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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 11,790

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Can you tell the difference between Bush and Obama on the Patriot Act?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/29/quiz-tell-the-difference-bush-and-obama-patriot-act

There's a quiz, with nine statements about the Patriot Act from either the Bush or Obama
administrations.

You are asked which camp said what. I got five correct...





Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri May 29, 2015, 08:17 PM (7 replies)

False claims of racism against Sanders are coming from neoliberals who fear his message

Walter Benn Michaels explained it nicely:

Let Them Eat Diversity
On the politics of identity.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2011/01/let-them-eat-diversity/


What’s at the heart of your work is that equal-opportunity exploitation is what we’re moving towards, or at the very least it’s an ideological goal of the ruling class. So, what explains the shift in the way capital has historically acted — using racial and ethnic divisions to better exploit the working class?

Well, I think there’s absolutely no question that is true. Capitalism throughout the nineteenth century and through much of the twentieth was classically imperialist, which is basically impossible without racism, without a massive commitment to what amounted to European-American White supremacy. But one of the things that’s become obvious — leaving the racism question aside, leaving the discrimination question more generally aside, — is that the condition of capital changed fairly radically in the twentieth century. Of course, people have different accounts of why that is. Even those on the Left who agree that the falling rate of profit is central don’t agree on whether it’s a structural necessity or a contingent development. But almost everyone agrees that neoliberalism involved internationalization in a way that cannot be reduced to what imperialism was before and that it involved, above all, a kind of powerful necessity for mobility not of only of capital, but of labor.

Stalin famously won the argument but lost the war over whether there could be socialism in one country, but no one has ever been under the impression for more than a millisecond that there could be neoliberalism in only one country. An easy way to look at this would be to say that the conditions of mobility of labor and mobility of capital have since World War II required an extraordinary upsurge in immigration. The foreign born population in the US today is something like 38 million people, which is roughly equivalent to the entire population of Poland. This is a function of matching the mobility of capital with the mobility of labor, and when you begin to produce these massive multi-racial or multi-national or as we would call them today multi-cultural workforces, you obviously need technologies to manage these work forces.

In the US this all began in a kind of powerful way with the Immigration Act of 1965, which in effect repudiated the explicit racism of the Immigration Act of the 1924 and replaced it with largely neoliberal criteria. Before, whether you could come to the US was based almost entirely on racial or, to use the then-preferred term, “national” criteria. I believe that, for example, the quota on Indian immigration to the US in 1925 was 100. I don’t know the figure on Indian immigration to the US since 1965 off-hand, but 100 is probably about an hour and a half of that in a given year. The anti-racism that involves is obviously a good thing, but it was enacted above all to admit people who benefited the economy of the US. They are often sort of high-end labor, doctors, lawyers, and businessmen of various kinds. The Asian immigration of the seventies and eighties involved a high proportion of people who had upper and upper-middle class status in their countries of origin and who quickly resumed that middle and upper middle class status in the US. While at the same time we’ve had this increased immigration from Mexico, people from the lower-end of the economy, filling jobs that otherwise cannot be filled — or at least not filled at the price capital would prefer to pay. So there is a certain sense in which the internationalism intrinsic to the neoliberal process requires a form of anti-racism and indeed neoliberalism has made very good use of the particular form we’ve evolved, multiculturalism, in two ways.

First, there isn’t a single US corporation that doesn’t have an HR office committed to respecting the differences between cultures, to making sure that your culture is respected whether or not your standard of living is. And, second, multiculturalism and diversity more generally are even more effective as a legitimizing tool, because they suggest that the ultimate goal of social justice in a neoliberal economy is not that there should be less difference between the rich and the poor — indeed the rule in neoliberal economies is that the difference between the rich and the poor gets wider rather than shrinks — but that no culture should be treated invidiously and that it’s basically OK if economic differences widen as long as the increasingly successful elites come to look like the increasingly unsuccessful non-elites. So the model of social justice is not that the rich don’t make as much and the poor make more, the model of social justice is that the rich make whatever they make, but an appropriate percentage of them are minorities or women. That’s a long answer to your question, but it is a serious question and the essence of the answer is precisely that internationalization, the new mobility of both capital and labor, has produced a contemporary anti-racism that functions as a legitimization of capital rather than as resistance or even critique.


