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arely staircase

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Member since: Sun Dec 11, 2011, 06:54 PM
Number of posts: 12,482

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Second cousins

that's ok, right?
Posted by arely staircase | Thu Jun 20, 2013, 01:05 AM (0 replies)

Libertarians support your right to smoke pot

during the two hours you have off a week at your dollar an hour job moving toxic waste into a creek with your bare hands. Well, that is unless your boss tests you for it since he will probably only want you taking the mandatory amphetamines that keep you going.

But look on the bright side, your kids will probably be working there with you, since the public schools have been closed - maybe even granny.

Liberty I tell you!
Posted by arely staircase | Tue Jun 18, 2013, 06:47 PM (35 replies)

China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities

The government, often by fiat, is replacing small rural homes with high-rises, paving over vast swaths of farmland and drastically altering the lives of rural dwellers. So large is the scale that the number of brand-new Chinese city dwellers will approach the total urban population of the United States — in a country already bursting with megacities.

This will decisively change the character of China, where the Communist Party insisted for decades that most peasants, even those working in cities, remain tied to their tiny plots of land to ensure political and economic stability. Now, the party has shifted priorities, mainly to find a new source of growth for a slowing economy that depends increasingly on a consuming class of city dwellers.

The shift is occurring so quickly, and the potential costs are so high, that some fear rural China is once again the site of radical social engineering. Over the past decades, the Communist Party has flip-flopped on peasants’ rights to use land: giving small plots to farm during 1950s land reform, collectivizing a few years later, restoring rights at the start of the reform era and now trying to obliterate small landholders.

Posted by arely staircase | Mon Jun 17, 2013, 10:46 AM (9 replies)

nadler issues statement regarding cnet story

I think that's all she wrot

Josh Marshall- June 16, 2013, 1:25 PM
We now have a statement from Rep. Nadler which seems to debunk the CNET piece which I discussed in the earlier post.

“I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant.”

This is needless to say still a somewhat cryptic quote, leaving unclear who misunderstood who. But it seems to say definitively that the central claim in the CNET article is incorrect.
Posted by arely staircase | Sun Jun 16, 2013, 06:59 PM (2 replies)

Patriots Owner: Putin Stole my Super Bowl Ring

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin pocketed one of his Super Bowl rings during a meeting in 2005, The New York Post reported late Friday.

At the time, Kraft released a statement saying, "President Putin, a great and knowledgable sports fan, was clearly taken with its uniqueness. I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and [his] leadership."

But according to Kraft's version the story now, he was urged to claim the ring was a gift at the urging of the White House. “It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present," Kraft said the White House told him.

Posted by arely staircase | Sat Jun 15, 2013, 12:53 PM (1 replies)

Rick Perry was on the teevee just now comparing himself to St. Peter and

confusing Libya with Lebanon.
Posted by arely staircase | Sat Jun 15, 2013, 12:10 PM (16 replies)

The Snowden Prism

Now, in practice, there are a million shades of grey. You can support your government but see its various shortcomings and even evil things it does. And as I said at the outset, this is where leaks play a critical, though ambiguous role, as a safety valve. But it comes down to this essential thing: is the aim and/or effect of the leak to correct an abuse or simply to blow the whole thing up?

Snowden is doing more than triggering a debate. I think it’s clear he’s trying to upend, damage - choose your verb - the US intelligence apparatus and policieis he opposes. The fact that what he’s doing is against the law speaks for itself. I don’t think anyone doubts that narrow point. But he’s not just opening the thing up for debate. He’s taking it upon himself to make certain things no longer possible, or much harder to do. To me that’s a betrayal. I think it’s easy to exaggerate how much damage these disclosures cause. But I don’t buy that there are no consequences. And it goes to the point I was making in an earlier post. Who gets to decide? The totality of the officeholders who’ve been elected democratically - for better or worse - to make these decisions? Or Edward Snowden, some young guy I’ve never heard of before who espouses a political philosophy I don’t agree with and is now seeking refuge abroad for breaking the law?


Speaking for myself, the kind of balancing I’m describing is critical. But for a lot of people, again, there’s really nothing to balance since transparency is always better or because change is so necessary that spilling the beans has to be a good thing. That just doesn’t fit with my way of looking at these things. That’s why I’m taking this story as it unfolds. And I’m very skeptical of the notion that what Snowden did is awesome just because leaking state secrets is always a heroic act.

Posted by arely staircase | Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:51 AM (5 replies)

"Spear Chucking And Rock Skipping"

Apparently the Flake boy isn't the only GOP congressman's son with a racist mind and lack of filter.

Nevada Congressman’s Son: Obama Is Only Good At "Spear Chucking And Rock Skipping"

Rep. Joe Heck’s son Joey has made several racist, homophobic, and sexist remarks on Twitter. “I apologize to everyone he may have offended,” the Congressman tells BuzzFeed.

He also wrote that Mitt Romney “raped” Obama and made him his “slave” during a debate.

In an exchange with a friend during the debate on October 3rd, Heck asked rhetorically, “I would like somebody to tell me one good thing Obama did in these past 4 years…. I got nothing.” Later in the conversation he said “yeah like spear chucking and rock skipping. The sports they do in his home country…”

Heck’s political comments are particularly jarring, since his twitter feed clearly shows his active engagement not only in national politics, but his father’s reelection race last year. He repeatedly argues his father’s job as a congressman gives him an inside understanding of politics: For instance, during the Oct. 16 debate he tweeted “Obama didn’t make the call to kill Osama… That was the intelligence committee #iwouldknow.”

Posted by arely staircase | Fri Jun 14, 2013, 04:25 PM (5 replies)

Will China Offer Snowden Freedom in Exchange for Information?

Edward Snowden’s revelations keep coming. On Friday, the South China Morning Post reported that the former National Security Agency contractor shared details on the IP addresses of the computers in Hong Kong and China that the NSA had hacked over the last four years. The detailed data also reveals “whether an attack on a computer was ongoing or had been completed, along with an amount of additional operational information,” reports the Hong Kong daily. Snowden insisted that he felt comfortable sharing this information because the targets were civilian computers. "I don't know what specific information they were looking for on these machines, only that using technical exploits to gain unauthorized access to civilian machines is a violation of law. It's ethically dubious," Snowden said.

Snowden’s justification seems either naďve or purposefully misleading. As the New York Times points out, the line between the civilian sector and the government is hardly clear-cut in China. While some legal analysts say Snowden may be “digging his own grave,” as one put it, others contend that the leaks could encourage Beijing to prevent the former contractor’s extradition if he agrees to share what he knows. At the very least, the revelations to the Hong Kong paper seem to demonstrate he has plenty of information that Beijing might find interesting. So far though it isn’t clear whether Beijing will get involved, according to a South China Morning Post source. There’s much officials could learn from Snowden. Former CIA chief of staff Jeremy Bash tells ABC News that “if a foreign government learned everything that was in Edward Snowden's brain, they would have a good window into the way we collect signals intelligence.”

Posted by arely staircase | Fri Jun 14, 2013, 03:46 PM (18 replies)

“Stand your ground” law helps white defendants a lot more than black ones

A man in Florida shoots a man he finds having sex with his wife, killing him. A woman in Florida shoots the wall to scare off an abusive husband, harming nobody. Guess which one was acquitted? Guess which one was convicted?

Posted by arely staircase | Thu Jun 13, 2013, 09:04 PM (1 replies)
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