Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Wednesday, 23 January 2008 at 18h 3m 51s|
Court say A-Okay to steal
Yesterday, the supreme court ruled 5-4 that Officers employed by the Federal Government are immune
from being sued when property belonging to someone else gets lost or stolen. Here is the first
sentence of the New York Times job on the story.
Federal law enforcement officers are immune from lawsuits for mishandling, losing or even stealing
personal property that comes under their control in the course of their official duties,
[SOURCE: Linda Greenhouse | New York
Times | 23 January 2008]
Justice Kennedy wrote a dissent for the minority, while Ruth Ginsberg turned out to be the swing
vote. The New York Times doesn't give you the Dissent. You have to go to the Washington Post for
that relevant information.
The confusion in the courts comes because the immunity is mentioned in a section of the law that
blocks lawsuits against the government over the "loss of goods, merchandise or other property"
detained by customs or excise officers. The law then adds "or any other law enforcement officer."
... Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the dissent for the rest of the court. He said the court was
wrong not to look at the context of the statute -- that it related to customs rather than prisons --
and said the implications of the decision were great.
"The seizure of property by an officer raises serious concerns for the liberty of our people and
the Act should not be read to permit appropriation of property without a remedy in tort by language
so obscure and indirect," Kennedy wrote.
[SOURCE: Robert Barnes | Washington
Post | 23 January 2008]
And that's the point. The context of the law is always important. When customs agents seize goods
from merchants and/or illegal operations, can they be sued when the stuff they seize disappears or
gets stolen? This is a quite different scenario than a prisoner transferring from a Georgia
Penitentiary to a Kentucky Prison who has his stuff stolen in the transit. The stuff was not part
of a group of illegal items that were seized, the stuff was personal property. Justice Kennedy has
makes a very good point.
link to the supreme court docket where the Ali case PDF of the court opinions exists.
We now have a court which liberally interprets laws out of context to serve the masters who put
them on the court.
~ ~ ~
A Note on the difference in the 2 articles. The Washington Post article is much more
informative. The New York Times piece (probably given to a rookie reporter, and probably
ruthlessly edited) gives you the impression that the decision was just a minor update of
interpretation of an ambiguity. The Times article doesn't give the reader the necessary background
information of the court case, or the various issues involving the interpretations of the law .
Lesson #23,567 : Never rely on only one source of information.
|Tuesday, 22 January 2008 at 20h 51m 47s|
21.9% of US children in poverty
[SOURCE: | Economic Policy
Institute | 19 July 2006]
The dark horizontal bars represent after welfare, food stamps, and tax deductions are included.
The light bars represent before these various government transfer payments (subsidies from tax
revenue) are included.
26.6% of our children live in poverty before government programs are included; 21.9% are still in
poverty after such payments are included. Oh my god. That's somewhere between 20% to 25% of the
kids. And as a measure of relativity, notice the bar on the bottom. That is the average percent
of all the countries except the U.S. Our percentage of child poverty after government assistence
is greater than the average of all the other countries combined.
It's pathetic is what it is. We can blow 2 trillion dollars on national disaster in Iraq, but we
can't just make a life-long financial investment in every citizen's education from pre_K to Post-
Bac. Instead, we prefer to deal with the social consequences as the costs of frustrated young
people who manage to scrap by working a service-related job. Some might manage a few years at a
community college, only to still find themselves in the service sector 10 years later. It would be
a better allocation of resources to fund opportunity for our young people. Some of the investment
will get wasted, but then nothing is ever 100%. But unlike the Iraq debacle, all of the money
would be invested in the USA, rather than line the pockets of the Defense contractors. And then
what? Did the invasion beget a "more stable" middle east? Did it "secure" a stable oil supply?
Ha. We have to pay the Sunni Sheiks each $100 a day to not raise up the fight against the US
troops. Do a google yourself, if you don't believe me. That's how despicable this whole thing is
to me. The wasted lives and the wasted funds are disgraceful.
|Tuesday, 22 January 2008 at 17h 57m 9s|
My oil painting
The above is the oil painting I've been working on for 4 years now. Or rather, the place where I
stopped and put the painting down is 4 years ago.
I don't know why I just stopped, or why it has
been four years, but it has something to do with a certain struggle with the universe that I've
been having over the last 4 years. I get disappointed very easily by the actions of others (and
myself -- it works both ways) when I feel things don't happen the way I'd like. People will
disappoint you in life, and you still have to wake up and be that great pleasant guy everyone loves.
So what I did was hibernate. I closed off the world and escaped, or tried to, but since there is
escape, all I really did was vegetate into oblivion. Yet nothing ever really numbs the
disappointment, and instead you just dig a deep lonely hole that you don't think you'll ever get
Well, about 3 months ago, I finally got the courage to stop digging. I am currently getting the
layers of dirt out of my eyes, and I'm finally starting to deal with a lot of things that I just
buried. I tried to stop the feelings, but of course, they never go away. Now, I accept the pain,
and try to better understand the origins and the most beneficial reactions. I also realized that
else is fucked up too, and started channeling my innate curiousity into pondering everyone's unique
contribution to fucked-upp-ed-ness.
