gratuitous commented on the blog post Russia Labels Overthrow Of Yanukovych ‘Coup’; Masses Troops On Border
So, everyone in the popular media is agreed: Someone needs to be blown to bits. That’s a given. But who? Gentlemen, who do we attack? Or does it really matter, as long as we attack someone? Now, some are plumping for Russia, and others think that it’s high time Ukraine had some fireworks. I propose a different strategy: Grenada.
It’s been done?
Oh. Well, some other defenseless country, then.
gratuitous commented on the diary post One Year Later: Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 is still not convicted or released by Angola 3 News.
God bless America, land of the free, home of the brave. And a well-honed practitioner of torture. Forty years in solitary?! Quick, someone tell me again what an abuse of our civil rights it is to be asked to provide flowers for a same sex wedding? Because I want to focus on the real victims.
gratuitous commented on the diary post Supreme Court: Uncle Sam can kick those damn kids off property granted by the public by patrick devlin.
Is there a list of freedoms somewhere that delineates which ones our faultless, star-spangled, All-American men and women in uniform are fightin’ to protect? I just want to be sure I’m exercising the right ones and not getting too comfortable with the fungible ones.
gratuitous commented on the blog post Lawsuit: Attempted Entrapment of Activists by Military Officer & Further Evidence of Domestic Spying
Oh, well, you see, you have all these so-called “rights” in that quaint old document, but you have to use them responsibly as determined by our faultless, star-spangled men and women in uniform under the wise and infallible guidance of their superior officers. No, you can’t know what the limits of responsible rights-using is. Why do you hate the troops?
It’s for your own good, really. Don’t you want to be safe?
gratuitous commented on the blog post NSA Inspector General Speaks on Snowden for First Time, Says He Was ‘Manic in His Thievery’
So, if I’m reading Dr. Ellard correctly, Edward Snowden was supposed to review the opinions issued by 15 federal judges to confirm Ellard’s assertion that everything was being done on the up-and-up, interpret the questions the judges were answering and whether those questions were germane to the legal issues before him, know the law backwards and forwards so that he could be satisfied that Ellard’s assertion was true, and then if he was still not convinced, turn the matter over to Ellard, trusting that Ellard would give it a fresh look in light of Snowden’s concerns, and make any changes necessary to be sure that the data vacuum was indeed complying with the law.
That about cover it?
But boy-oh-boy, were we ever just about to have a full public airing of the NSA’s practices if Snowden hadn’t mucked it all up with his manic thievery. Darn the luck!
I suppose what I find most risible is Ellard’s characterization of Snowden as naive, ignorant and egotistical. Snowden is a lowly IT contractor, and all this information dropped into his lap. Ellard, the career government professional, has been breaking the law with reckless abandon and somehow figured it would never see the light of day. Who’s really naive, ignorant and egotistical here?
gratuitous commented on the blog post General Clapper Changes Story Again, Says He ‘Misunderstood’ Wyden’s Question
Got it in one. Clapper’s in The Club, so when he lies under oath, there’s no crime, no punishment. Clapper just gave the least untruthful answer to a misunderstood question. Gee whiz, haven’t you all ever absent-mindedly said “Yes” when the spousal unit asked “Do you want to go out for Italian or Chinese?” Same diff, but with domestic spying.
Sickening. Whether there is no law, or the laws that are there are ignored, the result is the same. And it’s proper to call either route to that result “lawless.” What’s the standard of proof before the guy with the joystick pushes the button and the missile flies away to kill someone without warning – [...]
gratuitous commented on the diary post Gowdy: “No poetry for you!” GOP’s Older Brother to Dem’s Prodigal Son. by spocko.
And what should we do, then, with the House Republican caucus, which has voted more than 40 times to “repeal” “Obamacare”? It’s one thing to pass some half-loaf health care compromise bill, but to take even that thin broth away from people, and take us back to the land of coverage denials for pre-existing conditions [...]
gratuitous commented on the blog post Elizabeth Warren Wants A Public Option For Banking By Using The Post Office
And if we don’t advance the idea at all, what are its chances? I’d much rather try and fail to do something good than just sit back and carp about how bad things are.
We could say we’re asking the Post Office to do a job that American banks won’t do. That should resonate with some folks who might be knee-jerk opposed to it.
gratuitous commented on the blog post ‘NATO 3′ Trial: Prosecutors Present Facebook Messages With Little Evidence Related to Alleged Offenses
Lucky for the prosecution, juries everywhere are already well-seeded with prejudice against unapproved violence (which must be met with overwhelming pre-emptive violence). So their theories of the case, their evidence of a conspiracy, and their nonsensical assertions of lethal danger can be self-contradicting and absurd, because each individual bit of evidence is wholly independent of all the others until it comes time to pile it all up. At that time, the jury is primed to consider the pile, and ignore the discrepancies.
It’s an old, old play, but it’s worked wonderfully well going back to (at least) the trial of the Haymarket “conspirators” in Chicago.
Well, I never! Democrats fight some lame-brain Republican proposal a couple of times, refuse to give in, humiliate the Republicans publicly for their lame-brain proposal, and the Republicans finally abandon the lame-brain proposal? Who would have thought such a thing could happen?
It’s almost as if we fight, we win. But that’s just Green Lanternism, that is. Must be something else.
gratuitous commented on the blog post Chicago Police Officer Testifies Sign Made by ‘NATO 3′ Could Be Used as Weapon Because of Screws
These clowns really should learn some new tricks. I’m reminded of the trial against Tom Mooney and Warren Billings for the bomb that went off at the Preparedness Parade in 1916 in San Francisco. Following the prosecution’s logic of the case, the bomb that exploded was both a time bomb rigged to go off at a specific time, and a concussion bomb rigged to explode on impact when thrown.
