The Nation: The GOP’s War on Voting Is Working.
If’n you wanna get mad.
Guardian.UK: Trump may have broken law by seeking foreign political donations.
Oy vey. What a nerk.
TechDirt: Texas Judge Indicted For Making Secret 10-Year Deal With Red Light Camera Co.
“Cameras have issued tickets to walls, parked vehicles, and many, many drivers obeying all traffic laws. Millions of dollars of refunds have been paid out by municipalities who once thought they’d have to do nothing more than sit back and let the cash roll in.” These things need to be removed from service. End of story. It would be just as fair to put a randomize script on the City’s events page, and send out bills.
New Yorker: The Politics of the Benghazi Report.
“Whether or not that is a tactical error for the Republicans, it is a loss for rational discourse.” By focusing on the tree, they lost the forest. A whole lot of 20/20 hindsight and armchair quarterbacking. No revelations.
ArtDaily: You can now sing ‘Happy Birthday’ free of charge.
Never occurred to me that it was under copyright restrictions. This could have been a powerful motivator for change in copyright duration, if used in a campaign.
Independent.UK: Jesse Williams gives powerful BET Awards acceptance speech on racism in America.
Ironic that even the Brit Independent can’t parse his speech correctly. See if you can spot it - “critique of our impression”, not “critique of our oppression.” Underlines the problem, IMHO. Noone’s really listening.
TPM: SCOTUS Rules 5-3 In Favor Of Abortion Rights In Major Texas Case.
I can’t be impartial here. Once one has seen/experienced the horror of cephalic disorders [nightmare-producing; don’t click if sensitive], one knows the absolute, inviolable necessity of abortion, ‘late term’ abortion, and women’s right to control their own bodies.
Later: This will, of course, turn the volume knob to ‘11’ for conservatives over the Presidential election. Justice choice will become the ‘excuse’ to vote for a miserable, unqualified candidate. Mark my words. At least, for the next couple of weeks.
AP: Clinton Failed to Hand Over Key Email to State Department.
Since when did AP go right-wing? I understand the issues, but this sounds like it was written by GOPAC back in the day.
Hollywood Reporter: Led Zeppelin Wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Jury Trial.
After the “Blurred Lines/Marvin Gaye” trial, I suspected something awry. Digging further - and it’s hard to find - the attorney for Spirit is a bit of a nut, and threw his net way too wide. If he’d limited his argument to “Stairway/Spirit” *alone*, he likely would have won. He may appeal.
Question is ... virtually all of Zep is 12-bar blues. Yet everyone using that historical progression has copyrighted their individual works. How is that any different?
Music’s just gonna get more interesting.
Guardian.UK: Graffiti artist banned from 20% of US [‘Creepytings’, Casey Nocket].
“A graffiti artist has been banned from all national parks and other federally administered land – that’s more than 20% of the US – for vandalism after Reddit users tracked her down on social media. Casey Nocket was also sentenced to 200 hours of community service and a fine for drawing faces in acrylic paint in at least six national parks: Death Valley, Colorado National Monument, Canyonlands, Zion and Crater Lake.” Good. Should have been more community service, IMHO, but they had multiple jurisdictions to deal with.
FishbowlNY: NY Times - NRA Is Complicit in Terrorism.
I think the boldness of the NY Post is forcing forthrightness at the Times. That’s a good thing. A salutary aspect of 80’s/90’s Manhattan was simple matter-of-factness.
ProPublica: An Unbelievable Story of Rape.
Long. Stick with it until the end. An amazingly well-written bit of journalism.
Aeon: Free speech is vital to human flourishing, but it’s in a decade-long slump.
TPM: Gingrich - Let’s Create New Version Of House Un-American Activities Committee.
Wait. Wait. WHAT?!!!!!
Techdirt: Both Trump And Clinton Suggest Expanding Mass Surveillance, Bogus Watch Lists.
Slate/Trumpcast: Is Trump helping to invite terrorist attacks?
Of course he is. (Didn’t bother listening to the podcast, just using this as a lever). Just a month or so ago, he said: “There will be attacks that you wouldn’t believe. There will be attacks by the people that are right now coming in to our country.” There is a Manson-like psychopathy here. Inflammatory dialog begs for response.
Looking for sense in a nonsensical world.
Orlando. Everyone is dividing themselves across the ‘usual suspect’ issues. You come here for sense, I do my best to deliver. I see three problems, more than any others:
1. Acculturative stress, and the experience of first- and second-generation immigrants.
2. Military-grade weapons being available for sale.
3. Self-radicalization via internet.
The first, the stressors on immigrants and their children in the US, is significant and unrecognized in these crises. Growing up in my hometown of Princeton, we had a significant number of immigrants, first and second generations, all having a difficult time between living in American culture of the period and remaining ‘true’ to their original cultural heritage. This link is not the greatest, but it’s the best I can find in a short period of time. Dig further, if you’re interested. This time it was a gay nightclub; next time it could be a concert, a play, a sports event, a school ... anything that defies an ‘old world’ belief or custom.
