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Poll_Blind

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 23,862

About Me

NOTE: Anyone can join Democratic Underground. They can claim anything. Democratic Underground gives no warranty that the people with which you interact on Democratic Underground are Democrats or even Progressives. They may be Republicans, other political agitators or merely the mentally-unstable, heavily intoxicated or deranged personalities whose behavior is best described as "shit-stirring assholes". Furthermore, reading the first two sentences again, realize that their irrational, inflammatory or destructive behavior may appear to be supported by other individuals or even the bulk of respondents to a given post. However, always applying the above paragraph to certain phantasmagoric situations you may witness in given threads in our fora, you are best served by believing only those ideas that you agree with to be real and the rest, highly suspect.

Journal Archives

It would look like Taft won but then Washington would emerge like Luke from the tauntaun's belly.

That's right, Washington would go after Taft right away with the knowledge that he could turn him into valuable meat armor to continue the fight against the other presidents. Should they come close to breaching the Taft, Washington could pop his head out of Taft's chest cavity, distracting and horrifying them long enough to land a fatal blow before moving onto the next.

It may be difficult to imagine George Washington gore-wigged and manipulating the corpse of a dead man from the inside in order to do battle but we must not forget the Washington family motto: "Exitus Acta Probat" ("The Ends Justify The Means")

PB

Having never really looked at Chris Christie for any length of time, this is the image I...

...couldn't shake the entire time he gave that speech:



PB

Sometimes it's all about the signifigance you impart to the act:

To wit, which of these acts allegedly destroys America's standings in the world and which is just one of the cutest things you've ever seen?



As was pointed out here, all presidents bow to foreign leaders and, most importantly, "Following cultural conventions is not submission."

I don't have a problem with bowing to foreign leaders but I really hate any US President bowing to a member of royalty. I find it extremely distasteful. But apparently presidents are going to keep doing it.

So while it is nice to shoot those mouth-breathers pictures of Bush getting ready to play tonsil-hockey with the Saudi king, I suppose the even more correct answer is "Bowing or following cultural conventions does not make a president submissive to a foreign leader." I don't like it, but if there's a correct answer that's probably it.

PB

Big Money, Big Ego, Big Bullshit



PB

Oh shit, I just found this cartoon looking for another image:





So true!

BTW, cool thread for photoshop fun from EarlG!

PB

Billy Bragg - The Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie



An Israeli bulldozer killed poor Rachel Corrie
As she stood in its path in the town of Rafah
She lost her young life in an act of compassion
Trying to protect the poor people of Gaza
Whose homes are destroyed by tank shells and bulldozers
And whose plight is exploited by suicide bombers
Who kill in the name of the people of Gaza
But Rachel Corrie believed in non-violent resistance
Put herself in harm's way as a shield of the people
And paid with her life in a manner most brutal

But you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain't the time for your tears.

Rachel Corrie had 23 years
She was born in the town of Olympia, Washington
A skinny, messy, list-making chain-smoker
Who volunteered to protect the Palestinian people
Who had become non-persons in the eyes of the media
So that people were suffering and no one was seeing
Or hearing or talking or caring or acting
And the horrible math of the awful equation
That brought Rachel Corrie into this confrontation
Is that the spilt blood of a single American
Is worth more than the blood of a hundred Palestinians

But you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain't the time for your tears.

The artistic director of a New York theatre
Cancelled a play based on Rachel's writings
But she wasn't a bomber or a killer or fighter
But one who acted in the spirit of the Freedom Riders
Is there no place for a voice in America
That doesn't conform to the Fox News agenda?
Who believes in non-violence instead of brute force
Who is willing to confront the might of an army
Whose passionate beliefs were matched by her bravery
The question she asked rings out round the world
If America is truly the beacon of freedom
Then how can it stand by while they bring down the curtain
And turn Rachel Corrie into a non-person?

Oh, but you who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears,
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears.


PB

We lost the war in Afghanistan on September 9th, 2001, when this man was assassinated:



We lost that war a month before it started and we've been losing it ever since.

PB

Apple vs Samsung: Jurors talk to media about their deliberations, sound like absolute idiots

For such a huge court case I thought it was odd that the jury would only need to deliberate for three days before coming to a full verdict. I haven't been paying much attention to the thing, these titanic battles taking place too often to grab your attention unless it's the kind of thing you follow already. However, after reading Apple's somewhat insane overview of what a company producing smartphones or tablets could do to avoid infringing on Apple's patents, and then reading that the jury had upheld such megalomaniacal claims...yeah, that got my attention.

BTW, Apple's helpful advice? As long as rival tablets and smartphones don't look anything like tablets or smartphones, everything's cool:
http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wireless/230535/apples-helpful-guidelines-competitors-avoid-patent-infringement?page=0,1

I'm not a fan of how Apple does business but this epic fuckup appears to rest solely on the jury's shoulders. And what narrow, fidgety shoulders they must be:
For a start, the jury did not rely on the instructions provided by the judge to determine the outcome, and it seems that they may have made the decision in haste, especially since there were 700 questions to answer.

A juror told CNET that while the nine-person group had debated about the patents heavily, but they skipped on a very important aspect: Prior art.

