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kleinbl00  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The French Election Is Way Too Close To Call

So a "fixed payment annuity" is effectively an agreement between you and whoever manages the annuity. The agreement says that if you make payments over the allotted time, when the annuity reaches maturity, the manager will pay you back. What's typical (what my pension looks like) is you work for a certain amount of time to be vested, then you contribute the requisite number of hours or days or years of employment, then when you've reached that number (and usually a prequalifying age), the annuity manager lets you flip the switch from "putting in" to "taking out" which you typically do until you die.

My grandfather was a regional president of the AFL. He was a tool and die machinist, and then he was a union foreman. His pension kicked in at 65 and provided him with something like 75% of his salary until he died, and then it was supposed to provide his wife with 50% of his salary until she died. I think his other choice was 100% until he died, and then 25% to his wife until she died. That pension was written in the '40s, kicked in in the late '60s, and paid him until the early '90s.

It's not atypical for the money that you get out of a pension will be more than the money you put into a pension. This shortfall is covered by the fact that the pension manager has your money now to pay you later so they can invest it, earn interest, make stock splits, etc etc etc. In other words, they're taking on the risk but also capturing any gains above and beyond what's necessary to pay out the pensions of the accounts under management.

Now take me - I've been in my union since 2008. I got enough union work to start earning healthcare and start vesting in 2013. At the end of this year, I'll be eligible to actually get money out of my pension when I retire - but I'm a six figure guy and as it sits, I think my pension payout when I reach retirement age will be like $137 a month. Now - if I keep mixing high-budget full-pop network shows under my union contract for the next seventeen years, my payout will reach.... drumroll please... $837 a month.

Now granted: That's nice money. But I earn more than that in a day every time I work on a holiday and once I retire, i won't be. And a lot of the reason is that the pension managers can't guarantee they'll make killer gains to cover the shortfall.

A lot of the reason is medical plans. See, retirement and medical benefits are often mixed together and when the 'boomers were getting their rippin' pension and health plans set up in the late '60s/ early '70s...

...they weren't expecting to spend a factor of ten what they were currently spending.

I've got great health insurance. It's good enough that I leave my family for three months a year to keep it. And COBRA on it is like $1800 a month. That's for three young, healthy people. Now - I got a buddy whose wife is currently dealing with early-onset Alzheimer's. I have another friend who has been dealing with skin cancer. And I have another friend who regularly tears himself up falling off of horses. And the medical plan pays out for all that.

Combine that with the fact that it's gotten harder and harder to make the kind of gains that pension plans are used to.

twenty fucking percent. And since like 2011 the interbank rate in the US has been close enough to zero that it might as well be nothing. The rest of the world? Something like 2/3rds of the world's currency was under negative interest rates for the past three years. And if your pension plan was set up on the assumption that it could make an easy 10% a year because it always had forever and ever amen, you have a massive pension shortfall.

So that's pensions. You put a set amount of money in, you eventually take a set amount of money out, and the pension manager covers the shortfall by profiting off your contributions. Great to be a pension manager if that's easy, shitty to be a pension manager if it's hard, used to be easy, is now hard. Pension shortfalls 101.

401(k)s? Those are just bank accounts. They're bank accounts with special tax status but they're just bank accounts. You put money in, your employer matches it, and you play the ponies. You get to see every month (or every second, depending on how interested you are) just how your 401(k) is doing and you get to rebalance it, reallocate it, contribute to it, draw it down, use it as collateral, tap into it under penalty, all that fun shit entirely on your own. If you don't have enough money in your 401(k) when it's time to retire, that shit's all on you - you should have saved more. You should have invested more wisely. Your employer has fuckall to do with it - it's their pension fund but it's your 401(k).

If your pension is with CalPERS, you're fucked because they ran out of money. If your 401(k) was with Enron, you were fucked because you folded your retirement plan into a house of cards.. If you were a public worker, you had no choice other than what CalPERS invested in. If you worked for Enron you had all the choice in the world - but it seemed like the smart thing was to invest in your employer.

Ironically enough, Steve Bannon blames the latter for his worldview.

flagamuffin  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Piketty’s Crumbs
flagamuffin  ·  90 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trial Balloon for a Coup? Analyzing the news of the past 24 hours

a coup would be so exciting

kleinbl00  ·  131 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Star Wars Rogue One Bamboozles You

I don't wanna beat up Star Wars too much. The original film was a seismic disruption to the entire industry. It came out like 9 months after Logan's Run - you want some cognitive dissonance, watch Box and the Star Filters in the Disco Cave and then sit down to Alderan. Star Wars broke the mold, shattered the industry and remade it.

