuance.

    Replies (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:03:41 AM EST
    Donald writes:

    We have a real opportunity here to engage Cuba as it transitions to a post-Castro era,

    Per Slado any money we spend props up the existing government.  That doesn't seem to be the way to induce a transition to a new government, either with or without Castro.

    Mordiggian writes:

    The embargo is only in the best interests of the Castro regime, not the Cuban people.

    Per Slado:

    So even if you get paid by another country for a service the government collects the money for your services and then pays you a small amount that is limited by their national limit on yearly earnings.

    So essentialy any money that goes into Cuba that isn't on the black market goes through the governent and they keep it and control it.

    I fail to see how giving money to the regime, who keeps what they want, doesn't help the regime.

    fishcamp - You don't have to be a fan of the Miami politicians to believe that the regime should fall. When it does is when we should help.

    BTW - Your description of the coloring book is touching. You can see much the same thing by going to Tijuana. The children, and their mothers, will tear your heart out.

    Ga - See what I wrote to Mordiggian. Giving money to the regime will only help the regime.

    Of course the Cubans only threatened to launch missiles. Perhaps if they, like the Palestinians, actually did we would be sending them foreign aid.

    BTW - I am reading Follett's, "The Edge of Eternity." The discussions re selling wheat to the Soviet reminds me of this. It's a great book and the third and final in the series.


    The present Cuban regime is finite, Jim. (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:31:36 AM EST
    The very fact that its primary leaders are aging in place renders a transition inevitable. The primary question for the United States is whether we're willing to play a constructive role in that transition as both countries go forward, and not allow the folks in Little Havana to both hold our policy hostage, which would keep us on the sidelines and leave a vacuum that others will most assuredly fill.

    Of course there will be a new government (2.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 01:20:09 PM EST
    at some point.

    Now explain to me why helping the current government will insure a democracy next time??

    Do you think a strengthened communist regime will just surrender power when Castro is gone??

    As I noted to fishcamp, you don't have to like the folks in Little Havana to support a logical foreign policy.



    There are no assurances, Jim. (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 06:32:35 PM EST
    But personally, I find it illogical to continue maintaining a policy of hostile and non-constructive disengagement, which to this point has allowed the Castros to caricature us as Cuba's eternal bogeyman, which in turn only ensures their own consolidated grip on power in Havana.

    And quite frankly, we've freely played to that rather cartoonish stereotype, given our history of economic / military domination over that country during the first half of the 20th century, and our well-documented attempts to overthrow and even assassinate Fidel Castro during the 1960s. At some point, the current cycle of recrimination and retribution must be broken.



    There never will be asurances, Donald (1.00 / 1) (#108)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:19:24 PM EST
    But I believe that providing funds to the existing regime will just help insure that the Castros will be replaced by another dictator from within the existing communist government. The people in power now will not just fade away.

    And the first half of the 20th century is almost 65 years old. It is past time for us to quit flogging ourselves over things that our grandparents may have did.

    Not helping bad governments should be a rock solid base for our foreign policy.

    And given the number of Cubans who have fled, and continue to flee, Castro's paradise, I'd wager that it is the communist government that has no credibility.


    Interesting "base" (5.00 / 4) (#123)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:05:29 PM EST
    Not helping bad governments should be a rock solid base for our foreign policy.

    Like Iraq/Saddam in the 80's.

    Wait ...

    How about the Nicaraguan government in the 80's?

    Wait ...

    The Shah of Iran in the 60's/70's.

    Oh, ... never mind ...


    And then there's ... (5.00 / 4) (#145)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:05:43 AM EST
    ... Augusto Pinochet in Chile, the Argentine military junta, the PRI in Mexico, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire -- and let's please not forget the white minority Apartheid regime in South Africa, and of course my two personal favorites (for obvious reasons), Presidents Ngo Dinh Diem and Nguyen Van Thieu of the so-called "Republic" of South Vietnam.

    Yman and Donald (none / 0) (#168)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:57:34 AM EST
    First you need to define bad in relation to the interests of the US..... You know, your country.

    It is not in our interest to have a communist regime spewing undocumented people into our country. (Also true of Mexico and the other CA and SA countries.)

    South Vietnam was a country under attack by a communist regime. It was in our interests to try and defend it.

    Iran was blocking the Soviets expansion into Gulf states regions. Carter screwed that up and mid wifed the modern radical Islamist movement.

    etc., etc., etc.


    jimakaPPJ: "South Vietnam was a country under attack by a communist regime. It was in our interests to try and defend it."

    In the aftermath of the Franco-Viet Minh War in 1954, Vietnam was to be temporarily divided at the 17th parallel and French Indochina dissolved as a colonial entity in January 1955, pending nationwide elections scheduled for 1956 to reunify the country under one government.

    But those elections were subsequently derailed in June of that year, when the French-installed Emperor Bao Dai was compelled to install Ngo Dinh Diem as prime minister of the "State of Vietnam," who in turn refused to sign the Geneva Accords which ended the war.

    Now for his part, Bao Dai found Diem to be duplicitous and untrustworthy. He didn't want him anywhere near the reins of power, and neither did the French. But the U.S. insisted, because Diem was a vocal anti-communist, he was Roman Catholic and he spoke impeccable English. He was our guy, all the way.

    The emperor's mistrust was well-placed. Diem shoved Bao Dai aside in October 1955 with U.S. support, and proclaimed himself president of the so-called "Republic of Vietnam."

    My father was the chief advisor to the 4th Vietnamese Marine Brigade on November 1, 1963, when that unit stormed the presidential palace in Saigon as part of an ultimately successful coup d'état against Diem. (Both Diem and his brother were subsequently captured and killed.) You think I don't know this particular subject?

    If you're going to use history as justification for what you say, then at least have the common decency to cite it correctly, and not invent your own facts or recite long-since discredited American propaganda to fit your own cruelly warped perspective of the way things ought to be.



    Re: Vietnam (none / 0) (#200)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 04:29:54 PM EST

    I am convinced that the French could not win the war because the internal political situation in Vietnam, weak and confused, badly weakened their military position. I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, possibly 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader rather than Chief of State Bao Dai. Indeed, the lack of leadership and drive on the part of Bao Dai was a factor in the feeling prevalent among Vietnamese that they had nothing to fight for. As one Frenchman said to me, "What Vietnam needs is another Syngman Rhee, regardless of all the difficulties the presence of such a personality would entail."



    Heh (none / 0) (#204)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 05:45:10 PM EST
    Not helping bad governments should be a rock solid base for our foreign policy.

    So by "bad governments", you mean governments you don't like - communists, socialist, etc. (you "social liberal", you), and by "rock solid" you mean lie a delicate flower.

    And I thought you conservatives were always preaching about right-and-wrong, the evils of moral relativism, etc.



    Donald (none / 0) (#176)
    by ragebot on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 11:43:35 AM EST
    My active participation in the 1967-68 Southeast Asian War Games and the second place medal I won may give me a different view of what happened there than you have.

    The SOS at the time, Dean Rusk, directed a policy of what he called "regional balance of power".  Rusk defined this in Southeast Asia as creating countries that could counterbalance China's ability to dominate the region.  As a result of US involvement Vietnam was dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century, especially in military capability.  Once the North and South were united after the US left China and Vietnam had heavy artillery duels at the border.  Vietnam was able to at least gain a stalemate due to the modern weapons the US left behind.

    The resulting new power structure is part of the reason Nixon was able to travel to China and start sorta normalizing relations.  I am not trying to defend any of these policies, just saying once the powers that be adopt them they got the result they wanted.

    In the bigger picture opening China may have been worth what happened in Vietnam, but not everyone agrees with that.


    Donald I have raised this issue twice (none / 0) (#37)
    by ragebot on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:36:59 AM EST
    No one seems to want to address the question of how lifting the embargo would change the current wet foot/dry foot policy and significant aid Cubans who set a dry foot on American soil now get.

    Currently Cubans are welcomed with open arms and money to start a new life.  Folks from the rest of the Caribbean who set a dry foot on American soil are often confined to what look like cattle holding pens and in the case of folks from Haiti shipped back as quickly as possible.

    What are your thoughts on how the wet foot/dry foot policy would change.


    I've always found that double standard ... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:54:11 AM EST
    ... to be ludicrous, and I've no reason to change my opinion. One of the benefits to lifting the embargo would be the present policy's demise.

