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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Monday, August 27, 2012

27 August - News Notes

Site of Andrew Cunanan's Torture and Murder of...Site of Andrew Cunanan's Torture and Murder of Lee Miglin (Photo credit: Chicago Crime Scenes)
Six Thunderbird F-16s in delta formation flyin...Six Thunderbird F-16s in delta formation flying near the Empire State Building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Valley of Light, mountains in Denali National ParkValley of Light, mountains in Denali National Park (Photo credit: blmiers2)

The New Inquiry - essays

Media is Better Police

The story first broke with the salacious glee of a journalist knowing he’s about to get paid. Another mass shooting, this time in New York City, at the Empire State Building of all places? 
Everything was going according to script: the liberals cried for gun control and conservatives counter proposed concealed carry, the news agencies played live footage while the anchors employed their most somber tones, and the consumption and de-politicization of another Imaginary Party member’s rage took its well practiced course.
That is, of course, until a couple on-site cameras revealed that, actually, this madman wasn’t firing wildly into the crowd, just killing his old tormentor and then putting down his gun, and it was police who shot nine bystanders before killing him, in what is their second cell-phone captured daylight murder this month. And when the news came out that Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of New York’s finest turned a murder into a shooting gallery, coverage of the violence dropped off dramatically.
No matter that a killer is remorseless, that he speaks calmly and rationally about his actions, no matter how many public murders occur in succession, the media will never allow an explanation other than complete madness. 

Anyone claiming to be an expert is selling something. I brandish my ignorance like a crucifix at vampires.
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  • Digressions of an Opium-Eater
    July 11, 2012
  • The Secret Shopper
    June 4, 2012
  • Collateral Damage
    April 27, 2012
  • Beyond the Valley of 1984
    March 15, 2012
  • Fear of an Ape Planet
    September 29, 2011
  • Towards A New Film Criticism
    July 27, 2011
  • Adolescence of the Undead
    April 29, 2011
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About the Internet
    April 11, 2011
  • Twilight of the Cruise
    March 28, 2011

    No Epiphanies Whatsoever

     I hadn’t even heard of Marnell until this June, when she left xoJane.com (after failed attempts to resolve her drug addiction) and subsequently joined Vice as their “pills and narcissism” correspondent with a column titled “Amphetamine Logic.”

     Marnell sometimes seems like the example – perhaps even too much the example – of what happens when capitalism catches up with you. She is also, however, the girl who keeps outpacing capitalism, moving from magazine to online culture. While the Internet has accelerated the pace of capitalist consumption, it has also allowed, if not pushed, Marnell to go faster. “I was a beauty editor at Lucky,” she tells me, “and then I joined the fucking Internet for Jane Pratt.” Once you’re running at Internet speed, is there any turning back?
    Marnell stopped working at xoJane because she was sick, so she could work at Vice—because she was sick? The “Amphetamine Logic” column explicitly converted Marnell’s addiction into a meme—an online virus that worked for her, as well as allowed her to work. While the Internet increases one’s vulnerability to sickness, it can also be a means for escaping it. It’s a way to defeat capitalism at its own game, at least temporarily.
    Shame lies primarily in the face, according to affect theoristSylvan Tomkins. But what happens when the person you are shaming can’t see your judging eyes?
    The WSJ recently cited a 23-year-old Canadian blogger, Andrea Coates, who wanted Vice to apologize for hiring Marnell:

    Hundreds of thousands of young girls are reading this and using it as the basis for what they see as cool. She’s the biggest columnist atVice right now and she’s helpless, addicted, dependent and victimized. She’s amoral, narcissistic and incredibly selfish. Vice gains traffic while she self-destructs, and we’re supposed to take it for granted that we’ll just watch this ongoing drama play out until rehab or death. It’s sick.
    The article ends with this almost offhand statement from Coates: “Oh, I still read it all the time. I’ve read every one of Cat’s posts.” The amount of wanting it both ways makes me queasy.

    Queer, Interrupted

    In February, the San Francisco Police Department released their contribution to the It Gets Better phenomenon. In it, SFPD officers tell their life stories, cry, celebrate their jobs, and offer words of encouragement to queer youth. Each officer speaks of the painful silence of closeted life, suicidal tendencies overcome, the excitement of coming out, and final deliverance into a rewarding career as a police officer. The officers each assure us that it gets better, if we are only patient enough. Then they urge queer youth to call on them for help, insisting that until it gets better, SFPD will be there. 
    The specific insult of this video, besides the fact that it comes after a year of street confrontations between queers and social rebels and the SFPD, is that it tries to erase the central fact of queer history: that queer history is visible only because of a constellation of revolts in which queer bodies fought police control. So not only was the video released amid low intensity warfare between social rebels and the police department and thus must be understood as a part of SFPD’s strategy to retain control in an unruly city, but the figure of the queer cop pleading to suicidal youth to simply wait out the violence of the queer-hostile social order that the cop upholds is a negating obscenity. It does violence to the traditions of the queer struggle for life and against ­policing.

    http://upwr.me/OoGoB3 <-- Handily, Michigan put together some interview tips so that we can all blend in and keep our jobs!