Luckily for the prosecution, their nonsensical theory of the case was lost in the law and order frenzy that Someone Must Be Punished for the bomb, and Mooney and Billings were both convicted. The problems described in this post with the chain of evidence and the weaponized sign will probably get similarly subsumed by our nationalistic fervor to Teach the Hippies a Lesson.
gratuitous commented on the blog post At ‘NATO 3′ Trial, Undercover Cop Defends Chicago Police Spying on Activist Communities
That occurred to me, as well. Ms. Chikko spent an awful lot of time, it seems, on dry holes at various concerts and events looking for criminal activity. Perhaps she would have spent her time more productively at the Mercantile Exchange? Or doesn’t that rip-off joint count as “crime” in eyes of the Chicago Police?
gratuitous commented on the blog post Female Undercover Cop Who Helped Chicago Police Target ‘NATO 3′ Testifies on Recordings at Trial
Boy, those undercover cops just have the worst luck! Time and again, particularly in the early stages of their investigations, the recording equipment isn’t working right, or they didn’t have it with them, or they left it in their other pants, and the crucial conversation where the dastardly perps revealed all their nefarious plans didn’t get taped. So we’re left to take the cop’s word for it.
Fortunately, we know that undercover cops are the very soul of honesty and perspicacity, and despite the lack of an independent record, we know we can totally trust their recollection, faultless in every way.
gratuitous commented on the blog post Trial of Occupy Activists Known as ‘NATO 3′ Begins, Defense Attorneys Focus on Police Infiltration
By some coincidence, I’m reading a book about the Haymarket bombing in 1886, and just finished reading the account of the trial of the eight men accused of conspiracy. Chicago.
I have also read “Tales of Hoffman,” an account of the Chicago 8 (originally, then Chicago 7) trial in the aftermath of the Democratic National Convention. Chicago.
And now the NATO 3. Chicago, again. And so many similarities over the last century and a half of American jurisprudence.
gratuitous commented on the blog post The More the American People Learn, the More They Disapprove of the NSA
Now, now, why bring Snowden into all this? We have been solemnly assured by our national security overlords that they were this close (my forefinger and thumb are in very close proximity to each other as I type this) beginning this whole conversation about information gathering practices when that horrible, terrible, awful, mean, no-good, very bad man went and dumped all this stuff into the public arena. And now we can’t have that good discussion that all the people at the NSA, CIA, FBI and a couple of other agencies that you know nothing about (whoops, forget you read that) wanted to have because everything’s been spoiled.
I wonder how those numbers for Democrats might change if the person in the Oval Office was, say, John McCain or Mitt Romney? This may be our last chance for quite some time to try to get a handle on an out-of-control “security” apparatus.
gratuitous commented on the blog post Elite Historian Acts as Gatekeeper of Liberalism, Attempts to Discredit Assange, Greenwald & Snowden
The binary thinking of the critics is the “tell” for me. The choice isn’t between “track every movement of every person” and “bury your head in the sand.” But the defenders of the national security state always run to the refuge of “Oh, so you think we shouldn’t do anything at all to keep America safe?” By the time you unpack that load of booshwah, the defenders have hared off down four or five other rabbit holes which amount to “You want us all to die horribly, you traitor you!”
Just a darned minute, all you librul Constitution readers and practitioners of other subversive acts. We have been solemnly assured that all of this review and reform of our national security apparatus has nothing (nothing, I tell you!) to do with anything that doggone traitor
SnowballSnowden might or might not have done. So just don’t bring that up, ’cause it’s just not true. At all.
I said the same thing around the time of the Iraq invasion/war crime, when Rumsfeld first said that of course the administration was going to put out misinformation, so as to not reveal our precious secrets to those dirty terrorists. Then a couple of days later, he scampered out to say that, of course, the administration would never, e-e-e-ever misinform, lie to, or deceive the American people. Well, it doesn’t matter which order you say those sorts of things: If you say you’re going to lie, it doesn’t matter what else you say, because it always works out to being a lie.
But I’m guessing that all these soothing words will be a great comfort to David Brooks, Chuck Todd and David Gregory, so we got that going for us.
gratuitous commented on the blog post Christie Faces HUD Investigation As Second Mayor Claims Retaliation For Non-Endorsement
I saw a clip of Gloria Borger (Borgia? Seems more appropriate) as the voice of “some people” who are saying that the timing of all this seems suspicious.
I suppose it would have been a lot more advantageous for partisan ends if all this information had seeped out in real time so that Governor Transparent could have addressed these issues during his re-election campaign. But for some reason, none of it was disclosed for months until Mr. Christie had secured another four years in the governor’s chair.
The reaction from the Republican establishment voices is just too precious to be believed. But believe it our media bulldogs do. Darn libruls!
gratuitous commented on the blog post More Christie Aides Implicated In ‘Bridgegate’ Cover Up
Isn’t that nice? The Star-Ledger reporter reaches out for a quote, and it’s “fuck them and their paper.” Then, naturally, when the story is published, Christie’s Minions can all whine about how they never got a chance to tell their side of things. What’s puzzling about this little dance is why the media outlets don’t burn the corrupt little jerks, instead bending over backwards to be sure that *now* we can hear from them, and waste a lot of time soothing their hurt feelings about the mean old media.
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