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  • Talkrational: I've read things you people wouldn't believe. Spacial narratives foregrounding biopower. I learned about discursive foodways being written on the body. All those insights will be lost after comprehensives, like tears in rain. Time to die.

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Messages - meepmeep

The swampiest motherfucker, second only to the Trump family itself:

A review of real estate and other public records shows that Mr. Pruitt was not the sole owner: The property was held by a shell company registered to a business partner and law school friend, Kenneth Wagner. Mr. Wagner now holds a top political job at the Environmental Protection Agency, where Mr. Pruitt, 49, is the administrator.

The mortgage on the Oklahoma City home, the records show, was issued by a local bank that was led by another business associate of Mr. Pruitt's, Albert Kelly. Recently barred from working in the finance industry because of a banking violation, Mr. Kelly is now one of Mr. Pruitt's top aides at the E.P.A. and runs the agency's Superfund program.

In 2005, the shell company -- Capitol House L.L.C. -- sold the property for $95,000 more than it had paid. While shell companies are legal, they often obscure the people who have an interest in them, and none of Mr. Pruitt's financial disclosure filings in Oklahoma mentioned the company or the proceeds -- a potential violation of the state's ethics rules.
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
Someone quoted this old piece on Twitter:

Harry Hurt III: I ran into Fred at Coney Island, with his secretary-mistress, one day, and he usually went to a place called Gargiulo's down in that area. But that was closed that day, and so I was with my researcher and we tailed them over to the original Nathan's hot dog stand. Donald was flying somewhere at the time, and we overheard Fred wipe some mustard off his lip, like this here, and he said, "I hope his plane crashes." And I looked at my researcher, and I said, "Did you hear what I just heard?" He said, "Yes, I did." I said, "Well, that's my man. That's Fred. The apple don't fall far from the tree."

lol for real

Barrett: Yeah. I tell the tale about how Fred has to come to the closing in Atlantic City, and he's against Donald going into Atlantic City. But he goes to the closing, they sit up there and sign all the documents with all the mob guys, you know, to buy all the leaseholds. And Fred and Donald leave and they go down to the limo, and somebody upstairs realizes that Fred missed one document. And they call out the window for Fred to come back, because they're not going to do a deal with Donald.

I mean, I had his tax returns at that time. We got them--probably Tim got them--from the [New Jersey] Division of Gaming Enforcement, and Donald was worth nothing. He was worth nothing. Even the $35 million credit line that they started with for Trump Tower was signed by Fred.

Call me a petty bitch, but I am enjoying this. lol.

Let this be a lesson to you all to never insult me or I will use my Latina black magic to destroy you slowly. :reign:
Arts and Entertainment / On the Myth of Real America
Kind of a depressing read, but some of this is what people mean when they say that representation matters.

After all, there was a march in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year full of white men with tiki torches chanting "You will not replace us." Which translates as get the fuck out of my bubble, a bubble that is a state of mind and a sentimental attachment to a largely fictional former America. It's not everyone in this America; for example, Syed Ahmed Jamal's neighbors in Lawrence, Kansas, rallied to defend him when ICE arrested and tried to deport the chemistry teacher and father who had lived in the area for 30 years. It's not all white men; perpetration of the narrative centered on them is something too many women buy into and some admirable men are trying to break out of.

And the meanest voices aren't necessarily those of the actual rural and small-town. In a story about a Pennsylvania coal town named Hazelton, Fox's Tucker Carlson recently declared that immigration brings "more change than human beings are designed to digest," the human beings in this scenario being the white Hazeltonians who are not immigrants, with perhaps an intimation that immigrants are not human beings, let alone human beings who have already had to digest a lot of change. Once again a small-town white American narrative is being treated as though it's about all of us or all of us who count, as though the gentrification of immigrant neighborhoods is not also a story that matters, as though Los Angeles and New York City, both of which have larger populations than many American states, are not America. In New York City, the immigrant population alone exceeds the total population of Kansas (or Nebraska or Idaho or West Virginia, where all those coal miners are).

Sympathy in pro-bubble America often goes reflexively to the white man in the story. The assumption is that the story is about him; he's the protagonist, the person who matters, and when you, say, read Stephens defending Woody Allen and attacking Dylan Farrow for saying Allen molested her, you see how much work he's done imagining being Woody Allen, how little being Dylan Farrow or anyone like her. It reminds me of how young women pressing rape charges are often told they're harming the bright future of the rapist in question, rather than that maybe he did it to himself, and that their bright future should matter too. The Onion nailed it years ago: "College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed."

