Open Thread: Returning From Off the Grid

I have been "off the grid" for a week -- I plan on returning tonight or tomorrow. It's been wonderful not giving a moment's thought to the cartoon with a desk in the oval office.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    The masterrace rally ... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by desertswine on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 02:35:04 PM EST
    Unite the Right in DC looks to be a massive flop.  On tv, it actually looks like maybe a dozen people showed up.  

    The local news reported (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 06:46:29 AM EST
    That the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop had a ghost town quality. That stop is usually the wildest when there is a heavily attended demonstration. Many businesses near Lafayette park chose to not open or had an abbreviated business day, closing after serving lunch. People we know who would normally have traveled near the demonstration on their way home chose alternative routes home.

    I was surprised and disappointed (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 02:48:35 PM EST
    at the number of mainstream news outlets who characterized Tr*mp's condemnation yesterday of "all types of racism" as a positive change from his widely condemned "blame on both sides" remark of a year ago. I thought it was obvious that the "all types of" modifier was intended as a dog whistle. It downplays if not rejects acceptance of the persistent problem of anti-black racism as unique in American history, from slavery, through the Black Codes, to Jim Crow, to "massive resistance," to the present. At the same time it pandered to the manufactured grievance of "anti-white racism" in society, placing blame on the important but incomplete successes of the movement for racial justice. That phrase was carefully and cynically crafted.

    "Beloveds, these are some bad, ugly, angry times. And I am so freaked out. Hatred has stolen the conversation. The poor are now voting against themselves. But politics is not about left or right. It's about up and down. The few screwing the many."
    - Molly Ivins, journalist and author (1944-2007)

    ... to normalize Trump, even if they have to rhetorically contort themselves into nonsensical logic pretzels to do so. While I don't like it, I can certainly understand it, because we've never really been confronted by this sort of thing before now. But at a time when rising to the occasion is required by so many throughout the republic, it's been very disconcerting to see how so few journalists are able and willing to do so.



    Thank you Donald. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 08:45:10 PM EST
    For the words from Molly Ivins. She was the best part of the Ft Worth Star-Telegram when I lived the "Foat".

    The bada$$, (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 10:18:25 AM EST
    Peter Strzok, was fired by the FBI overriding a departmental recommendation that he be demoted and suspended for a period of time.   Despite a political decision to assuage Trumpian rath, or a direct order by Trump, it is probably all to the good.

     Strzok and his then mistress, Lisa Page, who quit the FBI in May, acted in a stupid and unprofessional manner.  They should have known better and behaved better.  FBI Director Chris Wray said the disciplinary action would be by the book, but did not say that the book would be George Orwell's "1984".   Never-the-less, the firing is likely to keep Mueller and Rosenstein in a more safe position, and that is worth it.

    A little help here (none / 0) (#3)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 04:34:12 PM EST
    I am putting together a few paragraphs on voter ID.  I'll post them here in case any others would like to add to or correct what I have written.

    You are required to have a drivers license in order to lawfully operate a motor vehicle.  In order to get this license you have to demonstrate familiarity with the vehicle code and safe operation of the vehicle. The purpose of licensing is first, to insure the safety of others using the public roads, and second to generate revenue through the fees involved.

    In "Terry v. Ohio 1968," the Supreme Court decided that a police officer has no authority to stop a driver for the sole purpose of determining whether the driver has a valid license.  Only a vehicle code violation observed by the officer confers such authority.  The grounds are that we are entitled to a presumption of innocence by the Fifth Amendment. Requiring a driver to in effect prove that he or she is innocent of the charge of driving without a license is a fifth Amendment violation.

    Similarly, requiring a voter to prove by showing identification that he or she is a registered voter is an accusation of a crime in the absence of any evidence.

    In an attempt to reduce voting among old and poor voters, identification requirements have been added for voters in many areas, despite the fact that there is no evidence that people vote illegally in any significant numbers. The evidence shows that it is far easier for a poll worker to prevent a legitimate vote than it is for a non-citizen to vote.  Preventing a vote accomplishes the same end as a far less likely unlawful vote, tilting the balance and cheating the electorate.

    If you don't have to show your drivers license to someone before operating a dangerous vehicle, you shouldn't be forced to show identification in order to vote.

    Terry v Ohio did not involve law enforcement (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 05:29:32 PM EST
    stopping a vehicle.

    Why then (none / 0) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 05:47:21 PM EST
    ...do police officers who pull over a vehicle for a minor infraction in order to get a look inside, call it a "Terry stop?"

