Monday, November 30, 2015

Fox News Is Here to Help You Understand



Really, Fox?

 I'm having a hard time believing that. Think I'll check the story.
The National Fraternal Order of Police has asked the NFL to lift its ban on fans carrying guns at games, at least for retired and off-duty law enforcement officers who hold permits to carry concealed weapons.

  Fox News
Nice headline for your barely literate viewers, though.

And from a non-Fox news source:
The National Fraternal Order of Police is asking the NFL to lift its ban on allowing people who are trained to carry their guns inside sports stadiums.

[...]

There is a heightened sense of security at stadiums around the NFL, but as of now, all off-duty officers and people with concealed carry permits must check their guns at the door.

"The Ohio FOP has reached out to the owners of the Bengals and the Browns to try and get them to rescind this policy that acts contrary to common sense," said president of the FOP of Ohio Jay McDonald. "Law enforcement officers should be able to help defend themselves and the lives of their fellow citizens in large scale events like an NFL game."

  KFVE

It's Still a Mystery




How to Keep Score





...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

And So It Begins

I missed this from June last year...
A "super computer" has duped humans into thinking it was a 13-year-old boy to become the first machine to pass the Turing test, experts have said. Five machines were tested at the Royal Society in central London to see if they could fool people into thinking they were humans during text-based conversations.

The test was devised in 1950 by computer science pioneer and second world war codebreaker Alan Turing, who said that if a machine was indistinguishable from a human, then it was "thinking".

No computer had ever previously passed the Turing test, which requires 30% of human interrogators to be duped during a series of five-minute keyboard conversations, organisers from the University of Reading said.

  Guardian

Saturday, November 28, 2015

In the Wake of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Attack



Here


I'll Believe It When I See It

Which I won't, because they do things in secret.

In the alternative, they'll turn the practice over to another agency where it will be done under deeper cover.



...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Now You've Really Gone Too Far

The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, held meetings this week with representatives of YouTube and Google, to find ways of cooperating to censor Palestinian videos from occupied Palestine, videos she dubbed as “inciting violence and terrorism.”

Israeli daily Maariv said Hotovely will be working with Google and YouTube officials in a joint mechanism that will be in charge of “monitoring and preventing” any publication of materials deemed by Tel Aviv to be “inflammatory.”

  Saed Bannoura

And a big F U to Google and YouTube.  Every time I turn around I learn another objectionable thing about Google.  I'm going to have to bite the bullet and at least extricate myself from GMail.  And stop using Google search engines.  Unfortunately, the app store on my Android phone is a Google product.  And Blogger is a Google product!  Google is everywhere.  UPDATE:  Okay, I've realized my attempts to extricate myself from Google are, in practice, limited to email and search engine.  I have way too many things that rely on Google...just as they planned, right?  I'll have to look for a way to protest what they're doing here; even if it's just an email to the company that will get tossed.
Hotovely announced in a Hebrew-only press release that she met with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Google’s Director of Public Policy, Jennifer Oztzistzki, at Google’s Silicon Valley Offices.
Hebrew-only press release.
All foreign journalists who report in the Occupied Territories are required to register with the Israeli military, and any footage that they film is required to go through the Israeli Military Censor’s office before it can be released.
Freedom of the press in Israel.

It's well beyond time for the US to withdraw all military and financial support from that government.

Since that will not happen...
Individual consumers can show their opposition to Israel’s violations by participating in a consumer boycott of Israeli companies, goods and services or of international companies involved in Israeli policies violating Palestinian human rights and international law. A consumer boycott works in two ways: firstly by generating public awareness about Israeli apartheid and occupation as well as international support for it and secondly by applying economic pressure for change.

[...]

Trying to boycott the products of every single company that participates in Israeli apartheid is a daunting task that has a slim change of having a concrete impact.

It makes more sense to focus on optimal targets that are being targeted as part of national or international campaigns. Consumer boycotts are most effective when part of a broader campaign against a particular product or aiming to pressure a retailer to stop selling a particular Israeli product.

Get in contact with a BDS organisation in your area to find out what companies and products are being targeted and how to support local campaigns.

  BDS Movement
Or check the BDS Movement website for a partial listing.  (Three companies you know well and probably purchase from:  Ben & Jerry's; Ahava cosmetics; Hewlitt Packard.)

We Don't Want to "Fight Them Here"

Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.

[...]

Non-Muslim extremists have carried out 19 such attacks since Sept. 11, according to the latest count, compiled by David Sterman, a New America program associate, and overseen by Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert. By comparison, seven lethal attacks by Islamic militants have taken place in the same period.

If such numbers are new to the public, they are familiar to police officers. A survey to be published this week asked 382 police and sheriff’s departments nationwide to rank the three biggest threats from violent extremism in their jurisdiction. About 74 percent listed antigovernment violence, while 39 percent listed “Al Qaeda-inspired” violence, according to the researchers, Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina and David Schanzer of Duke University.

“Law enforcement agencies around the country have told us the threat from Muslim extremists is not as great as the threat from right-wing extremists."

  NYT


...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Friday, November 27, 2015

What Algorithm Do These Sites Use?

You Tube is apparently no better than Netflix in categorizing their offerings.



I'm pretty sure Stevie McCrorie, while a good singer, has nothing to do with politics (the category into which You Tube has placed his videos) while singing.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Sharia Law

“In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin — violate God’s law and sin — if we’re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that,” Rubio said in an interview with CBN on Tuesday.

“So when those two come into conflict, God’s rules always win,” he added.

  The Hill
Sounds a bit treasonous to me.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Consumer News

One retired FBI agent says Donald Trump’s claims of seeing Muslim celebrations following the attacks on 9-11 are absolutely plausible.

Jim Burkett was an assistant special agent in charge with the FBI’s office in Boston during 9-11 and afterward. He says during that time the office received tons of phone calls from people who feared more attacks and others reporting suspicious activity.

Many of those calls, said Burkett, came from concerned and angry Americans reporting Muslim’s celebrating over the destruction of the twin towers and damage to the Pentagon. The calls were logged, reports were made and there were “stacks and stacks” of them, he said.

[...]

Most of the calls he said were deemed unimportant and the agency didn’t see fit to initiate investigations.

