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scipan's Journal
scipan's Journal
February 22, 2024

Trans people predate Christianity by thousands of years

Two-Spirit (trans, non-binary) people predate MAGA and Christianity in North America by thousands of years. THEY held an important status within Indigenous communities— and the Lakota considered THEM sacred beings.
For my trans friends
February 15, 2024

Sheldon Whitehouse: TSF was played by Koch

Sheldon Whitehouse
4h • 28 tweets • 4 min read • Read on X
Trump seems to be counting on the three justices he “chose” for appointment to the Supreme Court to get him out of trouble. But did Trump really choose them? Or was Trump the chump, in someone else’s game? Let’s have a look.
The justices were supposedly appointed from a “Federalist Society list” that Trump announced, saying that was the “gold standard.” But the Federalist Society has never shown the public, or admitted the existence of, any record of any report, or agenda item, or vote, on any list.

It actually wasn’t the Federalist Society’s list. So whose list was it?
Leonard Leo worked at the Federalist Society at the time, and also ran an array of front groups tasked with scheming to capture and control the Supreme Court, funded by a little crew of right-wing billionaires.
Getting the justices on the Court took money -- lots of it. And billionaires are accustomed to getting something for their money.
The Court capture operation cost over half a billion dollars. Anonymous donors wrote individual checks as big as fifteen and seventeen million dollars to pay for the ad campaigns. Maybe the same billionaire wrote all those checks.
One billionaire just set Leo up with a $1.6 billion slush fund, through a new front group. The billionaires had money and motive.
The role of Leo and the billionaires (sounds like a bad garage band) would help explain why they got away with calling it a “Federalist Society list” when it wasn’t.
A Federalist Society operative and big Federalist Society donors were involved, so the Federalist Society let it slide. And got some good publicity.
But that raises the question, who were the billionaire donors behind Leo who actually chose the justices for the list?
Start with the obvious: the Koch political operation was then the biggest political dark-money operation on the planet, and one keenly interested in packing the Court. The Kochs even brought Justice Thomas out to star at their fundraisers. So consider the Koch operation.

Look at the history. Remember how the Koch operation greeted candidate Trump? They despised him, and spent millions against him, and threatened to spend much more.
Remember how candidate Trump responded to the Koch political operation? He mocked it, and he mocked the Kochs, and he mocked the other Republican candidates who went out to Koch events to kiss the ring.
Like rival medieval principalities, House of Koch and House of Trump were at war. Until they weren’t. Suddenly, hostilities between them ceased.
By election night, David Koch was in the Trumps’ victory suite. What could explain peace breaking out between House of Trump and House of Koch? The Federalist Society list could, if it was actually a Koch list.
Imagine this truce agreement between Trump and the Koch fossil fuel barons. “You give us all your Supreme Court appointments (and while you’re at it throw in your energy and pollution regulators), and we will back off our attacks, and even support GOP field and GOTV work.”
But if you’re the Kochs, do you trust Trump with a secret deal? Of course not. So when Trump starts asking about ways to broker peace, your operatives Leonard Leo and Don McGahn cook up the “Federalist Society list” as a solution.
When Trump promised publicly to appoint from the list, that sealed the deal — and McGahn went into the White House as White House Counsel and the Kochs’ ‘inside man.’
As Court vacancies opened for Trump, he went to the “Federalist Society list,” but who chose which judges to nominate? I don’t know, but McGahn and Leo were at the center of it.
I suspect the Koch operation helped McGahn and Leo with the names, and Trump went along with their recommendations. Whether Trump knew they chose, or whether the Kochs, McGahn and Leo all played Trump like a chump, is anybody’s guess.
They even fiddled with the “Federalist Society list” along the way, to get Brett Kavanaugh on it, perhaps to help encourage Justice Kennedy’s retirement.
Kennedy liked Brett, who’d been his law clerk. If there’d been a real Federalist Society list, and someone was chosen who wasn’t on the original list, there’d have been outrage from the billionaires.
But if the deal all along was that the Kochs got to use Leo and McGahn to pick Trump’s justices for him, who would care?
All the parties to the original deal were in on the switch — a voluntary contractual amendment, if you will — so there was no complaint about it. (Nor, presumably, any corporate action by the Federalist Society about a change to its supposed list.)
With the deal now done, with the three supposed “Trump justices” perched safely on the Court, House of Koch has again declared political war against House of Trump, spending millions against him and threatening to spend more. So much for Trump and the Art of the Deal.
And so much for loyalty of the “Trump justices” being to Trump. In this scenario, Trump was the chump, not the decider.
For a final tell, look at whether Koch-funded front groups file amicus briefs when the Trump cases come up, and what the briefs say.
The best predictor of this Captured Court’s rulings is what the flotillas of billionaire-funded front groups tell the justices to do in their amicus briefs. Silence from them (or even attacks on Trump by them) will be deafening.
• • •
February 9, 2024

Loose Cannon just ordered Smith turn over death threats info to tsf


Moments ago, Judge Cannon just made a very dangerous ruling and we cannot let it slip under the radar.

