Book of the Month

  • http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304512504579493410287663906

    Assuming this is what she would've said, it seems pretty mild to me.

    by Peter Schwartz 1 hour 1 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • And I think Malik is still pointing to the non-Constitutional idea of free speech.

    What is the "non-constitutional idea of free speech"?

    AFAIK, freedom of speech is a constitutional right and isn't defined or codified or protected anywhere...

    by Peter Schwartz 1 hour 14 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • No, they're not.  But regular Americans are having breakfast and then going to work for Koch companies...

  • Except they're just things that she thinks are equivalent.  None of her examples hold up.

    by Michael Maiello 4 hours 11 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  •    Well, yeah, if you want to persuade people, you won't do it by railing at them. But a lot of people  won't listen to reason.

  • If Brandeis broke a contract, that's a legal issue. If Brandeis broke a promise, that's a moral issue. Neither is a freedom of speech issue. America's free speech guarantee protects citizens from government penalty. It does not protect us from broken promises or rescinded honorary...

    by Michael Wolraich 4 hours 29 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Of  course Malik is recognizing that. She's also noting if you say 1 guy's a scumbag but not another when they're using equivalent language or framing or points of view, there's no "expression of taste" there, simply an arbitrary non-rigorous lack of standards or...

    by PeraclesPlease 6 hours 8 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • I said already I don't think Ali is a good choice for an honorary degree from the spitefulness and broad brush of her speech, even though some of her work to stop female circumcision is good. That's not "shaming"

    by PeraclesPlease 6 hours 11 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Problem is, Malik isn't recognizing the other important element of free speech which is that I have the right to say, "Isn't that guy a scum bag?"  I certainly don't have to be consistent about that, either.  Speech is, first and foremost, an expression of taste...

    by Michael Maiello 6 hours 27 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Wattree properly characterized the ridiculousness of Kohn's statement. The GOP greeted Obama's election with a vow to make him a one term President. What Kohn leaves out is any requirement on the part of Conservatives/Libertarians/Tea Party members to be civil.

    What...

  • I inferred it. How would you characterize your position regarding what Brandeis should've done? (I thought you were agreeing with Malik.)

    by Verified Atheist 7 hours 7 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Did Brandeis first invite Frazier Glenn Miller, and then publicly renege on their promise? If not, the 2 are not comparable. In a functioning society, we have to rely on each others words, and we make plans in reliance  of them. Promises create moral obligations to the promisee, and our...

    by Anonymous (not verified) 9 hours 10 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • "his innovative music video experiments" .. . Well firstly, I believe a certain Mister John Landis ( the director ) should take some credit for those videos of Jackson's. Secondly, they really weren't all THAT pioneering anyway ( more false hype right there I believe ). There...

    by Anonymous (not verified) 9 hours 56 min ago in Michael Jackson: Overrated
  • Wattree seems to have missed this thread, since he quotes the same article in his "Sally Kohn Sings Kumbaya to Fox News".  He seems to have missed her point, too, which is...

  • Wow!  The (inevitable) comparison to Hitler on the first reply!  Is this a record?

  • Bloomberg pushed controversial causes, and for the most part the public likes them*, with an approval rating still around 50%. *sugar drinks and his school...

  • Sally Kohn's flattering testimonial on the nice and smart people at Fox News and her favorite, and 'mentor', Sean Hannity, hasn't gotten through there. Yet.

    I won't hold my breath.

    Specifically....Kohn's advice to avoid 'harboring stereotypes'...

  • A while back wasn't there a down to earth kinda guy political leader like us, someone you'd like to have a beer with, who was selling freedom, gun lobby favors, cutting taxes, talking about God's gifts and going to the mall and other good stuff?

    America needs someone like that...

  • If Russian oligarchs want to buy property in NYC, how is a Mayor deBlasio going to stop them? 'Tale of 2 cities' line sounds like campaign malarkey, very true, but this is after all America where money has Constitutional rights.

    Sounds like a great book on TR.  Great title....

