Tuesday Open Thread

I'm done here for the day, having used all my blogging time to write about the Dershowitz/Virginia Roberts story.

If I had more time, I'd also write about Celebrity Apprentice. It's very entertaining this season. I hope Geraldo and Leeza Gibbons are the final two. I was a guest on both their talk shows many times in the 90's. In the six degrees of separation department, one of the Leeza shows I did was with Alan Dershowitz. Leeza not only flew us out to LA, she flew our sons out. The topic was representing the hated defendant and part of that was how it affected our families. (Our sons were also interviewed on air.) She is such a warm and genuine person, and a consummate professional. As for Geraldo, none of today's cable news shows come close to being as good as CNBC's "Rivera Live" in the 90's. Geraldo was my friend back then, and while I haven't seen him in years, I still like him.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    I have a very low opinion (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 04:28:26 PM EST
     of cable news, but that might be the harshest criticism I have ever read.

    The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 09:33:27 PM EST
    has written an open letter to Judge Maura McShane
    asking her to investigate Ferguson prosecutor Bob McCulloch and his team for misconduct. The NAACP notes that, under Missouri law, McShane has the authority to investigate McCulloch and appoint a new special prosecutor to handle the case against Darren Wilson. Such a move would effectively restart the case against Wilson for killing Michael Brown, after no charges were filed against Wilson during last year's grand jury proceeding.

    The group of experts assembled by the NAACP to review the grand jury transcripts "were struck by the deeply unfair manner in which the proceedings were conducted." The NAACP cites three areas of particular concern.

    The letter raises what appear to this non-lawyer to be serious concerns, specifically:  

    1. McCulloch and his team "knowingly presented false witness testimony to the grand jury."

    1. McCulloch and his team "presented incorrect and misleading statements of law to the grand jury and sanctioned unlawful juror practices."

    2. McCulloch and his team "provided favorable treatment to the target of the grand jury proceedings."

    I mean, do prosecutors normally encourage jurors to conduct their own research?  Because these prosecutors did just that.  Prosecutors also did not seem able to coherently communicate the law to the grand jury, brushed off their questions about the law, etc.  Do prosecutors normally respond to those kinds of questions by telling the GJ not to worry about it?

    Really, I think the whole proceeding just stinks.

    Letter to Judge is Old Hat (2.00 / 1) (#13)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 11:17:34 PM EST
    It's points have been discussed here ad nauseam.  The one thing that it doesn't contain is any reference to evidence (witnesses) that the Grand Jury didn't consider.  I wonder what they would have said if McCulloch just refused to indict without having the GJ review the evidence.  The letter should be promptly put into the circular file where it belongs.

    I believe you are confusing this letter with (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 07:03:47 AM EST
    the lawsuit filed by one of the grand jurors; I do not recall any discussion of this letter - it was only sent on Monday, and first reporting appears to have begun yesterday.

    Did you read the letter?  I'm thinking that you did not.  

    You just go ahead and wonder about things that didn't happen; the rest of us will consider what did happen in that grand jury room, and how it affected the outcome of the deliberations.

    Try to keep up.


    NPR has an interesting article on juror's suit (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 04:40:26 PM EST
    Grand Juror Doe May Have A Case, Say Legal Experts

    The grand juror who wants to challenge publicly St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch's portrayal of the Ferguson grand jury has a relatively strong First Amendment case -- if the juror can get the argument before a judge, legal experts say.

    The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a Florida law that permanently barred a grand jury witness from disclosing his grand jury testimony. That same rationale may apply to grand jurors themselves, legal experts say.
    The first hurdle, though, would be for the unidentified grand juror to show he or she has the "standing" to challenge the constitutionality of a state law that makes it a crime to violate the grand jurors' oath of secrecy.

    Long article but interesting read.


    Grand Juror Doe (none / 0) (#83)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 07:04:01 PM EST
    Legal experts say neither of those laws would be much of an impediment to a grand juror talking. The grand juror would not be violating the first law because he or she would not be disclosing grand jury secrets in that McCulloch already has released most material.

    "Once the grand jury proceeding in the Darren Wilson case is over, and the evidence has been largely released, I think the usual government interests in grand jury secrecy are likely not sufficient to justify a flat ban on grand juror speech.

    It doesn't sound like the GJ Doe needs to go to court for him/her to speak on the matter.

    It may only become a judiciable matter if McCulloch arrests him/her for doing so -- and it's only a misdemeanor.

    They may just bag the trip to court and just release the hounds -- judiciously of course.


    You missed the part that followed (none / 0) (#90)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:31:20 PM EST
    But a third statute does hold legal jeopardy. Grand jurors take an oath swearing "the counsel of your state, your fellows and your own, you shall truly keep secret." Violation of the oath is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500, six months in jail or both.

    Witnesses also take an oath: to tell (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 09:26:14 AM EST
    the truth.  McCulloch has already stated he will not file charges against those witnesses who committed perjury during their testimony.

    Was that because they knowingly put on witnesses they knew were not going to be truthful?  

    Given McCulloch's decision to release the transcript of the proceeding, secrecy has already been breached to a significant degree.  I wouldn't have a problem with a juror discussing his or her own thought process during deliberations, but I don't think any one juror should have the right to expose what other jurors said or did.  Especially not given the tension and anger that has surrounded this case.

    But who knows?  Nothing about this case seems to have followed any normal protocol.

    But it sure seems to me there are some things that need looking into.


    From the article (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 12:20:49 PM EST
    Flanders added, "If the grand juror can really stick to his own feelings and not report about what any other jurors thought or did or said, I think he's on stronger ground."

    The ACLU's Rothert said in an email that the grand juror plans to do just that. The juror "is not interested in disclosing what other grand jurors said during deliberations about the evidence or the law," he wrote. "I do not know if there was a vote or what exactly the details of what (the) grand juror wants to say about any voting process other than that the implication the grand jury was of one mind is not accurate."

    Further emphasis of what juror's lawyer said:

    "The juror "is not interested in disclosing what other grand jurors said during deliberations about the evidence or the law,"


    I saw it but (none / 0) (#114)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 07:07:02 AM EST
    that's not the point of the article. Until GJ Doe is arrested or otherwise harmed for speaking out there may just be no conflict and thus no case.

    Prosecutor McCulloch might just choose not to enforce the statute in this case since he was the one who made all the information public.

    But until the plaintiff speaks and McCulloch responds, there may be no controversy and thus no standing for GJ Doe's lawsuit.

    The petition might just sit there for the next 5 years gathering dust while GJ Doe awaits court certification of his/her right to speak that he/she already has:

    a federal appeals court ruled in 2006 that for standing to exist there has to be "a credible threat, as opposed to a hypothetical possibility" that a law will chill a person's First Amendment rights.

    Given that all the facts before the GJ are pretty much public at this point, there is hardly anything left that can be called "secret".


    Our interpretation of the article differs (none / 0) (#120)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 08:28:00 AM EST
    I do no believe that is the point of the article. The article discusses what could happen when the court hears the case.

    "Prosecutor McCulloch, the defendant, has unfettered discretion to decide whether Grand Juror Doe would be charged with a misdemeanor if he or she speaks to the media. So the first question a judge might ask is: If Doe speaks, will you or might you charge Doe under the statute? If the answer is an unequivocal no, then there is no controversy. Case dismissed. Doe can speak. Or sing. Or whatever. If the defendant's response is `only if Doe tells the truth' or some other such qualification, then there is a controversy..... But until the defendant McCulloch responds, there may be no controversy."
    "Our view," he said in an email, "is that because the criminal statutes prohibiting grand jurors from speaking were handed out to grand jurors on the final day, there is a reasonable basis for fearing that there would be a prosecution. That said, our client would welcome an unequivocal statement from the prosecutor that he will not enforce the laws that we are challenging. Certainly such a promise by the prosecutor to the court would go a long way to eliminating the chilling effect our client currently experiences."

    People can read the article and decide how to interpret it. I've said all I need to say on the subject.


    I Read the Letter (2.00 / 1) (#23)
    by RickyJim on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:44:00 AM EST
    You linked to it in your original post.  My comments had nothing to do with the grand juror's lawsuit.  I regard the LDF's arguments as frivolous and any competent judge will think likewise.

    Ok (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:15:52 PM EST
    why would you consider yourself qualified to decide what is and is not a "competent" judge?

    Old hat (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 07:54:17 AM EST
    Just like knowingly presenting false testimony to the GJ. Happens all the time right?

    Ricky Jim (none / 0) (#17)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 06:38:13 AM EST
    It's points have been discussed here ad nauseam.

    But the Grand Jury members were not allowed to read them here before voting. In retrospect they would have been better off and better informed if they had. Those on this site had this case nailed from the start while other sites were swinging from branches throwing out all manner of false information that they have still yet to correct.

    The one thing that it doesn't contain is any reference to evidence (witnesses) that the Grand Jury didn't consider.

    That's understood by anyone reading it.

