Luminous Animal's Journal
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Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 02:06 PM
Number of posts: 23,708
Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 02:06 PM
Number of posts: 23,708
- 2015 (6)
- 2014 (13)
- 2013 (33)
- 2012 (59)
- 2011 (4)
- December (4)
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Congratulations to Sen. Bernie Sanders! We are grateful for your many years of support of the VDP and welcome you to our national party's primary!
For many years, they've listed Bernie has one of their own in the house and the senate.
Twice, knowing he would decline the nomination, the VDP ran him as a Democratic candidate in the Senate primary in order to clear the field for him of any Democratic challengers.
Ian Carleton, the chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, said the party's efforts to secure the nomination for Sanders is a concession to political reality: Polls indicate that Sanders is so popular in Vermont that no Democrat has a real chance of beating him.
Carleton added that Sanders has largely supported Democratic priorities and was the only candidate to ask for the state party committee's endorsement.
``Bernie Sanders has by far the best chance of winning, and would work closely with and would respect Democratic leadership in Washington," Carleton said. ``Anyone who takes a practical look at Vermont politics will say that this is the best thing to do for the greater good here."
If Sanders wins the Democratic nomination but declines it, he will go head-to-head with the Republican candidate. Since the Democrats technically won't have a candidate on the ballot, Sanders won't have to contend with a third candidate who could siphon votes away from him. Sanders, a self- described ``democratic socialist," has typically voted with Democrats during his eight terms as Vermont's sole House member.
Democrats have had a long, complicated relationship with Sanders, based largely on mutual self-interest and the wide swath of issues on which they agree. Sanders has often mocked Democrats for taking stands he considers too moderate, yet he typically votes with them. Sanders gets his committee assignments and seniority privileges based on his affiliation with the House Democratic caucus.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Jun 19, 2015, 09:23 PM (0 replies)
I do read through a person's post and click on their link to read through the entire article before making a comment. Sometimes, I'll do further research beyond the article if the topic grabs my attention before making a comment.
I know I have many set core moral beliefs that I developed at a young age (someone one supposed that, as a child, I was akin to Huey Freeman from the Boondocks when I was a child. And that person was pretty much right). But, at age 57, there is not one argument that would sway me to the right… especially the U.S. right but I am open to being swayed more to the left.
Bowling for Columbine did change my view on guns. (And the ensuing discussion on Moore's old BB). Much was made that the movie was an anti-gun screed. It wasn't. It was a 'screed' against U.S. violent culture.
Currently, my 25 year old daughter and I are arguing about the use of the terms 'bitch' and 'bitches' which is bandied about amongst her friends in a lighthearted way. I am not ready to give up my old school feminist stand because, without a doubt, Hillary Clinton is going to be called a bitch all over the internet. And even though I am not a Hillary supporter, I will fight against that misogynist attack.
But then again, when I am on my death bed at age 103, I may flip everyone off and say, "Good-bye, bitches."
Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat May 30, 2015, 09:51 PM (0 replies)
The acronym for the committee that Issa sat on is COGR
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
It is solely a house committee and has been in existence since 1816. Msanthrope insists on misidentifying Issa's committee as "House COG". Why, I do not know. When I say that the House COG does not exist, I mean just that. There is no House Committee on Oversight and Government. Nor is there any House Congressional Oversight Group.
Msanthrope also claims that the COGR has investigated TPP. A google search and a search of their website reveals no such investigation.
The committee known as COG; i.e., Congressional Oversight Group, has only been in existence since 2002 created by the Trade Act which was introduced by Wyden. It's purpose is to work closely with the US Trade Representative. Issa has never been a member of the Congressional Oversight Group and thus not privy to any documents in 2011. As of 2012, the only members of Congress who might have seen or who might have had access were members of the Congressional Oversight Group. In fact, in 2012, 130 members of Congress wrote a letter to the USTR asking for consultation and broader access.
The Senate sent a similar letter and Wyden introduced legislation codifying access.
It appears that Wyden's bill did not make it out of committee
The Congressional Oversight Group is comprised of both members of the House and the Senate. Specifically,
In each Congress, the Congressional Oversight Group shall be comprised of the following Members of the House of Representatives:
(A) The chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Ways and Means, and 3 additional members of such Committee (not more than 2 of whom are members of the same political party).
