Re: Dallas, 1963

1

No need for the coded cry for help, Heebie- Sifu will be sure to use his drones to airlift you supplies after the secession.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:24 AM
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Haha!! No really send troops kthxbye.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:26 AM
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I read 1 as Heebie-Sifu. (2016!)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:30 AM
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People like to pull out this Eisenhower Social Security quote for various reasons but rarely focus on the explicit callout of Texas oil millionaires. (I'm sure H.L. Hunt was among those he was thinking of).

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:32 AM
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Now I want to go stab Ted Cruz with a hat pin, old school.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:32 AM
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6

Not that we ever covered anything as recent as the JFK assassination in any of my history classes, but I think when kids are taught about it, the fact that Dallas, Texas was basically enemy territory for JFK is just ignored for the sake of politeness. Much like the way the "Martin Luther King Jr. = Gandhi but less violent" consensus developed.


Posted by: Cryptic nedd | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:34 AM
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Although Hunt was odd in some unexpected ways (his utopia Alpaca). And some expected ones:

The perfect society, according to Hunt, would give the most votes to the oldest, the wealthiest and the most ambitious. Citizens younger than age 22 would get one vote. Older voters would get two votes. The top 25% of taxpayers would get an extra two votes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:38 AM
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That's not really true. I mean, Hunt and oil millionaires, sure, but Texas went for JFK and you had the democratic governor o Texas in the car with JFK.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:40 AM
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Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs

I hadn't noticed before that farm programs were on the list. I think at this point farm subsidies are doing more harm than good. I'm all in favor of government intervention in the ag sector--particularly to promote sustainable practices--but right now I'd settle for a libertarian approach to agriculture. It would be an improvement over the current system.

In any case, this doesn't mean the helpy-party is doomed, since Ike specifically said you had to favor abolishing *all* of the programs he named, and we are strongly in favor of social security, etc.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:41 AM
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6: this. My memory of my education is that Dallas was just some young western city without any particular history of its own, and that the assassination happened there was incidental.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:43 AM
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8 to 6. Anyhow, the OP is certainly right in that rich local notables, especially southern ones but also Midwestern ones, and especially in the energy industries, have always already been the enemy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:43 AM
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12

It is kind of incidental. Oswald wasn't a stooge of the Hunts, and without looking it up I'd be somewhat surprised if DFW as a whole went for Nixon in 1960. Texas as a whole certainly went for JFK.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:45 AM
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Dallas County 62% Nixon.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:48 AM
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Based on my squinting at the map on Wikipeda, Dallas County went heavily for Nixon, and by smaller margins so did Denton and Tarrant.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:51 AM
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15

Dammit, Lathspell.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:51 AM
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OK, but projecting 2013 politics into 1963 and saying that it meaningfully reveals something about the Kennedy assassination is silly, even while agreeing that the Hunts and allies (in places including but not limited to Texas) were ahole predecessors of today's aholes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:52 AM
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16: "Reading about Dallas during Kennedy's administration" is what heebie said. And the main event she hinges the post on was not related to the assassination. I'm sorry that your local sports team loss has led you be belligerently wrong this morning.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:56 AM
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In 1960 farmers were 9% of the population. Now it's less than 2%.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:57 AM
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Yeah, you're mostly right, RH.

It's more that I was so shocked to hear about all the people who were happy about the assassination. No place for that in history class. And a lot of Dallasites were among them.


Posted by: Cryptic nedd | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:57 AM
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The Dallas Morning News, reporting based on the same new book, has some photos of other incidents (Adlai Stevenson being brained with a sign).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:58 AM
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21

12 was to 6, you despicable lunatic, not to the OP. I agree about rich people in Dallas, but the fucking Governor of Texas was in the car when the shots went out, so if the theory is that the political makeup of Dallas is particularly important for the Kennedy assassination itself you are pretty much wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:59 AM
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And comity with 19.2.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:00 AM
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Tarrant County (Fort Worth) 55% Nixon.

