I will not contribute my name, my work or my character to an utterly indefensible cause. No sensible adult demands moral purity from a political party, but conscience is meaningless without constraints. A party willing to lend its collective capital to Donald Trump has entered a compromise beyond any credible threshold of legitimacy. There is no redemption in being one of the “good Nazis.”

I hereby resign my position as a York Township Republican committeeman. My 30-year tenure as a Republican is over.

—  Chris Ladd, former Republican from Illinois

Netizens you’re all so good in digging in someone’s private life… Maybe you all should start doing your research better before judging… Fact 1: GD liked the molly picture 1 week ago on his private acc. Fact 2 Paris fashion week was about to start at that time. Clearly he’s more into fashion, being a style icon rather than being a musician lately. Fact 3 Molly is not only reffering to a drug but also Molly Malone, dj in a Paris nightclub. Fact 4 in march 2014 Beyoncé is spotted in a dress by Tom ford. Reffering to Jay-z’s track, the lyrics go ‘I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford’. Molly becomes a statement in the fashionworld. #knetizens really Asia is too conservative. GD meant no harm, just be carefull you fluffhead @xxxibgdrgn #allkpop #koreaboo #gdragon #kwonjiyong #GD #molly #statement #indefense #fashion

Made with Instagram
Don’t support laws you are not willing to kill to enforce
The tragic death of Eric Garner reminds us that multiplying the number of laws also multiplies incidents of violence and police brutality. As Yale Law Professor Stephen Carter puts it, we should not support laws we are not willing to kill to enforce

Yale Law School Professor Stephen Carter – a prominent left of center legal scholar – has an excellent column highlighting an important lesson of the recent tragic death of Eric Garner at the hands of a New York City police officer. Unlike the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, where there was conflicting witness testimony, this killing was pretty obviously indefensible, and has been condemned by observers across the political spectrum. But, as Carter emphasizes, incidents like this are also a predictable consequence of the overextension of the regulatory state:

On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce. Usually they greet this advice with something between skepticism and puzzlement, until I remind them that the police go armed to enforce the will of the state, and if you resist, they might kill you.

I wish this caution were only theoretical. It isn’t. Whatever your view on the refusal of a New York City grand jury to indict the police officer whose chokehold apparently led to the death of Eric Garner, it’s useful to remember the crime that Garner is alleged to have committed: He was selling individual cigarettes, or loosies, in violation of New York law…..

The problem is actually broader. It’s not just cigarette tax laws that can lead to the death of those the police seek to arrest. It’s every law. Libertarians argue that we have far too many laws, and the Garner case offers evidence that they’re right. I often tell my students that there will never be a perfect technology of law enforcement, and therefore it is unavoidable that there will be situations where police err on the side of too much violence rather than too little. Better training won’t lead to perfection. But fewer laws would mean fewer opportunities for official violence to get out of hand.

As Carter points out later in his article, the scope of government regulation has grown so great that the vast majority of Americans have violated criminal law at one time or another. This sad state of affairs multiplies the opportunities for dangerous interactions between police and civilians, and virtually guarantees that abuses like this will recur.

Some critics of police misconduct implicitly assume that we can have our law enforcement cake and eat it too. They believe that we can simultaneously have police enforce thousands of petty laws and regulations, yet also extirpate racial profiling and excessive use of force to such an extent that police abuse of civilians will no longer be a serious problem. We can indeed take steps such as curbing the militarization of police, and eliminating double standards under which the criminal justice system treats wrongdoing by police far more leniently than similar violence by civilians.

But even if we make substantial progress on these fronts, a society where almost everyone is a criminal will still be a society where the sheer number of hostile interactions between police and civilians will be very large, which in turn ensures that there will be considerable room for abuse. Moreover, curbing police abuse through training, supervision, and after-the-fact accountability is far from an easy task. Among other things, prosecutors are understandably reluctant to go after the very same police departments whose cooperation they need to gather evidence and apprehend suspects. In addition, police are a well-organized interest group with considerable lobbying power and influence over both major political parties.

Carter correctly points out that the massive growth of criminal and regulatory law means that almost anyone can potentially end up in the same situation as Eric Garner. But it is also true that police abuses are far more likely to victimize poor African-Americans and other politically weak groups. That further complicates the task of trying to address the problem by reforming police procedure without also taking a hard look at the scope of the underlying laws that the police are tasked with enforcing. Even with people with considerable political clout find it difficult to impose accountability on police who engage in abusive violence against them.

