Open Thread - Friday, September 21, 2018

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"In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.”
- Judith Lewis Herman -

The reality control project continues unabated. It is hard to decide who the funk is most despicable. I am leaning toward funkin' Grassley.

It is hard to be a bigger funkin' honey dipper than Devin Nunes.

Putting Kavanaugh on The Supreme Court is a sure sign the democracy is dead.

What's up Chuck? On to the hearing?

Let's appoint an apparatchik to lifetime appointment!

Have a great weekend!

The thread is OPEN.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Why didn't she come forward 36 years ago? She would have been believed. THAT from our fearless leader who knows men, before #metoo, were innocent of EVER being inappropriate with women!
He is performing the great trick Judith Herman describes in your quote above.

Our democracy is certainly dead.

Revolution is the people's only way out.

I want to create an underground shelter on my place and become a mole.

Have a beautiful day and weekend, folks! Pleasantry

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

NCTim's picture

@Raggedy Ann This is exasperating. What the fuck? Not a real man among them.

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"The legalization of marijuana is not a dangerous experiment—the prohibition is the experiment, and it has failed dramatically, with millions of victims all around the world."- Sebastian Marincolo

QMS's picture

Today is designated (among other things) International Day of Peace by the UN. It's a nice thought, but a moment of silence or ringing a bell ain't doing much good. This is also the time of the Mabon in the Year Wheel for us Pagans. Loosely tied to the autumnal equinox, a time to share the fruits of the earth.
Anyone need tomatoes or peppers?

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Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

@QMS

I'm helpful that way. (-;

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QMS's picture

@HenryAWallace Pickling and fermenting like crazy. Doing battle with the fruit flies with vinegar traps. You are welcome to them!

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Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

@QMS

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NCTim's picture

@QMS

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"The legalization of marijuana is not a dangerous experiment—the prohibition is the experiment, and it has failed dramatically, with millions of victims all around the world."- Sebastian Marincolo

NCTim's picture

@QMS

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"The legalization of marijuana is not a dangerous experiment—the prohibition is the experiment, and it has failed dramatically, with millions of victims all around the world."- Sebastian Marincolo

QMS's picture

@NCTim @NCTim You really know how to funk things up!

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Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

democracy, one way or the other. We still have democracy, in name only, just as the US has always had it.

Having silent Clarence "pubic hair in my Coke" Thomas on that bench does not seem to have done anything to democracy, one way or the other, even though the ABA could not decide he was fit for that bench under fairly minimal standards. Neither did/does having pussy grabber bragger Trump or Bill Clinton or Woodrow Wilson or Grover Cleveland in the White House. But, at least, Presidents are elected (in theory, anyway).

The SCOTUS, on the other hand, was always one of the most selective old boys' clubs in the world. FDR had to threaten to "pack the Court" because the "nine old men" (white, of course), kept telling him the federal government did not have the power to do the things that FDR wanted to do in order to save the country, as it circled the bidet.

And no, adding women and/or members of minority groups did not change the fact that the Supreme Court is an old boys' club. https://www.politico.com/story/2009/06/sotomayor-found-friends-in-elite-...

Remember that big club George Carlin told you about? You know, that big club that you ain't in? Well, you ain't in one of the smallest clubs in the world, either. Funk 'em.

Have a good weekend, anyway.

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NCTim's picture

@HenryAWallace Controlling the courts is part of the conservative long game and exactly why Garland was blocked. This has everything to do with corporate personhood, voting regulation, pandering to evangelicals, women's health, government involvement in healthcare, affirmative action, … Kavanaugh is an activist not a jurist, and the reason Don McGahn is in the White House, still. It's part of the scheme.

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"The legalization of marijuana is not a dangerous experiment—the prohibition is the experiment, and it has failed dramatically, with millions of victims all around the world."- Sebastian Marincolo

@NCTim

Nominating Garland was another "centrist" thing Obama did--and Obama still could not get him approved.

Please do not misunderstand me: I agree that conservatives are bad for the country, in general, whether or not they sexually assaulted someone when in high school (which I do not make light of). and that is whether they are Democratic nominees or Republican nominees. However, that is different from ending democracy in the US, where it has never existed in the first instance. Democracy, whether actual, as in Ancient Athens, or pretend, as in the modern definition of electing representatives, is about voting, or suffrage, not about equality or egalitarianism. We've been an oligarchy since colonial times.