But the retired agent says even though video of celebrations following 9-11 is hard to find, he says it means Trump’s claims are highly plausible.

  WKRG
Donald Trump said this to supporters at an Alabama rally:

"Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering."

[...]

George Stephanopoulus challenged Trump on this on ABC's This Week, noting that police said nothing like that happened.

TRUMP: It did happen. I saw it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw that…

TRUMP: It was on television. I saw it.

[...]

[It's the media's fault.] The old Edward R. Murrow, eat-your-broccoli version of the news was banished long ago. Once such whiny purists were driven from editorial posts and the ad people over the last four or five decades got invited in, things changed. Then it was nothing but murders, bombs, and panda births, delivered to thickening couch potatoes in ever briefer blasts of forty, thirty, twenty seconds.

[...]

When you make the news into [...] consumer business, pretty soon audiences lose the ability to distinguish between what they think they're doing, informing themselves, and what they're actually doing, shopping.

And who shops for products he or she doesn't want? That's why the consumer news business was always destined to hit this kind of impasse. You can get by for a long time by carefully selecting the facts you know your audiences will like, and calling that news. But eventually there will be a truth that displeases your customers. What do you do then?

[...]

It was preposterous from the start to think that there could have been contemporaneous broadcasts of "thousands" of people in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks. Does nobody remember how people felt that day? If there had been such broadcasts, there would have been massacres – angry Americans would have stormed Jersey City.

[...]

Beyond all of that: if footage of such a celebration existed, it would have skyrocketed around the country, and not popped off ineffectually on some local broadcast for just Donald Trump to see and remember. The whole thing is nuts.

[...]

What this 9/11 celebrations story shows is that American news audiences have had their fantasies stroked for so long that they can't even remember stuff that happened not that long ago. It's like an organic version of 1984, with audiences constantly editing even their own memories to fit their current attitudes about things.

[...]

This is a horrible thing to have to say about one's own country, but this story makes it official. America is now too dumb for TV news.

[...]

To believe there was a mass demonstration of open, gloating defiance right across the river from Manhattan while the Towers smoldered, speaks to a powerfully crazy fantasy both about American impotence and about a brazen, homogenous evil in Muslim-American communities.

Maybe in the wake of Paris that's the way people feel, but it's not close to what happened. If we can't even remember things correctly even in the video age, things are going to get weird pretty fast in this country.

  Matt Taibbi

Personally, I think they already have.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Jesus H Christ



What Happens to Those Pardoned Turkeys

[This year's] turkeys were raised by Dr Jihad Douglas, whom Obama referred to simply as “Dr Douglas”.

  The Guardian
A wet dream for birthers. Barack Hussein Obama gets his turkeys from Jihad Douglas.

But what happens to the pardoned turkeys?
Over the years they’ve been sent to a variety of farms to live out their days in peace. This year, they’re headed to Turkey Hill Farm in Morven Park in Virginia, the same farm they were sent to in 2013 and 2014. Prior to that, between 2010 and 2012, the turkeys spent their final days at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. But that tradition was ended because it was not historically accurate, as Washington did not farm turkeys.

  The Guardian
Seriously, who complained about that? This is why more people don't get into politics.
From 2005 to 2009, the birds were sent to the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland Resort in California, or the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. And for many years before that, they resided in Fairfax County, Virginia at the aptly named Frying Pan Park.
If those early turkeys knew the name of the "park" they were headed for, they wouldn't have thought much of their pardon. But, thankfully, turkeys don't understand English, nor human intentions, or they wouldn't eat so much.
“The birds are fed in such a way to increase their weight,” Norton told CNN. “[Americans] want a nice big breasted turkey and so they are fed high protein diet and they get quite large. The organs, though, that are in this bird are meant for a smaller bird. They just can’t handle the extra weight, so they end up living not as long [as wild turkeys].”

[...]

“The bird is bred for the table, not for longevity,” [Dean Norton, the director at Mount Vernon in charge of livestock] told CNN. “Some of [the pardoned turkeys] have been pretty short lived.”
From a few months to less than two years.
Popcorn, one of the turkeys pardoned in 2013, died the summer after his short stay at the White House from “something heat-related."
An oven?


Insufferable

And we are right behind them.
Thousands of Palestinians will be displaced as part of a new Israeli plan to build several Jewish-only communities in the Negev region, in south of the Israeli territory, which will be built on top of Bedouin Palestinian villages, civil rights groups said Wednesday.

  Juan Cole
Isn't our attachment to Israel because they're the "only democracy in the Middle East"?
Israeli Minister of Housing Yoav Galant hailed the government’s decision and said the region should be turned “into a desired and flourishing area, in accordance with the Zionist vision”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called, on Sunday, for more Jewish communities “to be built quickly while bypassing bureaucratic processes”.

[...]

“The settlement of Daya would be built on the unrecognized village of Katamat, which is home to 1,500 people and the Neve Gurion settlement is supposed to be built on part of the land of Beer Hadaj, a recognized village with approximately 6,000 residents,” Bimkom and ACRI said in the statement.
Well, they can't come here! They're probably terrorists.
In May, Israeli-based Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights issued a database documenting more than 50 discriminatory laws which directly or indirectly target Palestinian citizens of Israel by quelling their political expression and limiting their access to state resources, notably land.
Right. Democracy.

We have some wonderful friends and allies in the Middle East, don't we?  Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Jesus.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Look Back on Iraq and the Rise of the Islamic State

The assertion by some observers that [Iraq] is riven by age-old hatreds, is ahistorical and incorrect. In previous decades, political passions centered on anti-colonialism or big landlordism and socialism. The vacuum of power created by the U.S. dissolution of the secular Baath Party encouraged Iraqi politicians to play on sectarian passions in unprecedented ways. Provoking a violent insurgency was likewise fateful.

[...]

After the 2003 invasion, Bush administration officials deliberately pushed aside Iraq’s Sunni Arabs, who had dominated Saddam Hussein’s regime, and favored a clique of Shiite operatives. [...] Shiite Bush allies like the late Ahmad Chalabi and Nouri al-Maliki (who would serve as prime minister from 2006 until 2014) formed a “Debaathification Commission” that fired close to 100,000 Sunni Arabs from government jobs, even from teaching school. This was at a time when there were no private-sector jobs.

