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Category Archives: Politically Incorrect
Posted: August 14, 2017 at 11:44 am
Political correctness is getting worse every year, and CNNs recent firing of pro-Trump analyst Jeffrey Lord is a prime example of that trend, comedian Bill Maher said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN.
Its getting worse. I dont know how long Im going to last. Really, I mean, its worse every year. The things that they go after people for now, Maher told Fareed Zakaria.
The HBO host was discussing the role that political correctness has played in paving the way for a Trump presidency.
What they love about him is hes politically incorrect, Maher said of Trumps supporters.
Even though they know that hes bad in a lot of ways, they would rather be on his team than those insufferable people on the left. Thats what they think.
Notably, the interview was taped before Saturdays white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Va. One woman was killed after a 20-year-old man who was affiliated with racist groups plowed his car into a group of counter-protesters.
In their interview, Zakaria asked Maher about what he said was a certain kind of Puritanism and censorship prevalent on the left.
Thats when Maher mused about how long he can last in show business given his anti-PC posture. Maher, a liberal who is heavily critical of Trump, has been criticized from the left and right over controversial comments hes made throughout his TV career.
Conservatives have accused him of sexism for making derogatory comments about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Hes been accused of Islamophobia for criticizing radical Islam. And earlier this year, he was skewered for using the N-word during one of his shows.
Maher pointed to CNNs decision on Thursday to fire Trump loyalist Jeffrey Lord over a tweet as an example of PC run amok.
Your colleague, I dont agree with him, Jeffrey Lord, CNN got rid of him because he said Sieg Heil on a tweet. It was a joke. This has got to stop, this idea of people have to go away if theyve offended me even for one moment. How about just move on, turn the page, go to the next thing in your life, said Maher.
Maher attributed the rise of political correctness to parenting.
This idea that you cannot suffer one moment of pain, this comes I think from bad parenting, said Maher, also asserting that there is an alarming number of millennials who really dont even believe in free speech.
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Posted: at 11:44 am
HomeStrategyTexas Hold’em Poker
Learn to identify & play against the “sticky bun,” the “roly poly,” the “chirper” & the “butterfly.”
Ashley Adams lists four new poker archetypes commonly found in low-stakes no-limit hold’em games.
I became a serious poker player in the early 1990s when limit stud and limit hold’em were the most popular games. In those days, there were three well known poker “archetypes” that survive to this day.
You are almost surely familiar with them the “rock,” the “maniac” and the “calling station.”
Each of those names captured an entire category of player one often faced at the tables. A “rock” was (and is) an extremely tight player. A “maniac” is an extremely loose and aggressive player. And a “calling station” is extremely loose and passive, often checking and calling and very seldom betting and raising.
By the early-to-mid 2000s the game had changed, with no-limit hold’em swiftly becoming the most popular game. Soon the game became more sophisticated, with different, creating a need for more nuanced categories to describe players.
“Tight-aggressive” (“TAG”) and “loose-aggressive” (“LAG”) joined the lexicon as phrases describing certain types of players. So did “nits” (a “rock” by another name), “LAGtards” (self-explanatory and more than a little politically incorrect), and “donkeys” (replacing the old school “pigeon” or “fish”).
Sure, there were other words thrown about to describe poker players, but as far as archetypes or primary categories were concerned, that just about covered it.
But the times they are a changing (again), meaning some new archetypes are needed. I’ve taken the time to identify a few that more closely resemble some of the more complex types of players we face today, especially at the lower limits of $1/$2 and $2/$5 no limit hold’em.
A “sticky bun” is a rock of sorts. But it’s a rock who has a very hard time folding to action after the flop.
Preflop he’s a nit, but postflop he’s the antithesis of weak-tight, c-betting with a very weak range and then calling action from his opponents with a similarly weak postflop range.
He’s the type of player you want to float with a broad range, expecting him both to continue the action after the flop, even if he hasn’t hit anything, and then to call your return fire if you hit a monster.
You want him at your table. Hey, who doesn’t like a sticky bun?
This player type is based on that suburban lawn insect that fascinates children. A “roly poly” is only about a centimeter or so long, has multiple legs, and typically is seen crawling slowly through strands of grass.