Both Kennedy and Nixon were a couple of Yanks. Dallas culture had a special hate-on for Kennedy and what he represented.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:01 AM
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Irish people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:02 AM
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Damn my free-associating brain as well. I just realized I've been murmuring "I'm going back to Dallas, Texas to see if anything could be worse than losing you" for about 10 minutes.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:05 AM
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26

Wrong link, here.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:06 AM
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Catholics.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:06 AM
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28

Whacking Day is a sham! It was originally conceived in 1922 as an excuse to beat up on the Irish.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:07 AM
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29

Texas politics were very convoluted. LBJ's early congressional campaigns were financed by a lot of vehemently anti-Roosevelt oilmen and developers (for which he they got beneficial legislation and contracts), even as he ran vehemently pro-Roosevelt campaigns, because that's where the votes were in his district.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:15 AM
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30


Rick Perlstein is your go-to source on the historical continuity of teh crazy.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:17 AM
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31

Someone linked here recently an article that used the "local notables" language about the history of the Tea Party a lot. Which article was that? Anyone know off the top of their head?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:31 AM
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21: Well excuse me for missing the referent of your wrong and ignorant rant.

I agree about rich people in Dallas

62 motherrfucking percent in the county of the 2nd biggest city in the state of the VP candidate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:31 AM
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As others have said, the overall politics were quite complicated, and there are ceraintly a lot of twists and turns to how the special Repub-voting Dallas-centric oilman haters merged over the course of 40 years with the former dixiecrats. Found this very good recent piece from the Dallas Morning News ("Extremists in Dallas created volatile atmosphere before JFK's 1963 visit") summarizing the whole issue. Includes the infamous black-bordered "Welcome Mr. Kennedy to Dallas." ad in their paper, the reception of nutball ret. Gen Edwin Walker* (Nonetheless, the extreme right worshiped Walker as a super-patriot. When he moved to Dallas in December 1961, Mayor Earle Cabell greeted him with a welcoming proclamation, presented before a crowd of 5,000 well-wishers.), and the concerns of police in the wake of the attacks on Adlai Stevenson in October 1963.

But overall, Dallas was up there with Birmingham about the "most special" city for JFK at that time. Please read the article.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:45 AM
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31:Heres One from Salon

These are the small-town worthies, like the local car dealers -- people who are millionaires, but not billionaires. They are big wheels in their local communities, but not on a national level. And then you have ideological right-wingers like the Koch brothers who use these folks very effectively.

What can I say about DFW?

I came down after the worst was over, early to mid 70s.

Lived around a decade a block from Wyclif and Cedar Springs in Oak Lawn, ground zero of queer Dallas. Got my living room furniture off an estate sale of one of the first aids victims. Freaks, gays, minorities hung with them for a couple decades. Walked North into Highland/University Park and South downtown. Lived East Dallas for a while, by Baylor Hospital.

Looking and being marginal as hell, I never had any trouble with rednecks or righties, and never heard of much from people I hung with.

Sue me. Just a big anonymous spread city. Maybe you can live in Orange County the same way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:47 AM
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12: Fair enough--I wasn't claiming that Oswald was a conservative factor. My perspective is close to ned(d)'s 17: Texas wasn't home turf for, or even friendly to, Kennedy, despite his VP being from there. Admittedly it wasn't yet as unfriendly to the Dems as it would be later in the decade.

The link in 30 is a good read. The fickle claims of the right--Obama personally is causing us to have either too little or too much medical care--have a we've-always-been-at-war-with-Eurasia feel. It's important to remember and repeat what they said only a few years ago.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:52 AM
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36

I remember when Kennedy came to Dallas that week he said "We're in nut country now".


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:53 AM
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33: I read the article and it is very good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:53 AM
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38

I don't even know what fucking point you're trying to make and I don't think you do either. I don't think Dallas' political climate had a fucking thing to do with the Kennedy assassination and if you do you're a moron. I agree that Dallas had a culture in which its elite was very conservative for 1960 and that people like the Hunts were predecessors of today's people, as I've said about 50 times now and which is described in the OP. Perlstein's Before the Storm book, which I've read but you probably haven't, does a good job of going through that. However Texas in 1960 was a solidly Democratic state (though there was some concern about that given that JFK was a Catholic) and politics in general but in Texas in particular weren't as connected along a clear ideological/partisan grid in the way they are now. For example Kennedy did extremely well in much of East Texas which has always been conservative and insane. Nor was Nixon in 1960 a genuinely conservative candidate in the way 1968 Nixon was.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:56 AM
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39

38 to 33.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 9:59 AM
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40

What's all this about? Hating on the idiots of 50 years ago? I just can't give a fuck.

