Saturday Night Open Thread

What I'm reading about this weekend: The Government's stepped up investigations of bitcoin exchange sites, Silk Road 2.0 is Better Than Ever and the Fallen Kingpins of Silk Road.

Sounds like everything else in the drug world. Shut down production, processing labs and transit routes in one country and they pop up in another. Reduce demand for cocaine and demand for designer drugs takes its place. Shut down Silk Road, and others just take their place.

Is it even worth the effort? (Here is the 2013 UNODC World Drug Report.) Why not just legalize drugs, and re-apportion our bloated law enforcement, prison and prosecution budgets to things like education and health care? Instead of funding more local cops and drug task forces, why not help local governments struggling with the cost of sorely needed infrastructure fixes or use it for disaster relief?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Just watched this week's episode of Vice (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:05:24 AM EST
    I don't know which is worse?  Fukushima or the failure to properly treat Veterans PTSD?  What a depressing episode.  One of the Veterans appearing in it is now dead from drug overdose.

    The episode of Colbert that Josh and I watched earlier today had Colbert celebrating that the VA scandal is a true Obama Administration scandal.  Will the Republicans hold him and his administration responsible and also commit to fixing it?  I tend to think the Obama administration ignored this because it is part of the hidden beltway agenda to ignore it and attempt to avoid spending the money that treating war veterans is going to cost.

    No one wants to face up to the enormity (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by ruffian on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:15:13 AM EST
    of the upcoming expenses for the vets. Politicians don't want to budget for it, and taxpayers prefer to think it is all going swimmingly and will never cost them a dime. I don't know how the system gets improved without increased doctors, hospitals, etc, or else by paying for vets to use services outside the system.  Are people outraged enough to raise taxes?  I think we know the answer to that one.

    As a service connected disabled vet (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ragebot on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:12:35 AM EST
    I have been in the VA system for many years.  One thing I have noticed is the military truism that there are three ways to do things; the right way, the wrong way, and the army way.

    As a Vietnam Era Vet I encountered a very different atmosphere in 1968 when I was discharged than today when it is common to have folks say 'thanks for your service'.  But on the upside I do understand what the 'army way' is ascribe this to my being fairly happy with the treatment I have received from the VA.


    I am not understanding your post (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:43:15 AM EST
    Fully.  Which would you say the VA is operating under?  The right way, the wrong way, or the Army Way?  I am grateful that you feel you have had adequate care VA  up to this point.

    Don't ever confuse the army way (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ragebot on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:57:12 AM EST
    with the wrong way or the right way.

    The VA functions under the Army way.  I can clearly remember a staff sergeant who put a speedy five on KP duty.  Bad idea since the spec five was in an H&H company that worked with pay records.  Four months later, after the CO signing off on two emergency pay requests, the staff sergeant's pay records were found in Korea.

    The first thing I did when I got in the VA system was make friends with the records officer and get on a first name basis with her.  Same goes for the service officer.  When Douglas MacArthur was asked about Ike he replied 'he was the best clerk I ever had'.  Clerks run the army (remember Radar in MASH).  That is the army way.  Learn it, know it, live it.


    One thing I learned in 28 years (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:02:54 PM EST

    of military service is, "Just because it is ridiculous doesn't mean it's not right."

    The first paperwork job at age 18 was in prep for an inspection was to sign on daily equipment maintenance checks for days before I was even in the service.  That the VA fudges records to look good is a dog bites man story.  

    In the VA system you are a cost to be managed not a customer to be satisfied.  The customer is the government. The government wants reports that show the system working well. Lo and behold, the administrators gave the customer just what it wanted.  And get bonuses as a result.

    President Out-to-Lunch can't seem to get his head around the way bureaucratic systems actually function rather than in the perfect world he imagines.  Perhaps the reason he shuns reality is he cannot admit to him self a failure in this Single Payer System he knows in his heart can do nothing but wondrous things.



    Because you have accurately (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:57:34 PM EST
    Assessed who the customer is with the VA.  I must give you a 5.  The same problem exists in the military clinics that serve the dependents.  The soldiers are seen at the same facility but somehow the people that work within that system are completely different than those who treat family members.

    Soldiers are seen as an asset that must be repaired quickly, not family members, we are a cost to manage.

    I have complained often that they don't act like they are there to provide me services, and that's because they aren't.  They are there to manage the cost of me.  When you are referred out to private physicians for different things it's like visiting a different planet.  The doctor really listens to what you are saying, his/her nurse calls you with your test results, a phone call is all that is required to fill a prescription or have your question answered.  It's night and day.


    Not all service men are treated the same (none / 0) (#40)
    by ragebot on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:10:51 PM EST
    I always show up fifteen minutes before an appointment, just like the VA tells you to do.  I always try to be a compliant patient following the doctors orders.  I always sh(t, shower, and shave before an appointment.  I never loudly complain about showing up with no appointment and having to wait.

    I have seen guys walk in a clinic/hospital with a lit cigarette with alcohol on their breath and demand to go to the front of the line when wearing smelly clothes.  Guess who gets better treatment, me or them.


    Doesn't matter to me (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:17:56 PM EST
    I want you both treated with respect and dignity.  I'm likely to go to lunch with you though, but that's different, not work related, not the mission :)

    I want the worst broken Veterans treated well too.


    And working for the VA is a great job (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:21:04 PM EST
    If those working within that system don't have the skills it takes to deal with the broken Vet too, maybe they need to be fired?

    My experienve with the VA (none / 0) (#64)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:40:00 PM EST
    was pretty much the same. The one thing people have to understand is that the VA is administered by people, not machines. There are good, and, bad, doctors, nurses, orderlies, clerks. etc. The one difference between VA personnel and civilians, in my experience, is the work load; the VA folks are overloaded, and, I don't think that is in dispute.

    If administrators weren't receiving bonuses (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:19:40 PM EST
    For creating bogus reports, I would think it would become obvious how crippled and understaffed the system is.

    Obama increased the VA budget 38%.  I would like to see the financial breakouts and where the money is going.


    Back in 2008, (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:30:00 PM EST
    Democrat, and, former rock star, John Hall, was running for Congress against that wretched Republican Hypocrite, Sue Kelly. A TV crew was trying to interview Kelly, who had just finished a photo-op tour of the VA hospital in Rockland County. As the journalists were trying to ask her questions she looked at her watch, and, exclaimed she didn't have time as she had to get back to Washington for "important business."

    The "important business?": Voting on a Bill Slashing Veteran Retirement benefits:


    Just saw RED 2 (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:42:06 PM EST
    If you haven't caught it it's great.  Hellen Mirren, John Malkovidh, Anthony Hopkins,  Mary Louise Parker, Kathrine Zeta Jones, David Thewlis, Brian Cox.
    How could it not be.

    Thank you capt (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:55:05 PM EST
    Going to grab Josh and watch it now.  No GOT and researching the VA problems is just depressing right now.  Ruffian noticed something pretty amazing.  GOT wardrobe has changed prom dresses.  My daughter married 2 yrs ago, so what was hot for such formals was some of what I was doing.  So I googled up some of the current prom dresses and it looks like that to me too.  Styles changed drastically in 24 months.  Thinking about it, I wondered if what my daughter was choosing from wasn't Mad Men influenced.  I had not watched Mad Men at that time though.

    I don't know from prom dresses (none / 0) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:58:31 PM EST
    But GOT is influencing the universe

    Vice is (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:45:27 AM EST
    Almost always depressing.  But I can't not watch it.

    The veterans business is shameful and depressing.  I only know enough about it to say that.


    This guy is worse than Gabby's shooter (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by ragebot on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:51:37 AM EST
    First link I found to the shooter's sick writings.  He is very disturbed.

    SB Shooter

    This one seems more connected (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by ruffian on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:29:10 AM EST
    to reality...I didn't make myself read the whole screed, and I don't know the current psychiatric terms, but this guy does not seem to have anything like a mental illness, unless being an angry jerk that would do something like this is considered an illness in and of itself. I don't know anymore. It just makes me sick.

    Reality is a crutch (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ragebot on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:04:27 AM EST
    for those who cant handle drugs was a popular bumper sticker a while back.  I tend to think most folks who murder do have some type of mental illness.  But one thing I did notice in the link was the claim that there were two types of mass murderers.  Those who spend lots of time planning like this guy did, and those like Gabby's attacker who seemed to be more spur of the moment.

