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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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We all lose, too, when some child gets cheated out of living up to his potential or her potential.

This whole case just angers me and saddens me beyond belief. I see that picture of Martin they always show in any story about the case and I think, “Who knows what that guy might have done of he’d had the chance?” Who knows? Maybe he’d have become a musician, maybe a writer, maybe an artist, and, who knows, maybe he might have been great. Maybe he might have gone on to be a doctor and healed people who needed help. Maybe a lawyer representing people hurt by big, powerful interests. We don’t know what we’ve lost as a society each time some kid gets cut down needlessly (and almost always by guns! Freedoooooom!!!!1!!!!!11!!!!!one!!!!!1!!1!!!!eleven!!!!).

And who knows, maybe he might not have done any of that. The odds are that he would not have gone on to cure cancer. He might have gone on to lead a fairly mundane life, doing nothing more noteworthy than selling insurance for a living. But whatever he might have gone on to do, he had a right to grow up and try to fulfill his dreams, whatever they might have been, but some dumb thug came along and stole his life from him.

He never got to meet somebody and fall in love and raise children. He never got to go abroad and see other countries. He never got to go to college and learn about history or philosophy, poetry or trigonometry or whatever he would have wanted to learn about. Shit, maybe all he wanted to do was go to some trade school and learn how to work on cars or dishwashers or something. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Not that it matters any now, as Zimmerman helpfully saved Martin the trouble of choosing which path he most would have liked to go down in life.

He never got to do any of that because some frustrated would-be tough guy got a hard on playing at being a cop and shot him dead. Every time anybody brings up Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman, we should mull that over a little. Every time some shitbag tells us how guns make us safer, we ought to give a little thought to all the children shot to death by guns, and the lives they never got to lead and the dreams they never got to follow, and how we all lose, too, when some child gets cheated out of living up to his potential or her potential.


Eugene Robinson: Important thing right now isn’t whether Snowden should be labeled hero or villain

Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks show we need a debate

The important thing right now isn’t whether Edward Snowden should be labeled a hero or villain. First, let’s have the debate he sparked over surveillance and privacy. Then we can decide how history should remember him.

In the coming debate, someone should explain why a mid-level computer guy working for a private contractor had access to so many of the NSA’s most closely held secrets. Someone should explain why the intelligence court is evidently so compliant. Someone should explain — perhaps in French, German and Spanish — why our allies’ e-mails are fair game for the agency’s prying eyes.

But here’s the big issue: The NSA, it now seems clear, is assembling an unimaginably vast trove of communications data, and the bigger it gets, the more useful it is in enabling analysts to make predictions. It’s one thing if the NSA looks for patterns in the data that suggest a nascent overseas terrorist group or an imminent attack. It’s another thing altogether if the agency observes, say, patterns that suggest the birth of the next tea party or Occupy Wall Street movement.

Is that paranoia? Then reassure me. Let’s talk about the big picture and decide, as citizens, whether we are comfortable with the direction our intelligence agencies are heading. And let’s remember that it was Snowden, not our elected officials, who opened this vital conversation.

the rest:

Fox News host: Zimmerman ‘has already been punished’ with weight gain

“Probably suffering from stress and anxiety,” Guilfoyle added.

“You eat when you’re under stress and pressure and stuff like that,” Jarrett agreed. “So, you know, he’s already been punished to some extent. We’ll wait and see whether a Jury punishes him further.”

“This is an individual that was trying to do some civic duty by being on the community watch,” Guilfoyle opined. “That was the purpose of why he was there that night.”

“Sure, let’s not forget there’s a reason for a community watch,” Jarrett replied. “Because that’s a community with a need for a watch. Because they’d had problems like this in the past.”


Supreme Court Ends Torture Lawsuit Against Donald Rumsfeld

Source: Huffington Post

Supreme Court Ends Torture Lawsuit Against Donald Rumsfeld
06/10/13 09:39 AM ET EDT

FOLLOW: Supreme Court, Video, Donald Rumsfeld, Iraq Torture, Supreme Court Donald Rumsfeld, Supreme Court Iraq Torture, Supreme Court Rumsfeld, Politics News
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from two American whistleblowers who claim U.S. forces tortured them in Iraq and who want to sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The justices' action Monday leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling that found Rumsfeld cannot be held liable for actions taken by subordinates that may have crossed legal bounds.

