Sunday, March 29, 2015

So far a 7" disc and some tour dates

Hopefully we will get a full album and more from Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O'Donovan. Their rendition of "Crossing Muddy Waters" leaves a hunger for more.

Keeping the currency current

From the pen of Brian McFadden

Bibi shitting bricks over Iran deal

While most people have no idea of the details, Israel, through its AIPAC coordinated spies has a very good idea what the deal may potentially be and judging from his reaction, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bugsy" Netanyahu is scared.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Sunday the framework Iranian nuclear agreement being sought by international negotiators, saying it was even worse than his country had feared.

Israel has mounted what it terms an "uphill battle" against an agreement that might ease sanctions on the Iranians while leaving them with a nuclear infrastructure with bomb-making potential. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

"This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that," Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem as the United States, five other world powers and Iran worked toward a March 31 deadline in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Noting advances made by Iranian-allied forces in Yemen and other Arab countries, Netanyahu accused the Islamic republic of trying to "conquer the entire Middle East" while moving toward nuclearization.

"The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity, and must be stopped," he said.

Netanyahu's campaigning against the nuclear negotiations crested on March 3 with his speech to the U.S. Congress at the invitation of its Republican speaker, John Boehner, that angered President Barack Obama and many fellow Democrats.
So while we may not know yet, it appears there will be much that is positive for the US, Iran and the Middle East in the agreements being sought.

Happy FacePalm Sunday Indiana

Saturday, March 28, 2015

From 3 pc Harmony Band to 5 pc Indie Folk Rock band

But they kept the harmonies because that's what The Wild Reeds do best. "Let No Grief" from their 2014 album Blind And Brave.

The testing grounds

From the pen of Rob Rogers

Pentagon promises no more killers or war criminals

Which if upheld will probably greatly reduce the potential pool of professors at the National Defense University. Who else knows the finer points of what they are trying to teach their students?
The Pentagon rebuffed efforts to remove a Chilean professor accused of torturing and murdering political prisoners, keeping him on the payroll of a prestigious U.S. military school for almost three years after the State Department revoked his visa because of the alleged human rights violations.

Exploiting legal loopholes and inaction across several government agencies, the accused torturer was able to remain in the United States, renew his work contract twice and even travel widely despite his visa revocation, a McClatchy investigation reveals.

The Pentagon now promises changes to its vetting process for foreign nationals working throughout its National Defense University, with an emphasis on accusations of human rights violations.

Officials with the U.S. military school – the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies – knew by at least 2008 that Jaime Garcia Covarrubias had been accused of being part of Chile’s brutal secret police and stood accused of torture and murder.

Yet after the State Department revoked his Defense Department-sponsored visa on June 18, 2011, and a special U.S. human rights violator unit notified defense officials afterward, Garcia Covarrubias was paid sick leave and collected an annual salary in excess of $100,000 until February 2014.

The compensation was paid despite recommendations from the U.S. Embassy in Chile that Garcia Covarrubias face deportation proceedings and potential removal from the United States because of the allegations.
Some say that matters like this call into question the US commitment to human rights. Most people forget that commitment was glorified because of our fight against an opponent so repugnant that we would have accepted the devil himself as an ally. And since then we have pulled that hoary old cloak out of the closet whenever we assaulted the moral high ground, to be put back and ignored when it was over.

Well, if you really want to know....

Elizabeth Warren responds

To the threat from the heads of the 5 Wall St Mob Families Banks to withhold their contributions is she and other progressives weren't muzzled.

Wall Street isn’t happy with us

| By
In 2008, the financial sector collapsed and nearly brought down our whole economy. What were the ingredients behind that crash? Recklessness on Wall Street and a willingness in Washington to play along with whatever the big banks wanted.

Years have passed since the crisis and the bailout, but the big banks still swagger around town. And when Citigroup and the others don’t quite get their way or Washington doesn’t feel quite cozy enough, they quickly move to loud, public threats. Their latest move is a stunner. According to Reuters:
Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren's call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said.

Citigroup has decided to withhold donations for now to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee over concerns that Senate Democrats could give Warren and lawmakers who share her views more power, sources inside the bank told Reuters.

JPMorgan representatives have met Democratic Party officials to emphasize the connection between its annual contribution and the need for a friendlier attitude toward the banks, a source familiar with JPMorgan's donations said.
That’s right, the biggest banks on Wall Street have made it clear that they expect a return on their investment in Washington. Forget making the markets safer (where they can still make plenty of money) and forget the $700 billion taxpayer bailout that saved them and forget the need to build a strong economy for all Americans. Forget it all. The big banks want a Washington that works only for them and that puts their interests first – and they would like to get a little public fanny-kissing for their money too.