    I read what Gabby's attacker wrote and was not able to address what I will call errors in his thoughts, they seemed so irrational.  On the other hand this guy wrote stuff that it was easy for me to poke holes in.

    Disclaimer: I refuse to use the names of mass murderers looking for their fifteen minutes of fame.


    I think it's more like a (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:34:05 AM EST
    Societal illness.  deserts wine posted this in the last thread .
    There is something deeply and profoundly wrong  with a society that produces this man.  It would be one thing if he was a oneoff but he is not.

    A Utah man is now facing federal hate crime charges for threatening to kill a black child of a neighboring Caucasian couple. Robert Keller, a 70-year-old resident of Hurricane, wrote to the family to say he would kill the boy if the child remained in his neighborhood.

    Keller told KUTV that he didn't mean anything by it, "All I wanted to do was open their eyes." "To me, it's not a threat, it's my opinion, which I should be allowed to," he said, trailing off, before concluding with, "Of course, I wrote it down, which was a mistake."

    What Keller wrote down, in a letter to the family last December, was a direct threat. His hate-filled letter - which concluded with "Get this n!gger out!" - explicitly warned the parents that he would kill either the boy or the parents if they did not remove him from the neighborhood.

    To that point (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:42:29 AM EST
    Half the country would think the person who said this --
    Why not just legalize drugs, and re-apportion our bloated law enforcement, prison and prosecution budgets to things like education and health care? Instead of funding more local cops and drug task forces, why not help local governments struggling with the cost of sorely needed infrastructure fixes or use it for disaster relief?

    Would be crazier and quite possibly even more dangerous than the person who said this--

    By Keller's own description the letter read, "If it was my daughter - I think I wrote that I'd slice his throat or something like that."

    Keller told KUTV that he was inspired to write the letter out of fear that the boy might try to date white girls. "I just said, `What's gonna happen later on down the road, when this black kid starts chasing these girls? Which I've seen," he said. "That's what set me off. I saw him walking down the street with a white gal."

    Society? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:12:28 PM EST

    Well this society turns out about a couple of these nut cases a year.  Given 300+ million people that is a societal failure rate of about 0.000001%.  And that assumes it all society's fault.

    That statement's absurdly ignorant. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:46:29 PM EST
    Totally without foundation.

    Great minds (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:49:07 PM EST

    Foundation (none / 0) (#42)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:14:09 PM EST
    1. Population at 300+ million
    2. A couple of nut case spree shooters a year.

    Ergo about a 0.000001% annual rate.

    Not that reality applies (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:22:13 PM EST
    But that point was made about a racist moron who thought it was fine for him to express"the opinion" that he would like to kill a black child for the crime of being in his neighborhood.
    Now, given Sterling, Bundy, et al, would you like to run your "numbers" again?

    That comment is so absurdly clueless (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:32:48 PM EST
    It's actually funny.  In a gallows humor sort of way.

    Most sociopaths are more than able... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Dadler on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:58:47 AM EST
    ...to put on a good front. It's part of the "job." I mean, the police we SO inept as to have no clue. You have to be very lacking in human insight, IMO, to see the earlier videos, then interview him and find nothing. Speaks to the utter psychological ignorance of law enforcement. Trust me, if anyone but the cops had interviewed him, the result of that would be wildly different. So it goes.

    Clueless authorities.  


    Remember, Jeffrey Dahmer... (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by Dadler on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:01:27 AM EST
    ...was caught by the police pursuing a drugged victim of his. The cops came across it and thought, oh, just a gay lovers' quarrel.

    Understand, IMO, the cops are the LAST place you look for any genuine insight into people and what makes them tick. Except, of course, for the most obvious cases, when they jerk themselves off because they got as confession out of the small percentage of murder suspects they ever arrest.

    Law enforcement, in context, is probably the single most psychologically ignorant institution in the nation, along with the military. The White House ain't far behind usually.

    Just my two cents.



    We are n complete agreement (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:05:21 AM EST
    I have three in my family.  Every one is a racist socially impaired obese mammas boy who got picked on in high school and is now going to make the world pay for that.

    Oh Dear (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:17:36 AM EST
    I'm rolling on the floor

    It's funny (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:20:31 AM EST
    Because it's true

    And not funny for the same reason


    Funny, (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:19:32 PM EST
    unless you have to live with or interact with these not-so-stellar specimens of humanity.     :-(

    Pity me (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:23:52 PM EST
    It's a holiday weekend.  Family time.  Woo hoo.

    Lots of beer and wine (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Zorba on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:31:36 PM EST
    Or something stronger.
    That's what I recommend.
    Or sneak away from your relatives and have a few tokes to mellow out.     ;-)

    Not to beat a dead horse (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:02:40 AM EST
    But what do you think the cops would have done of those videos were about his intent to deal meth?

    Howdy (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:59:58 PM EST
    To your statement:

    "Every one is a racist socially impaired obese mammas boy who got picked on in high school and is now going to make the world pay for that."

    I've written about this phenomenon here often. Usually, I get the standard response, "a few rotten apples....," or, "I bet you'd love to see a cop if a crazed killer was chasing after you."

    Both answers are nonsense.

    The irrefutable fact is that not every cop joins the force to be corrupt, or, a sadistic thug. But, every cop knows there are those cops in their midst, and, who they are, yet, choose to keep their mouths shut.

    p.s. I've got a lot more than 3 in my family. And, when we get together for family outings the stories they regale themselves with almost always have to do with beating the crap out of alleged perpetrators.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:14:22 PM EST
    The stories.  They used to keep me awake.  So I don't listen any more.  How to disable you dashboard camera so you can do whatever you want how to inflict the most pain without leaving visible marks etc.

    This guy is filled with an over abundance of the (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by caseyOR on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:04:03 PM EST
    all too familiar misogyny and sexual entitlement women confront in men every single day. If this is mental illness, and I think not, a shocking number of men are mentally ill.

    Thankfully, most men do not choose murder. Sadly, so very much in our culture reinforces the all-to-common male belief that women owe them sex and the attendant hatred of those same women.


    This is a thoughtful piece on Rodger's (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by caseyOR on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:20:08 PM EST
    influences and the state of misogyny. Read it.

    This from Margaret Atwood is so right on:

    `"Why do men feel threatened by women?" I asked a male friend of mine. So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. "I mean," I said, "men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power." "They're afraid women will laugh at them," he said. "Undercut their world view." Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, "Why do women feel threatened by men?" "They're afraid of being killed," they said.'

    Margaret Atwood, Writing the Male Character (1982)

    It was right in 1982, and it is right in 2014.


    I was just read some psychiatrist (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:34:55 PM EST
    Talking about what a great example of gun as penis substitute this story is.

    Atwood seems to have left out.... (none / 0) (#109)
    by unitron on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:55:43 AM EST

    If someone's trying to kill you, you get to fight back.


    Odd thing to say (none / 0) (#156)
    by sj on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:18:04 AM EST

    A) Typically a woman is attacked by a man who is -- and knows he is -- physically stronger than she, and

    B) It is hardly unusual for someone who feels s/he has been humiliated to try strike back.


    I was (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:15:04 PM EST
    thinking the same thing. Back in my dating days eons ago like the 1980's to be exact I encountered this attitude a WHOLE LOT.

    Really did remind me of a few so-called (none / 0) (#101)
    by ruffian on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:47:39 PM EST
    "Nice guys" I have met that spent a lot of time lamenting that girls don't want nice guys like them.  Not a real attractive trait, to say the least. The hostility was just under the surface.

    Interesting that his mental illness had that as primary ideation. Sign of the times?


    Well, that idea isn't so rare. (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by NYShooter on Mon May 26, 2014 at 12:27:31 AM EST
    I've read many comments on different sites, and, witnessed it personally, that some women (girls? females?) express that very point, they like the "bad boy" types. Of course, not to the point of violence. But, that image/desire is out there.

    The thing I think is very important is just how fragile, and, sensitive, the human psyche is, all the more so in this age of "social media." I mean, how many stories have we heard about where teens commit suicide over certain rejection, real, or, imagined.

    I can only speak for the male thing. I've been afraid of many things in my life: fighting, illness, death. But, when you put your manhood, your self-esteem, your fragile inner self out there, let's say when you're trying to introduce yourself to a girl, you will never be as vulnerable as you are at that moment. And, your fear is not so much that she will say, "no, thanks," it's that she'll take the opportunity to humiliate you.

    And, when you take that fear-filled, plunge, and the girl holds such power over you the reactions that happen stretch from overwhelming joy to uncontrollable rage.