     Several witnesses were missing from the Grand Jury, including someone with basic math skills or  a calculator to connect the dots, someone with the skills to assign times to police dispatches,   Brown's coach to testify as to his ability to run 230 feet in 10 seconds, Witness 10's employer that morning, Witness 40's psychiatrist, and any 6th grader who could look at that crime scene and tell you that Wilson fired at Brown when his back was turned.

    I wonder what they would have said if McCulloch just refused to indict without having the GJ review the evidence.

    That's essentially what he did in the way he handled this Grand Jury.

    The letter should be promptly put into the circular file where it belongs.

    Would that be the same file where the Bengazzi, Fast and Furious, Jessica Chambers stuff is all filed or is that somehow different.


    Don't you wish (none / 0) (#37)
    by Palli on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 11:19:28 AM EST
    Muddles in Missouri (none / 0) (#12)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 11:13:19 PM EST
    I mean, do prosecutors normally encourage jurors to conduct their own research?  Because these prosecutors did just that.

    I think they had these jurors so confused that they didn't know which side was up.

    At one point the prosecutors referred to the Grand Jury as co-investigators -- and then at a later point in the proceedings the prosecutors admonished them for investigating on their own. They were told that all questions had to go through the prosecutors.

    Uhhh -- I think that was part of the problem. They weren't getting answers from the prosecutors -- just more muddled stuff.

    One thing glaringly missing from the GJ Report is the timeline. They don't seem to ever have provided one to the jurors or even thought it to be important.

    Some investigation??? Did anyone have a watch???

    In McCulloch's statement after it was all over he says unequivocably that Wilson made that radio call for assistance at 12:02:00 which even he then puts in the wrong sequence of events.

    Really Bob??? Does anyone proofread your stuff???
    or is that what you were telling the jurors and why they were trying to look elsewhere for answers???

    Nowhere in the proceedings of over 3 months is that 12:02:00 time ever mentioned to the Grand Jury and why it would be important in light of the 7 second Glide recording that ended at 12:02:14.

    Ohhh but they sure had plenty of time to drive home the point that he took those cigars from the store over and over again.



    I still waiting for an investigation of (none / 0) (#14)
    by McBain on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:32:04 AM EST
    Angela Corey and her team for their shenanigans during the Zimmerman trial. I don't think we're likely to see either one.  

    I'd be interested in seeing (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 01:03:14 AM EST
    the complaint that was filed against Angela Corey and her team. Please provide a link to the letter to presiding judge requesting an investigation of Angela Corey and her team. Or a link to the bar complaint submitted against her and her office.

    Here's one answer (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:07:24 AM EST

    But Ric Simmons, a professor at The Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, said allowing witnesses to testify unfiltered may have simply been part of McCulloch's effort to stay neutral. Grand jurors usually hear a shorter recounting of evidence that might be presented at trial, but the Ferguson grand jury heard more extensive testimony.

    "I think charitably their reason for bringing in all the evidence was so they could say, `Look, we showed the grand jury everything, and let them make their own decision,"' Simmons said.

    I'm sure more legal analysis will be available if this complaint proceeds.


    More of the world's worst human beings... (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:48:23 AM EST
    This is where we're supposed to intone (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:35:56 AM EST
    the usual politically correct platitudes.

    Well, I won't.


    Cartoonist brethren... (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 02:53:32 PM EST
    around the world agree...long live the pen, f*ck the sword!

    Jean Jullien

    David Pope

    Satish Acharya

    Dave Brown


    Cartoonists (none / 0) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:10:27 PM EST
    Response to this has been inspiring

    Not sure if I ever said this here before but at one time in my life I seriously considered a career as a political cartoonist.  I think I could have been good at it.   I have huge admiration and respect for them.


    #JeSuisCharlie (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:44:58 AM EST
    The Twitterverse reacts to [today's] slaughter.

    The U.S. Embassy in France joined in, changing its Twitter photo to "Je Suis Charlie."


    F&ck man... (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:00:36 PM EST
    I came to greatly admire Charlie Hebdo after seeing the documentary "It's Hard Being Loved By Jerks"...greater champions of thoughtful satire, free press, and free expression are hard to find.

    My heart goes out to all the fallen heroes, their loved ones, and the nation of France.


    The thing that strikes me about (none / 0) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:50:23 PM EST
    This story is that the brothers were raised in an orphanage and the youngest terrorist, which according to Twitter is the deceased member of the group, was homeless.  People bond and choose to interact for all sorts of reasons, and they fall for religous dogma for all sorts of reasons.  Being abandoned though puts individuals in a high risk group for criminality, and fundamentalists prey upon the lost and abandoned.

    Is he dead? (none / 0) (#93)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:57:11 PM EST
    the reports are confusing.  It was being reported he was dead.  Now they are saying he turned himself into police.  The youngest was not a brother?  The two still wanted are the brothers?  That seems to be what ps being reported on cable.  I have not been reading much about it.  So im really askng.

    I saw a Twitter that the 18 yr old was deceased (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:01:35 PM EST
    I have seen several news reports that the brothers are age 32 and 34, and the youngest member was not a brother and was newly graduated from high school but currently homeless.

    Aparrently (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:03:59 PM EST
    the earlier reports about one death and two in custody were wrong.

    Going to be a long night for France (none / 0) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:17:36 PM EST
    One hour ago (none / 0) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:01:38 PM EST
    Youngest of three suspects in Paris attack surrenders to police: sources

    An 18-year-old implicated alongside two brothers in the bloody attack against a satirical weekly in Paris has surrendered to police, according to a source close to the case.

    So probably not deceased (none / 0) (#97)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:02:28 PM EST
    So freakin cold here (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 11:08:18 AM EST
    Temps are supposed to drop all day starting at 9 this morning.  this is when it's really tough for me.  There are are two cute horses in the field next to me who have no place to get out of the cold.  I am pretty much the only one who ever pays any attention to them.  I talk to them and pet them and feed them carrots.  The love my dogs.   The are owned by an old lady who apparently got them for her grandchildren who have all grown and moved on.  When I let the dogs out for a few minutes and call them they both stand at the fence looking at me like,  can't we come in too? What did we do wrong?
    It kills me.  I've considered trying to buy them just to give gone a better life.  Like I need two horses.  

    I think you need two (5.00 / 5) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 11:33:43 AM EST
    New friends. 🐴 🐴

    Do they have blankets on? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 01:45:20 PM EST
    If the owner won't do the right thing by the horses, you can always make an anon call to animal control. Pretty much everywhere has rock bottom legal basics for animal care. Shelter, food and water.

    Yes, the horses up here (none / 0) (#55)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 02:26:10 PM EST
    that are outside generally have blankets on when it's very cold.  Plus, if they are left out all the time (or most of the time), they develop thicker winter coats than they would if they were stabled a great deal of the time.
    The cattle up here, no, they are mostly outdoors, if they are beef cattle (the dairy cows do come in frequently, to be milked, and many of them are indoors at night).  And I've never seen blankets on cattle.
    But, again, they do develop some thick winter coats, plus they cluster close together to provide each other warmth.

    Lots of horses (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 02:45:15 PM EST
    around here.  I don't think I've ever seen one with a blanket.  Different culture.  Also I think you are farther north than me.

    Do they not even have a run-in shed? (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 03:12:28 PM EST
    From the Horse Channel:

    Unless you live in the tropics, winter riding means dealing with frigid temperatures, icy footing and frozen extremities. And oh yes, did we mention that woolly mass of fuzz that replaces your horse's once slick and shiny coat? This layer is Mother Nature's way of providing horses with the protection they need to survive winter. Depending upon your plans for winter riding, this could be good news or bad news.

    Allow a horse's coat to grow naturally through the fall, and he'll grow hair capable of protecting him through most winter conditions. Horses do need some sort of shelter to protect them from the combined forces of wind coupled with rain or snow.

    As veterinarian Elizabeth K. Stanley from Stonefield Equine Clinic in Winsted, Conn., explains, "The oils and hair in a horse's winter coat will shield him from wet and cold, but add wind to that scenario and an unprotected horse will get into trouble." This is why horses in the wild naturally seek shelter under trees or outgrowths, and why a wild herd stays banded together, rump to rump, to provide protection from wind in a storm.

    Stanley keeps her 31-year-old retired eventer, Floyd, at her farm, and notes that "he hasn't worn a blanket in years." She provides Floyd with a three-sided run-in shed for winter housing which, in conjunction with his heavy coat, allows him to live comfortably outdoors all winter. Provided you give your horse winter shelter and proper care in harsh conditions--available fresh water, generous nutrition and appropriate shoeing as determined by your particular footing conditions--he will make it through winter just fine without added blanket expense or worry on your part.

    We only ever put blankets on the horses when they'd had their winter coats clipped - horses get too hot, and take too long to cool down, if they are working/being ridden regularly through the winter.  So, you clip them down, and then use blankets of various weights and for various occasions through the winter.


