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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,753

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Eugene Robinson: "Repubs know of a border somewhere in the world that is 100 percent secure-I don't"

Eugene Robinson
Opinion Writer
The Party of No

By Eugene Robinson, Published: July 11

Self-delusion is a sad spectacle. Watching Republicans convince themselves that killing immigration reform actually helps the GOP is excruciating, and I wish somebody would make it stop.

....................................

The Obama administration “cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill,” Boehner (R-Ohio) and the GOP leadership said in a statement. Instead, the idea is supposedly to deal with the tightly woven knot of immigration issues one at a time.

That’s like sitting down with a piece of cake and saying, “First I’m going to eat the flour, then the sugar, then the eggs.”

House Republicans think they can begin with “border security,” which would be laughable if the need for real immigration reform were not so serious. It is ridiculous to think the nearly 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico can be made impregnable.

The border, after all, was judged 84 percent secure last year by the Government Accountability Office — meaning that only 16 percent of attempts to enter the country illegally from Mexico were successful. Any improvement, at this point, would necessarily be fairly modest. Perhaps Republicans know of a border somewhere in the world that is 100 percent secure. I don’t.

....................................





http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-the-party-of-no/2013/07/11/bdb3c822-ea61-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_story.html?hpid=z3

Zimmerman trial: Man carrying loaded handgun shoots and kills unarmed teen-

ZIMMERMAN TRIAL
Zimmerman trial: Man carrying loaded handgun shoots and kills unarmed teen


I am troubled with what I perceive to be the failure to focus on the obvious in the death of the teenage boy in the trial of George Zimmerman.

.......................................

Let’s examine the undisputed evidence:

Let’s examine the undisputed evidence:

1. The man thought the teen looked suspicious.

2. The man called the police to report his suspicions about the teen.

3. The man was told by the police not to chase and pursue the teen.

4. The man decided to chase and pursue the teen anyway.

5 . The man was carrying a loaded gun.

6. The teen was not carrying a gun.

7. The teen was not carrying any weapon.

8. The teen was carrying candy.

9. The teen was not committing any crime.

10. The teen was not trespassing, as he was walking toward his father’s condo.

11. The man and the teen met in a physical confrontation.

12. The man and the teen fought, wrestled to the ground, and punches were exchanged.

13. The man shot the teen with his gun.

14. The man shot the teen while both were on the ground.

15. The shot from the man’s gun killed the teen.

16. There is no evidence that the teen was committing a crime or about to commit any crime.

17. But for the man chasing and pursuing the teen, there would have been no physical confrontation.

18. But for the physical confrontation, there would have been no fight.

19. But for the fight, the man would not have shot the teen.

20. But for the shot, the teen would be alive.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/11/3496085/zimmerman-trial-man-carrying-loaded.html#storylink=cpy


No offense to Trayvon, They must think that the jury will have other reasons to fear the picture...

Zimmerman lawyer closes by showing jury shirtless Trayvon photo

“It’s not in evidence, you don’t even have to believe it’s accurate,” O’Mara said. “Relative physical abilities, that’s what you have to look at and determine in a self-defense case.”

At that point, the defense attorney displayed a shirtless photo of the 17-year-old African-American wearing only a hat with his bare chest and shoulders exposed. In the photo, which was originally released to the media by Zimmerman’s defense team in May, Martin sits expressionless on a couch.

O’Mara continued to show the photo to the jury for nearly two minutes as he explained that autopsy photographs did not show Martin’s “muscle tone.”

“But here’s him three months before that night, it’s in evidence, take a look at it,” he said. “Because this is the person… who George Zimmerman encountered that night. This is the person, who all of the evidence was attacked — or attacked George Zimmerman, broke his nose or something close to it and battered him on something.”




No offense to Trayvon, but he wasn't all that impressive in muscle tone. They must think that the jury will have other reasons to fear the picture.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/12/zimmerman-lawyer-closes-by-showing-jury-shirtless-trayvon-photo/

Iowa’s All-Male Supreme Court: Firing Of Woman For Being Too Attractive Was Legal

Source: Talking Points Memo

RYAN FOLEY JULY 12, 2013, 12:23 PM 1848
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stood by its ruling that a dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he found her too attractive and worried he would try to start an affair.