    On a more serious note, folks, this is ridiculous. Share, share, share -- the more people who know, the better our chances are to change some of these ludicrous laws.

    Data from the great folks at the Human Rights Campaign.

    No Accidents, Comrade

    By framing narrative design around conflicts brought about by chance (plots involving dice rolls, card play, or accidents), authors of the period demonstrated that American beliefs about the righteousness of chance possessed serious faults. Race relations, notions of democratic freedom, and justifications for the increasing marketization of human affairs are all obscured or concealed to some degree by cultural narratives that embrace chance as panacea to any ills these beliefs contain.

    Barnard’s Universal Criminal Cipher Code

    Selected pages from Barnard’s Universal Criminal Cipher Code for Telegraphic Communication between Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, Marshals and other Peace Officers of the United States and Canada (1895) - a book of codes to help disguise internal police telegrams in what amounted to some kind of 19th century version of the encyrpted email.

    25 August - Lies My Country Told to Me

    Common Dreams

    Weekly Reader's Choice | August 24, 2012

    Week Ending August 25, 2012
    Readers' Choice / Most Read Views...
    1. Chris Hedges: The War in the Shadows

    2. Robert Reich: Mitt’s 13% Tax

    3. Bill Bigelow: Howard Zinn at 90 -- Lessons from the People's Historian

    4. Peter Rothberg: The Five Most Under-Reported Stories of the Summer

    5. Dave Zirin: Australian Government Will Issue Overdue Apology to 1968 Olympic Hero Peter Norman

    6. Paul Krugman: Paul Ryan: Galt, Gold and God

    7. Ira Chernus: Why Are Americans So Confused?

    8. Tom Engelhardt: You Were Right When You Waved That “No Blood for Oil” Sign. Iraq Was About Oil

    9. Glenn Greenwald: The Bizarre, Unhealthy, Blinding Media Contempt for Julian Assange

    10. Robert Fisk: Syria's 'Rebel Army? They're a Gang of Foreigners'

     Readers' Choice / Most Read News...
    Gawker Publishes Romney Tax Haven Records 
    The Guardian reports today that the documents published by Gawker, make clear that tax avoidance is a primary aim of some of his investments.
    Wall Street Targets Your Public Water System 
    Vulture capitalists are increasingly facilitating the privatization of public infrastructure, taking control of public utilities while skimping on services and causing steep price hikes -- all the while making massive profits.
     The precursors were alarming. 

  • Water* - Wealth and Power
    Environment + NWO

  • Assange: 'The US War on Whistleblowers Must End' 
    Assange was greeted by cheers from supporters, whom he thanked, as a heavy police force surrounded the area..
    Arctic Ice Melting At Startlingly Rapid Rate 
    The Arctic ice cap is melting at a startlingly rapid rate and may shrink to its smallest-ever level within weeks -- and then keep on melting.
    Israel Kicks Out Migrants – By Changing Their Nationality and Sending Them to Another Country 
    Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel are being issued with documents changing their nationality, allowing them to be removed from the country or imprisoned.
    Secret Police Documents Reveal Plan to Arrest WikiLeaks' Assange 
    “Assange to be arrested under all circumstances,” the hand-written note says.
    UN Investigator to US: End 'Conspiracy of Silence' on Drones 
    UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson "In reality the administration is holding its finger in the dam of public accountability."
    America Trashes Forty Percent of Food Supply: Report 
    That wasted food also represents one quarter of all freshwater consumed in the US, as it is needed for agriculture and food production.
    Illinois Nuke, Coal Plants Dumping Millions of Gallons of Near 100-Degree Water into Waterways
    Environmental groups warn that releasing these hot waters back into waterways can cause ecological harm.
    240 Million to Lose Protections From Coal Pollution 
    US Court Throws Out EPA Coal Pollution Rule, Leaves Millions Exposed to Harmful Emissions.
    As reported by SourceWatch, the coal ash produced by coal-fired plants in the U.S. contains large quantities of toxic metals, including 44 tons of mercury, 4601 tons of ...

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