Well forget it. They can threaten or bully or say whatever they want, but we aren’t going to change our game plan. We do, however, need to respond.

According to this breaking news, our 2016 Democratic Senate candidates could lose at least $30,000 because of this decision. Can you help us raise $30,000 to match Wall Street’s money right now – and keep fighting for a Democratic Senate that will work for people instead of big banks?

Now let’s be clear: $30,000 is a drop in the bucket to JPMorgan and Citigroup. Heck, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon makes more than $30,000 in just a few hours.

The big banks have thrown around money for years, spending more than a $1 million a day to hold off Dodd-Frank and the consumer agency. But they are moving out of the shadows. They have reached a new level of brazenness, demanding that Senate Democrats grovel before them.

That kind of swagger is a warning shot. They want a showy way to tell Democrats across the country to be scared of speaking out, to be timid about standing up, and to stay away from fighting for what’s right.

Ok, they have taken their shot, but it will not work.

I’m not going to stop talking about the unprecedented grasp that Citigroup has on our government’s economic policymaking apparatus. I’m not going to stop talking about the settlement agreements that JPMorgan makes with our Justice Department that are so weak, the bank celebrates by giving their executives a raise. And I’m not going to pretend the work of financial reform is done, when the so-called “too big to fail” banks are even bigger now than they were in 2008.

The big banks have issued a threat, and it’s up to us to fight back. It’s up to us to fight back against a financial system that allows those who broke our economy to emerge from a crisis in record-setting shape while ordinary Americans continue to struggle. It’s up to us to fight back against a regulatory system that is so besieged by lobbyists – and their friends in Congress – that our regulators forget who they’re working for.

Let’s send the biggest banks on Wall Street our own message: We’re going to keep fighting, and your swagger and your threats won’t stop us. Help us match their $30,000 right now.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday is a good day for Linda & her friend Nelson

Linda Ronstadt singing "Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered" as arranged by Nelson Riddle.

One more worry about flying

From the pen of Jim Morin

The New GOP American Value

Unwavering support for Israel. With the unending slide into the depths of reactionary Teabagger birchism, the party faithful now demand full and complete support of Israeli Bibiism.
When former Secretary of State James A. Baker III accused Israel’s leader this week of undermining the chances of peace in the region, he said nothing more than the kinds of things he had said at times when he was in office a quarter-century ago.

But the instant backlash from fellow Republicans that prompted Jeb Bush, the son of Mr. Baker’s best friend, to distance himself underscored just how much their party has changed on the issue of Israel. Where past Republican leaders had their disagreements with Israel, today’s Republicans have made support for the Jewish state an inviolable litmus test for anyone aspiring to national office.

“If you’re a Republican and you hedge on your support on Israel, it’s viewed as having a flawed foreign policy,” said Ron Bonjean, a party strategist who has worked for Republican leaders in Congress. “It’s a requirement for Republicans these days to be very strong on Israel if they’re going to be taken seriously by primary voters.” Any deviation on that, he said, leads to inevitable questions: “If you’re not supporting Israel, then who are you supporting? Are you supporting Iran?”

The shift in the party’s attitude toward Israel stems from several factors, according to Republicans – a greater sense of solidarity in the fight against Islamic extremism since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, increased support for the Jewish state among evangelical Christians and the influence of wealthy donors like Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate. And the more Mr. Obama feuds with Mr. Netanyahu, the more Republicans feel motivated to come to the Israeli leader’s defense.

“It is remarkable,” said William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine and one of the leading voices promoting Israel’s cause in the United States. Mr. Netanyahu, who goes by the nickname Bibi, has become a rallying point for Republicans, he said. “Bibi would probably win the Republican nomination if it were legal,” he said.

Mr. Kristol, emailing from Israel where he was meeting with Mr. Netanyahu, described the shift as a result of broader underlying trends in American politics as the political left grows more “European” and the political right grows more “Reaganite.” He added that “the conservative belief in American exceptionalism is akin to Zionism.” And he said the contrast between Mr. Obama’s friction with Mr. Netanyahu and former President George W. Bush’s strong support for Israel “is pretty dramatic.”
So combine the money of a rich SOB like Adelson with the antipathy towards that black guy in the White House and add in a dollop of typical Republican Manichean fallacy and you end up support the fascist ruler of a rogue state over our own country. And we didn't even touch on the necessity of using Israel as a stepping stone to the Rapture.