But as soon as one experiences any danger in the form of a stick or a finger coming its way, it rolls up into a tight sphere the size of a small ball bearing, remaining in that form until many minutes after the danger abates.
Similarly, a poker roly poly has one move preflop only. He may raise light, and it may be a fairly large raise. But come the flop, if he hasn’t hit it, he’ll roll up and go away in the face of any action.
You can float him from any position. If you’re out of position, a small donk bet on the flop will almost always scare him away unless he actually hit. If you’re in late position, bet when he checks and fold when he bets. He, too, will add to your bottom line.
Here is another, different example of a generally poor player, in this case one who one craves some action preflop. The “chirper” sees others raise preflop, so he does so, too, but but without any real purpose or meaning.
His move is a small raise, typically from any position, with a huge, weak range, just to spice the pot a little. It’s preflop noise, signifying nothing just the chirping of a little bird, and should be largely ignored.
Call, raise or fold as you would an unraised pot (with allowances for the slightly larger size of the pot). If you’re a fairly tight player, the chirper is a mild annoyance, meaninglessly inflating pots. You’ll do fine with him at the table as long as you can ignore his noise, and have a bankroll to absorb the slightly bigger game.
Finally, the “butterfly” is a solid player who likes to float the flop, hoping to chill action or take the pot away on the turn.
Against such players, you should be less inclined to c-bet with medium strength or weaker hands out of position, and more inclined to reraise on the turn and river if you read him for having made this habitual-for-him float move.
But be careful. Good floaters are often very good players. Though they float like a butterfly, they can come back and sting you like a bee.
Profiling players and being able to recognize which categories they fit into is an important part of winning poker. The clearer your picture of the habits of your opponents, the better able you will be to exploit them.
Without making too much of these new differentiated categories, I think you’ll find that they may help you recognize and then exploit some of the typical behavior patterns of poker players today.
They may also prompt you to think of other archetypes for the characters you see at the table. If you come up with any, I’d be interested in knowing what they are.
Ashley Adams has been playing poker for 50 years and writing about it since 2000. He is the author of hundreds of articles and two books, Winning 7-Card Stud (Kensington 2003) and Winning No-Limit Hold’em (Lighthouse 2012). He is also the host of poker radio show House of Cards. See http://www.houseofcardsradio.com for broadcast times, stations, and podcasts.
Photos: “Sticky buns…” (adapted), Amber DeGrace, CC BY 2.0; “Roll E Pole E” (adapted), Frank Boston, CC BY 2.0; “Chirp!” (adapted), hedera.baltica, CC BY-SA 2.0; “Butterfly” (adapted), Conal Gallagher, CC BY 2.0.
Have you ever wanted to write your own articles about poker? Maybe you’ve got some experiences or opinions about poker that you’d like to share. PokerNews is proud to launch The PN Blog where you can have a platform to make your voice heard. Learn more here.
The far right has learned to mobilise and radicalise. Charlottesville’s a wake-up call – The Guardian
Posted: at 11:44 am
The vehicle attack that left a civil rights activist dead and 19 others injured on Saturday was the product of continuous incitement to violence across extreme rightwing echo chambers. After police announced the disbanding of the far-right protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, the live stream chat room of the alt-right writer Baked Alaska was flooded with calls to kill Jews, black people and counter-protesters. And members of the anti-communist channel in the chat application Discord vowed to push back harder until the enemy is completely defeated.
Shortly after the incident one user of the message board 4Chan wrote of the killer: Whoever he is, he is a hero. I salute him. Others expressed regret that the car had not been bigger, reflecting a climate of denial, justification and belittlement around the vehicle attack mirrored in the White Houses muted response.
With thousands marching under the banner of You will not replace us, the event represented one of the largest gatherings of the US extreme right this century. Billed as a protest against the removal of the statue of the confederate general Robert E Lee, and in defence of freedom of speech, the rally attracted a broad church of groups from libertarians to white supremacists. Key figures from the alt-right, the far-right movement in the US, rubbed shoulders with militant constitutionalists, southern nationalists and neo-Nazis. Several branches of the Ku Klux Klan were in attendance, as well as delegations representing the white-supremacist Daily Stormer website and the notorious National Socialist Movement. The event was endorsed on the other side of the Atlantic by the Greek ultra-nationalists Golden Dawn and self-described German identitarians.
