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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi, known for his hard-hitting reporting on Goldman Sachs in the wake of the 2008 Subprime Mortgage Crisis, fell from grace this October after controversial passages from an old book he'd co-authored, The eXile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia, resurfaced and were spread online. eXile purports to be the memoirs of Taibbi and co-author Mark Ames, both of whom headed the notorious tabloid magazine by the same name in Moscow in the ‘90s. Indeed, a disclaimer on the copyright page calls the work nonfiction. However, this is not entirely true. Put simply, like the original magazine, much of eXile was made up for the purposes of satire. Paste was able to trace the effort to cast eXile as a factual memoir back to an alt-right author named Jim Goad in 2011. Goad, whose magazine, ANSWER Me!, had been parodied by The eXile, began tweeting about the Natasha passages, and tagging the outlets that hosted Ames work or had him on as a contributor. read more


Friday, December 15, 2017

Porn stars hate this loss of freedom. Watch one of their explainers above about why the disappearance of net neutrality sucks harder than they ever could... The FCC decision is intensely controversial on other levels. Perhaps the most unsettling is this: apparently a vast number of comments made in support of doing away with net neutrality were fake, leading opponents to understandably conclude there's something super sketchy about the whole thing. The FCC decision is intensely controversial on other levels. Perhaps the most unsettling is this: apparently a vast number of comments made in support of doing away with net neutrality were fake, leading opponents to understandably conclude there's something super sketchy about the whole thing.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

For nearly half of American millennials, the American dream is dead, according to the results of a new national poll from Harvard's Institute of Politics released Thursday. Among those aged 18 to 29, 48 percent said it was "dead," and 49 percent said it was "alive." Among supporters of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, however, majorities of 61 percent and 56 percent said it was decidedly dead. College graduates were more likely to say it was still "alive" for them (58 percent), to just 42 percent of non-college graduates who said the same thing. About 56 percent overall expressed a desire for the Democrats to maintain control of the White House, in line with the 55 percent who responded that way in the institute's spring survey. By contrast, just 36 percent said they wanted to see a Republican as the next president, a decrease of 4 points from April. read more


Sunday, December 03, 2017

A few weekends ago, at a seersucker-in-November southern horse-racing event I attended with some lovely and friendly people who will nevertheless be the first ones taken out when the revolution comes, a family friend, an older white man, asked me what I, the one sportswriter he knew, thought of the kneeling NFL players. I told him that while I stand for the anthem myself, I supported the players' right to express themselves politically and encouraged him to worry less about the kneeling and more about what the players were trying to say. He snorted and said he was done with the NFL until "they stand their ass up." We then drank some bourbon and found something else to talk about. Later on, I spoke with another family friend, one with long hair and a big bushy beard and an anarchic spirit (he whispered "Fuck all these Trump people" to me with a winking smile). read more


Saturday, November 25, 2017

After more than a decade and a half of planning and controversy, work began Thursday on the long-stalled, $150 million memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower with a groundbreaking at the four-acre site in Washington DC.

The memorial to the former president and World War II general will be built on Independence Avenue at the base of Capitol Hill in front of the Department of Education Building and close to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Construction is expected to last about three years.

Members of three generations of the Eisenhower family took part in the groundbreaking... Susan Eisenhower, a granddaughter who had once been a fierce critic of the Gehry design, was among the speakers.

The controversy had centered on certain aspects of the design, including the size and scope of the structure's large-scale metal tapestries. But family members lifted their objection last year, giving the project final impetus. read more


Comments

Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste

www.washingtonpost.com

The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post.

Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power.

But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results.

The report, issued in January 2015, identified "a clear path" for the Defense Department to save $125 billion over five years. The plan would not have required layoffs of civil servants or reductions in military personnel.

Instead, it would have streamlined the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology.


So there's enough DoD waste to that, if eliminated, could increase military combat power AND to simply save money for reinvestment in other areas of the US Government.

And then there's wasteful weapon systems ...