And honestly, it borrowed from good sources. It's just that once Star Wars and Empire were done, nobody was ever going to tell George Lucas what to do ever again so we kind of get Ewoks all the time now.

bfv  ·  179 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 2, 2016

    I have no point. I'm listening to Vas and wondering if Azam Ali bailed on the US like she threatened to in 2007.

She moved to Montreal.

So, this is going to be long, and you and I are not going to see eye to eye on this matter. That's fine. We can disagree and have a back and forth; that is how we grow as people. So below is my argument why "hate speech" laws are bad.

But first, what is hate speech, anyway and how do we deal with it?

In Germany, you cannot wear Nazi symbols, you cannot do the Nazi salute, Hitler memorabilia is illegal to display and it is illegal to deny the Holocaust. As a Lefty-Liberal type, this sounds GREAT! Those types of people were malevolent and anti-humanity so good, keep them out of the public debate, right? Only, that never works. Instead of tamping down on the hate from these groups, they retreated to the shadows and formed tight-knit groups, brotherhoods, who have a real persecution complex. The banning of the Nazi stuff ended up fetishizing it. Nazi stuff is on the rise in Germany, and the migrant crisis is only fueling the inclusiveness of these groups, making them stronger and bolder. Now, take what the rest of us have done. Hitler is a joke, a gag, a punchline. Danger 5 is hilarious in that the Nazis are a punchline. The term "Master Race" once made whole continents tremble, now it is best known as a reddit circle-jerk. The Nazis are being defeated, 70 years later, with snark, comedy, and satire. If someone here says they like the Nazis, they get laughed at. The fear the Brown Shirts imposed on the globe has been reduced to mockery and amusements.

But that sidesteps the original question, doesn't it. What is Hate Speech?

In Thailand, any criticism of the king and his position in society is considered a hateful act and they throw people in jail for such acts. The authorities will even demand foreign media hand over data on Thai citizens who they SUSPECT of this hate speech. This law is not being used to protect the fragile ego of a throwback to an ancient time; this law is being used by a military government to stomp down on dissenters and trouble makers.

But that sidesteps the original question, doesn't it. What is Hate Speech?

There is a sizable group of people online who think that any and all critique of their ideas is hateful. This debate comes to its ugly terminus in blasphemy laws. There are still nations in the modern era that state in their laws that criticizing the dominant religion is an act of hate that deserves punishment. Hopefully, nobody here on Hubski is going to defend anti-blasphemy laws, but there are still people in the US who think we need to protect faith and religion and even political ideals from any harmful speech. Saying "I do not believe in God" or "I am a Christian" or "I am Jewish" or even "I am a Muslim" in the wrong country and you do time in jail, or worse. Blasphemy is hate speech in the eyes of these people.

But that sidesteps the original question, doesn't it. What is Hate Speech?

So we've seen the hard right in action, now let's look at the other side of the horseshoe and look at the left. There are groups in Norway and Sweden that tried to pass laws in 2013 to make criticism of Feminism a crime as hate speech. Anita Sarkesian went to the UN and said that hate speech and harassment was as simple as saying "You Suck" and calling her a liar in a response video. Is pointing out someone's falsehoods 'hate speech?' Talk to some of the feminists from the 70's, however, who had their clinics firebombed, lost their jobs, had their husbands run off etc and ask them if this is hate speech. Or talk to the women fighting to end genital mutilation if being called a liar is hate speech.

But that sidesteps the original question, doesn't it. What is Hate Speech?

So, to answer the question, hate speech is not an ends, it is a means. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, someone out there is your opposite. That is the way we hairless apes seem to work (oh, and in some Catholic circles, acknowledging that humans are descended from apes and evolution is real is considered a hatred of Gods divine creation). Any time you limit a voice in the conversation ,no matter how foul, you don't make those thoughts go away and instead they go underground and fester into a malignant tumor that ends up damaging the host (the rest of us). As I have said elsewhere on hubski, I want my racist assholes out, loud and proud. I want them to have marches, wave their flags, have parades the whole bit. Because when they are talking, I'm mocking them. I'm also showing other people that we have a long way to go towards a humanist ideal where the accident of the ticket we punched at birth defines everything about us. And it gives me, as a private nobody, the right to know who the racist assholes are and not associate with them.