By hijacking topics such as the preservation of southern heritage, free speech, anti-left sentiments, and pro-white and anti-immigration attitudes, the organisers gained traction across this broad spectrum of extreme rightwing thinking. While the event was framed on /pol/ 4chans politically incorrect message board as a way to fight a totalitarian communist crackdown and defend the right of southerners, the Daily Stormer was rather more frank in promoting it as the starting point to end Jewish influence in America.
Who coined the term ‘alt-right’?
The white supremacist Richard Spencer devised the term in 2010. He has described the movement as “identity politics for white Americans and for Europeans around the world”.
What does it stand for?
The movement supports extreme rightwing ideologies, including white nationalism used interchangeably with white supremacism and antisemitism. It positions itself broadly against egalitarianism, democracy, universalism and multiculturalism.
Some “alt-right” supporters have argued that their hardline, extremist positions are not truly meant,but are a way to disrupt conventional and accepted thinking. Memes, irony and ambiguity are sometimes used in an attempt to wrongfoot critics.
How does the ‘alt-right’ relate to the Trump administration?
The Trump administration includes figures who are associated with the “alt-right”, including the former Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon, now the White House chief strategist. Many of Trump’s policy positions have won favour with the movement.
Thank you for your feedback.
This illustrates a dangerous convergence of ideology and goals from groups that have traditionally been fragmented and prone to internal conflict. Infighting is part of every movement but it doesnt have to be, the radical libertarian politician Augustus Invictus, who was announced as a speaker at the rally, posted on Facebook. A few days before the Charlottesville rally, an article explaining Why We Should UniteTheRight was circulated on Gab, the alt-rights Twitter equivalent. Were in the earliest stages of a mass movement wrote the alt-right blogger Hunter Wallace.
This coalition-building includes overtures to (relatively) less extreme groups, commonly labelled the alt-light. For example, several members of the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, the Proud Boys and reporters from media such as Infowars and Rebel Media expressed their sympathies with the marchers. Although spats still occur within the far-right ecosystems, this attempt to cross ideologies and borders to unite far-right factions represents a global trend: across Europe identitarian movements are strengthening ties, while groups such as Britain First and Scottish Dawn are collaborating with the Polish extreme right. By focusing on common ideological threads, and putting aside differences, the extreme right is actively trying to mobilise en masse.
Radicalising moderates is a key objective for groups at the heart of this movement. We want to hit the average. We want normal people, Andrew Anglin wrote in the Daily Stormer. Tactics vary, with several groups privileging the weaponisation of internet culture to reach the young. Some obsess over aesthetics in an apparent attempt to distance themselves from neo-Nazi insignia and imagery, to present a more approachable face to outsiders: the Ku Klux Klan urged members to dress casually, while for Anglin the priority is to be hip and sexy. The rally certainly acted as a powerful publicity boost, with the Discord server increasing its membership by a thousand in the week leading up to it.
Our analysis at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) suggests that attendance was motivated by a variety of grievances and ideological triggers. Examining Twitter traffic around the #UniteTheRight hashtag, we found that 31% of expressed grievances focused on race with keywords such as white genocide and anti-white and 27% on the left, with frequent denouncing of anti-fascists and communists. Then came frustration around freedom of speech (22%), southern heritage (13%) and the establishment (4%). However, all converged in the concern that the heritage, privilege and future of the white man is under threat. Let there be no doubt that this a white supremacist phenomenon.
The fact that the extreme right has been able to mobilise people from across its hitherto disparate ideological spectrum and galvanise thousands into promoting and attending should be a wake-up call. And this has happened as the Trump administration ends US government support for countering far-right extremism in order to focus exclusively on Islamist terrorism. All this should signal the need to take the danger posed by neo-Nazism and white supremacism cloaked in broadly political, non-violent rhetoric more seriously.