Why do I even care about how the word "democracy" is used? For just one thing, it's now being used to justify censorship on social media because Russia alllegedly "meddled" with "our democracy" by buying a relatively small dollar amount of ads on facebook and/or posting negative things about a funkin' Presidential candidate.

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NCTim's picture

@HenryAWallace Comparatively, a centrist sounds good.

How Conservative Is Brett Kavanaugh?

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"The legalization of marijuana is not a dangerous experiment—the prohibition is the experiment, and it has failed dramatically, with millions of victims all around the world."- Sebastian Marincolo

@NCTim

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gulfgal98's picture

Not only is the Kavanaugh nomination disturbing, but what is more concerning is that the Supreme Court appointments are life time appointments. Like other government officials, justices on the Supreme Court should be limited in the time they serve, either absolutely or must come up for reappointment after a certain period of time. These people have far too much power to have it vested in them for a lifetime.

Because the Chief Justice and the four most recentlly apointed justices were all in their early fifties when appointed, they have the potential to affect judicial rulings for up to forty years. That is far too long for any person to have such great power without any further review. Brett Kavanaugh is in his early fifties which means that if appointed, we the people will have to live with his legal views for the next thirty years or more.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

NCTim's picture

@gulfgal98

Brett Kavanaugh is in his early fifties which means that if appointed, we the people will have to live with his legal views for the next thirty years or more.

The destruction of humanity won't take that long.

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"The legalization of marijuana is not a dangerous experiment—the prohibition is the experiment, and it has failed dramatically, with millions of victims all around the world."- Sebastian Marincolo

@gulfgal98

United States.

No constitutional amendment that was remotely controversial has been ratified since Eisenhower was President. That includes the ERA, which should not have been controversial by any rational standard.

Given how many relatively young Republican nominees are on the Court at this time, you can bet that shortening their terms would be controversial. Such an amendment would never leave Congress, much less be ratified. With the number of state legislatures that are controlled by Republicans at this point, I shudder at the thought of having our first Constitutional Convention since the one over which George Washington presided, which would open up the entire document to revision.

Even if I were wrong about all the above, the amendment probably would not apply retroactively to the current Justices.

Of course, the thinking behind making them invulnerable to the fickle winds of politics was to ensure that they would be free to decide according to their consciences and also to ensure some degree of stability in the law. When the US had no political parties at all, the Framers may not have envisioned a deeply-divided two-party system, with each party nominating ideologues to the Court.

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@gulfgal98 The house of representatives can impeach a SCOTUS Judge.
Then they get a trial in the Senate same as a POTUS.

The Constitution grants Supreme Court justices a lifetime appointment if they choose to stay by not specifying a time or age limit of service. The purpose of a lifetime appointment was to give them freedom to make decisions without interference from the executive or legislative branches of government. But the Constitution leaves open the possibility of impeachment and removal by Congress. In U.S. history, one justice was impeached, but not convicted, and one justice resigned under the threat of impeachment.

source at this link

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@jbob

and only one was ever impeached: Samuel Chase of Maryland.

Some historians think Congress let him off because it would look too bad internationally to have a Founder and Signer booted out of office.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

lotlizard's picture

https://www.taz.de/Evangelische-Akademie-Bad-Boll/!5537397/

. . . in the legislature of the most populous state, North Rhine–Westphalia.

They, and the German federal “anti-Semitism commissioner,” want to pressure the Lutheran Church into cancelling a symposium on Israel–Palestine because BDS advocates have been asked to speak.

And my* — originally alternative Left when founded 40 years ago, but now who knows anymore: the CIA? Mossad? The Atlantic Council? — newspaper Taz.de, who is reporting the story . . .

* (“My” in the sense that I am a member of the co-op that owns and publishes Taz.de)

Well, it looks like editors and writers there see no need any more to even make a token effort at reporting impartially about BDS; they all seem to agree with the proposition that BDS equals anti-Semitism 110%.