About that estate tax

You know, the one that is supposed to be destroying all the family farms? Seems that anyone with half a brain can put paid to that lie. One who did was David Cay Johnston and he writes about it in Al-Jazeera.
Congress is voting this week on whether to repeal the estate tax. The step would be a huge boon to billionaires and others whose fortunes would forever escape taxation, creating an even larger dynastic class of inheritors who owe their riches to their skill at picking their parents.

But that’s not what was heard at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week. Instead the theme was how the tax was eviscerating American farmers.

This plan has no chance of becoming law while President Barack Obama is in office, but it has some Democrats running scared instead of standing on their principles. Some of them are talking about exempting farmers from the estate tax.

On the basis of the hearing, it’s hard to imagine why any people would want to farm or run their own business — that is, if you assume the hearing was grounded in reality.

The fact is that any claim that the estate tax is killing family farms is a lie...

I did finally manage to find two examples — not that they were particularly apt and not that we should make national policy on the basis of anecdotes.

One was a California vineyard, but the problems dated to 1981, before federal estate tax law was changed to allow a surviving spouse to inherit free of tax.

The other was a Colorado rancher whose family inherited little of what could have been a good-sized fortune. Their father had failed to file income taxes for years, did no estate planning and did not even write a will, resulting in the Internal Revenue Service’s auctioning off the land after he died to pay taxes, penalties and interest. Had he availed himself of the tax avoidance opportunities Congress allows, his family could have inherited all his land while paying little or no tax.

Two months after my piece about the myth of the family farm ran on the Sunday front page of The New York Times, I was astonished to learn that Bush told an Iowa audience he had just spoken to families whose farms were lost to the estate tax. My calls to the White House press secretary asking for details so I could run a corrective piece evoked promises to call me back. I never received a follow-up call.

That Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the tax writing Ways and Means Committee, could not find a single case of a farm lost to the estate tax for last week’s hearing illustrates his willingness to use lies to sell his policies.
Why do they hate the estate tax? What better time to pay taxes than when you are dead? And it really has no effect on 99% of the population and the the other 1%? Fuck them, they can afford it!

You would think their home grown trash was good enough

But the insatiable hunger for trash in South Carolina has them lawmakers looking for ways to attract more trash to the Palmetto Bug State.

Trash from out of state has been flooding into South Carolina, with allegations that it may be due in part to some state politicians accepting campaign money from private waste companies.

Residents fear new state legislation may bring in even more waste. Those who live near one landfill say the trash contains human feces and "smells very badly."

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control's 2012 report, 628,684 tons of household garbage came into South Carolina from other states in fiscal year 2012. Lee County Landfill took in the largest amount of out-of-state garbage, weighing in at almost 225,000 tons, of which 215,000 tons came from New York.

The New York City Department of Sanitation pays about $112 for each ton of garbage disposed at the Lee County Landfill, according to South Carolina news channel WYFF News 4. In 2012 alone, the landfill received $24 million worth of trash from New York.

Groups such as 'Don't Dump on SC' have campaigned to keep the trash out, arguing that the abundance of out-of-state trash compromises the beauty of the state, hurts taxpayers, lowers property values, and damages the quality of the air and environment.

Lawmakers have already passed House Bill 3290, and are set to vote on Senate Bill 203 in 2014. These pieces of legislation would take away the power of counties to control their own flow of solid waste. The passage of Senate Bill 203 could potentially eliminate public garbage services and pave the way for private companies to maximize their profits by setting prices for and taking in more trash from out of state.
The nerve of those locals trying to stop their home state from looking like a dump. Don't they know that if the free market creates enough profit people just don't matter anymore.

Another whiny boy on Obamacare

The latest Republican coming out of the medical closet is that ignominious piece of Kansas shit Tim Huelskamp, the bull goose of the Teabagger caucus.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t the only ardent critic of Obamacare in Congress who is signing up for health coverage under a law he’s vowed to repeal.

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, the chairman of the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, admits he, too, has enrolled for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, despite repeatedly voting to repeal it.

“For the record – I am on Obamacare – yee-hah!” Huelskamp recently confessed to constituents at a town hall meeting in north central Kansas, according to The Clay Center Dispatch. “My wife complains about it all the time.”