At ISD we will continue to closely follow the trends and trajectories of extreme rightwing groups and to push back against the normalisation of hateful ideologies. But this is incumbent upon all of us: we must all be vigilant and must all mobilise to prevent the polarisation that enables the rise of far-right extremism which spawns terrorist attacks of the sort we saw on Saturday.
Julie Ebner and Jacob Davey are researchers at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue; Ebners book The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism is published by IB Tauris next month
Go here to see the original:
The far right has learned to mobilise and radicalise. Charlottesville’s a wake-up call – The Guardian
Posted: August 13, 2017 at 1:44 am
The dialogue between Trump and Kim Jong-un has regressed to “my father can beat up your father.”
Alison Kelley, Newtown
Trump declined to declare an opioid emergency. Where is Rep. Fitzpatrick’s response to this setback for his primary legislative advocacy objective? Fitzpatrick’s silence speaks volumes.
Kierstyn Zolfo, Newtown
Recently Google fired James Damore for publishing his personal anti diversity views. Damores transgression was perpetrating gender stereotypes. Its amazing but not surprising how the left punishes speech it finds offensive or politically incorrect.
Rick Staedtler, Holland
After North Korea immediately crossed Trumps Fire and Fury red line, the administration immediately backed down from it. That shows them and the world Trump’s weak leadership.
Ron Aible, Trevose
Our golfer-in-chief is doing what he does best, vacationing at one of his resorts while disrupting the local communities and businesses around them, costing millions.
Dave Mulhaney, Bristol
Given that nukes are nuts, steps should be undertaken urgently to assure that nuclear weapons are never used again — by accident, miscalculation or design. Kim Jong-un and Trump are both playing with disaster and millions of lives .
Barry Lynn, Newtown
Senator McConnell suggests that Trump is not experienced in the ways of Washington and expects faster progress. Maybe walking through the swamp slows Congress down.
Chuck Ellis, Lower Makefield
Clinton and Obama and their administrations allowed North Korea and Iran to develop nukes. Why are Democrats so surprised and concerned that Trump may have to respond? Hypocrites!
Gary Clark, Washington Crossing
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The Vent for Aug. 13 – Bucks County Courier Times
Posted: at 1:44 am
Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg giving a speech.David Ramos Getty Images
Two fascinatingand inter-relatedChina tech stories surfaced Friday. The first involved Facebook which, according to a report by The New York Times , has tip-toed back into the China market using a photo-sharing app called “Colorful Balloons”. The second involves a news aggregation site, Jinri Toutiao , who’s name literally means “today’s headline.”
The Times reports that Facebook authorized the release of Colorful Balloons caise qiqiu () in Mandarinon the Chinese version of the iOS App Store in May. The app looks and functions like Facebook Moments , (hence the balloons) but carries no overt Facebook branding. The app was released through a local company named Youge Internet Technology, which has no apparent connection to Facebook.
Facebook seemed to obliquely acknowledge that it had authorized the app. We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country in different ways, the company said in a statement.
Trying to learn about China without Beijing’s blessing would be a bold move for Facebook, which was banned in China in July 2009 after the network was used to spread news of riots between ethnic Uighurs and Han Chinese in the western Chinese city of Urumqi. Since then, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has tried just about everything he could think of to curry favor with China’s communist rulers. He learned to speak Mandarin , invited China’s Internet czar to tour Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and made multiple forays to China himself. Facebook even went as far as designing a new censorship tool that would enable a third party to prevent Facebook users in China from posting and sharing content Beijing deemed politically incorrect.
It has all been to no avail. China shut down Instagram , which Facebook owns, in 2014, and last month put the squeeze on WhatsApp , Facebook’s popular messaging app.
The Times declared the release of Colorful Balloons “stealthy and anonymous,” “unprecedented,” and a mark of the “desperationand frustrationof global tech companies as they try to break into the world’s largest online market.” Hard to disagree with that.
Which brings us to Toutiao. The service was launched in 2012 by 34-year old former Microsoft employee Zhang Yiming and is operated by Zhang’s company, the delightfully named Beijing ByteDance Technology.
