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Afternoon funnies open thread


Watch the video and you’ll laugh (unless you are a humor-challenged Obot)

Seen or heard anything else funny lately? Please share, we could all use more laughs.


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Peek behind the curtain


There has been a whole lotta hoopla about this Wikileaks thingie and it’s founder. But you may have noticed that I haven’t said much about it. Besides being distracted by things in real life (I do have a life, honestly I do) I have been deeply skeptical about the whole kit and kaboodle.

IOW – I don’t think ANYBODY is telling us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Take this Julian Assange guy. Some people like Glenn Greenwald and Michael Moore seem to think he’s a heroic figure of epic proportions. In reality he’s an anarchist/socialist with delusions of grandeur and if those two young women in Sweden are to be believed he’s a rapist.

Some people think that he’s probably only facing criminal prosecution because of his political activities and that his accusers are just pissed because he was playing and laying them both one right after the other. But I tend to believe their story and while it wasn’t “rape-rape” the conduct they describe is still rape.



There is a reason the statue of Lady Justice is wearing a blindfold:

The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is (or should be) meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of identity, money, power, or weakness; blind justice and blind impartiality.

While it’s true this kind of case doesn’t usually get prosecuted that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. And while the prosecution may be politically motivated that doesn’t mean Assange is innocent.

Assange decided to take on the United States government and you shouldn’t do something like that unless you’re prepared for the consequences. Or as my grandma would say, “Don’t go teasing the dog unless you want to get bit.”

But the real issue here isn’t Assange or whether he is guilty or innocent. The real issue is who is behind these leaks. Anglachel:

While the left has been captivated by the human drama of the great man, deprived of flunkies to fuck and threatened by the diabolical Swedish court system, obsessed about how it could be me next!, there’s something rather important coming up in January, namely a change of government in the US. While I know that I lose all my Left Blogistan credibility by saying this, there really is a difference between the behavior of the major political parties when in majority power. The Republicans have no interest in compromising on anything and regard all other sources of political power (however ineptly wielded) as not just the opposition, but as an enemy to be terminated.

They’ve already made clear that the next two years are not going to be used to advance specific pieces of legislation – indeed, why should they since Obama has kindly moved their agenda for them – but to take down the enemy, and I don’t think anyone on the Left really understands just how ruthless they will be. Their control of committee chair positions means that the agenda from January 2011 through December 2012 will be investigate everything that could possibly be turned to their advantage.

It’s key that these documents were released under a Democratic administration. The focus will not be on who released the files, but that there were releases at all, just as the focus on Plame was not that someone outed her, but that she was connected to Joe Wilson. The actual crime, which is the act of taking documents and handing them over, will be elided – unless there is someone at the State Department who has shown a bit too much knowledge of and interest in some specific piece of data and who happens to be of liberal political inclinations, and then we’re talking a show trial along the lines of the House Un-American Activities Committee. That is why the State Department is saying to its current and would-be staff – do not have contact with that now-tainted information, do not discuss it, do not show special knowledge.

The fact that the cables are now in the open allows the Neocon noise machine to safely reference them to beat the drum for war with Iran, secure in the knowledge that contrary information of comparable validity cannot be provided because of diplomatic concerns. How can contrary information be leaked and to whom without it blowing up in the face of whomever tries to engineer that release? The release of the documents into the wild means there is a “source” for “Oh, look what we just now found!” kinds of revelations. The partial release on the wikileaks site itself always ensures that more can be found when there is a need for a strategic leak. The cables that identify security interests – which are of concern to more than the US – turn into fodder to gin up more domestic fear about terrorism, and to request more money for that purpose.

There is no down-side for the right with the release of these documents.

Take a look at the video I posted up above. At just about six seconds in the words “The American Conservative” appear. That’s a magazine started by Pat Buchanan.

Hello?

Ever seen a puppet show? While Punch and Judy might appear to be fighting and arguing with each other, if you peek behind the curtain you’ll see one puppeteer with a hand up each puppet’s ass.

I know a puppet show when I see one, and this whole Wikileaks affair is a big one with lots of puppets, bells and whistles. What I don’t know is the identity of the puppeteers and what their goals are.

Make no mistake, they DO have goals, even if it’s only to distract and entertain while pickpockets work the crowd.

So before you decide anything, take a peek behind the curtain.


Thursday: It’s just too much

This is wildly late I know but, I’ve been bogged down catching up with Glenn Greenwald’s posts and getting more and more depressed with every word:

The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention

Since his arrest in May, Manning has been a model detainee, without any episodes of violence or disciplinary problems. He nonetheless was declared from the start to be a “Maximum Custody Detainee,” the highest and most repressive level of military detention, which then became the basis for the series of inhumane measures imposed on him.

From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day — for seven straight months and counting — he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he’s barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he’s being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs. Lt. Villiard protested that the conditions are not “like jail movies where someone gets thrown into the hole,” but confirmed that he is in solitary confinement, entirely alone in his cell except for the one hour per day he is taken out.

In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything.


As Blue Lyon says, “What you won’t find in Greenwald’s latest”

The words “U.S. Constitution“

As in, the detention of Bradley Manning violates it.


And Suburban Guerrilla, “Conspiracy”

As I’ve said before, the thing that always scared me about the feds was that they targeted someone first and then came up with charges. Clearly, that’s what they’re doing to Julian Assange.

…. It’s too depressing. I think I’ll go work on a knitting post.