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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 46,037

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Vietnam: The Real War – in pictures




Man shoots computer in Colorado Springs alley, gets revenge he wanted - and a citation

"It was glorious," he said. "Angels sung on high."

"He got tired of fighting with his computer for the last several months," Lt. Jeff Strossner said. "He was having technology problems, so he took it out in the back alley and shot it."

Strossner tweeted Hinch "executed" his computer in an alley on the 2200 block of West Colorado Avenue.

The penalty for the citation will be up to a judge, police said, adding that Hinch was good-natured about the citation and hadn't realized he was breaking the law when he went Wild West on that useless piece of technology.

Hinch shot it eight times, Strossner said, "effectively disabling it."

The computer is not expected to recover.

Read more at http://gazette.com/man-shoots-computer-in-colorado-springs-alley-gets-revenge-he-wanted-and-a-citation/article/1550042#t1xZpDQLMyUy5bOG.99

"The Whiteness Fairy"


The Day Political Journalism Died And The People Who Killed It---BY CHARLES PIERCE

The Day Political Journalism Died And The People Who Killed It
In which we learn (again) that great newspapers are corporations first.

There are three ur-texts that must be read if one is to understand the dynamics of ratfking in our modern politics. The first, of course, is All The President's Men which, thanks to Donald Segretti, introduced us to the term in the first place. The second is The Hunting Of The President by Joe Conason and Gene Lyons, which detailed the operation of what James Carville called "the puke funnel," whereby information dug up, stirred up, or made up by various dingy operatives in Arkansas and elsewhere made it so deeply into the mainstream that, eventually, the halls of Congress were awash in it. And the third is Joshua Green's lengthy survey of the long career of Karl Rove, who began by fking small-time rats in Alabama and ended up in the West Wing. If there is one consistent theme through all three of these essential studies it is the steady decline of the importance of the middle man to broker deals between the grassroots ratfkers and the elite political press. No longer does your Segretti have to travel the nation, cancelling rallies and writing fake letters. No longer does the elite political press have to launder the information that comes from Larry Nichols or the attorneys representing Gennifer Flowers. It's easier just to buy it wholesale from the dealer.

Yesterday, several news outlets announced that they had obtained "exclusive rights" to the research compiled by one Peter Schweizer, a veteran Republican operative, for his upcoming hit-job on Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. These outlets included, unsurprisingly, Fox News and Breitbart News. They also included The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Schweizer has a long history of fudge and nonsense in service to the conservative cause. His career is a pure creature of the well-funded ideological terrarium of the modern conservative movement. His work is on behalf of something called the Government Accountability Institute, an oppo-research outfit richly funded by all the usual suspects. His book, then, starts in something of a hole, credibility-wise, at least by any standard of journalistic vetting that I ever heard of. But neither the Times nor the Post seems reluctant at all to pile into the same mud hole as Fox and Breitbart's Mausoleum For The Chronically Unemployable. Here's some dude from the Post giving an answer that his reporters never would buy if it came from, say, the Clintons.

We made an arrangement with Peter Schweizer's publisher so we could read his book before publication because we are always willing to look at new information that could inform our coverage. Mr. Schweizer's background and his point of view are relevant factors, but not disqualifying ones. What interests us more are his facts and whether they can be the basis for further reporting by our own staff that would be compelling to our readers. There is no financial aspect to this arrangement.

Even if I believe that no money changed hands in any way, and I'm willing to believe that's the case for the moment, what precisely are the details of "the arrangement"? Why couldn't the Post simply have waited for the book to be released and then reverse-engineered its contents? What promises were made to Schweizer and his publisher -- and to the other news operations with which the Post is partnered here -- should the Post discover that Schweizer is as full of half-truthy crap as his entire career indicates he is? Inquiring minds and all that. Amazingly, the explanation given by the Times is almost worse.

Carolyn Ryan, NYT's Washington bureau chief and political editor responded to TPM through a spokesperson in an email: We had access to some material in the book, but we wanted to do our own reporting.

Again, why not just wait until you can order the damn thing on Amazon, rather than climbing under the covers with someone whose CV contains a stint as a hack in the service of Princess Dumbass Of The Northwoods? The answer can be found in the first story that the Times produced under this arrangement.


the rest

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America

the carefully engineered blend we are revisiting.
(I was born in 1951)
And yet here we are AGAIN!

Concerned that populist politics might endanger their wealth, America’s monied interests did what they do best: They bought a solution. It came in the form of James W. Fifield Jr., a Congregationalist pastor who made his fortune in Southern California by preaching to the fabulously wealthy and accepting their patronage. Fifield, Kruse notes, was especially gifted at assuring wealthy Christians that their riches were evidence of virtue rather than vice. A philosophical descendant of Max Weber, Fifield married Christian thought with a new era of economic development, and spread the gospel through his organization, Spiritual Mobilization. Its mission was simple: to stamp out Christian support for a generous welfare state—which paired naturally with New Deal concern for the poor, elderly, and vulnerable—and to advance a new theory of Christian libertarianism.