[...]

Bush’s viceroy, Paul Bremer, a militant free-marketeer, at the same time dissolved most state-owned factories and threw the economy into a tailspin. Then Bremer dissolved the vaunted Iraqi million-man army, sending officers and troops away with no pensions and no prospects. Unemployment swept the Sunni Arab provinces the way bubonic plague swept medieval Europe.

[...]

The administration’s vindictive targeting of Fallujah after four security contractors were killed in spring of 2004 reduced a proud city to rubble by the following late autumn and alienated Sunni Arabs in other cities, who refused to vote in the January 2005 elections. The resulting parliament was Shiite-dominated, and charged with crafting the constitution, a constitution all the Sunni-majority provinces rejected.

[...]

In 2011 when youth protests broke out in Mosul and Fallujah, al-Maliki ordered them brutally repressed, ending any hope Sunnis had for political reform and inclusion.

[...]

Some 50 major cells emerged in the Sunni-majority provinces. One of these, al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, [...] attracted not only the religious-minded Sunnis[...], but also former Baath officers who knew where Saddam Hussein’s hidden arms depots were located.

After al-Zarqawi was killed in 2006 by an American airstrike, Iraqis took over the leadership of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. They created the so-called Islamic State in Iraq, which began holding swaths of territory. Many of the leaders of this group were former Baathist military officers.

[...]

When, in 2011, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad attacked the youth revolution against him militarily and turned it into a violent insurgency, Islamic State fighters went off to Syria to fight the remaining Baath regime.

[...]

In June 2014, [... local] Sunni Arab elites, sick of being marginalized and humiliated by Shiite Baghdad, decided they would risk an alliance with the Islamic State.

[...]

Why Bush chose sectarian favoritism over South Africa-style reconciliation remains mysterious.

  Juan Cole at WaPo
Really? I'm pretty sure it was because W, on God's command, was convinced he was going to bring the entire world to heel and be crowned Emperor of All That Is on Earth. No?

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

That Can't Be Good



The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2015 is 1.8 percent on November 25, down from 2.3 percent on November 18. The forecast for the fourth-quarter rate of real consumer spending declined from 3.1 percent to 2.2 percent after this morning's personal income and outlays release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank

Nope, You Can't See It

For several years, the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Times have been suing to wrench documents from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Council that outline the rationale for killing suspected terrorists. Specifically, they sought the release of the justification for drone strikes that killed three U.S. citizens in Yemen in the fall of 2011: Anwar al Awlaki, his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al Awlaki, and Samir Khan.

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said that widespread discussion about the drone program by administration officials, as well as the leak of a so-called white paper from the Justice Department, outlining its legal reasoning for killing a U.S. citizen, had mooted the case for so much secrecy. The court ordered the government to release a July 2010 memo that cleared the way for killing Anwar al Awlaki. Two other documents discussing the CIA’s role in such killings were also made public last year, in heavily redacted form.

[...]

For the time being, it will stay that way. In ruling Monday against the disclosure of the 2002 memo, the appeals judges said that it long predates public commentary about the drone war by Obama administration officials, and “the context in which the official spoke might be significantly different from the context in which the earlier document was prepared.”

  The Intercept


...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

It's All Ed Snowden's Fault


“It’s still a capital crime, and I would give him the death sentence, and I would prefer to see him hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted,” former CIA Director James Woolsey said during an appearance on CNN on November 19.

  New American
London Mayor Boris Johnson says the former National Security Agency contractor, who two years ago outed the U.S. government’s program of telephone and Internet surveillance, effectively taught terrorists “how to avoid being caught.” CIA Director John Brennan complained Monday that “a number of unauthorized disclosures” in recent years about the extent of federal snooping has made tracking terrorists “much more challenging.” Snowden also drew a borderline-profane slam on Twitter over the weekend from former George W. Bush press secretary Dana Perino.

[...]

The criticism of Snowden comes as intelligence officials seek to reopen a debate over the balance between security and privacy — a balance that seemed, before the deaths of 129 individuals in Paris, to have been settled firmly in favor of civil liberties.

[...]

“We’ve had a public debate. That debate was defined by Edward Snowden, right, and the concern about privacy,” former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” “I think we're now going to have another debate about that. It's going to be defined by what happened in Paris.”

In his memoirs earlier this year, Morell said Snowden's revelations had a near-immediate effect on intelligence gathering: Within weeks, “communications sources dried up, tactics were changed."

  Politico

02/05/2001 - Updated 05:17 PM ET

Terror groups hide behind Web encryption

By Jack Kelley, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Hidden in the X-rated pictures on several pornographic Web sites and the posted comments on sports chat rooms may lie the encrypted blueprints of the next terrorist attack against the United States or its allies.

[...]

"Uncrackable encryption is allowing terrorists — Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida and others — to communicate about their criminal intentions without fear of outside intrusion," FBI Director Louis Freeh said last March during closed-door testimony on terrorism before a Senate panel.

  USA Today
Check the date of that article.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Kunduz Report


The investigation, known officially as a combined civilian casualty assessment, was led by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Richard Kim and was comprised of representatives of NATO and the Afghan government.

[...]

The crew of a U.S. warplane that attacked a medical charity's hospital in northern Afghanistan last month, killing and wounding dozens of civilians, misidentified the target, believing it to be a government compound taken over by the Taliban, according to an investigation report obtained Wednesday.

  Daily Camera
Bullshit.

