August 2016 Archives

Hm. I posted this video on G+, then it disappeared. Trying again.
Actually, I kinda liked what Rodney Harrison, whom I love, had to say about Colin Kaepernick. Don't get me wrong: Harrison's view that Kaepernick's "blackness" matters, at all, in whether his protest is legitimate, is wrong. It's an argument that cannot possibly be true, by definition. Many people have used that argument over the years, and it's simply false.

I also hate that in American society, "white" people have to be pure white, and if a small part of you is black, then you are "black." Traditionally, it was used as though your whole self was tainted by a little bit of "black" genetic material; now, it's often the opposite, where if you have some "black" genes, then you are in the "cool kids" club.

Either way, it's intellectually offensive and socially damaging. Barack Obama is exactly as much "white," as "black." Kaepernick may be more "white" than "black." And neither of these facts actually matters at all, except in our minds ... and that's a problem we should fix.

Race is a social construct, and it's fine in itself, but when we use it as a club against others -- like when Randy Newman asserted, during an Apple keynote, that Clarence Thomas isn't black, because he's not liberal -- it's awful. Stop it.

And I like that Harrison's comments, as silly as they were, help bring this to light. G+
Is a Pledge of Allegiance unconditional? If so, is it worthy of a patriot? I am loyal to the nation, but it is conditional on the nation living up to its end of the bargain. As such, I offer no pledge of allegiance; I merely affirm that I love this nation and am willing to sacrifice to defend it, and its people. G+
Clinton's repeated lies about mishandling classified information, and Trump's attacks on John McCain's military service, are more anti-American/un-patriotic than what Kaepernick did. G+
Complaining about what year people die in is one step short of astrology. Stop it. It hurts my brain. G+
Colin Kaepernick is dumb and wrong. But he has the right to be dumb and wrong. Fine. But he is not just disrespecting the flag and the nation, but all the people who came there to watch the game.

He should do as various other athletes do, and stand out of respect for the people around him, while not saluting the flag.

When the Canadian anthem is played at hockey games, I don't salute the Canadian flag ... but I stand out of respect for the people around me who are. You saw the same thing throughout the Olympics, where people of all nations stood in respect when the anthem is played for some other nation. I'd even stand for the North Korean anthem, out of respect to the North Korean people -- not the nation they represent -- around me.

If you refuse to stand, it's not refusing to respect the flag or the people ... it's explicitly showing *dis*respect for them. It's making a statement of hate. If that's what you want to do, fine ... but expect a backlash, and for your message to get lost in the process.

Now let's move on ... after watching this video. G+
The evidence against Hillary -- pay-to-play, mishandling classified information -- is much stronger than the evidence against Tom Brady. G+
I wrote this eight years ago, next month. Time for a refresher. G+
Gary Johnson reiterated on Stossel this week that government should use force to punish people for refusing to provide services they morally disagree with.

Johnson proves three things. First, he doesn't actually believe, fundamentally in liberty. He believes that liberty is good when it achieves a practical goal, but not for its own sake. Your freedom is only good because it is good for society, not because it is good for you, in his view.

Second, he has a deep lack of understanding and empathy for people with values different from his own. He looks down on religious people as backward and mean, not because they are (although certainly some are), but because he doesn't share their beliefs, and so therefore there's something wrong with them.

Third, he knows very little about the First Amendment. He thinks religious freedom of the sort that allows someone to simply not provide photo services for a gay wedding is the same that would allow someone to murder because "God told them to." In the words of Ian Tuttle, "This is some A-grade, five-star, top-shelf stupid — and that’s in an election featuring almost unlimited material from Donald J. Trump."

This is why I won't vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, even in an election where a. I won't vote for the Democrat, b. I won't vote for the Republican, and c. I call myself a libertarian. G+
The New York Times is quite clearly so biased in favor of Clinton -- or against Trump -- that it is refusing to report on legitimate and serious negative news about her.

