Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shipwrecked and comatose

This week, David Dayen and Digby were panelists on Virtually Speaking Sundays, and commented "on the postal banking proposal; ACA and entrepreneurship; bipartisan McCarthyism from Mike Rogers (R) House Intelligence, and Dianne Feinstein (D), Senate Intelligence. Political satire from Culture of Truth." Not to mention the open assault on the United States Postal Service by the people who are supposed to be running it.
David O. Atkins was the guest on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd, discussing "a world where the central banks' closest partners, the money center banks, routinely engage in criminal activity. It has the effect of turning the entire economy into a house of cards."

On The Majority Report, Matt & Michael Monday With Kevin Gosztola On The NATO3 and Bob Kincaid On West Virginia. The water has been poisoned, and no one is even sure the mess can be cleaned up. Maybe if we can convince people that these corporations are run by jihadist Muslims, something could be done to stop them.

Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report, "American State of the Union: A Festival of Lies [...] Barack Obama, who has presided over the sharpest increases in economic inequality in U.S. history, adopts the persona of public advocate, reciting wrongs inflicted by unseen and unknown forces that have 'deepened' the gap between the rich and the rest of us and 'stalled' upward mobility. Having spent half a decade stuffing tens of trillions of dollars into the accounts of an ever shrinking gaggle of financial capitalists, Obama declares this to be 'a year of action' in the opposite direction. 'Believe it.' And if you do believe it, then crown him the Most Effective Liar of the young century."

A Rash of Deaths and a Missing Reporter - With Ties to Wall Street Investigations [...] The case of David Bird, the oil markets reporter who had worked at the Wall Street Journal for 20 years and vanished without a trace on the afternoon of January 11, has this in common with the other three tragedies: his work involves a commodities market - oil - which is under investigation by the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for possible manipulation. The FBI is involved in the Bird investigation."

"North Carolina's Moral Monday Movement Kicks Off 2014 With a Massive Rally in Raleigh [...] If today's rally was any indication, the Moral Monday movement will be bigger and broader in 2014. An estimated 15,000 activists attended the HKonJ rally last year, bringing thirty buses; this year, the NC NAACP estimated that 80,000-100,000 people rallied in Raleigh, with 100 buses converging from all over the state and country. It was the largest civil rights rally in the South since tens of thousands of voting rights activists marched from Selma to Montgomery in support of the Voting Rights Act."

The corruption of our judicial system has created a monster that defies any concept of "civilization" - and wasn't even funny on an episode of QI.

Absolutely everyone finds the editorial pages at The New York Times embarrassing. And, of course, the most embarrassing thing is Thomas Friedman.

The Koch Brothers Left a Confidential Document at Their Last Donor Conference - Read It Here

"The NSA Doesn't Spy On Americans" - This statement just might be inaccurate.

Strange, the right-wing seems upset about the idea that people might have the freedom to leave jobs they hate if they have portable health insurance.

New Photos of the NSA and Other Top Intelligence Agencies Revealed for First Time

The late Gary Webb on C.I.A. Trafficking of Cocaine - and why the media round against The San Jose Mercury News until it was finally bullied into repudiating its own very good story.

Progress: Olympic ad from Norway

"Satirical spaghetti monster image banned by London South Bank University as 'religiously offensive'."

RIP: Shirley Temple, 85. Eventually I started to think of her as a Disney princess, and then just a Republican diplomatic appointee, but on reflection, she may have been the ultimate 20th Century Fox. And I still remember her this way. Wow, that clip is weird to watch now.

"Woody Allen Speaks Out" - Again, the internets are abuzz with outrage, and everyone has to take a side. Is Woody Allen a strange, sometimes anti-social seeming guy? (I'd say so, yeah.) Well, then he must be guilty! Is Mia Farrow a flake who was raging with jealousy? (Sure looks that way to me.) Then her daughter made it up! Um, maybe neither of those conclusions are correct. I look for similarities in different kinds of child abuses cases - the real kind, and the false-accusation kind. They are both realities, and I'm a bit disturbed that some otherwise sensible people are willing to acknowledge only one of them.

"Scalzi's Redshirts coming to TV: John Scalzi's Hugo-winning, existentialist comedy space opera novel Redshirts is being adapted into a TV series by FX -- it's a natural! This is just wonderful news -- intelligent, funny science fiction from a novelist who plays with the tropes of the field, it's just what TV needs. Congrats, John!"

Why Did Someone Put a Giant Wooden Cock on a Kremlin Critic's Car?

A fabulous bit of gymnastics

I am Jello!

Fairy wings. More fairy wings.

Watch Matt Damon and Friends Read Mean Tweets About Themselves.

Have some cute overload.

"Here's the latest/annual Edwardian Ball after-movie, featuring San Francisco's alt-circus Vau de Vire Society, pagan-lounge act Rosin Covin, opera divas, shovel-playing guitarists, and many well-dressed types in San Francisco."

The Red Dwarf Theme


  1. danps said:

    Hi Avedon. I don't really agree with framing Dylan's accusations as a he said/she said between Woody and Mia followed by an existential sigh that truth is unknowable.

    We can form opinions on this matter, opinions informed by fact. I haven't seen anyone on Woody's side rebut this, for instance:

    And since we are not sitting in a jury box - with Allen's future hanging on our decision - we don't have to presume innocence. We can decide we think he's guilty based on evidence that would not be enough to convict in a criminal trial.Assume Mia is a nut.