Doctors Without Borders has already reported that they made sure all parties involved in war knew precisely where the hospital was, as you do if you are in charge of a hospital in a war zone. In fact, they desperately reported their location again to the US and Afghan authorities EIGHTEEN times during the attack.
The report said the crew of the U.S. AC-130 gunship relied on a physical description of the compound provided by Afghan forces, which led the crew to attack the wrong target. It said the intended target, thought to be under Taliban control and being used in part as a prison, was 450 yards away from the hospital.
Again, precise coordinates were provided. They knew it was a hospital.  Their Afghan counterparts knew it was a hospital.  If there was a prison nearby, it would have been even more pertinent to know precisely which was which.  US forces may have been directed to bomb the hospital by the Afghans - who knows? - but they knew what they were bombing. In fact, one of the early reasons given by the US military for bombing it was that there were Taliban inside. That, of course, was still not only immoral, but illegal, so they had to drop that line.
The report said investigators found no evidence that the Americans involved knew they were attacking a hospital. It said they found no evidence that key commanders, including the Afghans and the AC-130 gunship crew, had access to a "no strike" list of targets that were off-limits to attack. Under U.S. rules of engagement, no hospital or similar facility is a valid target.
This particular operation was the only one ever carried out  in Afghanistan (or any war theater) in the absence of off-limits targets. How odd.
It is unclear whether the U.S. Special Forces commander on the ground, who authorized the air assault, had the map grid coordinates for the Doctors Without Borders hospital available to him at the time he authorized the attack, the report said.
Did they not just say they had no evidence of such a thing? What exactly is unclear in regard to this commander?
The medical charity had provided GPS coordinates for its medical facilities in Kunduz to U.S. military authorities in Kabul and to Afghan government officials on Sept. 29.
Well, did they or did they not have "access" to a no strike list?
"This mission critical information was not received by the AC-130 aircrew" or the Afghan commanders, the report said.
What did the "US military authorities" who were provided with it do with that "mission critical information"? Eat it?
Investigators found no evidence that the crew or the U.S. Special Forces commander on the ground who authorized the strike knew the targeted compound was a hospital at the time of the attack.
Yeah, they would find that, wouldn't they.
The plane fired 211 shells at the compound over a 25-minute period before commanders realized the mistake and ordered a halt, it says.
Twenty-five minutes before they called a halt. It was a mistake alright, just not in the sense they're claiming.
"The misidentification of the MSF compound and its subsequent engagement resulted from a series of human errors, compounded by failures of process and procedure, and malfunctions of technical equipment which restricted the situational awareness" of the U.S. forces involved, the report concluded.
How rich. That must be the standard conclusion in the US military investigation guide book, leaving a blank for the target du jour to be filled in PRN.
President Barack Obama has apologized for the attack, one of the worst incidents of civilian casualties in the 14-year history of the U.S war effort.
And that wasn't enough? Christ, what do these people want?
A subsequent U.S. military investigation was done to look further at the case and to determine accountability. Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was scheduled to make a public statement Wednesday about the further investigation.
Gee, I wonder what General Campbell will have to add to this clearly thorough report.

UPDATE:


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

This Is America?


Losing Our Shit

I am trying to keep in mind how insane this country went after 9/11 and not be overly concerned about the latest iteration.  On the other hand, it seems to me now that we didn't settle back down after that period so much as position ourselves at a new, higher benchmark of insanity.  Otherwise, I can't account for shit like this...

Last Friday night, the Union of White NYU Students, a “community” on Facebook, posted its first status update.

Linking to a student-run blog addressing diversity issues at New York University, the union’s Facebook admin mused, “What does ‘diversity’ mean other than ‘not white’? I’m not sure there is an answer to this. Is the word ‘diversity’ itself a discriminatory term against whites?”

  WaPo
Gee, I don't know, college dude. Is there maybe a dictionary on campus somewhere you could look that word up?
At around the same time, similar pages emerged in connection with other colleges in the U.S. and Canada — at the University of California Berkeley, Swarthmore College, the University of Missouri and the University of British Columbia. As of Tuesday morning, there are roughly 30 Facebook pages purporting to represent some form of a “White Students Union,” all of which were created within the past few days, according to a user on Medium who referred to an online spreadsheet of the pages.

Several of the pages feature the same statement of purpose, beginning with a welcome to “students of European descent (and allies)” and concluding with a “vision” of a future in which “every ethnic group has the right to organize and represent themselves and their interests.”
Vision of the future??  You haven't always had that right?

The Post article contends that most of these accounts are limited to social pages and not actual physical clubs. Maybe not yet.
NYU spokesman Matt Nagel said in a statement to NYULocal that the organization was never registered at the university and that the Facebook page was using the school’s logo illegally and without permission.

[...]

The White Students Union wave appears to have started with the “Illini White Students Union,” which accused the Black Lives Matter movement of “disrupting student daily life” and “marginalizing” white students.

[...]

Andrew Anglin, who runs the blog the Daily Stormer, which has been described as a “neo-Nazi website,” wrote in an e-mail to The Washington Post that he has been encouraging the formation of such groups for years, though he denies being directly involved with their sudden rise over the weekend.

[...]

“Whites need to organize and protect their interests in the face of rising Black terrorism,” he wrote. “The goal of a White Student Union would be to push back against this, and also to show Whites across the country that it is okay to be White, it is okay to defend your history and your civilization.”
Yes. You poor "marginalized" and "terrorized" white folk, denied the space to defend "your" history and "your" civilization. And worse - having your daily lives disrupted!

The Department of Homeland Security has stepped back for the past two years from conducting its own intelligence and analysis of home-grown extremism, according to current and former department officials, even though law enforcement and civil rights experts have warned of rising extremist threats.

The department has cut the number of personnel studying domestic terrorism unrelated to Islam, canceled numerous state and local law enforcement briefings, and held up dissemination of nearly a dozen reports on extremist groups, the officials and others said.

The decision to reduce the department’s role was provoked by conservative criticism of an intelligence report on “Rightwing Extremism” issued four months into the Obama administration, the officials said. The report warned that the poor economy and Obama’s election could stir “violent radicalization,” but it was pilloried as an attack on conservative ideologies, including opponents of abortion and immigration.

  WaPo
How very timely.
Five people were shot and wounded Monday night near a police precinct in Minneapolis where demonstrators have been protesting the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man, the police said.

[...]

Miski Noor, an organizer at the Minneapolis arm of Black Lives Matter, said the shooting happened as demonstrators were escorting three masked men who had been behaving suspiciously away from the site of the rally, where people have gathered for more than a week to protest the Nov. 15 shooting of Jamar Clark, 24.

When they reached a dark area, the men turned around and opened fire on the demonstrators before fleeing, Ms. Noor said.

[...]

In accounts given on social media and to Ms. Noor, witnesses described the gunmen as three men, two white and one Asian, wearing masks and bulletproof vests.

[...]

The police said on Twitter that they were looking for three white male suspects. There had been no arrests early Tuesday. Officials said investigators were still collecting evidence and seeking and interviewing witnesses.

