Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 22,449
Number of posts: 22,449
Recently a person on my Facebook page indignantly posted her dismay that when driving by the local food bank, she saw a woman pick up food and put it in her late model car. The obvious insinuation there was that this individual had the money to spend on a new/newer car but couldn't be bothered to pay for her own groceries, and perhaps even that she was somehow gaming the system.
Of course, such a knee-jerk reaction (with emphasis on jerk) immediately discounts other logical possibilities:
1. The woman was picking up food not for herself, but for someone else who didn't have access to a car.
2. The woman didn't own the car herself but was borrowing it from a friend for need of transportation
3. The woman had recently been able to afford to buy a new car but due to a sudden change in circumstances (job loss, illness, etc.) was in need of financial assistance.
And there are other possibilities as well. People in poverty can still drive cars, even newer model ones. That doesn't make them poor, nor should it disqualify them from financial help.
The bottom line here is simple: If you don't know the circumstances behind what you are seeing, kindly shut up. It's none of your business and it's inappropriate to pass judgment on someone who very likely is struggling immensely and whose life may be a living hell. I'll freely admit that I sometimes give a dollar to the person on the street corner with a "Hungry, Please Help" sign. Yes, I know there's the possibility that person may use that dollar for alcohol or drugs instead of for food. Yes, it may be possible the person actually isn't homeless and is playing a scam. But you know what? It's a dollar. A dollar of mine that probably would go towards buying a candy bar that would go to my waistline. If the person is in fact scamming me, that's on their conscience, not mine. I won't miss that dollar, and if the person is in fact in need of help and would use that dollar wisely, I'd much rather give them that dollar than snidely pass judgment on them.
Now there's efforts afoot in numerous states to prohibit people on food stamps from buying certain items of food such as steak or seafood. Because God forbid they or the family eat the same food as the rest of us.
Some of these people, I swear, I think they think you aren't actually poor unless you are wearing a potato sack and eating nothing but bread and water. And if you are wearing a potato sack and eating only bread and water, they'd still knock you for being "lazy". It's a total lose-lose.
What makes some people feel the need to be so callous to pass such judgment, and to assume that if you're poor, you're either a fraud or lazy and unmotivated?
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Apr 9, 2015, 12:28 PM (91 replies)
OMG! These pictures of puppies and kittens are sooooooo adorable, aren't I right?
By Jon Pliger
Senior Investigative Reporter
March 3, 2015
Hey guys! We all know puppies are so incredibly cute. And we also know that kittens are just beyond adorable. But what if I were to post pictures of puppies and kittens......together? CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!!!!!!! So let's check out some positively pretty photos of our furry little friends. Prepare to be awwwwwwed!
Oh, and did you know the moon landing was a hoax? No, really! You see, NASA knew it couldn't really land on the moon because they knew the mutant moon monsters who had landed in Area 51 (you know, the guys who look like Bigfoot) would come back to kill us all for invading their territory. So instead, they commissioned a film crew and shot the landing at a movie studio in Burbank.
Playing the part of Neil Armstrong was singer Elvis Presley, who landed the role in good part due to his 1956 cover of the classic Rogers-Hart song "Blue Moon." But in 1977, Presley threatened to expose the hoax, so the government locked him in the basement of World Trade Tower 7.
Presley remained in Tower 7 until 2001, when the government imploded Tower 7 in order to destroy the evidence. The elder Presley was then relocated to Afghanistan where he was made to impersonate terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
Oh my goodness! That puppy is telling the kitten that he loves her! Have you ever seen anything so precious?
Don't believe me? You can ask fellow investigative reporter and national treasure Robert Prary. He'll tell you the exact same thing! You can believe him because he once wrote something important thirty years ago!
So in conclusion, we can all agree there's just nothing cuter than puppy dogs snuggling up with kittens. And that's why you should never stand in the direct path of government chemtrails. Oh, and ask me about my grandkids! They do this cute little thing where they dress up in adult clothes and sing "You Are My Sunshine". You just have to see it !
The preceding was published in its entirety with permission of the author and under the specific authority set forth in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988).
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Mar 3, 2015, 09:21 AM (36 replies)
This reached its apogee in 2014 when the Obama administration splashed out $5 billion on a coup against the elected government.
A blatant, "Pants on Fire" level lie according to Politifact:
These fascists are now integrated into the Kiev coup government.