    Most don't (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 03:38:28 PM EST
    I was as amazed as you when I saw this.  I have mentioned it to my brotherinlaw who has cows and horses and has pretty much all his life.  He basically laughed at me.  That is the attitude you get here.  Just down the road there is an actual horse ranch.  There they do have a barn that they can go into and I had to admit to my brotherinlaw that I had never actually seen them go inside it.  No matter how bad the weather is.  I try to tell myself that these people have been doing this for years, the animals are used to it and I shouldn't let I worry me but then I catch those big eyes looking so accusingly at me from the back fence and it all slips away.

    As far as calling someone about animal cruelty I'm pretty sure they would probably laugh at me to.  Then tell the neighbors I called who would slash my tires.  Or worse.


    Yeah man... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 04:57:38 PM EST
    I definitely wouldn't drop a dime...perhaps throw together a makeshift wind shield of some sort?

    Better to compassionately trespass than to bring the law in, imo.


    Certain types of compassionately (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:25:48 PM EST
    trespassing to save animals are more against the law than the animal cruelty (animals are property by law). Most times AC just comes out and educates and does a follow up. This isn't your average 'dropping a dime' and generally does not involve cops.

    It sounds like the horses have enough coat and have found less invasive areas against the weather, but if that were not the case, we are talking about an animal's life here. And if the horses are not cared for, it's always good to check and make sure there aren't any other animals on the property that are also not properly sheltered/fed, like outside dogs on a chain. Yup, dogs freeze to death on chains often enough . . .


    Yes (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:40:55 PM EST
    its not that they are not fed and cared for.  Most people here would take great offense at that suggestion.  It's simply how  it's done here.  It's not unusual.
    There isn't much AC here.  It just doesn't exist.  There isn't a shelter for dogs and cats.  Amazing I know.  I've considered using part of my pension money to establish one.  There is literally no place here to take a stray animal.  There are a couple many miles away and mostly only take animals from a single municipality. I assume they do that because if they did not they would be over run.
    Any complaint would be handled by police.  There is no one else.   Which I would do if I thought it was necessary.   Like I said, I discussed it with my brotherinlaw who is my local interpreter.   They have several horses that live exactly the same life.  And they are, as far as I can tell, happy and long lived.  The ones next door are healthy and well fed.  If cold.  

    We have never had horses, (none / 0) (#67)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 04:59:08 PM EST
    but we raised beef cattle.  They never came in, but we have plenty of very heavy tree-cover that they would shelter under when the weather was nasty, particularly when windy.
    Plus, like the wild horses referenced in your link, they would band together when it was cold.
    And their winter coats were very heavy.  Naturally enough, they never got clipped.  

    Lots of trees (none / 0) (#68)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:08:39 PM EST
    and heavy brush.  And they do get heavy winter coats.   One of the reasons the hang out next my yard, besides communing with the dogs and hoping for carrots, is that it is the most guarded place from wind on top of our hill/mountainette.  They have a very large pasture.   The whole side of the mountain.   But up on the top where the houses are there is less windbreak.  When they go down the hill there is lots of natural shelter from elements.  
    Still, if I owned them I would bring them on nights like the last few.

    Horses are a bit different (none / 0) (#70)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:21:18 PM EST
    from beef cattle, though.  
    The horses, presumably, will be ridden during the winter, and, as Anne said, might then have their coats clipped.  In which case, they need blankets.
    Not the case with cattle.  Especially if you are trying to raise "free range" beef.
    And, to be brutally frank, the beef cattle will not be living very long before they go to market.  Whereas horses can live 20 years or more.
    What can I say?  Our cattle lived a lot better life as free range cattle than the ones kept penned up in sheds and feed lots and stuffed with hormones and antibiotics.  And I will say that their meat was better for you, unless you like to eat fattier, hormone-laced beef.

    Cattle are different. (none / 0) (#72)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:30:54 PM EST
    and even though a horse is also livestock, there are a bit different standards for care. BUT, both are to be protected from harm.

    Most free range cattle that I know about tend to be heritage breeds, and from what I have seen, they are coated for the weather by nature. Cool looking animals.


    Our cattle developed (none / 0) (#82)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 07:03:08 PM EST
    heavy winter coats and grew and put on weight, even in the winter.
    But I also must ask, nycstray, who is protecting from harm the
    "2 opossums and 1 squirrel so far" that your dog Roxie has apparently killed?

    Heh, (none / 0) (#85)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 07:15:03 PM EST
    me, unsuccessfully! I don't think that falls under the basic cruelty laws though. I would be in trouble if they were an animal that fell under a protected classification though. Basically, you are responsible for your owned animals and intended cruelty to all animals. If Rox kills wandering wildlife in my yard, it's about the same as someone hitting a deer or other wildlife crossing the road, to an extent. Unintentional. I would prefer she didn't kill them and she is leashed if I even think there is wildlife back there.  

    So, are you suggesting (none / 0) (#88)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:15:32 PM EST
    that we were cruel to our beef cattle?  You know absolutely nothing about how we raised them and the conditions here.
    They were well-treated, well-fed, free-range, organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free animals who got excellent veterinary care as needed, and, BTW, were not sold to feed lots.

    Whoa! Where the heck did you get that?! (none / 0) (#89)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:24:44 PM EST
    Sorry, stray (none / 0) (#140)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 02:49:53 PM EST
    But it did seem to me that you were making too much of a distinction between "wandering wildlife" and those under a "protected classification."
    And yes, there is a distinction.  But I read it as a criticism of those of us who raise food animals.
    Apologies for misreading your intentions.

    Your weather isn't traditionally (none / 0) (#59)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 03:28:34 PM EST
    know for this kind of cold, is it? It's a big effin' deal when we dip in the 20's at night here, so we need to take special care for animals and people . . .

    Iirc, last winter cattle were freezing in the fields . . .  ?


    No barn or paddock? Really? (none / 0) (#40)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 11:57:01 AM EST
    Really (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:09:37 PM EST
    actually very common here.  

    Should add (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:22:38 PM EST
    in the past winters have been less harsh.   Last winter was bad.  This one is supposed to be worse.  At least here.

    it's dropping to -2 here tonight (none / 0) (#48)
    by CST on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:18:17 PM EST
    -20 with the windchill - but I don't plan on leaving the house.

    I think it's all the way up to 11 right now.


    Watching an interesting conversation (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 04:02:09 PM EST
    on MSNBC with a Muslim journalist.  Female, very short hair, I've seen her before but her name escapes me.  She is talking about how violence is effecting the Muslim world.  Turning brother against brother, parent against child, and about how when things like the killings in France happen and there is suddenly lots of pressure from the outside world it tends to make them hunker down and circle the wagons, pick your metaphor, and often makes more moderate people defensive and sometimes even more sympathetic to the extremism.  All of which makes sense to me.  
    Then she goes off on a tear about how westerners don't get it. And how what we should be focusing on is the bad stuff.  The violence, the treatment of women yadda yadda.
    NOT she says "the Prophet".  Not something that is a value shared by all Muslims.  Why can't we do that and just leave "the Prophet" alone.

    Sorry.  She really doesn't seem to understand.  Welcome to free speech.  It's part of the deal.  You either have it or you don't.  It's not situational.  It's not conditional.  It's not free speech "but".  It's just not how it works.  It seems to me that on the age of the world famous Westboro Baptist Freaks people, even Muslim people would understand that sometimes free speech isn't pretty.  That sometimes you fvcking hate it.  But you either have it or you don't.  
    We have it.  And thank god for that.  Warts and all.

    you can ask people to stop (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by CST on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 10:38:52 AM EST
    or do things like boycot their product because you don't like what they say.  You can even protest.

    You just can't hurt people, or use the government against them.  It's really not that complicated.

    But if she is asking westerners in general to lay off the prophet, or trying to apply public pressure - she's certainly within her rights to do so.  It's the same way we ask Rush Limbaugh to act like a human being, and criticize him when we says something particularly offensive.

    Also - I think sometimes we forget just how American the concept of free speech is.  Most countries - even ones in western Europe have greater restrictions on speech than we do, with many countries outlawing "hate speech" in some form.  To a lot of Muslims insulting the prophet probably seems like "hate speech".  So the line is not quite as black and white in the rest of the world.

    In the U.S. - we pretty much really do allow everything.  But most of the world doesn't live with that reality.

    FWIW - I think we get it pretty right here.


    Of course she can (none / 0) (#129)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 11:31:05 AM EST
    that would be free speech.  My point was that she doesn't get that when people value a right, like free speech, the most unwise thing you can possibly tell them is "you can't say ____".  They will say it.  That's the point.  In a really free society if you try to make a sacred cow you will end up with hamburger.  It simply a fact of free society.   And most certainly a fact of political cartoonists who's main goal in life is to make sacred cow burgers.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#73)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:34:48 PM EST
    Again I go back to the idea that we in the West don't seem to understand. For any Muslim be they "moderate", extremist or whatever Islam is more then a religion.   It is a way of life.   You don't need to look hard to find this distinction, just ask them...