Living in a society with liberal free speech laws and protected speech like we do can be frustrating, annoying and make you angry. There are people here who say things that I think are offensive and wrong, but I don't shut them down I either engage if there is a conversation to be had, or let them have their say and see if I can get some insight into why someone would believe that crap. As I am certain that there are people in here who think I'm an asshole who should shut his keyboard. We all have experiences to bring to the table. You don't have to agree, you don't even have to engage, and you certainly don't have to associate with people whom you have major disagreements with. Nobody is saying that the Black Lives Matter people and the KKK have to friend each other on Facebook... yet.

So, what do I mean when I say that hate speech laws are a means, not an end? People in power are all terrible people, that is what. The hate speech laws that you pass to ban the thoughts you don't like will eventually ban YOUR thoughts as well. Think of something that you believe, a religion, a political action, that someone out there finds unpleasant. Now imagine they have the power to shut you up, or worse. The end of this ramble is that all of this concept is just circling the drain of one word; Feelings. Feelings and emotions do not belong in law. My dad once told me that when men get emotional, people get hurt and die, and that has sort of stuck with me all these years. A bit harsh, but there is a significant nugget of truth there. Did the bad words do harm? If the answer is "I feel like they did" then toughen the hell up and repeat after me 'Sticks and stones will break my bones; words will not hurt me.' If the words did actual harm to you, lawyer up and use the slander and libel laws we have in place here in the west to defend yourself. Yea, it sucks that lawsuits are expensive and all, but the reality of the internet is that every dumbass with an opinion now has a megaphone. And I do science outreach in and area with a real, honest to god flat earth contingent.

Does this mean a free for all in the speech front? No. There are rules. Threats should be looked at; the people blowing off steam let them go, the guy who says "I'm gonna kill XXXX" then goes to the gun store? Maybe he should get a visit from the cops and a restraining order. Don't lie about people. Stuff like that. Shouting "fire" in a building to cause a panic is illegal already and I agree with that in full. But spouting racist garbage on the internet does nothing but show that you are an idiot.

This gets to the next thing I want to touch on. I disagree with the term "Cyber Violence." There is no such thing (cue incoming hatred, I can take it but hear me out first.) Maybe because I grew up in the rough an tumble of real fights and real violence, but words on the internet don't impact me. The Chinese have a word, and it fits so perfectly: Strawberry Children. These are people who wilt in the faintest criticism, bruise easily and can't take the hard knocks of life. And it is not just the Millennials. I've dealt with 60 year old strawberries who cannot deal with people who are not exactly the same as they are. If you are getting shit-on in an online space, then either learn to fight back or turn the computer off for a day or two. This is the internet, people! most nonsense has a shelf life of hours and as long as you don't Streisand yourself into Infamy, you will be fine. Or, 'git gud' and fire back and become a legend and earn the respect of your adversaries.. or at least stop being a doormat so you don't get so much crap flung at you. (remember kids, bullies tend to be cowards and the only real way to deal with them is to not be a victim) Hell those assholes might even end up being your friends later down the road.

And finally, a note on what I think and education SHOULD be. The purpose of an education should be to expose you to the wider world, give you the skills to deal with people outside your comfort circle and give you a cultural center so that you can communicate to other people in your country/state etc. Part of growing up is learning how to deal with people who are different than you. People who look different, go to different churches, live in different parts of town etc. A good education will build within you an empathy for others. This is why segregation and filter bubbles are bad and why they need to be fought. A Great Education will even instill character, honor and strong sense of self. The kids at Oberlin and I walk in different worlds and almost certainly will never meet. So why do I care? You don't go to a place like Oberlin for an education, you go there to meet the kids of other rich and powerful people and network with them. People who go to schools like this end up writing legislation, working on campaigns, sitting on the Boards of big companies and have a big impact on how us peons in the muck live and work. That is why I care what they are learning and how they are organizing themselves. And one of the first things that show up in hate crime legislation tends to be the language poor people use. Having a generation of kids go to college and come out with the idea that free speech is a bad thing is not healthy for the long term survival of a democracy in my mind.