I forget why I got interested in politics ten+ years ago. I was on the net and after 9/11 just got caught in a wave. It isn't as if it has done me any good.

Fuck it, way too much effort to keep my tribal connections refreshed and current. Who are we spitting on this week?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:04 AM
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41

Thanks for the recommendation, knecht. Good article. I sent it to my sister even.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:07 AM
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42

Or, for a sense of how much things have changed, Nixon got 60% of the vote in 1960 in the county that includes Portland, Maine and won (marginally) the county that includes Portland, Oregon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:16 AM
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43

I have it from impeccable Tea Party sources that it was actually Obama who assassinated JFK.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:17 AM
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44

Impossible! He was busy orchestrating Katrina on that day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:18 AM
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45

Who are we spitting on this week?

Either Vietnam vets or older white men. I forget which it is this week. If you give me a minute, I'll check the newsletter and get back to you.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:21 AM
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46

I thought he was still in Kenya, being indoctrinated into the Marxist anti-colonial tradition.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:22 AM
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47

1960 Nixon also got 60% of the vote in Santa Cruz county, which now seems unthinkable. Nixon did just barely barely lose LA county, which I hadn't known until looking it up now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:25 AM
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48

I assassinated JFK, but Obama did nothing to stop me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:26 AM
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49

38: Please read the Dallas Morning News article for a discussion of the specific climate at the specific time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:30 AM
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50

In the 1960 election, the Texas delegation was 21 Dem and 1 Rep. My congressman, Jim Wright of Tarrant Co., ran unopposed. The one Rep was Alger, from Dallas I think.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:30 AM
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47: In 1960, UCSC didn't exist and Santa Cruz was a sleepy little town known mostly as an escape from Valley heat. 53 years is a long time. Nixon was also from CA. I think you'd need to look elsewhere state-wise for shockingly high percentages.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:32 AM
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Just to heighten the contempt in Halford post-traumatic sports loss addled brain, here is a link to a Kennedy assassination event organized by the Wechts at Duquesne University this weekend.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:38 AM
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53 years is a long time is exactly my point. Or, actually, my point was that the Hunts/Dallas Birchers have deep connections to today's Tea Party but not actually anything to do with the Kennedy Assasination, and that partisan politics in 1960 really didn't neatly map onto ideology the way it mostly does today.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:39 AM
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partisan politics in 1960 really didn't neatly map onto ideology the way it mostly does today.

But surely "Texas conservatives are irredeemable assholes" is timeless.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:41 AM
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"Texas" being optional, of course.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:41 AM
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56

Sure. But as late as 1960 a good chunk of what would become the Texas conservative base of white non-rich people wasn't as yet irredeemably anti-New Deal. It took a lot of an anxiety on the race issue and a very long term manufactured campaign by people like the Hunts to make that happen. But the local notable oil people of mink coat riot fame have always always always been the enemy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 10:49 AM
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57

I will say that probably the last states' rights thing that Texas was on the good side of was when they lost the short battle to have Kennedy's body stay in Dallas for the autopsy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 11:08 AM
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" I don't think Dallas' political climate had a fucking thing to do with the Kennedy assassination and if you do you're a moron."

