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  • Yes, but with respect, can one reasonably think, “just wait until this gets in front of a Federal court, and watch Top-Secret America get torn to shreds”?

    A petty sense of entitlement by judges and members of Congress may lead them to occasionally place minor speed bumps in the path of the surveillance-police-military juggernaut when it fails to pay obeisance to their ostensible role as checks and balances (though more often not), but expecting more response than that from within the system is, I think, ridiculous.

  • When you are saying something true, pure, clean and right, you often do not need many words. Like most of the Bill of Rights, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution is beautiful in its brevity. Americans may not “…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” … Such a government should be incapable of killing its own citizens without an open, public trial allowing the accused to defend him/herself.

    Jeez, if you’re going to give a lecture about it, at least read it first. The Fifth Amendment’s protections apply, without exception, to all persons, not just the sacred subspecies known as Americans. I think everyone would agree that is far from an incidental distinction these days.

  • kapock commented on the diary post F-35 Burns on Runway During Testing by williamboardman.

    2014-07-05 09:50:50View | Delete

    Good, informative piece. Thanks, williamboardman. One thing I think I’ve observed in the new millennium is that the political and media constituency for calling out the Pentagon on wasteful spending has diminished. I for one want the damn weapons systems to suck up money and fail, since at least that’s some resources not being directed [...]

  • kapock commented on the blog post If at first, and then repeatedly, you fail to succeed

    2014-07-04 05:09:30View | Delete

    Sign me up to help with the rendering.

  • kapock commented on the diary post Can We Talk About the Economics, Politics and Religion in Snowpiercer? by spocko.

    2014-07-04 01:10:25View | Delete

    The only true free market that comes to mind is actors and free-agent professional ball players.

    If by actors you mean big Hollywood stars, then maybe, but as for ball players, that’s why team owners in the big U.S. leagues invented salary caps.

  • kapock commented on the diary post Can We Talk About the Economics, Politics and Religion in Snowpiercer? by spocko.

    2014-07-04 01:02:51View | Delete

    I confess I was sorely disappointed by “Snowpiercer”. I’m a fan of the director, Bong Joon-ho, and I hope people will give it a try; I’d like it to do well, as a statement if nothing else. But for me, the film came up short in every respect, except for the claustrophobic, bone-crunching fights reminiscent [...]

  • At the risk of ruining the fun of trashing the right-wingers on the Court before they’ve even done anything, maybe spare a moment to recall the Obama Justice Department, which is actually arguing that a person wrongfully gunned down by the Border Patrol should have no remedy in U.S. courts.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Obama Uses War Powers To Send More Troops To Iraq

    2014-07-01 06:56:56View | Delete

    That was quick.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Some minds think alike

    2014-07-01 04:13:09View | Delete

    Well, as Scalia would patiently explain to you, the Original Intent of the Framers was that religious liberty should extend to the birth-control pill and IUD, but not the MMR vaccine. This was thoroughly debated in Philadelphia in 1787. Read a book, whydontcha.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Robert Gibbs To Lead National Campaign Against Teachers Unions

    2014-06-26 16:00:36View | Delete

    The War on Teachers phase does seem to be a terminal symptom of some sort for this country.

    Under the Khmer Rouge it was ended after only three years; here the prospect is only deepening darkness.

  • One thing I’ll say for Christie: leaving aside the legality, at least he’s using these funds for a legitimate public project. Within the Port Authority, I think the offsetting expenses on the NY side that allowed the Pulaski Skyway thing to slide by are mostly subsidies to build the new World Trade Center, a pure giveaway to Larry Silverstein and allied interests, with no public benefit (albeit legal).

  • kapock commented on the diary post Metropolitan Opera Censors Masterpiece by Renowned Composer John Adams by EdwardTeller.

    2014-06-20 03:45:42View | Delete

    There is perhaps no one more demanding of tolerance and understanding and sensitivity than Abraham H. Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, but he would do well to practice what he preaches and demands …

    I gave up on Foxman and his ADL when, within a short span of time, he came out against the proposed Muslim [...]

  • kapock commented on the blog post Late Night: Dramatic Bumblebee Rescue

    2014-06-15 03:31:07View | Delete

    Go bees.

  • kapock commented on the diary post Fukushima’s Children Are Dying by solartopia.

    2014-06-14 12:42:14View | Delete

    What is the quotation this post opens with taken from?

  • kapock commented on the blog post And now let this be on your conscience…add it to the tab

    2014-06-11 03:51:52View | Delete

    Cantor could’ve should’ve leveraged that: “While you’re right to want to see fewer Jews in your Virginia neighborhood, workplace, country club, etc., who aren’t doing their part apocalypse-wise, you can be assured that in Congress I am doing all I can to hasten the end of the world.”

    Which was true!

  • kapock commented on the blog post And now let this be on your conscience…add it to the tab

    2014-06-11 03:37:08View | Delete

    Your Southern fundamentalist Repub is a great admirer and supporter of Jews … in Israel, where God wants them to be.

  • kapock commented on the blog post And now let this be on your conscience…add it to the tab

    2014-06-11 03:33:30View | Delete

    Meanwhile, during his regular sweeps through Southeast Asia, Nicholas Kristof combats human trafficking by “rescuing” women who have chosen sex work over their designated niche in the globalized economy: clothing factories.

  • kapock commented on the blog post And now let this be on your conscience…add it to the tab

    2014-06-11 03:05:58View | Delete

    And how seriously do you think a bunch of frikkin’ slave masters are taking sanitary and environmental standards as they produce and reap these sea creatures by the endless ton?

    I largely gave up eating shrimp years ago, mostly because I knew that as it became a globalized commodity, the industry had taken an express elevator to the basement in terms of health and environmental conduct. I implicitly understood that lousy labor standards would be part of that picture (as they are with commodity food production in the U.S.), though clearly I was insufficiently imaginative about just what that might entail.

  • kapock commented on the blog post US Mistakenly Bombs Own Troops In Afghanistan

    2014-06-10 08:49:26View | Delete

    Nothing against DSWright, since I don’t rate this sort of trivia very highly, but Richard Engel—with his job description, profile, and paycheck—should be called out for not knowing what he’s talking about in terms of military aircraft.

    The B-1 bomber and “stealth” (i.e. B-2) bomber are totally different aircraft, so pick one. Beyond that, I doubt the plane involved in this incident was either model.

  • Thanks for the feedback, Kevin. And thanks for letting us know about this story.

    This would have been a routine case for the GWOT, Federal courts division, but with the clerk of the court being so freaked out he chipped in his own bit of Due Process deprivation, and now the judges solemnly restoring the defendant’s Constitutional rights by redoing the oral argument (a great chance for them to demonstrate to themselves and others what serious jurists they are; they sleep the sleep of the just!), we have a revealing glitch in the machinery.

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