    That's not excusing anything, that's just reality. Both, males and females should understand these things and treat each other with the appropriate sensitivity.


    I think they mistake (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by ruffian on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:40:10 AM EST
    what most of the women are attracted to - it is confidence, not being 'bad'.

    As a woman we have all of our womanhood and self esteem on the line too, but have traditionally had the more passive role of watching the men pick someone else.

    I think we have put way too many pressures on everyone in the dating/mating rituals.  Attraction makes us put such huge weight on the opinion of that one special person - no rejection should make a man feel less than a man, or a woman feel worthless, and yet it does.

    Here's for sensitivity all around especially if it plays even a peripheral role in incidents like this. We have let violence become the go-to answer for everything.


    I had (none / 0) (#110)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:41:30 AM EST
    an attraction to the "bad boy" type when I was about 16 and 17. I outgrew it by the time I was 18. I can't figure out the women that are STILL attracted to those types when they are older. I can understand teenagers being attracted to it as it is kind of a rebellion thing.

    And then there are men that perpetually attracted to the "bad girls" because they want to "save" them. I've seen this happen with a couple of friends. They tend to find strippers and other sorts that live on the edge and believe that they will be Prince Charming to them and save them from their current life. Usually this works out no better than the girls that are attracted to the "bad boy" types.


    Appoligies to Anne Lenox (none / 0) (#123)
    by ragebot on Mon May 26, 2014 at 11:47:41 AM EST
    Some of them want to use you
    Some of them want to get used by you
    Some of them want to abuse you
    Some of them want to be abused

    To those trying to describe this guy (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by ragebot on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:05:11 PM EST
    I am reminded of a line from "Silence Of The Lambs".  When a cop asked what kind of crazy Hannibal was Clarice responded 'they don't have a name for it'.

    Reading what this guy wrote gives me a head ache.  He seems obsessed with blond sorority girls.  He drives a BMW and a MB and has plenty of money and a famous family and goes first class everywhere.  Yet he complains about being a virgin.  I would think just by random chance he could find some drunk girl and have sex on a party campus like UCSB.

    While we will never know every thing wrong with him I feel confident in saying there was plenty wrong with him.


    The doctor I mentioned below (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:13:19 PM EST
    Said impotence might be his problem.  I agree I can't see why he would be so completely unsuccessful sexually.  He was apparently autistic to some degree but he seems at least reasonably socially functional

    Just on case you were under the illusion (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:08:13 AM EST
    broadcast "journalism"still existed

    CNN president Jeff Zucker raised some eyebrows this week when, asked about the news channel's increasingly slim coverage of climate change, he commented the network hasn't "figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way." He added: "When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience's part."

    Zucker acknowledged that climate change "deserves more attention," but suggested that the issue isn't receiving that attention on his network because CNN needs the topic to generate ratings, or "interest," in order to receive more airtime.

    I'm not sure I've ever heard an executive at a news organization speak so openly about what appears to be a company-wide decision to pay less attention to a completely legitimate news story because it doesn't generate ratings; because it's not good for business. For Zucker to suggest CNN doesn't cover a pressing public issue because it doesn't grab eyeballs goes against the basic tenet of journalism, which is, of course, to inform. CNN should be less concerned about engaging viewers and more concerned abut informing them.

    Zucker's climate coverage comments seem especially odd given that he said in the same interview that his network's coverage of the Benghazi select committee would be driven by whether it is of "real news value"; he did not address whether such coverage would need to meet an "interest" threshold from the audience.  

    "real news value" (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by ruffian on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:29:59 AM EST
    Zucker's climate coverage comments seem especially odd given that he said in the same interview that his network's coverage of the Benghazi select committee would be driven by whether it is of "real news value"; he did not address whether such coverage would need to meet an "interest" threshold from the audience.  

    ...means 'value' in the literal sense of eyeballs watching advertising for his network.  I'm not really surprised by the earlier part of Zucker's statements. He is articulating what has long been the case. they are a profit based org, not a public service. They give the people what they want, not what they need. Climate change is science story - Americans don't do science. It is not immediate news until it results in a disaster they can cover breathlessly and pretend they cannot trace the cause.


    There should be a law, (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:18:26 PM EST
    a "truth in advertising law." No program that advertises itself as a "news" program should be allowed to use that term if the "number of eyeballs" is the criteria.

    It didn't used to be that way. Once again, you can point to the seismic change that occurred in our country with the tragic election R. Reagan. Prior to his, "anything goes," and, "greed is good" philosophy most millionaire magnates actually forfeited some profits for the public good. Newspaper and TV executives treated their hard news divisions as "loss leaders," and, made up their profits with other sensational scandals.

    That's the problem in a nutshell as I see it. There have always been millionaires, and, they seemed to be satisfied with owning 90% of everything. After Reagan, it was 100% or nothing. Reagan, imo, was the first President that felt that ordinary folks deserved nothing, zero, zilch. And, that's the reason today's GOP reveres him so much.


    Reagan legacy (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:34:27 PM EST
    The term "welfare queen" is a pejorative phrase used in the United States to refer to people who are accused of collecting excessive welfare payments through fraud or manipulation. Reporting on welfare fraud began during the early 1960s, appearing in general interest magazines such as Readers Digest. The term entered the American lexicon during Ronald Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign

    Right (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:57:27 AM EST
    As Bolert says in the piece the surprise, if there is one, is his willingness to be so completely honest about it.

    It would seem the are ready to drop completely the pretense that they are anything but entertainment.  Not that it is a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.


    Captain Obvious (none / 0) (#31)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:19:08 PM EST
    The guy says there is no point in putting on material that causes viewers to change to a different channel.  Some revelation.  

    As you have a difficult time watching (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:34:51 AM EST
    Watching Vice, I have a very time watching Years of Living Dangerously.  It stresses me out thinking about my grandchildren.  They are all recorded thus far but I can't do one a week.  I have to space them out farther.

    I am having a harder time getting through it every (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:59:20 AM EST
    Week.  And I don't have grandchildren.  It does help one understand why ignorance and denial is such a popular choice.

    Me too. And we are the target audience for shows (none / 0) (#102)
    by ruffian on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:52:21 PM EST
    like that, and we can barely watch. So it is hard to fault the networks for not showing more of them. Climate change might be a problem that democracy just can't deal with.

    Ever how that CG animation stuff is done (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:09:24 PM EST
    Often  it's all about the "RIG" which is the system of manipulators that is set up by a tech artist for the animator to use.  The animation is as good as the rig.  One more example of a show business career where you spend your life making other people look good with no recognition.

    Check out this facial rig demo on YouTube.  it's pretty impressive how easy this guy makes it to creat complex facial expressions.


    Also if you watch to the end here (none / 0) (#184)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:23:19 PM EST
    Is a fully rendered image of the character that's pretty amazingly realistic

    After watching and listening to Edward (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by Anne on Wed May 28, 2014 at 10:27:35 PM EST
    Snowden, I have to say that I am profoundly grateful that John Kerry is not the president, and am profoundly offended by the level of ignorance Kerry has displayed.

    The man is not cut out to be secretary of the local Elks Club - with apologies to any Elks out there -  much less Secretary of State.

    My friend said Mr. Kerry gave a very intresting (none / 0) (#186)
    by oculus on Wed May 28, 2014 at 10:50:24 PM EST
    commencenebt speech at GWU.

    Sad news from the islands (none / 0) (#1)
    by ragebot on Sat May 24, 2014 at 11:54:36 PM EST

    looks like pirates take a hit

    sinking ship

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 362 (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:08:27 AM EST
    Operation Choke point (none / 0) (#25)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:12:06 AM EST
    seems like its about to get some sunshine. Which normally non partisan federal agency will Obama weaponize next?

    DOJ already has weapons (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ragebot on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:55:56 PM EST
    But I am not sure how that relates to Operation Choke Point.

    There are some interesting discussions about Operation Choke Point however.  I just read the FDIC rules about how banks are suppose to take extra care in dealing with some clients and to some extent not loan money to clients the govt deems 'reputation risks'.

    The FDIC list contains, what seems to me at least, many unrelated businesses.  One in particular was racist materials.  I am no fan of racists but was not aware of any of them needing loans from banks, less yet getting loans from banks.  Porn stars have had bank accounts closed by Chase.  Again I am no fan of porn stars but don't have a problem with them having a bank account.  Retain gun businesses are also on the FDIC hit list, which seems to raise a 2A issue.