    Donald (none / 0) (#46)
    by ragebot on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:24:21 AM EST
    I agree that from my standpoint eliminating the wet foot/dry foot policy would be a benefit.

    What I am not sure of is how wide spread this is.  Certainly lots of Cubans, both in and out of America, like the policy and would not think removing it was a benefit.

    The downside of eliminating the dry foot/wet foot policy would be many fewer Cubans who want to come entering America.  On the upside many of those Cubans would probably help out the Cuban economy.

    One thing to always keep in mind is just because you like a position does not mean every one does.  Perhaps more important is to be aware that if you want to advance a policy it is best done by knowing and understanding why others object to that policy.


    ... and at a fairly high level, too. So I'm more than acutely aware that in the course of policy development, you're never going to please everyone simultaneously.

    But neither can you allow for the tyranny of a vocal minority to perpetually trump the greater good. Inevitably and unfortunately, in this case somebody's ox must be gored, if we as an American society are to move forward toward full rapprochement with our island neighbors south of Miami.

    And if our friends in Little Havana don't bow to that inevitability and get out of the way, I'm all for running them over and not looking back -- not unlike what an exasperated Attorney General Janet Reno finally did in 2000 during the Elian Gonzalez controversy. There was a lot of squawking, and then it was over and done.

    Given Jeralyn's admonitions above, I think I've said enough on this issue.



    Donald,while I agree and had (none / 0) (#60)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 01:42:21 PM EST
    previously stated the Castro brothers will soon be gone, we simply do not know who is being groomed to become the next leader.  I'm not at all ready to believe the regime will change when they are gone.  In fact, what I do believe is nothing will change until the Cuban government returns the nationalized properties to the people.  How they do this will become a complicated process.  Hopefully the US government will help when they see evidence that the Cubans are willing to co-operate in this area.  On another note, I feel you are placing too much importance on the domino playing Cuban coffee klatch in Little Havana.  Granted they and their children hate Castro, but they are a relatively small group, that I'm sure Washington knows about, but are not at all worried. " There are two ways to be fooled.  One is to believe what isn't true, and the other is to refuse to believe what is true". Soren Kegaard  1813-1855

    I used to think so, too. (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:45:30 PM EST
    fishcamp: "On another note, I feel you are placing too much importance on the domino playing Cuban coffee klatch in Little Havana."

    And actually, I've long believed that Little Havana was mostly all bark and very little bite. But then, I saw this country's Cuba policy backslide into its former Cold War mentality under Bush II, after it had started to loosen under the Clinton administration.

    As long as U.S. politicians are trolling for votes in your state, kowtowing hat in hand to the loudmouths of the Cuban-American community in order to garner their support is likely going to remain problematic to our country's Cuba policies for some time.

    The only way I think that will change is when conservatives finally decide that pandering to the likes of Sen. Rubio, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen and their ilk is a losing issue with everyone else, and just isn't worth it anymore.



    Follett's latest series is good on (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:12:07 AM EST
    audio also. I hope I can remember the first two books when my number eventually comes up on the library "holds" list.

    Then you're telling us (none / 0) (#17)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 08:43:43 AM EST
    that once again, Jim got it wrong.

    The embargo is only in the best interests of the Castro regime, not the Cuban people.


    Let's please not make it personal. (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:21:34 AM EST
    Well, as an Obamabot (none / 0) (#38)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:39:29 AM EST
    I agree with you and your cognate replies on this issue.

    Slado you are absolutely right about (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 06:42:07 AM EST
    the money that the Cuban government takes from it's people.  Many of my Cuban American friends want to go to Cuba on the once a day flight from Miami, but it costs $450, which is an absurd price for a 150 mile trip.  Then they have to pay a tax on that cost when they arrive in Havana.  Everything they bring to their relatives is taxed by some convoluted process.  Dollars they are allowed to send monthly are taxed, and converted to their worthless Peso.  When I went to Cuba I took a simple coloring book and a box of Crayons.  When I saw a child,  I would tear out one page, give it to them with two crayons, that they had never seen before.  Sad place.

    What a lovely thing to do (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:29:16 AM EST
    with the coloring book.  I don't think I would have thought if that.

    fishcamp is right (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by ragebot on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:00:13 AM EST
    Most folks who have been to Cuba suggest you go to some place like Dollar Tree and spend fifty dollars on soap, shampoo, neosoprain(?), and all those little things we go to the drug store on a regular basis to get.  Instead of tipping in the normal sense simply give these items away.  Something like a bottle of shampoo will cost a working Cuban maybe a weeks wages.  Not only do Cubans get paid pennies, but the cost of everyday items is much higher than one would expect

    But don't forget I am only posting stuff other cruisers have told me, and many of the cruisers are sailing their boats in what I will call out of the way places.  While most of us have a reasonably accurate idea about the state of cars in Cuba (they are expensive, old, and not always reliable) the other side of this coin is that the roads are often in worse shape than the cars.  It is common to go ashore and see roads washed out, or they simply turn into an impassable (for cars, or bikes) bolder field one would not like to walk on.

    So lots of stuff like toiletries or normal first aid stuff like band aids are simply not available to Cubans.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 08:45:49 AM EST
    it seems that our current policy has done nothing but help Castro stay in the power. So it's kind of annoying to hear people talk about the stuff Castro does while out policy empowers him.

    I think the issue is (none / 0) (#42)
    by Slado on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:04:43 AM EST
    He stays in power either way.

    Why should they change now?   More money less money the goal is to stay in power.

    That's what my take away is.   We argue over our policy but it's basically irrelevant.   The regime will do whatever it can to hold on and that is its only goal.  

    As Donald suggest maybe we can work with a new set of leaders during a transition but there is no working with the current set.


    I think part of the point is (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CST on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:13:25 AM EST
    That as old as the Castros are right now - it's time to start talking about it.

    I'm willing to bet that whoever (singular or plural) is going to be running the show next is already a player in some way.


    As I said, both Fidel and Raul Castro are in their 80s and further, they are acutely aware that they're soon to be timed out. At some point, adults have to realize the courage of their own convictions, and yet still be willing to constructively engage their adversaries in an effort to reach a mutually agreeable and beneficial accommodation. That goes for us as well as them.

    From my perspective, we're never going to resolve our differences with an adversary by alternately insulting and ignoring the leadership of that country, and keeping the conversation exclusively amongst ourselves. I've always found the policy of non-constructive disengagement to be somewhat naïve and childlike when it comes to the art of international diplomacy, and more often than not it will ultimately prove itself to be counterproductive.



    The Cuban people have wanted (none / 0) (#77)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:23:56 PM EST
    change for 50 years, but the Castro's have a big army, and not so big navy, and air force behind them.  The next leader will keep this and use it to stay in power.  Your words are truly correct but far to idealistic to happen in the future, until the problem I have spoken about, over and over, is resolved.  I am amazed that you and others do not recognize this, especially since it's been true since 1959.  Power is what their leaders have, and the people have nothing.  It's been going on for centuries.  

    You may be right. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 06:13:19 PM EST
    But nevertheless, I don't think we should be willing to base our future policy on such an assumption, that the more things change the more they'll stay the same. The Batistas once had a strong military, too, one which we armed to the teeth -- and look what eventually happened to them.

    It's one thing to gain power, and another entirely to consolidate and hold it. There's no way of knowing right now whether the Cuban people will necessarily acquiesce to the likes of the Castros' (designated?) successor, whoever that may be, or whether that that successor will be a competent ruler capable of retaining his power, either from the people themselves or from rivals within his own government.

    And that's all the more reason for us to identify someone in the Castro regime's inner circle who, with western encouragement and assistance and perhaps even with the blessing of the Castros themselves, might be willing and able to facilitate both Cuba's orderly transition to the 21st century and its political rapprochement with the U.S. and the West.



    I keep forgetting, are we supposed to get (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 06:18:33 PM EST
    more involved in other sovereign nation's regime planning/building/whatever, or less?

    ... at our own peril, particularly when what's happening is immediately adjacent to us. If we refuse to engage constructively with Cuba, we'll simply enhance the prospect of a regional vacuum which another emerging world power -- such as China or Brazil -- will probably be more than happy and ready to fill.

    I guess that's a yes? (none / 0) (#110)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:33:09 PM EST
    I think (none / 0) (#165)
    by CST on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:23:43 AM EST
    a lot of people see a pretty big distinction between economic involvement and military involvement.  But yes, I think most of us can agree that the U.S. does have some role on the international stage beyond just protecting itself.

