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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
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Amy Goodman asked the right question on ISIS and Boxer dodged it

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now had a chance to interview Barbara Boxer at Sundance, and her answers on ISIS were as dishonest as any you'd get from a Republican.

Everyone knows these ISIS guys are bad. But like many Islamic extremists from those who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan to the 9/11 hijackers to ISIS as recently as two summers ago, they have been funded by SAUDI ARABIA and sometimes directly the US (when they were only a problem for Syria, a country on our shit list).

Wouldn't it be a hell of a lot cheaper to tell our allies to stop supporting assholes like this? Wouldn't it be cheaper and generate more good will toward the US if OUR GOVERNMENT stopped backing assholes like this when it's convenient to overthrow secular regimes they don't like, then spending more money to kill them later?

I rate Boxer in the top 5 or 10 progressive senators, but if any politician can't be honest about foreign policy that costs us hundreds of billions of dollars and costs people's lives, what can we trust them on?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER: So, let me just say, as a leader in what I call the peace movement, because I’ve been ever since Vietnam, I think if someone sits back and allows people like this, who don’t value human life, who enslave women, who rape women, who throw acid in the faces of women, if we can’t stand up to that—sure, if there’s a diplomatic way, you do that. War is a last resort, not a first resort. But for me to stand here and say I’m going to do nothing about ISIL, I think I would—I would be dead wrong.

AMY GOODMAN: But isn’t standing up to that perhaps looking behind that—for example, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. support of Saudi Arabia?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER: Well, look, if you won’t be—you and I just disagree, so why do we cut it off? It seems to me that you don’t see any reason ever to confront people who are uncivilized, who don’t care one stitch about your life or mine, who would just as soon cut off your head as say "good morning."

AMY GOODMAN: No, but what about cutting off their support?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER: And let me—you’re asking me a question. And I don’t support them. As a matter of fact, I already voted to give the president authority to go after them. So why don’t we leave it at that? And as far as trying to find out the root causes of why they are the way you are, I’ll leave that to you. I’m a senator. My people are threatened, and I’m going to take action. War is the last resort, never a first resort. I don’t support going to war and sending combat troops. I support President Obama’s plan, which is not to do that, but to make sure that we can help people fight against this terror group, which is so frightening and so frightening to humankind. Thank you so much.


thoughts on the "lover/hater" meme

I thought the "hater" talking point to put down critics was stupid when the Bush administration did it (along with the corollary "lover" meme like "You're a Saddam lover," etc.), but when it survived to be used by defenders of the Obama administration, I was offended that they would not only talk to their own base like that, but that they wouldn't hire a new PR firm to do their shilling, or at least ask for some new glib put downs.

I just realized the other day though that I had heard this kind of talking point before.

When I was a kid, any white person seen as too friendly, sympathetic, tolerant, or just benignly neglectful toward blacks would be called a "n*****r lover." Maybe if you just didn't laugh at a racist joke.

It was racist and vaguely seemed to question people's loyalty to their own race, but most importantly, it was ugly and stupid.

People are often accused here of being "Obama haters," Putin or ISIS "lovers" or in the past, "lovers" of the now dead Hugo Chavez.

Can't we agree to leave this kind of childish, ugly rhetoric in the trash can of history along with Bull Connor and Jim Crow where it belongs?

Shouldn't there be something like Godwin's Law to shame those who use this in place of arguments or evidence?

Did anyone see SNOWPIERCER? It's a brutal political allegory for our time.

It seems pretty straight forward at first: the world has gone cold and the survivors live in a long, long train that is constantly circling the earth, with the people divided into classes, with the poor in the back, living miserably and eating protein jello made of ground up bugs, and the wealthy living in style and comfort up front.

The engineer who designed and runs the train is so far removed from everyone they don't even know what he looks like.

The poor start a revolution, and move forward to take over the train.

When the leader of the revolution finally meets the engineer, he realizes their lives were even more controlled than they imagined, and even the successful outcome of the revolution was accounted for to fit into the system (I'm trying to write this without giving too much away).

That interaction wasn't the end of the movie, but the end had a ring of truth for how things will turn out for us (not just as Americans but the world).

I wonder what anyone else thought of it.

PIC: trickle down economics explained on Reddit

Democracy Now: Fox Expert admits Birmingham, UK not all Muslim on BBC News, called idiot by PM

Video and audio at link

AMY GOODMAN: While Steve Emerson claimed the British city of Birmingham was totally Muslim, it’s in fact a predominantly Christian city. Emerson, who describes himself as, quote, "one of the leading authorities" on Islamic extremist networks, appeared on the BBC Monday and apologized.

STEVE EMERSON: I relied on incorrect research. It was totally irresponsible for me not to have fact-checked the information that I obtained. And it was not done out of any malice, but out of a total irresponsible journalistic practice, which I usually and uniformly don’t practice.

NICK OWEN: Are you aware that our prime minister has called you a complete idiot?

STEVE EMERSON: Yes, I’m aware.

NICK OWEN: What does that make you feel?

STEVE EMERSON: Not great. You know, mistakes are made. What can I tell you?


TOON: NY Cop work slowdown blowback

Legal Scholar Calls for ‘Fetal Rescue Programs’ to End Abortion Debate

I've had my students write rebuttals to fake arguments for and against fetal transfers to artificial wombs replacing abortions as an over the top, out there hypothetical.

Now some legal scholar is arguing it for real, and people are arguing the other side for real.

This is why it is so hard to write satire....

At this point, without the technology for a zygote, embryo, or fetus to survive outside the womb, “In practice, elective abortion inevitably results in fetal death,” writes Giles. “For that very reason, the woman has no choice in the matter: Should she elect to terminate her pregnancy, the fetus will die even if she wants it to survive.”

Presumably, the patients Giles has in mind here are women who allegedly terminated pregnancies because they were not “ready” to parent, either for financial or emotional reasons. In other words, they were uncomfortable with the thought of terminating their pregnancies, but saw no other choice. In turn, he notes there is a stigma associated with carrying a pregnancy to term and then relinquishing parental rights in adoption. While it sounds like he’s trying to be sympathetic to these patients by painting them as grieving would-be mothers, his so-called “solution” for the “problem” of these women choosing abortion is, of course, to take that choice away.

That solution, as he sees it, is what he calls a “fetal rescue” program, in which the state bears the burden and expenses of gestating the terminated pregnancy, including the burden and expense related to caring for any live birth that results. Here’s Giles’ proposal:

It [fetal rescue program] puts the woman in what we might call the gestate-or-relinquish dilemma: carry the fetus to term or relinquish it to the state prior to viability for attempted rescue via AW [artificial womb]. The gestate-or-relinquish dilemma can best be characterized as a pre-viability, pre-natal version of the raise-or-relinquish dilemma. Like its post-natal analogue, it frustrates the woman’s interest in ensuring the death of the fetus. If she opts not to carry the fetus to term, she must relinquish it to the state, and if AW succeeds, her biological child will be raised by others....

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