    We have not seen the last of objections to Operation Choke Point.  Here is a link to help get up to speed on it



    The piece says porn stars MAY (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:15:50 PM EST
    have been affected but that doesn't seem very clear.  It also says this

    Thus far, payday lenders have been the most frequent target. ... And if payday lenders are today's target-what category will be next and who makes that decision?

    If that is the only way to go after them I'm ok with it.  Payday lenders are as close to a legal criminal enterprise as exists in this country.


    Pay day lenders (none / 0) (#50)
    by ragebot on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:48:35 PM EST
    are a legal business.  Not saying I like them, just that it is not against current law.

    Some folks say pay day lenders are a better option for some folks than kiting a check or other ways to get money to pay bills that are due.  Of course the fees are outrageous.

    Not trying to defend the pay day lenders.  But if you want to go after them pass laws to limit interest rates and fees.

    Bottom line is pay day lenders supply a service that is in demand.  If pay day lenders go away the most obvious option is to borrow money from the local mob.  The mob's interest rates are probably even higher and non payment can be fatal.  No way to get around the fact that when you need more money than you have there are usually only bad choices.


    Pass a law? (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:01:13 PM EST
    Have met our congress?

    Payday lenders prey on the most vulnerable people.  People who work one or more minimum wage jobs are not likely to borrow money from the mob.  I applaud Holder for going after them.  
    The rest of the supposed targets on that piece were not even confirmed as targets as far as I could tell and felt more like smoke.  


    To pick up on the conversation (none / 0) (#69)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:34:24 PM EST
    started last week regarding the differences between North & South  

    South: Pay day loans, Title loans, Pawn shops.......At least 10 each per small town.

    North: Virtually non-existent

    It's a way of life down here.


    North Non-Existent? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by squeaky on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:24:01 PM EST
    Lots in NYC... , Philly

    Elizabeth Warren writes about a solution..  The problem I see is that banks, who do not open accounts for the working poor, will block this measure. We'll see..

    According to a report put out this week by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service, about 68 million Americans -- more than a quarter of all households -- have no checking or savings account and are underserved by the banking system. ....

    ....But it doesn't have to be this way. In the same remarkable report this week, the OIG explored the possibility of the USPS offering basic banking services -- bill paying, check cashing, small loans -- to its customers. With post offices and postal workers already on the ground, USPS could partner with banks to make a critical difference for millions of Americans who don't have basic banking services because there are almost no banks or bank branches in their neighborhoods.

    I don't (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:51:44 PM EST
    know if this is common in a lot of areas but here in Metro Atlanta a lot of businesses simply are issuing prepaid debit cards for pay. My son had one with two of his jobs. They just load your card every pay day with the money you have earned.

    Though the downside is that apparently they take a percentage of your money or a fee everytime you swipe the card. One of the girls he worked with told him that he should go to the bank that issued the card and take all the money off of it in cash every payday for this reason.

    It's crazy but the more power banks keep trying to get and the more they try to nickle and dime people to death the more people are just bypassing them.

    So I'm not really sure in a lot of ways people even need a checking account these days unless there is a situation like a rental company that does not take cash.


    I had one of those (none / 0) (#84)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:00:40 PM EST
    When I worked for meals on wheels.  There was a charge i think but it was very small and you could mostly avoid it by taking cash out in a lump.

    Normal Heart on now (none / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:28:03 PM EST
    Fvck me (none / 0) (#95)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:16:12 PM EST
    I feel like I just swam the English Channel .

    I'm exhausted.


    Yup (none / 0) (#97)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:25:15 PM EST
    Can't even imagine (none / 0) (#98)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:25:47 PM EST
    The terrible beauty of it (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:34:38 PM EST
    Was that it sort of gave everyone a chance to imagine.  I thought it was amazing.  Better even than I expected.  I can't imagine a more realistic and uncompromising version of the story.  
    Time for another vodka.

    I'm having a glass of wine now (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:42:40 PM EST
    I did elliptical during the first part of it.  Josh games in his room, I was crying at the end and he came and told me he loved me.  What a great kid :)

    It was so honest (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by ruffian on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:59:02 PM EST
    Those seemed like real conversations, and yet like very few conversations I have ever been a part of for sheer honesty, and all the cards on the table.  Fascinating and moving at the same time.

    Everywhere those conversations were (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:55:06 AM EST
    Happening.  I thought it did a great job of making people, who might not, understand how a forced change of lifestyle struck at the very heart of our identity.  In 1970-80 we were coming off the heady 70s.  The decade where, at least in NY, we had won a beach head where no one could tell us how to live.    The irony of what led to is to obvious to dwell on.
    There were so many sights and places.  The fire island ferry.  The club where they had their benefit.   It's (was) called 12west.  It was popular for such things because it was recently closed but had all the facilities for a circuit party.  I wonder if it was the real 12west or a set.  I would be sort of amazed if it was still standing.  It was prime west street realestate.  I worked on a benefit party there myself.  One of our friends, Rolf, a DJ, was ill and needed financial help.  About a dozen of us cleaned up and decorated the place, danced for 14 hours and then cleaned it up again.  Ah the magic of chemicals.

    One thing (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:11:36 AM EST
    I had never seen the play.  There are also several aids themed movies I have never seen, maybe someday.  But I was a little disappointed in when the story ended.  I had hoped it would continue to include the ACT-UP  years which came later and were a reaction to the perceived impotence of GMHC.  That's when the real fight started and I guess that's another story.

    ACT UP was effectively formed in March 1987 at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York. Larry Kramer was asked to speak as part of a rotating speaker series, and his well-attended speech focused on action to fight AIDS. Kramer spoke out against the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), which he perceived as politically impotent. According to Douglas Crimp, Kramer posed a question to the audience: "Do we want to start a new organization devoted to political action?" The answer was "a resounding yes." Approximately 300 people met two days later to form ACT UP.

    On March 24, 1987, 250 ACT UP members demonstrated at Wall Street and Broadway to demand greater access to experimental AIDS drugs and for a coordinated national policy to fight the disease.  An Op/Ed article by Larry Kramer published in the New York Times the previous day described some of the issues ACT UP was concerned with.  Seventeen ACT UP members were arrested during this civil disobedience.

    On March 24, 1988, ACT UP returned to Wall Street for a larger demonstration in which over 100 people were arrested.

    On September 14, 1989, seven ACT UP members infiltrated the New York Stock Exchange and chained themselves to the VIP balcony to protest the high price of the only approved AIDS drug, AZT. The group displayed a banner that read, "SELL WELLCOME" referring to the pharmaceutical sponsor of AZT, Burroughs Wellcome, which had set a price of approximately $10,000 per patient per year for the drug, well out of reach of nearly all HIV positive persons. Several days following this demonstration, Burroughs Wellcome lowered the price of AZT to $6,400 per patient per year.

    This sort of thing continued into the 90s and was very effective if controversial.


    Thank you- I remembered there was more (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by ruffian on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:05:03 AM EST
    political action at some point but could not remember or maybe never was clear on how it came about.

    I thought the movie captured the sense of community so well - the growing openness and euphoria before the epidemics, and the love and caring later.  

    I thought many times while watching that I have rarely seen heterosexual love portrayed as movingly as any of the relationships in this film.  In fact I can't think of one example.


    Some one said (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:11:58 AM EST
    Imminent death focuses the mind.  It also focuses the heart.

    I have not seen the movie, but have seen the play (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by caseyOR on Mon May 26, 2014 at 11:40:44 AM EST
    many times. I think The Normal Heart ends when it ends because Kramer wrote it before Act-Up existed.

    A movie about Act-Up would be fascinating. It has been covered in documentaries, the ones I have seen are mostly on PBS, but I do not recall a movie specifically about Act-Up.

    Another excellent, really brilliant play-also-an-HBO-movie about life in a time of AIDS is Tony Kushner's Angels In America. If you have not seen it go immediately to Netflix and get it and  watch it. And if you ever get the chance to see it on the stage do so.

    Act-Up was so successful that it became a model for groups fighting the FDA and the NIH on behalf of other health issues, breast cancer being the most obvious one. It changed the way we view our relationships with those regulatory and research agencies. It fostered a more aggressive and confrontational style of engagement that was empowering for people.

    I was on the west coast during all those years (Portland, San Francisco, LA). So much death, so many funerals, so much anger and sadness.


