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September 19, 2016

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Richard Nixon had a secret plan to end the Vietnam War and it's been revealed that it fully entailed hunting down Jews in the Department of Labor and in the Fourth Estate, the latter now irrelevant to Trump's lucky ducky fucky Administration, since it, the press, has beshat itself and handed over America to assholes, instead of shooting them in the head, which is its real job.

Christie rises higher in Republican estimations:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/prosecutors-christie-knew-about-bridgegate-plot

Gary Johnson pinpointed the problem: "This is what building bridges in the first place without private contractors removing people's spleens as payment for using them leads to. Now, walls are a different story, but I need to go look up the definition of wall."

Here's the future of America:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-whole-lot-of-cray-cray.html

Meanwhile....

h/t BJ

I love NYC. I'd never want to live anywhere near there again, because there are just too many people and I hate hate hate hate traffic.

But the bomb was apparently defused by some guys that saw the guy leave the suitcase, and who then removed the bomb and walked away with the suitcase.

Because hey, free suitcase!

They may hate our freedoms, but they will never defeat our resourceful scroungers.

God bless America.

Yes, but, if an armed citizen would have apprehended the thieves in the act of stealing the suitcase before they separated it from the bomb, both someone's property, and maybe shot them, the bomb would have gone off and net net we would be freer than we are right now.

Sometimes the broken windows theory of law and order leads to people being slaughtered and windows left intact. Like the neutron bomb.

It's a toss up.

The big freakout in my parts is over the unacceptable protest of the national anthem by 3 members of the Philadelphia Eagles tonight in Chicago. They held their fists in the air. This is apparently disrespectful to the police, to our veterans, and to mom, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. People are giving up on the Eagles after being ardent fans for 50 years. I'm sure they'll be peeing their pants if the Eagles make the playoffs, anyway. Feh.

Rich assholes, free college, million dollar contracts, John Carlos and Tommy Smith they aren't. Couldn't give a shit about them. Someone compared them to Muhammed Ali, what a fun king joke. He risked, jail, his whole career, his life. What a damn joke. Millennial protests. No risk just whining.

"Trump is not uniformly isolationist; he has affirmative ideas, some of which have produced effects outside his control. When he labelled Obama “the founder of ISIS,” the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah rejoiced. Its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who is allied with President Bashar al-Assad, of Syria, against ISIS, has claimed that the U.S. created extremist groups in order to sow chaos in the Middle East. Now, it seemed, Trump was confirming it. “This is an American Presidential candidate,” Nasrallah said on television. “This was spoken on behalf of the American Republican Party. He has data and documents.”'

"Millennial protests. No risk just whining."

Yeah, right up your alley, whiner:

https://alibertarianfuture.com/2016-election/gary-johnson-beats-donald-trump-among-millennials/

No risk just whining.

The guy who organized it has a charitable foundation that does a lot of good work in the community. The only people whining are butt-hurt white conservatives, AFAICT.

Still, I wouldn't compare them to Ali, either. That's silly.

51 days until America brings out the Gimp. The suspense alone could kill us:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8kPqAV_74M

And then, it'll be time to take care of business:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZrG8qPvX3Q

"No risk just whining."

Why should they have to take risks? Is protest meaningless unless you face a chance of death or injury?

And if it's risk-taking you prefer, you must love those Black Lives Matter protesters, right?

It's not like the good ol' days with the dogs and firehoses, right?

Two Islamic terrorists and two conservative (I expect they would characterize themselves as libertarians as well) terrorists arrested this week.

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-man-arrested-in-plot-to-blow-up-building-9231983.php?google_editors_picks=true


http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/fbi-operation-brings-helicopter-confusion-to-santa-fe-neighborhood/article_4fdc5967-4aaa-5d7b-a08c-b7b9ef9e2a9d.html

I'll report liberal, Democratic armed terrorists being arrested too, to be fair, soon as I locate them.

And votes are likely to count in a surprising number of states, according to 538:
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-the-top-must-win-states-for-trump-and-clinton/

(Assuming the inflated pig's bladder doesn't explode prior to polling day.)