First of all, there was no coup in Ukraine. Secondly, if by fascists Pilger is referring to members of the Svoboda and Right Sector parties, neither party has any representation in Ukraine's governing cabinet.
No western leader has spoken up about the revival of fascism in the heart of Europe — with the exception of Vladimir Putin, whose people lost 22 million to a Nazi invasion that came through the borderland of Ukraine.
"Vladimir Putin's people" didn't lose 22 million in World War II. The now-defunct Soviet Union lost over 20 million people. Of course, the Soviet Union comprised 15 separate Republics, only one of which was Russia. Vladimir Putin (who was born 7 years after the end of World War II) is president of the Russian Federation. And estimates show that the Russian SSR lost approximately 14 million people (both civilian and military), or 12.7% of its population. The Ukrainian SSR actually lost a greater proportion of its population than the Russian SSR in World War II (16.3%), as did the Belarussian SSR and Armenian SSR.
Now, if Pilger is insinuating that Vladimir Putin's "people" includes the 14 other former Soviet States as well as Russia, well, that's quite telling.
Nuland’s coup in Ukraine did not go to plan. NATO was prevented from seizing Russia’s historic, legitimate, warm-water naval base in Crimea. The mostly Russian population of Crimea — illegally annexed to Ukraine by Nikita Krushchev in 1954 — voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia, as they had done in the 1990s. The referendum was voluntary, popular and internationally observed. There was no invasion.
Here's a good one. First of all, of course, there was no coup. Secondly, NATO never attempted to "seize" the Russian Black Sea Fleet--I don't know where he's coming from there. The 1954 transfer of Crimea from the Russian SSR to the Ukrainian SSR was an internal Soviet matter, but Crimea had never, ever been part of the modern Russian Federation, and in 1994 Russia agreed via treaty that notwithstanding the existing Black Sea Fleet bases, Crimea was Ukrainian territory and it would respect Ukraine's sovereignty.
Funny thing about the Crimean referendum and the so-called "international observers." These were not observers from the UN or OSCE or any other legitimate election monitoring agency. These "observers" came from the "Eurasian Observatory for Democracy and Elections", a sham Russian based group whose leaders have ties to far right organizations (funny that Pilger trumpets them while supposedly decrying fascism, don't you think?):
Of course, the biggest lie by Pilger is that "There was no invasion (of Crimea by Russia)" which is simply idiotic. Of course there was a Russian military invasion of Crimea. Well-organized and well-armed, regimented military units--far beyond the capabilities of any local militia that would have the opportunity to organize in literally four days--seized the local parliament, airports, harbors, Ukrainian military bases and other portions of Crimea beginning around February 26, 2014. A timeline of events in the run up to the infamous March 16, 2014 referendum:
Here's a report from The Guardian the day the local parliament was seized
Maxim, a pro-Russian activist who refused to give his last name, told the Associated Press that he and other activists had been camping out overnight outside the local parliament in Crimea’s regional capital, Simferopol, when heavily armed men wearing flak jackets, and holding rocket-propelled grenade launchers and sniper rifles took over the building. He said:
On May 2, 2014, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by. The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as “another bright day in our national history.” In the American and British media, this was reported as a “murky tragedy” resulting from “clashes” between “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) and “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine).
In fact, the events in Odessa on May 2nd were indeed clashes between two sides and not just a one-sided slaughter of pro-Russian separatists as Pilger claims. While the official pro-Russian line only wants to focus on the fire at the trade union building itself, the events did not start there. In fact, the incident started when a pro-Ukrainian demonstration was attacked by a pro-Russian group, and at various points gunmen identified as pro-Russian were seen shooting at and killing several on the pro-Ukrainian side. Only after that initial event was there the later confrontation at the Trade Union building. Even at the Trade Union building, sources said there were Molotov cocktails thrown at the building and from the building, indicating it was a two-sided clash between the groups.
This rally was later attacked by a pro-Russian mob of 300 from the group Odesskaya Druzhina armed with bats and firearms at Hretska Street. Both sides fought running battles against each other, exchanging stones and petrol bombs, and built barricades throughout the city during the afternoon. Both sides had firearms. Some eyewitness accounts said the first victim was a pro-Ukraine protester shot with an automatic weapon in the lung around 13:40 local time, and that an anti-Maidan supporter, armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, opened fire in a lane leading to Deribasivska Street. Some shots were fired from the roof top of the Afina shopping centre to shoot down at the crowds.