    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 12:05:20 PM EST
    I did not know that.  I confess to a tendency to shut down in the face of things like The Nornal Heart.  Just to close .  I am very familiar with angels.  It was,not to put to fine a point on it, a religious experience.  It was IMO the fictional bookend to The Normal Heart.
    I am proud to say I played a small part in the ACT-UP  days. Late to the party as usual but I got to a few events.  Never got arrested I'm sorry to say.

    Oops 1979-80 (none / 0) (#114)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:56:10 AM EST
    I mean

    The Moral Majority! (none / 0) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:44:00 PM EST
    I had forgotten about them and was reminded by the movie.  It was another long conversation with my daughter.  Who was the Moral Majority?  What did they do for our country?

    Wouldn't that be TO (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:58:22 PM EST
    our country ?

    You have to remember that my (none / 0) (#133)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:35:30 PM EST
    Daughter has chosen her faith and she is Christian.  It is how I have raised both my kids....choose.  If you must have a faith investigate them all, choose for yourself.  Secretly, now I wish we had gone to church here when my daughter was a teenager because I don't think she would have chosen the local brand of Christianity had she felt back then the whole community and her parents were forcing it down her throat, but I digress :)

    I am discussing all these issues with a very young Evangelicalish Christian with the extra addition of it being my daughter.  Danger Will Robinson

    Everything seems new to her, even perhaps this Jesus on steroids thing, but it isn't.  And before Focus on the Family and their affiliated friends there was the Moral Majority, it's all the same $hit, but I can't say that that way.

    So I talk about the first what my father called "Do Gooders" accomplished, and Ronnie worked to be pleasing to them too.  What was accomplished?  Our gay sector of society had a huge over reaction to a woman asking them to cool it down until we could figure this out, and their first fear is that if they did that common sense thing the Moral Majority wins.  And thanks to the Moral Majority what was happening was ignored until the epidemic became much worse because....it was a homosexual plague (from God).

    See that then leads us into today and new areas of sex and shaming and shame and secrets.  You probably know that the Gulf Coast South is seeing a brand new HIV explosion.  And I can talk to you about this because YOU KNOW.  We have folks around here who married to please God and the parents and the community....but God Damn It they are gay.  Now it isn't for me to say or tell them who or what they are, all I know is my deeper perceptions are screaming one thing and outward appearance is another and this doesn't happen every now and then here, it's like every day....and my daughter feels, knows, and understands that too.

    One thing I know, shame can prevent straight women from getting things their sexuality requires to be healthy, sexually happy, and safe.  I think shaming about sexuality places those it is happening to frozen in headlights.  Having to have secrets doesn't lead to healthy balance, sometimes it leads to a really bad place.  And being gay here is still so hard to be.  Good things cannot be happening out there.


    This is an important talk too (none / 0) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:48:26 PM EST
    Because guess where her friends the asst. pastor and wife are leaving for next month?  I couldn't even make this crap up....Uganda.

    They have not come out utterly gay intolerant and haters because that would probably shock my daughter, she would have to go elsewhere because she is not gay intolerant.  They are attempting to lead her gently, and they gotta be, they hosted children from Uganda about 6 months ago in their home.  That's an awful lot of Uganda.  My daughter tries to be pleasing to everyone but me, because I have to love her :). She has a very good heart though, I fear she is going to come to a crossroads with this church and friendship, and I want her fully able to respect herself and move on easily without brutality and scars.  I brought up the Uganda trip with a huge emphasis on the word UGANDA.  She hears me, while pretending not to.  She has things to weigh out.


    Holy sh!t (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:53:36 PM EST
    Is she aware what is happening there and that American Christians are both encouraging and financing it?

    I went there a little bit (none / 0) (#138)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:57:52 PM EST
    She got very upset and protective of the friends.  They wouldn't do that, that isn't who they are.   I'm just going to keep rubbing the Buddha belly gently a little at a time.  They are going to screw up, LIARS always do.

    It's not like it's is not (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:10:39 PM EST
    Well documented.  

    It isn't for her (none / 0) (#143)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:14:26 PM EST
    She is busy at home with three small children.  Her mom keeping up with issues is annoying, as it was for me when my grandparents had the watch.

    She doesn't have cable, it is a luxury they do without right now.  And the local news doesn't cover that stuff.  In Southern AL.....Uganda who?


    Well I have been reading that (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:17:27 PM EST
    More progressive Christian organizations are speaking out against what is happening and it's support here.  Maybe you could take that approach

    Excellent.....yes (none / 0) (#146)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:26:07 PM EST
    I can work with that

    I know it must seem that I have (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:29:58 PM EST
    A family member I every possible walk of life but I have a niece in FL who is very into missionary work and has been there a few times.  I was surprised to learn that even my local family, who I had thought were about as hard line as it gets, thinks that whole thing is a little nuts.
    I would like to think that knowing me makes them shy from "kill the gays" Uganda style but I honestly don't think that's it.  I think they just think it's nuts.  Perhaps you could find other less strident Christian voices to gently push in her direction.

    You are not a Russian spy are you? (none / 0) (#135)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:51:13 PM EST
    No, that's serious stuff.  Raising a child must be a terrifying thing.  HIV  is like a wildfire.  It will flare up and fear and awareness will increase and it will flare up someplace else.

    Sometimes talk of "the illusion" of the good old days makes me laugh.  Were the good in every way? No.  Was it good that anything you caught could be cured with a shot of Penicillin?  Yes, it was.
    IMO it's a very sad thing that those days are gone probably forever.


    It is wildfire down here right now (none / 0) (#137)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:54:10 PM EST
    In my daughters age range.  And how do you pop in to the local anything for condoms when everyone knows your wife is pregnant?  Especially if you feel you have something serious to hide?

    Maybe the conservative influence (none / 0) (#139)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:00:40 PM EST
    Is not all bad right now.  

    They are killing their children (none / 0) (#140)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:09:13 PM EST
    And my biggest fear is that at the end of this long day they will say those harmed deserved what happened to them.

    Killing them by (none / 0) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:13:07 PM EST
    Denying things like sex education?

    Yes, and the safety and sanity to be who they are (none / 0) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:25:04 PM EST
    Josh received abstinence only education along with blackened puffy puss covered organ photos.  The nerd herd declared themselves traumatized and burned their "sex education" folders in a camp out fire :)

    They deny that human beings are sexual creatures.  Where does that go?  Secretive sex....and we are all using our birth control and bringing our condoms for our secretive sex.....Not.  If you are already doing something wrong, taking care of yourself is not your second thought...that whole space is taken up with not getting caught....tonight.  What tomorrow brings, that must wait for tomorrow.

    Everyone here my age has got to be a God Damned liar too about what they were all doing down here in their teens.  Didn't 38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd rise out of he South.  They didn't serve a pack of virgins.....come on!


    I like Josh more and more (none / 0) (#150)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:44:31 PM EST
    This from 2 years back (none / 0) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:37:06 PM EST
    Nothing has changed though education wise or socially.


    The doctors were warning people when you went in for a check up, but they warned me, not the most sexually active with probably more than one partner...the teens and young adults


    This from last month (none / 0) (#149)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:43:16 PM EST
    Quick question (none / 0) (#157)
    by sj on Tue May 27, 2014 at 01:15:29 AM EST
    Don't you work with polymer clays? Can you make a recommendation on a pasta machine?? I don't want to spend a fortune but I want it to work.

    Thanks and back to your regular topic.


    I purchased a standard CucinaPro on sale (none / 0) (#158)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 05:19:09 AM EST
    Paid less than $20, 15 yrs ago.  They are all built like battleships.  It's still in perfect shape and going strong.  It takes some working with it to get the hang.  Having some baby wipes on hand works well to clean between colors too.  Non toxic for you and they have just enough emollient to clean the rollers but not effect your clay.

    I have looked at the machine designed specifically for clay, but not sure if it would be a step up of any kind. It has an extra thickness setting, but that hasn't been something I ran across needing.

    The underside of the rollers collect tiny bits of clay in strange places.  Clean your rollers well there.  It can really botch your white or a custom color you just got blended perfectly.


    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by sj on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:38:12 PM EST
    All this information is great! But now I have more questions:

    Searching for pasta machines turns up a boat load of results and most of them have tons of comments or reviews. So I have even less clarity with information than I did with ignorance.

    I've found these three CucinaPro models:

    Mama Bear
    Papa Bear and
    Baby Bear

    I've pretty much ruled out Baby Bear, but I also found this which has only one review but looks pretty sturdy.

    Do any of these extrude using a screw (I ask as if I knew what that meant exactly)? Any other thoughts?