I've read claims that the strange conspiracy minded climate influenced Oswald and that he hung out with far right people, as far left people will sometimes do.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 2:10 PM
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59

My dim memories of a ton of assassination conspiracy reading decades ago just kicked in, to tell my brain to say "Yes! There was for example a significant link between Oswald and the very rightwing Edwin Walker, who JPS already mentioned" -- except checking what the link was reminded me that Oswald had (so Marina and the Warren Commission said) planned to shoot him. So he probably didn't also hang out with him much. OR DID HE?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 4:21 PM
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59: What I read said that Oswald actually shot at him and missed.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 4:39 PM
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59: Yes, he apparently took a shot at Walker (pretty sure the Warren Commission concluded that was true). About the time of his "Hunter of Fascists" backyard photo.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 4:41 PM
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Some of the things I read said this, others said no way. I read a lot of this stuff. Much of it was less than impressed by the Warren Commission. Some of it was more along the lines of "When you say Oswald did such-and-such, which of the five robot Oswald clones do you purport to mean?" I lost interest when JFK came out -- I was a hipster nut, I only like weird or funny versions of the conspiracy.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 4:49 PM
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63

+d


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 4:49 PM
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64

Ooo, a Dallas thread! Oswald shot J.R., right?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 5:02 PM
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62: Yes, I have read a fair bit of that lit and some of the testimony (but more on the Church committee stuff on foreign assassinations, actually). It's a mess. The Warren stuff is something of a mess as well. As in the wake of any major, major fuck-us many actors had reason to "cover-up" and act in ways that look retroactively suspicious to simply deflect more "innocent" blame for their role in what transpired (not protecting well enough etc.).

The thing with Ruby (and who he was) shooting Oswald* in the freaking police station is to me the single most "suspicious" aspect of the whole thing.

*Which I believe I've mentioned here I saw happen live on the TV screen.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 5:14 PM
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66

When you say Oswald shot J.R., which of the five robot Oswald clones do you purport to mean?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 5:14 PM
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Clone #6, on the grassy knoll.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 5:18 PM
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68

I do find younger folk have very little interest.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 5:21 PM
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68: The class of 2000 thought you were talking about MTV VJ Kennedy and was like "huh?"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:21 PM
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65: the Warren commission report was the healthcare.gov of its day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:23 PM
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70: It really was quite the lineup:
Earl Warren
Richard Russell, Jr. (D-Georgia)
John Sherman Cooper (R-Kentucky),
Hale Boggs (D-Louisiana) aka Cokie's Dad.
Gerald Ford (R-Michigan)
Allen Welsh Dulles (!!!)
John J. McCloy (interesting somewhat controversial background)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 6:55 PM
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72

I've lost all energy on this. I merely ask that Halford read the piece linked in 33.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:30 PM
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73

Have you all been following self-promoting, GOP-jock-sniffing, all-around asshole Larry Sabato's shtick about the Kennedy assassination? It's like an object lesson in how to capture the spotlight when you have nothing new to say. He's Geraldo Rivera using Jackie Kennedy's hairpin to open Al Capone's vault. I almost admire the guy for his shamelessness.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:35 PM
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Speaking of Geraldo, was listening to Cyril Wecht talk about the upcoming Kennedy conference at Duquesne and apparently Geraldo was originally invited but Duquesne nixed him due to his towel tweet!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:39 PM
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73: No, but I have a personal hate on for Sabato after he ruined a great vacation day for me in August 2004. Had a great day going from Taos over to Chama, NM. Then stupidly turned on TV for first time in days to discover Swift Boat was happening. Sabato was on gleefully pointing out that politics ain't beanbag and horserace, horserace, horserace. A friend's son did Poli Sci at UVa and made the mistake of name-dropping him; from then on I'd rail against Sabato every time I saw him.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:45 PM
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75: Sabato's a bit like Niall Ferguson. He's one of those guys of whom many people say, with a sad shake of the head, "Oh, he used to do some important work," by way of excusing his current worthlessness. But those people seem never to have read any of his important work.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:52 PM
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77

So filled with pointless anger am I, that I think my journey to the dark side may be complete.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:54 PM
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Sabato has done remarkable work towards making mustaches acceptable again for people other than cops.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:56 PM
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77: Great! I'll see you there. We can play cribbage and tell Dorothy Fuldheim stories.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:56 PM
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Brian Sipe 4evah!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 7:59 PM
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Joe Charboneau could reputedly open beer bottles using his eye socket. Only the Indians could have a Rookie of the Year who ended up with 201 lifetime games.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:07 PM
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Super Joe!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:11 PM
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65: The airport scene at the end of Godfather II made me a JFK conspiracy theorist for a while.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:14 PM
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77 -- excellent. Feel the rage.

