Reuters: Obama vows ‘do everything I can’ to close Guantanamo.
Mashable: Texas plumber baffled after truck ends up in the hands of Syrian rebels.
What’s more disconcerting is that no commercial - or national security - sources seem to know how these trucks ended up in terrorist hands. I hope reporters follow up on this, find the paper/shipment trail.
TechDirt: Tennessee Town Passes Policy Banning Negative Comments About The Town’s Government.
Well. Does TechDirt moderate comments? I can’t tell from their site. I’m not defending the town, mind you. But another article on TechDirt quotes this opinion in positive manner: “I do delete comments from time to time. If I notice them and they are ‘excessively violent’ or ‘harassing’ or ‘otherwise objectionable,’ I delete them. Why? First, its my blog, so my fucking rules. You have a right to express yourself, but not necessarily here.” My italics.
Everyone loves the First Amendment until it ends up bristling and ugly in their own comments section or social channels.
I come down on the side of, “If tax money is being used to support those sites, then any taxpaying citizen can comment.”
NY TImes: Dershowitz Seeks to Bring Close to Polanski Case.
Shenanigans in ‘08 shouldn’t trump what occurred in ‘77. They’re a separate issue.
ArtDaily: Native American sacred masks sold by the Eve auction house in France despite protests.
“While the sale of sacred Indian artefacts has been outlawed in the United States since 1990—legislation which has allowed the tribe to recover items held by American museums in the past—the law does not extend to sales overseas.”
US News: Cow Bolts Butcher Shop, Police Give Chase.
Emblematic of today’s police response. You’re telling me that, in *Idaho*, they couldn’t find a single cowboy with roping skills? Apparently the only other option is ... as usual ... shoot to kill.
Vox: Bill Cosby’s wife invoked the Rolling Stone sexual assault story to defend him.
This just gets more distasteful by the hour. First, he pulls the race card (“the black media needs to stay neutral”); now she pulls the “rape allegation” card.
Slate: Dick Cheney defends CIA’s torture.
Hmmm. And cast that Administration’s actions against the Nuremberg principles. “The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.” We have judged others by these rules; how can we not judge of ourselves?
ABC News, 2012: Guantanamo Bay - Still Open, Despite Promises.
Trolling back to what we were sold in ‘08. Those campaign promises, as piecrusts ...
BBC News: Angelina Jolie: US must lead on torture policy.
“We can’t expect to break certain rules and behave in a certain manner and [believe] that won’t affect the way other people behave and won’t encourage how other people behave. So if we are to be who we represent ourselves to be as Americans and as a democracy, we have to lead the way and handle ourselves in a manner which is respectful to other human beings.” It has struck me as wrong, for so many years now, that we have to rely on entertainers to say the things we wish our politicians would.
naked cap: Elizabeth Warren - Remarks on Citigroup and its Bailout Provision in the Cromnibus Bill.
“Think about this kind of power. A financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country hostage. That alone is a reason enough for us break them up. Enough is enough.”
Mashable: Private land in Grand Teton now open to hunters
“A reinterpretation of the park’s regulations by the Park Service means wildlife on private land within Grand Teton’s boundaries now falls under Wyoming Game and Fish Department rules, which allow hunts for bison, mountain lions, mule deer, waterfowl and other game. Any wolves in the park are protected and cannot be hunted.” This will impact the park negatively. Quite negatively. I’m surprised at the NPS.
Techdirt: Despite Racking Up 3 Unanimous Votes, FOIA Bill Killed Off By Rep. John Boehner.
“The wonders of our political system continue. Something that received unanimous support - not only on both sides of legislative branch, but on both sides of the partisan divide - was dismantled by one man. One man who stood in front of a House that had passed the bill 410-0 and said, ‘Whatever.’”
BPSResearchDigest: Use of torture in “time bomb scenarios” influenced by desire for retribution.
“Moreover, their finding that people’s support for torture is influenced by the identity and the culpability of the suspect shows that the practice is often endorsed as a form of punishment, not as a way to extract information. Taken altogether the researchers conclude their findings “cast serious doubt on the use of ticking time bomb scenarios as an argument for legalized torture”.” Interesting.
ArtInfo: Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Punching a Monet.
New Republic, 12/4/14: Law Requires US to Compensate Guantanamo Torture Victims.
I’ve been thinking about this. Those who were tortured should have the ability take their cases to court. Internationally? In Islam, there is Qisas (retaliation) and Diyya (blood money). If we wish to maintain good relations internationally, we must be making restitution in meaningful ways. Meaningful ways to those who were so wronged. Many of these torturees have to be permanently scarred mentally and physically. America has a moral debt, red in our ledger. Will we even attempt to wipe it out?
The Hill: Republicans clash on reversing nuclear option in Senate.
“... if a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, they want that officeholder to be able to shape his or her administration and the judicial branch with as free a hand as Obama has enjoyed during the final three years of his term.” Remember that, if you’re tempted to cross party lines in ‘16.
NY Times: How to Survive a Journalistic Disaster 101.
The Dish: The Torture Defenders Fan Out.
“The US did torture many many people with techniques devised by Nazis and Communists, sometimes in former KGB facilities. The CIA itself admits in its internal documents that none of it worked or gave us any actionable intelligence that wasn’t discovered through legal means. The torture techniques were not implemented by highly-trained professionals, but by goonish amateurs who concealed what they were doing and lied about it to superiors.” It’s going to be a tough few days, once this report disseminates and the opinionators opine.
WSJ: Republican Victory in Senate Sets Stage for Antiabortion Push in 2015.
Ah, lovely. They can’t help shooting themselves in the foot; they will end up being the Democrat’s best friends for 2016, if they push this kind of thing over the next two years.
NY Times: Rolling Stone Cites Doubts on Its Story of Gang Rape.
“We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.” Oh, that’s not going to help now. Lawsuits will fly. Previously here.
Later: Apparently WaPo is spearheading looking into the details.
Slate: Why didn’t a Rolling Stone writer talk to the alleged perpetrators of a gang rape?
Of note. The authors of this piece don’t say it straight out, but they seem to smell something wrong.
TechDirt: Flickr Plans To Sell Creative Commons Photos And That’s Okay ...
“The vast majority would never have taken the steps necessary to profit from their work, so print sales do not deprive them of money. When a user really expects to sell prints, they should avoid Creative Commons licensing ...” When CC was first set up, old-fashioned copyright was portrayed as a barrier to collaboration. There was much peer pressure to adopt it, to allow others to riff off your stuff. I don’t think anyone except die-hard photogs recognized how broad the license really was. If you don’t want others to profit monetarily from your work ... go with traditional copyright. [Note: see comment thread for explanation of this correction.] Those of you with kids, your children’s images could end up in some really strange places.
Flickr, it should be an ‘opt-in.’ Not ‘you licensed CC - we’re selling your stuff and you get no benefits.’
Guardian.UK: How a ruby-red Texas town turned against fracking.
“The fracking ban that comes into effect on Tuesday in the heart of Texas may never have happened at all, if industry had not insisted on fracking beside a local hospital, a children’s playground, and the 100-year-old farmhouse that was Cathy McMullen’s retirement dream. That brought fracking a step too far.” This is how they operate, take note. And nary a penny for infrastructure improvements. YOU pay for that, as a taxpayer.
NY Times: Bill Cosby Resigns From Temple University Board.
Wow. That’s major, knowing how he cares for his alma mater.