Coming to the same conclusion as it did in December, the all-male court found that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior. The court said such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings, not gender.

The ruling upholds a judge’s decision to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit filed against Fort Dodge dentist James Knight, who fired assistant Melissa Nelson, even while acknowledging she had been a stellar employee for 10 years. Knight and his wife believed that his attraction to Nelson — two decades younger than the dentist — had become a threat to their marriage. Nelson, now 33, was replaced by another woman; Knight had an all-female staff.

The all-male court issued its revised opinion Friday in the case after taking the unusual step last month of withdrawing its December opinion, which had received nationwide publicity, debate and criticism.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/iowas-all-male-supreme-court-firing-of-woman-for-being-too-attractive-was-legal.php?ref=fpblg

Holder to Tighten Rules for Obtaining Reporters’ Data

Source: New York TImes

Holder to Tighten Rules for Obtaining Reporters’ Data
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: July 12, 2013

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who has been criticized for the Justice Department’s aggressive tactics in secretly obtaining phone logs and e-mails of reporters as part of leak investigations, is expected to issue new guidelines on Friday that would significantly narrow the circumstances under which journalists’ records could be obtained, a Justice Department official said.

The new guidelines, which the official said would take effect almost immediately, would prevent the Federal Bureau of Investigation from portraying a reporter as a co-conspirator in a criminal leak as a way to get around a legal bar on secret search warrants for reporting materials, as an agent did in a recently revealed search warrant affidavit involving a Fox News reporter.

They would also make it harder — though not impossible — for prosecutors to obtain a journalist’s calling records from telephone companies without giving news organizations advance notice, as the department recently did in obtaining a sweeping set of phone records for reporters with The Associated Press. Notifying news organizations in advance would give them a chance to contest the request in court.

“This is as far as the department can go on its own until Congress passes the media shield legislation,” the Justice Department official said, referring to a bill, which the Obama administration backed amid a furor over leak investigations, that would let judges rather than prosecutors be the ultimate decision-makers about subpoenas for journalists’ phone records, among other matters.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/us/holder-to-tighten-rules-for-obtaining-reporters-data.html?hp

Selective Journalism: NYT leaves out Snowden's Text Pertaining To Moral Justification/Int'l Law



It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.



I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

COMPLETE Transcript: http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/07/12/edward-snowden-invokes-nuremberg-in-defending-his-actions/#comments



Oh look, no mention of the broader text of this speech as it pertained to moral justification and international law in this breaking report - See more at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/world/europe/snowden-russia-asylum.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=global-home&

If you’re a wannabe cop loser with a gun who starts stalking a kid in the dark, you’re responsible

JOSH MARSHALL JULY 12, 2013, 1:36 PM

If you’re a wannabe cop loser with a gun who starts stalking a kid in the dark, you’re responsible for the outcome.

I know that sounds harsh or flippant. But I really do feel like this is what the whole case comes down to.


http://editors.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/07/my_take.php?ref=fpblg

Wounded Soldier Writes Letter About Being Forced To Commit War Crimes In Iraq-Then Commits Suicide

Wounded Soldier Writes Letter About Being Forced To Commit War Crimes In Iraq . . . Then Commits Suicide
Published 1, July 12, 2013

Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served with Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. He ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee and interviewed Iraqis and insurgents alike. When he returned, he had PTSD as well as traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, he wrote the letter below to his family. A heartfelt and heart-breaking account of pain and memories that he could not overcome. He tells his family that “I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity.” You may have seen this but if not it is worth reading and considering the unfathomable cost of these wars that our politicians, including Obama, allowed to continue for years despite little signs of progress as men and women like Daniel paid the cost of a cynical political calculation.


I am sorry that it has come to this.

.........................

You must not blame yourself. The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.

To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.

Beyond that, there are the host of physical illnesses that have struck me down again and again, for which they also offer no help. There might be some progress by now if they had not spent nearly twenty years denying the illness that I and so many others were exposed to. Further complicating matters is the repeated and severe brain injuries to which I was subjected, which they also seem to be expending no effort into understanding. What is known is that each of these should have been cause enough for immediate medical attention, which was not rendered.