Illustration by Tim Bower

Spiritual Mobilization sought to influence ministers across the country, and with its bottomless monetary resources, it was doomed to success. Kruse’s account is startling in part because of just how vulgar the whole affair was: Christianity was rented out, quite consciously, to buttress a shambling narrative about the continued dominance of the monied class in a performance that even Marx would have found blunt.

As the middle of the twentieth century approached, Spiritual Mobilization circulated literature touting the righteousness of the libertarian-Christian gospel, and, in 1951, decided to host a series of events celebrating the newly minted notion of “freedom under God.” A turn of phrase coined by Fifield himself, the rhetoric was a hit, and private companies voraciously reproduced it; the Utah Power & Light Company, among others, printed ads and funded festivities to advance the notion that Christian deference to industry is a vital part of the American Way. This stew of supply-side economics, small government, hard-core U.S. patriotism, and Christian rhetoric was entirely novel, and smashingly effective. When we look back now on the McCarthy era and find Christian verses interwoven with tirades against communism, this is the carefully engineered blend we are revisiting.


the rest:

Robert Scheer: ‘Disturbing the Government Is an Obligation of Citizenship’

Watch Scheer deliver his remarks, beginning at the 36-second mark, here.


“Disturbing the government is an obligation of citizenship. That’s what we’ve forgotten.”

“Our whole government is based on the idea of individual sovereignty. We cede power to the government, not the other way around. After 9/11, we got this crazy idea that somehow government should have all the power and we should beg for some crumbs off the table. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. We also have this idea we were founded under: Freedom makes you stronger, that freedom is not a luxury you have in only the best of times, but you need freedom in the worst of times.

“George Washington in his farewell address warned us about the ‘impostures of pretended patriotism.’ It was the founders of our government that gave us checks and balances, that gave us the different parts of the Bill of Rights. Why? They said, ‘Even though we’re gonna be the government … you have to watch us. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. You have to have your zone of privacy, individual space.’

“The Roberts court, in one of their better—in fact I think their best decision—last June on cellphones, smartphone case, said that if the police arrest you and you have your smartphone on you, they can’t crack your code and use that information. That’s a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And that’s exactly what the American Revolution was fought about: Agents of the king could not come in to your house. OK? That’s why the tea was dumped in the Boston Harbor. And we’ve forgotten that notion, and we’ve surrendered this power, and it’s increasingly held by private agencies that the CIA has funded … and there are no checks and balances. We have been lied to routinely. The head of our whole security apparatus, James Clapper, told the Senate ‘We were not doing this mega-spying, we were not getting this information.’ We now know he was just lying through his teeth. He still has his job. So we don’t have accountability, and my whole point is, the word is not ‘privacy,’ it’s really ’sovereignty.’ That’s what our Fourth Amendment is about.”

Scheer continues, “The key thing is there’s no evidence that any of this has made us more secure. The evidence is overwhelming: It’s made us more fearful, it intimidates the population, so people engage in self-censorship. That’s what I find with my students here; they say, “Oh, what do I have to worry about?” I say, “That means you don’t think you’re going to do anything that’s pushing the edge. You don’t think you’re gonna take any risk. You’re not gonna trouble the government.” Well, that’s not what our government’s about. We’re supposed to trouble the government. We’re supposed to challenge the government. We’re supposed to have some wild thoughts. We’re supposed to think differently. And we’re supposed to be able to get together with our fellow citizens and then assemble for a redress of grievances in ways that—as long as we’re peaceful—in ways that might disturb the government.


New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News strike deals for anti-Clinton research

By DYLAN BYERS | 4/20/15 12:22 PM EDT
The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have made exclusive agreements with a conservative author for early access to his opposition research on Hillary Clinton, a move that has confounded members of the Clinton campaign and some reporters, the On Media blog has confirmed.

"Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich" will debut on May 5. But the Times, the Post and Fox have already made arrangements with author Peter Schweizer to pursue some of the material included in his book, which seeks to draw connections between Clinton Foundation donations and speaking fees and Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state. Schweizer is the president of the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative research group, and previously served as an adviser to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Fox News' use of Schweizer's book has surprised no one. The bulk of the network's programming is conservative, and the book's publisher, HarperCollins, is owned by News Corporation. But the Times and Post's decision to partner with a partisan researcher has raised a few eyebrows. Some Times reporters view the agreement as unusual, sources there said. Still others defended the agreement, noting that it was no different from using a campaign's opposition research to inform one's reporting -- so long as that research is fact-checked and vetted. A spokesperson for the Times did not provide comment by press time.