  NYT


How on earth are we poor white folks in America supposed to defend ourselves on two fronts without these willing white avengers?  Aside from the terrorizing blacks in this country, we have to worry about the foreign terrorists which takes all our government resources.
It's clear now that the Paris attacks enormously energized the Trumpist movement. He's now speculating openly about invading Syria. Trump's proposals have gone from overt prejudice to things literally taken out of late Weimar history — closure of mosques and a national Muslim database. The rank-and-file have both fed off and stoked this behavior. When a lone protester started chanting "black lives matter" at a Trump rally, Trumpists jumped him (he was luckily not badly injured). Trump later said, "Maybe he should have been roughed up." Hours later he lied about witnessing Muslim crowds celebrating 9/11, and retweeted nonsense racist garbage from a literal neo-Nazi.

Conditions are clearly fertile to start organizing a Trumpist paramilitary wing, a key fascist institution. A pack of heavily armed white nationalist militants recently popped up at a mosque in Irving, Texas, announcing their intention to intimidate local Muslims. Trump's personal security squad is already made up of goons, assaulting people and threatening reporters.

[...]

If Trump wins the nomination and the economy turns down next year, I'd give him a decent chance of victory.

[...]

Violent white nationalism has not been so effectively mainstreamed since the 1920s.

  The Week


And Fox News, oh-so-helpfully, eggs us on.
...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

He Won't Have His Job Long

Speaking to MSNBC on Saturday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was asked to discuss the growing anxiety over Syrian refugees entering the United States, purportedly over concerns they could be potential agents for militant groups such as ISIS. Rawlings staunchly rejected the assertion that Syrians are somehow uniquely prone to violence, saying he is more concerned with the rise of white supremacy and the recent flurry of mass shootings committed by white men.

“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings said.

[...]

“ISIS is no more Islamic than Nazi senior staff was Christian,” he said. He also subtly challenged Christian governors and other followers of Christ who have rejected refugees, referencing Jesus’ scriptural call to “welcome the stranger” in Matthew 25:41-43.

  Think Progress

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.  (I believe that is a direct quote from Jesus.)

Surely They Must All be Muslims...By Definition

MI5 has concluded that there is no easy way to identify those who become involved in terrorism in Britain, according to a classified internal research document on radicalisation seen by the Guardian.

The sophisticated analysis, based on hundreds of case studies by the security service, says there is no single pathway to violent extremism.

It concludes that it is not possible to draw up a typical profile of the "British terrorist."

[...]

They are mostly British nationals, not illegal immigrants and, far from being Islamist fundamentalists, most are religious novices.

[...]

The security service also plays down the importance of radical extremist clerics, saying their influence in radicalising British terrorists has moved into the background in recent years.

The research, carried out by MI5's behavioural science unit, is based on in-depth case studies on "several hundred individuals known to be involved in, or closely associated with, violent extremist activity" ranging from fundraising to planning suicide bombings in Britain.

[...]

The majority are British nationals and the remainder, with a few exceptions, are here legally. [...] Some of these fled traumatic experiences and oppressive regimes and claimed UK asylum, but more came to Britain to study or for family or economic reasons and became radicalised many years after arriving.

[...]

MI5 says assumptions cannot be made about suspects based on skin colour, ethnic heritage or nationality.

  Guardian
And this won't sit well with our own Christians...
Far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could actually be regarded as religious novices. Very few have been brought up in strongly religious households, and there is a higher than average proportion of converts. Some are involved in drug-taking, drinking alcohol and visiting prostitutes. MI5 says there is evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation.
I presume they are talking about Muslims.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

They Deserve It

Donald Trump touted the benefits of waterboarding in a campaign rally on Monday night, telling a crowd that “you bet your ass” he would bring it back into use.

Addressing thousands of people in Columbus, Ohio, the Republican frontrunner praised waterboarding, an interrogation method that has been called torture. “I would approve more than that,” he said.

Trump told supporters: “Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would. In a heartbeat. I would approve more than that. It works.”

The Republican frontrunner then added “… and if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they do to us”.

  Guardian
I think this is precisely the attitude people miss who use the arugment that torture doesn't work. And it should be confronted head-on. "It doesn't work" is irrelevant on both sides of the argument against torture.  It's inhuman, inhumane and indefensible.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Monday, November 23, 2015

In Our Decline

In our decline, hatred becomes our primary lust, our highest form of patriotism and a form of eroticism. We are made supine by hatred and fear. We deploy vast resources to hunt down jihadists and terrorists, real and phantom. We destroy our civil society in the name of a war on terror. We persecute those [...] who expose the dark machinations of power. We believe, because we have externalized evil, that we can purify the earth.

  Chris Hedges
...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

You May Need This



...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Who Will Save Us?


He's probably on his way to the US this very minute.  We need to waste no time arguing now.  Screw the "back door" approach.  We need a law allowing the NSA direct access to ALL our communications in real time. It's okay.  You have nothing to hide.  Only bad people do.


Not soon enough.


...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

It's Sunday

Trump's probably not hurting himself too much with his negativity toward Muslims either- only 49% of Republicans think the religion of Islam should even be legal in the United States with 30% saying it shouldn't be and 21% not sure.

  Public Policy Polling


...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

But, But, Edward Snowden!

In the wake of the Paris attack, intelligence officials and sympathizers upset by the Edward Snowden leaks and the spread of encrypted communications have tried to blame Snowden for the terrorists’ ability to keep their plans secret from law enforcement.

Yet news emerging from Paris — as well as evidence from a Belgian ISIS raid in January — suggests that the ISIS terror networks involved were communicating in the clear, and that the data on their smartphones was not encrypted.

European media outlets are reporting that the location of a raid conducted on a suspected safe house Wednesday morning was extracted from a cellphone, apparently belonging to one of the attackers, found in the trash outside the Bataclan concert hall massacre. Le Monde reported that investigators were able to access the data on the phone, including a detailed map of the concert hall and an SMS messaging saying “we’re off; we’re starting.” Police were also able to trace the phone’s movements.

  HTTPS
Not to mention that even if they had used encrypted phones, they were already on the French intel radar before the attack.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Jeez, That Was QUICK



Congress is full of the bravest of the brave, yes?   Are they still eating Freedom Fries?

