Reason Morning Links: Missiles, Conspiracy, Death, and Taxes

• Iran tests three short-range missiles as the U.S. pushes for sanctions.

• The G20 summit ends with world leaders promising new regulations and civil libertarians accusing police of overreacting to demonstrations.

Another shot is fired in what may soon be a full-blown Chinese-American trade war.

• Israelis and Palestinians clash at a sacred site.

• Bill Clinton claims a vast right-wing conspiracy is targeting President Obama.

• William Safire dies at age 79.

• Lawmakers mull an insurance tax and a value-added tax.

• Michigan faces a possible government shutdown.

• Hollywood wins the fight over which federal department will host Obama's IP czar.

• Roman Polanski is arrested on a 1977 rape rap.

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  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Conspiracies can only be vast if they target a lot of people. I'm not sure how "vast" a conspiracy to target one person could be. After all, if it gets too "vast" it is, by definition, no longer a conspiracy.

    But I think Clinton knows that.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Bill Clinton would say it targeted him too.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Roman Polanski is arrested on a 1977 rape rap.

    [Insert obligatory R. Kelly reference]

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Bill Clinton would say it targeted him too.

    My bad, it targets whatever Democrat is in office. I wonder if Clinton would say the conspiracy began when he was in office?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    What I mean to imply is, I wonder what kind of continuity the conspiracy has. Do the conspirators disband when a (R) is in the Oval Office?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I guess you get more sympathy saying you're the target of the conspiracy than the target of opportunistic partisans and hydrocephalic bureaucrats.

  • Anonymous||

    Bill Clinton claims a vast right-wing conspiracy is targeting President Obama.

    JurnoList told him so.

  • Jeffrey Toobin||

    For the youngsters out there, Hillary Clinton did say in the '90s that her husband was the target of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

  • Long time reader||

    Ooo, this edition of morning links is full of potential conflict. I dig it.

  • MNG||

    "Hillary Clinton did say in the '90s that her husband was the target of a vast right-wing conspiracy."

    Depending on what is meant there, she was right. Right wing groups were engaged in a well funded and often well coordinated effort to discredit the Clintons.

    But you know, that kind of thing is true for every President since whenever. I mean, John Adams was the target of a vast Republican conspiracy too.

  • Tomcat1066||

    The term "vast right wing conspiracy" is just scare rhetoric. It could easily be argued that Bush was the target of a vast left wing conspiracy.

    Using the term "conspiracy" makes it sound so much more ominious than it really is.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I sent this is in to three Reason writers, but they either didn't like it, or they think I'm a dick, or both: Hugo Chavez fines TV stations that show Family Guy - due to the 'pro-legalization' episode.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    BakedPenguin,

    That's brilliant. I loved that link.

    Tomcat, MNG,

    I think you said what I was trying to say, only more eloquently (and without the hidden Quizboy reference).

  • MNG||

    "It could easily be argued that Bush was the target of a vast left wing conspiracy."

    Moveon.com?

  • ||

    Safire dying is racist.

  • MNG||

    You know Aaron Burr and Jefferson's guys really coordinated their effort to get Adams out of office. They also had very partisan media outlets that would put out the party line every day (newspapers and pamphlets). It was really a vast Republican conspiracy.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    What can be said about a well-publicized (ongoing) conspiracy that isn't confusing?

  • MNG||

    "Safire dying is racist."

    Funny, I always though Safire living was racist.

  • ||

    I did enjoy this caption from the Sino-US trade war story:

    "This photo taken Sept. 20, 2009 shows Parmesan-crusted Chicken Fingers. Keeping the oil low by "oven-frying" and including a tasty, low calorie dipping sauce will make everyone happy at the dinner table."

  • MNG||

    Art
    She should have said "Hey vast right-wing conspiracy, do you like nuts? Well then DO DESE!"

    Nothing confusing there.

  • MNG||

    I can't believe Polanski fell for that after decades of eluding the authorities.

    And France doesn't have an extradition agreement with the US?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    But what is the difference between a campaign and a conspiracy without the latter using fraud, subterfuge or deception?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    And France doesn't have an extradition agreement with the US?

    I guess negotiations broke down after France's refusal to extradite some of their famous superburglars.