ByteDance may be China’s hottest startup. The venture has already raised more than $1 billion from Sequoia Capital and CCB International, the overseas investment arm of China Construction Bank. On Friday, Reuters, citing “people familiar with the matter,” reported that ByteDance is seeking an additional $2 billion in funding at the jaw-dropping valuation of over $20 billion. That would make ByteDance a ” decacorn ” and then someequal in valuation to Peter Theil’s Palantir. Reuters says U.S.-based private equity firm General Atlantic is among potential new investors.
This essay was originally published in our CEO Daily Newsletter. Subscribe .
Why would savvy investors like Sequoia and General Atlantic be so keen to throw money at a news aggregator in country where news is so heavily censored by government? Well, one reason is that the country in question is China, which has 700 million Internet users and is still growing like mad. But there’s another that’s probably more important: China’s Draconian censorship policy makes it one of the only major markets in the world where startup news aggregators don’t have to worry about getting steamrolled by Facebook, which has become a primary news source for users in less restricted markets. In China, Toutiao has no natural predators.
There are no staff writers or editors at Toutiao. The service generates no content of its own. Instead, it uses artificial intelligence to create personalized news feeds of short articles and videos from content generated by its network of 4,000 outside media companies including state-owned entities like Xinhua and private outlets like Caixin . The app analyzes what media its users consume and tracks their interactions on social media.
Analysts say Toutiao’s content recommendation technology is scary goodpossibly the most sophisticated in the worldand has many potential applications in markets beyond China. In February, ByteDance bought Flipagram, a Los Angeles-based video startup. The company also owns TopBuzz, and English-language news app TopBuzz, has a stake in an Indian news aggregator and is reported to be considering expanding into Brazil and Japan.
In its home market, Toutiao has become the most popular news offering on China’s App Store and claims more than 80 million daily active users who spend an average of 76 minutes reading news and watching videos through the app. Revenue comes mostly from online advertising, and totaled nearly $870 million last year, a fivefold increase over the previous year.
As Reuters notes, Toutiao, along with online services firm Meituan-Dianping and ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing, are collectively known as “TMD.” The three ventures are generally held to be the next wave of Chinese Internet wonders following the “BAT,” the country’s three tech giants, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.
Tencent and Baidu operate Toutiao’s two biggest competitors. If China’s homegrown tech giants try to muscle in, they would pose formidable rivals. For now, though, Toutiao has little to fear from Facebook and its colorful trial balloons.
Read more from the original source:
China’s newest ‘decacorn’ doesn’t fear Facebook’s trial balloons – Fortune
Posted: August 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm
New York Times
It's 1984 at Google
Google's firing of software engineer James Damore for daring to express politically incorrect ideas in an internal memo is the latest example of the political left's tyrannical propensity to suppress speech, thought and dissent. Almost as troubling as …
A memo to Google firing employees with conservative views is anti-diversity
An Inauspicious Day For Google
Google 'punished me' for repeating what science says about male/female difference: fired engineer
Read this article:
It’s 1984 at Google – CNSNews.com
Posted: August 10, 2017 at 5:44 am
James Damore, the now-fired Google engineer who wrote a viral memo stating that women are biologically unsuited for engineering and other tech industry jobs, is at the center of a polarized internet debate about whether such arguments, however controversial, should be entertained in the context of free speech.
Damore has confirmed to multiple news outlets that Google dismissed him for perpetuating gender stereotypes. His memo, which argues that women are innately incapable, unwilling, or unfit to perform a wide range of engineering and tech industry jobs, has left many people angry and appalled. But its also garnered plenty of support among those who agree with his arguments and those who sympathize with his claim that Google has fostered an ideological echo chamber. Such supporters feel hes fallen victim to what many on the right perceive as the progressive social justice movements politically correct groupthink.
Even before he was fired, Damore was hailed as a hero by many right-wing news outlets, some of whom accused progressives of [stringing] him up. And members of the alt-right have praised him as a brave soul speaking truth about fundamental differences between genders they believe are ignored by a rigidly suppressive leftist culture. But hes also found support among people from a broader range of political range of political backgrounds over issues such as free speech and censorship. His termination has even become a rallying point for conservatives and libertarians some of whom believe the media played a role in demonizing him to the public.
