June 24, 2013 archive

Jun 24

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Jun 24

Edward Snowden Has Left Hong Kong: Up Date

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Up Date: Fugitive Snowden seeks asylum in Ecuador: foreign minister

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, visiting Vietnam, tweeted: “The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden.”

NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong arriving in Moscow aboard a commercial flight, presumably on his way to a third country for asylum.

In a statement, WikiLeaks said the 30-year-old was heading to a democratic country “via a safe route” for asylum purposes and that the organisation was assisting at his request. Snowden had been in hiding in Hong Kong since identifying himself as the source of revelations on US surveillance programmes.

His flight from US authorities, which want to charge him with espionage, appeared set to continue with an onward flight west from Moscow to Havana on Monday. From there, various reports indicated that he would try to get to either Caracas or Quito.

The Hong Kong government said on Sunday he had left of his own accord “through a lawful and normal channel” and said the request filed by the US did not fully comply with legal requirements. Pointedly, it also said it wanted Washington to clarify Snowden’s claims that the US had hacked targets in the territory.

He was accompanied by one of Julian Assange’s closest advisers, Sarah Harrison.

On Friday, Snowden was charged with espionage under the 1917 law. He becomes the eighth whistleblower to be charged under the act by the Obama administration, which has used the charge more than any other president.

Snowden, 29, is charged with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person, according to court documents.

The head of the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander stated that Snowden has “caused irreversible damage to US.” This coming from the man who lied to congress and has admitted publicly that the surveillance had violated the Fourth Amendment.

Have I mentioned that David Gregory is a hack and an embarrassment for NBC?

Good luck to Mr. Snowden.

Jun 24

Ways to avoid another 2008 stock crash

Commentary: Markets need morals and regulators need muscle

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) – “Is the entire stock market (and the system it supports) completely corrupted?”

When that question appeared in a recent MarketWatch poll, 76% of the nearly 1,400 respondents agreed with: “Yes, it’s legalized theft.”

Legalized theft? Like the bribes Mexican police demand or the taxes dictators seize to build villas? Investors think the stock market is theft?

http://www.marketwatch.com/sto…

And the answer given is that the investors are surely right in the headline article in a business site that obviously leans right.

Huh?

Kos and Ed [Schulze] and most anyone that has even a pretense to liberal credentials says we gotta go along with the most egregious corruption and a rightwing business source says that is wrong?

Has the world turned upside down again?

Of course it’s nonsensical to expect businesses in the hunt for money to place a high priority on morality except as a business tactic.  It is akin to asking coyotes to stop eating sheep.

The real problem is the like of Kos and Ed seeking love in all the wrong places and, in a different vein, the same could be said of Obama and Pelosi. Even the wingers are scandalized.

Best,  Terry

Jun 24

Cartnoon

Jun 24

On This Day In History June 24

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

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June 24 is the 175th day of the year (176th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 190 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1957, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment.

Roth v. United States, along with its companion case, Alberts v. California, was a landmark case before the United States Supreme Court which redefined the Constitutional test for determining what constitutes obscene material unprotected by the First Amendment.

Prior history

Under the common law rule that prevailed before Roth, articulated most famously in the 1868 English case Hicklin v. Regina, any material that tended to “deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences” was deemed “obscene” and could be banned on that basis. Thus, works by Balzac, Flaubert, James Joyce and D. H. Lawrence were banned based on isolated passages and the effect they might have on children.

Samuel Roth, who ran a literary business in New York City, was convicted under a federal statute criminalizing the sending of “obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy” materials through the mail for advertising and selling a publication called American Aphrodite (“A Quarterly for the Fancy-Free”) containing literary erotica and nude photography. David Alberts, who ran a mail-order business from Los Angeles, was convicted under a California statute for publishing pictures of “nude and scantily-clad women.” The Court granted a writ of certiorari and affirmed both convictions.

The case

Roth came down as a 6-3 decision, with the opinion of the Court authored by William J. Brennan, Jr.. The Court repudiated the Hicklin test and defined obscenity more strictly, as material whose “dominant theme taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest” to the “average person, applying contemporary community standards.” Only material meeting this test could be banned as “obscene.” However, Brennan reaffirmed that obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment and thus upheld the convictions of Roth and Alberts for publishing and sending obscene material over the mail.

Congress could ban material, “utterly without redeeming social importance,” or in other words, “whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest.”

With the Court unable to agree as to what constituted obscenity, the Justices were put in the position of having to personally review almost every obscenity prosecution in the United States, with the Justices gathering for weekly screenings of “obscene” motion pictures (Black and Douglas pointedly refused to participate, believing all the material protected). Meanwhile, pornography and sexually oriented publications proliferated as a result of the Warren Court’s holdings, the “Sexual Revolution” of the 1960s flowered, and pressure increasingly came to the Court to allow leeway for state and local governments to crack down on obscenity. During his ill-fated bid to become Chief Justice, Justice Abe Fortas was attacked vigorously in Congress by conservatives such as Strom Thurmond for siding with the Warren Court majority in liberalizing protection for pornography. In his 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon campaigned against the Warren Court, pledging to appoint “strict constructionists” to the Supreme Court.

The demise of Roth

In Miller v. California (1973), a five-person majority agreed for the first time since Roth as to a test for determining constitutionally unprotected obscenity, superseding the Roth test. By the time Miller was considered in 1973, Brennan had abandoned the Roth test and argued that all obscenity was constitutionally protected, unless distributed to minors or unwilling third-parties.

Jun 24

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Redblack

Jun 24

Late Night Karaoke

Jun 24

Hey, folks! Can you stand another essay about…West Side Story?!?

Here we go:

West Side Story, as everybody knows, is my all time favorite movie, hands down.   In addition to writing reviews and synopses of this great film of my own,  not to mention how much I’ve enjoyed watching it in the movie theatre on  a great big, wide screen, on stage, and on TV,  there’s one point of view of the film West Side Story that I not only agree with, but it resonates with me in every way imaginable,  especially because the person doing this particular review says a ton of stuff about this great classic that I wish that I could say.  

Here it is:

http://www.confusedmatthew.com…

The above review of West Side Story, imho, is the most beautiful review of a great classic that I’ve ever seen/heard.  What do you all think?