Author Archive | J.F. Quackenbush

Sister Wives Will Get Their Day In Court, Maybe

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Welcome to the slippery slope, or so you might think. The Salt Lake City Tribune reports that polygamous TLC reality show performers Kody, Robyn, Christine, Meri, and Janelle Brown have successfully beat back Utah’s attempt to have their suit over the state’s anti-bigamy law tossed as non-justiciable:

Utah state attorneys argued the “Sister Wives” suit should be dismissed after a prosecutor pledged not to prosecute them for bigamy, but U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups disagreed. In his Friday ruling, Waddoups wrote that a new Utah County Attorney’s Office policy to avoid prosecuting consenting adult polygamists in the future seems to have been ploy to avoid the suit.

The “strategic attempt to use the mootness doctrine to evade review in this case draws into question the sincerity of [the Utah County Attorney’s]contention that prosecution of plaintiffs for violating this statute is unlikely to recur,” Waddoups wrote.

That means Judge Waddoups believes this case isn’t already moot.… Read the rest

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US Drug Czar Woefully Out of Touch With Reality

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At the end of July, US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske announced that in the potemkin villages he visits, it looks like the War on Drugs is working. As the Tico Times Reports:

[Kerlikowske] The drug czar, who has more than 37 years of law enforcement under his belt – including stints as police chief in Seattle (Washington), Buffalo (New York) and various cities in Florida – said “the security threat Colombia and the United States faced in 1999 is gone, and it has been accomplished without offsetting those results elsewhere. These lessons provide a model for dealing with challenges throughout the world, particularly in Central America.”

The knowledge that the threat from cartel violence is over in Bogota and that the FARC is severely weakened in the jungles of Peru and Bolivia must be great comfort to the dozens murdered in the two weeks since he made that statement.… Read the rest

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New Studies Identify Sub-species of the Bourgeoisie

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Anti-capitalist agitprop has always lagged behind in producing the raw empirical support for the range of macro-economic theories deployed to oppose mainstream capitalist economics. As such, it often exhibits some of the same weaknesses inherent in freshwater capitalist macroeconomics. This may be because of the idealism and preferred style of argument inherited by the 19th Century First International cohort from their cultural surroundings. However, this traditional weakness is starting to be broken down. Some of the empirical work on the sociology of class, capital and power is now starting to emerge in popular form from the niche, highly specialized academic and policy journals that previously were the only places this sort of data was ever published.

As an example, one new research program has set out to assign names and faces to the abstract notion of the transnational capitalist class. Project Censored reports:

[W]e ask: Who are the the world’s 1 percent power elite?

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Just Like in Scarface, Now With 100% More Murderous Catholic Death Cultists and Automatic Weapons For Kids Under 12

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As the Mexican Drug War rages on, one of the more bizarre developments is the apparent elevation to folk sainthood of Nozario Moreno. Moreno, leader of now defunct Michoacán cartel La Familia, was gunned down by Mexican Federales in the winter of 2010 after a meteoric ascension to El Narco infamy that was equal parts Tony Montana, Padre Pio, and Jason Voorhees. Little noticed as yet north of the border, the Caballeros Templarios, or Knights Templar, remain a small player in the ongoing drug war compared to the larger cartels. But they do seem to read a fair amount of their own press, even going so far as to call for a truce during Pope Benedict’s visit in the Spring of 2012, and an offer to President Calderón’s government to give up on narcotrafficking if Calderón would commit to taking better care of the Caballeros’s home state of Michoacán.… Read the rest

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No, Actually Ecuador Doesn’t Support Press Freedom

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Now that Ecuador has granted Julian Assange political asylum, maybe that means he won’t be extradited to Sweden. So, unfortunately, we may never know the truth of whether he transgressed the bounds of consent by failing to use or intentionally removing condoms during otherwise consensual sex. Some Wikileaks boosters have already started treating Ecuador like an international paragon of justice and liberty as a result.

Of course, the various journalists who have been silenced by the Correa administration’s various actions to quash internal dissent might take issue with the theory that Ecuador is a safe haven for the free press.

As SF Gate reported in February 2012, just 6 months before giving Assange political asylum:

Columnist Emilio Palacio had the temerity to question actions by President Rafael Correa. In democracies, this is recognized as a duty of the press: to examine the moves of those in power.

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