Recently people have revisited a 2010 political-science study that tested the response to fictitious senatorial candidates, identical except for gender; "regardless of whether male politicians were generally preferred over female politicians, participant voters only reacted negatively to the perceived power aspirations of the female politician." They characterized that reaction as "moral outrage": how dare she seek power. How dare she want things for herself rather than others--even though seeking power may be a means to working on behalf of others. How dare she consider the story to be about her or want to be the one who determines what the story is.

And then there's the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. We've heard from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of women about assaults, threats, harassment, humiliation, coercion, of campaigns that ended careers, pushed them to the brink of suicide. Many men's response to this is sympathy for men. The elderly film director Terry Gilliam said in March, "I feel sorry for someone like Matt Damon who is a decent human being. He came out and said all men are not rapists, and he got beaten to death. Come on, this is crazy!" Matt Damon has not actually been beaten to death. He is one of the most highly-paid actors on earth, which is a significantly different experience than being beaten to death. The actor Chris Evans did much better with this shift, saying recently, "The hardest thing to reconcile is that just because you have good intentions, doesn't mean it's your time to have a voice."

(side note - how long until the skeletons in Terry Gilliam's closet come out?)
Not surprised that York is mentioned so often.

My classmate is from York. She was born in China and was adopted by white American parents at a very young age. One of her nicest hometown stories about one of the more understanding York residents is about how her high school boyfriend used to call her "chinky" and didn't get why she might not like that.
Longer piece on how much PA fucking sucks:

Nowhere, however, have federal agents more aggressively embraced their newfound freedom than in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware, an investigation by ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer found.

In 2017, the Philadelphia office of ICE, with agents fanning out into communities across its three-state region, arrested more undocumented immigrants without criminal convictions than any of the 23 other ICE offices in the country. This is especially striking given that Pennsylvania's undocumented population ranks 16th in the country, with West Virginia's and Delaware's far behind that.

Together, these cases paint the picture of an ICE region emboldened by a new commander-in-chief to disregard previous norms that distinguished among undocumented immigrants based on their family ties, work records, and conduct in this country. They reflect an organization that valued high arrest numbers and sometimes skirted the law, with little accountability in a system that rarely scrutinizes arrests.

Reporters found that ICE officers under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia regional office:

    Routinely swept up immigrants they encountered by chance when they set out to arrest somebody else, with what they called "collateral" arrests becoming the mainstay of their crackdown.
    Informally expanded their definition of "criminal alien" to include immigrants who got traffic tickets or committed minor infractions like loitering.
    Revived cases that they previously disregarded, using addresses in their database to pick up immigrants they had once deemed harmless, sometimes sending carloads of armed officers to arrest them.
    Took advantage of state and local officials' willingness to conduct their own informal immigration investigations, call ICE and detain immigrants for hours until federal agents arrived -- despite the questionable legality of these practices.
    Occasionally stepped over the legal line themselves, according to interviews, sworn affidavits, and court filings, by trespassing, conducting warrantless searches, engaging in racial profiling, fabricating evidence, and even soliciting a bribe.

All told, the crackdown bombarded a system already overwhelmed. There were 11,643 cases pending in Pennsylvania's immigration courts on March 1 -- a 62 percent increase over the end of fiscal 2016.

Philadelphia ICE's region runs the gamut. It faces resistance in Pittsburgh and especially in Philadelphia, where most of the region's undocumented immigrants live. But it has found allies in its rural and Rust Belt zones, where anti-immigrant sentiment runs hotter and where some local economies benefit from federal immigration detention contracts. (ICE paid York County $19.65 million in fiscal 2017 to house immigrant detainees in its prison.)

ICE says in its press releases that it does not do indiscriminate sweeps and that reports of such sweeps are "false, dangerous and irresponsible." While "additional suspects" are frequently encountered and arrested, its enforcement operations are targeted, it says.

But several times last year, federal immigration agents pulled over full vanloads of Hispanic workers in rural Pennsylvania without justification, immigrant advocates say.

In April, ICE moved on to another industry in rural Pennsylvania. Sweeping past "No Trespassing" signs, five officers stormed a poultry transport company and blocked the exits with their vehicles. They said they were searching for a man named Alix who worked at a company called MainJoy Unlimited. The agents were told: This is not MainJoy, and nobody named Alix works here.

So the officers turned their attention to those who did work there, according to interviews with the workers and a company spokesperson. They lined up all the Latino employees -- seven chicken catchers -- with their faces against a wall. They made no move against some 14 non-Latinos standing nearby; instead they asked the coworkers to lead officers to any other Hispanic employees on the premises. (There were none.)