Support for Damores viewpoints has proved wide-ranging. Bloomberg columnist Elaine Ou argued that the backlash against him reflects a progressive authoritarian hivemind. Before news of Damores firing broke, a First Amendment lawyer named Marc Randazza argued at CNN that while Damores First Amendment rights hadnt been violated, a lynch mob mentality had kicked in to punish Damore for his beliefs that women lack the inherent ability to do the same kinds of jobs in the same kinds of environments as men.
On Reddit, a massive, 10,000-comment thread revealed a hefty amount of outrage directed at Google for firing Damore because he spoke freely about his views, as well as considerable support for those views.
This is not the poor white male speech, wrote one user in support of Damore. This is the the workplace might suffer because we’re judging people on the color of their skin, religious beliefs, sex, etc and we’re hiring them over qualified people for the sake of diversity speech. (This argument, however, has been routinely challenged by reports and studies indicating that a diverse workforce is beneficial for a companys growth and decision-making.)
Among the most upvoted arguments on the thread is one that accuses Gizmodo, which was the first news outlet to publish Damores memo in full, of omitting its hyperlinks and two charts to deliberately make Damores argument look weak and unsourced.
A full version of the memo with hyperlinks many of which cite research that has been questioned or discredited by the scientific community has since been widely circulated.
A core tenet of arguments made by both conservatives and the alt-right against progressive politics is that the mainstream media and politically correct liberals routinely misrepresent or try to suppress more conservative beliefs at the expense of free speech. This criticism frequently applies to outwardly progressive work environments like that of Google, a tech industry giant that publicly touts its goals regarding diversity and gender equality in its workforce (even as it continues to flounder in achieving those goals).
Thus, many conservatives and members of the alt-right view Damores choice to publish his memo to Googles internal employee forum, in what they view as a suppressive community, as a solo act of bravery and defiance an assertion of his right to freely speak out against progressive groupthink.
And his declaration that Google has created an ideological echo chamber which quiets any kind of dissent is, to them, a bold moment of truth-telling that was ultimately validated; to his supporters, Google proved Damores argument by firing him.
This belief has resulted in a number of showy ideological stands. Even before his dismissal became public Monday night, the social media platform Gab, which touts itself as free speech-friendly and has become a digital haven for racist, sexist rhetoric, was offering him a job.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has also publicly offered Damore employment:
His supporters have been vocal in judging Google for its quick move to fire Damore:
In an email to Google employees on Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made it clear that despite the companys commitment to fostering an environment where employees can speak their minds on Googles ambitions and policies, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.
In other words, from Googles point of view, firing Damore was not motivated by the fact that he had criticized the company, but by the hostile work environment his memo encouraged.
Even so, his dismissal has sparked widespread debate over Damores actions, beliefs, and what rights he had to express his beliefs in the workplace. And while Silicon Valley leaders have been quick to openly condemn Damores arguments, the public debate theyve generated shows no sign of waning nor does support for the man who many feel has spoken uncomfortable truth to power.
Read more from the original source:
Google’s fired politically incorrect engineer has sparked a broad ideological debate – Vox
Posted: at 5:44 am
The grand jury is the prosecutors best friend: If he wants to get rid of a weak, unpopular or politically incorrect situation, he does a slow roll to the grand jury and then says, Well, the grand jury refused to indict, and shrugs his shoulders. The case and whatever controversies are associated with it simply goes away and the prosecutor washes his hands of it.
On the other hand, if he really wants to indict someone, he urges the grand jury to do it and most always it happens. This is why its often said (by both prosecutors and defense counsel) that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor wanted them to this according to the infamous quote from New York Judge Sol Wachtler, who, ironically perhaps, was later himself indicted.
Conclusion: If, for whatever reason, Robert Mueller really wants indictments in the Russian interference investigations, he will get them. Likewise, if he doesnt want them, they wont happen. In short, and most of the time, the grand jury does exactly what the prosecutor wants it to do. Do politics and personal ambitions ever play a role in very high visibility criminal cases? What do you think?
