Open Thread for Wednesday, August 7, 2013

There are all sorts of things you may want to discuss amongst yourselves, such as:

Now we see just how powerless the mayor of Columbia is — The city manager tells him off, and not one member of council backs him in trying to rein her in.

Obama cancels meeting with Putin, because of Snowden — That’s one way of making them know we’re really ticked. But how are we supposed to gaze into his soul from way over here?

Yemen says it has thwarted terror plot targeting ports — Was this what all the chatter was about?

If you can’t trust Discovery during Shark Week, whom can you trust? — Wil Wheaton, a guy I’ve only heard of because of “Big Bang Theory,” is really upset about a bogus documentary.

35 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, August 7, 2013

  1. Doug Ross

    “Was this what all the chatter was about?”

    We’ll never know, will we?

    All those billions spent on spying and the best the government could do is say “we think something will happen somewhere sometime…. or not…”

      1. Doug Ross

        Benghazi was about the response to an actual event that was happening and the attempt to downplay the terrorist aspect of it after the fact.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Nevertheless, Doug, I think that’s what this extraordinary reaction is about: Not having another Benghazi.

          In which case my fave senators, Graham and McCain, bear some responsibility for the embassy closings…

          1. Doug Ross

            So the terrorists have won then? They chirp, we jump.

            If we weren’t in places that they could easily attack, this wouldn’t be a problem.

            We cannot change the world to conform to our belief system.

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            Doug, you’ve made comments like that a couple of times in the last couple of days, so I’ll go ahead and bite, even though I sort of dread the answer:

            Are you truly, seriously, suggesting that the United States should not have embassies in these countries? Really?

            It is a fundamental function of a national government — whether it’s the U.S. or the U.K. or Ecuador or the Duchy of Grand Fenwick — to have official offices in countries around the world, staffed with representatives of that government, for a host of reasons. On the most micro level, they’re there to look out for the interests of their citizens who happen to be doing business in or just visiting those countries. On the grander scale, they are there to provide a constant, day-to-day link between the home country and the host government, to establish relationships and provide lines of communication to prevent the kinds of misunderstandings that can lead to war and lesser problems.

            That’s just for starters…

          3. Doug Ross

            Brad – I don’t have an issue with the U.S. having embassies in other countries as long as those embassies are only performing diplomatic activities. When we also put CIA agents into those embassies that crosses the line of diplomacy into espionage (I know, I know, the U.S. doesn’t do that).

            And when we spend $750 MILLION dollars on an embassy in Iraq and put 15,000 employees there, I think that’s going just a tad bit too far… by about a factor of 100 times what out presence SHOULD be. All that money is going to well connected defense contractors (the ones Lindsey Graham gets the vapors over)…

            It’s asinine to think we can spend $750 million dollars on a building in Iraq but cry poor when it comes to providing health benefits to Americans. Anyone who supports that expenditure has been duped by the fear mongering neecons who profit from the defense industry.

            We can’t stop Al Queda. We don’t WANT to stop Al Queda. The money that flows from taxpayers pockets to defense contractors and the politicians they lobby would dry up. There is ZERO incentive to achieve peace.

        2. Scout

          “Benghazi was about the response to an actual event that was happening and the attempt to downplay the terrorist aspect of it after the fact.” – Doug

          Wasn’t a huge part of the criticism of Benghazi about the lack of preparation prior due to the event despite clues that something was about to happen.

          In that context, this response is very relevant.

          1. Doug Ross

            No, a large part of the criticism was about Susan Rice’s statements that is was an attack spurred on by a video as well as the administration’s delay in sending support.

          2. Silence

            And filmmaker Nakoula Nakoula is still in jail today! So the first amendment falls, much like our other amendments.

  2. Silence

    Consider that perhaps council failing to back up the mayor is a reflection on council’s opinion of our current mayor. He’s basically used every strong arm tactic in the book to push his agenda through: Bull Street, PCW, Teresa Wilson as city manager, strong mayor system, you name it. Maybe he’s used up all of his currency with the current city council?