    Islam is a complete way of life

    So for her the basics of the faith are not in question and criticism of the prophet is off limits and in her mind the idea of being a "moderate" has nothing to do with opening her views to criticism but instead what is she as a Muslim prepared to do to non believers to defend her beliefs.   In her view the ability to not use violence, or lessening the rules on women or disowning the use of violence makes her a "moderate" but that doesn't scrutiny of her faith should be allowed.

    Until we understand this difference we will continue to miss the point.   It is this mindset that brings together the faith and government in majority Islamic countries and why they might not be interested in our Western Values, especially a free press that is allowed to question all aspects of Islam.


    In this case at least (none / 0) (#78)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:48:29 PM EST
    I have to agree.  It was just as you say.   There is free speech and then there is "the Prophet" which you simply don't mess with.  It was a strange conversation.  It was on the Alex Wagoner show.  It should be on line soon if not already.

    I appears (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:53:47 PM EST
    to be up at the MSNBC site if you can get it to work.  I did not watch the video because I hate dealing with that site but I would think, from the subtitles, it would be in the featured video.  But perhaps in one of the others listed below it.

    You say, (none / 0) (#101)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:24:50 PM EST
    about freedom - "You either have it or you don't.  It's not situational.  It's not conditional.  It's not free speech "but".

    and then you realize, somewhere inside your consciousness, that you have to write, "fvcking" - substituting a "v" for the letter that would make your meaning clear.

    Think about that.


    There's nothing to think about (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:28:44 PM EST
    i said exactly what I meant.  And no one misunderstood.  Including you.  The restrictions on profanity here have been explained as well as the reasons for it.  And they seem entirely reasonable to me.  

    IMO it's not a free speech issue.   If we were not allowed to use "substitute" profanity you might have a point.


    You spoke in absolutes. (none / 0) (#105)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:03:40 PM EST
    Either you have free speech or you don't.

    But the restriction on what you call "profanity", which is really the way real people talk to each other all the time, is something imposed upon us by the government. It is a limitation on our ability to express ourselves - to publicly call a prominent politician a fkng liar, for example. Think how things might have been different if, in 2004, Kerry had been able to call Bush out for the fking liar he was - in so many words.

    It is a free speech issue.

    I personally believe that we have been somewhat brainwashed into thinking that we have free speech, freedom of expression and a thriving democracy. We feel good about it. You say that these restrictions seem "entirely reasonable" to you. You and the rest of us have been accustomed to the limitations imposed upon us by government, by lobbyists, by special interest groups such as organized religions and the rest. And so it seems normal and "reasonable".

    And of course all the self-imposed restrictions we place on ourselves because someone in some NSA hut might be snooping upon our emails....

    If you want to contrast the degree of freedom we experience with that experienced in a Muslim country, say Saudi Arabia, go right ahead.

    But if it is a matter of, "either you have it or you don't", we don't.


    Hang on a minute. (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:24:23 PM EST
    The Constitution protects us from the government's efforts to restrict, ban or suppress our right to speak; a blog owner with a rule against the use of profanity because it will activate blocking software doesn't fall into that category.

    I also don't believe there was anything - other than good manners and a sense of decorum - that prevented a veritable profanity-fest between political candidates.  But perhaps you would prefer our debates to go like this:

    Dan Aykroyd: Tonight on "Point/Counterpoint", Jane and I will argue Federal Aid for Abortions. Jane will take the Point for Federal Aid, and I will take the Counterpoint against. Jane?

    Jane Curtin: Safe abortions have always been available to the rich, Dan. You simply want to deny them to the poor, and if you succeed, poor woman will be forced to get them anyway. They'll be forced into the alleys with hangers, plungers and vacuum cleaners, risking death or mutilation. But you'd like that, wouldn't you, Dan, you sadistic, elitist, sexist, racist, anti-humanist pig!

    Dan Aykroyd: Jane, you ignorant, misguided slut! Once again, you missed the point entirely. [ enraged ] Why should I pay hard-earned dollars so welfare tarts can have sex anytime they want, without regards to consequences? Haven't these bimbos heard of abstinence? I, myself, haven't had sex for two years - and I'm rich! Why should I foot the bill for killing unborn infants, anyway? I'll pay for something practical like sterilization - but abortions? Never! With one exception - if I had been around when your mother was having you, not only would I have paid for the abortion, but I would have performed it myself!

    Jane Curtin: Thank you, Dan.

    It would certainly be interesting, but I'm not sure that's what we're looking for.

    The NSA and the security apparatus notwithstanding, everyone self-censors.  I don't tell my co-worker that her hair looks like crap, I don't tell the hostess at a dinner party that her fish is overcooked.  I don't swear at the clients I deal with daily - much as I would like to, sometimes.  That has nothing to do with the government, and everything to do with manners, diplomacy, and a desire not to be looked upon as a raving lunatic.

    Would you please provide us with some examples of the government restricting your right to express yourself?


    Being polite, (none / 0) (#111)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 05:31:58 AM EST
    or self-censoring out of compassion is not what I was talking about.

    About your SNL parody: I will confess that I am in favor of less restriction on our right to use what has been termed "profanity".
    Especially in the political arena.

    I remember when GHW Bush said, in that jovial way of his, that we would "kick ass" - referring to the "good" war in the Gulf.
    Since then, the word ass, once forbidden on broadcast TV is now accepted and often used. So, I began to sense a relationship between the permitted use of certain words, and government sanctions or repressions of such usage.

    At present, we must say, "freeken" on broadcast tv. Who decides this? It is my impression it is the FCC, a government agency, rather than Emily Post.

    And when you say, "The NSA and the security apparatus notwithstanding", it is thems to whom I am referring. And the FCC.

    And as far as freedom of expression is concerned, I reference the protests against the war in Iraq where people were corralled like cattle - or the way the political conventions are geared to do that.

    Another example would be the protests in Ferguson.

    I do feel that people who take to the streets to air their grievances are subject to being shot.

    I will also ask if, in this day and age of patriot acts and nsa spying, people don't feel that what they say or write is subject to scrutiny - and therefore are more prone to moderate what they might feel like expressing.

    I have felt, for some time, that certain words have been forbidden from public discourse because they are the only ones that can truly convey the meaning we wish to express. "Bulls-t". is one. I can think of no substitute whatsoever for saying that a politician is "bullsh-ting" us. None. "Misleading?" "Being mendacious?" Doesn't work.

    Of course I think a blog - or this wonderful site - has the right to censor "profane" language - or anything else that its founder wishes. I'm with that.

    A slight diversion perhaps, but I have also felt for some time that our democracy has been completely thwarted by the influx of corporate money - now sanctioned by the Supreme Court. No candidate is going to get any if they, like Howard Dean at his best, says what they really think. So we wind up with a choice of a Kerry v/s Bush - or whatshisname... Romney v/s Obama. Both of whom are captives of the Street... imo of course.

    So our ability to express ourselves by voting has also been severely limited. Not by direct government mandate, true, but nevertheless... if we want to oppose a military action that is sanctioned and applauded by both political parties, what do we do? Vote for the lesser of the lesser? Take to the streets and chance getting manhandled, or shot? In my opinion, and that's all it is, that is an extremely severe restriction on self-expression.

    But - really - I was reacting to the Captain's use of the phrase that with freedom of speech, either you have it or you don't.
    An absolute.
    I think we have freedom of speech with a giant asterisk. That's all I meant to convey.
    My foray into a discussion of "obscenity" was an unfortunate diversion.


    Look (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:13:13 PM EST
    i can IN FACT say any damn thing I want here.  J may delete the comment but I will not be jailed of fined or even really care that much.  
    You can split hairs all you want.  Choosing to not swear so the web filters won't tags us is not IMO a free speech issue .   You are welcome to your own.  

    In fact (none / 0) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:24:18 PM EST
    i will expand that to include the "editing" I and others are occaisionally subjected to.   Which has also been explained and I find entirely reasonable.  This is her site.  Her rules.  Just because I can't call a person the names I might like on this site doesn't mean I can't buy a billboard and say it across the street from their house.  
    She is not limiting my free speech.  She is making rules for a website that she operates.  IMO if you think thise two things are the same you are as mistaken as the guy with the Gilbert and Sullivan screen name about your equivalencies.

    Capt... (none / 0) (#112)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 05:46:08 AM EST
    I am not referencing whatever "censorship" a private blog might impose.

    On this site, I feel free, mostly, to express what I think and feel.
    Whatever censorship I might sense comes from a feeling of something coming from elsewhere - some governmental body that might be overseeing what we say.

    As I said several times, my reply to what you wrote was referring your statement that either you have freedom of speech or you don't. I think that we have freedom of speech with limitations.
    And, once again, I am not talking about this forum.

    As far as equivalences are concerned, I am making none. I made none. As far as comparisons with other States are concerned, I made none.

    I am simply saying that our freedom of speech is not absolute. We have it, and sometimes we kinda have it.

    And, once again, in no way was I referencing TalkLeft - which I adore.