Cruz, Huelskamp and other far-right lawmakers are in an awkward political position: Do they use an Obamacare exchange to purchase insurance, and risk being charged with hypocrisy? Or do they stand on principle and decline coverage or resort to the private insurance market, thereby giving up thousands of federal dollars offered to government employees to help pay premiums?

They have a choice. Some are choosing Obamacare.

Cruz, a Republican senator who’s running for president, said this week that his family planned to go on Obamacare because they’d no longer be able to get health coverage through his wife’s employer. She’s taking unpaid leave from her job to join Cruz on the campaign trail.

Like Cruz, Huelskamp has railed for years against Obamacare – in speeches in Congress, on the stump during elections, in town hall meetings with voters, in emails to donors and in statements to the press and on television.
Despite his congressional wealth, Rep Huelskamp chose not to stand on his principles and pay full freight for his insurance. Instead he got on board with Obamacare for the financial incentives offered. None of this will stop him from whining about Obamacare or trying to repeal it because despite the advantages provided to him, it was still passed by that colored guy and it helps little people, which really chaps his ass.

Your values?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blues For Herb

Played by the late jazz guitarist Emily Remler. Someone should really write a tune for Emily.

R.I.P. Gregory Walcott

Even though we saw you face a thousand times, it took Plan 9 for many to know your name.

About that freedom...

From Facebook

Why do we only have 1 Bernie?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A PR stunt or are C & W fans just a bunch of dicks?

Seems that a lot of radio listeners are bitching about Little Big Towns' "lesbian song". For what it's worth, "Girl Crush" is OK with the Opry and is #4 on iTunes. It is just the parents who seem to have a problem with it. What do you think?

Another way of life lost to modern technology

From the pen of David Horsey

It is still hard to do research

Because the Federal government still stupidly call Marijuana a Schedule 1 drug and federal rules, if not the money, govern most of the research in this country, the increasing islands of marijuana sanity that have arisen in this country have done nothing to help research about how it does what it does.
Despite the growing momentum for pot legalization, marijuana remains one of the most difficult substances to study in the United States.

Critics blame a labyrinthine federal approval process in which a handful of government agencies hobble gold-standard scientific research with red tape and intimidation and perpetuate a culture of fear and data illiteracy that delays reform.

“These are agencies in place to reflect a policy that marijuana is a prohibited Schedule I substance,” said Paul Armentano, the deputy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a pro-legalization advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. “They are in the business of funding and approving research to reinforce that policy.”

The criminalization of cannabis dates back to 1971, when Richard Nixon’s administration called for a war on drugs. One year before, Congress had passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value and high abuse potential, right alongside Ecstasy and heroin.

Today a trio of federal agencies — the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration — regulate the federal marijuana research process, determining which research gets a government stamp of approval, along with research-grade cannabis.

At the federal level, researchers first need approval for their studies from the FDA and the Public Health Service, in an interdisciplinary review process. It isn’t unusual for agency review boards and applicants to engage in a back-and-forth revision process for their protocols. Critically, researchers also require a separate Schedule I license from the DEA. NIDA’s director has the final say on whether studies merit funding. Once studies are approved, the agency releases marijuana that it grows under contract with the University of Mississippi, the site of the nation’s only licensed pot farm and — until recently — the only institution with which it considered partnering.

Critics say the tightfisted multiagency approach bottlenecks marijuana research and invites poorer findings that opponents of reform then recycle into the public debate. The effect, they say, is quantity over quality...

“The federal government uses a very low scientific burden to assess harms associated with marijuana,” he said, adding that the agencies require that pot researchers use “the highest standards of scientific research — knowing that these regulatory and legal hurdles make doing this kind of research nearly impossible.”
Any moron can pass a law but you need to be Einstein to do any research, especially about marijuana.

Despite Ted comparing himself to Galileo

This still remains true.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I hope Colbert continues this part of Letterman's schtick

The part where he has great music on his show and put the videos up on YouTube. Like this one of Lera Lynn doing "Out To Sea" from her latest album The Avenues.

Classic American Exceptionalism - Except you and you...

From the pen of Signe Wilkeson

Why Republicans can't govern

It is easy to say that their ideology is to oppose governing and there is a element of that but the real cause is the deep and up to now unbridgeable chasm between the two wings of the party, Dumb and Dumber. Neil Irwin in The Upshot takes a look at what this all means to us.
At its root is a divide between the Republican congressional leadership and a significant portion of its caucuses. The leaders believe they are best off projecting calm competence by governing without excess drama. They seek modest policy wins on trade and a handful of other issues, and would like to pass conservative bills that the president may veto but that are popular and so leave the Republicans in better shape heading into 2016 elections.