    I have Momma bear version (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:08:34 PM EST
    I'm not sure how the step up would improve clay work, noodles though sure.

    This is the extruder I ended getting after having a model that you physically attempted to plunge.  Plunger style will break your hand and it is hard for your work to be even.  If you enjoy polymer clay an extruder is usually the next thing you start to look for.  You can make beautiful uniform coils, Klimt style canes, checkerboard canes that you can then flatten, cut, and stack (Donna Kato) uses that type of cane a lot.

    I purchased my extruder from Michaels using one of their half off coupons.


    Mucho gracias (none / 0) (#169)
    by sj on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:54:13 PM EST
    I was leaning toward Mama Bear and knowing that's what you have I'll go with tried and true. I need to look for other sources, though, and avoid Amazon if I can.

    I'll definitely do the Michaels thing for the extruder -- once I know what to do with it.

    I really, really appreciate this.


    If you really enjoy it (none / 0) (#172)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:05:41 PM EST
    Keep Munro Crafts scribbled somewhere to make large clay orders from.  They offer 25% discount on orders over $50, 40% on orders over $100, and 50% on orders over $200.  You can't beat their clay prices.

    I have no specific clay loyalty unless I am using translucent for anything and then only FIMO,  it is a lovely translucent, others have a yellowish hue.


    And if you really really love it (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:21:21 PM EST
    Alcohol inks.....yes
    Perfect pearls pigment powder...yes
    Tim Holtz inks....yes

    Fixatives are harder because how they can interact with the clay.  Don't laugh, but I'm trying an orthodontic bonding material because I'm tired of fighting with glues and such.

    I haven't needed to dip anything in resin since I bought one of my daughters friend's used nail UV lamps. I use clear acrylic top coat gel, cures almost immediately under the lamp, no complaints.  I want a matte coat now to try.


    The adrenaline is already flowing... (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by sj on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:35:38 PM EST
    ...and I don't even know what all that stuff is yet.

    I sure miss all the art supply stores in Baltimore. There are lots mostly, I expect, because of MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art). Wonderful stores and pretty cost effective.

    Back here in Denver, it's pretty much Michaels/Joann's for run of the mill supplies at a reasonable price and Meininger's for the good stuff at an exorbitant price.

    Would decoupage medium work for your matte finish? Mod Podge isn't completely water proof, but would it need to be?


    You can use anything Varathane (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 08:05:34 PM EST
    Pledge floor wax..used to be future, takes a couple of coats usually, there are a couple of thicker Varathane products out there too. I don't know if decoupage would interact with the clay.

    You can also fine sand 400+ grit sandpaper or buff a beautiful finish on your beads and things too.  I do that a lot.


    Good prices and a wide range of (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by ZtoA on Tue May 27, 2014 at 10:58:11 PM EST
    Art supplies on dickblick.com.

    They are a good source for Prismacolor pens (none / 0) (#181)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 28, 2014 at 01:45:09 PM EST
    For a look at inks and stain (none / 0) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:39:48 PM EST

    Possibilities google images for Claire Maunsells Pods.  I think at this point, all she does is play all day.  The minute she has anything for sale it goes as fast as she puts it up.

    Beautiful bracelets: (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by oculus on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:52:37 PM EST
    She makes her pods in sets of two (none / 0) (#178)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 07:55:36 PM EST
    They are hollow free form, she challenged herself to make hollow enclosed vessels much like when you are in advanced pottery your instructor may challenge you to build successfully ONE such item :)

    Once she started messing with stains, inks, distressing, it is almost impossible to get a new set of pods hot off the press.  It may be possible to pay for something similar to a past set if you contact her on etsy.

    I assumed two pods, she was giving other artists a base of sorts for a set of earrings.  Pods run $25 a set up.  But there is no hole in the thing so YOU have to mar it.  Or you could wire wrap it but that changes its perfected appearance...sigh...I guess I could just look at them :)


    And whatever you choose (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:22:18 PM EST
    Make sure your noodle cutting portion is removable from the base.  It just gets in the way.  It should just lift of from your base.  I tried using mine to cut the clay into strips but it doesn't cut as cleanly as using a tissue blade.  Running some finer sandpaper down your tissue blades will keep them wicked sharp too, just be careful.

    I know Atlas is commonly used (none / 0) (#165)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:13:59 PM EST
    But read that they had changed their scraper blades and some polymer clay artists were having trouble with it.  That sure is a pricey Atlas.

    Pasta Queen is popular too.  When I started there wasn't much info on preferred pasta machines, they just said get a pasta machine so I did and it has done the job.


    It is still my downtime passion (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 05:21:04 AM EST
    If you decide to do some extruding (none / 0) (#160)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 05:25:05 AM EST
    Spend a little extra and get one that extrudes using a screw, that's worth it.  

    Here is something to keep handy (none / 0) (#161)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:04:05 AM EST
    If you really end up enjoying creating with polymer and your pasta machine.  It is how to break down the machine for a thorough cleaning.  


    I did read around this morning that Atlas pasta machines changed their scraper blades and that has become a problem for individuals who purchased those machines.


    I don't know (none / 0) (#152)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:18:51 PM EST
    if evangelicals do this but we do. It's called sins of ommission. Even though Reagand didn't do anything that would be called a sin of commission he certainly did what was called a sin of omission where you know you can do something to help somebody but you did not.

    I think you can set up an auto transfer (none / 0) (#94)
    by nycstray on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:43:08 PM EST
    the money hits your paycheck card and then immediately gets transferred to your reg account. I know you can do it with the unemployment debit cards.

    Ga6thDem: (none / 0) (#103)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:57:41 PM EST
    We pay our employees this way, and, they seem to love it. Some of them don't drive, and, coming to the office on payday is a hassle for some of them. Also, we don't like giving out paychecks to friends, and, such.

    As far as a fee is concerned, we, certainly don't extract anything. The employee can, as some have already suggested here, go to the bank and withdraw it all, or, spend it in pieces. To make a purchase without incurring any fees they, simply tell the clerk, or, the machine, to treat it as a credit card purchase. No fee.

    Some of our employees tell us they like it better this way because they usually have money left over by the next payday, something that never happened when they got it all in cash.

    Anyway, to each their own.


    Warren and the consumer (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:27:38 PM EST
    Protection agency she created are both supporters of Choke Point

    Yes (none / 0) (#81)
    by squeaky on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:39:11 PM EST
    I am aware of that..

    No one is perfect, even you!


    Ah, forgot about you (none / 0) (#82)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:50:10 PM EST
    When Davidson County, Tn. (population 100,000) has more payday loan outlets than all of NYC (population 8,000,000) I would stand by my statement, "virtually"....non-existent.

    Oh, BTW, my last residence in NY was in Dutchess County, just North of the City, and, they just opened their first pawn shop last year. And, the largest city in Duchess County, Poughkeepsie (pop. 31,000) ZERO Payday, Pawn, Title Loan outlets.

    But, thank you for missing the point.


    POint? (none / 0) (#85)
    by squeaky on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:09:12 PM EST
    Wherever there are working poor there are pay day loan shops, there are thousands in NYC..  Banks will not open accounts for these people, they are dependent on the pay day loan shops.

    To say that there are virtually none in the North is a gross misstatement, whatever your point was.


    Well (none / 0) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:55:28 PM EST
    according to this site payday loans are outlawed in the state of New York. It says however that you can get them from another state BUT you have to have a checking account among other things. So unless there are some businesses that are able to get around the law I would think that Shooter is probably right about having a lot in TN and very few in NY.

    Yep - lots of other states, too (none / 0) (#91)
    by Yman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:14:08 PM EST
    Even more have made them de facto illegal by having small loan rate caps that make them prohibitive:

    States combat high cost credit through several legal strategies. In Georgia, payday lending is explicitly prohibited and a violation of racketeering laws. New York and New Jersey prohibit payday lending through their criminal usury statutes, limiting loans to 25 percent and 30 percent annual interest, respectively. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the state Check Cashers Act, which purported to authorize high-cost payday lending, violated the state's constitutional usury cap ...

    Payday lending is not specifically authorized and is defacto prohibited by several state small loan rate caps. These states include Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia...

    OTOH - other states have very permissive Payday loan laws:

    Thirty-two states enacted safe harbor legislation for payday lenders and permit loans based on checks written on consumers' bank accounts at triple digit interest rates, or with no rate cap at all. These states include: Alabama, Alaska, California,Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan,
    Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.