    It's nuance.  Sometimes you get involved, sometimes you don't, and degree matters a whole heck of a lot.  Let's not pretend it's black and white, because we all know it's a world of gray out there.

    There is a big difference between negotiating to lift an economic embargo and dropping bombs in Syria, which is very different from black ops assassinations in Pakistan, etc...  Note - I didn't say we should never use military power either.  Just that with all this stuff each case is unique and should be treated as such.


    I'm not taking any positions on this one, (none / 0) (#179)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 12:30:27 PM EST
    just clarifying.

    Mostly what we hear from commenters on TL is how ham-fisted and incompetent the US is in such matters. Yet it sounds like many/most are ready to do it again.

    fwiw, I'm not sure economic involvement precludes subsequent military involvement.

    In fact I'm sure some would say economic involvement causes subsequent military involvement...


    It certainly can cause military involvement (none / 0) (#181)
    by CST on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 12:48:40 PM EST
    They are by no means mutually exclusive.  But in this case, we've already been economically involved for decades.  In a way negotiating to eliminate the embargo is us being less involved on economics.  I think economic involvement sometimes causes military involvement, but there are obvious examples where it doesn't.  To the best of my knowledge our military hasn't been involved in Cuba for decades either.  And despite all the signs to the contrary we seem to have managed avoiding military involvement in Iran for the time as well.

    Personally, I think that sometimes the U.S. is too ham-fisted incompetent.  But I think it's reasonable to look at it on a case by case basis.  And lets face it, politics matter.  I trust the people who seem to hold my political values in these matters more than I trust the people who don't.  I'm sure that the flipside is true for people with different political values.

    There are many reasons why you can loudly criticize one action while supporting another without being a hypocrit.


    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#183)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    "Hypocrite" is not really where I was going with this. Supporting something now with the really good chance of disliking the results in the future is more like it.

    Okay. Then where do you think ... (none / 0) (#196)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 03:41:17 PM EST
    ... Cuba will be in a decade's time, were we to do nothing and the embargo remains squarely in place? Each and very action we undertake will always contain some inherent element of risk -- and that includes maintaining the status quo, policy-wise. And as the late UCLA basketball coach John Wooden taught his players, indecision in the face of potential opportunity is often the biggest failure of all.

    Not that I at all accept your framing (none / 0) (#197)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 04:04:57 PM EST
    as binary "decisions vs indecision" but taking into account how many Cubans have US citizen relatives I think Cuba and its people would be best served as as a US Territory like PR if it could be achieved  non-militarily.

    By having an embargo, we're already involved (none / 0) (#166)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:27:18 AM EST
    and by not lifting it, we're doing the Castro regimes' heavy lifting for them.

    fishcamp (none / 0) (#87)
    by ragebot on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 04:02:13 PM EST
    I agree that there are Cubans who want change.  My analysis (not original) is along the lines of Cubans who do want a change have two choices.  One is to rise up in armed revolt, or maybe a velvet revolution like some in East Europe.  The other is to Mcgyver up a boat (and I have seen some that boggle the senses) and head for Miami; or maybe fly from Cancun or the Bahamas to America and just kinda blend in.

    In any case the wet foot/dry foot policy provides an escape valve for dissident Cubans and reduces the changes of change.  Not sure if you remember the Mariel boatlift but I have to wonder why American foreign policy seems designed to minimize the chance of any change in Cuba.


    Well Donald... (none / 0) (#79)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:29:19 PM EST
    ...politics in the US, and I think both sides would strongly agree, in this age is nothing but counterproductive, why would this one issue be any different ?  They are mustering all they can to bring the cold war back, at least with Russia.

    I think the timeline would closer follow US politicians than the Cuban ones on this issue.  When are we going to get a reasonable and productive bunch in Congress, not before any Castro dies IMO.

    People aren't electing folks like Cruz and Bachmann because of their productive political suaveness, even though Cruz is Cuban.


    I think you're probably right. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 05:50:10 PM EST
    When people vote for clowns who've long been searching for a circus to call home, they shouldn't be surprised when those clowns turn D.C. into one over the course of these next two years.

    I Think the Circus... (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 10:23:42 AM EST
    ...was in town long before the elections.  We can't even figure out how to keep our own government from shutting down, yet we are going to solve the communist government issue south of us that has been going on for what, 10 Administrations.

    Optimism, as someone said on ESPN last night, is not the same as momentum.  Wanting it and doing it are not the same thing.

    First step might be closing the US base used to ensure 'enemy combatants' have no rights.  But that isn't happening in the foreseeable future.  The message that Cuba is good enough for the people we don't want on US soil cannot set well with Cuba.


    I agree, and (none / 0) (#50)
    by Reconstructionist on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:32:25 AM EST
      we also need to think about the likelihood that when the Castro era ends there is likely going to be a dramatic urge among Cubans to satisfy  generations of pent up materialistic desires. This is only natural and if not "managed" wisely could lead to something of a reversion to 1950s. The "easy" answer and one with a lot of short term appeal will be to welcome "offshore" capital from wealthy expats and US corporations, with little regard for structural implications.

      The influx of dollars would no doubt raise the standard of living tremendously in the short term, but could foreseeably lead to  a neo-colonial situation with the valuable assets being overwhelmingly owned by foreigners and a small select group of expats and those who fill the power vacuum after the Castros are gone. It's not hard to envision hasty and poorly considered decisions being made, with popular support, that bring immediate benefits like TVs, computers and cars but result in an economy structured to benefit the very few.



    Reconstructionist, (whew) (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:55:40 PM EST
    There will be a dramatic urge by the Cuban people for materialistic goods. There always has been.  It's not going to change when the brothers pass.  The next leader will keep the power just like the Castro's.  Nothing will change until the Cuban government decides to return the nationalized properties to the people.  I just ran a test saying that Washington should listen up and lift the embargo. I received six fivers, but when I mention the real truth about the embargo, nobody wants to believe it.  Why?

    It's a complex problem (none / 0) (#84)
    by Reconstructionist on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:43:12 PM EST
      that I rather superficially described as needing "management" as a shorthand because I am not knowledgeable enough to address beyond generalities.

       I don't think "de-nationalizing" properties by  "returning them to the people" is the answer if by that you mean returning  all properties to the same people (or the heirs of individuals  and successor corporations  no doubt in many cases) who owned them prior to the revolution.

       I think there will have to be some sort of system to distribute properties on an equitable basis that considers prior ownership as a factor but is not mandated to "return" title to prior owners. There also might be  entities such as utilities and ports and the like that having the government retain would better serve "the people." I'd also imagine that some good portion of the land that was once owned as very large "plantations" by foreign corporations could not be "returned" without evicting many current occupants and that the passage of 55+ years and subdivisions that have occurred would  make it practically impossible to reestablish as huge, unitary  agribusiness holdings in any event. These are just examples off the top of my head.

       I am more optimistic about what will occur when the Castro regime ends. I don't think it very likely "the regime" will just persist with  with new strongmen in charge. I think, regardless, of what we do, the passing of the Castro's will usher in a new era in Cuba.  

      I think our policy has to be " nuanced." We should  encourage freedom and private enterprise, but I think it would be a mistake to have a policy that the  lifting of the embargo must be preceded by drastic change.  


    Recon, thank you for your answer, (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 04:56:30 PM EST
    It would,of course, be impossible to return all properties to the owners, or their heirs, and for that reason it would take much thought by both the Cubans and the US to accomplish.  But it could be done.  I'm less optimistic than you, about a change for the better with the passing of the Castro's.  Power is an amazing feeling, especially if you have a big army behind you. We see it almost daily throughout the world.  The Cuban people could never become a revolutionary group, since they have nothing but sticks and stones.  They have been terribly down trodden for years, but still are kind and gracious people.  Their leaders are not.  It wold be truly wonderful if the next leader gave up the Communist regime, and followed the will of the people.  We can only hope.

    Good point (none / 0) (#72)
    by Slado on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 03:05:16 PM EST
    Just look the USSR for what happened after a dramatic collapse of the communist government.

    Now instead of an up-and-coming democracy you have the Putin goverment in bed with a minority of powerful "businessmen".

    Lesson being that a slow gradual transition would be preferred to opening the flood gates to foreign investment.   Then you just have the same ruling elite calling themselves capitalists and the lower classes aren't any better off and in addition they lose the services they at least get now.