We already had the fact about a month ago that in Clinton's first interview response after the Comey hearing about her mishandling of classified information, she told several lies about it, and the Times refused to report on it.

Now, we have the AP story that demonstrates that of her meetings -- other than meetings that are directly a part of her job, such as with government (including foreign government) officials and staff -- a majority of them were with donors to her charitable foundation.

These are big stories. And the Times simply refuses to report on them at all. You would never know about these important stories if you got all of your news from the Times.

"All the news that's fit to print" is a lie. G+
"Might support life" actually means "probably doesn't support life." In case you were getting your hopes up. G+
"Quid pro cash" is a silly thing to say about what's being revealed about The Clinton Foundation. First, the money comes first. Second, "quid" also means money, in some English dialects. Third, "cash pro quo" sounds better. G+
When Trump is reading a speech, it sounds like he's reading it for the first time. It sounds as if he is surprise by what he's reading. G+
Ryan Lochte lied about a minor offense, and admitted it. Hillary Clinton continues to lie about mishandling Top Secret information, and won't admit it. The NY Times never reported the latter ... G+
I thought Bush should not have gone to Louisiana, and I think Obama should not go to Louisiana. Stay away. Let them do their jobs down there. You might make people feel better, but it won't actually help. G+
The wrestling, judo, taekwondo, and boxing champions should all fight each other. And the winner of that takes on the fencing champion (saber, of course). G+
To me, it is obvious that Trump was not serious when he implied that someone could shoot Hillary. But Trump's explanation makes no sense: he said that he was saying that Second Amendment folks "must organize and get out vote to save our Constitution!"

Here's what Trump actually said:

“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I'll tell you what: that will be a horrible day.”

So his argument is that there's "nothing you can do" to stop her from picking anti-Second Amendment justices for the Supreme Court once she gets elected ... except maybe organize to get out the vote to stop her. After she's already been elected.

Sorry, Donald, that's idiotic, as is your insistence that "there can be no other interpretation."

I get that you don't want to just admit you said what you did, and then say "I was only kidding." People don't take kindly to the "I was only kidding" defense.

But lying about what you said won't go over very well, either. G+
Clinton does not believe she has an obligation to protect classified information unless it is properly marked. She said that yesterday.

This is important, and it's new, and it's worse than anything we've yet found out about her mishandling of classified information.

She said that if it is not properly marked, there is no reason to suspect the information is classified. This absolutely violates the law's view of her obligations. As Comey said, "even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it."

It's inconceivable that Clinton would not know a topic so sensitive it is Top Secret would not know the topic is classified.

Her views of her obligations to classified information, as a U.S. government official, are completely out of line with what the law actually expects of her. It's worse than her mishandling of the information, and worse than her lies about mishandling it. You can dismiss those things as carelessness, politics, manipulating the media, and so on.

But this ... this shows she just has no respect for what the law requires of her. At best, she is lying about this too, to save herself ... which means she is willing to diminish the law by encouraging others to accept the disrespect she is selling, in order to protect herself. And that's completely awful, too. G+
I think that having a President who is a bully who tears people up, who doesn't listen, who doesn't work well with others, is worse than having a President who treats everyone with respect, but is a racist.

Is that OK? Or am I obligated to think racism is the worst thing that you can say about a person? Can I get a prioritized list of sins, please? Maybe it's context-dependent. A store owner can be a bully more than a racist, but a friend can be a racist more than a bully. And where do murder, rape, and lying fit on the list?

I think I need to make a spreadsheet. G+
Any Sounders FC fan want to offer me a lot of money for this well-used piece of history? I got it new when I was a kid. Have dunked many cookies in it. G+
"A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it." G+
"Secretary Clinton, do you really mean what you said, that if a topic is so sensitive that it's Top Secret, and you have documents regarding that topic, that you have no reason to suspect those documents might be classified?" Someone -- everyone -- please ask her this. G+
Hillary Clinton admitted today that she continues to lie about her mishandling of classified e-mail.