Major social changes have taken place in the past 40 years with remarkable rapidity, but not any in any sense inimical to capitalism. Capitalism has no problem with gay people getting married and people who self-identify as neoliberals understand this very well. So I think the main thing to say there is that, maybe in the book a lot of the examples tend to be academic examples, but I think you can find examples in American society everywhere of the extraordinary power, the hegemony of the model of anti-discrimination, accompanied by defense of property, as the guiding precepts of social justice. You can see this in the study that people have recently been making fun of—the one that shows that liberals are not as liberal as they think they are. What it showed was that when people were asked about the question of redistribution of wealth they turned out to be a lot less egalitarian than they thought they were. People who characterized themselves as “extremely liberal” nevertheless had real problems with the redistribution of wealth. And someone pointed out, I think he teaches at Stanford, that that’s the wrong way to think of this, because yes it’s true that especially as people get more wealthy they tend to become less committed to the redistribution of wealth but there are lots of ways in which they become “more liberal”—with respect to gay rights, antiracism, with respect to all the so-called “social issues,” as long as these social issues are defined in such a way that they have nothing to do with decreasing the increased inequalities brought about by capitalism, which is to say, taking away rich liberals’ money.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed May 27, 2015, 11:41 PM (49 replies)

The Center for American Progress wants to merge the FBI and ATF

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/guns-crime/report/2015/05/19/111386/the-bureau-and-the-bureau/

The Bureau and the Bureau
A Review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a Proposal to Merge It with the Federal Bureau of Investigation



And of course this has gotten support at the other group:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12628931

"ATF is too wounded to enforce gun-control laws"

I daresay ones' support (or lack thereof) for this idea coincides with your
view of this excerpt from the CAP blog:

The FBI is a politically strong and well-respected agency and is therefore able to operate above the fray of politics with adequate funding and resources.


Oh, I'm quite certain the FBI would handle the ATF's duties in the same 'above politics'
way it always has...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed May 27, 2015, 04:19 PM (44 replies)

Justice Department contradicts Attorney General Loretta Lynch's claims about Patriot Act

http://boingboing.net/2015/05/21/justice-department-report-cont.html

In the midst of the last-minute Congressional debate about whether to re-authorize Patriot Act Section 215, the Justice Department Inspector General (IG) released a long awaited report today on how the FBI has used (and abused) Section 215 for the past few years. Unfortunately, the report is heavily redacted so the law's use remains largely shrouded in secrecy, but one passage in the IG report is particularly revealing: It directly contradicts what Attorney General Loretta Lynch said just today about Section 215’s supposed importance.

As ACLU's Jameel Jaffer pointed out, one of the IG report's main conclusions is that FBI “did not identify any major case developments that resulted from use of the records obtained in response to Section 215 orders.”




Meanwhile, today Attorney General Loretta Lynch weighed in on the debate in Congress, claiming the exact opposite. She was quoted by CBS News as saying that if Patriot Act Section 215 expires: “e lose important tools. I think that we lose the ability to intercept these communications, which have proven very important in cases that we have built in the past.” (emphasis mine)

So to sum up: the Justice Department’s own Inspector General said information collected under Section 215 did not lead to "any major case developments,” but the Attorney General said that Section 215 has “proven very important in cases that we have built.” Both statements cannot be true...


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat May 23, 2015, 12:37 AM (0 replies)

Justice Department contradicts Attorney General Loretta Lynch's claims about Patriot Act

http://boingboing.net/2015/05/21/justice-department-report-cont.html

In the midst of the last-minute Congressional debate about whether to re-authorize Patriot Act Section 215, the Justice Department Inspector General (IG) released a long awaited report today on how the FBI has used (and abused) Section 215 for the past few years. Unfortunately, the report is heavily redacted so the law's use remains largely shrouded in secrecy, but one passage in the IG report is particularly revealing: It directly contradicts what Attorney General Loretta Lynch said just today about Section 215’s supposed importance.

As ACLU's Jameel Jaffer pointed out, one of the IG report's main conclusions is that FBI “did not identify any major case developments that resulted from use of the records obtained in response to Section 215 orders.”




Meanwhile, today Attorney General Loretta Lynch weighed in on the debate in Congress, claiming the exact opposite. She was quoted by CBS News as saying that if Patriot Act Section 215 expires: “e lose important tools. I think that we lose the ability to intercept these communications, which have proven very important in cases that we have built in the past.” (emphasis mine)

So to sum up: the Justice Department’s own Inspector General said information collected under Section 215 did not lead to "any major case developments,” but the Attorney General said that Section 215 has “proven very important in cases that we have built.” Both statements cannot be true...


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat May 23, 2015, 12:32 AM (7 replies)

Nasty Jack, you've got a bit of cognitive dissonance going on:

https://www.authonomy.com/user/ce4841e0-4c17-42e6-94fa-b88c46acbf40/

Nasty Jack

As a former data broker in the junk mail industry for 35 years, I came to the realization that business and government were dangerously placing our names and personal data in great jeopardy. Since leaving the business, the security of consumers' private information has been acutely and repeatedly compromised, leading to today's identity crisis, something I hope to help remedy in my writing.

In April of 2005 I launched my blog, "The Dunning Letter," which advocates giving back control to the consumer of their sensitive data, and compensating them when it is sold.


http://nastyjackbuzz.blogspot.com/

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Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri May 15, 2015, 02:01 PM (2 replies)

Those who think criminalizing 'hate speech' is a good idea ought to read this:

A tip of the hat to DUer KamaAina for posting this originally:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026656591

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ottawa-cites-hate-crime-laws-when-asked-about-its-zero-tolerance-for-israel-boycotters-1.3067497

Ottawa cites hate crime laws when asked about its 'zero tolerance' for Israel boycotters

The Harper government is signalling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.