  • The Kochs aren't sitting down with regular Americans for breakfast. 

  • Michael,

    Even if Bloomberg wasn't a nebbishy looking Jewish billionaire from NYC, and even if he knew something about the grassroots, gun control is not going anywhere soon.  But I highly doubt that Bloomberg is planning on being the face of this campaign, which puts him in the...

  • Always preferred The Lighter Side Of...but S v S is classic.

  • "we're not here to lecture you."

    "Just leave us alone to eat your lunch and we'll save a bit for you. A 'bit' that's bigger than you could get otherwise. Some day, you couldn't possibly be as rich as I am, but everyone...

  • I suggest re-reading the OpEd, or maybe you found a different version than me - my copy was from the NY Times.

    In that version, Malik is bemoaning that people (especially press)...

    by PeraclesPlease 17 hours 33 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Proclaim loudly that we should accept people's personal opinions, and they're irrelevant to a CEO's job performance - whether how he/she looks, religion, specific beliefes, friendships, whatever.

    Yeah, pretty pathetic response to respond to shunning by suggesting loudly...

    by PeraclesPlease 17 hours 39 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • The right to offend everybody is infinitely reductive.  Brandeis offers Ali an honorary degree.  Some are offended.  Brandeis rescinds offer.  Others are offended.  The right to offend everyone that Malik wants is present and in full effect.  What Malik can't...

    by Michael Maiello 1 day 10 min ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • We get our revenge every time he looks in the mirror...It's Dorian Gray in reverse...

  • Malik's complaint is that then other people had the temerity to criticize Brandeis for listening to the first group of critics.  ...

    by PeraclesPlease 1 day 1 hour ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Speechless!  I just can't stand that blowhard!

     

  • I do find it interesting that you agree with Malik that we should shame those who would say inflammatorily false things about Islam, but disagree...

    by PeraclesPlease 1 day 1 hour ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • A thing about the Koch Brothers that is different than Bloomberg is that the Koch's have very active business interests in the American heartland.  Bloomberg's business is big but very urban, very New York-based and though I'm sure Bloomberg llc could show us truly global...

  • Some of the shooters were not criminals until they pulled the trigger.

    This is what's missing from the discussion about good guys and bad guys, criminals and non-criminals, using guns.

    No one's born a criminal; they become one, and until that...

  • The thing is, Malik is actually wrong.  Plenty of people stuck up for Islam in the Ali affair.  So many that Brandeis reversed course and didn't give the degree.  Malik's complaint is that then other people had the temerity to criticize Brandeis for listening to the first...

    by Michael Maiello 1 day 3 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Malik is not wrong to point out a double standard. There surely is one. But freedom of speech is not the issue. Brandeis is not obligated to bestow an honorary degree on anyone. In reversing its decision, the university has not violated Ayaan Hirsi Ali's freedom of speech any more than that...

    by Michael Wolraich 1 day 5 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Well, sure, but arrest is when one really should face up to the responsibility that accompanies the right because there are accepted legal exceptions and limitations to free speech...

    by EmmaZahn 1 day 5 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • I agree with you regarding Malik and the suggestion that Muslims should just do a better job of making their religion palatable. I think that we should treat Muslims with respect, and that means shaming those who would say inflammatorily false items about Islam, just as I feel we should shame...

    by Verified Atheist 1 day 5 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  •   I'm afraid that even when conservatives are nice on a personal level, I have trouble tolerating their inhumanity.

    by Aaron Carine (not verified) 1 day 5 hours ago in What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox...
  • So, how do we do this? Do we shun those who suggest we should shun those with unpopular ideas? Seems a tad bit recursive. Do we actually violate the first amendment by passing laws to prevent people from boycotting companies whose CEOs have unpopular opinions?

    Don't take those as...

    by Verified Atheist 1 day 5 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • This is a wonderful stream.

    Everybody loves Christopher (follower of the Christ, I assume, hahaha)

    Birth certificates for dogs?

    I swear I never saw any spot on Spot, but would one really deny a name taken from a five year old?

