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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 11,824

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What does Boston's failed Olympic bid have to do with primaries? This:

Read this in The Nation, and one part popped out at me


Why Boston Was Compelled to Pull Its 2024 Olympic Bid

...There were two coalitions working against the Olympic bid: No Boston 2024 and No Boston Olympics. They were different people with different tactics, but they shared both goals and a willingness to operate in concert with one another...

...Another No Boston 2024 activist, Jonathan Cohn, said to me that the bid was undermined by the committee’s “complete lack of understanding of the media landscape in the 21st century.”

“They seemed to believe that if they could win over the Boston Globe editorial board, they would be able to shape the public discourse,” he said. “That may have been the case in 1995 but not in 2015. Social media offered activists a way of not only connecting with each other but also easily and quickly debunking Boston 2024’s lies spoken at City Council hearings, press conferences, dog-and-pony show community meetings, etc. You didn’t have to read the story about what happened the next day; you could engage with it as it happens.”

I also reached out to Chris Dempsey of the No Boston Olympics coalition. He said, “We were outspent more than 1,000 to 1, but fortunately the people of Massachusetts know how to weigh pros and cons, not just listen to the people with the bigger megaphone...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 02:00 PM (1 replies)

Seems some of that lot really *do* want an actual "War on Guns":


Most Americans don't have or want guns. We need a War on Guns. nt


mwrguy (2,033 posts)

Response to valerief (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 29, 2015, 12:43 PM
7. total war
until they are gone.

Which brings up several questions:

*Will they, or their family members, be doing any of the fighting in their 'war'?

*Will they be armed while doing so?

*In regard to the second statement- Are you also planning a simultaneous War on Metallurgy?

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jul 29, 2015, 01:08 PM (8 replies)

Laura Poitras Sues US Government To Find Out Why She Was Detained Every Time She Flew


These days, Laura Poitras is known as the Oscar-winning director of the Ed Snowden documentary CITIZENFOUR, and with it, one of the reporters who helped break Snowden's story in the first place. Pre-Snowden, she was a not-as-widely-known-but-still-celebrated documentary filmmaker, who also got some attention after her future colleague Glenn Greenwald wrote an article about how she was detained at the border every time she flew into the country (which was frequently, as she had made a documentary, My Country, My Country, concerning the Iraq War, along with The Oath, which reported on two Yemenis who had worked with Osama bin Laden)...

...It wasn't only at the border that she was subject to such searches. Often, even when flying domestically within the US, she was called out for further scrutiny and searches.

After Greenwald's article, a bunch of documentary filmmakers signed a petition protesting the treatment of Poitras, and between the press coverage and the petition, the harassment of Poitras suddenly stopped.

After this, she filed some FOIA requests to find out why she had been supposedly given a high threat rating in the DHS database, causing such detentions. Not surprisingly, the government refused to reveal any such information. And that brings us to the latest, where Poitras, with help from the EFF, has now sued the US government (specifically the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice) to get them to reveal why she was considered a threat.

Link to the EFF's take on this:


Oscar and Pulitzer Award-Winning Journalist Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government To Uncover Records After Years of Airport Detentions and Searches

Washington, D.C. ­– Academy and Pulitzer Prize Award-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. transportation security agencies today demanding they release records documenting a six-year period in which she was searched, questioned, and often subjected to hours-long security screenings at U.S. and overseas airports on more than 50 occasions. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing Poitras in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, DOJ, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“I’m filing this lawsuit because the government uses the U.S. border to bypass the rule of law,” said Poitras. “This simply should not be tolerated in a democracy. I am also filing this suit in support of the countless other less high-profile people who have also been subjected to years of Kafkaesque harassment at the borders. We have a right to know how this system works and why we are targeted.”

Poitras is a professional journalist who won an Academy Award this year for her documentary film “CITIZENFOUR” about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, shared in the 2014 Pulitzer for Public Service for NSA reporting, and is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. During frequent travel from 2006 to 2012 for work on her documentary films, Poitras was detained at the U.S. border every time she entered the country.