  • MNG||

    Well, the folks Hillary was talking about certainly didn't mind using deception, so there's that. Again, so did the Jeffersonians back in 1800 (and the other side too btw). In fact I thought the point HRC was making at the time was essentially "there are people out there with less than honest motives/tactics trying very hard to discredit my husband." I think that charge is a. true and b. unremarkable

  • MNG||

    The old "hey wanted person, you've won x, to collect x please leave your current safe location and come to unsafe location y to collect" is the oldest copper trick in the book, I can't believe Roman fell for it!

  • ||

    The old "hey wanted person, you've won x, to collect x please leave your current safe location and come to unsafe location y to collect" is the oldest copper trick in the book, I can't believe Roman fell for it!

    And it wasn't even anything cool, like a boat. ;-)

    I think that France has an extradition treaty with the US, but not for French citizens. Even if they are fugitives from US law who have already pleaded guilty ...

  • ||

    Polanski had visited Switzerland multiple times in the past. The LA DA finally found someone that would arrest him on California's behalf.

  • ||

    Wikipedia's Gender Gap

    Sometimes I get my feelings hurt on the internet.

  • Warty||

    [7+] Author Profile Page JamesXL replied to ninjasareawesome :

    It's not that hard to take a CS course as an elective.

    I took a 3 credit hour elective CS course and walked out proficient in VBA and SQL.


    No you didn't.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I think that charge is a. true and b. unremarkable

    Well said. OK, you got it. The normal connotation for "conspiracy" is something somehow 'unnoticed' by most that would be astounding if discovered. Political opportunism from a president's opponents isn't exactly earthshaking unless unprecedented in scope or dishonesty.

    The Gulf of Tonkin Incident is a notable conspiracy, Clinton's enemies trying to politically destroy him is not.

  • ||

    Affirmative Action for Wikipedia! And let's not forget the unique challenges faced by women of color (on Wikipedia!).

    Anglo-Saxon feminism, so very, very much to answer for.

    In the Time article, it seemed that affirmative action was the unspoken answer to the gender gap. I, for one, don't think affirmative action is perfect. But where woman are concerned, it has had significantly positive outcomes in various sectors. And the wheel doesn't have to be reinvented. The Wikipedia rep in this article came off as unapologetic and without a concrete plan for diversifying, even in the face of stunted growth.

    But let's be clear: along with the gender gap being a significant issue, it can't be overemphasized that contributing to Wikipedia is also an issue of access, and I'm not only talking about a computer and an Internet connection. The Wiki legalese that can be a decisive barrier to getting a post up. Even with my policy background, to call the dispute resolution page overwhelming is an understatement. When I think of the demands of graduate school, plus the unique challenges that I face as a woman of color, becoming fluent in Wiki-speak so that I can post something up at Wikipedia is low on the priority list.


    Man it is so hard to edit something on wikipedia!

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Those ever so sensitive Palestinians . . .


    According to legislator Hathem Abdel Kader and other Palestinian sources, the clash erupted in the early morning when Palestinians inside the complex -- sacred to both Islam and Judaism -- saw a group of 15 religious Jews trying to enter.

    The Jews never managed to get into the complex, because several hundred Palestinians, who were on alert for such a possibility, began a loud protest. Israeli police responded with tear gas then stun grenades.



    So, the Palestinians threw a tantrum because fifteen Jews, who have every bit as much right to be there as they do, tried to come in and worship. They were disruptive enough to get teargas. And it is supposed to be all the fault of the Jews and the IDF. Riiight . . .

  • Tomcat1066||

    Wikipedia is tricky...





    ...if you're an idiot.

  • MNG||

    "Those ever so sensitive Palestinians"

    Defeated and occupied people tend to be oversensitive to their iconography. Have you ever visted the American South?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Have you ever visted the American South?

    Happens to be where I 'growed up' and I live in Virginia now, right next door to 'The South.' No idea what relevance this has, unless it is some fictional movie or novel bullshit stereotype of 'The South.'

  • MNG||

    I grew up in Richmond VA and those people were a bit funny about any disrespect to Confederate iconography.

    And within 40 years of their defeat and occupation I would have dared you to disrespect Confederate iconography in the South. You'd probably get your ass strung up.

  • MNG||

    Northerners always wondered "why are these people so sensitive to Confederate iconography, we don't care about Union stuff so much."