That strategy is a recognition of a simple constitutional fact: President Obama will be in office until January 2017, and it takes more votes to override a presidential veto than the Republicans have. So their best bet to enact a conservative agenda, in this line of thinking, is to maximize the odds that 2016 will be a Republican wave election on the order of what the Democrats experienced in 2008, with a Republican president paired with congressional majorities in both houses.

Everything before that, in this view, is a sideshow. Unfortunately, if you’re Mr. Boehner or Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the sideshows have been the main event in the first 90 days of the 114th Congress.

This puts them at odds with a vocal portion of their own caucuses, who favor a more maximalist approach, aiming to use whatever levers they have to try to extract major policy concessions from the president. It is the negotiating strategy that failed miserably, for example, when Republicans demanded a repeal of Mr. Obama’s signature health law in exchange for keeping the government funded and raising the federal debt ceiling in fall 2013, and most recently in the showdown over Homeland Security funding.

The White House, meanwhile, is largely staying above the fray, laying out to lawmakers its own priorities and deal-killers but leaving Republican leaders to work out among themselves a path to keep the machinery of government working.
Nuts are nits and loon are loons and never the twain shall meet, at this time. Now if they had earmarks to keep their members in line.

Municipal violations are not a funding source

And John Oliver has a few of his usual kind words for the system that has developed around this.

Not a very good track record

It is an unfortunate history that US support of a government in the Middle East by the US is essentially a kiss of death.
The recent evacuation of U.S. special operations forces in Yemen is a troubling trend for American involvement in the Middle East and North Africa, following the July 2014 evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya. The U.S. government claims that these evacuations are temporary, but American personnel are unlikely to return any time soon.

Given the way things are going in the region, and the expansion and overflow of conflicts from one country to another, there is no way that the United States can return to solid footing in Yemen or Libya in the next few years. In fact, Yemen is likely to turn into its own version of the Syrian civil war, complete with sectarian dynamics and inter-militia rivalries.

For the United States, this is cause for serious soul-searching. U.S. foreign policies relative to the Middle East have resulted in declining U.S. influence, increased militarization throughout the region, and the precipitation of failing states since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. In Yemen, U.S. support for its long-time dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has been based on narrow counter-terrorism interests with no regard for how this support would affect Yemen’s economy, human rights record, or other aspects of development.

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the 2011 “Arab Spring,” every regime that the United States has supported in Iraq, Yemen and Libya — including Saleh’s — has resulted in a failed state, with no rule of law and a collapsed economy.

The reportedly hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. weapons, equipment and supplies falling into enemy hands in Iraq, Syria and now in Yemen are more than just signs of strategic failure. Rather, they’re part of a long list of recent embarrassments, including the poor performance of U.S.-trained Iraqi military personnel when Islamic State invaded Mosul last summer, and the Islamic militant army’s confiscation of U.S. military weapons and supplies in the Iraqi territories it has occupied.

The United States and its Western allies have yet to appreciate the logic that militarization, airstrikes and drone attacks are not quick-fix elixirs to the complex problems in the Middle East. The United States lacks cohesive, comprehensive, long-term strategies for the entire region, and also for individual countries. Islamic State, by comparison, has a long-term strategy that is “light years ahead of its enemies,” according to BBC News.

The United States has unmatched military prowess for invasions and interventions, but fails miserably in post-campaign policies and strategies. It continues to have faith in supposed “allies” in the region, who usually end up undermining the very national interests that the United States is pursuing. This is because the United States fails to take into account that each state and non-state actor in the region — from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to Iran and even Shi’ite militias operating in Iraq — has its own interests and agendas that frequently do not align with the United States. Western powers cannot keep up with these growing complexities, especially in Yemen.
When all other cultures are viewed through the coke bottle glasses of American exceptionalism, they become very hard to understand. When every political hustler in those countries understands this weakness, it is hard to resist their lies. And in the end it is very easy to do wrong, over and over again.

Speaking to his base

Monday, March 23, 2015

Even when she tries to be gentle

There is always an edge to Lucinda Williams. But when she sings "Gentle On My Mind" it makes it a better song.

How a Cuban "patriot" treats the American flag

Liberty University Monday March 23, 2015

Nothing to worry about Citizen. Everything is under control.