The second I’ve discussed before. The Founding Fathers never intended citizens to own military-grade weapons. The Second Amendment talks of militia, citizens who are not professional soldiers. Howitzers were stored at Springfield Armory after the Revolution, not parked in front yards. The ‘advanced’ Charleville muskets (supplied by France) were returned to the military after the Revolution, not taken home and hung over the fireplace. Further - and I cannot find it online right now - read the personal correspondences of major political players in the Whiskey and Shays Rebellions. Washington himself felt that armed and angry citizens were too much of a risk to the new government, whereas nutty old Jefferson (isolated with his books up at Monticello) felt occasional bloodshed was a ‘good thing’. The majority agreed that citizens should not have access to the stores at the Armory. Rebels were driven off, disbanded, prosecuted.
The third is also being virtually ignored. One can’t shut off the firehose of the internet. The ability of disgruntled people to build walls around themselves to keep out reality is nearly infinite. Bad enough our crazy militias with their supposed strict-Constructionist interpretations. Elements from outside the US are not only aiming for young Muslims, but going for Black Lives Matters and other cultural protestors. Convincing them that the only way to change culture is through violence.
Bottom line: Psychological stress and irresponsibly easy access to high-powered weaponry are a murderous combination. Psychological care is, illogically, divorced from governmental health care insurance ... as if it is not a true ‘health’ issue. And guns ... well, you know my take on that. If every LGBT person in America joined the NRA (you don’t even have to own a gun), they could change the direction of the organization. NRA has ~5 million members, there are ~9 million LGBT in America. It would take planning, but it could be done. I laugh, visualizing the impact. Nonviolent political change. Imagine that.
Later: Hill and I seem to be on the same wavelength. My concern is, eliminate the threat overseas, they could simply shift their angst to the internet and continue to harry Western Civ at home.
Guardian.UK: Rancher on horseback lassoes would-be bike bandit in Walmart parking lot.
Techdirt: New York Times Says Fair Use Of 300 Words Will Run You About $1800.
FYI. I asked in 2000 via direct phone call about blogging excerpts. They said (NY Times, WaPo): “Source identified clearly, no more than three sentences and a link back.” I’ve pretty much tried to stick to that policy throughout my blogging career. Perhaps it is time for another phone call.
Guardian.UK: Hillary Clinton celebrates ‘milestone’ victory but Sanders refuses to quit.
Congratulations, Ms Clinton. History has been made. She won it fair and square (as fair and square as the system is, at present). As you know, I don’t believe she’s a strong candidate - she was beaten by a freshman with a teleprompter the last time around, and almost lost it to a grey-haired socialist this time. But there’s a great deal of sour grapes, childish to the extreme, being batted around the social media. I have no intention of adding childiotic fuel to the fire. I remain surprised Sanders performed as well as he did throughout this race. Given his nearly-unbelievable weakness in foreign policy, he’s not been what I’d call a ‘strong’ candidate either. (I’ve been of the opinion that we could solve November’s contest with one question: Give the candidates an unlabelled map, and have them point to which country they believe is Syria. The one who identifies it correctly is President.)
The question is, what does Bernie want? Other than to win without the required votes? He can’t win. Even if the email scandal brings down an indictment, there are no guarantees that the DNC will allow Sanders to run in her stead. He’s burning bridges with alacrity, at this date. His followers are bitter, angry. I don’t know how (or if!) this group can be reassimilated into the whole. Politico has one hell of a piece up today. Read it. Even that, followers won’t accept as reality (or trustworthy!). Bernie was the great hope of the economically beaten-down. That hope is now shattered. A whole lot of sad, angry despairing Democrats today. Be gentle. Bernie is the only one who can pick up the pieces. Can or will he move from potential candidate to statesman and rise above? He has a powerful movement at his fingertips. I hope it is not squandered.
On another note, the Republicans just blew it in California.
TechDirt: Another Court Says Law Enforcement Officers Don’t Really Need To Know The Law.
WaPo: Why Americans are giving up citizenship in record numbers.
Not necessarily Trump. Read on.
The Atlantic: For-Profit Colleges’ Students Wind Up Earning Less Than If They Had Never Enrolled.
I expected this. I’ve told the story of the young lady, who worked for a client of mine. She spent all her time trying to underline that she had “college level” Powerpoint skills, gained at one of the for-profit colleges. After a few encounters, and trying to truly understand how a university or college could require Powerpoint skills, I mentioned and showed Lynda.com. She was somewhat gobsmacked. The justifications increased, however, as the insecurity rose over her investment; pity and sympathy kept me civil through the relationship. Very difficult for the folks who were sold a pig in a poke.
Photo Attorney: YIKES! Photos Go Into Public Domain for Entering Photo Contest.
“Every photo entry received as part of the contest becomes property of the Tahoe National Forest and will be considered as public domain to prevent copyright infringement. The forest will have non-exclusive, unlimited use of the photo(s).” Yeah, pretty much you want to really read the fine print on ANY photo-contest.
Daily Beast: Confederate Flag Loses More Hallowed Ground as US House Votes to Ban Flag in VA Cemeter
“It is likely that the Senate will follow the House’s vote on Confederate flag at VA cemeteries and limit even further the right to display it on public property. We may not be far from a time when the only place that you can display a Confederate battle flag is on the back of a pick-up truck.”