    All of a sudden I will recall something...

    by Richard Day 1 day 6 hours ago in DOGS, REVIEWED!
  • Sorry, by then it's too late. We have to defend freedom of speech and expression much earlier than arrest.

    by PeraclesPlease 1 day 7 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Reject "abnormal" ideas? Much of this debate is about rejecting accepted majority ideas, and shaming & causing economic damage to those in the majority. "...

    by PeraclesPlease 1 day 7 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • I could rant about how much we need more dems to caucus in both houses or how half of America is nuts or how we lost our battle against the NRA decades ago or...

    If the right seems to understand (on some level) that 'we' will never round up and exile 12 million illegals, how in...

  • "Only when the government starts arresting people because of their opinions and expressions does freedom of speech come into play."

    And it is at that point...

    by EmmaZahn 1 day 7 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Let me reword that. Rejecting the status quo was a means of opening peoples' mind to alternatives AND the proposal of an alternative was a means of persuading people to reject the status quo. The two together are self-reinforcing. Either on its own is mostly useless.

  • I agree with you on almost all points, but with a bow to Maiello's eloquent argument, these arguments have little to do with freedom of speech. The human propensity to reject "abnormal" ideas, whether executed by a board of directors or a peer-reviewed scientific journal, does...

    by Michael Wolraich 1 day 10 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • I'm afraid you're missing the point of the historical examples. In all these reforms and revolutions, rejecting the status quo was not a means of opening peoples' mind to alternatives. To the contrary, the proposal of an alternative was a means of persuading people to reject the...

  • You are quite correct that "rejection of the status quo is not enough" but it is the first step necessary to free your mind from the limitations imposed by the Gatekeepers. The Ruling Class fear and loathe the idea of people thinking freely because they might begin to act as free...

    by Peter (not verified) 1 day 11 hours ago in Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer...
  • I would suggest some reading of "Tragedy of the Commons" to consider how we might destroy our marketplace of ideas along with our public spaces. Summaries can be found...

    by PeraclesPlease 1 day 14 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • What, Lawson? Haven't you read her Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chips recipe? A weapon of mass destruction if ever there was one, designed  to wipe out entire populations from coronary artery disease.

    That woman...<mompf>... is sheer evil.. <mompf>...<...

    by Anonymous (not verified) 1 day 15 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • I would add only that most Americans don't understand how freedom of expression works either. Nice piece.

    by Michael Wolraich 1 day 23 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Just wondering why something like this video wasn't good enough for you. I.E., do you think Bin Laden a liar? Or is it something more byzantine along the lines of the tape being...

    by artappraiser 1 day 23 hours ago in Shoe Thrown at Hillary
  • I am given to understad that the colonel  (He prefers that we call him that...) has no difficulty fitting beautiful Russian women into his scheduled episodes of world domination (he has a really cool "Risk" board--it's called Earth....)

     

    Edit to add:  ...

  • What would you do or have us do that would not be counted as selfish defense of the status quo?

  • Yet both the abolitionists and the socialists attached positive visions to their rejections of the status quo. The abolitionists' idea was relatively simple--freedom for all people--while the socialists' idea was complex and sweeping. That's why the socialists were so much more...

  • He belongs in Hollywood.

    This running Russia thing is such a drag.

    Takes up so much time when he could be chasing beautiful Russian woman.

    I know, let's switch like they did in that movie from 40s...Prince and Pauper. You be killer ex-KGB stuck in new job. I move to...

  •  "You are an ex-agent. I used to have ties to intelligence."

    I think it's kinda cool...ymmv.

