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Member since: Sat May 15, 2010, 04:48 PM
Number of posts: 4,729

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The Teabonics Hall Of Fame ó 60 Iconic Misspelled Protest Signs (PHOTOS)

The Teabonics Hall Of Fame ó 60 Iconic Misspelled Protest Signs (PHOTOS)

By Tiffany Willis on April 15, 2014

One of the biggest fails of the Tea Party movement has been their epic misspellings on protest signs. We arenít sure whatís up with that. Are their kids making the signs for them? Are they writing them in haste and canít take the time to spell correctly or use correct grammar? Either way, itís hilarious. Here is the Tea Party Protest Sign Hall of Fame.

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Posted by markpkessinger | Tue Apr 15, 2014, 11:29 AM (18 replies)

So the President is allowing the CIA to take the lead in declassifying the Senate Report . . .

. . . what could possibly go wrong?
Posted by markpkessinger | Tue Apr 8, 2014, 07:50 PM (5 replies)

My response to one NY Times reader regarding the Supreme Court . . .

In the comments to an editorial in today's New York Times titled, "The Court Follows the Money," one reader wrote:

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If reform is impossible, then a revolution is needed. What kind of revolution? How to proceed? Many paths are possible, none are easy. Let me suggest two places we might start.

First, stop voting. At the least, never again vote for the lesser of two evils. Again, if the system is irredeemable, then the sooner it fully breaks, the better off we will be in the long term. Working for the election of Democrats leads to nothing but heartbreak. That energy is better spent elsewhere. The more the tea-party and like minded elements succeed, the quicker the collapse of the system will arrive. Scarry? You bet.

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I couldn't let that one stand. Here was my response (which has not yet posted to the site):

Terence Stoeckert advises: "First, stop voting. At the least, never again vote for the lesser of two evils."

If we stop voting, we play into the oligarchs' hands -- so that suggestion is possibly the worst advice one could possibly give.

As for voting for the "lesser of two evils" ("LTE"), while LTE voting my well be worthy of criticism, I would remind you that this ruling did NOT come about as a result of voters choosing between the lesser of two evils. All five of the justices who voted to overturn the aggregate contribution limits in McCutcheon were nominated by presidents of ONE of the two parties: the GOP, and ALL FOUR who dissented were nominated by Democratic Presidents. Similarly, in Citizens United, the SAME FIVE JUSTICES were in the majority, three of the dissenters were nominated by Democrats and one, Justice Stevens, was a liberal Republican nominated by Gerald Ford.

Whatever criticism one may have of Presidents Clinton and Obama, it was the Justices they nominated who did NOT stand with the majority in this case. And it was the Justices nominated by Reagan, Bush I and Bush II that WERE the majority. But that probably doesn't sit well with your "both aprties are the same" narrative, does it?

Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 08:45 AM (67 replies)

Text of Justice Breyer's blistering dissent

I have extracted Justice Breyer's dissent from the decision and have made it available on my Google drive, for anyone who might be interested in reading it:

Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 06:20 PM (11 replies)

Chris Hedges' Brilliant, Impassioned Debate Presentation at Oxford regarding Snowden

Hedges was one of eight speakers in a recent debate at Oxford on the question, "Is Edward Snowden a Hero?" I've included the Hedges speech here, but you can hear the other speakers also if you go to an article on Truthdig titled, "Chris Hedges at Oxford University: Is Edward Snowden a Hero?

Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Mar 27, 2014, 12:09 PM (0 replies)

"You sell stencils"

Posted by markpkessinger | Thu Mar 27, 2014, 09:58 AM (2 replies)

Here's a point about the Hobby Lobby case that no one is addressing . . .

OK, so here's a point concerning the Hobby Lobby case that was argued yesterday before the Supreme Court that I've not seen addressed anywhere. Hobby Lobby is a privately held corporation (Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.), whose shares are owned by founder David Green and members of his family. By virtue of incorporating his business, Mr. Green and his family enjoy the chief benefit of incorporation: the shielding of their personal assets from the debts and liabilities of the business. (Google "benefits of incorporating" and you will see that that freedom from personal liability is cited in virtually every article on the subject as being the primary reason to, and benefit of, incorporating a business. Once a business is incorporated, as a matter of law, the business is treated as a wholly separate entity from its individual shareholders, even where, as here, there may be only a handful of shareholders who are all members of the same family. The corporate entity, and not the shareholders, becomes solely responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. And generally speaking, only the corporate entity can be sued over any disputes involving the business. (There is something called "piercing the corporate veil," where one can go after shareholders and officers individually, but that is only available under very exceedingly rare and narrow circumstances.) Owners of unincorporated business -- partnerships, sole proprietorships, etc., don't enjoiy these same protections.