As you can see, the painting is only 2 to 3 hours away from being complete. All I really need to
finish the sky, and I couldn't finish the sky in the last four years, because there was no blue sky
in my life. My best friend killed himself 3 years ago. My home town was destroyed 2 years ago,
and I was going through something close to a mid-life crisis while avoiding a host of related
issues. My way to handle these various issues was also unhealthy. I couldn't feel the blue when my
horizons were colored with grey.
I just bought a whole new bunch of paint, new paint-brushes, and new jugs of Linseed oil and
Mineral spirits. Hope has sprung from the once frozen earth.
|Monday, 21 January 2008 at 10h 46m 31s|
Why California has a $10 billion budget hole
The short story: it is Governor Schwartzeneger's own damn fault.
There are several areas where the Governor, with his current goals and agenda--on the budget, health care, and other issues--is
hamstrung by his previous policy stances.
• Many have made the point that today's budget crisis yielding $10 billion in budget cuts is a direct result of his early actions. He
reduced the vehicle license fee, which in the current budget year creates a $6.1 billion hole (booked as state spending because of
the county backfill). There's another $3 billion that we are paying to service the debt he create with his bond package--a decision
he made rather than to either raise revenues or make additional cuts. So that's over $9 billion right there. If he had made
different decisions, he wouldn't be in the whole he is in today.
[SOURCE: Anthony Wright | California Progress Report | 21
|Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 9h 18m 23s|
Just another day of death and mayhem in Iraq
FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Jan 20
20 Jan 2008 14:22:55 GMT
[SOURCE: | Reuters | 20 January 2008]
Jan 20 (Reuters) - The following are security developments in Iraq at 1400 GMT on Sunday.
The surge is working, damn it. Can you believe these ungrateful Iraqis attacking their "liberators" ? Had they risen up against
mean old Saddam back in 2003, we wouldn't have had to invade Iraq and post troops all over their country for the next 20 years.
Keep in mind that after the end of World War Two when American troops were stationed in Germany and Japan, NOT ONE
AMERICAN SOLDIER WAS KILLED IN ACTION.
If the Iraqi's want us to leave, why are we still in the country performing security operations? The nation is no more stable or any
less corrupted by our insistence on remaining.
|Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 2h 7m 46s|
The bloviating press corps
...Andrea Mitchell is still at it. She calls the Nevada outcome, based on their exit polls showing
African Americans going for Barack in a big way while women and "Latinos" going for Hillary, as
a "historic divide" within the party, and "not something that any Democrat would want to see."
That's right - it's nothing but doom and gloom from Mrs. Alan Greenspan at the sight that women and
Hispanics go for Hillary while African Americans go for Obama.
Can I just say how much I deeply detest the frauds on TV, the ones like Andrea Mitchell - among
First of all, if Sen. Obama☼ is the great uniter that he claims to be, isn't it more than
reasonable to think that he would unite behind the eventual Democratic nominee (if Sen. Clinton☼
wins the nomination) and get his supporters to do the same? Does anyone seriously believe that a
charismatic Democrat who says he can unite Republicans and Independents with Democrats cannot unite
Democrats with other Democrats?
Secondly, what is more important here is the fact that the "stars" in the media - those who get
paid undeservedly princely sums to pontificate ignorantly and spread lies and division - routinely
keep people uninformed. I wrote earlier that despite the Rev. Jesse Jackson having gotten historic
primary wins in the 1984 and 1988 Presidential campaigns - a generation earlier - many in the media
have repeatedly ignored that to create the false impression that Sen. Obama's campaign was uniquely
[SOURCE: | theleftcoaster.com | 19
Over the last week, the Chronicle has pushed the race theme by offering Carla Marinucci and
piece of shit "political analyst" Joe Garofoli to pathetically assert that Hillary and Obama lost
all the progress they
made over the weekend because they handled "race" inadequately during the debate.
The front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination realized something in the past week:
Talking clumsily about race in America is the quickest way to turn off new voters and silence the
buzz generated in the early weeks of the campaign.
[SOURCE: Carla Marinucci & Joe Garofoli | San Francisco
Comical | 17 January 2008]
That was the opening paragraph to the politicalese that passes for journalism these days. And this
story was on the front god damn page. There
was nothing substantive in the entire article, and plenty of speculation. If you read the entire
article, the piece moves to conjecture about what young
voters will do to a statement of campaign personality, before highlighting one selected voter
experiencing the sub-prime mortgage pain (a daughter's mother died and missed only one payment, the
month she died), followed by mentioning a Bill Clinton speech which
discusses a policy position on how to address the mortgage crisis, followed of course with the
typical Republican excuse to do nothing while destroying the government of the people ....
Clinton told the crowd his wife "believes we should freeze all forecloses for 90 days" and work
with lenders on policies that would protect homeowners who are faithfully making payments.
In the meantime, "the most expensive thing we can do is to throw all of you out of your homes," he
said. "If we allow this to take its course, it will cost us far more." He said that, according to
estimates, "the net cost to society is a quarter million dollars every time you foreclose on a
That, he said, is "the dumbest thing we can do."