  • Your AA analogy may be more apt than you think, Michael, people cling to their illusions and belief in myths, like a drinker to his bottle. Two of your examples, slavery and Marxism make my argument for me, both required rejection of the status quo and required armed conflict. I have...

    by Peter (not verified) 2 days 3 hours ago in Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer...
  • Acknowledging an oligarchy = "powerless"?

    by Anonymous PP (not verified) 2 days 4 hours ago in Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer...
  • Yes, U.S. immigration people can be an overly priggish bunch.  I believe Nigella Lawson, of all the world's harmless people, was denied entry because of public statements she's made about her recreational cocaine use.  What we really need is a global understanding that the...

    by Michael Maiello 2 days 5 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • Wonderful, DD!   There are many things that happen in our lives of which other people never take notice.  When I was a kid in the 1950's, my mother's godfather was the grandfather figure in my life,   He was an advertising executive in NYC and had been since the...

    by MrSmith1 2 days 5 hours ago in DOGS, REVIEWED!
  • Some of the country's population don't know what the term oligarchy means but they are aware of the fact that the fat cats have all the money and power.  There is a push back at work right now in the country.  It is in the grass roots activism that is getting traction. This is...

  • Before any "solution" can be formulated enough people have to give up their illusions, that we have a functioning Democracy, and face the reality that we are ruled by an Oligarchy.

    Sounds like AA for the downtrodden. Step 1: We admitted we were...

  • You write: "At the same time, I think it’s stupid that Britain bans comedians who are offensive and I would urge our former imperial overlords to rethink their laws...

    by Anonymous (not verified) 2 days 7 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • I guess you think everybody was asleep when background checks were considered reasonable by a majority including gun owners. You may remember that it occurred after a massacre of children. Congress did nothing. People realize the situation. 

    Your approach is to tell us what we...

  • This post isn't about me, it's about a scientific study from Princeton U that states clearly that we do not have a functioning Democracy, I didn't need this study to comprehend the fact that we live under an Oligarchy but it may help others to realize that fact. It is obvious...

    by Peter (not verified) 2 days 7 hours ago in Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer...
  • I agree. In my experience many Conservatives views barbs against a well-known Liberal as a joke that you are automatically supposed to take in stride.  

  • I agree completely. There are liberals who always assume the worst of conservatives just as there are conservatives who always assume the worst of liberals. In fact, I'd dare say that it is far more common for conservatives to think of "liberal" as a dirty word than vice-versa.

  • As rmrd000 and bslev have indicated, it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  • So is what you are saying that you know of no solution?  Or, I guess, is it that the level of consciousness that you have apparently acquired must be attained by enough other folks before a solution can be found?

  • Before any "solution" can be formulated enough people have to give up their illusions, that we have a functioning Democracy, and face the reality that we are ruled by an Oligarchy. We have many bright young people and some not so young people who can work on solutions but they...

    by Peter (not verified) 2 days 10 hours ago in Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer...
  • The article assumes that Liberals are screaming in the face of Conservatives. This is ridiculous. Discussions between individuals tend to be  civil. Many Conservatives cite Fox as a source of information and it is hard to convince them that the facts do not support the conclusion drawn...

  • Playing devil's advocate a bit here, but sure, it's fair to say that, as long as you are ignorant about what your policies will achieve, which I think is a fair assumption in many cases. Hanlon's razor: never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    ...
  • "First they came for the internet CEO's, then they came for the Brandeis Honorary Degree candidates...." Give me a break.

    Great distracting grist for controversy loving 24/7 TV news/talk shows/pundits. The CEO still has a job, and the speaker was still invited to...

    by NCD 2 days 11 hours ago in Freedom to Defend...
  • You solution?

  • If you want everyone to be healthy, but support policies that thwart that, is it really fair to say that you "want" everyone to be healthy?

  • Stockholm syndrome ;)

    More seriously, this "revelation" is shallow. I have no doubt that most Fox News folks are quite charming in person (except maybe Bill O'Reilly, who seems like a jerk), but personal charm doesn't make you a good guy. Heck, even Adolf Hitler was...

  • It is strange how this post about a study that shows how the Oligarchy controls our lives devolved into a discussion  about voter suppression by one half of the uni-party. If this study is true then both halves of the uni-party are corrupt and help enable the Oligarchy. If this...

    by Peter (not verified) 2 days 12 hours ago in Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer...
  • Arty must be away so I added some news links because the other were a week old. 