So, given that Hobby Lobby is a completely separate entity from its owner-shareholders in every other respect, how is it that the owners, individually, can claim that their religious liberty is in any way infringed when the _corporate entity_ -- from whose interests they have legally and voluntarily separated themselves -- is required to comply with a regulation that requires it to do something the individual shareholder-owners have a religious objection to doing? Seems to me they are enjoying all he benefits of having legally separate interests, yet are seeking, in this one particular area, to claim those interests are one and the same. If they are going to enjoy the benefit of limited liability, should they not also be barred from imputing matters that are purelye a matter of individual conscience onto that separate corporate entity?
Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Mar 26, 2014, 03:48 AM (70 replies)

Why do we tolerate mega-wealth?

This is a Facebook Note written by a friend of mine, Frank Dana, that was so good I thought folks here might enjoy reading it.

Why do we tolerate mega-wealth?
By Frank R. Dana

(I wrote this about a year ago, initially as a comment on someone else's post, then as a status update of my own. In honor of the information I posted today, based on an Oxfam report, that EIGHTY-FIVE people control the same amount of wealth as the lower half of the *world* population, I'm reiterating...)

...Why do we tolerate mega-wealth? ó Not mere millionaires, but really obscene, couldn't-possibly-use-it-all accumulations of untold multiple billions of dollars? Your Bill Gateses your Saudi sheiks, your Apple Computers. (And this isn't about Apple's corporate value, but its wealth ó some say they could be sitting on as much as $100 billion.) Societally, I mean, why do we accept, admire, even praise the "achievement" of consolidating so much wealth into the control of one entity?

If your small fishing village was experiencing a famine, or if your country had instituted wartime rationing of food, it wouldn't be considered "okay" for some morbidly obese glutton to be stuffing himself to death with food while everyone around him fought not to starve. Even if he obtained the food fairly, heck even if he produced every bite of it himself, it would still be viewed as shameful to be wallowing in such excesses of consumption. It wouldn't have to be illegal, or even "wrong", to be viewed as morally lacking, and most people would take a dim view of someone with such a gluttonous appetite, and so little self-awareness or empathy for the other members of the community. Fatso would get the stink-eye, for sure.

Yet, when someone scrapes together a pile of gold big enough to choke the Nile and shoves it in their basement, we marvel at their achievement and praise their "success", as if what they've accumulated are merely points on a scoreboard, and not actual, fungible resources. (Money, dammit, IS a commodity, if perhaps a uniquely volatile one.) Why do we drool over Apple's $100 billion corporate bank account, and devour breathlessly-written pieces on what a "problem" they have trying to figure out how to spend all that cash, without even raising the question of whether their massive wealth is a good thing? How could it not be, right?

Wouldn't it be appropriate (perhaps even more appropriate) to instead react with something like, "Holy shit, Apple so overprices their products, and/or underpays their employees or suppliers, that they're sitting on $100 billion in CASH from being the peddlers of wildly unnecessary digital toys."? Why would it be wrong to consider their massive wealth and the process by which they achieved it just as gluttonous, shameful, and reprehensible as our theoretical food-hoarder?

Or, take Bill Gates. Now, he's done a lot of really amazing things with his wealth, things which are undeniably praiseworthy. I have absolutely no desire to diminish the incredibly generosity he's demonstrated, with his incredibly vast personal fortune. But, thing is, he didn't HAVE to do that. (Which makes it all the more laudable, of course.) He could just as easily have sat on the entire $70+ billion or whatever it was, or swam around in it like Scrooge McDuck. So, why would we (again, societally) favor people having that option? Why was it even "okay" that he became worth so much to begin with, regardless of what he did or didn't ultimately choose to do with the money? Why are we so unquestioningly worshipful of financial gluttony?
Posted by markpkessinger | Tue Mar 25, 2014, 02:17 AM (68 replies)

And so I said to Rupert . . .

Posted by markpkessinger | Mon Mar 17, 2014, 03:37 PM (3 replies)

Yes, Feinstein's a hypocrite, BUT . . .

. . . what is at stake in the allegations concerning the CIA is very different from the issue of the NSA's overreach (of which I am no fan, and Feinstein's defense of which I have been very critical). Look, the issue of the CIA spying on members of Congress and their staffers is NOT the biggest issue here. The biggest issue is the CIA's alleged attempts to interfere with an ongoing investigation into possible misconduct by the CIA itself, an investigation being conducted by the elected body that has lawful oversight authority of the agency, and further, the attempted intimidation of Senate investigators by filing a crimes report with the Justice Department against the very Senate staffers who were working on the investigation and who took steps to protect the integrity of the investigation. If that is true as Feinstein has alleged, then the CIA has gone totally rogue, and the ramifications for a democratically elected government, and about the accountability of government agencies to the electorate, are enormous.

Sure Feinstein is a hypocrite. But, assuming you are really concerned about the burgeoning security state, if you allow this to be turned into a pissing match about who gets to spy on whom, you play right into the CIA's (and by extension, the NSA's) hands, thus making yourself a tool of the very security state you oppose. I would urge folks to set aside their like or dislike of Feinstein, and even their justified disgust at her hypocrisy, and focus instead on the enormously larger issue of government accountability to the elected representatives of the people.
Posted by markpkessinger | Wed Mar 12, 2014, 07:13 AM (11 replies)
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