So, as you can see, Pilger's account on Ukraine is full of documentable falsehoods. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to lay it out.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Mon Mar 2, 2015, 04:31 PM (2 replies)
One year ago today, Victor Yanukovych began packing his valuables in preparation of leaving Ukraine.
He wouldn't actual leave--via his own personal fleet of helicopters--until the early morning hours of February 22nd. Only after he left did the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) vote to remove him for dereliction of duty.
But it was the three day time period that is so fascinating. Within that window, there was the deaths of several dozen protesters at Maidan on February 20th, the circumstances still somewhat controversial and unclear. Then there was an EU brokered deal signed on the evening of February 21st that would have given Yanukovych the authority to remain in office until early elections could be held.
The fact that these events preceded Yanukovych's ultimate departure but not his preparations to depart cast serious doubts on any claims that either of those events served as a tipping point to the ultimate change in regime.
And the relative ease and length of time in which Yanukovych had to pack up his considerable treasure (three days) casts even more doubts on the claim that Yanukovych was running due to a imminent threat to his safety, which some use as the basis that Yanukovych was removed as a result of a "coup" perpetrated by individuals not clearly identified by proponents of that theory.
Surveillance video from Yanukovych's mansion beginning from February 19th and running up until the early morning of February 22nd shows the large amount of oil paintings, antique valuables and other items being loaded up into moving vans. More video captures Yanukovych's fleet of helicopters flying off, with the former president ultimately ending up in Russia.
A good read about Yanukovych's preparations can be found here:
The three day time period--and the proper order of events--are very important to keep in mind when analyzing the events leading up to the regime change in Ukraine one year ago.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Feb 19, 2015, 09:15 AM (15 replies)
I.e. people they would prefer to deal with and people they would prefer not to deal with. And that came out in some of the State Department communications.
However, that said, I do not think they played any active role in changing the regime. I think the US was very encouraged by Maidan because Yanukovych was not a favored player and the hope was that a break from him would be for the better. (Undoubtedly a risky proposition that has not always played out well for us.) But Maidan ultimately succeeded not because the US intervened in it, but rather because of Yanukovych's own efforts to suppress it. And the more Yanukovych pushed, the protesters on Maidan pushed back, to the point where Yanukovych determined he didn't want to be Ceausescu'ed, that he was still a very wealthy man and could live very nicely as a private citizen somewhere else (somewhere else being Russia.) So he literally packed up his bags and left.
But yes, I will admit as far as I think the US had people it would prefer to be running the show, specifically folks who would represent a break from the old oligarch line that you seen in Russia and towards a much more western oriented governing approach. And that's why I think Yatsenyuk struck such a chord with the US. Because while he's by no means your common everyday man off the street, he's likewise not the old oligarch guard, either. He's fairly young, flies regular commercial airlines (as opposed to private jets), stands in line with the commoners to vote, has advocated for financial and governmental oversight, and clearly struck a chord with the people on Maidan still without making himself out to be an ultra-nationalistic firebrand. So it's a no-brainer that he became a favored figure that the US wanted to see rise to the top in Ukraine. Now, what some people mistake as the US State Department "hand picking" Yatsenyuk based on the infamous Nuland-Pratt phone call really didn't amount to anything closely as nefarious. It's best analogy would be that of fantasy football fans picking their rosters to lead their fantasy (read: not real) teams. They simply had no ability to actually pick the Ukrainian government for them, no matter how much some people think.
Interestingly enough, while Yatsenyuk did end up as prime minister, the man who was elected President--Petro Poroshenko--represents something closer to the old guard in terms of Ukrainian government. He is, after all, an oligarch with a lot of wealthy assets. That being said, he has pledged reforms, but it's too early to tell how far he'll go through on them. But you can also say the fact that Ukrainians chose to replace one oligarch (Yanukovych) with another (Poroshenko) runs contrary to the argument that the US was deeply involved in picking Ukraine's leaders, since such a subtle change would arguably not be worth all the trouble.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Feb 10, 2015, 09:51 AM (1 replies)
Think about the stupidest conservative you personally know, like a family member or Facebook friend.
You know, the one who's always forwarding or posting the fake news stories and quotes that are easily debunked within a minute's internet search. The one who has a fetish about the military but has never served a day in his or her life. The one who constantly talks about what "the founding fathers" want. The one who constantly posts pictures of the American flag, or guns, or guns in front of the American Flag. The one who professes to be an expert in communism, socialism, fascism, capitalism, etc., but hasn't picked up a history or political science book in decades, if at all.