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Perpetual War with a Stateless State

Aided by the disinterest of a world wearied and wary after the failings of the Iraq war, an assortment of al-Qaeda veterans, hardened Iraqi insurgents, Arab jihadist ideologues and Western volunteers have moved into the vacuum left by the collapse of governments in Syria and Iraq and built themselves a proto-state. It can hardly be said to count as a real state, but it controls territory, raises taxes and maintains an army.

[...]

The Islamic State is finding new footholds in Egypt, Libya and Afghanistan as state control crumbles there, too.

[...]

France has joined the United States and Russia in conducting airstrikes in Syria, raining bombs on the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa on two occasions since the bloodshed in Paris on Friday.

[...]

Syrian activists with the group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, which maintains a network of undercover reporters in Raqqa, say that the initial French strikes, at least, hit only empty buildings vacated by the militants in anticipation of retaliation.

[...]

Although there have been calls for more robust intervention, including boots on the ground, from some members of Congress, President Obama has made it clear that he thinks the current U.S. strategy is working.

  WaPo
Clearly.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

So It's Come to This




Baby Hitler?



...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Mistakes Were Made

"History will not be kind with the decisions made in 2003 going into Iraq." -- General Michael Flynn, former head of US Defense Intelligence (until last year).

And regarding Syria:  "You have to ask the president, what is it that he is doing with the policy that is in place because it is very, very confusing.  I can't tell you what that is, and I've been at this for a long time."

Regarding the "War on Terror" being waged by the US:  "If you look at [the period from 2004 to 2014, ...] the number of our State Department designated terrorist groups has doubled.  So something is wrong with our policy and our strategy."

In this interview, Mehdi Hasan (talking over the general too much) brings up one of my pet peeves with people who, only after leaving the administration, publicly fault what was done.  Hasan asks General Flynn why he didn't do something while he held the job, and the general tells Hasan, "I hate to say, it wasn't my job."  But that's essentially what he says.  He says his job was to provide the best intelligence possible.  He says he argued against supporting "moderate" groups in Syria, but that his arguments lost.

Although Flynn does say once or twice that he takes responsibility for some things (whatever that means), Hasan doesn't let him up.

The second half of the interview discusses Iran.  All interesting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

But They Need MORE Surveillance Powers

In the aftermath of a terrorist atrocity, government officials often seem to talk about surveillance as if it were some sort of panacea, a silver bullet. But what they always fail to explain is how, even with mass surveillance systems already in place in countries like France, the United States, and the United Kingdom, attacks still happen.

[...]

The Intercept has reviewed 10 high-profile jihadi attacks carried out in Western countries between 2013 and 2015 (see below), and in each case some or all of the perpetrators were already known to the authorities before they executed their plot. In other words, most of the terrorists involved were not ghost operatives who sprang from nowhere to commit their crimes; they were already viewed as a potential threat, yet were not subjected to sufficient scrutiny by authorities under existing counterterrorism powers.

[...]

If any lesson can be learned from studying the perpetrators of recent attacks, it is that there needs to be a greater investment in conducting targeted surveillance of known terror suspects and a move away from the constant knee-jerk expansion of dragnet surveillance, which has simply not proven itself to be effective, regardless of the debate about whether it is legal or ethical in the first place.

  The Intercept
...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Do They Not Vet These People?

24-year old Matthew Adams is out of a job after San Antonio Police arrested him Monday Night on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Adams was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in August. He is one of 14 deputies arrested this year.

  KTSA (San Antonio)
Fourteen!?!?!?!

Time for a new sheriff, San Antonio?

Here is a list of the offenses of twelve of those deputies:



I guess we can say "at least they got arrested and not promoted."

And It Will Never Be Enough



...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Be Very Afraid



But by all means, go shopping!  The malls are safe!  The malls are safe!

Vote Trump: He Can Divine the Timing of the Next Terror Attack

(Not sure this means he can stop it, but hey.)
The Republican frontrunner boasted of his innate “instinct” for predicting terrorist threats, he told a packed crowd at Tennessee’s Knoxville Convention Center Monday night.

“In my book I predicted terrorism because I can feel it,” said Trump, who has made his billions developing casinos and hotels. “I can feel it like I feel a good location.”

  NY Daily News
Donald Trump predicted terrorism. Who knew? (Just how old IS he anyway?)
Trump not only warned of Osama Bin Laden a year before the Sept. 11 attacks, describing him as a “shadowy figure," but he also predicted weapons of mass destruction would be used against an American city and advised the U.S. government to infiltrate terrorist groups.

“I really believe I have an instinct for this kind of thing,” Trump added.
Apparently he hasn't been using it abroad.
In the wake of militant group claiming responsibility for the deadly Paris attacks, Trump has offered his own solutions to curb Islamic extremism.

He would “bomb the s—-t” out of ISIS strongholds in Syria and shutter American mosques touting Islamic extremism.

The thousands of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria could wait out the airstrikes in a “big, beautiful safe zone” instead of pouring into Europe and the U.S., Trump suggested.
I assume he can "feel the location" for that, too.

Wow. If only Trump were president now.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Mission Accomplished

While ISIS initially endorsed the [Charlie Hebdo] killings on purely religious grounds, calling the murdered cartoonists blasphemers, in Dabiq the group offered another, more chilling rationale for its support.

The attack had “further [brought] division to the world,” the group said, boasting that it had polarized society and “eliminated the grayzone,” representing coexistence between religious groups. As a result, it said, Muslims living in the West would soon no longer be welcome in their own societies. Treated with increasing suspicion, distrust and hostility by their fellow citizens as a result of the deadly shooting, Western Muslims would soon be forced to “either apostatize … or they [migrate] to the Islamic State, and thereby escape persecution from the crusader governments and citizens,” the group stated, while threatening of more attacks to come.

Last Friday, at roughly 9:20 p.m. local time in Paris, the Islamic State delivered on that threat.

[...]

[Currently, the] Islamic State is deeply unpopular among Muslims. Like their non-Muslim compatriots, French Muslims recoiled with disgust at the recent atrocities in Paris.

[...]

By launching increasingly shocking attacks against Western targets, the Islamic State is pursuing a specific goal — generating hostility between domestic Muslim populations and the broader societies that they live in.

