Scribbles: Notes from NSFWCORP Staff

  1. A Scribble

    More weirdness in Downtown Vegas, but for once not (apparently) involving Tony Hsieh's Downtown Project. (Disclosure: Hseih's Vegas Tech Fund in NSFWCORP's largest investor)

    All week I've been hearing whispers that, this past Friday, with "First Friday" celebrations in full swing, LV Metro PD staged a series of "raids" against three of Fremont East's flagship bars. Cops and business code enforcement officials arrived unannounced at the Commonwealth, Vanguard and Beauty Bar and, citing various noise and public order ordinances, demanded that the venues either fully or partially close. The Griffin apparently received a similar visit but was allowed to remain open after the officials were unable to show any actual violation.

    According to my source, the Commonwealth and Beauty Bar immediately acquiesced to the order, with only the Vanguard putting up a fight. The result: cops began issuing citations to customers standing outside the bar for unlwaful assembly (in Vegas! on Fremont Street!)

    This strange crack-down (which NSFWCORP's Dayvid Figler seemed to confirm on last night's NSFWLIVE) comes just a week after Metro issued a flurry of tickets to outdoor drinkers over the July 19-20 weekend, citing the city's seldom-enforced open container laws.

    One thing is clear: Vegas Metro is fucking with someone. But who?

    At least one well-placed Fremont source points out that the crackdown coincides with an increase in the number of African American men visiting Fremont East on weekends as bars there have begun adding more hip-hop to their playlists. Back in 2006, Vegas law enforcement was criticised for its "anti rap" policy, which aimed to drive fans of rap and hip-hop away from the city, citing concerns over violence.

    While Vegas residents will be horrified at the notion that Vegas Metro might be in any way involved in a racist and very possibly illegal attempt to keep Fremont white, it is worth noting that the bars which most regularly play hip-hop were the exact same ones targeted in the raids, while the ones that almost never do were left alone.

    I've reached out to Metro and some of the downtown bar owners for comment. I'll keep updating.

  2. A Scribble

    British PM David Cameron is today publishing legislation intended to filter the internet. Predictably the internet is up on it's hind legs defending wankers' rights today. Which is fine, there's no question that censorship and government-mandated lists of porn users are a bad thing, but the people most outraged by this infringing of "digital rights" have no concept of individual rights and spend much of their time denouncing them as "neo-liberal". Having ceded rights discourse, real rights not imaginary ones like group rights or "the right to a smoke-free environment", to the political right, they now can't muster a serious argument for being left alone. Does anyone remember when "won't somebody think of the children?" was a mantra of the right in the 80s and 90s? As it's been a liberal and left thing for nigh on two decades, they now can't turn around and demand a world fit for adults. I go on about this stuff all the time (and have no intention of writing another word about it in NSFW given I'd just be repeating myself), but this is beyond a joke now.

  3. A Scribble

    A fellow Saudi ESL vet posted my latest article on a TESL site. The reactions...well, I rest my case.

  4. A Scribble

    Feedback on Yasha's piece:

    This has to be the most biased information I have rread on HuffPost - the LAPD doing their job - jail for journalists - yes if they are in the way... otherwise they go back to the office or to their home... We do not have to know everything...


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  5. A Scribble

    Apparently no one in America has heard of condoms. I can't explain everything in this article otherwise.


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  6. A Scribble

    Save time in Purgatory. Priority access now bookable online!

  7. A Scribble

  8. A Scribble

    Thought I'd post my photo essay of yesterday's avant-garde anti-police brutality/Trayvon protest jog in LA. I thought it was very effective, more effective than any other protest I've witness in my four years in LA.

    The protest was against brutal, racist police tactics to non-violent protests, and it made it's point very clearly: not to TV cameras or even onlookers, but to cops themselves.

    It brought out a hundred+ LAPD officers, a heli, a squad of motorcycle cops, a cop golf cart, a mobile command center, CHP cruisers and even federal agents of some kind guarding nearby federal building—all for a dozen joggers. The funny thing is that the joggers disappeared about 30 minutes into the protest, leaving the cops to wander in packs around Westwood Village near UCLA as onlookers and college kids shook their heads and mocked their paranoia. Police were sure it was all a ruse...that a race riot was going to erupt any moment. And cops were on the scene four hours later, while the joggers were getting drunk and having a laugh. The cops got punked.

    The protest was officially called "Smash White Supremacy Fun Run"... Media reported it as "Smash White Supremacy 'Fun Fun'"... I guess they thought the violence was real, but the fun was in still in dispute.

    Here is is:

  9. A Scribble

    Venting. So… I pitched a col to a newspaper here, arguing against the pro-poverty left. Instead they run this: It is always an age of anxiety when ‘more’ is the measure of happiness. I note the editor of the Irish Catholic weekly newspaper said of it on Twitter: "Fantastic piece". People are going to wake-up to this leftist asceticism some day, but I'll probably have quit journalism in disgust by then.

