Vox: Iran nuclear deal - Conservatives have opposed every diplomatic breakthrough for decades.
“These denunciations have been brought forth against Republican presidents as well as Democrats for the simple reason that officeholders burdened with the responsibility of making actual decisions generally do need to recognize that wars are costly and unpredictable and that it is worth trying to avoid them.”
Bloomberg: What Does Harper Lee Want?.
Guardian.UK: Psychologist who warned of torture collusion gets her due.
“Former president Koocher spread false gossip about her family to try to undermine her credibility. [snip] No one in leadership stood up and protested.” Psychologists psychologizing each other. Except with nefarious purpose rather than parlor talk.
Quartz: A Dutch city is giving money away to test the “basic income” theory.
“Although working hours dropped, as skeptics had predicted, it happened mainly among young men, who instead continued their education, and mothers who used the financial freedom to focus on childrearing.” I should think one would get bored, doing nothing, and stumble into a career.
PS Mag: Colorado May Have Just Put Abstinence-Only Education to Bed Once and for All.
NPR: The Cosby Revelation - How A Decade-Old Deposition Came To Light.
“He argued that while Cosby is clearly a public figure, when he talks about issues of public policy like unwed mothers and crime, he becomes a ‘public moralist,’ which is akin to being a public servant.”
Later: Some wag makes the observation ... “Not Bill, but *Pill* Cosby.”
Bloomberg: Islamic State Is Selling Looted Art Online for Needed Cash.
Politico: On promoting democracy, Jeb breaks with George W.
I still am a bit confused; where does “spreading democracy” differ from the old, conservative-hated “becoming the world’s police force” differ? I suppose in third-party contractors.
Vox: The media’s 5 unspoken rules for covering Hillary.
Fair enough. I’ll keep those in mind.
naked cap: Will the ECB Continue Its “Sherman’s March to the Sea” with the Greek Economy?
“We need to stress that merely refusing to increase the ELA will strangle the banks and the economy, and quickly, too. The decay will not be liner and it will probably start to accelerate this week if the ECB does not relent. This is no different than Sherman’s march to the sea, when General William Tecumseh Sherman engaged in the first large-scale example of scorched earth warfare, destroying homes, crops and infrastructure on an over 300 mile swathe through Georgia.”
TechDirt: Leaked TPP Chapter Shows How It’s A Massive Gift To Big Pharma And Against Public Health.
Oppose TPP. Let your Congresspeople know. Period.
Daily Beast: Ban Everything, Learn Nothing - ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ Is Run Off The Road.
“In our culture of instant offense, we ban before we think. However, banning isn’t a sign of strength or resolve, but an admission of defeat, of showing how little we have engaged with whatever the bigger issue that belies the ban.” My italics.
Pacific Standard: ‘In the Morning, I’ll Be All Right’.
CJR: Under Spain’s gag law, covering the news could cost you.
“The so-called Citizen Security Law makes it illegal to disseminate pictures, video and other content deemed “damaging” to Spain’s police and security forces. Coinciding with a wave of demonstrations over austerity programs and bank bailouts, the law criminalizes demonstrations in front of some government agencies and public buildings, and includes stiff fines for documenting the police response.” Keeping an eye on this kind of thing.
Aeon: The allure of ISIS resembles that of Tolkien.
“... many readers, it seems, thrill to the notion of finding a king to whom they can pledge their swords without scruple or hesitation. Indeed, it is sometimes claimed that the patently adolescent politics of Tolkien’s Middle Earth represent a true and valid model for real-world humans.” Bound to ruffle some feathers.
InTheseTimes: How the TPP Will Hand Corporations the Reins to Our Government.
“Sure, corporations may still be considered people under U.S. domestic law — but under American trade policy, they get far more rights than almost everyone else.” I’ve never agreed with the ‘corporations are people’ judgment. If they were people, they’d make Scrooge look generous to a fault.
Vox: A day of global terror - horrifying attacks strike France, Tunisia, and Kuwait.
Well-expressed. Could have been much worse, yet ... without powerful and immediate international response, it likely will be.
Slate: Clarence Thomas same-sex marriage dissent: “Slaves did not lose their dignity.”