72 -- what, I'm supposed to arrange my procrastination schedule to read your supporting evidence now?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-16-13 8:40 PM
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71: It's too bad Colin Powell was too young to be on it. He'd have been perfect, but still a few years out from him earning his stripes by trying to help put the lid on My Lai.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:26 AM
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Which in turn put him in a good place to help out with Iran-Contra, the massacre of the Shia in 1991, and of course the Iraq fiasco.

The man is a nexus of evil in a way that Dick Cheney can only dream of being, and he nonetheless manages to be seen as some sort of moral exemplar by virtue of nothing more than a vague resemblance to James Earl Jones.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:28 AM
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...he nonetheless manages to be seen as some sort of moral exemplar by virtue of nothing more than a vague resemblance to James Earl Jones.

The voice of Darth Vader.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:34 AM
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87: and Thulsa Doom, high priest of the snake cult of Set, but do people remember that? No.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:43 AM
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85 came to mind while reading this great piece in the NY Times in the wake of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons getting the Nobel Prize. It recaps the ousting the organization's head before the run up to Iraq. Basically it comes down to, do you believe John Bolton or, you know, people?

But with the agency thrust into the spotlight with news of the Nobel Prize last week, Mr. Bustani agreed to discuss what he said was the real reason: the Bush administration's fear that chemical weapons inspections in Iraq would conflict with Washington's rationale for invading it. Several officials involved in the events, some speaking publicly about them for the first time, confirmed his account.
Mr. Bolton insists that Mr. Bustani was ousted for incompetence. In a telephone interview on Friday, he confirmed that he had confronted Mr. Bustani. "I told him if he left voluntarily we would give him a gracious and dignified exit," he said.
"Everybody knew there weren't any," he [Bustani] said. "An inspection would make it obvious there were no weapons to destroy. This would completely nullify the decision to invade." Mr. Bolton disputed that account. "He made that argument after we invaded," he said. Twice during the interview, Mr. Bolton said, "The kind of person who believes that argument is the kind who puts tin foil on his ears to ward off cosmic waves."
And for the role of Mr. Powell:
Mr. Lafer said Mr. Powell told him, " 'I have people in the administration who don't want Bustani to stay, and my role is to inform you of this.' "
Powell's trick was to always have someone around who was actual unalloyed evil for contrast.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:49 AM
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87: See, even there you had the Emperor for contrast.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:50 AM
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he hung out with far right people, as far left people will sometimes do.

In Texas.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 5:59 AM
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In fact there is no clear read on Oswald's actual politics. But I'm sure the assassination was a huge WTF moment in the Kremlin. "Hey, you remember that nutty little ex-Marine, comrade? Well get a load of this."

In Soviet Russia, presidential assassins come to you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 6:04 AM
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even there you had the Emperor for contrast.

True, Vader was kind of a moderate when you get down to it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 6:21 AM
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What makes you think Oswald had any thought through politics, rather than just seeing it as a playing field to act out his Herostratic fantasies?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 6:25 AM
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94: That is of course a very likely possibility. I did not mean to imply that he necessarily had any coherent political stance.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 6:46 AM
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With Vader, you know you're not wasting your vote.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 7:24 AM
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Throughout the whole Star Wars Trilogy, Darth Vader never kills a single human being (or indeed non-human being) except in self-defence, in defence of others against immediate lethal threat, or as an arguably justifiable response to near-criminal incompetence on his own side. That's more than you can say for most of the heroes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 7:35 AM
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95 to 93, obviously.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 7:36 AM
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In the prequels Anakin's a total dick, though.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 8:22 AM
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just seeing it as a playing field to act out his Herostratic fantasies?

I just love that word, that word "Herostratic."

A masterpiece of underground cinema by Don Levy (1968) and one of Helen Mirren's first appearances.

But speaking of the Temple of Artemis, I must get back to the "Eternal Maiden," Simoun, Saint-Exupery, moe, and Mizoguchi. Obswings is clamoring for me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 8:25 AM
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In line with the po-po-mo otaku database consciousness, I am thinking of doing the long essay consisting entirely of aphoristic quotes:like the glass door.