    Actually, I've never heard this. (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 06:10:47 PM EST
    A traffic stop that is intended to result (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 08:25:16 PM EST
    in a relatively brief roadside detention (and perhaps issuance of a ticket or warning), and not for the purpose of effectuating an arrest for commission of a crime, is governed by the same lesser Fourth Amendment standard ("reasonable suspicion" rather than "probable cause") that was approved by the Supreme Court in Terry for on-the-street "stops." A traffic stop could therefore fairly be called a "Terry stop" of the car (and its driver and passengers).

    To be honest with you, RR, I don't think (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Peter G on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 08:32:45 PM EST
    your analogy works. Individuals who present themselves at the polling place to vote must be identified, as only those who are registered are allowed to vote, and only in the correct location, and only once. Driving is not like that. The "voter ID" issue is not about having to identify yourself at all as an authorized voter, but rather about the imposition of unreasonably restrictive methods for identifying voters, using particular forms of ID that the poor, minorities, the young and the elderly are all less likely to possess or have ready access to. When I show up to vote, I have to sign in, and the poll worker compares my signature with the signature on the roll of voters. But I don't have to show a driver license or birth certificate or anything similar (thanks to our ACLU winning a court case against one of those awful laws).

    In Texas they specifically allowed (none / 0) (#13)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 08:49:00 PM EST
    Concealed carry permits but disallowed college IDs for voting ID. Who ya think that is aimed at?

    Donald from Hawaii (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 05:22:11 PM EST
    what happened in your primaries there?

    Gov. David Ige won the primary. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 12, 2018 at 07:29:59 PM EST
    He's all but re-elected. Republican Andrea Tupola will be lucky to break 40% in November.

    Former Congressman Ed Case will likely be returning to Washington to represent the First District, which encompasses Honolulu and southern Oahu. GOP challenger Cam Cavasso is an unapologetic right-wing Trump nutball. And since Trump polled at 30% in 2016, you can see where that's going.

    We will have three new state senators. The biggest surprises of the evening were rather lopsided losses by Senate Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria (D-Waikiki) and House Majority Leader Cindy Evans (D-North Kona). So state legislative leadership has been put on notice by voters.

    But other than that, the status quo pretty much prevailed out here.


    Thanks for (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 03:21:37 AM EST
    the response. I guess most people seemed to be surprised by Ed Case winning the primary since he's a blue dog.

    Maybe we need to forgo labeling our own side. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 05:07:17 AM EST
    Ed Case is a Democrat. I worked for him when he was the State House Majority Leader. Ed stands for the rule of law and holding Trump accountable, so the only vote he'll take that matters next January will be the one to organize the U.S. House under Democratic leadership. That's what our attention needs to be focused on right now -- Democratic control of the House.



    Hey, (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 06:34:13 AM EST
    I'm for whoever wins the primary. On twitter people were somewhat shocked about Case since Hawaii is supposedly so "liberal".

    Hawaii is indeed liberal. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Aug 15, 2018 at 04:10:40 AM EST
    And we have the history to prove it, being the first state to enshrine workers' rights to collective bargaining into our state constitution, the first to legalize a woman's right to seek abortion (predating Roe v. Wade by three years), the first to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment, the first to make available affordable afterschool care available to working families via our public schools, and the first to enact employer-based universal health care, which covers 94% of our residents. (The Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974 long predates Massachusetts by 32 years and ADA/Obamacare by 36 years).

    We're just not all that doctrinaire about it. Some Democrats like to talk the talk. We just walk the walk.



    Aretha Franklin... (none / 0) (#16)
    by desertswine on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 12:41:25 PM EST
    is reported to be gravely ill.

    Franklin, 76, has faced bouts of ill-health since 2010, when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, according to a family member who spoke to Detroit's press.

    Michael Drejka charged with manslaughter (none / 0) (#17)
    by McBain on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 01:54:12 PM EST
    In the Florida parking lot shooting
    Surveillance footage shows McGlockton walking out of the store and shoving Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka pulled out his gun and fired a single shot at McGlockton in the chest. He later died at a nearby hospital.

    I'm glad the state didn't overcharge with Murder.  If it goes to trial, I think it will come down to the amount of time between when Dredka pulled his gun and when he shot.  Had he shot right away, I don't think he would have been charged but it appears that he hesitated and McGlockton started to walk away which might negate his self defense claim.  