I am sure Jack Smith’s team is working feverishly on a response right now.

Judge Cannon just ordered that by tomorrow February 10, Jack Smith provide Trump with information about the death threats against a confidential witness in the Mar-A-Lago document case which Cannon previously allowed Jack Smith to file ex parte (meaning Trump can’t see it) and under seal (meaning the public can’t see it) as part of his motion for reconsideration where Cannon applied a wrong legal standard and where she ordered dozens of confidential witnesses and their statements in the case be made public.

Here is the sequence of events:

February 6 - Cannon makes a ruling to make the names of confidential witnesses and confidential info public (doc 283)

-February 7 Wednesday Jack Smith makes a filing (doc 289) saying we are going to file a motion for reconsideration of your ruling about making confidential witnesses public and to file that motion for reconsideration we want to show you an exhibit that shows the types of death threats against witnesses but since there is an ON GOING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION in the threats we CAN ONLY show it you as the judge and not Defendant (they may be the culprit) so we need to file it EX PARTE (only to the you the judge and not Trump) and under seal (NOT PUBLIC)

-Feb 8 Thursday (doc 293) Cannon says Jack Smith can file the document ex parte and under seal as part of your motion for reconsideration of my prior order (doc 283).

-Feb 8 Thursday (doc 294) Jack Smith files his motion for reconsideration as he said he would and filed that exhibit that shows the threats to witnesses as doc 296.

-Feb 9, moments ago, Cannon orders Jack Smith to turn over that ex parte and under seal document to Trump by February 10, effectively imperiling the safety of witness and intentionally compromising the DOJ investigation!

Get her outta there.
February 9, 2024

Revealed: rightwinger Leonard Leo linked to efforts to keep Trump on ballot

In this instance, Accountable.US found ties between Leo and the following groups or their lawyers that filed amicus briefs in the 14th amendment case: Citizens United, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, the Claremont Institute, Landmark Legal Foundation, Judicial Watch, Jones Day, Wyoming’s secretary of state Chuck Gray and America’s Future.

Citizens United, a conservative group whose name is synonymous with the 2010 supreme court ruling that allows unlimited political spending by outside groups and corporations, filed a brief alongside Steven Calabresi, Leo’s fellow co-chair of the Federalist Society. Other lawyers tied to the society are signed on to the group’s brief as well.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation’s brief is co-filed with a man who has been featured in more than 100 Federalist Society events, and the group has received funding from groups tied to Leo. The Claremont Institute has also received funds from groups tied to Leo’s funding network, and the brief’s author wrote a book that includes a quote from Leo on the back cover and featured in society events.

Leo has complimented the chairman of the Landmark Legal Foundation as a “great patriot” and “our old Federalist Society stalwart”. The Judicial Watch president is also president of the Council for National Policy, which Leo has reportedly been involved with. Jones Day, a conservative law firm whose attorneys authored an amicus brief for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has given money to the Federalist Society, and the firm is where Leo, Trump and others met to come up with a list of supreme court candidates.


And here I thought SCOTUS wanted the Koch's candidate Nikki Haley. This is bad.
January 19, 2024

Mueller she wrote: What's taking the DC Circuit so long


It appears that the DC Circuit Court of appeals is weighing some pretty serious stuff considering it's been over a week and we don't have a decision on absolute presidential immunity and double jeopardy appeals from donald trump in the DC case brought against him by Jack Smith. Granted, ten days is NOT a long time in the court world, but given the urgency of this case, it sure seems like an eternity. So what could they be weighing if the case is so straightforward?

This is just my two cents, but perhaps it's the question of jurisdiction.

As you know by now (if you listen to the Jack podcast or follow me fairly closely), a court has to have jurisdiction first before it can rule on the merits of a case. There's kind of like an order of operations to it. The parties bringing the case must have standing to do so, then the court must have jurisdiction to hear the case, and then they can rule on the merits. There's other stuff in there but those are the biggies.

In trump's appeal for absolute immunity and double jeopardy, the three-judge panel in this case had a lot of questions about jurisdiction for both sides. Neither the DoJ nor team trump were arguing that the court does NOT have jurisdiction in this case, and both wanted the court to decide on the merits. But the judges didn't seem so sure.

December 18, 2023

Cory Doctorow: Enshittification podcast about big tech

1 hour but well worth my time and probably yours.

Example: stages of a new digital app (like Facebook or Twitter)
1) maximize user satisfaction
2) maximize buy in companies' (like ads) satisfaction
3) maximize their own shareholders' satisfaction

Also how SciFi allows you as a writer to explore many ideas

The feeling of being powerless to change anything and why that's a delusion. But: we need to speak with one voice and that's why we need to organize.

I've read doctorow for years but never appreciated him until now.

Highly recommend. Has anyone else heard him?