Start with this, from tvtropes:

Gibbs [quoting someone else]: "Her eyes just screamed, 'Help me!'"
Tony: I love that look on a woman.

-- NCIS


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 8:29 AM
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102

97: Did you miss the part where Vader blew up an entire goddamn planet?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 10:44 AM
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103

Physics bleg:

Help me flirt? I don't know how to respond cleverly to this:

||
I have have a quantum Tia theory. I've been trying to nonpurturbatively determine her wavefunction.

Now that I have some knowledge of her Boltzman distribution, I've decided to take a more direct approach, so I can observe her in her excited state.
||>


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 11:51 AM
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ENTANGLED STATE.

I can totally do something with that.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 11:58 AM
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105

Is your kitty in the box? Out of the box? With his observation, I bet you could get that figured out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 12:02 PM
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Reaching an excited state may require a lot of energy.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 12:02 PM
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Maybe with a little calculus, he could be tangent to your curves.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 12:03 PM
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108

Something about gentle or ungentle perturbation being preferred?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 12:04 PM
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I went with this for now: "if you really want to distinguish between classical and quantum Tia predictions, you may which to observe me in an entangled state."

But you can keep any suggestions coming in case this goes on.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 12:17 PM
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110

So I guess the right answer isn't "Run away, run away!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 12:19 PM
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102: I felt it as a great disturbance in the force, yes. It was as though a million voices suddenly cried out in terror...well, you know the rest.


Posted by: opinionated sir alec guinness | Link to this comment | 10-17-13 12:20 PM
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Did you miss the part where Vader blew up an entire goddamn planet?

Aha, but that wasn't him, though. The responsible officer in command was the Peter Cushing character (Tarkin). He's the one who made the decision and gave the order.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 2:03 AM
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Late night party at the Museum and things are going well:

Her: Oh, this looks interesting, what is it?
Me: (reads label) It seems to be a 19th century wax model of the face of a syphilis patient.
Her: ...oh.
Me: Don't say I never take you anywhere nice.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 2:05 AM
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if you really want to distinguish between classical and quantum Tia predictions, you may which to observe me in an entangled state

"... at which point I will collapse."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 2:06 AM
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I am reminded of Smearcase's line about "My relationship status is 'complex', by which I mean 'partly imaginary'".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 3:29 AM
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Aha, but that wasn't him, though. The responsible officer in command was the Peter Cushing character (Tarkin). He's the one who made the decision and gave the order.

Tell it to the judges in the Hague, Milošević.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 4:29 AM
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If anything, Tarkin outranks Vader. He can boss him around in public and tell him to stop choking people. Vader's out in the clear on the whole planet-destroying thing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:08 AM
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118

116: Vader was also not involved in carrying out that particular order. Is there war crimes liability when you neither gave nor obeyed the criminal order?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:14 AM
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In other words, should Roosevelt have been executed at Nuremberg for failing to authorize bombing or the train tracks to Auschwitz? Or is culpability only contagious with physical proximity?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:16 AM
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re: 118

Is there war crimes liability when you neither gave nor obeyed the criminal order?

Clearly yes. People get prosecuted all the time where the direct order was given by some underling or other, and carried out by a junior level underling's underling.

Anyway, Vader is black,* so of course he'd be found guilty.

* ahem.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:17 AM
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Is there war crimes liability when you neither gave nor obeyed the criminal order?

Yes.

On preview, pwned by 120, but with added value.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:21 AM
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120: Do you mean some one of their underlings? Because that would make sense - an assumption that the order was implied, or tacitly approved.

Vader had no well-defined position in the chain of command, so there was no order for him to refuse, and he had no authority to countermand the order. His authority on the Death Star appeared to be entirely extralegal, and it would not surprise me if there were no documentation of his having had any authority or place within the hierarchy whatsoever.