“... human dignity cannot be taken away by the government.” One can tell immediately he has never applied for welfare or unemployment. I propose a new rule - you can’t judge, legislate or litigate unless you’ve direct experience.
Naked Cap: Who was Alexander Hamilton? Militarism, High Finance and Checking the Democracy.
Civil War Memory: Removal of Confederate Flags Marks the End of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.
Hmmm. As I mentioned yesterday, I wonder what rationalizations will come forward to excuse the use of slave-built structures in Washington, D.C. [in the addendum of that post] ... you know that shoe’s gonna drop soon.
NPR: Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States.
And, I expect Roberts to hope this will mollify Conservatives over the previous ACA ruling: “But do not celebrate the Constitution. [snip] It had nothing to do with it.” Of course, he has a point. Marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution at all. His statement is perfectly ‘safe’ - too subtle for most to understand. Even most of our modern media.
Hyperallergic: Another Treasure Lost in Iraq - The Story of Mar Behnam Monastery
“The demolition of the mausoleum of Imam Yahya ibn al-Qasim and the tomb of Imam Ibn Hassan Aoun al-Din wiped out two of Mosul’s prominent medieval landmarks. When another explosion obliterated the Imam Dur mausoleum in Samarra, it wiped out the earliest example of a muqarnas dome in the world.” Not just the well-known landmarks are being destroyed. They’re blowing up *everything*.
Hyperallergic: What Should Be Done with the US’s Many Confederate Monuments?++
I understand the longstanding outrage over the symbols of a defeated racist rebellion. Hideous to have to see the pastor’s coffin pass the Confederate flag. However, this article touches on a sensitive point. You don’t change a culture in a single news-cycle. The current ‘ride-em-all-out-of-town-on-a-rail’ wave is in danger of making two very important mistakes:
One, driving the hardcore racists further underground, allowing them to stew into a more potent - and potentially lethal - broth. I’m very concerned about this.
Two, disenfranchising those Southerners who see the flag, and all associated Confederate memorabilia, as a simple differentiating point. Many see the trappings of the old Confederacy as the only method to gain attention vs. Northern ‘liberalism’ (as Southerners interpret it). They like and celebrate being “Southern,” esp. in the so-called ‘Deep South.’ What would you do, if your culture was attacked? Entrench. We all do it, on all sides of the aisle. I’m hearing “carpetbagging” by “Northern liberal elites” being bandied about, on the far edges of the ‘net.
Why is that entrenchment worrisome? As the media rages on, they’re building a voting bloc for whatever Republican decides to embrace and romanticize the symbols of Confederacy, no matter how small the gesture. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Or Perry could simply push the old Texas flag, and leverage the outrage. Even the conservative radio shock-jocks are jumping on the wagon, saying “Is the American flag next?” I think we need to tread carefully. Roof is the result of ‘thintelligence’ ... someone who lacked basic education, who retained only what was discussed in the small niches he enjoyed. I worry more about internet echo chambers and their adherents; ultimately we’re going to find they’re more lethal than old battle flags. It’s easier than ever to pick and choose facts to create a separate ‘reality’. And it’s certainly not limited to the Southern US.
Later: Here’s another problem. What do we do with the White House? The Capital? Both built with slave labor. The Custis-Lee House (Arlington National Cemetery) kept slaves. Our ‘most hallowed ground’ was slave territory. All Presidents up to Lincoln used slaves. Andrew Jackson owned 150 - should he still be on the $20 bill? Should we still be celebrating George Washington, slaveholder? Jefferson? This is not as ridiculous as it sounds. Slavery built much of this nation. It is interwoven throughout our history. I am not defending it; just recognizing it. Someone in the media will get to it eventually; I just thought I’d beat them to it.
The Nation: Bobby Jindal Broke Louisiana So Badly That Even the GOP Doesn’t Want Him.
“Things are so bad for Jindal that his constituents would rather vote for Hillary Clinton.” Hillary could use this as a textbook case of what Republican toe-the-line rule would gift to America.
LRB: Scott Ritter · ‘We ain’t found shit’.
“When Iraq finally told the truth about its weapons programmes, no one believed it. We used to joke about how often we came back from an inspection empty-handed, repeating the saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”