Hillary is the real terrorist Count. Killed Kennedy, also too.

Wow, well done America. Votes counting in more states than usual? Perhaps one day you might reach the sunny uplands of *every* vote counting.

Britain is cheering for you guys, we're right behind you with our unelected House of Lords and about-to-be-gerrymandered Commons.

Are you Snarki's secret sibling, sanbikinaraion ?

Perhaps one day you might reach the sunny uplands of *every* vote counting...

Absent a change in electoral systems in either country, that's not entirely likely. As it is, an individual vote is of rather more significance in a marginal constituency or state than one in which the outcome is barely in doubt.

And the UK boundary commissioners would be very upset indeed to be accused (entirely unfairly) of gerrymandering.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering

As it is, a slightly less unfair malapportionment is likely to replace the existing malapportionment.

Absent a change in electoral systems in either country...

Wasn't that the point - a change in electoral systems?

Watch out for the great Skittle menace of '16.

Fewer constituencies produce more arbitrary results, particularly as more and more places have to be zoned weirdly to group a larger amount of people into some alleged cohesive whole. Ideally we would have 65 million constituencies and then finally attain proportional representation.

"Watch out for the great Skittle menace of '16."

I'm looking forward to the PneumoEbola Pandemic from Clinton. It sounds a lot more fun than Trump's ZikaZombies.

What do you say about people who are not "rich assholes" (ad hominem) by any stretch?

Departing from my work-compelled sabbatical--that was a nice link, HSH. Here's the problem, the intended message isn't being sent. Like so many other of our national "conversations", the nearly infinite number of sides and shades of sides talk past each other, usually out of ignorance of how their words sound in others' ears or their acts resister in others' minds. It's not the listeners' fault and it's not the senders' fault.

Free speech includes the right to rebuttal and the obligation to allow rebuttal. I'm fine with protesters, I'm not fine with protesters complaining when others disagree with their protest.

If someone expect that they can refuse to honor the flag and the ideals behind it without getting a buttload of strong reaction, there is a level of naivete there that is really no one's fault but the person who thinks they are making a point.

In following this debate, I went back read a report my dad did about his destroyer, on patrol with another US and two Australian destroyers coming under attack by kamikaze's. My dad's ship was hit in the bridge, killing the captain and 18 or so others. My dad, a very junior officer, was wounded. The ship kept on fighting. My dad was 22.

What my dad did was no big deal back then because so many other men that age and younger, and much older, all did the same thing. Any student of the civil war knows what troops on both sides did routinely that is so beyond what 99% of us will ever endure, and for them it was commonplace and for nothing tangible. Ditto Korea, Vietnam and on into modern times. From 1776 forward, men and women have died for this country because they love this country and what it stands for. Disrespecting the flag and those who fought and those who died is going to bring a reaction. And not a nice one.

If I wanted to make a point in an effective way, I think I'd find a different way of communicating. The current way won't change any minds. It will harden positions, and make reconciliation that much harder.

Back to work.

Disrespecting the flag and those who fought and those who died is going to bring a reaction.

It is not entirely clear that, even assuming (for the sake of discussion) that these protestors are disrespecting the flag, they are there-by necessarily disrespecting those who fought and those who died. That would, at absolute minimum, require them to see their actions thru the exact same lens as you do.

Personally, when I was in the military I was not there to defend the flag. I was there to defend my country. Someone using the flag (or, more accurately, the national anthem) to make a symbolic protest isn't disrespecting me. In my opinion, any veteran (or anybody else) who can not distinguish between a symbol and a reality needs to get a grip.

All that said, I have to agree with you that any protestor, on this subject or any other, has no complaint if someone pushes back. Unfortunately, an enormous portion of protestors -- left, right, and center -- seem to be oblivious to that.

All that said, I have to agree with you that any protestor, on this subject or any other, has no complaint if someone pushes back.

That depends. Are they complaining about being mischaracterized or suggestions that they have no right to protest? Are they simply pushing back in an equally (or potentially more) valid way against those who pushed back against them?

