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Vurbal

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Everything posted by Vurbal

  1. Only their paychecks. Well, and all the disbursements to the multitude of outside contractors. I'm sure they'll keep the machne running, though, and probably charge extra for the delayed payments.
  2. As much as I agree with all of that, I'm not even sure that's the biggest danger here. There are some very good documentary shows from Britain that got added to Netflix a few months back which go into a lot of interesting detail about the run up to WW II. One of them focuses on the role that the growing pains of democracy played. The way over simplified version comes down to a discussion of the tension between making the world safe for democracy vs making democracy safe for the world. Despite the significant differences, there are striking similarities between post WW II Europe and the modern day Middle East. I'm not saying that WW III is right around the corner, or even inevitable, but the ingredients are pretty clearly there, and the last thing we should be doing is just kicking the hornet's nest and then walking away - especially given the proximity of Russia, both geographically and politically.
  3. I wouldn't be too quick to look at Putin's actions as being either unexpected or miscalculated. What I suspect he's doing, what I expected from the moment Trump won the election, is following the same playbook Kruschev used against Kennedy. While Trump is obviously no JFK (if you're comparing him to the myth, neither was JFK), but like Kennedy, he's an inexperienced outsider who only trusted advisors are equally inexperienced and ignorant. I predict this is just the opening shot, and we're going to see more naked aggression from Russia in the coming months and years. Trump already failed the first test, and his chances aren't looking good for whatever comes next.
  4. Sure, but he's not exactly known for letting pragmatism get in the way of his ego. Or let anything get in between his ego and his mouth, for that matter. He has no experience in the real world, where words and actions can have consequences that all the lawyers in the world can't litigate away.
  5. I don't worry that he'll do nothing. I'm more worried he'll do something dangerously stupid. But, yeah, this is the real problem IMO. Putin is a world class player at global brinksmanship. Trump can't even manage to negotiate with his own party - keep his own top secret documents behind closed doors for that matter. Putin is playing chess and Trump is still trying to wrap his head around tic tac toe.
  6. Well not exactly. You forgot about the part where he publicly admitted that saving face (which he didn't) was more important than the American people. So far I'm not sure if Trump reminds me more of Chevy Chase doing Weekend Update on SNL (I'm the president and you're not) or Eric Cartman.
  7. Right. Money will be saved by the government, as if that were a separate entity with its own independent income. Any time you hear somebody talking about how "the government" with benefit, you can be sure that means the people are paying for it. If it was good for the people, they would say that instead.
  8. I'm actually thrilled about this, strangely enough. It's about time we had a serious spotlight pointed at the blatantly unconstitutional mess which is asset forfeiture.This honestly isn't all that different from the government seizing property from supposed drug dealers as a way to boost budgets, get free toys, and pretend to be tough on crime - without a single charge being filed, let alone proven in court.
  9. I don't supposed this is really related to nothing on this thread, but in the interest of not polluting the forum, I'll post it here. I took my wife to a very nice restaurant on Valentine's Day, and just before we were done eating, she said she could see me start scowling because our governor, and Trump's nominee for ambassador to China, Terry Branstad walked by. He was still in the lobby when we left, but I ignored him since I knew my wife would be embarrassed if I said something nasty to him on the way out. I'm glad she was there, because anything I would have said almost certainly would have been a cheap shot, I like to think I'm better than that. Sometimes I'm not.
  10. Rather than comment on the outcome of the election, I'll simply share what my 20 year old daughter said this morning. After reading several friends' posts on Facebook, saying they wanted to leave the country, she said, "Too many people have sacrificed too much for this country to just lay down when things get hard."
  11. Good Idea: Having breakfast served to you in bed. Bad Idea: Having tennis balls served to you in bed. On a side note, Animaniacs is now on Netflix.
  12. The bass line for Something, by the Beatles. This is, in my opinion, Paul McCartney's masterpiece on bass, and I have put off learning it for years because I knew it would be time consuming. Now I have to learn it, and it's easier than I thought. The trick, it turns out, was avoiding the regular mix of the song and just listening to the bass by itself until everyone else in the house is ready to kill me. By 2 in the afternoon on Saturday I predict my wife will be asking me if I'm done practicing, and pointing out that I've been playing the same half a song for almost 4 hours. And that's what I do for fun...
  13. In the back of a Volkswagen?
  14. Since hearing about Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor passing away yesterday, I've been listening to quite a bit of late 70s and early 80s Motörhead.
  15. Brown Sabbath (aka Brownout) - Fairies Wear Boots
  16. Exactly. The rationalization for busting down doors instead of knocking (or just walking through the door in a public place), is pretty much always preservation of evidence, with the occasional officer safety BS thrown in. In this case, there was no evidence involved.
  17. Actually, it's worse than that. They were apparently only there to deliver a couple citations.
  18. As awesome as those sound, I'm a lot more excited about The League Of Women Voters! If it does well enough, maybe they can team up with Rabbi Killerman in Phase 5.
  19. Let's not exaggerate. It's forever minus 1 day. Otherwise it wouldn't meet the limited time requirement in the Constitution.
  20. Another gem from Ken White at Popehat: Cops: We Need Rights More Than You, Citizen
  21. Ignorance of the law apparently is an excuse if you're a cop asking for a no knock warrant in Massachusetts. Which is still better than the cops in New Jersey who had their dog maul an apparently unconscious man to death.
  22. I recommend reading some of the many pieces defense attorney (and former Federal prosecutor) Ken White has written on the subject at Popehat. His pieces are typically very much on the NSFW side of things - usually in a 'have to laugh about it or I'd cry' sort of way. The These 2 seem particularly relevant to your point, if almost entirely devoid of his ascerbic wit: The Presumption of Truth Ninth Circuit Recognizes Affirmative Defense of OMGWFT911!!1one!! On a (mostly) unrelated note, Ken is also a well known First Amendment lawyer, and keeper of the Popehat Signal, which he typically uses to round up pro bono legal help for people facing questionable lawsuits over protected expression - like independent authors being steamrolled by Games Workshop's IP bullying.
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