At Least 3 Clear Violations Of Federal Laws-NRA committing same crimes Al Capone got busted for

The NRA’s brazen shell game with donations: A Yahoo News investigation

Alan Berlow for Yahoo News
April 21, 2015

Early last summer I began making contributions to the National Rifle Association — a dollar here, a dollar there — to see where my money would end up. Some of it quickly found its way into the account of the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, the NRA’s political action committee. And that was of no small interest, because I never knowingly contributed to the NRA-PVF. For me, this wasn’t a big problem; my contributions were a spit in the bucket for an organization that spent $37 million on the 2014 elections and operates on an annual budget of more than a quarter of a billion dollars. But my contributions and others like them may be a big problem for the NRA because, according to some of the nation’s top experts on federal election law, they are all illegal.

The issue is not just that my donations ended up in a political fund account, but the way the NRA solicited them — and presumably those of thousands of others. In fact, each of these transactions almost certainly violated multiple provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and a legion of state and federal antifraud statutes designed to protect the public from phony charities and false or misleading solicitations.

The FECA makes a hard distinction between solicitations for elections and other solicitations, in part because many Americans don’t like donating to politicians. An NRA member might contribute to the organization because she admires its work on behalf of hunters. She might also contribute to an environmental group because she wants to preserve forests. But this same donor may vehemently oppose the candidates endorsed in federal elections by both the NRA and the environmental group. As a result, the law makes it clear that when these groups are soliciting for electoral purposes they must disclose that fact to potential donors.

If a private citizen says he’s raising money for a cancer charity and deposits the money into his personal bank account, he can be prosecuted for committing a fraud. Similarly, under federal election law, corporations like the NRA that set up what are known as “connected PACs” must inform potential donors if a PAC is the intended beneficiary of a solicitation. The NRA can’t claim to be raising money for the corporation — to finance such things as its lobbying or research initiatives — and then deposit that money into the account of its PAC. But that’s precisely what the NRA did when it solicited my contributions.


Oh yes, there is MORE:

First Time In World History-2 Chimpanzees Given Legal ‘Personhood’ Rights In Landmark Court Decision

Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons, Grants them Writ of Habeas Corpus
Posted by NhRP on Monday, April 20, 2015


The Nonhuman Rights Project issued the following press release this afternoon:


April 20, 2015 – New York, NY – For the first time in history a judge has granted an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a nonhuman animal. This afternoon, in a case brought by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe issued an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, who are being used for biomedical experimentation at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York.

Under the law of New York State, only a “legal person” may have an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus issued in his or her behalf. The Court has therefore implicitly determined that Hercules and Leo are “persons.”

A common law writ of habeas corpus involves a two-step process. First, a Justice issues the order to show cause and a writ of habeas corpus, which the Nonhuman Rights Project then serves on Stony Brook University. The writ requires Stony Brook University, represented by the Attorney General of New York, to appear in court and provide a legally sufficient reason for detaining Hercules and Leo. The Court has scheduled that hearing for May 6, 2015, though it may be moved to a later day in May.

The NhRP has asked that Hercules and Leo be freed and released into the care of Save the Chimps, a sanctuary in Ft. Pierce, Florida. There they will spend the rest of their lives primarily on one of 13 artificial islands on a large lake in Ft. Pierce, Florida along with 250 other chimpanzees in an environment as close to that of their natural home in Africa as can be found in North America. In the second step of the process, the Court will determine whether the reason given by Stony Brook is legally sufficient, or whether Hercules and Leo should be freed.


Hillary Clinton on GOP field: “I don’t know what they’d talk about if I weren’t in the race.”

KEENE, N.H. — Hillary Clinton on Monday attacked the crowded field of Republican presidential contenders for making her the focus of their campaigns.

“I think it’s worth noting that Republicans seem to be talking only about me,” she told reporters after her first roundtable in New Hampshire, which took place at a family-owned wooden toy company in Keene. “I don’t know what they’d talk about if I weren’t in the race.”

Clinton arrived in New Hampshire Monday – she drove from her home in Chappaqua, N.Y. – following a two-day gathering in the Granite State of 19 Republican presidential contenders who appeared to be workshopping their best shots. They spent the weekend blasting Clinton on everything from Benghazi to the State Department email scandal to the highly choreographed roundtables to her roadside lunch stop at Chipotle.

In contrast to the other side of the aisle, Clinton had the whole stage here to herself. During the event, she tried to present herself as above the political fray, while making a few subtle digs at the Republican field and veering into a couple policy area


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/hillary-clinton-2016-new-hampshire-republicans-117160.html#ixzz3Xu2bePB8
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