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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 13,503

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Poll in regard to the moral panic over open carry of firearms

In your opinion, how does it compare to the current right-wing transphobic moral panic?

Are they comparable, or is one, for want of a better term, more 'legitimate' than the other?

Please leave any explanations and/or comments below.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun May 8, 2016, 03:36 PM (4 replies)

'Gun safety organizations' are no different from 'crisis pregnancy centers' in that...

...their true purposes are elided by those who operate them, and I wouldn't trust
either sets of management as far as I could throw them.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon May 2, 2016, 04:05 AM (2 replies)

Oopsie: "Brady Campaign's ad draws ire of U.S. anti-gun violence activists"

Saw this mentioned at the other group, and felt it was too good not to post:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-guncontrol-idUSKCN0XQ29O

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said on Friday it has sharply cut back an online ad that had used the names and faces of mass shooters and urged the news media not to identify them after the group drew criticism from other gun control activists...

...The prominent use of the names and images of Adam Lanza, who shot dead 20 children and six educators at a Newtown elementary school, and James Holmes, who fatally shot 12 people at an Aurora movie theater, in the two-minute online spot angered fellow anti-gun-violence campaigners.

The Brady Campaign's ad prompted a petition (chn.ge/1SCfovp) on activist website Change.org calling for the ad to be taken down. Some 93 people had signed that petition as of midday Friday.

"It was very hurtful to many gun violence victims and survivors," said Anita Busch, a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist whose cousin was slain in the Aurora massacre and who said she posted the petition. "For the Brady Campaign to not get it is just shocking, honestly."


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Apr 29, 2016, 08:00 PM (4 replies)

And the voice of the Third Wayer is heard in the land: "Hillary Clinton shouldn’t move to the left"

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/04/25/sanders-more-dangerous-loser-than-winner/zSqhAPsl0xP8aDmxJh4i0H/story.html#comments

OPINION | ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
Hillary Clinton shouldn’t move to the left

Bernie Sanders may no longer be a serious threat to Hillary Clinton’s nomination bid, but he and his supporters could still wreak havoc on the Democratic Party this fall. Had Sanders won the nomination, he would likely have been demolished in the general election, as were liberals Michael Dukakis and George McGovern. The difference is Sanders is much further from the party’s center than those two candidates were. Sanders’ far-left followers would have been marginalized because the Democrats can win only as centrist liberals, not as far-left radicals. But now that Sanders appears to have lost the nomination, his power and that of his supporters, will likely increase — Clinton needs people who “feel the Bern’’ to sign on to her cause. That will empower not only the real progressives who have been supporting Sanders, but also the repressives who falsely hide their true anti-liberal views under the ill-fitting cloak of progressivism. These repressives have little tolerance for differing viewpoints and seek to shut down speakers who refuse to toe their politically correct line.

Clinton would be smart to resist the temptation to move to the left once she has secured the Democratic nomination. Despite her refusal to use the label “liberal,” that’s in fact what she is: a centrist liberal who rejects revolution and the radical dismantling of imperfect institutions, such as Obama health care. Like her husband, she should stay in the liberal center, both on domestic and foreign policy issues. That has always been the winning strategy for Democrats, and the Sanders’ brush-fire should not change that successful approach.

If Clinton feels the need to move to the far left, she may succeed in the short run in keeping some Sanders’ supporters from staying home on Election Day, but she will risk alienating centrist, independent, and undecided voters, who determine the outcome of most national elections. In any event, it is likely that most Sanders’ supporters will come out and vote for Clinton, though some who want to shake up the system may support Trump. Far-left zealots, who hate liberals even more than they hate conservatives, may stay home, but their numbers are relatively small, despite the loud noises they emit. Moreover, there is nothing Clinton could do to satisfy the far-left repressives who want to overthrow existing institutions and suppress speech they deem incorrect. These intolerant extremists reject the “politics of respectability” that demands that respect be accorded even to those with whom they disagree.

It is important to understand that the differences between Clinton and far-left Sanderite repressives are not merely matters of degree on many important issues. They are matters of kind. Clinton wants realistic improvements in existing institutions, such as health care, capital markets, banking, the military, our education system, and other structures. Sanders and his far-left followers want revolutionary dismantling of these and other existing institutions. His most radical supporters want even more revolutionary structural changes that would destabilize and weaken our nation. It’s not that Sanders is an idealist whose ideas are good but unrealistic, and Clinton a pragmatist whose ideas are compromised with Sanders’ ideals. Clinton is right and Sanders is wrong on many key issues over which they disagree. And Clinton should stick to her guns.


Hmm, partisan hack with an added personal grudge against Sanders, or just another Sensible Woodchuck?







Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Apr 27, 2016, 01:55 PM (14 replies)

The hidden: how Chicago police kept thousands isolated at Homan Square

Crosspost from LBN:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141413521

From the Guardian:

For nearly two decades, when Chicago’s police brought people under arrest to their detentions and interrogations warehouse, not even the vast majority of the police force knew where they were, according to an internal memo acquired by the Guardian.

Homan Square, a warehouse complex headquartering narcotics, vice and intelligence units for the Chicago police, has also served as a secretive facility for detaining and interrogating thousands of people without providing access to attorneys and with little way for their loved ones to find them. Records documenting the presence of someone at Homan Square, especially while they are there, have existed largely outside Chicago police’s electronic records system.

Now, documents and evidence from senior officers have for the first time disclosed detailed official accounts of how police based at the unit were able to operate – and how it was almost impossible to tell who was being held inside.

Depositions of senior officers, memorandums for the current police chief and other internal police records portray Chicago police procedures and record-keeping that obscured visibility into Homan Square’s apparatus of detentions, both to the public and even to police themselves.


More at:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/13/homan-square-chicago-police-records-secret-interrogation-facility-new-documents-lawsuit
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Apr 13, 2016, 05:01 PM (2 replies)

The hidden: how Chicago police kept thousands isolated at Homan Square

Source: Guardian (UK)

For nearly two decades, when Chicago’s police brought people under arrest to their detentions and interrogations warehouse, not even the vast majority of the police force knew where they were, according to an internal memo acquired by the Guardian.

Homan Square, a warehouse complex headquartering narcotics, vice and intelligence units for the Chicago police, has also served as a secretive facility for detaining and interrogating thousands of people without providing access to attorneys and with little way for their loved ones to find them. Records documenting the presence of someone at Homan Square, especially while they are there, have existed largely outside Chicago police’s electronic records system.

Now, documents and evidence from senior officers have for the first time disclosed detailed official accounts of how police based at the unit were able to operate – and how it was almost impossible to tell who was being held inside.

Depositions of senior officers, memorandums for the current police chief and other internal police records portray Chicago police procedures and record-keeping that obscured visibility into Homan Square’s apparatus of detentions, both to the public and even to police themselves.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/13/homan-square-chicago-police-records-secret-interrogation-facility-new-documents-lawsuit
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Apr 13, 2016, 04:58 PM (6 replies)

Nation-wide radio station hack airs hours of vulgar “furry sex” ramblings

http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/04/nation-wide-radio-station-hack-airs-hours-of-vulgar-furry-sex-ramblings/

Some Tuesday morning listeners of KIFT, a Top 40 radio station located in Breckenridge, Colorado, were treated to a radically different programming menu than they were used to. Instead of the normal fare from Taylor Swift, The Chainsmokers, or other pop stars, a hack by an unknown party caused one of the station's signals to broadcast a sexually explicit podcast related to the erotic attraction to furry characters. The unauthorized broadcast lasted for about 90 minutes.

KIFT wasn't the only station to be hit by the hack. On the same day, Livingston, Texas-based country music station KXAX also broadcast raunchy furry-themed audio. And according to an article posted Wednesday by radio industry news site RadioInsight.com, the unauthorized broadcasts from a hobbyist group called FurCast were also forced on an unnamed station in Denver and an unidentified national syndicator.

"All in all the FurCast aired for an hour, possibly two," Jason Mclelland, owner and general manager of the KXAX Radio Group, wrote in an e-mail. "During that time they talked about sex with two guys and a girl in explicit details and rambled on with vulgar language not really having much of a point to the podcast. I'm assuming there was no real reason for this hack."

Mclelland said the hack was carried out by someone who managed to take control of an audio streaming device sold by a company called Barix. The account is consistent with the RadioInsight post, which said the string of unauthorized broadcasts was accomplished when attackers attempted to log in to large numbers of Barix boxes. When successful, the attackers locked out the rightful operators and caused the equipment to play Internet-accessible podcasts made available by FurCast, a hobbyist group dedicated to furry sex.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Apr 8, 2016, 01:20 AM (2 replies)

Why Are Educators Learning How to Interrogate Their Students?

X-posted from Good Reads:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016150849

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/why-are-educators-learning-how-to-interrogate-their-students

About a year and a half ago, Jessica Schneider was handed a flyer by one of her colleagues in the child-advocacy community. It advertised a training session, offered under the auspices of the Illinois Principals Association (I.P.A.), in how to interrogate students. Specifically, teachers and school administrators would be taught an abbreviated version of the Reid Technique, which is used across the country by police officers, private-security personnel, insurance-fraud investigators, and other people for whom getting at the truth is part of the job. Schneider, who is a staff attorney at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was alarmed. She knew that some psychologists and jurists have characterized the technique as coercive and liable to produce false confessions—especially when used with juveniles, who are highly suggestible. When she expressed her concerns to Brian Schwartz, the I.P.A.’s general counsel, he said that the association had been offering Reid training for many years and found it both popular and benign. To prove it, he invited Schneider to attend a session in January of 2015.