    But the side that gets defeated and occupied always harbors much more "sensitivity" to things than the winners. This is also true, say, of Ireland (read Joyce)

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    But the side that gets defeated and occupied always harbors much more "sensitivity" to things than the winners. This is also true, say, of Ireland (read Joyce)

    I agree with you, but these are large reasons why Kleenex and emo are profitable.

  • Rich||

    The czar's position is charged with ... training other countries about IP enforcement.

    No wonder we "need" a VAT.

  • Kevin||

    If by "vast right-wing conspiracy" he means 40-50% of voters, he is correct. It does exist.

  • ||

    China on Sunday started investigating complaints that American chicken products are being dumped in China and are unfairly benefiting from subsidies, adding to a string of trade disputes with Washington.

    This isn't Obama's fault. This is a completely unforseeable consequence from fellating the United Steelworkers protecting American jobs from unfair competition.

    What we need to do know is raise the tariff on Chinese made textiles to teach 'em a lesson.

  • ||

    Israelis and Palestinians clash at a sacred site.

    Fuck sacred sites, holy cities and hallowed ground. An omniscient and omnipresent God wouldn't give a crap where her believers pray at.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I grew up in Richmond VA and those people were a bit funny about any disrespect to Confederate iconography.

    I moved from the suburbs of a large northern city to the suburbs of a much smaller southern city in the 1970's. The Confederate Battle Flag (I think it is the Naval one, rectangular) seemed to be higher up north than in Tennessee. So was attacking people based on skin color for moving into the "wrong" neighborhood.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    An omniscient and omnipresent God wouldn't give a crap where her believers pray at.

    Too bad those Palestinians don't have one of those or they wouldn't care where the Jews prayed either.

  • ||

    Bill Clinton claims a vast right-wing conspiracy is targeting President Obama.



    Demonizing and questioning the motives of your opponents is very effective.

    And unconscionable.

    And expected from the Us vs. Them rhetoric that passes for debate in the world of sports bar politics.

  • WWJGD||

    Here we go. Enjoy all the comments

    http://gizmodo.com/5369190/lrad-sound-cannon-used-on-pittsburgh-g20-protesters#comments

  • ||

    John, I moved from Richmond to Boston and back again in the '80s. There's no question in my mind that race relations were much worse in Boston.

  • ||

    I sent this is in to three Reason writers, but they either didn't like it, or they think I'm a dick, or both: Hugo Chavez fines TV stations that show Family Guy - due to the 'pro-legalization' episode.

    I'm betting on the latter my Spheniscidaen, friend.

  • ||

    Wikipedia is hard!

  • ||

    For those who don't go to WWJGD's link...

    But this is something out of sci-fi. I mean, literally. Didn't they use a couple of these against the bloody friggin' Hulk? Maybe that's why I see it this way, but dang, this just seems... I dunno, overkill, maybe?

  • Anonymous||

    but dang, this just seems... I dunno, overkill, maybe?

    The protestor went on to say, "whoa."

  • ||

    Only this time "Vast Right-wing Conspiracy"="Racist"

    Let me see. We have a young, aggressive politician who was churned out of the vaunted "Chicago Machine"; possessing an avowed left-of-center, dare I say Radical bent; who sees such freedom-lovers as Saul Alinsky and FDR as his template, elected by a bare plurality.

    Mistaking his win as a mandate for McHopey Change, he and his fellow travelers immediately quadruple down on the last and worst mistake of a miserably failed predecessor(The Great Bailout/TARP).

    In the process, he then effectively nationalizes the financial system and the auto industry, and institutionalizes national debt that our great-great-grandchildren will have to contend with.

    He surrounds himself with "Czars"/advisors with a history of agitating for new-left radicalism. While promising an unprecedented transparacy and accountability, his "team" promptly initiates classic back-room deals with big-pharma, big-insurance, the AMA, et al.

    He makes a naked power grab for the holy grail of leftist politics, the health-care industry.

    His minions have 8 year old children creepily singing the praises of the Obamessiah, reminding the historically non-retarded of Hitler, Joe Stalin, and Kim Jong Il.

    Such pristine organizations as ACORN and the SEIU (yeah, I know that was redundant) are utilized to intimidate and assault those who would protest his policies.

    His hand is caught firmly in the cookie jar when it is revealed that the West Wing has been engaged in quid pro quo with the "art community", trading NEA grants for propaganda campaigns.