In the eyes of the law, he was most likely some random civilian who happened to be visiting when some messed-up shit went down.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:27 AM
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I think that may miss some vital part of the concept of "Sith Lord," but I'm not about to go look it up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:39 AM
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We can fully define the wavefunction if you put your particle in the box.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:51 AM
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DV had just popped into the nearby druggist -- which happened to be on the Death Star -- to pick up his asthma medication. He got lost and was sent to the wrong room to wait, hence his irritability.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:52 AM
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His authority on the Death Star appeared to be entirely extralegal, and it would not surprise me if there were no documentation of his having had any authority or place within the hierarchy whatsoever. In the eyes of the law, he was most likely some random civilian who happened to be visiting when some messed-up shit went down.

Not so dissimilar from the situation of Milošević vis-à-vis the Bosnian Serbs. Admittedly, the ruling in that case was not completely straightforward, but it can't be read as an exoneration.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:54 AM
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119: should Roosevelt have been executed at Nuremberg for failing to authorize bombing or the train tracks to Auschwitz?

Unexpected subthread merge*. John McCloy on the Warren Commission list in 71 was a key player in that decision.

*Unless you brought up that example specifically because of that connection, in which case I'm impressed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 5:57 AM
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"I'm just a patsy."

-- Lee Harvey Oswald Darth Vader


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:00 AM
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117: I didn't get the idea that Tarkin actually outranked Vader so much as he was the only person not terrified by Vader. Telling somebody not to kill somebody right there in a meeting hardly seems like it necessarily implies command. It's just reminding somebody of where they are and that they're all on the same team. And when Leia taunts him about holding Vader's leash, she's just insulting Vader by implying Tarkin is his boss.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:07 AM
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I want to know when he'll face charges for killing the emperor. Dude was just carrying out legally sanctioned enhanced interrogation techniques on a known terrorist and Vader gets all conscienced-up and kills his superior officer.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:08 AM
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127: McCloy also ordered an army general not to use artillery against the German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, thus preserving the tourist industry of Middle Franconia for posterity.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:10 AM
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130: no wonder those infinitely deep tunnels are called Fragomizers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:22 AM
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/Scifi geek

I believe the consensus among Star Wars fans is that Vader was the head of some sort of secret police outfit that answered directly to the Emperor, and so was outside of the normal military chain of command.

/Scifi geek


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:23 AM
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I didn't get the idea that Tarkin actually outranked Vader so much as he was the only person not terrified by Vader.

I dunno, in that "board meeting" scene it seems pretty clear that Tarkin's in the chair. Vader's more like the Emperor's liaison officer. He's definitely not in overall command: you don't bark "Release him, Lord Vader!" at your superior officer, and have him do what you say right away.

By the second film Vader's definitely got some sort of formal authority - he's in command of the fleet that's looking for the Rebels - but not in the first one, I'd say. He's not even in command in the final battle, remember. He slopes off and gets into his own fighter and starts dogfighting with Rebels.

I want to know when he'll face charges for killing the emperor.

SPOILER: never. He dies shortly thereafter.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:25 AM
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134: I agree that Vader isn't formally in charge of Tarkin. He's on Tarkin's ship and respecting Tarkin's authority there, but that's hardly the same as being outranked by Tarkin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:28 AM
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The fact that during the big battle Vader just wanders off and does his own thing is a pretty good indication that Tarkin can't order Vader to do anything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:32 AM
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131: Ah, did not know that. I have done very little touristing in Germany, butdid spend a day Rothenburg and environs. It was very nice. Thanks Obamacare John McCloy!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:32 AM
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Bullshit, he's hanging around as a Force ghost, no reason you can't indict his shimmery ass.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:37 AM
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The fact that during the big battle Vader just wanders off and does his own thing is a pretty good indication that Tarkin can't order Vader to do anything.

Or just that he didn't bother to do so. Or Vader asked for permission and got it. Or Tarkin thought that the best thing to do with one of the finest fighter pilots around was put him in a fighter rather than having him hanging around the ops room drinking tea and making a nuisance of himself.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:39 AM
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In Lego Star Wars, the shimmery-ass ghosts can fight and kill, so I don't see why you can't charge them with crimes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:39 AM
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Is it shimmery-ass ghost or shimmery ass-ghost? Because in the latter case you might get accused of homophobia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:41 AM
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139: If I recall the movie correctly, Vader gets a report and just goes off on his own.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:44 AM
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They cut the scene where he yelled "yo, G-Moff, cool if I bounce?" on his way out the door.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:46 AM
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It's probably a good thing G-Moff died. It couldn't be easy to explain to the Emperor why he brought the Death Star into the system in such a way that there was thirty minutes of orbiting a planet before he could hit his target.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:50 AM
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the shimmery-ass ghosts can fight and kill, so I don't see why you can't charge them with crimes