Republicans are dubious that Sen. Clinton's proposals to solve the mortgage crisis would work.
"The changes Sen. Clinton proposes to deliver would result in massive tax hikes, government-run
health care and weakened national defense," said Republican National Committee spokesman Paul
Lindsay. "As long as she and her surrogates attempt to mislead voters on these critical issues,
Clinton will continue to lack the trust that Americans expect in their commander in chief."
Surrogates. Misleading voters. Lacking the trust of America. All topics the Republicans know very
well. Plus the usual boogeyman of "massive tax hikes". Because you see, not only do Republicans
make excuses to permit massive corruption and moral depravity, they also refuse to pay for it.
|Sunday, 20 January 2008 at 1h 7m 49s|
Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson
This is first hand history, from Bill Moyers.
Bill Moyers, who was Lyndon Johnson’s press secretary from 1965-1967, gives his perspective on
the “tempest in a teapot” of the Hillary vs. Obama media brawl over LBJ and MLK:
As the pressure intensified on each side, Johnson wanted King to wait a little longer and give him
a chance to bring Congress around by hook or crook. But Martin Luther King said his people had
already waited too long. He talked about the murders and lynchings, the churches set on fire,
children brutalized, the law defied, men and women humiliated, their lives exhausted, their hearts
broken. LBJ listened, as intently as I ever saw him listen. He listened, and then he put his hand
on Martin Luther King’s shoulder, and said, in effect: “OK. You go out there Dr. King and keep
doing what you’re doing, and make it possible for me to do the right thing.” Lyndon Johnson was no
racist but he had not been a civil rights hero, either. Now, as president, he came down on the side
of civil disobedience, believing it might quicken America’s conscience until the cry for justice
became irresistible, enabling him to turn Congress. So King marched and Johnson maneuvered and
[SOURCE: Nicole Belle | CrooksandLiars.com | 19 January
SOURCE: Bill Moyers Journal | 18 January 2008]
|Saturday, 19 January 2008 at 9h 34m 7s|
How bad is the economic situation?
The US stock market is off to one of its worst starts in history, credit is shrinking, and home prices are declining at rates
never seen before. The current credit and housing crises have been on the front pages of even non business newspapers since last
summer. It’s a mess out there. At the same time, our nation’s leaders in Washington are still assuring Americans that they are
monitoring the situation closely and will be ready to act in order to avoid any negative consequences of the current credit crisis.
What are they waiting for?
Several months into this episode, the lack of decisive action is unnerving and apparent to even the most casual investor. This is a
real crisis of confidence. No matter what your opinion of the proper steps, if any, that are needed, there is no denying the fact that
financial markets hate uncertainty. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what they are getting.
[SOURCE: | Bespoke Investments | 19 January 2008]
|Wednesday, 16 January 2008 at 22h 24m 27s|
In case you don't know, Turkey has essentially occupied parts of Northern Iran. But fear not, according to Le Monde:
"NOTRE SEUL OBJECTIF EST D'ÉLIMINER LES TERRORISTES"
"Nous espérons que ce combat contre le terrorisme s'achèvera bientôt mais nous ne savons pas combien de temps il va encore
durer", a déclaré, lundi, le premier ministre turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, depuis Madrid, où il se trouve pour le premier forum de
l'Alliance des civilisations. Il a ajouté que le seul objectif de son pays était d'éliminer les 4 000 "terroristes" du Parti des
travailleurs du Kurdistan.
Depuis décembre, l'armée turque a mené contre le PKK quatre raids aériens avec l'aide des services de renseignement américain
et une opération terrestre d'ampleur limitée dans le nord de l'Irak.
[SOURCE: | Le Monde (Reuters) | 15 January 2008]
Here is my translation."Our sole objective is to eliminate the terrorists. We hope that the fight against terrorism will end soon
but we don't know how long we will remain here [in Iraq]," declared the Turkish Prime Minister on Monday from Madrid, where
Prime Minister attended a forum for the Alliance of civilizations. He added that the sole objective of his nation was to eliminate
some 4,000 "terroristes" of the Workers Party of Kurdistan.
Since December, the turkish army has made 4 aerial raids against the PKK with the assistance of American reconnaissance, and
also pursues an limited operation on land in Northern Iraq.
In other words, as soon as Turkey destroys the unfavorable Political Party and install a friendly (corruptible) government.
|Wednesday, 16 January 2008 at 20h 34m 47s|
The insane asylum
I was hanging out with a new friend of mine last night. She is pretty kookie, but also genuine and cool. A friend of mine named
Liam would say "Krazy Kool". She tends to talk about "Jesus" a little more often than I normally would, so I told her this ex tempore
while we sat talking at this restaurant.
"A long time ago God was in a mental asylum, because everyone misunderstood him. Then one day he escaped, and ever since then
he only reveals himself in small hints or clues. As soon as you reach for and try to isolate God, he's gone, because if he ever
revealed himself, they'd put him in an insane asylum again."
I really am not sure what that means exactly, but seeing as it came out of my mouth, I should know.
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