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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 21,177

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Today must be "screaming goat" day

Two differnt commercials and one in a DU thread.

Is this the end of "State of Texas v. One Gold Crucifix"?

On edit: I'm just using the Texas case name as an example. I could have just as easily used "United States v. $35,651.11 in U.S. Currency" or hundreds of others. It was just the first example of one of these ridiculouse case names that I ran across when looking for an example.

Holder limits seized-asset sharing process that split billions with local, state police

By Robert O'Harrow Jr., Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich January 16 at 2:15 PM

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without warrants or criminal charges.

Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.
The decision follows a Washington Post investigation published in September that found that police have made cash seizures worth almost $2.5 billion from motorists and others without search warrants or indictments since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Post found that local and state police routinely pulled over drivers for minor traffic infractions, pressed them to agree to warrantless searches and seized large amounts of cash without evidence of wrongdoing. The law allows such seizures and forces the owners to prove their property was legally acquired in order to get it back.

Juan Cole: Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris

Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
By Juan Cole | Jan. 7, 2015

The problem for a terrorist group like al-Qaeda is that its recruitment pool is Muslims, but most Muslims are not interested in terrorism. Most Muslims are not even interested in politics, much less political Islam. France is a country of 66 million, of which about 5 million is of Muslim heritage. But in polling, only a third, less than 2 million, say that they are interested in religion. French Muslims may be the most secular Muslim-heritage population in the world (ex-Soviet ethnic Muslims often also have low rates of belief and observance). Many Muslim immigrants in the post-war period to France came as laborers and were not literate people, and their grandchildren are rather distant from Middle Eastern fundamentalism, pursuing urban cosmopolitan culture such as rap and rai. In Paris, where Muslims tend to be better educated and more religious, the vast majority reject violence and say they are loyal to France.

Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination. This tactic is similar to the one used by Stalinists in the early 20th century. Decades ago I read an account by the philosopher Karl Popper of how he flirted with Marxism for about 6 months in 1919 when he was auditing classes at the University of Vienna. He left the group in disgust when he discovered that they were attempting to use false flag operations to provoke militant confrontations. In one of them police killed 8 socialist youth at Hörlgasse on 15 June 1919. For the unscrupulous among Bolsheviks–who would later be Stalinists– the fact that most students and workers don’t want to overthrow the business class is inconvenient, and so it seemed desirable to some of them to “sharpen the contradictions” between labor and capital.

The operatives who carried out this attack exhibit signs of professional training. They spoke unaccented French, and so certainly know that they are playing into the hands of Marine LePen and the Islamophobic French Right wing. They may have been French, but they appear to have been battle hardened. This horrific murder was not a pious protest against the defamation of a religious icon. It was an attempt to provoke European society into pogroms against French Muslims, at which point al-Qaeda recruitment would suddenly exhibit some successes instead of faltering in the face of lively Beur youth culture (French Arabs playfully call themselves by this anagram). Ironically, there are reports that one of the two policemen they killed was a Muslim.

“Sharpening the contradictions” is the strategy of sociopaths and totalitarians, aimed at unmooring people from their ordinary insouciance and preying on them, mobilizing their energies and wealth for the perverted purposes of a self-styled great leader.

(boldface highlights added by me)

"America didn't cave. Hollywood didn't cave. Capitalism caved."

Not necessarily the whole truth, but it doesn't have to be. Just a point to consider:

America didn't cave. Hollywood didn't cave. Capitalism caved.
by David Atkins

But in truth, neither "America" nor "Hollywood" caved to the terrorist threat. Capitalism did. Sony is a Japanese-owned multinational corporation. Its decision to cancel the opening of the film was precipitated not by Hollywood studios, but by the defensive decision of a bunch of corporate conglomerate theater chains with only tenuous connections to the star-studded production companies in Tinseltown.

An organization made a threat to a corporation and its customers if it released a certain product. Distributors of said product decided not to risk carrying that product, as a market decision. The corporation decided to pull the product from shelves--for market reasons.

That's capitalism. Capitalism doesn't care about standing for the principle of free speech, or for patriotism, or for standing up to bullies. It cares about money. Theater chains don't make money if they lose customers too afraid to show up to the movie theaters. Production companies don't make money if not enough theaters show their movie. It's just business.

If conservatives want to see a little more backbone in standing up to international bullies looking to squash free speech, they might want to start by looking in the mirror at their ideological elevation of profit over principle.

On the cancelled release of "The Interview":

New York Observer: "EXCLUSIVE: New York Mag’s Boy Genius Investor Made It All Up"

It’s been a tough month for fact-checking. After the Rolling Stone campus rape story unraveled, readers of all publications can be forgiven for questioning the process by which Americans get our news. And now it turns out that another blockbuster story is—to quote its subject in an exclusive Observer interview—”not true.”