(B) The chairman and ranking member, or their designees, of the committees of the House of Representatives which would have, under the Rules of the House of Representatives, jurisdiction over provisions of law affected by a trade agreement negotiations for which are conducted at any time during that Congress and to which this chapter would apply.
It appears that Msanthrope is asserting (with absolutely no evidence) that Issa was the leaker because, in 2012, he posted on his website a TPP document that was leaked in 2011. She then goes on to assert that an Issa staffer took the bill. She also states that Issa (or a staffer… who knows, because she has provided ZERO evidence of any of there claims), that portions of the purloined document were dribbled out to see if they could drum up interest. Again, this is factually incorrect. The ENTIRE document was published online in early 2011. Many organizations analyzed it and also published their analyses online.
By the way, unless specifically directed by a relevant agency, it is not a crime to republish material in the public domain.
Reid and Pelosi would have looked stupid if they had pursued the matter. And no, Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) did not complain that they were unable to leak provisions. A letter asking for broader access and the opportunity to confer with experts is not a plea to leak.
And, she states (again with no evidence), that Congressional access was looser prior to the leak. Given that members of both the Senate and the House assert in their letters that they've been barred from access, this is clearly a fabrication.
Finally, she uses all this misinformation to castigate good Democrats.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Sun Apr 26, 2015, 09:19 PM (3 replies)
Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu Feb 5, 2015, 03:08 AM (0 replies)
Journalist Barrett Brown looks back in anger at the government’s trumped up charges against him as he starts a 63 month prison sentence.
Not long ago I was a mild-mannered freelance journalist, activist, and satirist, contributing to outlets like the Guardian and Vanity Fair. But last Thursday I was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison in a case that Reporters Without Borders cited as a key factor in its reduction of America’s press freedom rankings from 33 to 46. As inconvenient as this is for me, the upside is that for the first time in the two and a half years since I was arrested, I am at last able to speak freely about what has been happening to me and why—and what it means for the press and the republic as a whole.
A portion of my sentence stems from an attempt I made to conceal from the government the identities of certain contacts of mine: pro-democracy activists living under Middle Eastern dictatorships such as Bahrain, with which the U.S. is known to share intelligence on such things. Another large chunk is due to an admittedly ill-conceived public threat I made—in the midst of opiate withdrawal and what court psychologists say was a manic state brought on by medication issues—to investigate and humiliate an F.B.I. agent, who had himself threatened to indict my mother in an attempt to get me to cooperate against individuals associated with the Anonymous movement (my mother was indeed charged). Though I clearly stated that my intent was not violent, the prosecution claimed that my “victim,” Dallas-based Special Agent Robert Smith, had reason to fear that I might physically harm him and even his children—in which case it is not immediately obvious why the prosecution felt the need to alter the end of the sentence in question when quoting it on the indictment. (My complete statement, (PDF) in which I make a point of noting that I was merely going to proceed along lines spelled out by the FBI-linked contractor C.E.O. Aaron Barr while he was investigating activists on behalf of his corporate clients, and that I was doing so perfunctorily, and merely in order to make a point about the F.B.I.’s traditional reluctance to investigate its allies, has been viewed on YouTube by well over 100,000 people, including the dozens of reporters who have covered the story; none of them seem to agree with the Department of Justice contention that a journalist’s threat to “look into” someone in an explicitly non-violent manner necessarily entails violence.) A separate declaration I made to the effect that I’d defend my family from any illegal armed raids by the government, while silly and bombastic, was not actually illegal under the threats statutes. To judge from similar comments made by Senator Joni Ernst, it would not even have necessarily precluded me from delivering the G.O.P.’s recent response to the State of the Union address.
But the charges that prompted the most international outrage were those alleging fraud. In late 2011, I copied and pasted a link to a publicly-available file, which chat transcripts introduced in court showed that I initially believed to contain the same leaked corporate emails I’d long been in the habit of reviewing for my Guardian articles. The file turned out to contain customer data, including credit card numbers. Although the government’s own forensics showed that I never opened the file, the D.O.J. contended (PDF) that I had thereby engaged in 11 counts of aggravated identity theft, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 22 years in federal prison.