[...]

Through increasingly provocative terrorist attacks, hostage executions, and videotaped threats, the Islamic State is consciously seeking to trigger a backlash by Western governments and citizens against the Muslim minorities living in their societies. By achieving this, the group hopes to polarize both sides against each other, locking them into an escalating spiral of alienation, hatred and collective retribution. In a such a scenario, the group can later attempt to pose as the only effective protector for increasingly beleaguered Western Muslims.

[...]

Through murderous provocation, the Islamic State seeks to trigger a civilizational war between Muslims and the West, violently dragging both parties into such a battle if need be. There can be no real victory in a conflict with such apocalyptic connotations. Instead, Western nations should remain defiant, making clear through word and deed that they refuse to see the world divided on the Islamic State’s terms.

  The Intercept
...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Spain Issues an Arrest Warning for Netanyahu

MADRID – Spanish national court judge Jose de la Mata has ordered the police and the civil guard to notify him if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and six former Israeli officials step foot on Spanish soil, since their visit could reopen a case filed against them in Spain for the attack on the Freedom Flotilla [bound for Gaza on a humanitarian mission] in 2010.

[...]

The list of Israeli officials includes Netanyahu, former defense minister Ehud Barak, former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, former minister of strategic affairs Moshe Yaalon, former interior minister Eli Yishai, minister without portfolio Benny Begin and vice admiral in charge of the operation, Maron Eliezer.

  Latin American Herald Tribune
An Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon told the Jerusalem Post: “We consider it to be a provocation. We are working with the Spanish authorities to get it cancelled. We hope it will be over soon.”

  UK Independent
Does Congress have a Spanish omelet in its cafeteria fare that needs to be renamed?

Human Nature Doesn't Change




Did they not want Jews or were they afraid of a couple of Hitler youths infiltrating?


...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Paris Exploitation

[John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency] called the attacks in Paris a “wake-up call,” and claimed that recent “policy and legal” actions “make our ability collectively, internationally, to find these terrorists much more challenging.”

It is hard to believe anything Mr. Brennan says. Last year, he bluntly denied that the C.I.A. had illegally hacked into the computers of Senate staff members conducting an investigation into the agency’s detention and torture programs when, in fact, it did. In 2011, when he was President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, he claimed that American drone strikes had not killed any civilians, despite clear evidence that they had. And his boss, James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has admitted lying to the Senate on the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of data. Even putting this lack of credibility aside, it’s not clear what extra powers Mr. Brennan is seeking.

  NYT
Whatever he can get.
Most of the men who carried out the Paris attacks were already on the radar of intelligence officials in France and Belgium, where several of the attackers lived only hundreds of yards from the main police station, in a neighborhood known as a haven for extremists.

[...]

In fact, indiscriminate bulk data sweeps have not been useful. In the more than two years since the N.S.A.’s data collection programs became known to the public, the intelligence community has failed to show that the phone program has thwarted a terrorist attack. Yet for years intelligence officials and members of Congress repeatedly misled the public by claiming that it was effective.

The intelligence agencies’ inability to tell the truth about surveillance practices is just one part of the problem. The bigger issue is their willingness to circumvent the laws, however they are written. The Snowden revelations laid bare how easy it is to abuse national-security powers, which are vaguely defined and generally exercised in secret.

[...]

There is no dispute that they and law enforcement agencies should have the necessary powers to detect and stop attacks before they happen. But that does not mean unquestioning acceptance of ineffective and very likely unconstitutional tactics that reduce civil liberties without making the public safer.
We'll settle for the illusion of safety. Truly, we are a nation of cowards led by the nose by men seeking unfettered power.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Have a Lot to Be Ashamed of in This Country

Even after accounting for every government assistance program — housing subsidies, food stamps, help with the electricity bill — nearly 16 million Americans still fall below 50 percent of the poverty line, measured by the Census Bureau’s revamped poverty measure that includes the effect of government support. That translates to roughly $8.60 per person per day for a family of four. That group is six million people larger than half a century ago.

  NYT
...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

The Stupid - It's Growing



What would Jesus do?

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Happy Birthday, Luke Kelly

Luke Kelly
November 17, 1940 - January 30, 1984




Indeed




It's Not a Crusade, Huh?

As part of a broad national security plan to defeat ISIS, Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich proposed creating a new government agency to push Judeo-Christian values around the world.

[...]

"We need to beam messages around the world" about the freedoms Americans enjoy, Kasich said in an interview with NBC News Tuesday.

  NBC
Because we haven't lost our freedom from being spied on by our government? Or because only Judeo-Christian values include freedom?
He defended creating a new government agency at a time when fellow Republican presidential candidates discuss eliminating government agencies to making the government smaller.

"There's nobody who's spent more time shrinking government than I have," Kasich, the former head of the House Budget Committee said, adding that not all government programs are equal.
And if that isn't the Republican platform in a nutshell, I don't know what is. The government programs they want are inherently good. The ones they don't want are inherently bad.
The United States already has a government-funded broadcast system in Voice of America, which broadcasts American news and programming abroad.
And to be sure, very pro-American news at that.  But it hasn't yet been packaged as Judeo-Christian.
The new agency, which he hasn't yet named, would promote a Jewish- and Christian-based belief system to four regions of the world: China, Iran, Russia and the Middle East.
Because Russians aren't Christians?  And when did Iran leave the Middle East?

Another brilliant Republican foreign policy presidential candidate.


...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

UPDATE:  Matt Taibbi reported on Kasich in Concord, New Hampshire, earlier this month.
Kasich in person seems like a man ready to physically implode from bitterness at the thought that his carefully laid scheme for power might be undone by a flatulent novelty act like Trump.

Surrounded by reporters in the Concord state offices, Kasich seethes again about the tenor of the race. "I think there are some really goofy ideas out there," he says.

  Rolling Stone
UNlike a Judeo-Christian Proselytizing Agency of the US government?


UPDATE:



"Prove you're a Christian." Torquemada and the Inquisition. Salem witch hunts.

But, the Publicity He Gets in the Meantime...Priceless

He sells books. He collects campaign contributions.