Are they saying, "You can't say that" or are they saying, "Here's why you're wrong"?

(Discussions of freedom of expression often get murky. While I have the right to suggest that someone should be thrown out of the country simply for expressing an opinion I don't agree with, I have no right to throw that person out of the country and am, in that sense, necessarily wrong - even though I can still say it. If I explain why I think that person's opinion is wrong, I may or may not be right about it. It really doesn't matter whether I started the discussion, responded to someone else who started the discussion, or responded to a response to a discussion I started. With a few exceptions, you can say whatever the hell you want, no matter how unfounded or patently stupid. There are things you can't do, and you would be wrong to say that you can do them, despite being allowed to say so, anyway.)

what wj said. If anyone is disrespecting the ideals behind the flag it's the "USA - love it or leave it" and "My country, right or wrong!" crowd.

And why is it that refusing to stand for the national anthem is somehow especially disrespectful of the military (and the police, apparently)? Last I checked it's everyone's fncking flag.

I'm not fine with protesters complaining when others disagree with their protest.

Gosh. As if we didn't know. But you know what, I'm not fine with your not being fine.

So there you go!

Freedom!

And why is it that refusing to stand for the national anthem is somehow especially disrespectful of the military (and the police, apparently)?

It's just another micro-aggression, AFAICT. ;^)

It's just so almost shocking that "conservatives" deny that black people have anything to complain about and that they're complaining in the wrong way. If it wasn't the standard way "conservatives" have always responded to minorities whenever they've tried to make their lives better, I'd be actually shocked.

Any protest that doesn't occasion a ration of complaints means the protestors aren't doing it right.

I complained when Tea Party protestors festooned themselves with the American flag as they chanted "Keep the Government Out of My Medicare", thinking maybe they could of at least used the Confederate flag, a more suitable symbol for their cause, but to no avail.

My pet peeve is the chanting of lame slogans at protests. I hate that. I'm not doing it.

Every time I hear a car salesman tell me, just as I think we've finally reached a deal, that he needs to check that out one more time with his manager and leaves me cooling my heels, and then I can read their lips from behind the glass in the manager's office as they glance out at me, I gaze at the gigantic 20' by 40' Star and Stripes rippling in the American breeze and that they haul up their flagpole in their parking lot every morning like our boys on Mount Suribachi, and I meditate on how blessed the two of them are to live in a country where I can't them sent to a gulag to have guys remove their testicles with a pair of rusty pliers.

Actually, that never happens because I'm allergic to colossally insincere displays of patriotism, and wouldn't enter such a place.

Newt Gingrich wears a flag lapel pin. I don't recall, but George McGovern probably didn't think he needed to.

Conservatives are simply defining sports stadiums as designated safe spaces. Perhaps they should consider the announcement of the National Anthem to be a trigger warning.

What my dad did was no big deal back then because so many other men that age and younger, and much older, all did the same thing. Any student of the civil war knows what troops on both sides did routinely that is so beyond what 99% of us will ever endure, and for them it was commonplace and for nothing tangible. Ditto Korea, Vietnam and on into modern times. From 1776 forward, men and women have died for this country because they love this country and what it stands for.

This is why I'm so perplexed that people are so ridiculously reluctant even to serve their country by paying taxes. People are willing to lay down their lives, but so many of us complain incessantly about writing a check.

So one person calling another a terrorist is cause to open an FBI investigation now? Perhaps I was wrong about there not being enough freaking out.

Donald Trump wears a flag lapel pin. If that's not a false flag operation, I don't know what is.

Rush Limbaugh should have a flag depicting his fat butt and the pilonidal cyst that got him out of the meat grinder called Vietnam raised over his below-sea level mansion in Palm Beach.

A more interesting discussion would be one that compares the disrespect shown to flag, country, and countrymen by the current crop of protestors and their actions, to the past 40 years of ersatz patriots with rolled-up socks down the front of their off-label army-surplus camos in the political ranks of the Republican Party and the conservative media who have misused the Star and Stripes to malign at least 50% of their countrymen at every turn, and in every political campaign, and over every political issue that's come down the pike.