  • Momoe you absolutely kill me at times. hahahahah

    I am stuck now reading KO's every day. hahahahah

    I love you Momoe. hahahahaha

    I really do!

  • This is important. Voter ID is just the tip of the iceberg. They are limiting polling places, decreasing voting hours, placing monitors to intimidate voters and closing restrooms. The US would be demanding UN monitors if a second or third world country was doing this abomination.

  • You beat me to the quote.  I read that quote today on Kos.

  • It does take a lot of time and personal effort to register people and help them with the cost.  It is a pole tax.  I had to down grade my Class A to a E because I am retired based on the new Fed law that started in 2014.  It took 2 trips and 6 documents to prove who I was....

  • You're right with the caveat that it becomes easy for ALL to get an ID.

    The question then might move to: How easy should we make it to get an ID? After all, the whole point of requiring an ID is that not everyone or anyone should be able to get one. Only the people who are...

  • This is a rather lengthy review but the book is over 600 pages, but Krugman is very readable even when he is being technical.  This is one of the important points he makes from the research. 

    ...

  • There's both good policy and good politics. As policy voter ID laws are "fixing" a problem that is virtually nonexistent. But that doesn't matter. We can shout all day long and waste tons of time and political capital and not convince most people that it doesn't make sense...

  • WELL PUT!

  • “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.” 
    ― Louis D. Brandeis
     
  • Yeah I read this site.

    The Kock bros and the other billionaires as well as their corporate counterparts can 'send out the message'. All communications are propaganda. hahahaha

    How in the hell can the 99% be this stupid.

    Well, another ten or fifteen percent are...

  • This is why the myth-making of the rich, that they all got where they did through hard work and earned talents, is so damaging.  The average voter thinks "that could be me some day," and they keep thinking that until it's too late.

  •  

    Things appear better.
    it may be just illusion,
    but I'm buying it.

     

    ----

     

    Tanka haiku:

    For long term illness,
    Life on a biologic,
    Is no miracle.

    It's a...

  • I think you have to ask, "Has there been a real problem, a large scale problem, with people impersonating other people when they go to vote?"

    If there hasn't been, then this "solution," no matter how sensible it can be made to sound, isn't a solution...

  • Interesting but pretty dry academic study. The words "media" and "television" do not appear in the 42 page pdf of the study.

    Media and television are the tools to control, filter or direct what 'facts' and information are reported, accepted or discussed in the...

  • Hopefully with Obama speaking out on Gay issues there will be a change in attitudes. The NAACP came out in favor of Gay marriage. Al Sharpton helped get Blacks and LGBT activists together on Stop and Frisk in NYC. If they go after Gays, Black Gays are targets as well.  Similarly if...

  • I agree, RM.

    .

    I didn’t mean to imply that Black people were reluctant to vote across racial lines - we do that routinely in greater numbers than White voters. I meant that it’s going to be much more difficult to get many Black people to start thinking in terms of class...

  • I think it's possible the government only serves the poor enough to keep them moderately happy and then reverts to paying the remaining margin to the rich.

    by Anonymous PP (not verified) 3 days 13 hours ago in Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer...
  • Voter ID is a snipe hunt. The GOP is limiting the types of ID that can be used.  The GOP is limiting polling places in urban areas and decreasing voting days, In Florida along with longer lines due to decreasing voting places they are denying people access to rest rooms. 

    Here...

  •    I myself don't believe that the government only serves the rich. There has been too much legislation that serves the interest of people other than the rich for me to assent to that proposition.

     It is my hope that voter ID laws won't end up disenfranchising...

  • That's it!

    by EmmaZahn 3 days 15 hours ago in Will the Real God Please Stand Up
  • The big question is how do you get the majority of White voters to join the coalition. In Texas the majority of women and men are willing to vote for the guy who hangs out with Ted Nugent rather...

  • Great post. The only quibble I might have is that I think Black voters have been willing to vote across racial lines for generations. One could argue that in many cases there was no choice because political parties did not allow Blacks on the ballot. Consider Baltimore, Maryland for example....

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