    Still looming on the near horizon is a further power-grabbing scheme, utilizing hysterical pseudoscientific gloom and doom pronouncements about "climate change", which will cripple the economy, perhaps irrevokably. (Cap & Trade)

    Unaccountably (to the pragmatic twits he has surrounded himself with) a sizable portion of the electorate objects to these machinations, and pushes back.

    Yep, sounds like a vast Right-wing conspiracy to me.

  • WWJGD||

    Sadly most of the comments are like

    Fire hoses would've been more fun. But I do like how they covered their ears and ran. Also to the people saying 'they could've damaged their hearing', first off, don't be a stupid hooligan protester and second, cover your ears and go home like a non-idiot when you hear this thing.

  • ||

    How Do I Handle My Boyfriend's Sex Work?

    So. Many. Lines.

    I am a queer feminist cis woman in my early twenties, in a long-term cohabiting relationship with a male queer partner in his early twenties.



    Huh?

    He just recently came out to me, and has only come out as "bisexual" to one or two others, and no one in his family knows.



    OK.

    His clients are all male and mostly in the closet. He is very popular, mainly because of his boyish looks, his youth, and he's a bottom.



    Ezra?

    These are his first same-sex experiences. He doesn't enjoy them. He puts on a brave face and insists this is just "what he has to do right now to help provide for us" but he is clearly scared, and it seems to be negatively affecting his view of his sexuality.



    I would imagine so.

  • Dogmatic True Believer||

    An omniscient and omnipresent God wouldn't give a crap where her believers pray at.

    No, HE requires them to pray at the Holy Hole!

    It is so written, and God have mercy on your heathen soul.

  • WWJGD||

    What the hell is "cis"? Does Feministing have a glossary to help translate all their codewords?`

  • ||

    Although it hurts my soul to even say this, I kind of feel sorry for the G-20 hooligans who got cross-ways of the
    Largest Street Gang in America

  • ||

    WWJGD, think chemistry and make an analogy to "gender" based on cis and trans.

    Yeah, I know ...

  • ||

    What, nothing on Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat's victory in Germany and their being able to dump the Social Democrats in favor of the Free Democrats as coalition partners?

    Hardly a sharp right turn, of course, but the possibility of a slight move in a more free market direction in indicated, I venture.

  • WWJGD||

    /facepalm

    Thanks db. For those curious, from Wikipedia:

    Cisgender is a "newer term" that means "someone who is comfortable in the gender they were assigned at birth."

  • ||

    Meanwhile, the Retard-in-Chief has apparently decided to go to Copenhagen and cheerlead Chicago's Olympic bid.

    Because he's a free market kind of guy, who hates deficit spending.

  • ||

    *smacks forehead*

    Well, of course, in this day and age, we "need" a term which sexually categorizes 99% of us. WTF was I thinking?

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...they either didn't like it, or they think I'm a dick, or both...

    I'm betting on the latter my Spheniscidaen, friend.



    J sub - that was my thought, too. However, since Art was the only other guy who gave a shit about the Chavez - Family Guy thing, perhaps their journalistic ability is shining through.

    And they think I'm a dick.

    I moved from Richmond to Boston and back again in the '80s [and Boston was more racist].



    I guess it depends on the city more than the region. I lived in Manchester, NH in the early - mid 1970's, when my father rented out the top story of the house to a black woman who had interracial relationships and children. I never heard crap about this at school, or in the neighborhood. (This is not to say that there was no racism there.)

    I went to FSU (Tallahassee, FL) in the late 1980's & early 1990's, and it seemed like everyone I met who was a local was a racist. Whites thought nothing of using epithets to describe blacks. Blacks would often not even speak to or acknowledge whites. I can't imagine that had I grown up in that environment, with my father renting out part of the house to a black woman, I wouldn't have caught a lot of grief at school, in the neighborhood, etc.


  • ||

    And please nobody alert the TSA to this attempted "ass-bomber":

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/09/ass_bomber.html

    September 28, 2009
    Ass Bomber

    Nobody tell the TSA, but last month someone tried to assassinate a Saudi prince by exploding a bomb stuffed in his rectum. He pretended to be a repentant militant, when in fact he was a Trojan horse:

    The resulting explosion ripped al-Asiri to shreds but only lightly injured the shocked prince -- the target of al-Asiri's unsuccessful assassination attempt.