Two more words: Max Cleland.

Here's plenty of flag:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNy4bQ4QZjE

A tissue of lies of course, but my favorite is conservative Republicans, the haters of Federal ownership of land in the American West, claiming Hillary Clinton is going to sell off public lands to the highest bidders.

I never understood why the citizens of the US accepted such a low quality anthem and such a trainwreck of a pledge (language-wise) and even made the latter worse in an ill-advised attempt to improve on it.
So many available good choices of songs and so easy a task to reformulate that pledge to bring actual meaning and text in concurrence but nothing gets done.
Well, at least the flag is nice.

I'd vote for a retexted version of Battlecry of Freedom btw*. Romney spoiled America the beautiful beyond repair.

*listening to several different interpretations showed me that it can be sung in very different styles without doing violence to the tune, a clear extra advantage.

It's un-American of you to criticize our anthem and pledge, Hartmut (though it may well be positively German to do so). :^)

Here's a protest bout a week ago involving American flags and two prominent Americans in a cage:

http://juanitajean.com/i-can-figure-stuff-out/

Imo the (half)continent to your South has the best anthems to offer.
I would not have minded, if we had taken the Trizonesia Song for real ;-)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wir_sind_die_Eingeborenen_von_Trizonesien
It was your country btw that cured us of flag worshipping and at least I am grateful for that.

I'm fine with protesters, I'm not fine with protesters complaining when others disagree with their protest.

I'm fine with others disparaging the content of someone's protests. More than fine, even; it's on the same moral plane as the protests. I'm not fine with people disparaging the act of protesting. I am extra-not-fine with people disparaging the act of protesting because it's being executed in a manner insufficiently reverent to nationalistic icons.

Having said that, McK is absolutely right that you'd have to be a fool not to expect pushback. Which suggests either that the protestors are fools, or that they concluded that there was no less provocative form of protest that wouldn't immediately be assigned to the memory hole.

There is no place where the American flag is used for malign purposes like a Trump rally. If you count the number of flags waving at one of those, you'll come up a pretty good estimate of the number of times you will have the shit beaten out of you for exercising your First Amendment remedies.

I mean, lookee here, Trump actually steals from his own charities to pay off legal fines as a result of a flag pole, which given the proportions of the rest of him, was probably too small for the city fathers of Palm Beach:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/trump-foundation-involved-yet-more-corruption

See, the Clinton Foundation would be spending money on Commie flags and ISIS flags for the White House Christmas celebration, not messing with the American flag.

There is no place where the American flag is used for malign purposes like a Trump rally. If you count the number of flags waving at one of those, you'll come up a pretty good estimate of the number of times you will have the shit beaten out of you for exercising your First Amendment remedies.

I mean, lookee here, Trump actually steals from his own charities to pay off legal fines as a result of a flag pole, which given the proportions of the rest of him, was probably too small for the city fathers of Palm Beach:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/trump-foundation-involved-yet-more-corruption

See, the Clinton Foundation would be spending money on Commie flags and ISIS flags for the White House Christmas celebration, not messing with the American flag.

I never understood why the citizens of the US accepted such a low quality anthem

Hartmut, you have to bear in mind that the tune is from an old English drinking song ("To Anacreon in Heaven"). To actually sing it, it's almost mandatory that your vocal cords be very well lubricated.

Americans have, from the beginning, been strongly in favor of such lubrication. So what could be more appropriate?

you have to bear in mind that the tune is from an old English drinking song ("To Anacreon in Heaven").

And how many american songwriters were laid off for this outsourcing?!!?

How many folks were able to make a living writing songs in the early 1800s? I seem to recall that was a while before vaudeville (let along Broadway) really got going....

But maybe we should save/bring back those jobs by closing the border to music. Tough on our world-leading music export industry, but then trade restrains always have losers as well as winners.

NV: ...or that they concluded that there was no less provocative form of protest that wouldn't immediately be assigned to the memory hole.