The 10 Most Blatantly Wasteful Defense Items In The Recent $1.8 Trillion Spending Bill

www.forbes.com

No one can legitimately say that there's no where in the DoD budget where savings can be had.

Race With The Devil

... on a Spanish Highway

youtu.be

(been a very long time since listening to Al Di Meola!)

The federal government was every bit as big a player when it came to the criminality that lead to the 2008 meltdown, arguably moreso. That's the primary reason why nobody was indicted over it.

#40 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

Because of our unique American-style corruption.

Iceland has the right idea ...

Iceland Sentences 29th Banker To Prison, US Bankers Still Collecting Bonuses

www.mintpressnews.com

REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- While the world economy struggles to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, most of the bankers who caused the collapse are still collecting massive salaries and have faced few, if any, consequences.

Except in Iceland.

In one of the countries hit hardest by the collapse, 29 bankers have now been sentenced to prison for their roles in the crash.

According to, Stefan Simanowitz, writing for The Huffington Post on Jan. 5, "Just before Christmas, the former CEO of Iceland's Glitnir bank and two other senior bankers were sentenced to jail terms of up to five years for market manipulation and breach of fiduciary duties."


We spend all our time arguing over stupidity like the national anthem and kneeling NFL players, that we forget that the crooks on Wall Street got away with their stealing and wrecking the economy.

You gotta be kidding. Working with police would require considerably more staffing and time than clicking a Ban Nazi button.

As someone who has run discussion sites for 22 years, I can tell you that the "celebrate free speech" world you're fighting for isn't what you think it would be. It isn't a glorious marketplace of ideas. It's a cesspool of the worst people doing the worst things for the lulz.

There isn't a user here who would want to run a site like that. It would scar your soul.

#15 | POSTED BY RCADE

It can be done if it's a priority ...

Hate Crime Training for Police Is Often Inadequate, Sometimes Nonexistent
www.propublica.org

Only a fraction of bias crimes ever get reported. Fewer still get successfully prosecuted. Perhaps the widespread lack of training for frontline officers has something to do with that.

Hate crimes in America have made no shortage of headlines over the last year as the country has once more confronted its raw and often violent racial, religious and political divisions. Just how few hate crimes get formally reported and analyzed has shocked many. Fewer still get successfully prosecuted, a fact that has provoked frustration among some elected officials and law enforcement agencies.

But the widespread lack of training for frontline officers in how to handle potential hate crimes, if no great surprise, might actually be the criminal justice system's most basic failing. There is, after all, little way to either accurately tabulate or aggressively prosecute hate crimes if the officers in the street don't know how to identify and investigate them.

Hate crimes are not, by and large, simple to deal with. Different states identify different categories of people to be protected under their laws. And the authorities must prove not only guilt, but intent. It isn't enough to find fingerprints on a weapon. The authorities must explore a suspect's state of mind, and then find ways of corroborating it.

"Hate crimes are so nuanced and the laws can be so complex. You're trying to deal with the motivation of a crime," said Liebe Geft, director of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, which has for years provided training to officers as expert consultants.

"Thirty minutes in the academy is not enough," Geft said.

Law enforcement leaders point to several factors to explain, if not justify, the lack of emphasis on training for hate crimes.

While the offenses can be dramatic and highly disturbing -- like the incident earlier this year in which a white supremacist impaled an African-American man with an 18-inch sword in New York's Times Square -- they represent a very small percentage of the nation's overall crime.

Working with often limited budgets, police officials have to make difficult decisions about what to prioritize during training, and hate crimes can lose out.

That said, the events of the last 18 months, driven in great part by the racially charged presidential campaign of 2016, seem to suggest an adjustment of priorities might be in order.


I don't think it's unrealistic to say that law enforcement -- in cooperation with twitter, google, and facebook -- that something can be done law enforcement wise about hate groups who hide in plain site on social media.

The pro-publica link also points out how state police and national guardsmen stood by passively at Charlottesville -- that's a training issue.

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