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.”
The Mischiefs of Faction: Four perspectives on Jeb Bush and the Republican nomination.
Doesn’t really go anywhere, but still worth the read.
SciAm: Fracking Banned in New York.
Good for the health of NY; not for their bottom line.
PA will probably wave the revenues in NY’s face. Until the boom ends. And the back-end infrastructure and cleanup costs bankrupt the state.
INET Economics: Joseph Stiglitz - Economics Has to Come to Terms with Wealth and Income Inequality.
“What has happened repeatedly in recent years is that we’ve had monetary authorities allowing — through deregulation and lax standards — banks to lend more, but not for creating new business, not for capital goods.” Interesting read. Take the time.
Dazed: The US Navy’s new GhostSwimmer drone is terrifying.
“Eventually, we’re going to weaponise them.” Kinda attention-getting. I would have gone with a smaller flying fish. Unnoticed in the water, with both air and water capability. You don’t have time to react before it sails by.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Payback’s a Bitch.
“Most other industrialized countries offer free college enrollment because it is an investment in their future, and, in some cases, because it is considered a basic citizenly right. [snip] In the United States, we have turned this essential social good into the cruellest of debt traps.”
ABC News: Six in 10 See CIA Actions as Justified As Many Question Committee Report.
MarketWatch: Americans are 40% poorer than before the recession.
“The net worth of American families — the difference between the values of their assets, including homes and investments, and liabilities — fell to $81,400 in 2013, down slightly from $82,300 in 2010, but a long way off the $135,700 in 2007, according to a new report released on Friday by the nonprofit think-tank Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.” Ms Warren, your move.
TPM: The Democratic Party Needs To Clean House After CRomnibus.
Republicans can vote in a bloc, the Dems herd cats and fail. Same old, same old. Surprised? Shouldn’t be. Remember that, in ‘16.
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.’”
Fiscal Times: CRomnibus Disaster Signals a Sad New Normal in D.C.
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 Dish: The Truth About Torture, Revisited.
“In a civilized society, there really would be no debate over this. And before 9/11, there wasn’t. Ever since, this country has slid and then fallen out of the civilized world and out of the core American traditions of humanity and legal warfare.”
naked cap: Oil Price Drop Not Affecting US Drilling Much.
“How low can the price of shale oil drop before it becomes too expensive to extract? The conventional wisdom is that the threshold is $60 per barrel.” Is it me, or does the number keep dropping?
NY Times: 7 Key Points From the C.I.A. Torture Report.
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.
TG’s Political Wire: Obama Takes Over ‘The Colbert Report’.
Sigh. Whenever I look for him to be leading, I find him entertaining. Got a lot of serious things going on, sir. We didn’t hire you for laughs.
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.
NY Times: Why I’m Giving Up My Passport.
Roll Call: Are Democrats Irrelevant? Nancy Pelosi Says Don’t Be So Sure.
Being a mere minority leader brings its own advantages, too.