"After we debated that first patent--what was 'prior art'--because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art, that there wasn't something out there before Apple," said Manuel Illagan.

"In fact we skipped that one, so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down."


'Jury bogged down? Just skip it!' Holy shit.

Like I said, I'm no fan of Apple's business practices but when you have a jury like this making decisions which could have a huge impact on a whole industry neither side really wins in the long run. Take that now-famous "1 Billion Dollar Judgement":
Dan Levine of Reuters has some words from the foreman:

"We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist," Hogan said. "We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable."

Hogan said jurors were able to complete their deliberations in less than three days -- much faster than legal experts had predicted -- because a few had engineering and legal experience, which helped with the complex issues in play. Once they determined Apple's patents were valid, jurors evaluated every single device separately, he said.

Now the jurors are contradicting each other. Lordy, the more they talk, the worse it gets. I'm sure Samsung is glad they are talking, though. Had they read the full jury instructions, all 109 pages (as PDF), they would have read that damages are not supposed to punish, merely to compensate for losses. Here's what they would have found in Final Jury Instruction No. 35, in part:

The amount of those damages must be adequate to compensate the patent holder for the infringement. A damages award should put the patent holder in approximately the financial position it would have been in had the infringement not occurred, but in no event may the damages award be less than a reasonable royalty. You should keep in mind that the damages you award are meant to compensate the patent holder and not to punish an infringer.

'When in doubt just do whatever, y'all!' Again, holy shit.

These aren't the only inconsistencies in the case, the last two articles I link to go into much more detail. The worst actor in this debacle wasn't Apple or Samsung, it was a jury composed of people who will one day disinterestedly award a company the patent on your balls and include the price of the hunting knife they'll use to cut them off you in the damages.

PB

Fuck off with this bizarro "Clinton as VP in 2012!" meme.

The White House has said many times that President Obama will be sticking with Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate.

And why shouldn't he? Joseph Biden is doing an excellent job as vice president.

Not even superdelegates could force the President to do otherwise so give it up. You might as well be demanding he drop Biden and replace him with Dennis Kucinich.

See how silly that sounds?

So drop it.

A few months ago, six months ago? Whatever, I don't care.

Now? It's weird and borders on something desperate or delusional.

And if our President does not win the 2012 election, anyone who suggests it was because he didn't take Hillary Clinton as his VP can also fuck off. I'd normally put a "Fuck OFF" like that on layway until November but I can more than see it coming to pass here.

PB

Guardian: We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited

The European women's rights organization, Women Against Rape, has released another statement today regarding the British government's actions in the case of Julian Assange.

I've excerpted four paragraphs but the entire statement is worth reading at the link below.

Whether or not Assange is guilty of sexual violence, we do not believe that is why he is being pursued. Once again women's fury and frustration at the prevalence of rape and other violence, is being used by politicians to advance their own purposes. The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will, usually to increase their powers, this time to facilitate Assange's extradition or even rendition to the US. That the US has not presented a demand for his extradition at this stage is no guarantee that they won't do so once he is in Sweden, and that he will not be tortured as Bradley Manning and many others, women and men, have. Women Against Rape cannot ignore this threat.

In over 30 years working with thousands of rape victims who are seeking asylum from rape and other forms of torture, we have met nothing but obstruction from British governments. Time after time, they have accused women of lying and deported them with no concern for their safety. We are currently working with three women who were raped again after having been deported – one of them is now destitute, struggling to survive with the child she conceived from the rape; the other managed to return to Britain and won the right to stay, and one of them won compensation.

Assange has made it clear for months that he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step to their investigation? What are they afraid of?

In 1998 Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London following an extradition request from Spain. His responsibility for the murder and disappearance of at least 3,000 people, and the torture of 30,000 people, including the rape and sexual abuse of more than 3,000 women often with the use of dogs, was never in doubt. Despite a lengthy legal action and a daily picket outside parliament called by Chilean refugees, including women who had been tortured under Pinochet, the British government reneged on its obligation to Spain's criminal justice system and Pinochet was allowed to return to Chile. Assange has not even been charged; yet the determination to have him extradited is much greater than ever it was with Pinochet. (Baltasar Garzón, whose request for extradition of Pinochet was denied, is representing Assange.) And there is a history of Sweden (and Britain) rendering asylum seekers at risk of torture at the behest of the US.


Related:
Ecuador president says UK has no right to lecture over Assange… after its failure to extradite Pinochet a decade ago
Britain says it is determined to fulfill a legal obligation to send Assange to Sweden.

But Correa said London had made its own rules in the past - specifically, by not extraditing Pinochet, who was charged with multiple human rights violations.

'Pinochet was not extradited for humanitarian reasons, when there were dozens of Europeans and thousands of Latin Americans who were murdered, and tens of thousands of people were tortured during the Pinochet dictatorship,' he told reporters in the country's capital Quito. Pinochet was arrested by British police at a hospital in London in 1998 after Spain demanded his extradition for alleged torture and murder, including of Spanish citizens, during his 1973-1990 rule.

The British government decided in 2000 that the frail Pinochet was unfit to stand trial and free to fly home. He died six years later in Santiago, Chile, aged 91.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192566/Ecuador-president-says-UK-right-lecture-Julian-Assange.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

PB
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