    You can't fix a country broken for 50 years overnight.  


    Random thoughts on Cuba (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by ragebot on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:46:48 AM EST
    This link may put a little more pressure on Obama


    But I raised a question in the previous thread about what would happen to the wet foot/dry foot policy if the embargo was lifted, not to mention how it would affect current Cubans in the system.  Today if a Cuban gets a dry foot on American soil they get significant economic assistance.  If the embargo is lifted (something I have already posted I am in favor of) it is hard to justify the current federal programs which greatly favor Cubans over those from other countries.

    Sometimes it is all too easy to promote something and ignoring the dirty details that will result.  In this case there seems to be a crazy American policy few seem to like.  But there does not seem to be an easy way to get rid of it.


    Cuba's government is ultimately the problem. (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Slado on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:56:27 AM EST
    As we do with so many things when it comes to American foreign-policy we give our actions way more credit than they deserve in terms of how we might affect the history of another nation. Could the US have made different choices that might  have helped Cuba attain a better state or society?  Sure.  But that is speculation compared to a reality of Castro chosing to use the justified revolution to establish a communist nation and run it accordingly. A nation where the economy is completely controlled by a very few elite and all the wealth is transferred through that elite and the people are given a set standard of living that is just livable enough to make them not revolt. If that weren't enough in addition the regime operates a police state, limits access to media and so controls the lives of the populous that there is no possibility of the regime being threatened at this time.  This is the core issue.

    The government exist to sustain itself. It does not exist to help the people it does not exist to hurt the people. It exists to maintain its control over what resources are left in Cuba and to sustain the high quality of life for the few.

    As for the Embargo there has been for an investment in Cuba for years by other countries yet nothing has changed. In fact it's gotten worse even as other nations travel to the country and do business with the country.   So what's a little more money going to do?

    Unfortunately in my opinion I think they will only use it as a way to prolong their stranglehold over the nation.

    In fairness however the embargo is obviously a failure. It did not achieve our objective. The regime has held on.   But for me that's not our fault. It is the fault of the government that chooses to operate the country as a communist state slash dictatorship.  The regime is the issue. More money less money doesn't affect how the government operates the country.

    Much like North Korea there is not much we can do from the outside when a nation is so isolated and completely controlled.

    All we can do is make an honest attempt to offer something in return for a change in their political structure but that has been the issue for 50 years and so we have the status quo.  

    Nothing we do will have any real affect without Cuba changing the way it does business.  Until the regime feels threatened by the way it's own actions endanger itself there is no way it will change and there is nothing we can do about it.

    As to the question that got this all started off I do not think humans are better off today than they would have been without Castro.   I think the Cuban people would've eventually overthrown their military dictatorship becoming a good more prosperous nation instead they got stuck with communism.


    ragebot, while your assessment of (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:11:36 PM EST
    the wet foot/dry foot program is essentially correct, there are some qualifications you may not be aware of.  The Cubans that do make it to land are immediately taken to Krome Detention Center for a period of one to three years, Depending on their language and work skills, along with sponsorship, and after an extremely thorough indoctrination process, they are usually released into a parole like situation, tightly controlled.  They are the lucky ones, and receive a provisional green card.  After another three years they can receive a true green card, and be on their way towards US citizenship.  One of my Cuban cleaning ladies, that floated over eleven years ago, was studying for her citizenship and asking me many questions I couldn't answer. Things like, who was the 15th President of the US and other difficult Bill of Rights, and constitutional questions.  She was surprised I didn't know the answers, and so was I.

    Thanks I didn't know that (1.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 07, 2014 at 10:33:51 PM EST
    And if I understand, any business anyone does with anyone is actually the Cuban government.

    So I withdraw my former comment. We should not lift the embargo.


    How did Castro win (none / 0) (#54)
    by ragebot on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:46:28 AM EST
    Sure Batista, the Mafia, and the sugar companies were jerks but Cuba was not alone in having a bunch of jerks in charge.

    Both Castro and Che were what I will call well off guys compared to lots of folks in Cuba; and so were plenty of other leaders of the revolution.

    So what the US did as soon as it was clear Castro was a pinko commie creep was to set up a system where all the "well off guys" could get to the US and easily set up a new life.

    What the current wet foot/dry foot policy does is make sure anyone in Cuba who is not happy with the current government has a choice of joining/starting a new revolution or getting to Miami and having an easy new life.

    Maybe a combination of an embargo and making it harder for the unhappy people in Cuba to leave makes more sense than the current policy.


    It would be sad to lift the embargo, (3.50 / 2) (#146)
    by fishcamp on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:13:23 AM EST
    blaze over there with all our dollars, to find most of them falling into the pockets of some dictator, and let the working man only earn his same old 87 cents per day.  There must be a way to solve the problem.

    By lifting the embargo (none / 0) (#148)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:24:14 AM EST
    You take away a talking point for them about the evil Yumas strangling the island nation.

    The cost to the regime of that will be more than anything they get from trade with us in return.

    I don't think you understand how political propaganda works.  Very often, it relies on the opposition "doing the right thing"'.  In this case, the right thing for the Castro regime is that we're living up to their expectations.  As the landowner said to his sharecropper, "That can't be right!".


    The tourist trade in Cuba (none / 0) (#162)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:16:16 AM EST
    even now is allowing Cubans involved in the industry to earn far in excess of 87 cents per day and raises their standard of living a great deal.

    From Slado's article in previous Open Thread:

    Tourists tip waiters, taxi drivers, tour guides, and chambermaids in hard currency, and to stave off a revolt from these people, the government lets them keep the additional money, so they're "rich" compared with everyone else. In fact, they're an elite class enjoying privileges--enough income to afford a cell phone, go out to restaurants and bars, log on to the Internet once in a while--that ordinary Cubans can't even dream of. I asked a few people how much chambermaids earn in tips, partly so that I would know how much to leave on my dresser and also to get an idea of just how crazy Cuban economics are. Supposedly, the maids get about $1 per day for each room. If they clean an average of 30 rooms a day and work five days a week, they'll bring in $600 a month--30 times what everyone else gets.

    The Cuban government is allowing this because as stated this is the only way they see to make the tourist trade work and they need the additional revenue.

    If our dollars expand the tourist trade, more Cubans would have a higher standard of living. Also, it is more than possible that this could become contagious and spread to other industries. The government might find they need to "starve off a revolt" in those as well.

    Food for thought anyway.


    MO, this is true but, (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by fishcamp on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 12:08:58 PM EST
    not all the people have the opportunity to earn these extra dollars.  There are tens of thousands that live in rural Cuba where there is little or no opportunity to earn extra money.  The country is over 42,000 square miles in size, and 780 miles long.  Havana has over two million people, but the other cities are not large.  They do have a railroad, and I saw it in Havana, but it didn't look good.  I don't know how far down island it runs.   Now they are talking about drilling for oil between Key West and Havana, which scares us to death.  The Gulfstream which is like a river in the ocean, starts down between Cuba and Mexico, and runs up the entire length of the US, curves around Greenland, and Iceland, and finally ends up down in Lands End, England, where they have Palm trees.  The stream is four to five degrees warmer than the ocean and runs along at about five kts. per hour.  It shifts, but right now it is about five miles off shore from me.  If there were any oil disasters from drilling in the stream, well you get the idea.  The oil, would provide jobs, and help the Cuban economy, but it would come with all the problems, all oil wells have.  Yes, if more tourists were allowed to go to Cuba and spend money, the economy would improve, but very slowly.

    For once I am in favor of incrementation (none / 0) (#184)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 01:06:21 PM EST
    and IMO a slow improvement is better than none at all. I'm not even talking about an immediate  lifting of all aspects of the embargo but a first step approach of ending U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba.

    From a very, very brief look at articles on Cuban Countryside it looks like there are numerous opportunities to expand trips outside of the major cities with a possibility of providing some aid to rural areas (more research would be needed to get a better handle on this).

    Increased flights from the U.S. To Cuba theoretically would also bring down the air fare for Cuban Americans going to visit their families. Here is a link to a study I have found on financial impact of lifting the travel ban.

    I've only had time to take a very brief look at it but job opportunities and increased revenue seem possible here as well. Like I said I barely scanned this study so people can pick it apart or agree with it as much as they want. I provided it mainly to provide additional information to discuss. I will look at it more closely later tonight.