As Carter notes, “activists on the right and the left tend to believe that all of their causes are of great importance. Whatever they want to ban or require, they seem unalterably persuaded that the use of state power is appropriate.” But we should always remember that “[e]very new law requires enforcement; every act of enforcement includes the possibility of violence.” If we really want to curb police abuses, we should think carefully about whether all the laws we have on the books are really worth killing for.

UPDATE: I should perhaps note that the point made by Carter does not apply to purely symbolic laws that do not include any attached penalties, such as fines or prison time, such as the many congressional resolutions declaring that a particular date is National Warthog Day or the like. However, it does apply to the many thousands of state and federal laws that do include penalties for violation.
30 Seconds To Mars - With Jared Leto in Rio de Janeiro

this will probably get taken down but I feel like I needed to share this because it proves my point 1012554 times over

Jared is a fabulous fabulous human being He gave his time up to meet and speak to a fan (echelon)

he means so much to the echelon I will forever have his back.


Some perspective.

So earlier today, I was taking a look at an aphobic discourse blog - one that’s been pretty visible lately and is making the rounds. I stumbled across a post celebrating the approach of a milestone in their follower count, and trying to drum up people to help them hit that goal.

The goal? 100.

Hatekeeper circles are tiny. There are far fewer of them than they want you to believe. They are losing. They’re trying to make up for their tiny numbers and morally indefensible positions by screaming so loud you don’t notice how few voices there are. Stay strong, folks.
Trudeau’s deafening silence on C-51
Every democracy in the world can refuse to barter away foundational civil rights for the illusion of protection. It’s time for Team Trudeau to get going on the hearings to amend C-51.

Thursday, June 21 passed with the usual run of crime, chaos and political lies we’ve come to know as “the news”. But it was an important anniversary — and it went almost unnoticed.

A year ago, the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), in partnership with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, launched a Charter of Rights challenge of Stephen Harper’s police state anti-terrorism act, Bill C-51.

And not a moment too soon. C-51 handed Canada’s spy service grotesque new powers that are unconstitutional, indefensible and unnecessary. Short of killing or sexually assaulting ‘persons of interest’ in its quest to disrupt activities deemed to be ‘dangerous’ to national security, CSIS was handed carte blanche by the Harper government. Not a good situation when, at the time, Canada — unlike the United States, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand — had no parliamentary oversight of the activities of the country’s spies.

As far as civilian oversight went, Harper starved the Security and Intelligence Review Committee of funding and never even bothered to fill a vacancy (the committee only has five members to begin with). Harper didn’t want oversight — he wanted a rubber stamp and zombie appointees. And if Arthur Porter hadn’t been accused in a kickback scheme in a Montreal hospital project, Harper’s personal choice to head up SIRC would have continued his oversight of SIRC. (As it happened, he died a fugitive from Canadian justice in a Panamanian jail.)

Basic civil rights went on the chopping block when the bill received Royal Assent in June 2015. The spy service could infringe on free speech because “promoting” terrorism was now a jailing offence. CSIS could make more arrests without warrants, even in cases where all the authorities had was the suspicion that an individual “may” carry out a terrorist act. The spy agency was no longer restricted to simply gathering intelligence, but now had the power to “disrupt” suspected terror plots. CSIS could even siphon personal information about an individual from 100 government departments, including the Canada Revenue Agency and Health Canada. And if the spooks planned to break the law or violate the Constitution, they could go before a judge in secret to get pre-approval of their illegal acts.

A lot of things in Harper’s governing record demonstrated his contempt for the Charter of Rights and due process. Nothing showed it better than C-51.

The Liberals, meanwhile, also have a checkered history with this iniquitous piece of legislation. When C-51, with all its warts and red flags, was being rammed through the House of Commons by the Harper majority, Team Trudeau voted with the government. Emotions were running high in October 2014 after Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo were killed by lone-wolf extremists. Harper fast-tracked anti-terror legislation and in just two months came up with C-51.

(Ironically, Vincent’s killer, who made two well-documented attempts to leave the country to join ISIS, could have been arrested under existing pre-C-51 legislation. For some reason, he wasn’t.)

The reason for this collective amnesia on the perils of unleashing unconstitutional forces isn’t hard to nail down. It has something to do with the spate of mass killings — sometimes directly, often loosely, attributed to terrorism — washing across our TV screens.

With an election in the offing, the Liberals did not want their young leader to be tarred as ‘soft on terror’ — hence their support for C-51. It was still a stunning abdication of the Charter principles Pierre Trudeau bestowed on the country, coming as it did from his own son. The NDP, by comparison, did their jobs — voting against C-51 and attacking it as one of the worst instances of Harper’s abuse of power.