    Guess I don't need to "get out more" after all ...


    That is an interesting list (none / 0) (#112)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:40:38 AM EST
    Not really north south or red blue

    Yes (none / 0) (#116)
    by squeaky on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:05:21 AM EST
    I was thinking check cashing operations, which are ubiquitous in NYC.

    Yes (none / 0) (#115)
    by squeaky on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:03:36 AM EST
    Misunderstood... North has tons of check cashing places and pawn shops in the poor neighborhoods...  thought that was what your were referring to or that pay day loans centers were the same as check cashing operations.

    carry on.


    "Lots"? (none / 0) (#86)
    by Yman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:09:51 PM EST
    The NYC link shows lots of dots, but it's almost entirely banks and check cashing sites.  The Philly link shows one location.

    You Need To Get Out More (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by squeaky on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:16:25 PM EST
    In poor urban neighborhoods they are abundant.

    Rich neighborhoods, nary one in sight.


    Is that so? (none / 0) (#90)
    by Yman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:59:20 PM EST
    Strange that you would assume that to be the case ... not really, I guess.  But definitely strange, considering I'm in poor, urban neighborhoods on a daily basis.

    But my point was your links - purporting to show that there were "lots" of Pay Day loan sites in Brooklyn and Philly - show no such thing.  They show lots of check cashing sites and banks in Brooklyn and one pay day loan site in Philly.


    And, this is a perfect example (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:24:48 PM EST
    of what I've been bi!ching about here on TL. Yes, there are some references to sleazy joints in the yellow pages, but, they're just connections to national, out-of-state, operations. Physically, they hardly exist. And, even if you found a few, does that, in any material way, detract from what I'm trying to get across?

    At what exact ratio does my point that Southern citizens are exploited more than Northern ones become valid?

    Oh, and, my "bi!ching" point.....there are several regulars here who have no interest whatsoever in engaging in meaningful discussion. They troll the comments, not for insight, or, interest, but, to try and come up with some outlier, no matter how vague, or, distant, in some kind of self-gratification ritual.

    My usual response is....no response, but, since you guys jumped in, in support, I just wanted to acknowledge you, and, say Thanks.


    I agree with you that they are exploited more (none / 0) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:20:14 PM EST
    But they don't seem to want to stand up and stop it, at least where I live they don't.  The exploitation is used to divide where I live, the poor deserve their suffering and those with a little extra like the people in my neighborhood are convinced that God is happier with them than these others....they have done something to deserve to be poor and broken.

    Yes (none / 0) (#118)
    by squeaky on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:12:05 AM EST
    I was referring to check cashing places, did not know there was a difference between them and pay-day loan shops.

    Exactly right (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:36:27 PM EST
    I think that has at least two reasons.  Way more minimum wage jobs and a generally less educated population

    Also (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:56:33 PM EST
    I would expect from reading that Mother Jones piece that regulations have a lot to do with it.  The redder the state the more flagrant the exploitation

    Your expectations would be correct (none / 0) (#93)
    by Yman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:25:29 PM EST
    An analysis of Payday loan laws by state with interactive map.

    Highly restricted in the Northeast and a few other states.  Not so much elsewhere.


    It is (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:15:38 PM EST
    and in small towns it seems to be way worse than it is here in Metro Atlanta. I'm guessing it's because you have so many different kind of operations here to get money from and in the small towns if the local bank turn you down, you've got pay day loans to go to and that's about it.

    My husband's cousin ran one in Florida and when people asked him what he did he said legalized loan sharking.


    Anyone who believes (none / 0) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:23:16 PM EST
    Giving poor people a payday loan at 50% interest is doing them a favor simply doesn't get it.

    I imagine they are less available in the metro area is also more money and more education


    Porn Stars Have Had Accounts Terminated (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:19:07 PM EST
    Last week it was revealed that Chase Bank made the decision to cancel hundreds of accounts belonging to porn performers, at least one of which was a personal account belonging to a retired performer.


    Last month, porn star Teagan Presley told Vice that JPMorgan Chase & Co. closed her account because the bank considered her "high-risk." Then, on Wednesday, porn director David Lord told the Daily Beast that Chase sent him a letter notifying him that the bank was going to close his account on May 11....

    "This has nothing to do with Operation Choke Point," the source [Chase Insider] told Mother Jones. "There's not a targeted effort to exit consumers' accounts because of an affiliation with an industry [and] we have no policy that would prohibit a consumer from having a checking account because of an affiliation with this industry. We routinely exit consumers for a variety of reasons. For privacy reasons we can't get into why."...

    ....A footnote in the guidelines linked to a list of products and services, published in 2011, that the feds say have been associated with high-risk activity, including get-rich products, drug paraphernalia, escort services, firearm sales, pornography, and racist materials.



    So both those links say (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:36:27 PM EST
    It had nothing to do with choke point.  Have to say.  I don't think just because chase is reticent to handle their money it means some other bank will not.  I blushingly admit I have known a few people on this industry both in front of and behind the camera.  (Would add here the gay porn industry is both less exploitative and less socially stigmatizing than the straight industry) It is a VERY lucrative business. I do not believe they will be refused to opportunity to have a bank account.

    No (none / 0) (#57)
    by squeaky on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:50:00 PM EST
    Both links say Chase denies that Operation Choke Point was why the closed the accounts.... and that Chase has cancelled accounts throughout their history (really?)..   the timing and en masse cancellations send up a red flag, imo.

    Clearly when the DOJ makes a list, and Banks get closed because they are not "following the guidelines", it is in the interest of biig banks like Chase to cancel every account that falls under the guidelines.

    Do you really think that Chase did a follow up to examine if the 100 or so accounts (that we know of) were involved in illegal activity?


    More (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:59:10 PM EST
    Is this the first time that feds have asked banks to keep an eye on their customers? No. The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 requires financial institutions to assist the feds in preventing money laundering, which includes scrutinizing customers. However, banks argue that Operation Choke Point goes further than that law.

    Does Operation Choke Point include a "blacklist" of businesses or individuals the government is requiring banks to target? Not exactly. Last September, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued updated regulatory guidelines noting that "facilitating payment processing for merchant customers engaged in higher-risk activities can pose risks to financial institutions." A footnote in the guidelines linked to a list of products and services, published in 2011, that the feds say have been associated with high-risk activity, including get-rich products, drug paraphernalia, escort services, firearm sales, pornography, and racist materials. But the September guidance makes clear that financial institutions that "properly manage these relationships and risks are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing payment processing services to customers operating in compliance with applicable law." In other words, the guidance requires banks to perform due diligence to prevent fraud, but does not require banks to go on a porn-star witch hunt.

    Why are some people saying Operation Choke Point discriminates against low-income Americans? As part of the program, the feds are scrutinizing payday lenders, which offer short-term loans at high interest rates. Critics of these lenders say they take advantage of low-income Americans, while defenders note that they're often the only option for Americans unable to get loans elsewhere. Some states restrict or ban payday loans. But as payday lenders move online, they've been able to skirt state rules, according to the Justice Department. The feds hope to crack down on payday lenders that are not complying with state and federal regulations. "This effort is focusing on ensuring that lenders are not using electronic payment networks to commit fraud or offer products that would not otherwise be permitted," says Tom Feltner, director of financial services at the Consumer Federation of America, a national association of nonprofit consumer advocacy groups.


    Did you read the articles you linked to? (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:55:15 PM EST
    Who opposes the program? Banks, payday lenders, gun owners, conservatives, and some Democrats have expressed opposition to the program.

    Who supports it? Quite a few Democrats support the program. On February 26, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent a letter to the Justice Department recommending that the program continue. The letter, cosigned by 11 other Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), said: "The Department plays a critical role in ensuring system-wide compliance with anti-fraud, anti-money-laundering, and related laws, especially as they apply to the unique risks associated with our payments system, and we urge the Department to continue its vigorous oversight."


    Yes (none / 0) (#61)
    by squeaky on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:01:11 PM EST
    And I have been following the story since it came out. I do not like it. If the DOJ wants to pursue illegal activity they should do so.

    Imagine if the FBI provided a list to landlords that was similar. And threatened them that if anyone on their premises was doing something illegal that the landlord would go to jail?

    The landlord would evict hoards of people who were doing nothing illegal.

    This program stinks, and is a fear mongering approach to law enforcement. It has really bad implications, imo.


    Whatever (none / 0) (#62)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 04:06:58 PM EST
    I recommend anyone interested read the links you provided.