    Plus, his lap-dog Runyan wasn’t there last night. He probably would have stood up for the mayor.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      I think you may be right. Brian’s reported support, yet voting nay, if true, is interesting. I am sure Leona, Moe, Sam and Tameika are not so keen on the steamroller. I thought Tameika’s point about how she has gone to scenes of trouble to be there for the neighbors is good. I know Belinda would go to fires in student housing in our neighborhood to make sure the kids were okay, and other things.

      I don’t have a problem with Teresa’s making Lonnie’s condition known, or verifying it to the cops. It appears that she arrived too late anyway. If she knows of information that could save the taxpayers a lot of money and the city a lot of grief, she is right to try to share it! Imagine if she had been behind him in line at the cleaners and could have explained to them what was happening, and given Lonnie a candy or whatever. Problem solved, and then we can get on with more important stuff.

      Lonnie is a problematic guy. He is combative and abrasive a lot of the time, often without, in my privileged opinion, without needing to be. I have felt the sting of his disdain and castigations, just a month ago, for one. If he has a medical condition that makes him likely to have these episodes on top of his general fractiousness, he gets a pass for that instance. Whether he should still be driving, if indeed he does, is not an issue before us. All we know is he was picking up his dry cleaning. He may have rubbed the clerk the wrong way and the clerk responded, and it amped up, and the stress messed with his blood sugar. I don’t know. I wish it had been disposed of quickly, but since it has been blown so out of proportion, I guess it just needs a full and fair airing, at much expense.

  3. Leon

    Let’s see if I have this straight. Someone, we don’t know who, gets in touch with acting chief Santiago who then calls his boss, Teresa Wilson, who then shows up at the scene of the altercation. She then talks to the Tripps clerk about the situation and then Chief Santiago wants to drop the charges against Mr. Randolph even though his officers who responded did not and still do not want to drop the charges. Six members of City Council do not see anything wrong with the way this played out. Unbelievable! Would your average Joe Blow have gotten this kind of preferential treatment? Of course not! Enabling Mr. Randolph to continue this kind of behavior even if it is caused in part by diabetes does not help him in the least to face up to his problems and get some help.

    1. Silence

      Laws are for midgets, hobbits, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and others of below average stature.

  4. Silence

    I call on Nancy Mace to abandon her campaign for the US Senate. We cannot have a senator who uses slurs or sexual innuendo to demean or degrade another candidate or politician. South Carolina needs politicians who will stick to the issues, not run a campaign of ad hominem attacks.

    1. Doug Ross

      She didn’t use a slur. A campaign worker retweeted a tweet by someone else and deleted it ten minutes later. Must everything be blown out of proportion these days?

      1. Silence

        “I did not retweet it,” Mace said, adding she encourages her staff members to be active on social media and retweet messages from supporters. … Asked whether whoever retweeted the item would face consequences, Mace called the action an accident and said, “I take full responsibility for the tweet. Period.”

        So, she didn’t do it, but she’s taking responsibility for it? Period. If you are a politician or public figure, and you let someone else use YOUR email or Twitter or FB or whatever, as if it’s coming from you – you are responsible for the content as if you did it.

        1. Doug Ross

          Yes, she took responsibility but she didn’t do it. And they deleted the tweet within 10 minutes. Much ado about nothing. She should quit over that ?

          This is what our political process has become. Focus on silliness while Lindsey Graham promotes world wide military actions that kill people.

          1. Silence

            I for one, think she would not be a suitable senator, so yes I think she should quit.
            1) Her business association with Will Folks – I enjoy reading his salacious and occasionally pornographic news site, but obviously his “buyout” of her interest in it was done to separate the two of them for the purposes of this run.
            2) I was initially impressed by the fact that she was the first female to graduate from the Citadel – then I read that her pop was the commandant there, so how tough could that have been?
            3) Her campaigns “accidental” ad hominem attacks on Senator Graham. Stick to the issues, of which there are PLENTY. There’s no reason to dig into Graham based on his personal life. If he really were gay, I’m sure someone would have produced some evidence of it by now. Can’t a guy be a confirmed bachelor anymore?
            4) Basically, she seems to be just a good ol’ boy who happens to have a vagina. Seems like more of what politicians we seem to get in South Carolina.

            How about someone who is actually a breath of fresh air?