The two men are Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, who say they were detained and tortured after they accused an Iraqi-owned company for which they worked of illegally running guns. They argued Rumsfeld personally approved interrogation methods for use by the U.S. military in Iraq, making him responsible for what happened to them during several weeks they were held in military camp

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/supreme-court-donald-rumsfeld_n_3415124.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

Feds to comply with N.Y. morning-after pill ruling (order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency

Source: NBC

Feds to comply with N.Y. morning-after pill ruling
By Tom Hays, The Associated Press

The federal government on Monday told a judge it will reverse course and take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions.

The Department of Justice, in the latest development in a complex back-and-forth over access to the morning-after pill, notified U.S. District Judge Edward Korman it will submit a plan for compliance. If he approves it, the department will drop its appeal of his April ruling.

Last week, the appeals court dealt the government a setback by saying it would immediately permit unrestricted sales of the two-pill version of the emergency contraception until the appeal was decided. That order was met with praise from advocates for girls' and women's rights and with scorn from social conservatives and other opponents, who argue the drug's availability takes away the rights of parents of girls who could get it without their permission.

The government had appealed the judge's underlying April 5 ruling, which ordered emergency contraceptives based on the hormone levonorgestrel be made available without a prescription, over the counter and without point-of-sale or age restrictions.

Read more: http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/10/18888142-feds-to-comply-with-ny-morning-after-pill-ruling?lite

Edward Snowden Is No Hero - What, one wonders, did Snowden think the N.S.A. did? - By Jeffrey Toobin

JUNE 10, 2013

Edward Snowden, a twenty-nine-year-old former C.I.A. employee and current government contractor, has leaked news of National Security Agency programs that collect vast amounts of information about the telephone calls made by millions of Americans, as well as e-mails and other files of foreign targets and their American connections. For this, some, including my colleague John Cassidy, are hailing him as a hero and a whistle-blower. He is neither. He is, rather, a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison.

Snowden provided information to the Washington Post and the Guardian, which also posted a video interview with him. In it, he describes himself as appalled by the government he served:

The N.S.A. has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.

I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.

What, one wonders, did Snowden think the N.S.A. did? Any marginally attentive citizen, much less N.S.A. employee or contractor, knows that the entire mission of the agency is to intercept electronic communications. Perhaps he thought that the N.S.A. operated only outside the United States; in that case, he hadn’t been paying very close attention. In any event, Snowden decided that he does not “want to live in a society” that intercepts private communications. His latter-day conversion is dubious.

And what of his decision to leak the documents? Doing so was, as he more or less acknowledges, a crime. Any government employee or contractor is warned repeatedly that the unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a crime. But Snowden, apparently, was answering to a higher calling. “When you see everything you realize that some of these things are abusive,” he said. “The awareness of wrongdoing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up. It was a natural process.” These were legally authorized programs; in the case of Verizon Business’s phone records, Snowden certainly knew this, because he leaked the very court order that approved the continuation of the project. So he wasn’t blowing the whistle on anything illegal; he was exposing something that failed to meet his own standards of propriety. The question, of course, is whether the government can function when all of its employees (and contractors) can take it upon themselves to sabotage the programs they don’t like. That’s what Snowden has done.


the rest:

2001, they all sure looked pretty pleased with themselves didn't they?

President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act, Anti-Terrorism Legislation, in the East Room Oct. 26. "With my signature, this law will give intelligence and law enforcement officials important new tools to fight a present danger," said the President in his remarks. White House photo by Eric Draper

6/11 Luckovich cartoon: Smothered, covered

YOO: "A trial would give (Snowden) the opportunity to explain in public why he broke the law."

John Yoo: "A trial would give (Snowden) the opportunity to explain in public why he broke the law." What a deal! (Also, so would a Tumblr)
@kpoulsen 24 minutes ago


Decided it was time to share...

not pretty, just my opinions and thoughts
multi-media 2000-2009

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