Lastly, the DEA enters the picture again as they have now managed to create such a culture of fear in the medical community that doctors are too scared to even take the necessary steps to control the symptoms. All under the guise of a completely manufactured “overprescribing epidemic,” which stands in stark relief to all of the legitimate research, which shows the opposite to be true. Perhaps, with the right medication at the right doses, I could have bought a couple of decent years, but even that is too much to ask from a regime built upon the idea that suffering is noble and relief is just for the weak.

However, when the challenges facing a person are already so great that all but the weakest would give up, these extra factors are enough to push a person over the edge.

Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with thosefamilies at the state of the union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic, but rather by his own system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.

It leaves us to where all we have to look forward to is constant pain, misery, poverty, and dishonor. I assure you that, when the numbers do finally drop, it will merely be because those who were pushed the farthest are all already dead.

And for what? Bush’s religious lunacy? Cheney’s ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends? Is this what we destroy lives for

Since then, I have tried everything to fill the void. I tried to move into a position of greater power and influence to try and right some of the wrongs. I deployed again, where I put a huge emphasis on saving lives. The fact of the matter, though, is that any new lives saved do not replace those who were murdered. It is an exercise in futility.

Then, I pursued replacing destruction with creation. For a time this provided a distraction, but it could not last. The fact is that any kind of ordinary life is an insult to those who died at my hand. How can I possibly go around like everyone else while the widows and orphans I created continue to struggle? If they could see me sitting here in suburbia, in my comfortable home working on some music project they would be outraged, and rightfully so.

I thought perhaps I could make some headway with this film project, maybe even directly appealing to those I had wronged and exposing a greater truth, but that is also now being taken away from me. I fear that, just as with everything else that requires the involvement of people who can not understand by virtue of never having been there, it is going to fall apart as careers get in the way.

The last thought that has occurred to me is one of some kind of final mission. It is true that I have found that I am capable of finding some kind of reprieve by doing things that are worthwhile on the scale of life and death. While it is a nice thought to consider doing some good with my skills, experience, and killer instinct, the truth is that it isn’t realistic. First, there are the logistics of financing and equipping my own operation, then there is the near certainty of a grisly death, international incidents, and being branded a terrorist in the media that would follow. What is really stopping me, though, is that I simply am too sick to be effective in the field anymore. That, too, has been taken from me.

Thus, I am left with basically nothing. Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war. Abandoned by those who would take the easy route, and a liability to those who stick it out—and thus deserve better. So you see, not only am I better off dead, but the world is better without me in it

This is what brought me to my actual final mission. Not suicide, but a mercy killing. I know how to kill, and I know how to do it so that there is no pain whatsoever. It was quick, and I did not suffer. And above all, now I am free. I feel no more pain. I have no more nightmares or flashbacks or hallucinations. I am no longer constantly depressed or afraid or worried

I am free.

I ask that you be happy for me for that. It is perhaps the best break I could have hoped for. Please accept this and be glad for me.

Daniel Somers


Daniel was just 30 years old.

http://jonathanturley.org/2013/07/12/wounded-soldier-writes-letter-about-being-forced-to-commit-war-crimes-in-iraq-then-commits-suicide/

why did he have to lie, if he had nothing wrong?

Zimmerman will have Trayvon's blood on him forever.

Trayvon is entitled to the truth and it did NOT come from the Defense's mouth

That's why we are here.


just now,
seems Z's only defense is that he is a coward who had a gun
so many of those around these days....

sigh,kp

‘Normal’ Barbie - Shows Us What Mattel Dolls Might Look Like If Based On Actual Women

What would Barbie look like if she were modeled after the average American woman?

Very different, it turns out.

Artist Nickolay Lamm of MyDeals.com used CDC measurements of an average 19-year-old woman to create a 3-D model, which he photographed next to a standard Barbie doll. Lamm then photoshopped the 3-D model to make it look like a Barbie doll.




.......................

“If we criticize skinny models, we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls as well,” Lamm said in an email to the Huffington Post. “Furthermore, a realistically proportioned Barbie actually looks pretty good.”

Considering how peculiar a Barbie body would look in real life, Lamm concluded: “If there’s even a small chance of Barbie in its present form negatively influencing girls, and if Barbie looks good as an average-sized woman in America, what’s stopping Mattel from making one?”

MORE:
http://www.pandagon.net/2013/07/normal-barbie-by-nickolay-lamm-shows-us-what-mattel-dolls-might-look-like-if-based-on-actual-women/

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