Under duress, the chicken catchers admitted they were undocumented. And off they went to jail.

The real threat to free speech is people saying mean things on Twitter to Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens.
Imagine the kind of piece of shit you have to be to do that.
I'm ok with launching them both into space and leaving them there forever.
"We're not testing anymore for now" isn't the same as denuclearization.
That actually belongs in the Palantir is fucking evil thread since this one is mostly about Peter Thiel being an evil piece of shit all on his own, and the other one is about his company actively doing evil things.

One of the more unusual examples of locals trying to assist ICE was a case of a Cumberland County district judge who twice called ICE about couples who came before her to be married, according to the report.

The district judge, Elizabeth Beckley, did not respond to numerous attempts from PennLive this week get her side of the story.

ProPublica said Beckley first preempted the wedding of a Tajik couple by calling ICE on the groom and his best man, who were led away in handcuffs.

She also called ICE, ProPublica said, when Alexander Curtis Parker and Krisha Amber Schmick showed up at her courthouse last May asking to be wed.

Here's an account of what happened from ProPublica:

"When the constable announced he would be detaining Parker for ICE, the couple was stunned. Though born in Guatemala, Parker, 21, had been adopted by American parents when he was 8 months old. At that moment, he was technically undocumented, with his green-card renewal being processed. But he does not speak Spanish or consider himself an immigrant, much less a deportable one."

(Editor's note: Parker is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. Permanent residents are given a "green card" that proves their status, but renewal of the green card does not affect their status as permanent residents.)

Fuck you, Judge Becky.

Washington (CNN)The agency in charge of US immigration services has updated its mission statement to no longer include the phrase "nation of immigrants."

Instead, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services' new mission statement emphasizes "safeguarding its integrity" and "securing the homeland."

The new statement was announced to the agency's employees Thursday, according to a USCIS official.

"The agency's new mission statement was developed and debuted within the agency by USCIS Director Cissna during his first conference with USCIS senior leadership from around the world," the official said. "It reflects the director's guiding principles for the agency. This includes a focus on fairness, lawfulness and efficiency, protecting American workers and safeguarding the homeland. These key priorities are reflected in the agency's new mission statement."

No official source for this one yet:

iT's AbOuT iLlEgAl iMmIgRaTiOn, NoT lEgAl ImMiGrAtIoN
Figured this deserves its own thread.

The older news about him being a blackmailing accused rapist:

And now he's been charged with another felony:

Gov. Eric Greitens was charged Friday with felony computer tampering stemming from his use of a veterans charity's donor list ahead of the 2016 election.

The charge -- which is essentially electronic theft-- is the second felony charge the governor has received in two months. He goes to trial next month for invasion of privacy.

The embattled first-term governor and former Navy SEAL has denied any criminal wrongdoing and vowed to remain in office despite a chorus of Republicans calling for him to resign or face impeachment.

You can't be a Republican in 2018 and not have simultaneous sex harassment/coercion and financial/fraud scandals, all while defiantly refusing to step down and claiming it's all a witch hunt. :patriot:
goddammit, that thread never shows up when I click new posts so I totally missed all that.
Those SJWs are out of control, man:

"Do you know what you signed up for today?" a fraternity member says in the video as he stands in front of a young man kneeling on the floor.

The young man on his knees then proceeds to make sexually explicit gestures as laughter erupts around him. Asked to recite "the oath," he says: "f‑‑‑ black people" and uses a racial slur to describe a person of Hispanic descent.

"I solemnly swear," he says, repeating after the standing fraternity member, "to always have hatred in my heart for ..." He then says several racial slurs to describe African Americans, Hispanics and Jews.

The six-minute video was originally posted on a secret Facebook group associated with Theta Tau, an engineering fraternity at Syracuse University, according to the Daily Orange, the student newspaper, which made the video public on Wednesday.
Turns out they had a recent post, which pretty much reiterated that point:

At FIRE, we classify colleges that outright state in their policies that they place other values above free expression as "warning" institutions in our Spotlight database, meaning that students should be warned beforehand that they won't possess the same free speech rights as their peers at public institutions or other private institutions that explicitly promise free speech rights. As our database explains, "FIRE believes that free speech is not only a moral imperative, but also an essential element of a college education. However, private universities are just that--private associations--and as such, they possess their own right to free association, which allows them to prioritize other values above the right to free speech if they wish to do so."