    Finally I don't blame you and those in your area for being scared about the possibility of drilling between Key West and Havana. Not in favor of that idea at all. The risks of ruining something wonderful are too great and would be a price too large to pay.


    The advantage to incrementation (none / 0) (#185)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 01:11:33 PM EST
    is that if the Cubans, by which I mean the people, not the Castros, want things to go faster, it would be hard for the said Castros to oppose it, and if there isn't the demand to go faster, slow progress is still better than none at all.

    The tourist trade in the (none / 0) (#177)
    by ragebot on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 11:56:34 AM EST
    Greater Antilles (which Cuba is part of) and the Bahamas is really the basis of their economies.  All the players in the area are trying to increase their share, often times in questionable ways.  Currently the best paid normal Cubans are in the sex trade, and the same for the DR.  Sad to say many of the players are quite young.  Both Haiti and the DR suffer from much the same problem.

    The whole area has real economic issues.  One of the biggest problems is that the bulk of the tourist trade falls in the all inclusive sector.  Often a big cruise ship will dock and buss tourists to a fenced in compound where they will never see any locals, except perhaps those who work there.

    While I would love to see the embargo lifted I am not sure it would be any cure for what ails the economies.


    I agree. I don't believe that the (none / 0) (#187)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 01:34:14 PM EST
    tourist trade is a cure all for what ails the economy of Cuba.

    Nor am I saying lift the embargo all at once. Obama, Clinton and numerous other Dems have been in favor of lifting the travel restrictions from the U.S. To Cuba.

    When discussing an expansion of the tourist trade I am talking more about a true expansion rather than just  herd more people into inclusive sectors. (See my comment to fishcamp for more info.) It is possible that my vision is not realistic and what you are describing is reality. Although it seems that people especially, the younger set, like to venture off the beaten path so maybe, maybe not.

    Don't have any real solution to the sex worker problem. Those in the trade may always be the best paid but I would hope that if people can make a decent living in other areas maybe there would be less people choosing that route. I would hope that any easing of the restrictions would come with a push for improved civil rights and improving conditions but admit I have no idea if the powers that be would try or if they could be successful.

    IMO nothing at the moment would work completely but what we are doing now doesn't appear to have worked either. I am still under the opinion that a first step of lifting the travel ban would be beneficial even if it is not a cure all.


    Assuming that the report is so bad (2.00 / 2) (#126)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:10:04 PM EST
    Why are you  willing to do something that may kill hundreds of innocent people??

    Is scoring political points against a president who has been gone for almost 7 years that important?

    Rather blood thirsty I say.

    "Scoring points"? (5.00 / 6) (#127)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:16:05 PM EST
    It's about exposing the truth and bringing the facts into the light of day so that it doesn't happen again.  It's about preventing the government that represents us from sinking to the level of terrorists.

    Anything else?


    No one is surprised (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:20:26 PM EST
    by what you say.

    Yeah, (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:21:03 PM EST
    the unlamented Bush has been out of office for 7 years... but the effort to suppress information about what our government has been doing in our name - the ongoing effort to suppress - makes this horror story current.

    I am not DiFis (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:45:08 PM EST
    biggest fan but she seems to be the driving force behind releasing it.  
    Dick is an evil psycho but you almost have to give him some credit for at least honesty.  Everyone, including apparently the Obama administration, is falling all over themselves to blame the CIA.  At least Dick is willing to tell the truth.

    They were following orders.


    My prediction is the (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by fishcamp on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 06:57:12 AM EST
    torture report will be as full of lies as the Bush administration that authorized it.  I think all previous administrations had types of torture programs to gain information from the enemy.  My uncles and father fought in WWll, and as a child, before being shooed from the room,  I would often hear them speak about torture, at holiday celebrations, when miraculously, they would return for short periods, and then go back to the war.  Fortunately they all returned at the end.

    I surely don't doubt (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 07:27:47 AM EST
    there will be lies of both comission and omission but I am slightly encouraged by the hysteria about the stinky laundry to be aired.

    I'm not sure it will be full of lies as much (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:36:12 AM EST
    as it will be full of holes; how can it not be considering that, with the lack of cooperation up and down the line, it had to be cobbled together from sources that probably also were full of holes?

    Not to mention the difficulty reading around all the redactions.  If I did this to the above sentence:

    how ____ considering that, with the __ of ____ up and down _____, it had to be _____ from ___ that probably also were ____?

    what would you know after reading it that you didn't know before?


    Well (none / 0) (#139)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 07:32:58 AM EST
    My prediction is the (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by fishcamp on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 06:57:12 AM EST
    torture report will be as full of lies as the Bush administration that authorized it.

    It was written solely by the Senate Democrats, as the Republicans did not want to be involved, so if it's full of lies, then I guess the blame would go to DiFi.

    Q. Who wrote this report and what does it cover?

    A. The 6,000-page report was researched and written by Democratic staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee between 2009 and 2013 after committee Republicans chose not to participate. It examines the interrogation program created by the C.I.A. at the request of President George W. Bush to question captured Qaeda suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Only the executive summary of the report, which runs about 600 pages, is expected to be released on Tuesday, with the names of C.I.A. personnel, countries that hosted the agency's secret prisons and some other details blacked out. The committee's Republicans are expected to release a dissent challenging some of the report's conclusions.

    Yeah Jim... (5.00 / 3) (#163)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:19:30 AM EST
    ...if only America didn't torture, no lives would be in danger today.  Aren't you really playing the infamous blame game ?  No one in Senate, including Democrats actually tortured anyone, and isn't that what is upsetting the world, the actual torture of human beings, and not the report ?

    But it is funny that you believe past deeds should not be investigated, cough, cough, Benghazi.  It would be nice if you weren't be so GD partisan in your anti-partisan posts.

    Sorry that your pseudo party did imaginable things to human beings and that the world does not like it, but please have the decently to place blame at the feet of the people responsible.  If there are factual errors, make note, but blaming anyone but the people who authorized torturing human beings is just plain wrong.

    I would say the people wanting to get down to the bottom of this non-sense, on the bloodthirsty level, are way, way, way below the people who authorized and carried out the torturing of human beings.

    Jim, should America torture people, yes or no ?  No 24 scenarios, or unsupported Cheney claims, just a yes or no to the question.


    Scott, do you still beat your wife?? (1.00 / 1) (#172)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 10:22:47 AM EST
    With apologies to Shakespeare.....otherwise known as that dude who caused us much misery in Senior lit, the question has become..... To torture or not to torture? That is the question. I mean we all know that only the evil ones of the world torture. And torture is immoral. Right?

    Oh, really?? Let me pose a scenario to you. This afternoon you drive over to your local shopping center to shop. As you get out of your car you see an elderly lady walking towards her car one row over. You can also see two young thugs semi crouched between two cars, obviously waiting to mug her. As you start to move, one of the thugs sees you and makes a threatening gesture. Do you yell at her? Run at the thugs? Honk your horn? Dial 911? Or stand frozen in place, watching them jump out, grab her purse, knock her down and dash off?

    If you chose to do nothing, I submit that you have just committed an immoral act. You have committed a sin of omission. We are our brother's keeper.

    The Left in particular, and some fuzzy headed Republicans are currently bent out of shape over waterboarding. I'm not.



    Yeah Jim... (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 10:48:28 AM EST
    ...a link to your own blog, that is your answer, which I assume is a yes.

    What your idiotic scenario fails to realize, much like torture, that maybe the people you think are thugs, who did nothing wrong, are actually innocent kids who are not dressed in the manor you would prefer them to be and in all likelihood, not the color you deem as innocent.  What is obvious to you and to the people torturing just might no be reality.  Obvious is a big word Jim and it's not proof in any conceivable way.

    The problem with the cartoon in your link is the assumption that torturing someone will stop a 911.  Which has been proven false, simply taking notice of the President's Daily Brief prepared by the CIA could have avoided all talk of torture.

    I have no moral issues with torturing bad guys, with extracting information by any means possible, the problem, much like the death penalty is humans are involved in the process, and they, like you, make assumptions that simply do not exist.  It's the torturing of innocent people where the I have the problem, and of course like KSM, where torture doesn't actually net results, where words, liek used with Nazi's actually end up extracting better information that a rubber hose.  Both of those make it unrealistic that actually torturing a suspect with net anything but irrevocable damage to a possibly innocent person of the person who does not give into the abuse.  

    The main problem is this, you don't know how effective it will be until after the fact, and you can't go back in time should you fail.