    You do have it... (none / 0) (#118)
    by unitron on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 08:03:07 AM EST
    ...on your own website.

    Around here, Jeralyn's site, Jeralyn's rules.

    If you find those rules too burdensome and restrictive, go start TalkMoreLeftier.com or whatever, and you can make the rules.

    If someone comes along to tell you what you can or can't say on your own site, then you can claim your free speech is being surpressed, assuming that that someone has the power to actually impose their will on you.

    If Kerry didn't call Shrub out for lying, that was his decision, not Big Brother's.  As long as he could back up the claim with evidence, the government couldn't have interfered with him saying that.


    Oh Lordy lordy... (none / 0) (#121)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 09:15:22 AM EST
    I was not talking about Jeralyn's rules.

    Of course that is a private matter and I completely concur with the extremely moderate restrictions imposed upon us.

    I was referring to, or meant to refer to, our self-imposed censorship - that which would make us say "freaked" or "freaken" and the like... I can't stand that stuff. (and by "stuff", you know what I would wish to say.

    I feel that kind of censorship has been internalized, and we hardly notice that it's there --- But it is.

    I have zero complaints about this site.
    I love it.
    I contribute to it.



    Well, maybe you should start with yourself, (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 10:12:42 AM EST
    and stop censoring your own language and see how that goes.  Pretend you are in an episode of The Wire and see if using all the iterations of the f-word improves your life and your relationships.

    I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I don't need to be bombarded with profanity every time I turn on the TV.  I don't want Brian Williams to tell me he can't fking believe how much fking snow they're getting in Buffalo, or how sh!tty it is that the stock market was down 200 points.  I don't need Toyota to tell me they have the best motherfking cars out there.  Or for Depends to tell us their products hold 50% more sh!t than the competition.

    But, that's me.  

    You are, believe it or not, free to use all the profanity you want, when- and wherever you want.  Which is not to say you'll like the reactions or the consequences, but that's just something you'll have to live with.  You can say what you want, but others aren't required to like it.


    Anne... (none / 0) (#128)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 11:19:23 AM EST
    You're one of my favorite people...
    But we don't seem to be able to communicate on this simple issue.

    I am not in favor of "profanity". I don't give a sh-t about it.

    I am simply saying that I believe that the government - via one or more of its agencies - is the reason that we are forbidden to use some language in public.

    If you don't see it that way, so be it.

    To get back to the reason I wrote my little discourse in the first place was simply to reply to Capt's assertion that either you have free speech or you don't. I think we have free speech with some limitations imposed upon us. And I'm not talking about courtesy.

    And you didn't seem to be interested in my citation of the way people are corralled like cattle when they wish to express an opinion outside of a political convention. To me that is a freedom of speech issue.

    If you don't see it that way, so be it.


    "Free speech zones" (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 12:26:33 PM EST
    Not a big fan of decisions to put geographical restrictions on political speech; the government seems to take the position that as long as it is allowing you to speak it hasn't infringed on your 1st Amendment rights.  My feeling is that where one speaks matters, and restricting the location of where speech can take place can be a way to silence, if not the speech, then the message.

    To that extent, I agree with you.

    i think we, as a society, are constantly assessing the acceptability of all forms of speech; to not ever censor ourselves would be chaos.  

    But I still don't know what speech it is that we're legally "forbidden" to use in public.  

    The repercussions that ensue from certain speech may have the effect of shutting people up and/or getting them arrested; Glenn Greenwald has a piece up at The Intercept about that very thing:

    Despite frequent national boasting of free speech protections, the U.S. has joined, and sometimes led, the trend to monitor and criminalize online political speech. The DOJ in 2011 prosecuted a 24-year-old Pakistani resident of the United States, Jubair Ahmad, on terrorism charges for uploading a 5-minute video to YouTube featuring photographs of Abu Ghraib abuses, video of American armored trucks exploding, and prayer messages about "jihad" from the leader of a designated terror group; he was convicted and sent to prison for 12 years. The same year, the DOJ indicted a 22-year-old Penn State student for, among other things, posting justifications of attacks on the U.S. to a "jihadi forum"; the speech offender, Emerson Winfield Begolly, was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison.

    Countless post-9/11 prosecutions for "material support of terrorism" are centrally based on political views expressed by the (almost always young and Muslim) defendants, who are often "anticipatorily prosecuted" for expression of ideas political officials find threatening. There is no doubt that the U.S. government has even used political speech as a significant factor in placing individuals on its "kill list" and then ending their life, including the U.S.-born preacher Anwar Awlaki (targeted with death before the attempted Christmas Day bombing over Detroit which was later used to justify Awlaki's killing). Anti-American views by Muslims-meaning opposition to U.S. aggression and violence-are officially viewed as evidence of terrorist propensity, which is why this passage, flagged by the ACLU-Massachusetts' Kade Crockford, appeared in a CNN article yesterday about the trial of Boston Marathon bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    As is true for all War on Terror abuses, this American version of criminalizing speech is spreading far beyond its original application, and is increasingly applied domestically. Anti-police messages are now being subjected to the same criminalizing treatment as anti-military and anti-U.S.-foreign-policy ideas.

    So, yes - "free speech" is coming under the worst kind of restrictions - the kind no one knows about until the cops show up at the door to arrest you for uploading a youtube to your FB page.

    And yes, that worries me - it should worry everyone.

    But in terms of our not communicating on this issue, I never got from your comments that these were the kinds of things on your mind - I got that you were pissed off that Bush and Kerry "couldn't" tell each other to fk off, and that you were irritated that you didn't feel "free" to curse your way through public life.  So, as much as you say the use of profanity isn't what's on your mind, you chafed enough about it that it sure seemed like that was your issue.

    And, for what it's worth, no speech is ever free; everything comes with a price tag, but the question is whether the price we pay can be strictly personal - as in your great aunt no longer invites you for tea because you can't speak a sentence without using the word "fk" -  or if the government is going to chill that freedom by putting people in jail for saying things it doesn't like.


    How do you feel about...? (none / 0) (#139)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 02:43:34 PM EST
    And you didn't seem to be interested in my citation of the way people are corralled like cattle when they wish to express an opinion outside of a political convention. To me that is a freedom of speech issue

    Protestors standing close to or blocking abortion clinics?  They are exercising their free speech rights...  How about Westboro Baptist Church and military funerals? How about campaign contributions? Or mandatory union dues? All free speech issues.


    ASHINGTON -- For decades, liberals wielded the 1st Amendment to protect antiwar activists, civil rights protesters and government whistle-blowers..

    These days, however, the Constitution's protection for free speech and religious liberty has become the weapon of choice for conservatives.

    This year's Supreme Court term features an unusual array of potentially powerful 1st Amendment claims, all of them coming from groups on the right.

    And in nearly every case, liberal groups -- often in alliance with the Obama administration -- are taking the opposing side, supporting state and federal laws that have come under attack for infringing upon the rights of conservatives.

    You didn't ask me but I defend (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 02:50:17 PM EST
    every instance you mentioned except the idea that money equals speech, or as you delicately put it, "campaign contributions".  That IMO is an outrageous republican lie and an disgraceful distortion of the intent.  



    I'd say it's more societal expectations.... (none / 0) (#169)
    by unitron on Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 04:21:53 AM EST
    ...which might turn up in an FCC ruling as "community standards" which put pressure on the government to discourage going beyond some boundaries where vulgarity is concerned than it is a desire by government to open that particular can of worms.

    There are certain words and expressions which I am all to prone to use in real life, especially in moments of annoyance and frustration, or that I might use in an entirely different context when engaged in something with a consenting someone, so to speak, which I try to avoid imposing upon the world in general and especially try to avoid using online so as not to leave a record of having done so for posterity.

    I don't see that as a bad thing, and don't consider myself oppressed because of having freely decided to do so.

    If certain words and phrases usually avoided in polite conversation and which some people find troubling and offensive when encountered in public, especially if children are present, didn't have that baggage of meanings, they wouldn't really be of any more use when used in private settings than any other words, so intellectual honesty compels us to admit that they are not just like any other words.

    But still, most limitations on free speech are self-imposed. The people who want to use the N word, for example, seem to be able to find ways to do so, and when they don't it might be because they don't want to incur the displeasure of certain others and have weighed their options, but it would be the rare circumstance where the use of the word, by itself, would actually result in getting them thrown into jail.


    Completely agree (none / 0) (#167)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 06:07:14 PM EST
    No profanity so that the website isn't blocked by filters and as many individuals as possible can read and participate.  If I want a blog I can cuss on they are out there too or I can start my own blog.  My right to profanity is not socially infringed on, I can choose to participate here or not.  Muslims can read and expose themselves to Charlie Hebdo or not, they can also blog about their dislike of the magazine, boycott it, protest, anything except criminal activity.