That’s the German Left today. Criticize Israel, they hate you; give Israel everything it wants on Palestine like Trump, they still hate you.

Oh, and stand up for Germans and German stuff in Germany? You’re a racist and a Nazi. So there.

This is why the right-wing populist AfD is gaining, folks. To lots of people in former East Germany, it looks like the elites, the bankers, the refugees, and Israel are all in the big club — but somehow, they, the voters, ain’t in it.

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard
former East Germans and what were former West Germans, and if so, why do you think that is?

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lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
This is one of the best explanations I’ve seen appear in German “mainstream” media:

https://www.dw.com/en/my-europe-eastern-promise-and-western-pretension/a...

Since people in the East always assumed that they were being misinformed by politics and the media, they got information in a different way: Neighbors, friends, friends of friends. People in the East talk to each other about what happens to people they know much more than in the West, and they draw conclusions about reality. We understand the world according to what is happening in our environment and do not accept interpretive narratives from "those up there."

If someone's children are bullied by migrants in the schoolyard, if women are sexually harassed without this being recorded as a crime, here in the "East" the news spreads quickly, even if it does not appear in the media at all. And we usually have a very clear opinion; namely that it is not us who are the problem, but the respective migrants, and the politicians who let them into the country. That is true even when most migrants are quite nice, normal people.

Westerners, on the other hand, see the world through the ideals taught to them by teachers, politicians and the media. It is not about reality, but about "values" as a belated consequence of the 1968 movement, which had a lasting impact on the West's world of ideas. All people are equal. Misgivings about people from other countries is called racism. Religion is a problem. Pride and love for one's own country is nationalism.

In the East we see it differently: People are not equal, and the peoples of the world are not "brothers." Politics is never about "solidarity," but fights for power and interests. We know these phrases from the communist dictatorship's slogans. We know that they are hollow. People in the East are interested in reality, those in the West want to adapt reality to their "values" and therefore often do not recognize them at all.

In this respect we see East Germans and the events in Chemnitz as follows: The "Ossis" have remained normal, they are like us. That is why they reacted to the murder of a citizen in the same way as we would have reacted here — with anger and incomprehension about politics.

Then there’s the question of to what degree “Ossis” are disadvantaged or discriminated against.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ossis+benachteiligung

https://www.mdr.de/thueringen/regierungserklaerung-ramelow-thueringen-mo...

Uncontrolled migration added to a continually festering problem every community on the Czech or Polish border already has: so-called “border criminality” (professional and amateur criminals alike who slip into Germany, to steal, defraud, burglarize, etc.; then nip back across the border to safety, the way fugitives in old American movies used to flee across the nearest state line).

This is a good metaphor for the kind of subjective impression aggressive and defiant advocacy on behalf of illegal immigration makes:
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/09/19/raccoons-bust-into-toronto-w...
Sometimes it seems everyone except Pegida is rooting for the raccoons! In the Netherlands, some even help migrants to become krakers (Hausbesetzer, squatters), kicking existing occupants out and taking over whole buildings.

I already mentioned earlier that Maria Ladenburger, Mia Valentin, etc. are to the populists (“Murder victims of migrants matter”), the way Trevor Martin, Eric Gardner, etc. are to “Black Lives Matter” in the United States.

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard
and doesn't much change where I stand. I just wrote a long answer and frigging lost it. Won't rewrite it, I am superstitious, when I loose a comment that I think explains where I stand, then it must be for a reason.

I obviously knew a bit about this public conversation, but never lived through it here in Germany. Let me just say I find the conversation frightening and it makes me want to run away from Germany.

Sigh. There is a lot I would like to say, but after watching the videos within the link, I lost my appetite. I also feel I need to protect my loved ones.

Thanks, lotlizard, I think the links are important to watch and read for those, who are not Germans, be it white good Germans or brown not so good Germans, which obviously can't be Germans and can't be for real.

Ok, I am off to listen to some music now.

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lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
Eastern German (from the former GDR):

It’ll be the Wirtschaftswunder all over again, they said.

So we joined and now we’re the Rust Belt.

Western German:

(unsympathetic) Womp womp.

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard

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mimi's picture

music videos you post. Thank You. Really loved today's collection.

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