I also had to plea to an Accessory After the Fact charge for having contacted the corporate espionage outfit Stratfor after some Anonymous-affiliated hackers stole several million of the firm’s emails and vowed to publish them online; I offered to arrange with the hackers to redact any of those communications that could potentially have endangered any foreign contacts if made public. For this, I will not only serve additional prison time, but have also been ordered to pay the company over $800,000—which is to say that I will spend the rest of my life in a strange state of post-cyberpunk indentured servitude to an amoral private intelligence firm that’s perhaps best known for having spied on Bhopal activists on behalf of Dow Chemical. That the prosecution did not quite manage to articulate how I did any damage to this particular company did not seem to dissuade U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay in this matter. Likewise, His Honor did not express any visible interest in the fact that the F.B.I. itself has acknowledged having actually overseen the hack on Stratfor via its confidential informant, Hector “Sabu” Monsegur, who recently appeared in a national television interview with Charlie Rose to discuss his role in these matters.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 03:20 PM (4 replies)
A very good read from a former employee of Charlie Hebdo. It's long and difficult to pull some snips but here goes…
To Charlie Hebdo, it’s always been good form to scoff at the “fat idiots” who like football and watching TF1 . A slippery slope. Belief in one’s own superiority, accustomed to looking down on the common herd, is the surest way to sabotage one’s own intellectual defences and to allow them to fall over in the least gust of wind. Your own, although supported by a good education, comfortable income and the pleasant team spirit of “Charlie’s gang”, collapsed at a stupefying speed. I remember a full-page article by Caroline Fourest which appeared on June 11 2008. In it, she recounted her friendly meeting with the Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot, who had gotten some grief for representing his Muslim fellow-countrymen in a particularly hilarious way. Judge for yourself: an imam dressed as Santa Claus buggering a goat, with the caption: “We have to share our traditions”. Or an Arab, slumped on a couch and lost in thought: “The Qur’an doesn’t say if you have to do anything to be on the dole for 30 years.” Or even the “monument to the slavery of white indigenous taxpayers”: a Dutch person in foot shackles, carrying a black person on his back, arms crossed and sucking on a pacifier. Foul racism? Oh come on, it’s freedom of expression! Certainly, Fourest granted, the slightly coarse humour of her friend “doesn’t always travel well”, but it must be understood “in the Dutch context which is ultra-tolerant, even angelic, towards fundamentalism.” Whose fault is it if Muslims leave themselves open to gags with export difficulties? That of Muslims themselves and their over-angelic allies, obviously. As Nekschot himself explained to Charlie Hebdo’s readers, “Muslims must understand that humour has been part of our tradition for centuries.”
No-one in your office up and quit after this insufficiently-noticed page, which after all did no more than sanctify a process which had begun six or seven years earlier. Birds of a tolerant feather flock together. But when I read this in your Le Monde article: “We are almost ashamed to remind you that anti-racism and passion for equality of all human beings are and will remain the founding principles of Charlie Hebdo”, the only information I got from it is that your team are not completely immune to shame. Really?
After Val and Fourest left in 2009, called to higher things - one as head of a public radio network, the other to the podiums of official anti-racism - we might have wondered if you would continue to follow their lead in their absence. The least we can say is that you have remained faithful to their line. You’ve absorbed it down to the core, it seems.
Today, those flies which Tignous never fails to add buzzing round the heads of his “beards” are more than ever attracted to your imagination, as soon as you “laugh at” Muslims. In a video posted on the Charlie Hebdo website at the end of 2011, we saw you, Charb, imitate the Islamic call to prayer, to the rapt giggles of your little buddies. What a hilarious new version of the Qur’anic recitation for your magazine’s deadline; Michel Leeb could not have done better. What collective poison would you have had to stew in to get to this point? From what psychological depths did you drag up the nerve to “laugh” at a cartoon representing veiled women baring their buttocks as they bow in prayer towards “Mecca-relle” ? This pathetic stream of crap isn’t even shameful; its stupidity embarrasses you, even before it reveals your state of mind, your vision of the world.
(Edited the title… I meant to point out that this was originally written in 2013)
Posted by Luminous Animal | Tue Jan 13, 2015, 12:15 PM (8 replies)
The ACLU defended Hale's efforts to obtain a law license in IL.
Aclu Sides With Supremacist On Right To Obtain Law License
White supremacist Matthew Hale's bid to practice law in Illinois has received a boost from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which has filed a legal brief in support of Hale's petition to obtain a law license.