    There is always a "but" (none / 0) (#127)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 11:06:32 AM EST
    There is no such thing as free speech. Everything comes with some kind of price. In general the more controversial the subject is the higher the cost/consequences. Society has always put restrictions on everyone's speech. I could go into a bar in south Boston and talk about my cat and be thought an insufferable bore or I could bad mouth the Pope and probably suffer more drastic consequences. Society always has mechanisms to stifle certain forms of speech (as well it should). The Constitution does not really insure freedom of speech but merely insures that the government does not do the stifling. Personally I think organized religions are mostly a bunch of hooey but I can understand the anger a devout person would feel when their sacred icons are mocked and degraded.  Given the state of the world and the rise of Jhihadism these murders while extremely despicable are extremely predictable. Maybe these guys at Charlie were foolish thinking there would be no consequences, maybe they were brave thinking they would face up to all consequences. In my book they were a little of both and in the end they and some other citizens of Paris found out there is no such thing as "free speech".
    For the record I do not condone the use of violence as protest against any form of speech but violence to fight violence is fair game. I think the jihadist hijacking of Islam should be terminated with extreme predjudice.

    Sen Boxer has announced her retirement (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 10:31:00 AM EST
    She is not running in 2016 . . . . sigh, wish it was the other one.

    Did anyone see "Cats?" (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 05:48:18 PM EST
    Waco | An 85-year old Texas woman has been arrested by local law enforcement after being caught on film kidnapping one of her neighbor's cats with which she is accused of making fur coats.

    And here they were blaming the local Chinese resturant.

    More like (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 06:07:32 PM EST
    "101 Dalmatians" and Cruella  de Vil.
    But with cats, instead of Dalmatians.

    The notion that Chinses people use (none / 0) (#7)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 07:49:55 PM EST
    cats for such things are a myth.

    Raccoons, OTOH.........


    Speaking of coon hunting (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 09:52:29 PM EST
    Here is a bit of a primer.

    And you better have a good dog.

    I have eaten coon, and hunted coon, as a boy. When I retired and moved back I placed the palatial retirement compound on about 8 acres on the edge of town. Lots of trees lots of brush and even an old road bed with wild grape vines, devil shoe laces and muscadine vines support such wild life as deer, foxes, coyote, possums, squirrels and coons. There's big old one that I have seen several mornings on the way to the mail box to get my paper. He saunters along from across the road heading to the most tangled part of the property with good access to the creek that backs our land.

    I have whistled at him and he will stop and look back before moving on at the same rate of speed.

    Its as if he knows my days of hunting are long in the past and we are both two old males  just wandering towards eternity,


    Nice story, Jim. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:49:12 AM EST
    I have a black and tan coonhound mix.  He's got lots of personality.

    Can't we occasionally drop the personal animosity, folks?


    Where my mom lives (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 03:30:59 PM EST
    some coons came in this guy's house through the cat door. Yes, his coon hound alerted him to the problem :)

    I had a pet raccoon (none / 0) (#62)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 03:45:05 PM EST
    for a while as a kid.  Very cute.  But a gigantic pain in the butt.  They are constantly fidgeting with their little front "hands" digging digging digging.  Drawers, flowerpots anything.   Rory (that was his name) just disappeared one day.   I had my suspicions but I was about 10.  
    Hopefully he was just freed.  I never really wanted to know so I never asked.

    Thanks folks (none / 0) (#109)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:36:52 PM EST
    Never had a pet coon and wouldn't want to eat one, now. I seem to remember my mother cooked them with sweet and Irish potatoes and they were a bit on the greasy side. We also ate rabbit, squirrel, wild ducks and geese. My mom would not cook possum and if you ever say them eating a dead cow/horse you'd understand why. I did catch them and sold them in town for 50 cents. I also sold rabbit and squirrel... You had to hustle back then.

    nycstray, one of my favorite commercials, maybe you've seen it, is the one were this lady is standing by her sliding door calling her cat....and a coon comes in and she... needing the glasses being hucked.... hops in bed with the coon stretched out at the foot  as "nice kitty."  Cracks me up.

    Mr Natural, Clower has several coon hunting stories. If I find  then on the net I'll post them. He was a great story teller.


    I have never eaten (none / 0) (#142)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 03:01:43 PM EST
    raccoon or squirrel (although Mr. Zorba has eaten squirrel), nor possum or groundhog.  Although I have certainly eaten wild rabbit, ducks, geese, and turkeys.  And pheasant and quail, and, of course, deer.
    Our (now deceased) elderly neighbor told us that they had pretty much eaten all of these.  She indicated that she was not at all fond of possum, groundhog, raccoon, or squirrel, although she would cook them when her husband brought them home.

    I have eaten (none / 0) (#150)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 06:23:09 PM EST
    rabbit.  And squirrel I think.  Many years ago.  Don't remember being wild about either.  Of course quail and pheasant.  Same there.  Deer can be really good properly prepared.    I think I would have to be pretty hungry, like,  hungrier that I have ever been to eat a possum.   Which is basically a large rat IMO.

    There's certainly no shortage of raccoons ... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 04:11:58 PM EST
    ... in urban Southern California. (Or opossums or striped skunks or grey foxes, for that matter.) My late aunt used to feed them, which in retrospect is obviously never a good idea.

    It was not uncommon to see eight to ten raccoons amble into her backyard on any given evening, once she loaded that big metal washpan with dried dog food. Within 10 to 20 minutes, they'd show up, surround the bowl, chow down, and empty it in about a half-hour. Then they'd disappear and return to wherever it is that raccoons like to go.



    Rox's body count is (none / 0) (#69)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:19:09 PM EST
    2 opossums and 1 squirrel so far. The coons and skunks seem to be avoiding my yard . . . .

    My neighbor has a feral/neighborhood cat 'facility' in his yard. He has a opossum and coons that join in for the evening meal. I think he has actually attached names to them at this point. I'm all for it, keeps them away from my dog . . .   ;) Down the street in the water drainage grate is where we have a family of coons. Can freak you out if you are standing on the corner and the 'kids' are being playful and poke their heads out unexpectedly.


    Driving home at night from the Muny in (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:38:23 PM EST
    Forest Park, a raccoon was looking out at the world from a storm server. It was one of those  times (pre cell phones) when you wished you had a a camera. The raccoon's face was perfectly placed in the rectangle space. Made a great composition for a photograph.

    Raccoons are so cool looking. (none / 0) (#81)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 06:06:07 PM EST
    It's really too bad that they can be such pests.

    There are a lot of skunks in Pasadena. (none / 0) (#77)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:46:04 PM EST
    When I returned home from college, I had a white female German shepherd that I had adopted while up in Seattle. And one afternoon was in high school, she and I both got sprayed by a pretty young skunk -- about half the size of an adult -- when we were in my mother's backyard. The dog was exploring when she startled the little guy, and he ran out from behind the garbage cans where he'd been hanging out. She obviously had never seen a skunk and was curious, so she kept approaching him. I saw what she was doing and ran out to grab her and pull her away but before we knew it, the skunk had turned around and zapped us both.

    That was a breathtaking experience -- literally.


    Well, that was awkward. (none / 0) (#80)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 06:03:20 PM EST
    That second sentence originally read "And one afternoon, I was walking with her around my old high school and we stopped by my mother's to visit on our way back, and we were hanging in her backyard when she and I got sprayed by a young skunk." It sounded like my mother got sprayed along with me, rather than the dog, so I started editing and combining it with the next sentence, and made a mess of it.

    I need to learn to write shorter sentences.


    My landlady's hairy BC mix (none / 0) (#84)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 07:04:11 PM EST
    got skunked one night around midnight (also Rox's opossum killing time). She lives a couple blocks from me, so I know they are around. You can also smell when they are in the vicinity. As much as I hate the opossum kills, I'm quite glad they aren't skunks! I do have all the supplies on hand in case she does meet one at midnight. Thankfully her fur is short and tight vs my LL's (and your shep's) longer dense coat. I'll take cleaning up dead opossums at midnight vs de-skunking the Rox anytime :)

    We have a different set of problem creatures (none / 0) (#113)
    by fishcamp on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 06:49:40 AM EST
    down here in the keys.  While some islands do have raccoons, most all have iguanas, and they eat all the flower gardens, and  much of the other greenery.  My cats love to catch the small ones, bring them into the house, eat them, and leave little feet and tails around the house.  We also have opossums that come in the cat door, silently eat all the cat food, and slink away.  Oh, we also have occasional small crocodiles under the dock, waiting.  They come over from the Everglades, way up above Key Largo, and slowly migrate down this way, after stopping under the many, over the water restaurants, waiting.

    Sasha replaced her (none / 0) (#133)
    by sj on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 12:29:15 PM EST
    East Coast rat fixation with a Colorado squirrel fixation. It appears she caught one during the cold spell about a week ago. All I've seen of it as a largish piece of hide. Every now and then she will pick it up and do the headshaking-growling-toss-it-in-the-air thing.

    Apparently I wasn't sufficiently admiring of her hunting skills because she brought it in last night and put it where I was darned lucky I didn't step on it.

    I praised it highly, she preened, and then I tossed it out. Behind her back.


