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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Invisible Agent

The actual agent is boring but his German contact and the enemy agents (including Peter Lorre, who plays a Japanese agent who is actually given a honorable end) are fun. Overall, this 1942 movie is decent -- some effort made.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Trump and American Moral Leadership

TRUMP: I think right now when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country. We have tremendous problems when you have policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore. When you have all of the things that are happening in this country — we have other problems, and I think we have to focus on those problems. When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger.
Someone cites this and is willing to "embrace the idea that American democracy has nothing to offer the world." 

When dealing with tools, it's hard to accept that they do at times say something right or represent overall sentiments that have some sort of bite. And, that applies especially for the likes of Trump.  But, some do think we shouldn't be the "policeman of the world," we should address our own problems and when we try otherwise, we screw up. There is some truth to this; it's a matter of scale.  And, there are various ways to do things, other than directly preaching to foreign leaders.  Plus, in the long run, supporting human rights and democracy benefits us too.

The U.S. still provides some guidance to the world (e.g., our belief in constitutional limits and judicial review, if not our presidential/electoral system in all respects) and has a role to play. And, the Corruption Perceptions Index suggests all things considered (our size and scope of power isn't quite akin to New Zealand or Denmark), the U.S. is doing pretty good.  Still, limits and humility is a lesson to be learned, even if promoted by Donald Trump.  Anyway, especially given the religious sentiments of some of them, think many of his supporters will not want to come down from the "city on the hill" too much.

Anyway, interesting historical footnote regarding Tim Kaine, in particular, his wife:
Holton's governorship arguably is best remembered for his response to a court-ordered school busing controversy during his first year in office. The Holtons voluntarily enrolled their school-age children in predominantly black Richmond public schools. A photo of the governor escorting his daughter Tayloe into John F. Kennedy High School on Aug. 31, 1970, made the front page of The New York Times.
"Tayloe" being his wife's (Anne Holton) sister. Accounts have Anne Holton retain her maiden name, including reporting on her current job as the Education Secretary of Virginia. Will her name be an issue like Hillary "Rodham" once was? Her past efforts to promote children's welfare might be one more thing that appealed to Hillary Clinton, given her own work in that area. Anne Holton has an impressive resume, including as a local judge.

The more I read about Tim Kaine, the more he seems like a fine vice president pick. His appeal in swing states, including his own (Virginia) and Florida (speaks Spanish, good campaigner, wide support) along with a comfort level with HRC are but two. His stance on the issues, even if not perfect lefty (shocker that), have repeatedly been honored by progressive publications and personnel. One thing cited in the coverage is his support of a new AUMF.  Sounds like an important matter of checks and balances to me. 

Friday, July 22, 2016


Waited to the end of the day to announce the expected. Some rather someone else but Warren/Booker (both Republican governors) should stay in the Senate, Perez has only support staff executive experience, etc. Kaine has a lot of executive experience, VA has a Democratic governor, he's personable, speaks Spanish and overall sounds like someone progressives should like. Clinton is "safe," but he's pretty darn good regardless.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Reap What You Sow

aka "both sides aren't the same." The plagiarism is embarrassing, but the partisan benediction at the Republican Convention started things on the wrong foot generally. Wallowing in hate and victimization sickening too. Mike Pence sounds like a real tool as well. Cruz didn't endorse Trump; encouraged people to "vote their conscience." Half a clap.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Supreme Court Watch

First set of summer orders are rehearing denied (left at looking at slightly funny names or wondering the story behind them -- easier if they were linked to opinions below like maybe on a better website they would be) and attorney discipline. Not on SCOTUSBlog calendar.

Update: Notable news of day in this area is Obama op-ed to WSJ [Diane Guerrero concurs on Twitter] and special request for rehearing in immigration case. More: Few months back, SCOTUS put a deadline on a voting rights case; lower court just made it.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cult of the Cobra

Fun Svengoolie entry last night with a younger Sven and no segment where he discusses the cast, who here have various familiar faces including "The Chief" in a bit. Also, no Raiders of the Lost Ark reference! Film was a bit too long and darn if the "who cares" four (of 6) died.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Racial Unity?

Yeah. Good message. Comment more on a criticism of Hillary Clinton here but find the criticism tiresome. Yes, I'm a white guy answering a black woman. She's still tiresome. Note in connection to RBG, don't bluntly say that there, since it's best not to be 100% openly honest all the time without "illusions and myths" being the result. BTW, Pence is an enabling asshole.