    Whatever Yourself (none / 0) (#63)
    by squeaky on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:06:01 PM EST
    Also worthwhile to read the other links in my comment..

    Vice and the Daily Beast

    More here Guardian..

    and Kudo's to Elizabeth Warren for trying to get this program off the ground:

    Coming to a Post Office Near You: Loans You Can Trust?

    good luck.. the banisters, who often won't deal with the working poor, will undoubtably do everything in their power to stop this.


    Maybe you should watch (none / 0) (#125)
    by ragebot on Mon May 26, 2014 at 01:28:24 PM EST

    Minority Reoprt

    DOJ can charge people with fraud if they have evidence.  It worries me that DOJ tries to predict who will commit fraud before hand.


    I have seem it (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 01:40:27 PM EST
    And read it.  The DOJ is not predicting fraud.  They are warning of it.  And alerting institutions where to look. The problem often is the institutions don't need a warning.  They know only to well where it is happening and don't give a rats a$$ because they are making buttloads of profit from it.

    Boatloads of $$? (none / 0) (#127)
    by squeaky on Mon May 26, 2014 at 01:55:54 PM EST
    Except Where They Aren't..  then the banks just dispense of the customer who is doing legal business because why bother.

    This is the poor sister to the NSA security letter, imo...  except the DOJ has nothing but relies on innuendo and the threat of making the bank spend time and money if they continue to serve so called "high risk" clients.


    Wrong (none / 0) (#128)
    by ragebot on Mon May 26, 2014 at 02:17:21 PM EST
    The DOJ under Holder is using its power to create a hit list of political opponents and going after them.  And this is the classic example.


    I am sure you were unaware of this when you tried to defend Holder cutting off credit card transactions.


    Yes, those are the allegations (none / 0) (#151)
    by Yman on Mon May 26, 2014 at 07:51:36 PM EST
    What would be a nice change of pace is some actual evidence.

    Why don't you guys just chat (none / 0) (#131)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:57:01 PM EST
    Amongst yourselves.  

    Elijah Cummings (none / 0) (#155)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:25:09 PM EST
    is part of the IRS scandal as well, so no surprises on that list of supporters in terms of possessing any ethics.

    More silly, tin-foil claims ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Yman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:19:29 AM EST
    ... without the slightest bit of evidence.

    Yaaaaawwwwwwwnnn ...


    yman, no mocking other commenters please (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:02:06 PM EST
    I am "mocking" ... (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Yman on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:55:05 PM EST
    ... the specious claims of the commenter, not the commenter himself.

    BTW (none / 0) (#106)
    by NYShooter on Mon May 26, 2014 at 12:39:25 AM EST
    What does, "Rate All" mean?

    "Rate All" is what you have to click on (none / 0) (#111)
    by Anne on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:29:49 AM EST
    to apply even a rating to even just one comment, but if there is more than one comment you want to rate, you can do them all at once, and when you're finished, clicking "Rate All" will apply them all.

    Since clicking on "Rate All" removes all the [new] flags, doing multi-comment rating won't leave you wondering which of the comments you hadn't read yet were the new ones.


    Hey, thanks (none / 0) (#121)
    by NYShooter on Mon May 26, 2014 at 11:29:42 AM EST
    I hardly ever rate, but, it's nice to know how to if the occasion should arise.

    Is the last paragraph accurate? (none / 0) (#163)
    by oculus on Tue May 27, 2014 at 01:44:11 PM EST
    It is for me. (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by Anne on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:28:32 PM EST
    Why don't you see if it's true for you?

    I will. (none / 0) (#168)
    by oculus on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:46:51 PM EST
    It's true for me, too (none / 0) (#171)
    by sj on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:56:51 PM EST
    Of course there is often still that issue with the [new] tag on the most recent post.

    Now I'm going to click "Rate All" on my other tab.


    Patience (none / 0) (#153)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:14:57 PM EST
    Obama can hide things for awhile, delay FOIA requests months beyond legal requirements by requiring anything sensitive to the WH be reviewed before release, but sunshine is persistent and Obama's Nixon style dirty tricks will come out.

    Fired for dissing the dear leader, former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson that the Obama administration was "the most secretive White House I have ever been involved in covering."

    The issue everyone should have a problem with is that operation choke point is clear prosecutorial misconduct, punishing without due process or even indictment for a crime.


    What SPECIFIC "Nixon style dirty tricks" (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by jondee on Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:08:55 PM EST
    are we talking about here?

    My translation of your Rush-style reiterations is "please, please, Lord, give us a Democrat Watergate..a Democrat Iran-Contra.."

    All based in embittered, wishful thinking.


    Shorter answer (none / 0) (#154)
    by Yman on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:24:04 PM EST
    No actual evidence - merely speculation and specious allegations, ...

    ... as always.


    I wish someone had been "covering" (none / 0) (#170)
    by jondee on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:55:12 PM EST
    the editorial meetings when it was decided that the Times was going to commit itself to helping ratchet up public support for the Iraq invasion..

    Most secretive..Exactly how old is Jill Abramson? Seventeen?


    Viral of the day (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:28:19 PM EST
    man hugs a lion

    Don't worry it's all good

    Memorial Day Surprise Visit. (none / 0) (#54)
    by KeysDan on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:02:21 PM EST
    President Obama arrived at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan to thank the troops for their service.  Speaking to the troops he pledged to bring the Afghanistan war to a "responsible end."

    And, he noted a decision would soon be made regarding staying on, at some level, beyond 2014.  Both Afghan presidential candidates, in next month's election,  have indicated that they will sign a bi-lateral agreement--one that was delayed/rejected by President Karzai. (Karzai declined to meet President Obama at Bagram, only a meeting at Karzai's palace would do.)

    Karzai's action/inaction was a surprise to the Administration, but probably should not have been. Clearly, Karzai's memory is better than the Administration's.

    Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, known as Najib, was president during the time of the Soviet Union withdrawal and subsequent collapse.  Najib was ousted from power in 1992 and in 1996, when the Taliban took Kabul and came to power, Najib was castrated by the Taliban, dragged behind a truck through the streets of Kabul, and then publicly hanged.  

    As for that bilateral agreement, we need to await the details on what "beyond 2014" means, in years or decades, and how many troops/advisers will remain.

    To me, the only encouraging words on that score were that we will be keeping a small contingent of troops to help protect gains made over 13-years of combat.  Encouraging, I say, because if the goal is only to protect gains, a very small force, indeed, will be required.

    When you're the country's president... (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by unitron on Mon May 26, 2014 at 01:10:22 AM EST

    "(Karzai declined to meet President Obama at Bagram, only a meeting at Karzai's palace would do."

    ...and in your own country, you don't drive out to the airport to meet them in the lounge, they come to see you as acknowledgement of which sovereignty is in effect inside those borders.

    Not to mention security would rather have the guest come to the executive mansion over which they have total control all the time.

    If Karzai wanted Obama to come out and meet him at Andrews AFB, or even worse, a civilian airport, even if State said "Nah, protocol's not really a thing anymore", Secret Service would still have a cow.


    Yes, security is always (none / 0) (#129)
    by KeysDan on Mon May 26, 2014 at 02:20:05 PM EST
    an issue, and travel to, and within, Afghanistan especially so.  The president arrived under cover of night and, also,  apparently, did not notify the Afghanistan president in advance of his arrival.

     As noted in the link provided,  while in Afghanistan, Obama offered to meet with Karzai at Bagram, but Karzai declined saying he would meet Obama at his palace but not an American military base.

    The White House explained that it was not planning a bilateral meeting with Karzai (which seems to be put off until Karzai's successor is in office) or a trip to the palace.  The trip was to focus on thanking the troops.  And, the WH was not surprised that a meeting did not work on short notice.  Attempting to set up a meeting with Karzai while at Bagram was apparently the protocol du jour.  


    My friend Stephanie's photos of classic theaters (none / 0) (#183)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:16:26 PM EST
    On a fence in Boston as part of an out door exhibit series


    This surprised me (none / 0) (#187)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 29, 2014 at 10:19:59 AM EST
    OMG (none / 0) (#188)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 08:56:56 PM EST
    It's a cliffhanger!!!

    RIP Ann B. Davis (none / 0) (#189)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:57:31 PM EST
    Davis achieved prominence for her role in The Bob Cummings Show (1955-59) for which she twice won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, but she was best known for playing the part of Alice Nelson, the housekeeper in The Brady Bunch series (1969-74).