As a footnote to this point, its probably not helpful especially if youre one of President Trumps lawyers that your client also fired the FBI director, even if the director should have been fired for the reasons spelled out in the deputy attorney generals memo. Specifically, that FBI Director James Comey made prosecutorial decisions with regard to the Hillary Clinton investigations involving the mishandling of classified information and as such violated basic Department of Justice protocols.
The next big deal: Recall that Mr. Comey wrote a bunch of memos that he later gave to a private party outside the Justice Department with the intention that the memos be leaked to The New York Times. Its also reported that Mr. Comey related his conversations with the president to his senior people at the FBI and that they also wrote memos. At some stage of this process, the memos themselves will become an evidentiary issue: Because Mr. Mueller, in order to establish that the president interfered with, or obstructed Mr. Comeys investigation, must show that the memos themselves are credible evidence.
Now, how does Mr. Mueller do that?
Easy, and the very process for it explains the reasons for the memos in the first place. And, while this might not be a problem for Mr. Mueller and the grand jury because many kinds of facts and testimony can be used to indict someone it could be an issue in an actual trial.
You see, to actually use these memos at a trial as evidence to prove the facts stated in them, the memos would probably have to be admitted into evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule, called past recollection recorded.
Now we get to the why Mr. Comey and his crew really wrote lots of memos: Because they intended to get them into evidence to prove the facts they put in them, so the more memos the better. Not only that the memo-writing process itself becomes a key part of how the case is put together.
In other words, how Mr. Comey describes his conversations with the president becomes critical, and if the memos are admitted into evidence the government can essentially prove its case with the evidence it created. The memos were written by government lawyers, some of them prosecutors like Mr. Comey, who know what the elements of the offense of obstruction of justice are. So we should assume that the memos will describe a prima facie case of it.
Finally, this is both a very high-visibility and a very political case. As a result, there will be thousands of hours of investigation and witness interviews. Typically, in such a complex case, a witness in the small fish category will be discovered to be in violation of some technical or minor offense perhaps lying to an investigator, tax evasion or some other technical or regulatory infraction. This often creates the leverage the prosecutor needs to make a deal with the witness in exchange for incriminating testimony against the main targets of the investigation. These kinds of deals are made all the time and we can expect to find out about them as the case proceeds.
Considering all the above, can Mr. Trump, his family and associates get a fair shake in this town? Frankly, it doesnt look like it and this perception gets worse with every news cycle. This because the establishment media simply does not like the president, et al., and never will. Nor do several senior past and present high-level bureaucrats and also some very prominent members of Congress.
Why? Its simple really: President Trump has knocked them off their power and influence perches, and they dont like it.
Daniel Gallington served in senior positions in the Department of Justice, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as general counsel for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
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Russia probe may see indictments by Mueller – Washington Times
Posted: August 9, 2017 at 4:44 am
After a memo proclaiming women are underrepresented in tech because of biological differences between the sexes and not because of discrimination went viral , a Google employee is now out of a job in what’s become one of the most public firings of the year. As with anything provocative (and tech-related), social media is aflame with differing opinions on whether or not circulating a memo disparaging the core values of your company is a fireable offense.
So is it?
Those who don’t support firing the engineer who wrote the memo say that dissenting opinions are good for businesses, and that no one should be fired for exercising their right to free speech. Unfortunately, you don’t actually have any free speech rights in the workplace. The First Amendment limits the government’s ability to suppress free speech, not an employer’s. If you’re an at-will employee, which most Americans are (unless you’re in a union), your boss can fire you for pretty much any reason. (The only people exempted from this are those employed by the government .) The Constitution does not guarantee you employment.
As Bloomberg Businessweek notes, federal statutes “limit companies rights to fire or hire workers and prevent them from joining unions … based only on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age, and a few other protected categories.” Beyond that, though, employees can be fired for pretty much any reason. (A few states have limited protections for political speech, per the American Bar Association .)
In a letter to employees , Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the engineer was fired not for simply expressing unpopular opinions, but for perpetuating “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace” and violating the company’s Code of Conduct, adding,
The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender. Our co-workers shouldnt have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being agreeable rather than assertive, showing a lower stress tolerance, or being neurotic.
