Fiscal Cliff: 10 Ways Obama, Congress Could Trim Without New Income Taxes, Entitlement Cuts: via HuffPost

Fiscal Cliff: 10 Ways Obama, Congress Could Trim Without New Income Taxes, Entitlement Cuts: via HuffPost http://huff.to/119nQtC

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Language use and politics

Fiscal Cliff: 10 Ways Obama, Congress Could Trim Without New Income Taxes, Entitlement Cuts: via HuffPost http://huff.to/119nQtC Why are all kinds of people including lefties now using the right wing term “entitlement programs”? The implication of the term is like Romney’s 47%, that people receiving the benefits feel entitled, i.e. they just have their hand out and want something for nothing. Look at social security, with it’s 2.7 trillion surplus. That isn’t an “entitlement program”, that’s a “paid for” program. The recipients are getting what they paid for. The republicans want the recipients to not get what they paid for. They want to take away something that retirees have already paid for, so they can give back more money to rich people and buy weapons the country doesn’t need. (Note to Norquist et al: isn’t the government taking away money that has been paid for a new tax, and the worst kind?) If the republicans are going to maintain that social security is a subsidy they need to show the math. Even then, it is a separate issue as the funds should be segregated.

Is Actual Innocence “Capturing the Friedmans,” 25 Years Later?: via HuffPost

Is Actual Innocence “Capturing the Friedmans,” 25 Years Later?: via HuffPost http://huff.to/10RopIk

Read the book “Diagnosis for Disaster” by Claudette Wassil-Grimm about the “repressed memory” cult that took over much of psychiatry years ago.

Although now thoroughly discredited I have no doubt that little of the damage that cult did has been undone.

Prosecutors show overwhelming resistance to setting aside convictions that were based on discredited evidence.

The repressed memory theory was essentially the idea that any time anybody had problems, it was because of historical sexual abuse, whether remembered or not.

Mind control techiques were then used to convince people to remember things that didn’t happen.

It should be stressed that anybody’s memories can become tainted. The images from someone else’s story can blend with our own memories.  That is why it is important for police to separate witnesses.

The degree of suggestability depends on various things such as the frailty of the witness, the power the person planting a suggestion hass over the witness, etc.

Psychiatrists and related professions have a lot of power over their patients.

In some heinous cases, psych patients were told that they would not be getting better until they made accusations of sexual abuse.  That carried a real or implied threat that they might be held against their will until they made false accusations of molestation and they were often threatened that if they did not make false accusations they would be not be following medical advice, so they would be in breach of their insurance and made destitute.

These were like Patti Hearst cases, except that total control over a person was used for a different purpose.

Along similar lines there was some satanic abuse guru who went peddling nonsense decades ago, and all of a sudden everywhere he had been psychiatrists and therapists began “discovering” pockets of satanic abuse.

Evidently therapists and psychiatrists are as susceptable to suggestion as their patients. 

As for the Friedmans, given the nature of similar cases in the US it may be that a guilty plea may have been a depressingly rational decision. 

Look at the Memphis 3. Look at the other cases which should have fallen to a “no evidence” motion where there was a conviction upheld on appeal.  In one case the only evidence was an accused listened to Iron Maiden.  Prosecutors led highly prejudicial, irrelevant evidence all the time and instead of being censured by the court, mistrials declared and the culprits disbarred, the behaviour was allowed and persons exhibiting it were promoted and sometimes attained higher office.

In that context, how could the Friedmans stand a chance when their prosecutors had actual witnesses?

The truth of the matter?  I haven’t sifted through the details so I don’t know. 

It may be that the more inflammatory claims were concocted or suspect but that something happened.

That not all children were molested may indicate only a preferential offender who has a type.

That the alleged offender was good with kids who were not molested doesn’t tell us much.  Predators often seem very good with kids.  They are highly motivated to understand how kids minds work.  They may be exceptionally effective with kids they aren’t interested in physically.

Still waiting for justice with the Memphis 3.

I still like the junior parole or probation officer who fingered Echols as the perp or at least being involved.  He inserted himself into the investigation, sought to misdirect it and his position of power and authority over minors whose word would not be taken against his, would be the holy grail for a child molester. 

Jerry Hartfield, Texas Inmate, Waits 30 Years For Retrial: via HuffPost

Jerry Hartfield, Texas Inmate, Waits 30 Years For Retrial: via HuffPost http://huff.to/Si85vL

Texas.  Where else.

Blowing the Whistle on the SEC Whistleblower Program: via HuffPost

Blowing the Whistle on the SEC Whistleblower Progr: via HuffPost http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-powers/sec-whistleblowers_b_2207350.html

Despite Evidence From Discredited Medical Examiner, Mississippi’s Jeffrey Havard Nears Execution: via HuffPost

Despite Evidence From Discredited Medical Examiner, Mississippi’s Jeffrey Havard Nears Execution: via HuffPost http://huff.to/115Kzqo

ECPA Amendment Passes, As Senate Judiciary Votes To Require Warrant For Email Snooping: via HuffPost

ECPA Amendment Passes, As Senate Judiciary Votes To Require Warrant For Email Snooping: via HuffPost http://huff.to/ShvJbL A key point for business, because anything in the digital cloud can be accessed without a warrant there is a risk to trade secrets etc. Without warrant or notification requirements, a corrupt officer could warrantlessly seize trade secrets and sell them to China and never have to tell anyone that he had accessed the material. I’m sure that has been done in one form or another.