October 26, 2023

Judge Forces Trump to Testify About Insult Then Fines Him $10K


However, when trial continued after a lunch break, Engoron held a surprise hearing in which he ordered Trump to take the witness stand—marking the first time the real estate tycoon has done so in his ongoing legal troubles.

After a visibly perturbed Trump was sworn in, Engoron asked him who he was referring to when he directed his anger at the “very partisan” person sitting next to the judge.

“Are you sure you didn’t mean on the other side of me, my principal law clerk?” Engoron asked.

“Yes, actually,” Trump said, sticking to his story.

October 14, 2023

Just War Theory: makes more sense to me than Geneva rules

Thread Reader

David Decosimo
37m • 16 tweets • 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
If your only ethics are Foucault & Fanon, you’re wholly unequipped to make the distinctions necessary to recognize justice & uphold dignity in relation to political violence.
Just war theory, an ancient tradition of ethical inquiry, offers a better way. It is relevant just now.🧵
In its classic formulation, the theory claims that certain acts of killing are neither ‘necessary evils’ nor merely permissible but, under certain constraints, just & right. The theory sets criteria for *when* war is just (jus ad bellum) & *how* it must be fought (jus in bello).

Jus ad bellum
1. Just Cause: serious & unlawful wrong to a polity, eg invasion, colonization, despotism.
2. Right Intention: an aim to right that very wrong, not revenge or annihilation. Here Hamas fails. Israel will fail if it aims for more or other than simply defeating Hamas.
3. Sovereign Authority: those waging war must have sovereign authority & due claim to represent a polity. A private group, faction, or smattering of aggrieved people cannot justly war. Still, a group of colonized or enslaved people can duly organize & constitute themselves.

If any of these jus ad bellum criteria go unmet, the war or rebellion as a whole is not just.

But regardless, the norms for just conduct within the war itself remain absolutely obligatory. These jus in bello criteria are especially relevant as Israel battles Hamas in Gaza.

Jus in bello
1. Discrimination: It is never licit to intentionally target non-combatants. Even a just rebellion by a colonized people must exclusively target combatants. Hamas fails here. Israel must only intentionally target combatants & military targets, never non-combatants.
2. Proportionality:
This concerns weighing the good secured by some attack on combatants against the likely *unintended* collateral harm it will cause to noncombatants. That side effect must be duly weighed. Proportionality *never* involves or excuses intentionally targeting NCs!
Say a combatant target abuts a school. The blast from even the weakest weapon will also kill many children. Proportionality means weighing such a tragic loss in itself & relative to the target & his death’s impact on the war. It may demand no strike or risking using ground troops
Note the NC death is not intended, even as it’s foreseen certainly. If the children miraculously survive, they don’t strike again but rejoice. In contrast, if the target survives, their purposes are thwarted; they strike again. Nor are the NC deaths a means to killing the target.
For example, taking noncombatant hostages or using threats or deliberate harm to NCs as a means of getting concessions from the enemy is forbidden & has nothing to do with considerations of proportionality.
In short, NC lives must be duly & truly valued: never intentionally targeted & weighed heavily in considering a strike on combatants that will collaterally harm them. Justice demands willingness to incur more casualties & risk oneself & a more costly/inefficient path to victory.
Armies who fail to distinguish themselves from civilians, use human shields, or occupy hospitals bear responsibility for harm to NCs that accrues from enemy strikes, but their evil conduct does *not* excuse the justly warring from discrimination or proportionality obligations.
3. No indiscriminate means: Some weapons/tactics are inherently indiscriminate (biological), disproportionate in effect, or both (nuclear). Debate on sieges concerns the indiscriminate nature of blocking access to basic goods like food/meds/water needed for noncombatant survival.
4. No inherently evil means: Intrinsically evil acts like torture & rape are always forbidden.
5. POWs must be given quarter & treated humanely.
6. No reprisals: Enemy violation of above norms doesn’t excuse doing so oneself. No attacks meant to punish rather than to win the war.

I’ve simplified & left much aside here. But I want to commend & offer this vocabulary. Whether you agree on every point, surely you can see it is an ethically serious effort to try to honor human dignity & seek justice amidst the horrors of war.
As war continues, all must uphold these norms. Hamas has horribly violated them & wars unjustly. Israel must not violate discrimination & proportionality norms lest it to mirror the terror it fights. It is always fair to ask whether a nation is fully honoring these obligations.
• • •

What do people think? Of course, there is no body or tribunal to decide things; it's up to the combatants.
October 12, 2023

I saw an IDF soldier on PBS tonight. He said the plan is

to bomb every known Hamas building, and there are a thousand. That's before they start going from building to building.

Also that it's Hamas' policy to put them in with civilians. As most of us know by now.

That means of course no real effort to protect the hostages.

If possible to eliminate Hamas in Gaza, obviously saving future lives and maybe even changing the Gaza culture/government, it might be worth it? What else can end this?

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Chicago and Milwaukee
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Current location: Alexandria, VA
Member since: 2001
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