Perhaps they like to quote the guy from "Duck Dynasty" as if he were Confucius. Or maybe they'll say something about blacks or Hispanics or Muslims that comes off just a tad bit racist. Or, hell, really racist for that matter. And then they'll explain it away with some sort of self-serving statement about not being beholden to "political correctness."
Then imagine that your stupid Facebook friend/family member was at one time a nominee on a major political party ticket for the second most powerful position in the nation, and just a heartbeat away from being the most powerful person in the country and possibly the world.
I'm guessing your idiot Facebook friend would look something like this:
Because, face it. When you boil it down, that's all who Sarah Palin is. She's your idiot Facebook friend who has absolutely no clue how stupid he or she sounds, and will never, ever shut the hell up.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Mon Jan 26, 2015, 05:15 PM (61 replies)
I have, at least once in my life.
It was years ago, at a summer job at a swimming pool. My boss there I still consider one of the worst human beings I've ever had to deal with in my entire life (and I usually like people and believe most people are good at heart). She was constantly attempting to make herself look like the "cool", "edgy" boss in front of her employees. You know, the whole, "I'm not your boss, I'm your buddy" schtick. But she had a seriously passive aggressive mean streak, and she had her favorite employees, and her not-so-favorite employees.
For whatever reason (I still to this day don't know why), I was one of her not-so-favorites. She would constantly criticize and nit pick everything I did. She would demand I enforce the most nonsensical rules at the pool. She once told me that my relationship with my then-girlfriend (now wife) was doomed to fail. Another time she told me that I was not smart enough to get a scholarship into graduate school (which I ultimately did). She accused me of omitting information on my job application (even though I had kept a hard copy of the application and was able to show her that I did not omit anything.) She scheduled me for long shifts on days that I had specifically asked off far in advance.
This grew worse and worse over the summer, until one morning when I arrived before my shift began. Except Boss Lady decided I wasn't sufficiently early enough, and she chewed me out and threatened to fire me if I wasn't sufficiently early for my shift again. It was the last straw, and I was sick of it. I was so upset and frustrated, but I didn't want to show it to her face to make me look bad, to let her know that she had gotten to me. So I went into the bathroom behind her office, went into a stall, and let out a scream. Just to get that frustration of having been abused emotionally and verbally off my chest.
I came back out feeling a little better. Except Boss Lady then came up to me and said she had heard me yell. And that she wondered if I was on drugs, because "that's how people on drugs act." And that was it. I had enough of her shit. I put in my notice of resignation that day.
So why am I posting this and dredging up old bad memories?
I'm posting this because I'm a white male, and what happened to me summers ago with that horrible boss at that pool was the exception, not the rule. But seeing how things went down in Ferguson last week, and how they've gone down for the decades before that, that this is how life is like for many African Americans in this country. They are constantly being put down, constantly being told they are less than, constantly being told they are failures. And when the last straw breaks and they dare get just a little out of line, those who have provoked and prejudged them can then jump up and say, "See! I told you so! They are violent!" And it's just such a frustrating, vicious cycle.
I had that feeling one day in my life. I can't even imagine having to wake up and feel that way day after day after day.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Dec 2, 2014, 10:09 AM (74 replies)
Oh, make me want to holler
And throw up both my hands
Yea, it makes me want to holler
And throw up both my hands
Crime is increasing
Trigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God know where we're heading
Oh, make me want to holler
They don't understand
Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah
Everybody thinks we're wrong
Who are they to judge us
Simply cause we wear our hair long
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Mon Nov 24, 2014, 10:37 PM (3 replies)
Basically, he's saying Putin had no burning motivation to go into Crimea because......because......I don't know.
The fact is that Putin did go into Crimea, and he went into Crimea unprovoked, without any attack on Russian interests or even imminent threat of attack on Russian interests. No, the timeline to go in was not completely of his choosing, but his invasion of Crimea was a "now or never" moment for Putin and he carped the diem out of it.
Contrary to what some might think, Putin did not start the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine. Nor is there any indication that he was behind Yanukovych cracking down on the protests, thus escalating them in their intensity. Euromaidan was indeed a legitimate protest started by Ukrainians about issues concerning Ukrainians. It was not Russia nor the US who caused them to happen.