    Lastly, for the reason mentioned above, it would be in our best interest to not torture people, as those people tend to get their own 'enemy combatants' who wear US flags.  And they, much like you representatives, are prone to making assumptions and just might torture someone in the military for no other reason than they are in the military.  I assume you are not down with that, but by justifying it, you are saying if someone believes they will extract good intelligence, torture is not off the table, even to Americans.

    BullShot Jim.

    But more importantly, this isn't about the policy that has been quashed, it's about the world being very unhappy about it.  Regardless of where you stand on the issue, you cannot blame the people who never authorized or tortured a soul for the reactions to torturing human beings.  You blame is misplaced.


    Huh? (2.00 / 1) (#186)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 01:19:38 PM EST
    My question, "Do you still beat your wife?" was meant to show that I have no "yes-no" answers. And yes, I quoted myself because this issue has been debated here, and elsewhere, until the only reason that I can see for the Senate Demos bringing it back is to provide cover for the interrogation of "Americans are stupid Gruber" by the House Repubs.

    And the possibility of doing bad while trying to do good is always there.

    I guess you voted for waiting until the thugs mugged the old lady, knocking her down, breaking her hip and running off laughing.... That is IF they didn't decide they were in a moral free zone and mug you.

    The problem with the cartoon in your link is the assumption that torturing someone will stop a 911.  Which has been proven false, simply taking notice of the President's Daily Brief prepared by the CIA could have avoided all talk of torture.

    Actually on 7/5/2001 Condi Rice briefed all the various hoodoos of the CIA's belief that an attack was coming. So the infamous PDB of 8/6 was redundant...

    At the special meeting on July 5 were the FBI, Secret Service, FAA, Customs, Coast Guard, and Immigration. We told them that we thought a spectacular al Qaeda terrorist attack was coming in the near future." That had been had been George Tenet's language. "We asked that they take special measures to increase security and surveillance. Thus, the White House did ensure that domestic law enforcement including the FAA knew that the CSG believed that a major al Qaeda attack was coming, and it could be in the U.S., and did ask that special measures be taken


    I have no moral issues with torturing bad guys,

    You assume then, that we just grab up a dozen or so random people and torture away??

    if someone believes they will extract good intelligence, torture is not off the table, even to Americans.

    Well, I kinda think sawing someone's head of... and that's how it is done... is torture. So I don't see your objection.

    Which I referred to when I pointed out that the Left has moaned for years about how we are being used as a recruitment tool.


    I seem to have struck a nerve (1.00 / 1) (#171)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 10:15:13 AM EST
    Ymam, Howdy, Mordiggian, lentinel, Scott...

    If we view the past as a guide to the future then we can expect riots in the Muslim world as well as accelerated attacks from the radical Islamists.

    The radical Islamists will also use it as a recruiting tool... Oh, wait, that's what you folks have been saying for years and years.

    Now, if you want to say that scoring political points against Bush, Cheney, et al is worth that cost, be my guest. But don't pretend we need this report to prove anything.

    After all, Pelosi, then Democratic Majority Leader, was briefed along with a Repub, in 2002:

    Intelligence officials released documents this evening saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics against al-Qaeda prisoners, seemingly contradicting her repeated statements over the past 18 months that she was never told that these techniques were actually being used.

    In a 10-page memo outlining an almost seven-year history of classified briefings, intelligence officials said that Pelosi and then-Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) were the first two members of Congress ever briefed on the interrogation tactics. Then the ranking member and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, respectively, Pelosi and Goss were briefed Sept. 4, 2002, one week before the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    Washington Post

    Can I give you folks some eye wash so you can get the beam out of your eyes???


    As I said, (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 01:45:19 PM EST
    everyone in the world knew that we have been torturing... ISIS knew. Al-Qaïda knew. And they have said so.

    Everyone knew except the American people who were repeatedly assured by that scoundrel Bush that we do not torture.  Now, I read that the meme is that Bush was not being informed about what the CIA was doing. Yeah. Right...
    Well, if he didn't really know, and vampire Cheney didn't tell him what everybody else in the world knew, now he knows. He should say thank you.

    So, yes. We do need this report to prove something - to the American people.

    It is good for the American people to have access to the truth that, like the Germans in WW2, they could have known but didn't.

    Quashing the report would do nothing but further diminish whatever self-respect we as a nation still possess - and keeping us in the dark about what our government is doing in our name is not healthy if we are interested in having an informed electorate.


    I bet you didn't know that one of the (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 03:15:43 PM EST
    reasons we tortured was to recruit, did you?

    As the Senate Armed Services Committee Report on torture (released over 5 years ago, in far less redacted form than tomorrow's summary will be) makes clear, the Bush regime embraced torture not for "intelligence" but for "exploitation." In December 2001, when DOD first started searching for what would become torture, it was explicitly looking for "exploitation."

       As Administration lawyers began to reconsider U.S. adherence to the Geneva Conventions, the DoD Office of the General Counsel also began seeking information on detention and interrogation. In December 2001, the DoD General Counsel's office contacted the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for information about detainee "exploitation.


    Some other things exploitation is used for -- indeed the very things the torture we reverse-engineered for our own torture program was used for -- are to help recruit double agents and to produce propaganda.

    And we have every reason to believe those were among the things all incarnations of our torture were used for. We tortured in Abu Ghraib because we had no sources in the Iraqi resistance and for some reason we believed sexually humiliating men would shame them into turning narcs for the US.

    Sami al-Hajj, the Al-Jazeera journalist held at Gitmo for 6 years, says the US wanted him to spy on ties between that outlet and al Qaeda for them.


    It's not just a question of whether torture is "effective" at obtaining intelligence. It's also whether the entire point of it was to produce spies and propaganda.

    A couple of things:

    (1) you keep bringing up Pelosi.  Do you see anyone here defending or excusing her?  I can recall many comments - some of them mine - positing that one of the reasons there wasn't going to be serious accountability was because too many Dems were in this thing up to their necks.

    (2) that we tortured, that no one has been held accountable for it, is not a secret, jim.  Not here, and not anywhere in the rest of the world.  It has no doubt already been used to recruit and fan the flames of terrorism. What's being fanned now, here, are the flames of fear.  The powers that be are working very hard to scare people - again - into retreating to their corners out of fear.  It's the Giuliani Protocol: " a noun, a verb and 911."

    We don't need eye wash, jim - our eyes see just fine.  You, on the other hand, seem to be in dire need of opthalmological intervention.


    Interesting nomenclature (none / 0) (#198)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 04:20:03 PM EST
    these people use isn't it.  "Struck a nerve", "drawing blood".

    Why it's almost like its a "predilection".


    Some replies (none / 0) (#201)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 05:19:51 PM EST
    lentinel - No, what you want to do is score political points. The american people understand what has went on and basically don't care. IOW this is an attempt by the Demos to stir up its badly wounded base.

    Anne - I just threw in Pelosi to note that the Demos approved....the proof is in what she didn't do.... Just as they voted for the war.

    Donald - You're better than this. I mean as an experience political operative you are now going to claim that this isn't about scoring points? heh

    Mordiggian - I haven't the vagues idea. Heaven knows it was posted numerous times back in the day.


    Yeah, you struck a nerve all right. (none / 0) (#194)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 03:26:28 PM EST
    But then, reading your tortured logic (pun intended) and twisted reasoning has often been the literary equivalent of a root canal without Novocain.

    Why should today be any different?


    I have been accused of being (none / 0) (#195)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 03:37:38 PM EST
    An Obamabot or someone defending him all the time, so I want to know why Jim knows about the Pelosi-Soros upgrade for 2014 and I don't.

    Reading comprehension (none / 0) (#202)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 05:38:33 PM EST
    Not your strong suit, huh?

    How do you know that hundreds (none / 0) (#135)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 06:26:14 AM EST
    Of innocent people maybe killed?

    Aren't you always making excuses if civilians are killed because they are around the bad guys we target?

    Why doesn't it work the other way around? Maybe people shouldn't be hanging around torturers in the first place?


    Where was Witness 10 (none / 0) (#32)
    by Uncle Chip on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:23:12 AM EST
    during the incident???

    Based upon his testimony he was about 480 feet away seeing things from the vicinity of the corner of  Clarion Dr and Canfield Dr shown here

    And he is considered the Star Witness of what went on there.

    Is he for real??? Is he Superman with x-ray vision???