You and I are probably not going to see eye-to-eye here. And that's fine. I follow you because you have a neat outlook on life and have had interesting things to say in the past. I'm looking forward to seeing where this conversation goes. Thanks.

flagamuffin  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: PSA: Sorry about the time outs

mk  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: PSA: Sorry about the time outs


cgod  ·  477 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Fighter's Hour of Need

The NY State Athletic Commission is orders of magnitude better than the athletic commissions in some other states. This is not a defense of what happened that night, it's inexcusable. The things that go on in other states are just deplorable. Fighters that would never be allowed to fight in New York due to existing injuries are given no significant pre-fight medical exam and matched up against significantly more skilled opponents. Boxing needs a national over site board. Fighters need more education about the risks they face when they go in the ring and the risks of having anything but a brief career. There needs to be a unified sanctioning body and greater over site of the relations between managers, promoters, referees, sanctioning bodies and athletic commissions for conflicts of interest and ethical lapses. Many places that have enacted laws governing the over site of boxing often don't enforce their laws.

_refugee_  ·  478 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Radicalizing the Romanceless

Democrats and the tea party differ only on the surface.

steve  ·  593 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski prototypical API is here


Thanks again. And hey - I'll still buy you a beer or whatever on Friday.

And mk? He makes me pay with sexual favors whenever I see him. HEYO!

flagamuffin  ·  661 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Sweet Jesus, Pooh! That's not honey"
briandmyers  ·  675 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Unsung heroes of science

I chopped some of the URL embellishment and it seems to display now; sorry about that.

Energy requirements are not at all the speed-limiting factor in the REX device. It's a combination of the non-natural gait of the device, and the requirement to never injure the user (the two are intimately related). The battery pack can drive the device for over two hours continuously, so there's plenty of juice.

A primary design constraint is that the device must not fall - not in the event of system crash, or even in response to user movement (and wheelchair users often have quite violent muscle spasms). Its gait is entirely inhuman, because when taking a step, the device shifts to balance on one leg, then moves the lifted leg, then transfers centre-of-weight to balance on the other leg. In contrast, human walking is a controlled fall - if you were to 'freeze' in mid-step, you will topple over, and that's just not acceptable for this machine. Some other exoskeletons are meant to augment human movement, but that is a very different problem.

Its purpose is not to walk fast, but simply to walk (this machine can do stairs as well, though). Sitting all day is unhealthy for a walking person - so imagine the problem caused if you literally have to sit all day, every day. Most wheelchair users are given a "standing frame" that they are told to use for an hour or so every day for this very reason, but few people use them as much as they should. So the reason for this is primarily health benefits from walking and leg movement, and also for rehabilitation after injury.

It was amazing to be a part of this organisation in the early days - we literally worked in a warehouse the first two years, cold in winter and hot in summer; and we were not allowed to talk about what we were working on in public forums (until the company went public). Just a great group of people, and if they still had work for me to do, I'd be there still. The only stress was concern that we'd run out of funding and all have to find new jobs (which actually happened to me, but fortunately the company was able to survive).

user-inactivated  ·  685 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: American Hippopotamus (read inside first)

I agree that medium's font should be larger.

coffeesp00ns  ·  816 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Fabulous Return of the Vinyl Record.

Well, I'm willing to wager your ears are even bigger than mine, so I'll throw in a few things that aren't necessarily my cup of tea, but you might find interesting.

Shostakovich: Complete String Quartets - Emerson String Quartet

Starts out as tonal as Shostakovich ever gets (with Number 1), and end up going to some pretty crazy and dark places. Nothing like Stalinist Russia to bring out the sarcasm in someone.

No. 8 is the most Famous - here's the second movement.

Honorable mention goes to Sonata for Contrabass Solo by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Op. 108 . A student and colleague of Shostakovich. I'm playing this piece for my master's recital, and there's a great recording on Spotify by Joel Quarrington (also probably available on itunes).

Charles Ives - Piano Sonata no.2 "Concord, Mass. 1840-60"

I have no idea why I like Ives' music. It is WAY out of my wheelhouse in a lot of respects. However, his chamber music is amazing, and the Concord Sonata is no exception.

Honorable mention goes to His Violin Sonatas, which Hilary Hahn recorded a while back. Fantastic recording, available on itunes etc.

Gyorgi Ligeti - Artikulation

One of many electronic pieces by this composer. Tried to find an album, but this stuff in't often sold in stores:

Honorable mention:

Schoenberg: Five Pieces for Orchestra - London Symphony Orchestra with Fred Sherry

Most of the music you're listening to on this list probably wouldn't have been made until much later if not for this guy. He solidified Serial atonal music from a theoretical standpoint, and was one of the first people to use it as a technique to write music.