During these detentions, she was told by airport security agents that she had a criminal record (even though she does not), that her name appeared on a national security threat database, and, on one occasion, that she was on the U.S. government’s No Fly List. She’s had her laptop, camera, mobile phone, and reporter notebooks seized and their contents copied, and was once threatened with handcuffing for taking notes during her detention after border agents said her pen could be used as a weapon. The searches were conducted without a warrant and often without explanation, and no charges have ever been brought against Poitras....

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jul 15, 2015, 10:44 PM (0 replies)

Adventures in racism at the supermarket checkout


To excerpt:

Writer of piece is at supermarket checkout. In front of her are three AA women
First one attempts to use her EBT card-rejected for "incorrect PIN"

Other two attempt same, with same results, machine rejects all three PINs.

Shoppers say "We entered correct PINs" Cashier says:
"No, NSF or you all used wrong PINs" Bystanders pass hat, pay for groceries. Then:

I'm not telling you this story to give a warm fuzzy about the good Samaritans of Giant Eagle. I am telling it because of what happened next, after my stuff was checked out.

“I hate to say it,” the cashier said, which means she didn't hate to say it at all, “but people like that just don't keep track of their money. They think they have all of it on their cards, but they just don't budget well.”

As I went to pay, I took out my debit card and entered my PIN.


“My card was declined. It says I'm not using the right PIN.”

She looked at me blankly for a moment. Then she said this:

Need I add that the writer is white?

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Jul 2, 2015, 10:41 PM (23 replies)

Wonder if we'll ever see the likes of this?

I changed a few words in a quote from a controlling culture warrior, to wit
a high Southern Baptist mucky-muck named Russell Moore, "President of the SB Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission"


Conservatives Gun Control Advocates Explain Why They Lost On Marriage - HuffPo

....In an interview, Moore told The Huffington Post that one of the movement's main mistakes in the gay marriage gun control fight was assuming traditionalists gun control
advocates would always have public opinion on their side. Social conservatives
These advocates didn't anticipate or prepare for the dramatic turnabout in national sentiment on this issue over the last 10 years, he said, assuming they'd always operate from a position of strength in the culture war. They believed that fundamentally, Americans shared their values...

Probably not, the die-hards will probably just quietly fade away like the Women's Christian
Temperance Union...

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:36 AM (8 replies)

IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt

Source: Guardian(UK)

Greece would face an unsustainable level of debt by 2030 even if it signs up to the full package of tax and spending reforms demanded of it, according to unpublished documents compiled by its three main creditors.

The documents, drawn up by the so-called troika of lenders, support Greece’s argument that it needs substantial debt relief for a lasting economic recovery. They show that, even after 15 years of sustained strong growth, the country would face a level of debt that the International Monetary Fund deems unsustainable.

The documents show that the IMF’s baseline estimate – the most likely outcome – is that Greece’s debt would still be 118% of GDP in 2030, even if it signs up to the package of tax and spending reforms demanded. That is well above the 110% the IMF regards as sustainable given Greece’s debt profile, a level set in 2012. The country’s debt level is currently 175% and likely to go higher because of its recent slide back into recession.

The documents admit that under the baseline scenario “significant concessions” are necessary to improve Greece’s chances of ridding itself permanently of its debt financing woes.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/30/greek-debt-troika-analysis-says-significant-concessions-still-needed

Grexit seems inevitable
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jun 30, 2015, 03:49 PM (21 replies)

It's a slow day over at the Gun Control Busy Box

Seems "My Fantastic Career in The Air Force Is Why You Should Follow My Advice
About Guns" isn't quite pulling in the crowds after some ...inconvenient... details
were pointed out by several other posters, as see:

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Jun 28, 2015, 04:15 PM (0 replies)

On processed pork shoulder meat in a can, and why we're getting it:

As a counter to embarassment. A widespread, yet unacknowledged, embarrassment
about being fooled - because some so wanted to believe something was true
they left healthy skepticism behind.