It had never occurred to me before that a huge problem with Ghostbusters is the total lack of due process for the ghosts.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:50 AM
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Outtake of Han at the end of episode IV re: Vader: "These assholes, they always get away."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 6:55 AM
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This happens a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Universal jurisdiction can cover the far, far away part, but do the Geneva Conventions apply retroactively to crimes committed centuries or millennia ago?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 7:00 AM
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If only they'd had the Code of Hammurabi!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 7:03 AM
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A planet for a planet makes the whole galaxy blown up.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 7:04 AM
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a huge problem with Ghostbusters is the total lack of due process for the ghosts.

The ghosts aren't human beings so they don't get due process.

144: the Emperor never wanted the Death Star in the first place. Having the Force is far better. (Vader says so; presumably the Emperor agrees with him.) But building the Death Star was a useful distraction for the stroppy and independent-minded Imperial Navy which otherwise might start plotting coups. And, once it's built, you can leak its plans to the Rebels, ensuring that Grand Moff Tarkinchevsky and all those other politically unreliable generals get blown up along with their white elephant battle station, just after your loyal henchman has conveniently left the building.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 7:11 AM
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the Emperor never wanted the Death Star in the first place. Having the Force is far better.

Blame the Military-Industrial Complex.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 7:16 AM
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150: "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet five minutes too late is insignificant next to the power of the Force."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 7:21 AM
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Death Star Keynesianism: you pay a man to dig a black hole and then fill it up again.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 7:21 AM
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It was shovel ready.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-18-13 7:23 AM
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Plus ça change.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 8:44 AM
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Then the bullet hit the link in 155, making it a dead link.


Posted by: Opinionated Warren Commission | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 8:56 AM
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Having the Force is far better.
The Emperor may believe this but all evidence suggests the most powerful force users are roughly equivalent to a platoon in close quarters combat, and they have a distinct lack of planet-destroying powers.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 9:10 AM
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Link fixed.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 12:10 PM
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A lot of 100+: Clerks redux.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 12:50 PM
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Thanks for the Perlstein link in 30, knecht.

Akin to the link in 155/158, an armed demonstration at the Alamo yesterday. The topmost picture is the first of a slideshow: the images are sobering. I saw this covered on some lefty news program, so good on them for drawing attention to it. Most notable is just how skeevy/frightening it is, viscerally, including among many members of the general public who happened to be visiting the Alamo at the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 12:54 PM
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Tyler Cowen feels that Texas is our future, and that's not a particularly bad thing. What is wrong with this Cowen fellow?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 1:53 PM
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Maybe it's just Yankee bias, but something tells me that locals got more worked up over Erykah Badu's Dealey Plaza naked video than they will over the protest in 158.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 1:58 PM
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In case you don't want to read that, the concluding paragraphs (these are paraphrasing Cowen's sentiments):

In some ways, Cowen says, the new settlements of a Texas-like America could come to resemble trailer parks. "The next Brooklyn may end up somewhere in the Dakotas," he writes. "Fargo, anyone?"
What it all adds up to is a future where many more Americans live in Texas -- and much of the rest of America looks more and more like the Lone Star State.
Among the policies Cowen proposes as we move into this future: cheaper education (to allow workers to upgrade their skills), looser building and zoning regulations (to radically reduce the price of housing across America), and a loosening of occupational licensing at the state and local level (to open up many more low-skill jobs).
Texas, he writes, is "America's America," where Americans go when they need a fresh start. And a little more Texas could go a long way.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 2:00 PM
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Tyler Cowan is an insane, assholish ideologue whose entire existence is devoted to putting a smiley face on libertarian bullshit. Who the fuck cares what he thinks?


Posted by: Rob the Masshole | Link to this comment | 10-20-13 2:37 PM
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