Justin Trudeau did not offer blanket approval. Despite having helped to pass the bill, the Liberals vowed that they would amend it to ensure that it was Charter-compliant. Included in Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale’s mandate letter are explicit instructions to deal with the offensive sections of C-51. The Liberals promised to protect the rights of Canadians to lawful protest and advocacy, to require that government review all appeals by Canadians on the no-fly list, to rein in the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) by requiring a warrant to engage in surveillance of Canadians, and to hold a statutory review of the entire law after three years.

When the new government came to power after the October 2015 election, party officials assured the public that this deeply flawed “security bill” would be “overhauled without delay.”

A critical part of the Liberals’ promise to amend C-51 was a pledge to hold public meetings to get citizen and expert input on what needed to be changed. Though the government announced the meetings, none have been held — and C-51 remains in force. While it’s true that Goodale has a full plate in front of him — from prison reform to a broad-ranging national security review — critics of C-51 find the government’s inaction disquieting and unacceptable.

And they’re not taking it sitting down. With their court case in abeyance, the CJFE is renewing its campaign to repeal five offensive sections of the anti-terror legislation.

“We’re encouraging Canadians to make their voices heard through a new Parliamentary e-petition that calls upon the government to fully commit to a review of Bill C-51 and remove the aspects that violate Canadian Charter rights,” said CJFE Advocacy Director Duncan Pike. “This is a new system that allows citizens to digitally participate in the federal policy process. The petition needs 500 signatures to be presented in the House of Commons and compel a government response. Right now it has 370.”

That low number of petitioners should alarm every Canadian. According to the CJFE, the two most successful petitions out there right now have 35,000 and 25,000 signatures: The first calls on the Government of Canada to vocally defend the oil and gas industry, while the second demands an end to sales restrictions on the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. When gun enthusiasts can so completely out-organize the people defending our civil liberties, you know something is badly wrong.

It’s as if Canadians have forgotten the woefully bad job the Standing Committee on Public Safety did under Harper when holding its clause-by-clause review of Bill C-51 back in March 2015. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May rightly called those deliberations a “sham.” Not a single major amendment of this police state legislation came out of those hopelessly partisan hearings.

It’s as if Canadians have forgotten that both CSIS and CSE were found guilty earlier this year of breaking this country’s surveillance laws. CSE unlawfully shared data on Canadians with foreign allies, while CSIS violated court orders by retaining communications intercepts it was supposed to destroy.

The reason for this collective amnesia on the perils of unleashing unconstitutional forces in the security establishment isn’t hard to nail down. It has something to do with the spate of mass killings — sometimes directly, often loosely, attributed to terrorism — washing across our TV screens recently. From Orlando to Dallas, from Nice to Munich, the maniacs appear to be on the loose. C-51 itself was the illegitimate child of fear and the promise of protection in the wake of similar events in this country.

That is what Donald Trump offers — a world of terror and scapegoats, of doomsday and denunciations. Trump’s America would be a land of bollards and security checks at every corner, of Uzi-toting police in every public square. I prefer the wise words German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere gave to Der Spiegel:

“No constitutional state in the world is in a position to prevent every crime, every massacre, or every terrorist act with absolute certainty.”

But every democracy in the world can refuse to barter away foundational civil rights for the illusion of protection. It’s time for Team Trudeau to get going on the hearings to amend C-51.

The old RCMP Security Service merely burned barns. The new CSIS, armed with C-51, could burn down a democracy.

if I came from the us I’d definitely be perfunctorily voting for clinton, but idg why that equates to having to defend her politics or the foreign policy directed by the dept she directly ran for years, or having to get into the weird party political spirit

If I’m honest it feels a lot like an intra-left version of the kid gloves the British left is handling theresa may with, bc of the received wisdom about her being a safe pair of hands or the only option, and thus not able to be critiqued. ideologically theresa may is imo in practice slightly to the left of clinton if anything, and may’s home office tenure has involved what I view as nothing less than genuine evil, w an approach to immigration and asylum which I view as morally indefensible. I don’t believe obama’s & by extension clinton’s record is any better on that front, if anything it’s worse, so why should I reserve any less criticism for clinton than may, even if hypothetical US me is still voting for her

I would believe the sincerity of people who say they’re voting for clinton pragmatically, if that wasn’t coupled w this weird tribalist fragility that seems to say that any deeply felt and sincere moral repugnance felt towards the obama administration’s and clinton’s department’s actions abroad is tantamount to a vote for trump. that seems an especially galling accusation when that repugnance is expressed by ppl most keenly affected by the foreign policy steered by obama & clinton, who are also the people within the us most threatened by the spectre of trump. If trump gets elected it won’t be those people’s fault that white supremacy is mainstream parlance in US politics

really I don’t believe it is resigned pragmatism, I believe people are emotionally rooting for her, and it bothers them that people see her as being an integral part of a fundamental problem with the US’s approach to the world. any critique of her undermines a claim to unquestionable moral superiority, which bothers anyone in politics