Monday’s edition of New York magazine includes an irresistible story about a Stuyvesant High senior named Mohammed Islam who had made a fortune investing in the stock market. Reporter Jessica Pressler wrote regarding the precise number, “Though he is shy about the $72 million number, he confirmed his net worth is in the ‘high eight figures.’ ” The New York Post followed up with a story of its own, with the fat figure playing a key role in the headline: “High school student scores $72M playing the stock market.”

And now it turns out, the real number is … zero.

In an exclusive interview with Mr. Islam and his friend Damir Tulemaganbetov, who also featured heavily in the New York story, the baby-faced boys who dress in suits with tie clips came clean. Swept up in a tide of media adulation, they made the whole thing up.
Read more at http://observer.com/2014/12/exclusive-new-york-mags-boy-genius-investor-made-it-all-up/#ixzz3M6E5xQWm

My hinkey-dar is vindicated.

Here's how you REALLY teach the Civil War to 3rd graders...

I like to use this conservative political cartoon from 1860 (engraved by Currier & Ives!).

Recall that in 1860 the Republicans were a liberal/left party, and there's not one bit of it that's unfamiliar. The Civil War what happened when one political faction breathed nothing but its own hot air, and started believing their own advertising about Lincoln.


"The Republican Party Going to the Right House"

Lincoln rides in on a rail (fence rail, that is), carried by Horace Greely (anti-slavery editor of the New York Tribune), leading his followers into a lunatic asylum.
GREELY: "Hold on to me Abe, and we'll go in here by the unanimous consent of the people."
LINCOLN: "Now my friends I'm almost in, and the millennium is going to begin, so ask what you will and it shall be granted."

Younger Woman: "Oh! what a beautiful man he is, I feel a passionate attraction' every time I see his lovely face."
Bearded Man: "I represent the free love element, and expect to have free license to carry out its principles."
Man with trim beard and hat: "I want religion abolished and the book of Mormon made the standard of morality."
Caricatured black man: "De white man hab no rights dat cullud pussons am bound to spect' I want dat understood."
Older woman: "I want womans rights enforced, and man reduced in subjection to her authority."
Scruffy man with bottle: "I want everybody to have a share of everybody elses property."
Barefoot man: "I want a hotel established by government, where people that aint inclined to work, can board free of expense, and be found in rum and tobacco."
Seedy top-hat man: " I want guaranteed to every Citizen the right to examine every other citizen's pockets without interruption by Policemen."
Man at the end: "I want all the stations houses burned up, and the M.P.s killed, so that the bohoys can run with the machine and have a muss when they please."
And to relate it to our own times, let’s go down the list, shall we?:
Supported (literally in this case) by "liberal media": Check
Liberals will embark on profligate giveaways to THOSE PEOPLE? Check.
Flighty, emotional, entranced by charisma/celebrity? Check.
People conservatives consider sexual deviants? Check.
People conservatives consider religious deviants? Check (and how ironic, this particular turn).
Grasping minorities after special rights? Check.
"Feminazis"? Check.
There's a vast army of layabouts, drug users, thugs, and outright thieves who want to take your hard-earned stuff? Check, check, check, and check.

A hundred and fifty years later, and the song remains the same.

TYT: CEO Pay Is A Massive Scam, This Chart Proves It

Spoiler Alert

No other Spoiler Alert threads were harmed ion the making of this Spoiler Alert.

Re:Chelsea Clinton: Did peoples' spin-detectors suddenly short out?

Who read the article about Chelsea Clinton? No, not the NY Daily News article that's spawned at least two threads in GD and probably more elsewhere?

I mean the other one, the Fast Company article that the Daily News piece cherry-picked from and spun.

Because in that article, the line about "not caring about money" was in the context of not being obsessed with nothing but money . Of not being another "grab everything and squeeze" type like Mitt Romney or the Kochs.

Even the bit about "I just work harder..." is in the context of overcoming the assumption that she's a well-connected do-nothing getting a ride on family connections, a la a certain scion of the Bush clan who loses fights with pretzels. It's not an example of Mitt-wit self- back-patting.

Really, don't people click through to sources when there's some obvious spin going on? Especially from an article from a tabloid newspaper?

I'm hardly a fan of the Clintons and the neoliberal economics their policies have been steeped in, but Jeez, people, use your heads. The Daily News piece may not be the Soviet-grade quote-extraction that the isolating of "You didn't build that" was, but it bears a strong family resemblance.
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