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Mayberry Machiavelli

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Member since: Sat Jan 17, 2004, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 20,866

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E-filing taxes: How can I tell if an e-file site/service is legitimate?

The IRS.gov site doesn't list any sites as being okay or not okay.

It's after hours for the IRS phone line people and googling specific information about this is surprisingly difficult.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Tue Apr 14, 2015, 09:38 PM (17 replies)

The problem of police easily resorting to deadly force should be approached systemically.

There are no doubt multiple factors, but some of the key ones are probably:

1. All the police are carrying firearms when the majority of law enforcement activities may not require this
2. Training and doctrine leading too readily to the use of the power of arrest and physical restraining and subduing citizens when less "escalatory" means might well suffice and not incur the risk of a physical confrontation
3. In many instances the police shooter may not have much or any empathy with the citizen, particularly if they view the population being policed as a hostile occupied territory or if racism is at play, i.e. they simply don't care about or value the citizen's life and are therefore more cavalier about snuffing it out
4. The police may, in general, feel that they are almost certain to get away with a "bad shoot" because they and their partners will be the only surviving witness and their account will have the benefit of the doubt over any other civilian witness in the absence of other objective evidence. This makes them less reluctant to use deadly force.

Some of these factors, like racism, are deeply endemic in our society and very difficult to eradicate. However causes like 1, 2 and 4 can be readily addressed either by policy or technology, e.g. only a subset of police units are equipped with firearms and called upon in specific circumstances, change policy to severely narrow the circumstances in which physical restraint and arrest are used (eliminating Eric Garner type confrontations), and equip all police with bodycams recording every interaction with civilians with severe penalties for the equipment being nonoperational or disabled.

It may take a generation or more to successfully address issues like racism or the class and warfare of populations like Ferguson's being treated like an occupied territory (and being fleeced for revenue to boot). But by tackling some of the systemic issues that can be directly and immediately addressed we should hopefully significantly reduce the incidence of this type of killing in a relatively short time.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Thu Apr 9, 2015, 10:15 AM (12 replies)

Point me towards some great ska music.

Youtube links would be cool so I will know exactly what I'm in for.

I'm on a bit of a kick lately.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Thu Nov 6, 2014, 09:21 PM (19 replies)

Question about people saying "Democrat Party" etc.

I had a discussion on another board where someone made the claim that right wingers made saying "Democrat Party" instead of "Democratic" so ubiquitous that even Democratic politicians said it.

This is something I would definitely notice and remember if it ever happened and I can think of no such instance. As far as I can tell the usage dates back to around the GWB era and was probably pushed by some propagandist like Rove, Frank Luntz or Gingrich.

I would say that it is virtually universal among the right to the point where even big name GOP politicians will say it, and I think I can even remember Mitt saying it a time or two, most likely to show he was "on the wingnut team" (although someone like Mitt would probably use it in selective settings to avoid having someone like Chris Matthews call him out and embarrass him on live TV).

But even if they were the kind of Dem who didn't consider right wingers saying "Democrat Party" to be a big deal, the idea of a politician using the incorrect name for their own party on purpose, a usage promoted by the opposing party, doesn't ring true.

I had just never heard anyone make such a claim but will stand corrected if there are any notable examples. The person I was discussing the issue with could not produce examples despite their claim that it was a common event for Democrats to say this.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sat Sep 20, 2014, 01:13 AM (40 replies)

Just got back from "Maleficent". Angelina Jolie absolutely killed it as the lead IMHO.

That's all I got. The movie and effects are beautiful also, but her performance is definitely what makes it go.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sun Jun 1, 2014, 07:38 PM (12 replies)

Hilarious summation of Rick Perry seen on another website:

Rick Perry made a wish with a bad genie. Now he's invincible in Texas, but a joke everywhere else.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sat May 31, 2014, 10:06 PM (5 replies)

Milton Wolf, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, interviewed re: posting patient X-rays online.

http://cjonline.com/news/state/2014-02-22/doctors-x-ray-postings-unsettling

Video is embedded at the link.

Wolf comes across as a total douche and tries to play it off like he was doing something educational instead of just being a mocking POS (which is rather obvious). Totally dishonest and makes no effort to owning up to a mistake and being a disrespectful dipshit.

But don't let me prejudice you, watch the video yourself!
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Tue Feb 25, 2014, 10:37 PM (0 replies)

Rest in Peace, Philip Seymour Hoffman.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/02/showbiz/philip-seymour-hoffman-obit/index.html

One of the most prolific and consistently excellent actors of recent times. I really enjoyed his supporting role in "The Ides of March" and thought he was funny as hell as the lackey in "The Big Lebowski".
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sun Feb 2, 2014, 02:10 PM (12 replies)

Everyone should watch "The Act of Killing", now on Netflix Streaming.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/The_Act_of_Killing/70271652?trkid=13641907

It's about as unlikely a film as you'll ever see, an "bearing witness" to atrocities, but the ones bearing witness are the perpetrators, who have never seen any justice and in fact are a type of hero/celebrity in their society (Indonesia) because they are the victors in the coup/civil war.

It kind of defies description but is probably unlike anything you've ever seen.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Sun Jan 19, 2014, 03:25 PM (2 replies)

Uniforms for this year's Army/Navy game unveiled:

http://www.capitalgazette.com/multimedia/photos/sports/army-navy-uniforms/collection_f668ee6a-2811-5631-a79d-9637ceff7468.html

I'm partial to the Navy one but they're both pretty awesome.
Posted by Mayberry Machiavelli | Wed Nov 27, 2013, 08:50 PM (2 replies)
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