Honorable mention: Webern - Six orchestral pieces

Student of Schoenberg, well respected in his own right. His opera, Wozzek, is probably one of the most commonly performed modern operas.

Pierre Boulez: Le Marteau Sans Maître

I hate this man. He is, however, well known for his advancement of multiple serialism, in which not just he notes, but rhythms, dynamics, etc. are all set up in serial patterns, derivatives of which are used to compose.

Honorable Mention:

Stravinsky: Rite of Spring (with the ballet if you can for the first listen)

I'm gonna be straight with you, while i love this piece, I legit can't listen to it after dark - it scares the shit out of me. This ballet's production (which is using the original choreography, i think)... doesn't help me with that.

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Elektronische Musik 1952-1960

My friend, you are going to dig the shit out of this.

Honorable mention:

Well, hopefully that will give you some stuff you like, and some composers to look more into.

I joined in! Finally got over the flu.


nowaypablo  ·  902 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tigran Hamasyan - "What The Waves Brought"



mk  ·  916 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Cancer cells can ‘infect’ normal neighbours

That's one of those kinds of questions that I think can only be answered experimentally. The cascade of miRNA effects could very well affect telomorase, and beyond that, most of the contents of the exosomes remain unknown. In fact, I've seen a few reports that suggest that miRNAs only constitute about 1% of the total RNAs in the exosomes (This has led me to my current investigations into the abundance of other short non-coding RNAs found within). Also, who knows what other mechanisms that we are completely blind to that might be involved, like miRNAs such a short time ago.

Personally, I do my best to take definitions like the 'hallmarks of cancer' with a grain of salt, as definitions can obscure the important assumptions that underpin them, or they might lead you down the garden path. Of course, such definitions are useful for discussion but if you focus upon them too much, you find yourself having philosophical or taxonomic discussions, or start saying silly things like 'junk DNA'. My approach is to just wonder within the realm of what is physically possible, and if something seems physically possible, then test whether or not it is so.

One thought that I have been having regarding these findings, is whether or not all metastasis is actually cellular. Is it possible that metastatic tumors could originate via exosomal influence? After a certain exosome load, might the body start spontaneously sprouting tumor? Probably much more likely the exosome influence creates fertile ground for metastatic cells, but at this point we really can't exclude the possibility. That said, I am not sure the extent to which met tumors have been exhaustively linked to the parent tumors. I work in glioma, and they are rarely metastatic.

My guess is that after a certain point, these converted cells could produce progeny that fit the bill, especially once they start acquiring chromosomal aberrations. I actually had an astrocytic cell line turn very tumorigenic on me after a transfection with one protein. I've since performed a miRNA array on the parent and the tumor, in addition to three other rat gliomas. Interestingly, the astrocytes that turned malignant have a miRNA fingerprint that is much closer to the three other tumor lines than it is to the parent cells. If you consider the hundreds, if not thousands, of targets for those miRNAs, that's pretty striking. But then again, Dolly the sheep was a mammary gland cell. If epigenetic influence can make a mammary nucleus build a sheep, then I would imagine that non-tumorigenic cells can be epigenetically coerced into the real deal.

Complexity  ·  930 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Grubski Challenge #2: The New Green

Dem carbs.

carboxyl  ·  938 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In Defense of Gamers

I'm tired of people like this promoting this myth that if a medium's target audience is men, then it must be inherently sexist.

    in their best-funded and most widely consumed commercial forms, they have especially catered to certain kinds of socially awkward boys and men, providing them with alternatives to dominant standards of masculinity. At the same time, however, they cultivated an alternative misogyny, based on resentment of other men and a desire to usurp their patriarchal dominance, rather than overturn patriarchy entirely. Hence the geek culture is a breeding ground for Nice Guys who see themselves as persecuted outcasts but are unable to get over their desire to control women.

I don't believe you can stereotype "gamers" anymore than that. The writer is quick to label the video game industry as sexist and elitist (comparing them to the tea-party so you'll get on board for sure) so they can write it off later as "capitalism's" fault.