The Count: Any protest that doesn't occasion a ration of complaints means the protestors aren't doing it right.

Two different ways of making a point I intended to make but forgot about while typing other points I was trying to make.

I didn't take McKinney's comment to be concern trolling, but I think it could be taken that way, short of suggesting, in good faith, a more effective method of protest.

And it's not always about changing minds. Sometimes it's about motivating enough people who already agree with you by letting them know you agree with them and they don't have to go it alone. Or it can be about revealing to them that there are people who they actively need to oppose - the ones who react badly when you suggest that your concerns should matter.

Call it activating latent support for your cause.

Why the fnck do we even have the national anthem at entertainment that features kids games played by adults anyways?

Because, during WW II, the sports industry felt like they had to make a show of patriotism.

I'm always bemused by the fact that those who babble on most about "The land of the free" support compulsory "patriotism" according to their particular lights. If you have to force people to be "patriotic" in a certain way, you don't really understand freedom.

FWIW, I find myself largely and unexpectedly in agreement with Jesse Ventura, though when I was in the Army we were taught to salute with our right hand.

So it's marketing? Figures.

So it's marketing? Figures.

That's funny this is where you ended up. I was going to respond to your question with, "It's marketing" before I was rudely interrupted by work.

Killed Kennedy, also too.

And before him, Mary Jane Kopechne.

support compulsory "patriotism" according to their particular lights

Not so much that, I suppose, as observe where patriotism fails to manifest.'

But, y'know, first amendment rights have their downside.

I have never really been able to wrap my head around the idea of mandated patriotism. It seems like mandating loving one's spouse -- you would like it to happen on its own, but if it doesn't orders won't make it happen. In fact, trying to give orders is likely to make the situation worse.

But perhaps what is really meant is mandating ways of expressing patriotism. That is, you either show your patriotism in the way that is wanted, or get declared unpatriotic and shown the door. Which is fine if you are convinced that you are the possessor of the one and only correct view of how things should be done . . . and sufficiently arrogant to think that your view won't lose out to someone else's view. Karma can be a bitch -- even if you are politically correct enough to say it as "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."

NV, you have been missed a great deal, many discussions would have benefited from your input.

Count, thanks for the Mother Jones link. Surely, sometime soon, preferably by the debates, the mainstream media will pick up on this stuff properly. One can hope.

I'm always bemused by the fact that those who babble on most about "The land of the free" support compulsory "patriotism" according to their particular lights. If you have to force people to be "patriotic" in a certain way, you don't really understand freedom.

Dr Ngo, this is so completely true and right. It should really replace the pledge of allegiance.

I should have said (it got lost in the edit) the last sentence should really replace the pledge of allegiance.

McK is absolutely right that you'd have to be a fool not to expect pushback.

This is ridiculous. Have any of these protestors expressed the idea that they did not expect pushback?

Show me.

Pushback:

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/17597992/colin-kaepernick-san-francisco-49ers-says-gotten-death-threats-protest-national-anthem

"If someone expect that they can refuse to honor the flag and the ideals behind it without getting a buttload of strong reaction, there is a level of naivete there that is really no one's fault but the person who thinks they are making a point."

lol

You think they're refusing to honor the flag because they think it WON'T provoke a strong reaction?

I'm not sure you have quite yet grasped the purpose of protesting.

May I suggest starting with "Parting the Waters" by Taylor Branch?

There's "protest" and there's "demonstration", and there's a reason the language of Shakespeare and Twain has both those words in it.

You can "protest" more or less privately, but unless you "demonstrate" your protest before a large audience composed of easily-offended piety-mouthing "conservatives" who value ritual over substance then you are "doing it wrong" to quote The Count.

Sure, the easily-offended piety-mouthing "conservatives" who value ritual over substance will "push back". That's the whole point: you get them to nail their colors to the mast and, possibly, go down with the ship of smug self-satisfaction.

I have mentioned this before: the movie "1776" contains one of the great lines of all time, spoken by the John Adams character.

"This is a revolution, dammit. We have to offend somebody."

--TP

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