• There’s a part of me that thinks, “What, did they think they could get away with this?” Then another part of me thinks, “Hell, they didn’t think anyone would even notice! ‘Getting away with it’ wasn’t a consideration because they didn’t think they did anything wrong.”

  • gratuitous commented on the blog post To preserve (themselves) and protect (themselves)

    2014-12-16 08:22:15View | Delete

    Wouldn’t now be an opportune time for all the good cops to come out and condemn this sort of behavior? Doesn’t Det. Curd’s way with a grieving witness go against any police department’s policy?

    Or is the Code so strong that even this is written out?

  • gratuitous commented on the blog post Greenpeace Took Things Too Far With the Nazca Lines Stunt

    2014-12-15 08:26:49View | Delete

    At least Greenpeace admitted their mistake, and I’m guessing that there is no permanent damage to the protected area. Now, when are we going to get an apology from, say, a mining company for killing its workers in the name or profit, blowing the tops off mountains, and flooding downstream communities?

    I’ll pencil it in for “never.”

  • gratuitous commented on the blog post Just a “coincidence” I’m sure

    2014-12-08 08:21:11View | Delete

    “Same sex marriage.” Brutha, please! Everyone knows this is all connect to Benghazi! and the IRS scandal. Get your conspiracies right, otherwise you just look like a know-nothing goof.

    On a totally unrelated note, there’s a call holding on Line 2, some producer from Fox whose very interested in your theory that same sex marriage is causing global climate change, which totally doesn’t exist.

    Waitasecond.

  • gratuitous commented on the blog post If there’s one thing that is true

    2014-11-26 08:25:54View | Delete

    Yes, let’s all be calm. I remember counseling calm in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and you know what I got called for my trouble? Language that would make a drunk sailor blush. No, white people had been killed, some of them quite wealthy! Action must be taken! Drop some nukes in the middle east and glass that whole desert!

    My, but “calm” was not the order of the day or the week or the month or the year after that. It was all fear all the time, and Something Must Be Done lest our enemies perceive us as weak. In our society we have enemies of the citizenry who get to call the shots and run the show. Now it’s supposed to be calm. Those enemies don’t perceive the people in Ferguson as weak; no, they see them as inconsequential if they deign to notice them at all.

    So calm we must be, lest our superiors get jumpy. Since they’re the ones giving the orders, it’s imperative that we make sure they’re calm and comfortable, secure in their wealth, power and privilege.

    Fuck that, says I.

  • President Obama acting more like Candidate Obama at last. Not afraid of the scary Republican Lilliputians in Congress anymore? That would be a very salutary development for the country. Keep it up.

  • gratuitous commented on the blog post Louisiana Senate: Mary Landrieu Way Behind in New Poll

    2014-11-19 16:28:09View | Delete

    Once again, voters are asked to choose between a Republican and a Republican running on the Democratic ticket. Surprise! They’re going to choose the Republican who is at least honest enough to run on the Republican ticket.

    But don’t those Louisiana voters know there’s a big difference between the two parties? Okay, no significant discernible differences in this particular race, but there are differences. Great big wollywocking differences! For reals.

  • It always makes me prick up my ears when I hear someone mixing definite numbers with meaningless platitudes. For example, the testimony that the U.S. investigators interviewed “approximately 96 witnesses.” How do you interview “approximately” 96 people? Weren’t you keeping track? But they looked into 101 detainee cases, according to their report. Which means they interviewed less than one witness per case. I can’t say that’s very reassuring about the thoroughness of their investigations.

    On top of that, we get the mealy-mouthed formulation “the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt” as the reason for not prosecuting anyone. Words even the weaseliest weasel would hesitate to weasel. What admissible evidence are we talking about here? What evidence did you uncover that you decided all by yourself wasn’t admissible? Did the inadmissible evidence suggest further lines of inquiry, or did you just let your investigation stall out because something, something inadmissible?

    Is it unreasonable to hope for a little more Poirot and a little less Clouseau from these folks?

  • That’s it right there. I fully expect to see a free speech lawsuit and another snappy 5-4 Supreme Court decision outlining the heretofore unknown right to unlimited profit. If you can’t cash in on blowing away defenseless old men, how are we going to recruit the next generation of uniformed mercenaries?