From the pen of Ted Rall

The First Amendment is slowly being eaten by corporations

Who then turn around and shit on you
. This process has been accruing over the years as bit by bit, like termites in your house the Conservative judiciary has applied a libertarian bent to rulings that now provide precedent for commercial application as our expense.
These days, a provocative new study says, there has been a “corporate takeover of the First Amendment.” The assertion is backed by data, and it comes from an unlikely source: John C. Coates IV, who teaches business law at Harvard and used to be a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the prominent corporate law firm.

“Corporations have begun to displace individuals as the direct beneficiaries of the First Amendment,” Professor Coates wrote. The trend, he added, is “recent but accelerating.”

Professor Coates’s study was only partly concerned with the Supreme Court’s recent decisions amplifying the role of money in politics.

“It’s not just Citizens United,” he said in an interview, referring to the 2010 decision that allowed unlimited independent spending by corporations in elections. His study, he said, analyzed First Amendment challenges from businesses to an array of economic regulations.

“Once the patron saint of protesters and the disenfranchised, the First Amendment has become the darling of economic libertarians and corporate lawyers who have recognized its power to immunize private enterprise from legal restraint,” Professor Wu wrote.

“Madison’s Music,” a new book by Burt Neuborne, a law professor at New York University, gives a detailed history of the transformation of First Amendment law. In his account, “the American right discovered the First Amendment” in the early 1970s.

“An expansive conception of free speech became attractive to Republican justices,” he wrote, “both because robust free-speech protections fit neatly into the right’s skeptical, deregulatory approach to government generally, and because it energized vigorous transmission by powerful speakers of the right’s newly energized collection of ideas.”

Those conservative justices, Professor Neuborne wrote, found willing allies in liberal justices long committed to free speech.

In the next two decades, the Supreme Court continued to protect dissent, twice voting to strike down laws banning flag burning. But now, Professor Neuborne wrote, broad coalitions of justices also voted to protect the powerful.

In 1976 alone, he wrote, the court shielded both unrestricted election spending by rich people, “giving the 1 percent a tangible reason to celebrate a muscular First Amendment,” and commercial advertising, “giving corporate management a strong stake in the First Amendment.”

By the time the left woke up and realized it had made “a Faustian bargain,” Professor Neuborne wrote, “the bipartisan coalition had generated an enormously powerful body of precedent establishing an imperial free speech clause.”

The case on commercial speech, Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, was a turning point, Professor Coates found in his study. After that ruling, the average number of First Amendment cases in the Supreme Court involving businesses started to rise to 2.2 a year from 1.5, and the number involving individuals started to fall, to 3.6 from 4.3.

More striking, the success rates for both groups increased, but far more for businesses. Individuals won 55 percent of the time, up from 41 percent. Businesses also won 55 percent of the time, up from 20 percent.
So let's add them up. The 4th Amendment has disappeared, the 2nd has been perverted beyond belief, the 1st is disappearing in a carefully controlled campaign, the 5th, 6th and 8th have been cheerfully ignored time and again, the 9th and 10th are only invoked when convenient and otherwise ignored. It appears the 3rd Amendment is the only one left that is still respected by all.

We might have to bomb them back to the Stone Age again

The Japanese, through their Okinawan subsidiary are making trouble for our military, again.First they don't like an airbase in the middle of a populated area, which they built up after we blasted them into the Stone Age seventy years ago. So we agree to move and they don't like that either.
A clash between Japan's central government and Okinawa, host to the bulk of U.S. troops in Japan, deepened on Monday when the southern island's governor ordered a halt to underwater work at the site of a planned relocation of a U.S. Marine base.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government and Okinawa have been on a collision course since anti-base conservative Takeshi Onaga was elected governor last November and ruling party candidates were trounced in a December general election.

Onaga told a news conference that he was ordering local defense ministry officials to halt the underwater survey work, which the prefecture fears is harming local coral reefs, a prefecture official said.

If those activities are not stopped within a week, Onaga may rescind approval for drilling operations given by his predecessor in December 2012, he said...

The United States and Japan agreed in 1996 to close the Futenma Marines air base, located in a populous part of the island. But plans for a replacement stalled in the face of opposition from residents, many of whom associate the bases with noise, pollution and crime and resent bearing what they see as an unfair burden for the U.S.-Japan security alliance.

Okinawa, which was not returned to Japanese sovereignty until 27 years after Tokyo's defeat in World War Two, still hosts nearly 75 percent of the U.S. military presence in Japan, accounting for 18 percent of its land area.
You would almost think they don't want to be part of our Exceptional Empire.

It's Only Fair

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