In a legal motion accepted Monday by the state Supreme Court, the ACLU argues that denying Hale a law license on the basis of racist beliefs is a violation of his 1st Amendment rights.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Dec 19, 2014, 05:46 PM (1 replies)
A Cook County Circuit Court judge today dismissed a lawsuit filed by Illinois Atty. Gen. Jim Ryan against white supremacist Matt Hale and his World Church of the Creator.
Ryan filed the suit in July, alleging that Hale's group is an unregistered charity. The civil suit contended that Hale's organization was subject to the state's Solicitation for Charity Act.
But today, Judge Julia M. Nowicki released a written ruling stating that the act is vague and unconstitutional, violating the defendants' 1st and 14th Amendment rights -- freedom of speech and due process, respectively.
Hale's attorney, Glenn Greenwald, said Hale is very happy with the decision, "but also very surprised that the judge was courageous enough to signify that all citizens, including Matt Hale, have the right to the same constitutional protections." Neither Hale nor his attorney, who practices in New York, was present at today's hearing at the Richard J. Daley Cente
The IL AG appealed to the IL Supreme Court. Greenwald defended Hale on Constitutional grounds in that venue, as well.
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois attorney general's office and a white supremacist group clashed Wednesday before the Illinois Supreme Court on whether the group is a charity that must register with the state.
The World Church of the Creator, headed by Matt Hale of East Peoria, contended that the state's Solicitation for Charity Act was unconstitutionally vague--a position already upheld by a Cook County judge--and questioned whether Atty. Gen. Jim Ryan selectively enforced the law to quash the group's activities.
Hale's attorney, Glenn Greenwald of New York, argued that provisions in the law that call for patriotic, philanthropic and benevolent organizations to register as charities are ill defined. Greenwald contended that potential penalties for failing to abide by the law--such as a permanent ban on raising funds--are too severe if a group guesses wrong about how the law applies to it.
"Is it constitutional to have a law in which you don't know you have fallen afoul of it until you've been sued, and even then you have severe questions? I don't think so," Hale said after the hearing.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Dec 19, 2014, 05:39 PM (1 replies)
Unfortunately, I cannot "see" the original copyright infringement lawsuit that was decided in January of 2002. What I can see is the are the appeals. The all cite attorney Todd Reardon as the attorney for Hale's church in regards to that matter.
Here is the link to the first and second appeals and also the link for the case which Hale sought to have Lefkow removed when she enforced the appeals court's decision AGAINST Hale:
All list Todd Reardon as Hale's attorney.
It cites the case that Judge Lefkow decided FOR Hale (below is the citation)
TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation — Family of URI, Inc. v. World Church of the Creator, 2002 WL 126103, 2002 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 1478 (N.D.Ill. Jan. 31, 2002)
The case and the decision will not come up in any search.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Dec 19, 2014, 05:32 PM (2 replies)
It is a for profit T-shirt company, by the way. And though they state in their FAQs that they sometimes use premium apparel companies for their products, the T-shirts that they are selling in this video are going for $5 bucks, to cheap to be premium and thus, cheaply purchased from companies where women and girls grossly exploited.
During my search, I also found this and mostly I agree.
Sadly, despite what major corporations and indie brands alike would have us believe, empowerment can neither be bottled nor sold. Commodification of feminism is not empowerment, and FCKH8 is not empowering girls or women through this video. Instead, they’re using girls as a means to a commercial end: to raise awareness of sexism to sell their t-shirts.
How ironic that a company that positions itself as feminist has no problem commodifying children in this way. Where is their sense of corporate responsibility? The ends don’t justify the means, and they never should have produced this ad.
I would feel differently if a video along these lines had been produced by girls as a way to find an audience for their authentic voices. If a group of young girls were passionate about combatting sexism in the U.S. and had decided to produce a video to raise awareness on the matter, and realized they could get their message out by swearing up a storm, more power to them—I’d applaud them for their creativity and media savvy.
But that’s not the case here. This video was scripted and slickly produced by a t-shirt company that evidently has no qualms about exploiting girls who are too young to understand the implications of the script they’re bringing to life.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Wed Oct 22, 2014, 09:10 PM (1 replies)