    Okay, I know the answer to that one: Consign a majority of the population to grinding, endless poverty. Some of the young uns will get desperate enough to join the military and kill and die for the greater wealth of Charles and David Koch.

  • This is good news; I hope it will be followed by more good news.

    It occurs to me that as barbaric as we regard the beheadings carried out by those dastards in ISIS, how barbaric is it to hold someone for 12 years with no contact with the outside world, no acknowledgment of their status, tortured intermittently, before finally releasing them?

  • gratuitous commented on the blog post ISIS Advancing Towards Baghdad

    2014-10-13 07:18:26View | Delete

    Whoa, bombing them didn’t work? Must be because we didn’t bomb them enough! Violence can never fail, it can only be failed. It’s our national religion, and you’d be hard pressed to find even the most ardent fundamentalist of one of those lesser religions (the ones that talk about God and stuff, instead of the real holy relics – bombs, missiles and bullets) who shows nearly the faith in their deity as our entire nation shows when it comes to violence. We believe in violence so totally and completely that even when it appears to fail, we blame ourselves instead of the violence.

  • Geez, those ISIS guys are soooo sneaky! Whoever would have thought that they would figure out they could blunt our mighty luftwaffe by scattering and hiding when they hear a bomber approaching? Inconceivable that they figured this out on their own. Prolly a high-level spy somewhere tipping them off. Or something.

  • I’m so old, I remember when the United States used to be against indefinite detention and holding people without charge or even hope of trial. We’d call the regimes that did that “totalitarian” and condemn them in strong terms, offering the United States as a bulwark of freedom, a bastion of laws and rules independent of the ruler.

    My guess is that the poor devils in Bagram will become poor devils at Guantanamo.

  • Holy smokes, that bottom photo. It would be kind of difficult to dismiss this as a focus group, but there will surely be sages trying to paint it that way.

  • My cynical nature says, never confuse announced plans with actual plans. Yep, we’ll train them folks over there real good to kill and die for the U S and A; it’ll be over in months, if not weeks; and won’t cost a dime over whatever we appropriated (and which, unlike spending on our own citizens, doesn’t have to be paid for with cuts to, say, congressional staff).

    Now, about that bridge to Brooklyn you wanted to buy. I got the deed right here in my pocket.

  • gratuitous commented on the blog post Goldman Sachs Admits Paying Bribes To Gaddafi Regime

    2014-09-22 07:43:32View | Delete

    But it’s just so complicated to prosecute these so-called crimes. Sure, it looks like bribery and corruption, but all the fine fellows at Goldman Sachs say it wasn’t bribery and corruption, so how can a mere Justice Department attorney possibly hope to sort it all out? You’d have to be some kind of super, investigative, law-knowing person to suss it all out! Rank Green Lanternism!

  • I did notice that Congress didn’t authorize any funds, but someone said the money was already there. Curious, isn’t it? There’s always money available for blasting stuff and people to smithereens, but when it comes to taking care of our own citizens, the well has run dry.

    Interesting way to try to defuse this exploding fireworks store: Ship in more bottle rockets, M-80s and firecrackers. Brilliant!

  • Is it part of the Border Patrol’s job to gun down anyone who wanders too close to their security perimeter, even if they remain in their own country? I seem to recall we gave the people of East Berlin a lot of trouble about doing things like that for 28 years. Some hard words about totalitarian states and captive people were often uttered.

    But if it wasn’t in this guy’s job description to plink foreign nationals in their own country, why does he still have a job? I would deem this as slightly more serious than appropriating a pen for personal use or making copies of my tax return on the company Xerox.

  • Boy, don’t those folks in United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Norway* look like a bunch of prize chumps! Those think tanks would have totally cranked out position papers favorable to those countries’ issues anyway, yet they spent millions of dollars to get something they could have gotten for nothing! At least, that’s what the recipients of the largesse are saying: Our clients are overspending nincompoops.

    Seems legit.

    *Norway? Really?

  • Looking at that photo, I wonder how much it costs per month to light that McDonald’s sign versus what it costs McDonald’s per month to employ someone to flip burgers?

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