    I SO didn't need to know about that (none / 0) (#74)
    by sj on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 05:38:06 PM EST
    I've always been a Geraldo fan for some reason (none / 0) (#4)
    by McBain on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 06:21:18 PM EST
    Unfortunately, he rarely does his Saturday Fox News show anymore.... and when he does it's often too political.

    Years ago, Fox News was a little different.  Geraldo and Gretta Van Susteren would cover legal cases and leave the political topics for O'Reilly and Hannity.  But when Obama was running for president and doing well, Fox freaked out and went all in with politics.

    Hannity used to do extensive (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 06:46:22 PM EST
    crime coverage as well, when it was H&C, I haven't watched lately. I liked doing their show because they gave me a lot of time to get my defense view across. Sean was also very courteous. I like Shep Smith a lot too. (O'Reilly was always too formal for my taste.)

    I give him credit... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 07:02:18 PM EST
    for banging heads with the Fox crew on immigration and the paperless.

    I'll always know him best for his 80's daytime talk show...my brother was in the studio audience one time, but not for the infamous skinhead brawl.


    I really enjoyed his CNBC show that (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 01:23:38 PM EST
    Jeralyn referred to in her post. That is how I first learned of her. He really had good guests and meaty yet entertaining discussions of all points of view. I was sorry to see it go away. I did not follow him to Fox.

    Dershowitz (none / 0) (#8)
    by clarice on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 08:02:58 PM EST
    Roberts' counsel have now filed a defamation suit against Dershowitz.http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/2015_0106_dershowitz_defamation.pdf

    I'd value your thoughts.

    I just updated my earlier post on this to include (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 06, 2015 at 09:31:25 PM EST
    their suit against him. I haven't finished reading it but will add my thoughts when I have. I'll probably write a new post as that one is already too long. Thanks, Clarice.

    French humor mag (none / 0) (#21)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:17:30 AM EST

    Link.  Some person's humor is another's reason for mass murder.


    Obama's words (none / 0) (#22)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:43:19 AM EST

    "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

    Quite the commitment to free speech that.


    You really are quite a piece of work (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:54:35 AM EST
    here is the full quote in context if anyone is interested in, you know, context.

    Some of those linked videos (none / 0) (#39)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 11:49:18 AM EST
    tell you all you need to know..

    a regular potpourri of paranoid Bircher-Right, gun-caressing hysteria and conspiracy theory.

    Those are your people, Abdul?


    Captain Howdy (none / 0) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:12:49 PM EST
    stop the insults. I just deleted several comments in this thread and I won't hesitate to delete anyone's comments, including yours, that personally insult other commenters. If you disagree say why and make your point without attacking the character of the person who made the comment.

    In context (none / 0) (#45)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:13:13 PM EST
    Thanx for the link. Obama equates violent targeting living Coptics with saying unkind words about a man long dead.

    No (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:17:44 PM EST
    he doesn't.  There is none of the equivalence you are trying to imply.  None.    

    But that's what he hears, Howdy, so it (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 01:26:36 PM EST
    wouldn't matter what Obama was saying.

    In the world in which these people live, up is down, black is white and no means yes.  It's very hard to have a meaningful conversation with someone who's standing on his head and insisting that you're the one who isn't seeing things correctly.


    No equivalence? (none / 0) (#91)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:42:10 PM EST
    It seems clear from his statements that he considers killing Coptics and slandering Mohamed are both wrong.  Is that understanding incorrect?

    And you would disagree? (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:00:44 PM EST
    It seems clear from his statements that he considers killing Coptics and slandering Mohamed are both wrong.  Is that understanding incorrect?

    You think slander and killing aren't both wrong?

    Obama mentioned several "wrongs" in his speech calling to reject those wrongs.  At no point did he claim they were equivalent wrongs.

    Clear enough?


    It is a matter of degree (none / 0) (#99)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:16:58 PM EST

    I hope you don't think murdering live people is even in ths same ballpark as saying hurtful words about a person that has died centuries ago.

    In some countries murder and blasphemy are both capital offenses.  It would be nice if the leader of this country made clear that we don't consider blasphemy to be in the same league as murder.

    Suggested presidential text:

    Sticks and stones may break Mohamed's bones, but names can never hurt him.


    No kidding (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:28:56 PM EST
    Probably why I never made such a silly claim.  Probably why Obama never did, either.

    Any more straw arguments you want to shoot down?


    So, let me see if I understand this. (5.00 / 4) (#104)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:40:01 PM EST
    You want the American president to speak on behalf of our secular government and declare that because "we" don't believe that blasphemy is the same as murder, that those whose religions instruct them that it is need to see it our way, and think again.

    What other religious beliefs should we set people straight on?

    I think heads of state walk a fine line when world events put them in the position of expressing sorrow without impugning people's religion and religious beliefs.  


    Just to sum up.. (none / 0) (#49)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:18:36 PM EST
    not that you're leaving anything out.

    Plus, everyone knows he's a secret Muslim who wants to take our freedoms and guns away and institute national days of tree hugging and flag burning and the desecration of confederate graveyards.


    That's secret commie Kenyan... (none / 0) (#117)
    by unitron on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 07:49:29 AM EST
    ...furriner Muslim, just ask any RWNJ.

    Haven't you been keeping up?


    Saw the context. Still don't like it. (none / 0) (#116)
    by ExcitableBoy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 07:13:11 AM EST
    Moral equivalency? No. But what is specifically brought up by the President in the clip? Targeting Coptic Christians (for death, obviously). Bullying and subjugating women. Corrupt governments. Saying bad things about Mohammed. One of these things is not like the others...

    To Anne's point, I guess he shouldn't tell these religions "hey, we're America, we're right and you're wrong". But why get up and make a statement that is the OPPOSITE of our ideals? The future SHOULD belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. And the son of Christ. And the God of Abraham. And even those a-holes in the Westboro Baptist Church. And the good people who peacefully protest their leaders and police forces. And these ARE equivalent. The freedom to protest injustice and be a total jerk are directly related, and held dear in our country.

    Two last things. First, he starts the clip denouncing violence. If he had to make the "future" comment, I wish he had followed with another denunciation of violence. Instead he goes with "but you should denounce this other stuff too". Weak tea. Lastly, I just want to acknowledge that the clip itself is not complete, so I'm not aware of the comments he made after it ends.


    French imams words on the subject (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:07:35 AM EST
    not out of context-

    (Those who were killed) were martyrs to liberty and freedom of expression.  Freedom of expression can not be killed.

    From Kerry's remarks earlier.


    Should add (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 10:55:22 AM EST
    the imam who said that and other moderate voices have been called losers among other things by the people who endorse and carry out this stuff.
    I'm with Natural.  No PC here.  These are savages who are not in need of our understanding.  

    More sad news... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 12:03:02 PM EST
    to start the year...some cracker set off an IED outside the Colorado Springs NAACP office.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.

    Today's Pentagon News: (none / 0) (#53)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 01:40:48 PM EST
    (Reuters) - U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria have damaged or destroyed 3,222 targets since August, including 58 tanks, 184 Humvees, 673 fighting positions and 980 buildings or barracks, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

    It's probably not a coincidence that they released this today after the slaughter in France.  We are cursed, living in interesting times.

    Accused rapists on college campuses (none / 0) (#86)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 07:54:31 PM EST
    The other day I expressed concern about young men being unjustly persecuted because of overreacting to real problems.

    Dukes Student

    This is just example

    We seem to treat people acused of rape (none / 0) (#157)
    by McBain on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 09:28:01 PM EST
    worse than people proven to have made false allegations.  It's as if an alleged rapist must be a horrible criminal, but a false rape accuser just has some issues and made a simple mistake.

    I don't believe there was any serious legal punishment for Tawana Brawley's or Crystal Magnum's false claims?

    The media protects alleged victims by not publishing their names but has no problem publishing names of the accused.


    FBI: Sony hackers "got sloppy," posted (none / 0) (#110)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 02:56:59 AM EST
    from IP addresses used exclusively by the North Korean government.

    "The Guardians of Peace would send emails threatening Sony employees and post online various statements explaining their work. In nearly every case they would use proxy servers in sending those emails and posting those statements," Comey said.

    "But several times they got sloppy. Several times, either because they forgot or they had a technical problem, they connected directly and we could see it," Comey said.

    Or else they'd hacked themselves... (none / 0) (#119)
    by unitron on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 08:06:57 AM EST
    ...some back doors into some NK computer networks and were making it look like their stuff was originating there.

    Wired: New "evidence" still flimsy (none / 0) (#158)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 08:12:49 AM EST
    The Rest of the Story (none / 0) (#115)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 07:07:41 AM EST
    A couple of years ago Jeralyn (or somebody) posted a story about an old dude (Leo Sharp) who was busted on I94 outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan - with 100 KG of cocaine in the back of his pickup truck.  Turns out he was muling for one of Jeralyn's other interests, el Chapo Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel.  Last May Leo, who was paid over a million bucks for the mule work, was sentenced to three years in the slammer.