Creating a hostile work environment, as people are suggesting Damore did, is certainly grounds for termination. It also comes at a time when Silicon Valley is facing repeated criticism for gender discrimination (Uber anyone? ) and for Google, this has become a PR and HR nightmare. His actions likely caused lost productivity company-wide, and as Pichai noted, are having tremendously negative impacts on his co-workers, including reportedly causing some to consider leaving the company.
The big issue with this case is that the memo was not circulated among a small group of people or posted privately. No one exposed the man’s beliefs against his will. He purposefully sent them out to the entire company, on a work platform, and directly questioned the judgement of his managers and the leaders of the company, in addition to informing his female coworkers that he viewed them as biologically incapable of doing their job well. Whether or not companies and bosses should fire employees because of these types of actions and politically incorrect rhetoric is a different question entirely . The laws are clear, and it’s not just Google where that type of behavior wouldn’t be tolerated.
Posted: at 4:44 am
From the left: Dems 2020 Purity Olympics Under Way
Democrats have already begun testing attacks on one of their own possible presidential contenders, California Sen. Kamala Harris, suggesting shes a corporate stooge, reports Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast. Its meant to send a message that if Democrats are even thinking about nominating Harris, the dis-unity commission will get to work sabotaging her. But such attacks have the feel of a group of people, most or all of them Bernie Sanders supporters, itching to refight 2016 and demand a level of purity that lo and behold only one candidate can possibly attain. Yet demanding a precise stance from candidates because one candidate takes that position and therefore its the only right and true position is absurd.
Conservative take: In Defense of Trumps Generals
David French at National Review takes issue with those worried by President Trumps reliance on an unusual number of generals in top positions. In this administration, he says, its good that John Kelly, James Mattis and H. R. McMaster are together working at the apex of American civilian government. Given the nature of this president, the small chance of long-term harm is more than outweighed by the benefits of their steady hands on Americas most vital (and dangerous) instruments of government. True, not all generals are worthy of this degree of public trust take Michael Flynn. But these three have spent a lifetime establishing not just a record of physical courage under fire but also of moral courage under political pressure. Apologies to A Few Good Men, but we want them on that wall.
Culture critic: Lena Dunhams Self-Enforcing Police State
Lena Dunham was walking through an airport and overheard two American Airlines employees private conversation about transgender children. So, as Robert Tracinski says at The Federalist, she ratted them out to their employer on Twitter. What makes this really creepy and totalitarian is that she enthusiastically provided detailed information about exactly where the conversation took place in order to help the airline locate, identify and punish these specific employees for holding politically incorrect views. Dunham was acting like an informant working for a totalitarian police state but boastfully, in public, on social media. Yet it never occurred to her to talk to them directly, to attempt to persuade them or to listen to their point of view and engage with it. Because why wait for persuasion when you can use fear?
Ex-prosecutor: Mueller Probe Is Going Too Far
President Trump is absolutely correct when he suggests special counsel Robert Mueller is violating his mandate, says former US Attorney Matthew Whitaker at CNN: Mueller has come up to a red line in the election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing by probing unrelated financial transactions. This is completely outside of the realm of possible election meddling, and Mueller wasnt given broad, far-reaching powers. He is only authorized to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and coordination between two entities the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Indeed, if the special counsel could investigate anything he wants, why would there even need to be a letter spelling out the specific limits of the investigation?
Security desk: Hold UNICEF Responsible for Iraq Lies
The British Journal of Global Health, reports Michael Rubin at Commentary, has determined that the claim that US-led sanctions on Iraq killed 500,000 children was a fiction dreamed up by Saddam Husseins government to fuel propaganda against the West. Yet some still cite the figure and believe its accurate. And UNICEF then headed by former New York City Council President Carol Bellamy parroted the claim. She bears ultimate responsibility for accepting Saddams statistics blindly despite Iraqs refusal to allow independent surveying. Indeed, she worked overtime to publicize it and dismissed out of hand any questions about methodology. So its time to make funding for UNICEF contingent on an investigation into how it got Iraq so wrong.
Compiled by Eric Fettmann
See the original post here:
Lena Dunham’s thought police, Mueller’s gone too far & other comments – New York Post