    Other news articles are here, and here are two blog posts.

    For years, I have made the joke about Richard Reid: "Just be glad that he wasn't the underwear bomber." Now, sadly, we have an example of one.

    Lewis Page, an "improvised-device disposal operator tasked in support of the UK mainland police from 2001-2004," pointed out that this isn't much of a threat for three reasons: 1) you can't stuff a lot of explosives into a body cavity, 2) detonation is, um, problematic, and 3) the human body can stifle an explosion pretty effectively (think of someone throwing himself on a grenade to save his friends).

    But who ever accused the TSA of being rational?



  • ||

    I refuse to read anything about this Polanski thing; was he arrested for the actual rape, or for fleeing the country to evade punishment?

  • Craig||

    Why the sudden renewed push for a rush to war with Iran? Is it a "wag the dog" type of effort to take attention off the failed health care reform plan and the sinking economy? Or the resurgence of the neocon elements in the Pentagon and intelligence community? Or does the military-industrial complex have some form of leverage on Obama?

    The War Street Journal says we only have two options -- bomb Iran now, or bomb Iran later. (Still pulling for McCain and his hit single, I guess.) The feds find some wacked jihadists online, then recruit them to fictitious terror cells composed entirely of federal agents, then give them plans and fake weapons, then arrest them to great fanfare, saving us from their "impending attacks".

    Do they really think we still fall for this stuff?

  • Nipplemancer||

    "Do they really think we still fall for this stuff?"

    yes.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    MNG,

    I wrote Suki as growing up in Richmond and one of her best friends from Hoboken. You sound a lot more like the Hobken character while me and RCD sound more like the Suki character.

    Gave them their race attitudes from what I observed myself, seems RCD observed the same thing. I had Suki "cure" Patricia by reading Huck Finn. You might want to try some of that too. Skip to the part when Huck would rather burn in hell than turn over his friend Jim.

  • The Person Sitting in Darkness||

    Twain was a racist. Kids should be exposed to progressive, anti-imperialist humanist-materialist novelists instead.

  • ||

    Speaking of Huck; I am reminded, more and more, of The Royal Nonesuch each time the Presidential Suit shows up on my teevee.

    Start hoarding rotten cabbages.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Start hoarding rotten cabbages.



    And dead cats...

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Twain was a racist. Kids should be exposed to progressive, anti-imperialist humanist-materialist novelists instead.

    LOL, you are familiar with the type of character Patricia is!

    I wrote her calling Twain "slavery literature" and thinking that John had brainwashed Suki into being a racist. Even threw in a bit about her accusing John and Suki of preparing for a race riot because they have a full seven shotgun rack in the livingroom of their Arlington condo.

  • like a saint upon its deck||

    O you recall the song ya used to sing-a-long
    Shifting the river-trade on that ol' steamer
    Life is but a dream!

    But ya traded in the Mighty ol' man River
    for the Dirty ol' Man Latrine!
    The brothel shift
    The hustle'n'the bustle and the green-backs rustle
    And all the sexy-cash
    And the randy-cars
    And the two dollar fucks
    O o o ya outa luck, ya outa luck
    [...]

    A smoke ring hovers above his head
    And the rats and the dogs and the men all come
    and put a bullet through his eye
    and the drip and the drip and the drip of the Mississippi cryin'
    And Saint Huck hears his own Mississippi just rollin' by him

    Woah-woah-woah-woah
    Woah-woah-woah-woah
    Saint Huck! Saint Huck! Saint Huck!
    Woah-woah-woah-woah
    Woah-woah-woah-woah
    Saint Huck! Saint Huck! Saint Huck!
    Woah-woah-woah-woah

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So, the Palestinians threw a tantrum because fifteen Jews, who have every bit as much right to be there as they do, tried to come in and worship.


    It is shit like this that destroys sympathy for their cause.

    Remember that the homicide bombings of Jews on buses and in restaurants preceded 9/11.

  • tekende||

    Skip to the part when Huck would rather burn in hell than turn over his friend Jim.

    AKA the only part of the book worth reading.

  • Juvenile Lurker||

    Middle East knock-knock joke ....

    Q: Knock, knock.

    A: Who's there?

    Q: [Interrupting] No! It is you who are wrong!

  • ||

    A VAT on top of the coming income tax increases is just what our economy needs.

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