    Was the Prosecutor serious calling him as a witness???

    Did anybody vet him before his Grand Jury testimony???

    Or did they just take it for granted that he could see someone's hands from 480 feet -- over a football field and a half away -- and through trees and vehicles???

    Making Pot Roast today (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:34:56 AM EST
    the house smells like heaven should smell.
    Wish you were here.

    I baked three cream cheese pound cakes (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:19:20 AM EST
    yesterday.  I think I probably come in second place in the scent category. But as for taste, I'll put my cake up against your pot roast any day.  :}

    Why can't we have both? (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:25:03 AM EST
    It's lunchtime here and I am now really hungry!

    Making a traditional Cantonese rice porridge (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 12:49:49 PM EST
    known as sok or suk with leftover roast chicken and chicken stock from the organs and bits that are more skin then flesh, along with five spice powder.  Smells like my grandmothers' kitchen, where her sister did all the cooking.

    Okay, we need (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 01:13:00 PM EST
     A recipe!  Please.   ;-)

    That we do! (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 01:36:05 PM EST
    Definitely would love to have that recipe. (none / 0) (#67)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:44:00 PM EST
    Here you go (5.00 / 4) (#88)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 04:08:36 PM EST
    1  to 1 1/2 cup long-grain rice

    2 to 3 lbs chicken, roasted or new.

    2 cups chicken stock

    2 tsp five spice powder

    1 tbsp salt

    1 piece of fresh ginger the mass of a 1-inch cube, all the skin cut away.

    Shrimp, beef, or pork can also be added to help clean out the fridge.

    Put in a pot, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours. After boiling a slow cooker would probably work as well, but I've never tried it, and some rice cookers claim to be able to handle it, but I don't know about that, either.

    If you like tender fresh meat, chop up chicken breast meat into small pieces and put it in the last half-hour to cook. Beef and pork, would be about an hour, and small pieces as well.

    As Ms. Childs used to say, Bon Appetit!


    Thank you, this sounds yummy! (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 04:21:48 PM EST
    Oh, and I almost forgot (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 04:51:39 PM EST
    That's in 1 gallon of water.  

    Ha! (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Angel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 04:55:28 PM EST
    Figured I had to start with something in the pot.  :}

    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 05:08:06 PM EST
    I'm definitely saving your recipe.

    Send one of (none / 0) (#53)
    by Zorba on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:44:47 AM EST
    Those pound cakes up here!
    I am going to be making some baklava later.

    Crump again (none / 0) (#51)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:39:26 AM EST
    Looks like Crump and Parks are going to represent the family of Tamir Rice. I can't stand those guys but at least they won't let the media forget about this case.

    You really should (5.00 / 7) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 11:51:33 AM EST
    forget about it for 43 minutes and watch the Carpenters movie

    Thanks for the (5.00 / 5) (#61)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 01:50:05 PM EST
    Carpenter movie.  And, then...yes, Crump and Parks are the real problem. They are so unsympathetic, unlike the Cleveland police.  The mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year old boy killed by a rookie police officer, reports that her 14-year old daughter was stopped by the police as she was trying to get to her downed brother but was handcuffed and put in a police car.

    The mother, Samaria Rice, who was told of the fatal shooting by two boys rushed to the site only to be told to calm down or be put in the police car. She was subsequently offered a ride in the ambulance or the police car--she took the ambulance.  


    I Think Loehmann... (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 02:42:39 PM EST
    ...will go to prison for the shooting, this one is so over the top stupid, even the most loyal police supporters know this was wrong on so many levels.

    The people that hired a cop who was basically fired because he wasn't emotionally fit should be canned as well, along with Loehmann's partner, but I doubt the people who set this in motion will suffer an consequences of their misdeeds.

    Ms/Mrs. Rice will get a humongous check from the taxpayers in Cleveland and nothing will change, except she can moved somewhere where black people don't have giant target on their backs, or rather a smaller target as if anything this recent rash has proven, all black people, including children, have a target that apparently only the police can spot.


    Yes, it is likely that (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 06:39:41 PM EST
    Tamir Rice's parents will prevail, at least, in a civil suit and receive a substantial award from the city.   But, Crump and Parks are so annoying in representing clients they represent. And, defensive also, too. At a minimum they should act with deference and speak softly  when allowed to do so.  Actually, the parents should have engaged the services of the firm Steppe and Fetchit.  That would have been so much better.

    Or maybe they should (2.00 / 1) (#107)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:08:45 PM EST
    wait until the civil trial to do interviews and not interfere with the criminal case since they aren't prosecutors.  Perhaps, they could avoid lying and making misleading statements to the media.  And if possible, not pull another Rachel Jeantel/Shawn Parcells stunt.

    I never had a problem with Johnny Cochrane, Joey Jackson, or even the outrageous Willie Gary so let's stop the racial BS.  



    Wait, don't tell me: (5.00 / 4) (#111)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 08:16:29 PM EST
    some of your best friends are...

    It is the job of every attorney to do the best for his or her client.  In case you haven't noticed, the winds of change are swirling, people are waking up, coming out of their shallow lives to speak out and speak up and stand in solidarity and shared pain and shout and scream and shed tears for the injustice and powerlessness that have been visited upon way too many of us with near impunity, if not silent permission.

    These attorneys might be deemed negligent if they didn't try to squeeze every last ounce of advantage out of what is in the air right now, so it makes no sense to me that you seem to want them to find their proper place, somewhere between the back of the bus and the back of the line.  Somewhere where they won't get in the way or notice the dice are loaded, where they won't get the chance to speak for someone who won't ever speak in his own voice ever again.

    Because the truth is, they make you uncomfortable, don't they?  They make you look at things you just really would rather not have to face. So, they should wait, maybe long enough for all this unpleasantness to just go away, right?

    I tell you what: when you stop the racial BS, we'll stop calling you on it.


    Nonsense (none / 0) (#113)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 08:39:37 PM EST
    " so it makes no sense to me that you seem to want them to find their proper place, somewhere between the back of the bus and the back of the line.  Somewhere where they won't get in the way or notice the dice are loaded, where they won't get the chance to speak for someone who won't ever speak in his own voice ever again."

    Those are your words.  I want Crump to wait until there's a civil trial to do his thing and not interfere with a criminal trial or investigation. When it is time for a civil trial, I want him to avoid misstating the facts and manipulating evidence.

    I'd love to hear from Jeralyn and other lawyers about the ethics of Crump and Parks. Is it ethical to say the police told George Zimmerman to stay in his car when they knew that wasn't true? What about saying Darren Wilson executed Mike Brown?


    Just curious (5.00 / 4) (#125)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:09:00 PM EST
    Your outrage over misleading/false statements and claims of unethical behavior only seems to apply in one direction.  Or are you suggesting the same standard apply to Zimmerman's attorney?

    It should apply to everyone (none / 0) (#129)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:18:22 PM EST
    Can you give an example of O'Mara or Don West being unethical? Or Darren Wilson's lawyers?

    Nope, but then again ... (5.00 / 3) (#132)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:24:51 PM EST
    ... I'm not the one claiming unethical behavior without so much as providing a rule of ethics upon which to base the claim.  You seem to think that "misstating facts" or characterizing evidence in a way with which you disagree is unethical.

    It's not.

    If that was the case, Zimmerman's attorney would have more difficulty explaining his claims in court about the homeless man video than Crump would outside the courtroom in his statements to the media.


    Z's conduct didn't sink to the level of Crump's (none / 0) (#134)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 05:19:16 AM EST
    apples and oranges. yes, the same standard applies to all. I wrote a long post back then on the difference between them in terms of legal ethics.

    I remember reading your opinin ... (5.00 / 3) (#136)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 06:29:04 AM EST
    ... at the time.  My point, however, was that these charges of unethical behavior by Crump are nothing more than opinions.  McBain previously expressed amazement that Crump and Parks weren't disbarred.  My point was that they were never even charged with an ethics violation, let alone one for which they should be disbarred - and there were many, many angry, Zimmerman supporters who could have done so at any time.

    Fughedaboudit. (none / 0) (#180)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 12:45:26 PM EST
    If you don't care for Crump & Parks you are racist. And don't think your equal distaste for Allred means anything more than that you are also sexist.

    Fuhgedabowt (none / 0) (#203)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 05:40:28 PM EST
    ... fake, straw arguments and try real claims, instead.