    I was not aware of this one. (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 02:39:11 PM EST
    From the video it looks to me like McGlockton started to back away when Drejka pulled out his gun.

    Not sure of the legal nuances, but when Drejka pulled the trigger McGlockton had already backed up a few steps away from Drejka and his body language was completely non-aggressive.

    I think he should be charged.


    Just watched the Police Chief presser. (none / 0) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 05:22:56 PM EST
    It will be interesting to see the state's case for manslaughter.

    I think it will be the threat no longer (none / 0) (#21)
    by McBain on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 06:41:12 PM EST
    existed when Drejka made the decision to shoot.  I don't think they can say the threat never existed and they have to allow for a second or two for decision making.  

    I don't know if past events will be relevant or allowed.  Maybe there were witnesses who had a different vantage point than the video.  

    I'm curious if Drejka will request a pre trial self defense immunity hearing.  


    Not any "threat" (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 08:59:42 PM EST
    For the defense to exist, not only must the threat still exist at the time deadly force is used, but the defendant must reasonably believe that deadly force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.

    Holy cr*p (none / 0) (#19)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 04:06:08 PM EST
    One of the California fires is threatening what may be the oldest living thing on earth, a 2000-6000 year old juniper.

    Gosh (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 06:53:26 PM EST
    that is so sad.

    The fires are said to cover... (none / 0) (#31)
    by desertswine on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 12:25:24 PM EST
    an area larger than the state of Delaware.

    The rain and thunderstorms let up (none / 0) (#24)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 13, 2018 at 10:14:36 PM EST
    for about 90 minutes tonight (so it is predicted) and the sky pretty much cleared, so we walked over to the park at around 10:30 pm (with our old dog in tow) to try and catch some Perseid meteors. Success! Half an hour well spent. More rain predicted later, and most of tomorrow again. The Philly 'burbs, for the last week or more, have been like living on a tropical island in monsoon season.

    The smoke from the fires in California (none / 0) (#27)
    by McBain on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 08:39:19 AM EST
    along with some hazy clouds made it difficult for me to see anything Saturday night.  Maybe 3 or 4 in a couple hours.  Still kinda fun to see everyone at the top of a hill camped out.

    Better late than never (none / 0) (#29)
    by CST on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 11:08:50 AM EST
    We're finally getting off-shore wind.  About a decade after Cape Wind failed to get through permitting, Vineyard Wind looks ready to go - and will provide energy at a third of the price that was originally estimated with Cape Wind.

    Lots of reasons for the cheaper costs, larger turbines, better technology, and a firm that has done this before.

    As a state, MA has increased solar production a ton, but frankly, MA is probably not a state anyone thinks of when they think "good for solar production".  Wind on-shore is also a tough sell because it's either too dense or too forested, there's just not a ton of open space with steady winds.  Off-shore wind has always been the future of renewable power in this part of the country, because if there's anything we have in abundance it's coastline.  Glad to see it's finally coming to fruition.

    Very interesting. (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 12:09:52 PM EST
    Construction costs are estimated at 2B, and revenues generated over the 20 year life of the contract look to be about 12B. Roughly 9% roi.

    Maintenance will eat into that, as will any construction overruns. Still, revenues are pretty much guaranteed, so it seems like a decent investment.

    Looks like the local fishing industry is pretty much dead-set against it. Though if VinWind can space the platforms to accommodate the needs of the boats, the platforms will likely create a better fishery than what exists now.


    There are (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 02:47:48 PM EST
    A number of ongoing projects in that area, I believe there is one going in sooner off of Block Island which will be smaller.  I suspect that whatever goes up first will just be the tip of the iceberg if this is successful.  And hey, for once, it seems like procrastination may have paid off!

    The local fishing industry has bigger problems than offshore wind.  At least they have a semi-legitimate reason for the fear, in loss of livelihood, even if it's not rational or actually going to harm them.  I just don't want to hear any more whining about the view.


    Ha! Dam whiners. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 03:45:56 PM EST
    Fish tend to love "structure." From what I've seen out here in CA and in the Gulf, the oil platforms become a habitat oasis for fish in an otherwise relatively barren desert of ocean bottom sand. The turbine platforms will likely do the same thing.

    I thought bird strikes/deaths could also be an issue, but I just read that each year about 100 million birds are killed by our pet cats, and the Audubon Society supports wind power, so...