But they did happen. And it also happened that events came to a head at the same time the Olympics were being held several hundred miles away in Sochi, Russia. At that point, however, the crisis in Ukraine was essentially an internal matter. Even when Yanukovych packed up and left the country--leaving Ukrainians to scramble to put together an interim government until elections could be held--it was still more or less an internal Ukrainian matter.
But because there was something of a power vacuum in that immediate time period after Yanukovych choppered out, and because the Ukrainian military at that point was in such powerless shape to fight back any type of invasion, Putin knew he had an unbelievably unparalleled chance to claim Crimea for Mother Russia without a bloody fight. So literally days after Yanukovych had fled, he moved in. And there was little that the severely weakened Ukrainian government could do other than to verbally denounce the invasion.
Had Russia invaded Crimea at a time where the Ukrainian government was far better equipped to respond, it wouldn't have been the bloodless takeover that it was.
So Kissinger wishes to minimize Putin's actions over Crimea. And Parry wishes to minimize Putin's actions over Crimea. This puts Parry in a bit of a spot, given that he made his name eons ago by reporting on subversive neo-conservative machinations in Iran Contra, and yet Kissinger is essentially the archetype for modern day neo-conservatives.
So embarrassingly, they are on the same page, and this is Parry's attempt at damage control by trying to frame it as if this is some sort of isolated moment of clarity for Kissinger while in fact this is Kissinger being Kissinger, always apologizing for the ruthless strongman. Even worse for Parry is that it's not as much Parry repeating what Kissinger's said just recently, but Kissinger embracing what Parry's already said long before.
From Parry's column dated August 18th of this year:
As the crisis deepened early this year, Putin was focused on the Sochi Winter Olympics, particularly the threat of terrorist attacks on the games. No evidence has been presented that Putin was secretly trying to foment the Ukraine crisis. Indeed, all the evidence is that Putin was trying to protect the status quo, support the elected president and avert a worse crisis.
There was no Russian “invasion,” as the New York Times and other mainstream U.S. news outlets claimed. The Russian troops were already in Crimea assigned to Russia’s historic naval base at Sebastopol. Putin agreed to Crimea’s annexation partly out of fear that the naval base would otherwise fall into NATO’s hands and pose a strategic threat to Russia.
Congratulations, Robert Parry. You've now become material for Henry Kissinger to use as talking points.
To famously quote another R. Parry, "Oops."
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Fri Nov 14, 2014, 09:29 AM (2 replies)
An excellent blog piece by Ukrainian journalist JV Koshiw giving a blow-by-blow analysis on former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukoych's last days in power in Ukraine in February 2014. This pretty much throws cold water on a lot of the conspiracy theories out there claiming that Yanukovych was deposed by a US backed "coup" and that the West is somehow to blame for the current crisis in Ukraine. A very good read.
Why President Yanukovych fled Ukraine
April 23, 2014
On February 22, 2014, President Viktor Yanukovych left the president’s post vacant. But why? Wasn’t his presidency safe? The day before he had signed an agreement with the opposition, witnessed by three EU foreign ministers, that would have kept him as president until December 2014.
This analysis argues that Yanukovych decided to flee from the capital three days earlier, on February 19, after failing to wipe out the opposition with the "Operation Boomerang" police action. On that day he ordered his staff to begin packing his valuables. For the next three days, his property was placed into removal vans; once the process was over, early in the morning of February 22, he left.
Other explanations of why he abandoned his post do not reflect what actually happened. For example, Christian Neef in Yanukovych's Fall: The Power of Ukraine's Billionaires, Der Spiegel, February 25, 2014, credits the oligarchs Rinat Akhmetov and Dmytro Firtash with causing Yanukovych’s downfall, arguing that their supporters in parliament, 60 and 30 MPs respectively, voted with the opposition on February 20 to topple Yanukovych by removing his ability to use “anti-terrorist” actions against the protesters.
However, voting figures from that day show that very few of Akhmetov’s or Firtash’s MPs were present. As a matter of fact only 35 out of 205 MPs from the Party of Regions were in parliament to vote against Yanukovych.
Neither can the official opposition or Western diplomats be seen as the reason behind his departure, given that both sides had signed a document ensuring that he would remain president until the next election.
The facts on the ground also belie the repeated claims by President Putin and his minions that Yanukovych was toppled by a coup.
What happened was that Yanukovych removed himself from the president’s office after failing to exterminate the opposition with force. He literally gave up.
Much more at link.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Sep 9, 2014, 12:52 PM (8 replies)