    Pretty good article (none / 0) (#126)
    by CST on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 10:50:48 AM EST
    on "Tsarnaev jury's built-in bias" because they are seeking the death penalty in a place where the majority of people do not support the death penalty.

    CA state ban on foie gras (none / 0) (#134)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 12:50:08 PM EST
    is no more. Federal gov. Preemption re regulation of poutry products:


    Saw that. Some states are suing CA (none / 0) (#135)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 01:14:53 PM EST
    Over Prop 2, because they don't want to have to comply with the restrictions in order to sell their product in CA.

    Will eggs be exempt too? Maybe so. (none / 0) (#136)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 01:22:04 PM EST
    Fun fact (none / 0) (#137)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 01:26:16 PM EST
    On California roads and highways, the only loads allowed to be carried uncovered are water and live poultry, a fact I'm reminded of every time I'm driving behind a load of the latter and feathers come off the truck like somebody is already plucking them before they get processed into chicken meat.

    The link I posted above (none / 0) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 02:33:40 PM EST
    will keep growing.  When I posted it yesterday there was 4 pages of cartoons now there is 12.  
    I love that site.

    Who would have guessed that... (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 03:28:16 PM EST
    "killing in the name of..." is not the way to get people to respect your prophet?

    Charlie Hebdo has announced they won't be deterred and will be putting out an issue next week. And a 1 million strong print run as opposed to their normal 30k or so, with the help of various allies.

    "It's very hard. We are all suffering, with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win."

    Amen...Long Live Blasphemy!  


    Foolhardy, perhaps, unless everyone (none / 0) (#145)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 04:41:15 PM EST
    works under a pseudonym from a secure location.

    They have been attacked before (none / 0) (#146)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 05:21:48 PM EST
    they probably will be again.  I would call it courageous and admirable.

    Exactly... (5.00 / 3) (#148)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 05:59:28 PM EST
    Risking your life to criticize and mock governments, religions, and institutions of all sorts is textbook heroism.

    For sure the safest thing is to cower, convert, pledge allegiance...thank Allah history is full of cats who didn't.


    If not foolhardy (none / 0) (#147)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 05:40:21 PM EST
    then probably misplaced. I am all for free speech but is this the hill to fight for? I mean we are not talking about Nelson Mandela here, these are just some rude cartoons. France is probably a tinderbox right now and maybe it is time for cooler
    heads to prevail. Now I love me a whole lot of political cartoonists(rude is ok by me), but I would not consider them having cool heads in the best of times.  

    One man's rudeness is another man's hill (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 10:29:50 AM EST
    Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, period.  I don't have to listen to anything I don't want to listen to, I don't have to purchase, look at, or read anything I find offensive.  That is my choice, my right.  I am responsible for my own icons, I chose them, nobody can belittle my chosen icons meaningful but me.  I can pick them up, place them on pedestals, take them down....they are mine, I own them...others don't.

    I am very glad (none / 0) (#149)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 06:00:59 PM EST
    you are not making the decisions.   Some comments in this sub thread suggest little knowledge of this newspaper and their history of threats from violent religious extremists.
    a little information should make it clear these people, and their millions of supporters like me, believe it is about a hell of a lot more than "rude cartoons".   You are entitled to your opinion but please don't insult these courageous people who knew, and even discussed days before their death, how much danger they were in.  
    The dead editor said he "would rather die standing up than live on his knees".   Comments about "rude cartoons" are frankly insulting and sad.

    I'm a huge proponent of things that (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 08:09:56 PM EST
    make people think, make them question, push them to take another look, give them new ways to look at, well, whatever.

    Religion is a matter of faith and belief; bringing reason to it is to risk tearing that away, and that is just too threatening for a lot of people - who are not only going to reject it, but are going to project their fear and anger on those who made them feel that way.

    I don't know the right way to change aspects of religion that are harmful and dangerous and ugly - maybe by example? I don't know if irreverent, mocking, derisive, cartoons get that done.  Or if they were even meant to get that done.  Or if they were for us or for the believers.

    And it's not that I'm blaming the artists, per se, but I guess what I'm not sure I've heard yet is the why of it all.  What were these artists hoping to inspire, if anything?

    I guess I haven't had too much to say about this, because at every conversational turn, I feel like I'm running into a wall.  I start down one path, and, nope, the next thing I say will sound like I'm blaming the wrong people.  I turn around and go at it from another angle, and darn if I don't end up somewhere just as bad.

    The slaughter of those people in Paris was just unconscionable - but maybe I feel that way because killing people has never been how I've handled challenges.  And far too often now, killing people in the most violent ways possible is how a lot of people find closure.  Is religion any better a reason than settling a drunken argument at a party? At some point, isn't it all just death?  Isn't dead just dead?  

    Sometimes nothing makes sense to me.


    That was a thoughtful comment (none / 0) (#155)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 08:24:08 PM EST
    as usual from you.  I guess I feel very close to this for some reason.  And perhaps I take it to personally.  I mentioned I considered being a political cartoonist.  I even did some of that work very early in my adventures in art.  Had some things in local newspapers.  I could see myself among the dead because if I did it I would champion the very same causes as the dead cartoonists.  And for the same reasons.  There is a large muslim population in France.  When you combine that with the French concept of secularism, which to them is even more sacred than free speech, sparks are going to fly.  
    For those people it's not about rude cartoons it's about much more.  I don't even feel qualified to explain it but VOX has been running an excellent series of articles and posts on this subject.  I linked to one of them.  I would suggest that as a good place to start if one wishes to understand why people feel this cause is important enough to die for.  I am among them.

    Not insulting them (none / 0) (#152)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 07:20:19 PM EST
    or questioning their courage.I just don't think  this is as great a free speech battle as some people are making it out to be. Religious hotheads acting out their violent ideologies is as old as religion itself and men of words have always been targets. Yes I respect the fact that they were true to their vision of journalism,  but they were risk takers in the sense of going swimming with the sharks after chumming the water.  In the end they died for the right to publish insulting cartoons. You may call them brave soldiers in the long  and arduous battle for human rights and freedom  and I will not disagree, but to call them heroes is insulting to the people who have fought for far more noble causes in the face of far more certain danger.

    "A far more certain danger"? (none / 0) (#153)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 07:37:44 PM EST
    12 people are dead.  You must define certainty different than me.  It sounds like you agree with Catholic League president  Bill Donohue-

    That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. BUT neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.

    Those who work at this newspaper have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures.

    What (the killers) object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.

    Which is your right.  Always good to know where people are coming from.


    Those 12 deaths were not preordained (none / 0) (#156)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 08:56:16 PM EST
    by any means, the publications just increased the odds. On the other hand many people have fought tyranny and human rights abuses knowing full well their punishment would be sure and swift. Others such as the  freedom marchers in the south faced less certain danger but their aims were surely more noble than Charlie's and the risks were as least as real.
    I don't know where you get the idea that I agree with these murderers in any way shape or form so do not lump me in with that religious hothead Donahue. In another time and another place he would be the one with blood on his hands.

    I guess, in it's own way, that Charlie was fighting the good fight against religious intolerance and the forces that wish to stifle human expression. Not to diminish the value of those 12 lives, but at best this is just a minor skirmish in one of several battles being fought on many fronts in an eternal war. Sorry that's just the way it is.


    This is exactly the fear (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 10:23:13 AM EST
    The extremist terrorists hope to inspire oculus

    It seems easy and painfree to (none / 0) (#161)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 11:27:36 AM EST
    opine on these matters from the U.S.  

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 11:39:14 AM EST
    Last month military families were warned that extremists were attempting to track soldier names and befriend their families on Facebook.  I got two different friend requests from young men standing behind Islamic flags, I denied both but the attempts to frighten and intimidate are growing for everyone.

    Speaking for me only. (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 03:34:24 PM EST
    OMG (none / 0) (#164)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 04:38:12 PM EST
    Have I told you lately that I love your cryptic self?

    Anonymous has declared war on (none / 0) (#165)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 04:57:59 PM EST

    "You will not impose your sharia law in our democracies, we will not let your stupidity kill our liberties and our freedom of expression. We have warned you; expect your destruction."

    The press release ends in typical Anonymous fashion:

    "We will track you everywhere on the planet, nowhere will you be safe. We are Anonymous. We are legion.

    "We do not forget. We do not forgive. Be afraid of us, Islamic State and Al Qaeda - you will get our vengeance."

    They said they are going to kill them (none / 0) (#166)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 05:29:59 PM EST
    They mean kill their websites and abilities to recruit and radicalize right?  I just can't picture murdering hackers :)

    Here's a video against (none / 0) (#168)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri Jan 09, 2015 at 07:02:49 PM EST
    The Church of Scientology.

    New Tamir Rice (none / 0) (#144)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 03:43:51 PM EST

    Arresting sister delaying help.  Geez.

    Mitt Romney (none / 0) (#151)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 06:59:39 PM EST