I don't see how this defends anyone, they completely bash the industry and the fanbase and blame it on a mysterious minority that made them believe all of their widely unpopular opinions. It obvious that internet trolls or flamers are just dumb kids who say whatever for shits and giggles, and have nothing to do with video game culture

am_Unition  ·  951 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms
bloggulator  ·  960 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Watch me commit Hubski social suicide

b_b: If this was a 'bona fide' (!) terrorist attack as claimed by the US authorities, then how did the alleged plotters gain access to so much privileged and classified information, the knowledge of which allowed the attacks to succeed? How did the alleged hijackers even board the four planes, given that there is no evidence of such (ticket purchases, credit card records, boarding passes, video with a certified chain of custody showing them board the planes etc.)? Why did they fly indirect routes to their assigned targets when they must have known that the USAF has an unblemished record for promptly scrambling F-15s and F-16s, capable of Mach II and faster, and challenging any problematic or off course airplane within a few minutes - and there are dozens of air bases within a very short flying distance of the hijacked planes' flight paths.

Your claim that skeptics regard "the US Government" as responsible is disingenuous at best. The US Government consists of many 10s of thousands of federal employees in hundreds of diverse agencies and departments that range from the USPS to NASA , or from the USGS to NSA. Yeah, it took that many incompetent government employees to organize 9/11 on one side, yet on the other story, it only took 19 young rookies with no paramilitary experience and little flying ability, a handful of organizers and a guy in a cave in Afghanistan pull the whole operation? That these kids, with no motivation and in total stealth, somehow ran rings around the entire, $multitrillion US military-defense-security-law enforcement-intelligence apparatus, in their own front yard, for nearly two whole hours, without a response from the world's most professional and highly trained air force?

It makes one wonder why the most senior officials in the Bush Administration did their damnedest to avoid any form of independent investigation into the attacks, especially VP Cheney, who used threatening language against Sen. Tom Daschle when the latter brought up the subject of "inquiry". It makes one wonder why the 9/11 Commission was such a whitewash - a majority of the senior commissioners, including the two co-chairs and lead counsel have said that "we were not told the truth about what happened", and "we were set up to fail" and "we were lied to by the CIA, NORAD and the Pentagon". It makes one wonder why the Joint Chiefs issued a change of protocol (CJCSI3610.01A) regarding the scrambling of planes in response to aerial emergencies on June 1, 2001, which stripped all USAF base commanders of their authority to order a scramble operation, transferring those permissions to the Defense Secretary (Don Rumsfeld) in person. It just happened that Rumsfeld was "unavailable" during the two critical hours that morning. Without that change of procedure, none of those planes would have reached their targets before being challenged. The original protocol was restored on 9/12/2001.

Why did the CIA's field station in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia authorize the quick issuance of US Visas to all 15 Saudi Arabian nationals who were alleged to have been amongst the 19 hijackers?

I don't know the answers to any of these and 1000 other anomalous aspects of 9/11 which make no sense if the official story was the truth and nothing but the truth. The "batshit" elements clearly rest with what the corporate media and the US Government "informed" us. Our comfort zone filled in the gaps.

Instead if reporting this, I badged it ><

rob05c  ·  964 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Senate moves forward on Citizens United constitutional amendment

I'm not saying I think judicial decisions should be immortalized for all time. Society's understanding of morality changes over time, and government needs provisions to adapt.

But separation of powers exists for a reason. If the Supreme Court throws out a bill and Congress immediately passes a new bill that says "everything before, and the judicial branch can't throw it out," that's not ok. The amendment process is a compromise. It seeks to allow changes to prior law and judicial precedent without giving the legislative branch overt power to disregard the judicial. The presumption is that anything capable of garnering 2/3 majorities in both the House and Senate, as well as approval of 3/4 of state legislatures, probably represents a fundamental shift in society, and ought be permitted to overrule prior law and precedent.

I realize I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know. My point is, I understand government needs the ability to adapt to societal changes; but no one government branch should have the power to completely disregard another.

I actually think the amendment process is pretty reasonable. What I don't think is reasonable, is for any legislator to vote for something which explicitly overrides the judicial branch, which they know doesn't have overwhelming societal or legislative support. Most certainly not something which prohibits future judicial intercession. They might as well have said "I believe in autocracy." Or perhaps, "When a legislator does it, that means it's not illegal."

galen  ·  974 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The 123 Worst Musicians Of All Time

If you don't mind a lot of reading (or mind it less than Ira's voice), transcripts of every episode are available on thisamericanlife.org. Just FYI