The training was led by Joseph Buckley, the president of John E. Reid and Associates, which is based in Chicago. Like the adult version of the Reid Technique, the school version involves three basic parts: an investigative component, in which you gather evidence; a behavioral analysis, in which you interview a suspect to determine whether he or she is lying; and a nine-step interrogation, a nonviolent but psychologically rigorous process that is designed, according to Reid’s workbook, “to obtain an admission of guilt.” Most of the I.P.A. session, Schneider told me, focussed on behavioral analysis. Buckley described to trainees how patterns of body language—including slumping, failing to look directly at the interviewer, offering “evasive” responses, and showing generally “guarded” behaviors—could supposedly reveal whether a suspect was lying. (Some of the cues were downright mythological—like, for instance, the idea that individuals look left when recalling the truth and right when trying to fabricate.) Several times during the session, Buckley showed videos of interrogations involving serious crimes, such as murder, theft, and rape. None of the videos portrayed young people being questioned for typical school misbehavior, nor did any of the Reid teaching materials refer to “students” or “kids.” They were always “suspects” or “subjects.”

Laura Nirider, a professor of law at Northwestern University and the project director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, attended the same session as Schneider. She told me that about sixty people were there. “Everybody was on the edge of their seat: ‘So this is how we can learn to get the drop on little Billy for writing graffiti on the underside of the lunchroom table,’” she said. One vice-principal told Nirider that the first thing he does when he interrogates students is take away their cell phones, “so they can’t call their mothers.”

The training included tricks to provoke a response that might indicate guilt. One was the punishment question: “What do you think should happen to the person who did this?” Schneider recorded in her notes that an innocent person will give a draconian answer, such as, “They should be suspended/expelled/fired.” A deceptive person will equivocate: “That depends on why they did it.” Another question involves baiting the subject with supposedly incriminating evidence. For example, you might falsely suggest that the school had surveillance cameras at the scene of the infraction and see how the student reacts. At one point in the workbook, the phrase “Handling tears” appears, with a blank space underneath for trainees to take down Buckley’s dictation. “Don’t stop,” Schneider wrote in her notes. “Tears are the beginning of a confession. Use congratulatory statement—‘Glad to see those tears, because it tells me that you’re sorry, aren’t you?’ ” Buckley’s only caveat during the session, according to Nirider and Schneider, was that children under the age of ten should not be interrogated. “It was pretty horrifying,” Schneider told me.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Apr 5, 2016, 12:53 AM (1 replies)

Why Are Educators Learning How to Interrogate Their Students?

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/why-are-educators-learning-how-to-interrogate-their-students

About a year and a half ago, Jessica Schneider was handed a flyer by one of her colleagues in the child-advocacy community. It advertised a training session, offered under the auspices of the Illinois Principals Association (I.P.A.), in how to interrogate students. Specifically, teachers and school administrators would be taught an abbreviated version of the Reid Technique, which is used across the country by police officers, private-security personnel, insurance-fraud investigators, and other people for whom getting at the truth is part of the job. Schneider, who is a staff attorney at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was alarmed. She knew that some psychologists and jurists have characterized the technique as coercive and liable to produce false confessions—especially when used with juveniles, who are highly suggestible. When she expressed her concerns to Brian Schwartz, the I.P.A.’s general counsel, he said that the association had been offering Reid training for many years and found it both popular and benign. To prove it, he invited Schneider to attend a session in January of 2015.

The training was led by Joseph Buckley, the president of John E. Reid and Associates, which is based in Chicago. Like the adult version of the Reid Technique, the school version involves three basic parts: an investigative component, in which you gather evidence; a behavioral analysis, in which you interview a suspect to determine whether he or she is lying; and a nine-step interrogation, a nonviolent but psychologically rigorous process that is designed, according to Reid’s workbook, “to obtain an admission of guilt.” Most of the I.P.A. session, Schneider told me, focussed on behavioral analysis. Buckley described to trainees how patterns of body language—including slumping, failing to look directly at the interviewer, offering “evasive” responses, and showing generally “guarded” behaviors—could supposedly reveal whether a suspect was lying. (Some of the cues were downright mythological—like, for instance, the idea that individuals look left when recalling the truth and right when trying to fabricate.) Several times during the session, Buckley showed videos of interrogations involving serious crimes, such as murder, theft, and rape. None of the videos portrayed young people being questioned for typical school misbehavior, nor did any of the Reid teaching materials refer to “students” or “kids.” They were always “suspects” or “subjects.”