    Had the same thought about fish and structures (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 04:24:27 PM EST
    Depending of course on the restrictions as to how close fishermen will be able to get to the structures. Still, the new structures will likely become a habitat for an abundance of fish.

    Ya, I don't think commercial fisherman (none / 0) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 05:50:15 PM EST
    get much benefit from the oil towers here, now that you mention it. Maybe don't want to get their nets snagged on the piers?

    We could probably use (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by CST on Wed Aug 15, 2018 at 08:13:46 AM EST
    Some "safe spaces" for fish regardless.

    CST, they do have safe places (none / 0) (#46)
    by fishcamp on Wed Aug 15, 2018 at 12:13:15 PM EST
    for fish down here in the keys.  There are several huge areas marked by large yellow floating buoys.  They caught one guy spear fishing inside one and the judge fined him, made him turn in his spear gun, and banned him from any boat or dock for six months.

    So, I was talking to a neighbor (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 05:48:42 PM EST
    the other day, and she said "Do you know what's going on on our neighborhood?!"

    She lives in a section of our 'hood called "The Estates." Big brick, 3-5 garage, 4000-6000sf homes. Very nice couple of streets.

    Anyway, turns out the house next door to her is now a drug rehab. The corner house is a grow house. And one street over is a "birth/citizenship tourism" house. (Wealthy, pregnant Chinese stay there for a couple months of sightseeing, shopping, and, oh yeah, have their baby.)

    What's next, porn shoots?

    That is weird. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 05:59:19 PM EST
    How do you feel about all that?

    I'm not a big fan. (none / 0) (#38)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 06:07:25 PM EST
    I believe the area is in unincorporated LA County, but I'm not familiar with what kind of uses are allowed there.

    The porn shoots rent out expensive houses in Miami (none / 0) (#40)
    by CoralGables on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 06:51:13 PM EST
    Most of the rest takes place in the dwindling rural (becoming suburban) areas bordering the glades.

    ... long history in Los Angeles and Southern California, I daresay it's highly likely that adult-oriented videos and films have already been produced somewhere relatively nearby to where you live.

    Not that you or your neighbors would necessarily know it even if it were going on, since such productions are hardly travelogues showing off the local community. Quite the contrary, actually; the filmmakers tend to keep a pretty low profile because they really don't want any trouble.

    I know they've been in the Hastings Ranch area of Pasadena where I grew up, because about a dozen years ago the neighborhood association was up in arms when it was discovered that an adult production studio had rented my old high school girlfriend's former house and were filming there. (The place had a large backyard with a pool and, well, you know, it was inevitable that some nosey neighbor would one day look over the fence while they were working.) Anyway, her parents had long since sold the place and moved down to Laguna Niguel about 35 years ago.



    There was recently an incedent (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Wed Aug 15, 2018 at 08:19:16 AM EST
    Where a local artist had rented her home out on Airbnb and the guests used the home to make adult films.

    Apparently they didn't keep a low enough profile.

    This is my favorite part:

    "Bassett apparently tracked down some of the videos that had been produced there, including scenes that made use of her artwork and hand-sewn pillows (which she has alleged is, among other things, a violation of copyright law)."


    LOL! Yeah, right! (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Aug 15, 2018 at 08:34:03 PM EST
    Like the guy who's watching "Pulp Friction" and "Good Will Humping" is going to be mesmerized by the Frederick Remington painting that's hanging on the wall in the background.

    I work in the entertainment industry. (none / 0) (#45)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 15, 2018 at 11:16:55 AM EST
    I am well aware.

    My reference to po*n shoots was not random.


    Jeralyn said something interersting (none / 0) (#39)
    by McBain on Tue Aug 14, 2018 at 06:23:36 PM EST
    in episode 3 of Rest in Power last night.  I don't have the exact quote but something to the effect of... it's difficult for a lawyer to represent a client who doesn't get bail.  Can she or someone expand on that?  Does it have to do with having attorney/client conversations in a jail cell?  The mood of the client? I'm curious

    It's hard to prepare for trial (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 15, 2018 at 02:26:48 PM EST
    when you are limited to reviewing documents with a detained client. If there's a protective order on discovery so that it can't be left with a jailed client, or it's voluminous and the client only has access on a jail computer when counsel isn't there with him to review it, it's even harder. Same if there is electronic evidence. Few clients are sufficiently computer savvy to be able to navigate multiple disks that don't have indexes (which discovery generally doesn't.) If they don't speak English, and a translater also has to be present its even harder.