          2. Doug Ross

            Watch her interview with Neil Cavuto the other day. She didn’t say a word about Graham.

            George Bush wouldn’t have been President without his father, right? Should he have been disqualified? He abused drugs and alcohol. There is video of him giving the middle finger to the camera. All of these should have caused him to forego a career in politics, right?


            Disclosure: I donated money to Nancy Mace’s campaign this week. I believe 12 years of Lindsey Graham is more than enough. I will vote for anyone but him… even Alvin Greene.

          3. Doug Ross

            “Can’t a guy be a confirmed bachelor anymore?”

            I need a definition of “confirmed bachelor”. Is that someone who doesn’t want to get married or who doesn’t have any type of personal relationships with women?

            Is there any anecdotal evidence of Lindsey Graham ever having a relationship with ANYONE?

          4. Silence

            Well Doug, I’ll say someone who is an older gentleman who doesn’t appear to have any intention or prospects of getting married. Basically the male equivalent of the term “spinster” or “old maid”.

          5. Brad Warthen Post author

            Speaking of counterpart terms for males and females (“confirmed bachelor” as counterpart to “spinster”)…

            I was interested to see that the satirists who did this video understood another set of such terms.

            A lot of feminists complain that the term “bitch” is some sort of male plot to keep women down. The allegation is that if women act strong and forceful in a way that men would be praised and admired for, they are called “bitches.”

            Nothing could be further from the truth. Such men are not praised and admired; they just aren’t called “bitches,” since the etymology of that word demands that it be applied to females. Such men are called “assholes” instead.

            The video in question understands the linguistic point, as it reports that the male syndrome related to “bitchy resting face” is “asshole resting face.” And so it would be…

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      To quote from an awesome song, “He wants to be a fancy man but he’s nothing but a nancy boy.”

      I don’t mean anything by that; I just wanted to quote Elvis.

      The State, by the way, didn’t define the expression correctly. “Nancy boy” is not “a derogatory term used to describe an effeminate man.” It’s a term used to refer to an effeminate homosexual man, according to Wikipedia. There’s a difference there. The South has a long cultural tradition of effeminate heterosexual men.

      And yes, as Silence says, it’s completely unacceptable. But these are the times we live in, and people who work in campaigns increasingly don’t know where the line is.

      Nancy Mace, by the way, is a partner with Will Folks on the FITSNews blog (he does content; she handles the technical side), where such rhetoric is common. That could have something to do with her staffer being confused about propriety.

      But I don’t think Nancy herself would have countenanced such a thing. This is a campaign misstep, and she should move on and put it behind her.

      Of course, as y’all know, I prefer that Lindsey Graham be re-elected. But while I applaud what Silence is saying about ad hominem attacks, I don’t think THIS is why she should not get the nomination.

  5. Scout

    I agree with Wil Wheaton. (Didn’t you see Stand By Me?) Anyway, I don’t watch Shark Week but I recall having a similar response to another show a while back. Can’t remember if it was on Discovery – it might have been A and E, but it was a similar situation, where they presented it as a factual documentary type program and it turned out to be some self funded whacko far out viewpoint that was not very credible or respected – which I found out by googling. Not quite the same level of deliberate deception but it was presented as mainstream accepted science and was totally not that. It was something more in an archeological vein though – maybe something about the Mayans.

    1. Silence

      Just like when the History Channel airs crap about Ancient Aliens…or Animal Planet airing “Finding Bigfoot” or Biography airing “Celebrity Ghost Story”

      The Bravo TV channel originally was dedicated to fine arts and the performing arts, and was decidedly highbrow. Now it’s got seven different iterations of “The Real Housewives of…” (I looked it up.)

      TLC was originally “The Learning Channel” and focused on educational content. Actually prior to being called The Learning Channel it was the “Appalachian Community Service Network” and distributed for free by NASA and The US Department of Health, Education and Welfare to all of us hayseeds in rural Appalachia. Now they air endless episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras, Fat Gypsy Weddings, The Duggars, John & Kate plus 8, and of course Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

      Maybe it hasn’t come too far from Appalachia after all.

  6. bud

    The problem with Will Folks, personal issues aside, he’s never, ever, ever right on any issue. Factually he is just clueless.

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