Laura Nirider, a professor of law at Northwestern University and the project director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, attended the same session as Schneider. She told me that about sixty people were there. “Everybody was on the edge of their seat: ‘So this is how we can learn to get the drop on little Billy for writing graffiti on the underside of the lunchroom table,’” she said. One vice-principal told Nirider that the first thing he does when he interrogates students is take away their cell phones, “so they can’t call their mothers.”

The training included tricks to provoke a response that might indicate guilt. One was the punishment question: “What do you think should happen to the person who did this?” Schneider recorded in her notes that an innocent person will give a draconian answer, such as, “They should be suspended/expelled/fired.” A deceptive person will equivocate: “That depends on why they did it.” Another question involves baiting the subject with supposedly incriminating evidence. For example, you might falsely suggest that the school had surveillance cameras at the scene of the infraction and see how the student reacts. At one point in the workbook, the phrase “Handling tears” appears, with a blank space underneath for trainees to take down Buckley’s dictation. “Don’t stop,” Schneider wrote in her notes. “Tears are the beginning of a confession. Use congratulatory statement—‘Glad to see those tears, because it tells me that you’re sorry, aren’t you?’ ” Buckley’s only caveat during the session, according to Nirider and Schneider, was that children under the age of ten should not be interrogated. “It was pretty horrifying,” Schneider told me.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Apr 5, 2016, 12:44 AM (5 replies)

The Blue State Model: How the Democrats Created a "Liberalism of the Rich"

In this excerpt from his new book "Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?" Thomas Frank explains what's happened in my own state, Massachusetts:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176121/tomgram%3A_thomas_frank%2C_the_inequality_sweepstakes

Let’s go to Boston, Massachusetts, the spiritual homeland of the professional class and a place where the ideology of modern liberalism has been permitted to grow and flourish without challenge or restraint. As the seat of American higher learning, it seems unsurprising that Boston should anchor one of the most Democratic of states, a place where elected Republicans (like the new governor) are highly unusual. This is the city that virtually invented the blue-state economic model, in which prosperity arises from higher education and the knowledge-based industries that surround it...

...At a 2014 celebration of Governor Patrick’s innovation leadership, Google’s Eric Schmidt announced that “if you want to solve the economic problems of the U.S., create more entrepreneurs.” That sort of sums up the ideology in this corporate commonwealth: Entrepreneurs first. But how has such a doctrine become holy writ in a party dedicated to the welfare of the common man? And how has all this come to pass in the liberal state of Massachusetts?

The answer is that I’ve got the wrong liberalism. The kind of liberalism that has dominated Massachusetts for the last few decades isn’t the stuff of Franklin Roosevelt or the United Auto Workers; it’s the Route 128/suburban-professionals variety. (Senator Elizabeth Warren is the great exception to this rule.) Professional-class liberals aren’t really alarmed by oversized rewards for society’s winners. On the contrary, this seems natural to them -- because they are society’s winners. The liberalism of professionals just does not extend to matters of inequality; this is the area where soft hearts abruptly turn hard.

Innovation liberalism is “a liberalism of the rich,” to use the straightforward phrase of local labor leader Harris Gruman. This doctrine has no patience with the idea that everyone should share in society’s wealth. What Massachusetts liberals pine for, by and large, is a more perfect meritocracy -- a system where the essential thing is to ensure that the truly talented get into the right schools and then get to rise through the ranks of society. Unfortunately, however, as the blue-state model makes painfully clear, there is no solidarity in a meritocracy. The ideology of educational achievement conveniently negates any esteem we might feel for the poorly graduated.


Lots more at the above link, and well worth the read.
Walter Benn Michaels said much the same thing in his "Let Them Eat Diversity":

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

Walter Benn Michaels: The differentiation between left and right neoliberalism doesn’t really undermine the way it which it is deeply unified in its commitment to competitive markets and to the state’s role in maintaining competitive markets. For me the distinction is that “left neoliberals” are people who don’t understand themselves as neoliberals. They think that their commitments to anti-racism, to anti-sexism, to anti-homophobia constitute a critique of neoliberalism. But if you look at the history of the idea of neoliberalism you can see fairly quickly that neoliberalism arises as a kind of commitment precisely to those things....

...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.


I often make the joke that Wellesley (AKA Swellesley) was a place that was open and
affirming of all wealthy people, regardless of race, sex, gender orientation, or religion.

How true it is...


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Apr 2, 2016, 05:11 AM (8 replies)
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