Embarassment over being taken in by a fake PSA, and not realizing it was staged
even as some GC&RKBA regulars recognized that it was phony:





The alert reader will note that many of the other group's stalwarts (including
a rather outspoken host, who also recommended it) got taken in:


Seems none of the folks that were so impressed a few months ago care to discuss it
now. Posting here at GC&RKBA, now, would be a natural occasion for some
inconvenient questions.

Now we are (again) getting hit and run posts, and posts from members who have rarely, if ever,
posted here before.

I find that rather interesting...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Jun 13, 2015, 07:31 PM (17 replies)

Revealed Emails Show How Industry Lobbyists Basically Wrote The TPP

(This got locked in LBN, so I'm reposting it here)

From Techdirt:


Back in 2013, we wrote about a FOIA lawsuit that was filed by William New at IP Watch. After trying to find out more information on the TPP by filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and being told that they were classified as "national security information" (no, seriously), New teamed up with Yale's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic to sue. As part of that lawsuit, the USTR has now released a bunch of internal emails concerning TPP negotiations, and IP Watch has a full writeup showing how industry lobbyists influenced the TPP agreement, to the point that one is even openly celebrating that the USTR version copied his own text word for word.

What is striking in the emails is not that government negotiators seek expertise and advice from leading industry figures. But the emails reveal a close-knit relationship between negotiators and the industry advisors that is likely unmatched by any other stakeholders.

The article highlights numerous examples of what appear to be very chummy relationships between the USTR and the "cleared advisors" from places like the RIAA, the MPAA and the ESA. They regularly share text and have very informal discussions, scheduling phone calls and get togethers to further discuss. This really isn't that surprising, given that the USTR is somewhat infamous for its revolving door with lobbyists who work on these issues. In fact, one of the main USTR officials in the emails that IP Watch got is Stan McCoy, who was the long term lead negotiator on "intellectual property" issues. But he's no longer at the USTR -- he now works for the MPAA...

...Perhaps the most incredible, is the email from Jim DeLisi, from Fanwood Chemical, to Barbara Weisel, a USTR official, where DeLisi raves that he's just looked over the latest text, and is gleeful to see that the the rules that have been agreed up on are "our rules" (i.e., the lobbyists'), even to the point that he (somewhat confusingly) insists "someone owes USTR a royalty payment." While it appears he's got the whole royalty system backwards (you'd think an "IP advisor" would know better...) the point is pretty clear: the lobbyists wrote the rules, and the USTR just put them into the agreement. Weisel's response? "Well there's a bit of good news..."

Searchable versions of the emails are available through the Electronic Frontier Foundation's






Us proles need to remember that we're not important enough to see these drafts- nor are
Congressional aides, for that matter

But lobbyists are...

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jun 10, 2015, 03:49 PM (7 replies)

Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations


Note: also covered in LBN:

While a full range of stakeholders would be affected by the outcome of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement under secret negotiation by the United States and a dozen trading partners, corporate representatives have had a special seat at the negotiating table, as shown by hundreds of pages of confidential emails from the US Trade Representative’s office obtained by Intellectual Property Watch. The emails give a rare and fascinating perspective on how policy is developed in the trade office.

Years into the negotiation, the TPP is said to be nearing completion and is the subject of a US congressional debate over renewal of fast-track negotiating authority for the president (limiting Congress to a yes or no vote). But the TPP text has never been made available to the public of the countries negotiating it, except through periodic leaks of parts of the text, making these emails timely for the debate.

Through a US Freedom of Information Act request, Intellectual Property Watch has obtained some 400 pages of email traffic between USTR officials and industry advisors. Most of the content of the emails is redacted (blacked out), but they still give insight into the process.





A searchable version of these is available via the EFF:


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jun 9, 2015, 04:24 PM (0 replies)
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