    Assume Dylan is brainwashed and even as a 27 year old is not capable of forming reliable memories. Is Judge Wilk crazy too? How about the judges who ruled against Allen on appeal? Over the years there have been lots of people close to the case who have supported Dylan's version of events. Believing Woody's version of events requires believing a pretty grand conspiracy.

    Also, this is a great read if you haven't seen it yet. "Why Young Sexual Assault Victims Tell Incoherent Stories"

    "The very secrecy that makes the truth 'unknowable' is an instrument of the crime."

    1. Avedon said:

      Secrecy and denial are certainly elements in child sexual abuse cases that have a long history, but in this case the child allegedly went to her mother immediately and her mother went to the pediatrician who went to the police right away. This is not a story of a girl who held the secret for years in silence or who tried to tell the adults who insisted she was making it up or over-reacting.

      The VF article says Mia Farrow was concerned about Allen's behavior around Dylan since she was two, and one problem was that he looked at her a lot. She says he looked at her "sexually", but I'm at a loss to know what that means. He looked at her naked? My god, he looked at a naked baby? Am I the only one who sees something wrong with statements like that? (I note that being left out of the current edition of this story is the big deal that was made of the possibility that Allen had touched (then-)Satchel's back. That really looked like a reach.) You know what's more common than sexual child abuse? Mothers being jealous to the point of craziness of a father's natural and completely non-sexual affection for his daughter.

      And we're talking about a guy who has never, ever, shown any evidence of a sexual interest in pre-pubescent kids, so it's already pretty curious. And he's certainly right that it wouldn't make sense that he would pick that particular day, in that particular environment, to try to sneak off to sexually assault his child while everyone knew he was being watched and bird-dogged. And there are quite a few things we know about child abusers that we know are not true of Woody Allen. It seems to me a lot of people are forgetting things we all know because they are so eager to point the finger at Allen.

      I know a little something about child abuse. I was part of the movement in the late '60s and early '70s that tried to bring the issue out of its dark closet. But I've watched with growing horror as that movement has been hijacked by people who seem bent on stamping out any honesty about adolescent sexuality and using it to paint every innocent sign of caring by men as some sort of abusive perversion. I have seen adult women who were disturbed about how their lives were turning out go to therapist who think every problem is because fathers are all rapists who then "therapize" those women into believing in childhood abuse that could never have happened. I've seen videos of little girls being "interrogated" by police psychologists creating obviously traumatic incidents that drive the kids into hysteria while trying to convince them to charge the males around them with things the kids had obviously never even imagined. When you see what goes on, you don't just take for granted that if a kid says they were abused, it must be true. You want to be very, very sure that the accusation is really coming from the kid, and you want to see evidence that there are at least some things about the situation and the accused that are consistent with what we know about child sexual abuse. There are far too many things about this case that don't look like real child sexual abuse and do look like false accusation.

    2. danps:

      "The VF article says Mia Farrow was concerned about Allen's behavior around Dylan since she was two, and one problem was that he looked at her a lot. She says he looked at her 'sexually', but I'm at a loss to know what that means."

      The custody ruling goes into some detail on that, and it doesn't strike me as run of the mill parent/child affection:

      The impression I get is that he enjoys big power differentials and monopolizing the objects of his affection - an affair with a 17 year old, the relationship with Soon-Yi (see the ruling for how she was sent home from a camp counselor job because they were constantly on the phone with each other), and also how the judge characterized the suffocating attention he gave to Dylan.

      As for your experience with the child abuse movement, do you see any of those red flags - an adult woman who just can't get her life together, interrogation by police psychologists, etc - in Dylan's case? As far as I can tell, she claimed it then, she claims it now, and the precipitating event was the lavish praise he's getting over his new movie - not some questionable new revelation recently uncovered in a therapy session.

    3. Ten Bears said:

      The water has been poisoned, and no one is even sure the mess can be cleaned up.

      EYup. People are going to die and we all need to get a little more hard-hearted about it. Because there's not a damned thing we can do about it. And billions, billions - quite possibly my grandchildren - are going to die needless deaths because we're too stupid to stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.

      Get used to it. Get a little more hard-hearted about it. I thought we hashed this Woody Allen thing out years ago? Who gives a fuck?

      No fear. Only contempt.

    4. LarryE said:

      I have no horse in this race, I do not pretend to know what happened, I don't even know the details of the claims and counter-claims. But for the sake of context, I do have to note this: "even as a 27 year old is not capable of forming reliable memories"

      It has been known (and experimentally demonstrated) for quite some time that false memories are astonishingly easy to create, deliberately or accidentally, including in adults. One notion for the reason is that brain scans show that the same areas of the brain "light up" for tasks involving memory and for tasks involving imagination - making it unhappily easy for what you imagine to become what you "remember."

  2. ksix said:

    Worth reading the updates at the bottom of Pam Marten's article on banker deaths. Wildly inaccurate reporting on the Canary Wharf incident (and I didn't know The Independent was owned by a Russian former KGB officer).

    Sorry to see the Woody Allen lynch mob at progressive sites.

  3. LarryE said:

    "I am Jello! "

    Apparently, so am I.