Executive Summary: Clinton falsely claimed that none of her public statements were false; then she admitted that some of her public statements were false (she admitted she sent or received e-mails classified at the time); and she falsely asserted that whether the e-mails were marked classified really matters.

Details: Clinton still maintains that the things she said in public were truthful, and consistent with what she said in a secret interview with FBI Director James Comey. She says she didn't mean to say Comey said her public statements were truthful, only that they were consistent with what she told Comey, and that Comey said what she told him was truthful.

But she denies the fact that Comey said, explicitly, that the content of several of her public statements was false. He did. She is lying. (She also lied when she said today that the point is the FBI statements, since we don't even know what she said to the FBI, and all we have is her public statements.)

But oddly, she then went on to admit that her public statements were false, conceding that some of the e-mails were classified at the time. She just disregards the fact that she ever said that they weren't.

Her main excuse -- which is also a lie -- is that it is "reasonable to conclude" that she and others would not have "suspected that they were classified" without proper markings, and none of the documents had that.

But Comey tells us the opposite. He was clear that it is the job of people in her position to know that information is classified, even if not marked, especially in the case of the several Top Secret documents. Markings are not necessary to know that something is classified, if you're the Secretary of State. Saying something is not marked classified is not an excuse under the law. Indeed, if you are not certain of the classification, you are required to treat it as classified.

Clinton saying it is reasonable to conclude that something isn't classified just because it is not marked classified is, simply, a lie. If she actually believes that, then she's utterly incompetent (and I don't believe she is).

She reiterated another excuse -- which is also a lie -- that if the documents are retroactively declassified, that this somehow mitigates the mishandling. It does not.

She is lying when she said her public statements were truthful. She is lying when she says that what matters in the question is her FBI statements. She is lying when she says that it is reasonable to conclude a document not "properly marked" as classified, is not classified. She is lying when she implies that she never said she didn't send or receive information that was classified at the time.

She lies a lot. Not that this is news ... but she continues to lie about illegally mishandling classified information, and that should be news. G+
If you believe the money to Iran wasn't part of the nuclear and hostages deal, do you believe that if it was, that the U.S. wouldn't lie about it?

There was an existing $400M claim by Iran, but was the reason we paid it because we wanted to get back our hostages and get the deal done, or because the claim was actually legitimate and we were likely to lose a court case? The money was shipped to Tehran, apparently, just as the hostages were freed.

This sounds very much like what we know about the White House and Iran: that they will string true facts together to mislead the public about the larger narrative. We know, for a fact, that they lied about the talks that resulted in the Iran deal, that they admitted to lying about them, and then that they intentionally deleted records of admitting to lying.

Long story short: in 2015, President Obama portrayed the Iran deal as the result of a moderate president being elected in Iran, even though the talks with Iran's government had begun more than a year before that election. There were secret talks going on, and they not only lied about it at the time to maintain the integrity of the talks, but they lied about it after the fact.

Reporter James Rosen had asked the State Department in 2013 if there were secret talks going on, and was told there were not. That was a lie. He later that year asked if it is the policy of State to lie "where the preservation or the secrecy of secret negotiations is concerned," and spokesperson Jen Psaki said, in essence, yes, it is.

In May of this year, the New York Times wrote an article about Ben Rhodes, in which he admits to the fact that they lied about the timing of the Iran talks. This prompted Rosen to look up the video of his past questions, and found that the one of Psaki admitting to a policy of lying had been deleted by the State Department. State later admitted it was intentionally deleted (after first lying about it), but they do not know who ordered the deletion.

So we know they lied about this deal. They admitted lying about it, they admitted to having a policy of lying, and they admitted to deleting the record of the admitting to lying.

This, even combined with the timing of the payments, isn't proof that the payment is linked to the hostages. But it is strong evidence that we have no reason to believe the U.S. government on this matter. G+
A President Trump is more likely to result in a positive outcome. Also, more likely to result in a negative outcome. G+
Even the New York Times' public editor admits that the New York Times is not properly covering the latest "Clinton Lied" story.

