I see a path to 1984-style thought crimes from where we are now

A little while ago I got admonished online.

I posted a remark that I was shocked by the sex assault allegations against Charlie Rose.

I wrote, “who’s next — Lurch from Addams Family?”

A friend wrote back I was trivializing sex assault. Then she went on to say something about how I was part of the problem. I thought about it for a while and I just didn’t agree with it.

So I decided not to spend time debating the issue and I deleted the comment.

Then an hour later my friend posted a screenshot showing how I deleted the comment and said I was gaslighting her.

And these were not short posts she was making. These were full-on rants. From somebody I’ve known for 20 years.

Again I decided there was no way we were going to have a good conversation about this, so I deleted the post and blocked this person. I’m not going to host somebody insulting me on my story.

After that, I heard through someone else that she had posted a rant about my behavior calling me a bully.

It seems like at this point in the game, just expressing a regressive point of view is apparently the same as committing acts of violence.

If you see me in the labor camps, please say hi!

I learned a little about the origin of the states secret privilege today

Just finished this book about the CIA, written a by a career employee.

The most interesting part to me was at the end of the book, when he explained the origin of the “state secrets” privilege that gets used so often these days.

It started when a bomber crashed in 1948 and killed a few civilian contractors on board, and their families sued the government.

The government said they couldn’t release details about the plane or the flight without revealing classified information.

Lower courts rejected this and ordered the government to cough up the data. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government and created the idea of the state secret privilege.

Plot twist: 50 years later, the daughter of one of the contractors used a FOIA request to get the data.

The reports had no secure information. The plane crashed because of garden-variety incompetence.

The state secret privilege was BORN out of a desire to cover up embarrassing information.

Mary Dunbar is the best candidate for Cleveland Heights Council

I’ll vote for Mary Dunbar tomorrow in the Cleveland Heights election.

Here’s why:

  • She actually replies to my emails! And it ain’t just me. You’ll see she engages with people often, online and in person. She’s the only candidate that showed up at Heights chicken coop tour, for example, and she wasn’t even in support of the legislation.
  • She’s passionate about improving our city’s walkability and bike infrastructure. This is one of the last advantages Cleveland Heights has. We need to guard this with our lives. You may not think that bicycling and pedestrian access is that big of a deal, but you are wrong times infinity. Getting people out of their cars and walking around instead has myriad positive effects.
  • She doesn’t promise anything grandiose. It’s so tempting to make grand sweeping statements and wild accusations or big promises or irresponsible rhetoric. You don’t see that coming from her.
  • Last point — this town skews too far into the progressive Democrat direction. We need an intelligent critique to prevent groupthink.

The Houston Chronicle endorses Obama

I’ve been wondering what my historically Republican hometown newspaper would do, and today they endorsed Obama. Here’s an excerpt:

Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Had he selected a moderate, experienced Republican lawmaker such as Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with a strong appeal to independents, the Chronicle’s choice for an endorsement would have been far more difficult.

That captures my feelings. If McCain would have stayed true to his remarks in 2000 about Jerry Falwell, and stayed true to his original position on the Bush tax cuts, and then chosen a VP like Joe Leiberman, truly showing his independent nature, then this could have been a very different race.

I’m so worked up over this bailout I’m participating in democracy

I just finished using a form on George Voinovich’s site to let him know my thoughts on this banking crisis.

I’m not adamantly opposed to the bailout in theory. I get the idea that the some market activities have external consequences. But I also get that this administration always says “trust me!” right before shit gets really, really bad. If we’re going to do a bailout, let’s do it in a boring and well-thought out way. I want to make sure that this bailout buys us enough safeguards and regulations so that we’re never faced with this crap again.

The villains on k5 have a pretty good discussion about this bailout. I like this comment:

Just about the only way that it would cost 700 billion to get with two chicks is if one was Natalie Portman and the other one was a clone of Natalie Portman. Even cloning a human probably wouldn’t get you particularly close to 700 billion but you might be in the same ballpark.

Ha ha.

Anyhow, I also went to Sherrod Brown’s website and read his statements from today’s hearing and I really like his angle. I’m not too worried about letting him know how I feel since he’s already there.

I also liked how Sherrod Brown has RSS feeds for his site, and a pretty nice looking color scheme. Maybe that’s because he just got there.


Another fine Ohio politician, Marcy Kaptur, is also on the right side of this:

My zeal for McCain just evaporated

Yeesh. This is akin to a programmer mixing up javascript and java:

Questioned by reporters, McCain continued, adding that it is “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaida is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.”

Then, Senator Joseph Lieberman, who, like McCain is a staunch supporter of the war in Iraq, stepped forward and whispered in McCain’s ear.

McCain then said, “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaida,” the Washington Post reported.

This article has the bloody details.