Such a move could target a range of civil society organizations, from the United Church of Canada and the Canadian Quakers to campus protest groups and labour unions.

If carried out, it would be a remarkably aggressive tactic, and another measure of the Conservative government's lockstep support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While the federal government certainly has the authority to assign priorities, such as pursuing certain types of hate speech, to the RCMP, any resulting prosecution would require an assent from a provincial attorney general.


Frankly, I didn't expect to be proven correct just a week after these were written:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=166635

They think the Feds should be the arbiters of what is and isn't "hate speech" and where that fuzzy line between free speech and hate speech cross.

They forget that the next person making that decision might be the moral and mental "godchild" of Dick Cheney and his buddies.

I wonder how the responses would be if Bush/Cheney were still in the picture?



http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=166646

The 'shield' they want would become a sword in right-wing hands...

...and anyone who thinks they'd hesitate for a moment to use it has forgotten their history


It seems PM Harper has unsheathed the blade...


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon May 11, 2015, 04:29 PM (11 replies)

Some DUers have figured out that they can act like an urbane Pamela Geller...

...if they choose the proper group to demonize. Others act a little more like the role model:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/11729858

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon May 11, 2015, 02:22 PM (0 replies)

A surveillance plane owned by a company in Bristow, VA? Not at all new:

http://www.patriotledger.com/article/20140531/News/140539356


Source: Mystery plane in Quincy was following Matanov


Posted May. 31, 2014 at 12:11 PM
Updated May 31, 2014 at 12:15 PM


By Patrick Ronan
The Patriot Ledger

QUINCY – The mysterious plane that made overnight loops around Quincy and perplexed a slew of city residents last spring was being used to surveil Khairullozhon Matanov, the latest man charged in the Boston Marathon bombings investigation, a source with knowledge of the case said Friday.

The source, who spoke to The Patriot Ledger on a condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the case, said the aircraft was being used by investigators to track Matanov, who lives on Common Street in West Quincy.

Last spring, residents from Wollaston to West Quincy called the city and police to complain about an aircraft making wide, repeated loops in the air, between about 7 p.m. and 4 a.m. The residents described a low-pitch humming sound coming from the aircraft, and some said it was reminiscent of a drone, which is an unmanned aircraft operated by remote control

In response, the Federal Aviation Administration said it knew what was up there but it wouldn’t tell the public. “It’s not a drone,” FAA spokesman Jim Peters said at the time. “It’s an authorized flight, and we are aware of it.”...



https://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/quincy/2013/05/photos_prove_suspicious_aircra.html

Photos show mystery aircraft over Quincy is not a drone


...Photos of one of the planes that have been flying over Quincy show that, despite suspicions, the aircraft is not a drone.

The Cessna single-engine airplane, which residents have captured in photos, has been flying overhead for weeks, turning circles around the Quincy and Milton air space...

...FAA spokespeople have said the aircraft is not a drone, but refused to elaborate on the machine's purpose.

The tail number, N906TM, which can be seen in one photo, is registered to a company called RKT Productions. The only information that could be found on the company is a post office box in Bristow, Va.


...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed May 6, 2015, 09:54 PM (0 replies)

Police can’t delay traffic stops to investigate crimes absent suspicion, Supreme Court rules

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/04/21/police-cant-delay-traffic-stops-to-investigate-crimes-absent-suspicion-supreme-court-rules/

Police can’t delay traffic stops to investigate crimes absent suspicion, Supreme Court rules

By Orin Kerr April 21 at 3:18 PM

The Supreme Court handed down a notable Fourth Amendment ruling this morning in Rodriguez v. United States, holding that the Fourth Amendment does not allow the police to extend the duration of a traffic stop without reasonable suspicion, even for just a “de minimis” amount of time, for reasons unrelated to vehicle and driver safety. The vote was 6-3, with Justice Ginsburg writing for the majority and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito dissenting. I’m pleased with the Court’s opinion. The Court’s holding, and the reasoning, matches up well with the approach I have suggested.

The issue in the case: When the police make a routine traffic stop, can the police delay the duration of the stop, even just for a small amount of time, to wait for drug sniffing dogs, absent any articulable suspicion to believe that there are drugs in the car? The Court has previously held that officers are allowed to use drug-sniffing dogs at a traffic stop so long as the use of the dogs does not delay the stop. This case raises the flip question: What if use of the dogs delays the stop just a little bit. Is that okay? How much leeway do the police have on the duration of the stop, given that a traffic stop is a seizure and its duration would normally determine how reasonable the delay is?

The case may ring a bell for regular readers, as I’ve blogged about it a bunch of times. My prior posts include this post when the lower court ruled; this post when the Court granted cert, this video after the grant, and this post after the Supreme Court’s argument...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Apr 22, 2015, 02:21 PM (2 replies)
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