Friday, May 09, 2014

"I can't sleep until I say the names."

Fanboy Coulson is my favorite.

"Patton Oswalt is at it again. When last we checked in, he was angering trolls by splitting tweets in two, and now he’s taken the next logical step by "deleting" offensive tweets that never actually existed. It’s all part of his mission to make people question why they’re so outraged, and to point out that those who want to be outraged, will."

"Oswalt, a prolific character actor and stand-up, retweeted a column by noted conservative Mark Steyn that swatted our P.C. mindset. Steyn, Oswalt tweeted, "hit it out of the park" on the issue of speech codes and our growing cultural penchant for stifling free speech. That didn't sit well with his liberal followers, forcing the comic to send out this explanatory Tweet: "
 " reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that...

But I don’t really think that many people these days are genuinely interested in ‘striking the balance’; they’ve drawn the line and they’re increasingly unashamed about which side of it they stand. What all the above stories have in common, whether nominally about Israel, gay marriage, climate change, Islam, or even freedom of the press, is that one side has cheerfully swapped that apocryphal Voltaire quote about disagreeing with what you say but defending to the death your right to say it for the pithier Ring Lardner line: ‘“Shut up,” he explained.’"

Surprising, until you remember that no one is one thing.  Antonin Scalia Emerges As Fighter For Fourth Amendment Privacy Rights
"In 2012, Scalia wrote the majority opinion reversing a defendant's conviction because the state gained key evidence by attaching a GPS device to his car. In 2013, he wrote a 5-4 opinion that police may not send a dog to sniff at a front door based on suspicion that drugs were being grown inside. Also in 2013, he wrote the dissenting opinion, joined by three liberal justices, against the court's 5-4 ruling upholding warrantless collection of DNA from persons who are arrested. Two weeks ago he lead another dissent against a 5-4 ruling permitting a police officer to stop a truck driver based on an anonymous tip that he's intoxicated. "Relying on the history of the Fourth Amendment, Justice Scalia has become a frequent champion of broad Fourth Amendment protections — not only joining opinions by his more liberal colleagues, but also often writing powerful opinions in which they join," said Brianne Gorod, counsel for the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center. "Notably, in every non-unanimous Fourth Amendment case last Term, Justice Scalia sided with the defense.""

"In 2011, the British Guardian (7/11/11) reported that the CIA used a fake vaccination drive led by Pakistani Dr. Shakil Afridi to gain entry to bin Laden's compound and gather DNA to confirm his presence there. As McNeil himself reported in 2012 (7/9/12), that revelation led to suspicion and banning of vaccination teams in the tribal areas of Pakistan. At the time, the WHO argued that, while it was a "setback…unless it spreads or is a very longtime affair, the program is not going to be seriously affected."

...Fast forward to this week, and CBS Evening News (5/5/14) likewise avoided the CIA connection in reporting the most recent story, as anchor Scott Pelley noted: "Most cases are in Pakistan, where vaccine workers have been murdered on suspicion that they're spying for the United States." The PBS NewsHour (5/6/14) was one of the only outlets that mentioned the CIA issue, in a report by correspondent Jeffrey Brown: BROWN: Dr. Anita Zaidi, a pediatrician, cited a fake vaccination campaign that the CIA used in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.  ZAIDI: Which has hugely damaged public health programs, not only in Pakistan, but in many, many countries, because people ask all kinds of questions. They now think that they might—the vaccine programs might be actually spy operations."

"When mass murderer Ted Kaczynski was a 16-year-old undergraduate student at Harvard, he took part in a behavioral engineering project run by the CIA. It was part of the US government's illegal MKUltra project, which ruined the lives of many innocent and unwitting test subjects around the world. The study was run by Dr. Henry Murray, who had each of his 22 subjects write an essay detailing their dreams and aspirations. The students were then taken to a room where electrodes were attached to them to monitor their vitals as they were subjected to extremely personal, stressful, and brutal critiques about the essays they had written. Following the psychological attacks, the participants were forced to watch the videos of themselves being verbally and psychologically assaulted multiple times. Kaczynski is claimed to have had the worst physiological reaction to being interrogated. These experiments, paired with his lack of social skills and memories of being bullied as a child, caused Kaczynski to suffer from horrible nightmares that eventually drove him to move into isolation outside Lincoln, Montana."

"Ridiculous new Obama administration policy is to pretend that leaked information doesn’t exist."
"A new pre-publication review policy for the Office of Director of National Intelligence says the agency’s current and former employees and contractors may not cite news reports based on leaks in their speeches, opinion articles, books, term papers or other unofficial writings. Such officials “must not use sourcing that comes from known leaks, or unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information,” it says. “The use of such information in a publication can confirm the validity of an unauthorized disclosure and cause further harm to national security.”
“You’re basically saying people can’t talk about what everyone in the country is talking about,” he said. “I think that is awkward and overly broad in terms of restricting speech.”"

"Has there ever been a movement that's spent as much time, energy, and treasure and gotten so little in return? I suspect there are three reasons for this failure: 1) It's difficult to fight basic economics. 2) On energy, Americans, despite what they say, have no desire to try (nor should they). 3) It's getting more difficult, not less, to believe environmental doom and gloom...

The truth is that even if Americans believed that scientists have seer-like abilities and the models are accurate, they would still be hesitant to embrace 19th-century technology, because they simply can't afford it. Though I suspect that most people instinctively understand that the environment has gotten better by almost every measure over the past 40 years, climate change activists ignore the massive benefits of carbon-emitting fuels and technology that helps us become more productive and increasingly efficient. Now, you can try to guilt trip everyone into compliance. You can batter people with distressing hypothetical scenarios. You can "educate" them on the issue from kindergarten onward. You can mainstream an array of Luddite ideas. You can browbeat society so no one ever utters a word of skepticism. But we still want to drive our cars everywhere...

There is always strong support for the abstract idea of environmental regulation and "clean energy," but when it comes to some concrete policy, it is nearly always unpopular. "