    If history has taught us anything (none / 0) (#99)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 05:57:07 PM EST
    it's that it's really difficult to convict a cop.  If it's true Rice was reaching for his "weapon", a jury will have hard time finding him guilty.  

    Do we know if they violated police procedures by driving up so close to Rice?  Do we know exactly what the shooting cop said to Rice and when he said it?

    What's the recent history of cops shooting kids with toy guns they thought were real? Any convictions?


    Or IF he said it. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by gbrbsb on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 06:37:41 PM EST
    Husband & Wife Cops... (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:42:07 AM EST
    ...charged over shooting an unarmed boyfriend of their daughter.  The shooter, the husband, will go to prison IMO because they aren't treating him like a cop since it happened when he was off duty.

    For the record, Ralphie from A Christmas Story:

    I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!

    He was roughtly the same age, but more importantly, you don't get much more American than that movie.

    There is also a case in Georgia in which a cop shot a kid with a Wii Controller, she was not charged.

    If you are looking instances in which the police shot a 12 year old with a toy gun you aren't going to find them in that most cops don't shoot to kill kids with toys.


    Three experts in police procedures find fault with the Cleveland police officers involved in the Nov. 22 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice for pulling their cruiser so close to someone whom they believed was armed.  LINK

    Christie, Romney or Bush (none / 0) (#109)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:25:42 PM EST
    the mega donors have already chosen the GOP nominee for 2016. link

    For some reason, this is evoking (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 08:31:07 PM EST
    "lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!" for me.

    It's just too depressing for words.

    Tonight, the nightly news treated me not just to an old clip of Bush explaining why he authorized torture, but to a quote from Deadeye Dick Cheney in connection with the possible - seems like dwindling - chances the torture report will be released.

    Seriously, my skin just crawls.


    I did (none / 0) (#116)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:25:47 PM EST
    not see the report featuring Bush acknowledging that he authorized torture.

    The only clip I have seen of his is the one where he says that we "don't torture"... with that weird freaky smile of his.

    In any case, everybody in the world knows that we tortured, and, I'll wager, still torture... judging by the zeal with which the Obama administration has been siding with those who would suppress the release of the report.

    By the way, the Guardian is writing that the report will in fact be released - maybe by tomorrow...

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest ... warned US interests overseas were at risk of potentially violent reactions to its contents.

    Maybe they should have thought about the violent reaction before indulging in hooking people up with wires and electrodes.


    Just said a similar thing (none / 0) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:29:35 PM EST
    The white house may be warning but the are still releasing it.   Republicans are having fits.   If it was up to them it would not be released.

    I think warning and preparing is probably wise.


    How in (none / 0) (#118)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:39:42 PM EST
    the world can "US interests overseas" prepare for an onslaught of revulsion?

    And what are, "US interests"?

    And if US interests are attacked, are we going to ask - as we did 13 years ago, "Why do they hate us?"


    How can they prepare? (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:44:06 PM EST
    With Marines.  What are our interests?  I would say the lives of members of the diplomatic corp.

    From the BBC

    In an article in Monday's New York Times, Peter Baker says that the two-year-old report details the "brutal techniques" - considered torture by critics - the government employed on suspected al-Qaeda and other Islamic militants, and questions their effectiveness. It also reportedly contends that Central Intelligence Agency field operatives misled Congress and Bush Administration senior officials as to the extent of the programme.

    The sharpness of the criticism, Baker says, has Bush Administration officials who devised and implemented the policies banding together to justify their action.

    "This will be used by our enemies to motivate people to attack Americans and American facilities overseas," Mr Hayden said in a CBS interview on Sunday.

    Appearing on Fox News, House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rodgers said: "Our foreign partners are telling us this will cause violence and deaths."

    Imo... (none / 0) (#128)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 10:17:17 PM EST
    these statements...

    "This will be used by our enemies to motivate people to attack Americans and American facilities overseas," Mr Hayden said in a CBS interview on Sunday.

    Appearing on Fox News, House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rodgers said: "Our foreign partners are telling us this will cause violence and deaths."

    are bogus.

    Everyone in the world - except the American people - knows about the brutal methods having been authorized by Bush. No secret there.
    And ISIS and other kindred spirits are already calling for violence and death to us and our "interests". ( I suspect that "interests" about which Hayden is concerned are more to do with businesses - corporate interests rather than people.)

    So the attempt to suppress the release of this information is aimed at protecting keisters of the architects of this disgrace to our country. It is an attempt to keep us, as much as possible, in the dark... and we will once again ask, bewildered, why they hate us.

    It ain't for "our freedoms", that's for sure.


    I just saw a rather funny segment (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 09:57:31 PM EST
    on Chris Hayes show about how selling of our political process to the highest bidder  is at risk of taking a big bite out of the Republicans a$$ by way of our friendly Koch overlords.

    Jon Stewart on "counter-errorism" (none / 0) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:23:29 AM EST

    And police violence

    it's very funny.  As usual

    Barbara Boxer to retire in 2016? (none / 0) (#149)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:24:50 AM EST

    Sources close to Boxer, 74, say the outspoken liberal senator will decide over the holidays whether to seek reelection in 2016 and will announce her plans shortly after the new year. Few of her friends believe she will run for a fifth term. Boxer has stopped raising money and is not taking steps to assemble a campaign. With Republicans taking over the Senate, she is about to relinquish her chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

    If she were to step aside, it would be the first big crack in the state's upper political ranks in years. The last time the governorship was open was in 2010, when Jerry Brown, now 76, romped in a return to the job he first held more than three decades earlier. Boxer and California's other senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, 81, were elected in 1992.

    Only politico (none / 0) (#150)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:32:09 AM EST
    would describe it as a "crack".   It would be hard to find a reasonable person who thinks the crack won't be filled with another democrat.  

    If you actually read the article (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:04:58 AM EST
    It's not so much about a Republican getting in, but rather there's been a logjam among Democrats in California that will come spewing forth.

    I'll take your word for it (none / 0) (#156)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:06:37 AM EST
    republico gives me a rash.  

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#158)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:07:52 AM EST
    you watch Rachel Maddow and she gives me the creeps AND a headache, so I guess we're even.

    Sort of (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:13:28 AM EST
    you dislike Rachel because she is unabashedly liberal and in your face I'm thinkin.
    I dislike politico because they are stenographers for the Republican Party and are dishonest about it.  I have no problem reading Town Hall or the National Review.

    Ali I can tell you folks is that (none / 0) (#193)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 03:24:41 PM EST
    I was at a local Democratic event a few months ago and I met several people, including a woman who was a Stanford grad whose parents were farm workers 12 miles from where I grew up ( I was rejected by Stanford--full disclosure), any of whom would be suitable to represent the Golden State in the US Senate.

    Tiger Beat on the Potomac (none / 0) (#153)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 08:57:14 AM EST
    can't accept the fact that Republicans haven't won a state-wide office in years, even using such big guns as Carly " I almost broke HP and walked away with a golden parachute"  Fiorina, and the detestable Meg Whitman.

    Since it's not really about Republicans (none / 0) (#157)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:07:11 AM EST
    but Democrats - you may want to re-read the article.

    (And oh, I seem to remember someone named Arnold Schwarzenegger winning statewide office and being the governor until 2011, so your premise that it's been "years" is a bit off).


    Honestly (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 10:00:06 AM EST
    i think that's a better argument for why there will not be another state wide republican office holder any time soon.

    Then their error is even more egregious (none / 0) (#160)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 09:14:21 AM EST
    Since there are plenty of Democrats who could run in 2016 here.

    And I also seem to remember 3 elections, including the 2010 midterms, where the Republicans didn't win anything state-wide, the Governators last election victory was in 2006, so that makes 8 years since Republicans won a state-wide office.

    Thanks for demonstrating what conventional wisdom looks like on the Potomac.


    Updated Ferguson Doc & Pics (none / 0) (#175)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 11:20:14 AM EST
    New evidence released Dec. 8

    The Evidence

    83 photos of the scene

    Noteworthy is photo #72 showing that the bullet fired inside the vehicle entered the interior door a full 18 inches from the blood found therein -- on the interior door handle.

    Also photos #82/83 of the ground at markers 19/20 show where Brown turned around and then put his hands out/up as demonstrated by the blood trail at 19.

    Finally photos #10,14,17,19,20,21 of the place  where Team Wilson's Star Witness #10 was located during the shooting. He was 480 feet up that road past those vehicles around the corner behind those trees.