I keep falling short of my goal to avoid posting about Ben Carson.
Ben Carson’s remarks on foreign policy have repeatedly raised questions about his grasp of the subject, but never more seriously than in the past week, when he wrongly asserted that China had intervened militarily in Syria and then failed, on national television.

[...]

In last week’s Republican debate, speaking of the turmoil in Syria, Mr. Carson said that “the Chinese are there.”

Both the White House and China denied that China had intervened militarily in Syria.

[...]

Faced with increasing scrutiny about whether Mr. Carson — who leads in some Republican presidential polls — was capable of leading American foreign policy, two of his top advisers said in interviews with The New York Times that he had struggled to master the intricacies of the Middle East and national security and that intense tutoring was having little effect.

“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” Duane R. Clarridge, a top adviser to Mr. Carson on terrorism and national security, said in an interview. He also said Mr. Carson needed weekly conference calls briefing him on foreign policy so “we can make him smart.”

  NYT
I'm guessing Clarridge (himself guilty of lying to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal) isn't interested in keeping his job.

On the other hand, W Bush proved that many Americans like a president that's as ignorant as they are.
Mr. Carson’s advisers said that his source for claiming Chinese involvement in Syria was a telephone conversation he had had with a freelance American intelligence operative in Iraq.

According to notes of the briefing kept by a Carson aide who was also on the line, the operative had said, “Multiple reports have surfaced that Chinese military advisers are on the ground in Syria, operating with Russian special operations personnel.”

[...]

The operative in Iraq had “overleaped” in suggesting Chinese troops are in Syria, Mr. Clarridge said, adding of the operative, “You know how it goes when people are desperate for some headline.”
Yes, we do.  A few weeks ago, Fox News and the Daily Beast were falsely reporting that the Cubans were there, too. Hey, they're all commies. So what's the diff?

By the way, Mr. Clarridge is helping Mr. Carson gratis. All the more reason he might not care if he gets fired.
Robert F. Dees, a retired Army general on the staff of Liberty University, the institution founded by Jerry Falwell [is acting as national security adviser for Carson].

[...]

Mr. Dees offered a different portrait of Mr. Carson than Mr. Clarridge. “Dr. Carson is an amazing intellect,” he said. “He has the right stuff to be commander in chief.”
Yes, Mr. Dees is getting paid for his position.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

UPDATE:


The 2016 GOP Search for Someone Other Than a Dog-Whistling Clown

Disaster could be averted if Americans on both the left and the right suddenly decide to be more mature about this, neither backing obvious mental incompetents, nor snickering about those who do. But that doesn't seem probable.

Instead, HashtagClownCar will almost certainly continue to be the most darkly ridiculous political story since Henry II of Champagne, the 12th-century king of Jerusalem, plunged to his death after falling out of a window with a dwarf.

  Matt Taibbi
We could outdo even that.  It's not over yet.

Matt Taibbi went to a Jeb Bush stop in a New Hampshire pharmacy, and it seems Jeb didn't come off well.
Bush has no feel for audience. He doesn't know how to play down to a mob. Nor does he realize how absurd he sounds when a Lucky Spermer scion like himself tries to talk about his "small-business" experience (his past three "jobs" were all lucrative gigs with giant companies that had done business with Florida when he was governor). Despite all this, Bush doesn't seem crazy, nor even like a particularly disgusting person by presidential-campaign standards, which probably disqualifies him from this race. 
Among the other less than crowd-rousing moments was one where the pharmacy owner asked a question. Or rather, offered a solution to his own pet peeve.
[Manoukian] has a proposal he's been trying to make state law that would give drug dealers special status.

"They would be like child molesters, always being registered," he says. He wheezes excitedly as he details his plan to strip dealers of all social services. I don't think the plan involves using hot irons to brand them with neck tattoos, but that's the spirit.

The reporters all flash bored looks at one another. People like Manoukian are recurring figures on the campaign trail, particularly on the Republican side. There's always some local Junior Anti-Sex League chief who asks the candidate in a town hall to endorse a plan for summary executions of atheists or foreigners or whoever happens to be on the outs that election cycle.

Bush absorbs the pharmacist's question and immediately launches into a speech about the dangers of addiction – to prescription drugs! Through the din of screeching parrots, Bush talks, movingly, I think, about his "precious daughter" Noelle's problems with prescription pills.

"There are some bad actors," he says. "You have people who overprescribe, people who are pharmacy shopping, doctor shopping..."

Everything he just said is true, but Manoukian, as he listens to this diatribe, looks like someone has hit him with a halibut. Does Bush know he's talking to a pharmacist?

Trump would have killed a moment like this, delivering some dog-whistle-ready line about gathering up all the dealers by their hoodies and shooting them into space with all of the child molesters. Who cares if it makes sense? This is the Clown Car.
And I don't know about you, but I'm thinking Marco Rubio is just the guy the real powers that be could use in the White House - someone who needs money and will do whatever you say as long as you give him the dough.
[Rubio's] main pitch is his Inspirational Personal Tale™. As he's told it, he's the son of refugees from Fidel Castro's Cuba (actually, they left Cuba before Castro, but whatever) who rose from nothing to reach the U.S. Senate, where he was eventually able to draw a $170,000 paycheck.

[...]

old tales about Rubio's use of an American Express card given to him by the Republican Party when he was in the Florida House began swirling again. The stories are complex, but the upshot is that Rubio once used party credit cards to spend $10,000 on a family vacation, $3,800 on home flooring, $1,700 on a Vegas vacation and thousands more on countless other absurdities.

Couple those tales with the troubling stories about his financial problems – the Times learned that he cashed in a retirement account and blew $80,000 on a speedboat he probably couldn't afford – and the subtext with Rubio is that he is probably both remaining in the Senate and running for president, at least partly, for the money.
Plus, he's young. He'll look good on TV.

But, the crazy thing is that the two least qualified, most insane presidential wannabes in the race are still topping voter polls: Trump, with his racist arrogance and Ben Carson, who has gone completely off the rails into a world he has completely fabricated in his mind, happily outdoing even Herman Cain.
Trump commented during a rally in Illinois: "You can say anything about anybody, and their poll numbers go up. This is the only election in history where it's better off if you stabbed somebody. What are we coming to?"

We are coming to the moment when Trump is the voice of reason, that's what.
...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.