The excuse from the political editor of the NYT is ridiculous. This is a new story. This is the first time since Comey's statement and hearing that Clinton has made the false claims that the information was not classified at the time. She renewed that claim, despite Comey clearly saying it was false ... and then she lied by saying that Comey said her statement was true.

If this were Trump, everyone knows the Times would be all over it. But it's not Trump, it's Clinton ... so the Times doesn't even print the story.

Now, I suppose it is also possible that some of the Times' bias is not as much pro-Clinton, as anti-Fox. That's possible ... but no less disgusting. This is news, it is a new news, it's an important development about a very important issue (Clinton continues to lie about mishandling classified information), and the Times didn't even report on it. G+
Hillary Clinton: grossly negligent, or negligently gross? G+
PolitiFact has some significant problems in its analysis of Trump's claim about the presidential debates being opposite NFL games.

First, they give way too much weight to the notion that the Commission on Presidential Debates is "an independent, bipartisan organization." Historically, the group has served the two parties, rather than act independently of them.

(And FWIW, the CPD would actually take issue with PolitiFact calling them "bipartisan": that label (which they used to wear) gets them in trouble with the FEC, because in order to avoid certain regulations, they have to be *non*partisan. So they call themselves nonpartisan now, even though they still act to serve the two parties.)

So while it is not independent, it is effectively bipartisan. And while the dates were set "well in advance of when the parties’ nominees became clear this year," it's still the case that dates that fall on football games are going to lower ratings. And the idea that any Sunday or Monday night during late September or October would generate high viewership for a debate, when an NFL game is guaranteed to take place on those evenings, is patently idiotic.

So because it is bipartisan, and because the GOP candidate was not known (and though Hillary was a very safe bet, she also was not known), it's unlikely that the candidates or parties were the direct reason for the decision. But because they knew that there would be NFL games on both dates, the inescapable conclusion is that they wanted to reduce live viewership.

And to me that makes sense, because I think both sides think they can benefit from low viewership.

So "Pants On Fire" is too harsh here. Trump has a point about the decision to put the games on those nights implying a desire to reduce viewership. But PolitFact is right that there's no serious reason to think the underlying cause of the decision is a motive to help the Democrats. G+
It's just amazing: Clinton tells bald-faced lies about classified information on Fox News yesterday, and other than the Washington Post, Fox News, and a few explicitly conservative web sites, I can find no stories about it.

To be clear, these are a few of the facts, according to the FBI:

* Clinton had over 100 e-mails on her server that contained information that was classified (including Top Secret) at the time they were sent or received
* A few of them were actually marked classified, the rest were classified with no markings

Clinton flatly denied all of these facts in the interview. She maintains the lie that the information was only retroactively classified and that they had no reason to think that the information was classified (even though some were marked).

Further, even though Comey said that her previous public statements were false, she said that Comey said her public statements were true.

So, she lied. Big whopping lies about classified information that demonstrate she simply won't accept responsibility for what actually happened.

And virtually no one is reporting it outside of Fox, WaPo, and conservative sites.

Talking Points Memo, a left-wing site, reported on the interview, but treated the back-and-forth between Clinton and Wallace as though it were just a difference of opinion on vague facts.

CNN and MSNBC don't even mention it at all, but they are throwing everything they have at this meaningless "scandal" about Trump and the Khan family. G+
Thanks to WaPo for pointing out just how completely dishonest Clinton is still being about her e-mail server. She is still lying about the fact that she received e-mail that was classified at the time (not merely retroactively), including some that was marked classified, and that the FBI Director said her public claims on the subject were false.

She can't even tell the truth on this when we all know she is lying. I guess she is trying to convince the people who don't know the facts, hoping she can hold out for another few months. But here's the problem: as long as she keeps lying about it, she gives the press an excuse to keep bringing it up, and this will come up in the debates until she admits there was material, classified at the time, on her server, and that she was extremely careless in her handling of that material. G+
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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