Although oddly enough, Liberty doesn't make the list at all. BYU does, with a "does not promise free speech" warning (and pretty much no articles since 2013).

I get the argument, but I don't really buy it. They complain an awful lot about what some private schools do, but I'm not convinced they would stop if those schools suddenly changed their mission statements and scrubbed all references to The Almighty Discourse and free speech. And if limiting speech really is so dangerous and detrimental, why should it matter what a school's values and mission statement are?

Plus, all those private schools that "prioritize other values" still get plenty of government funding, so shouldn't we also care about them?
For the whoopsiedoodle file:

Dad shoots and kills suspected truck thief who was actually his own 13 year old son

Toddler shoots pregnant mom with dad's gun in parking lot
Finally got around to reading this piece:

Because there was a lot of money in it for various hucksters and moguls and authors and politicians, the conservative movement spent decades building up an entire sector of the economy dedicated to scaring and lying to older white men. For millions of members of that demographic, this parallel media dedicated to lying to them has totally supplanted the "mainstream" media. Now they, and we, are at the mercy of the results of that project. The inmates are running the asylum, if there is a kind of asylum that takes in many mostly sane people and then gradually, over many years, drives one subset of its inmates insane, and also this asylum has the largest military in the world.

But if this was a reasonably useful arrangement for Republicans, who won a couple close elections with the help of their army of riled-up kooks, it was a fantastic deal for the real engine of the right-wing propaganda machine: companies selling newly patented drugs designed to treat the various conditions of old age, authors of dubious investing newsletters, sellers of survival seeds, hawkers of poorly written conservative books, and a whole array of similar con artists and ethically compromised corporations and financial institutions. The original strategy behind demonizing the "mainstream media" may have purely political, to steer voters away from outlets that tended to present information damaging to the conservative cause, but the creation of the conservative media was also a revenue opportunity for shameless grifters from the very start, as Rick Perlstein showed in his classic Baffler piece on the snake oil-salesmen of the right.

The bottom-feeding amorality of the sorts of people who sponsored the right-wing press, and the crummy nature of the products and services sold, shows exactly who was supposed to be consuming it: suckers. Or, more specifically, trusting retirees, with a bit of disposable income, and a natural inclination to hate modernity and change--an inclination that could be heightened, radicalized, and exploited.

Rather rapidly, two things happened: First, Republicans realized they'd radicalized their base to a point where nothing they did in power could satisfy their most fervent constituents. Then--in a much more consequential development--a large portion of the Republican Congressional caucus became people who themselves consume garbage conservative media, and nothing else.

That, broadly, explains the dysfunction of the Obama era, post-Tea Party freakout. Congressional Republicans went from people who were able to turn their bullshit-hose on their constituents, in order to rile them up, to people who pointed it directly at themselves, mouths open.

Now, we have a president whose media diet defines his worldview, interests, and priorities. He is not one of the men, like most of those Tea Party members of Congress, whose existing worldview determined his media diet--who sealed himself off from disagreeable media sources. He is, in fact, something far more dangerous: a confused old man who believes what the TV tells him.

Calamari Jr



That's what I'd expect a mafia henchman on the Simpsons to be called.
There seems to be a machine in this country somewhere that turns out angry hobbits dressed in vestments.


That's part of why I appreciate Francis a lot more. Because he surprises me by not being a fucking asshole sometimes.

I think the CC could be so much nicer. I think it would be so much better for them: both priests and believers could be so much happier if they could just focus on the joys of faith rather than on areas that clearly conflict with the modern ethos as most people, in this country at least, see it.


I am not so much cynical as I am frustrated, I think. That should absolutely not blind me to what is good and nice and so on, I totally agree with you there. But on the other hand, it is not like THAT much is being asked of these guys either. No-one is asking them to stop believing in God, or to believe that God wants them to live a certain way. It would just be nice if they could stop being jerks in the name of their religion to other people. And sometimes it feels a little bit like they get a round of applause whenever they almost completely fail to be a jerk to other people.

I get what you mean. I'm certainly not a fan of the Catholic Church, and, yeah, it is a low bar to clear. But to me, these little signs of actual Christian compassion make me feel like maybe the entire enterprise isn't 100% awful if someone can get a little bit of comfort out of it. I don't know. It's hard to explain.
If I had to bet, I'd say it's probably relevant but maybe not as overwhelmingly awful as some of the other things these clowns have been doing.
Yeah, that happened about *checks watch* 5 years ago, I think. Got immediately buried in all of the subsequent avalanches of horseshit, and it's so deep in there that I completely forgot about it until you posted that link.