I’m very torn about the worth of lesser evil politics in a system I view as fundamentally unjust, but I do think that if you are going to practice electoral lesser evil politics, as I have done so far in my life and which I am not really condemning, then that lesser evil politics has to be coupled with rigorous and excoriating critique of the candidates you claim are your resigned choice

it has to be combined with principled pressure for what you actually believe but have no political representation for. otherwise, any claim to genuine desire for change outside the system coupled with damage control within the system is kind of moot - what pressure is there if your entire politics is literally limited exclusively to damage control, how is that not in effect the politics you support with your actions? If this critique is not going to come now, then when? when clinton has her mandate and can completely ignore it, as obama before her has?

S18E44: Indefensible

Series 18, Episode 44 airs Thursday 4th August at 20:00 on BBC One.

Bernie’s son Cameron comes crashing into the hospital, forcing Bernie to face some home truths about her poor parenting. When Cameron then asks Bernie to lie for him about a serious car accident, she finds it harder than ever to refuse him.

Sacha and Essie disagree over a patient but it soon becomes clear the tension is not just professional but personal too. With the return of pharmacist Mel serving as a reminder of Ivor’s death several weeks ago, will the strain on their relationship prove too much?

Morven arrives at Holby on her day off, keen to avoid another day alone grieving in her flat. When she’s thrown together with Jasmine, who happens to be in need of somewhere to live, Morven questions whether she could share a flat with someone apparently so different to her.

107: Robot Monster

I do not know how many times I’ve seen this movie, but I could probably recite it from memory.  Robot Monster is utterly atrocious, completely wretched, indefensible.  There’s absolutely nothing good about it, and yet I never get tired of it.  There’s something about the movie’s combination of boundless ambition and bottomless cheapness, how it employs tired old cliches in a way that’s completely unexpected and weird, that just fascinates me.

Keep reading

Common sense and the shared values of civilized society dictate that sending bears to tear apart a bunch of shouting kids is at best an asymmetric response.

There are many attempts to explain 2 Kings 2:23-25, including “the kids were slightly older than you think”,“they were mocking his position as prophet rather than his baldness”, and in perhaps an early application of the Stand Your Ground law, “he was in fear for his life”.

These sound like attempts to defend the indefensible, but everything boils down to “God did it, so it must be right.” 

In other words, religious people are yet again forced by ideology to being the argument with its conclusion. This is called “Begging the Question”.
We didn’t need a ‘smoking gun’ from the 28 pages to prove Saudi Arabia is a bad friend to America
After 13 years, the feds finally released the missing 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report, a document withheld from public view so long it has achieve...

New from me at HuffPo on the 28 pages and our indefensible, counterproductive warmaking in Yemen.

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.
—  George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946

I find nothing about bbc sherlock more obvious than the fact that Mary is written as an obstacle. A “I thought the one I was devoted to was dead for over a year and I finally moved on, only to have my true love return” obstacle. A “not as nice as originally thought” obstacle. A “continually displaying how her love for the her husband looks indefensibly selfish and lacking in comparison to the love the protagonist has for the same man” obstacle. Her sole purpose is to be a barrier to the romance and stretch out the story to a fourth and fifth season. Why is her place in the story written this way if the the arc of the story is not John and Sherlock’s romance?

There is so much analysis and theories about why johnlock is real, and a lot of it is compelling and plausible but I really don’t need anything else besides this.

Olympic Fighting Talk - on BBC iPlayer 30/7/16!!

Josh Widdicombe plays judge and jury as a panel of pundits fight for points discussing all things Olympic Games. With guests Rick Edwards, Iwan Thomas, Gail Emms and Paul Sinha.

Fighting Talk, the cult weekly sports comedy show, comes out of the radio studio and in front of the TV cameras for the first time to celebrate Rio 2016. Topics up for contention include; greatest Olympic rivalries, best Olympic sporting bodies and we find out about some rather peculiar events from previous games.

Josh awards points for informed comment, passion and humour but takes them away for any nonsense or drivel. The two highest scoring panellists go head to head to ‘defend the indefensible’, where they are forced to defend a downright distasteful statement for twenty seconds.

Joining Josh is Badminton Olympic Silver medallist from the 2004 Athens games Gail Emms, Olympic viewer and presenter Rick Edwards, 4x100 relay Silver Olympic medallist from the 1996 Atlanta games Iwan Thomas and Olympic fanatic and comedian Paul Sinha. (x)