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  10. A Scribble

    This just may be the most Leigh Cowart story ever.


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  11. A Scribble

    Austerity is good for you, say book-sniffers. The other way to read this is: people too poor to buy books, but… nah, we should celebrate.

  12. A Scribble


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  13. A Scribble


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  14. A Scribble

    I'll be on Russia Today shortly after 6PM Irish time, talking about the Belfast riots. I have selected a paisley tie for the occasion. This is how my mind works.


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  15. A Scribble

    New Pussy Riot video goes after Putin's KGB henchman who took over the oil industry, Igor Sechin - throwing oil on Sechin's face. This is suicide the hard and painful way. Sechin is considered the scariest guy in Russia, the guy who does Putin's dirty work. The lyrics were written by jailed Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova, who's in the "colony" in Mordovia.

    On the same day Pussy Riot's jailed members go for Putin's throat via their still-free members, Snowden applies to Putin, leader of "powerless" Russia, for asylum. What a fuckup.

  16. A Scribble

    I'm more interested in Zimmerman's plea negotiations as a matter of law geekery. Sure he won. That's the easy part. The hard part is turning down an offer that's the too good to turn down risk vs. reward money shot. Wonder if one was made in this case by the DA - or if one was suggested by the defense? Thinking of making up a fantasy convo betwixt the two....

  17. A Scribble

    Reason magazine's "45 Enemies of Freedom" List is a beaut. Diane Ravitch is on there.

    And their "35 Heroes of Freedom" list from 10 years ago, includes "The Yuppie," Jeff Bezos, Hayek and Friedman, bla bla fucking bla:

  18. A Scribble

    Apropos of nothing, anyone else think intersectionalism is a pile of crap? That of it which is true was already recognized but it's main objective is to outflank others with accusations of racism/transphobia/"sex-worker-phobia" or whatever. Reminds me of how anarchists used to argue prisoners were the real oppressed working class.


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  19. A Scribble

    Book on the EU. Now, I admit this guy is a friend of mine, but this is a book worth reading. The European Union and the End of Politics for anyone watching Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and… Franco-Germany.

  20. A Scribble

    A little bonus for NSFW Corp subscribers. I don't normally do this, but this will run elsewhere early next week.

    JASON WALSH, BELFAST, JUL 13, 2013 There were more riots in Northern Ireland this weekend, with loyalists attacking police in an attempt to force a march where it wasn't wanted. This nonsense will never end – thanks to the mechanics of the peace process.

    In the interests of not boring you senseless, I'll try and spare you the Irish history lessons and get straight to the point: on Friday July 12 a pro-British Orange Order parade was banned by the Parades Commission, a local quango that licences political demonstrations (yes, really, that is what it does), from passing through the republican Ardoyne district of Belfast.

    There is no doubt that Orange Order brought-on the violence and must answer for it. The organisation, having been banned from parading, invited not just the three lodges that usually parade through the district, but anyone else who wanted to to come along and make their feelings known.

    This they did in spades. Loyalists clashed with police, attacking them with bricks, bottles, ceremonial swords and, eventually, petrol bombs. Police retaliated with plastic bullets and water canon. One unionist MP, Nigel Dodds, who arrived on the scene to complain about the Parades Commission was knocked unconscious and hopsitalised by a brick thrown by a loyalist protestor. A senior Orangeman was also injured.

    The idea of the Parades Commission is to relive tensions between unionists and republicans in contested areas. On the surface this seems fair enough – few reasonable people like riots and Belfast is still a divided city – but actually it's not.

    All of the academic blather about 'contested spaces' and political gubbins about a 'shared future' cannot disguise the fact that the Irish conflict has now been fully transformed into a struggle of identity politics.

    There is also no doubt that the Parades' Commission is undemocratic and opposed to rights. I fully accept that republican residents don't like the Orangemen marching through their areas; I didn't like it either when I lived there, but isn't putting-up with things you don't like the price of living in a free society? If every demonstration or gathering that offended people was banned then there would be no demonstrations or gatherings at all.

    At this risk of being accused of supporting those who want to resume the war – I really don't – the fact is that conflicts are zero-sum. In order to end, someone has to win, and if someone wins, someone else has to lose. In Northern Ireland, no-one won and no-one lost; that's how the peace process was engineered.

    For the record, the idea that the alternative to the top-down peace process which nurtures grievance and division through supporting communitarian politics, complete with great wads of cash for a cast of dubious characters, is false. Call the local protagonists in the conflict, loyalist and republican, whatever you want – terrorists, paramilitaries, freedom fighters; it makes no difference – the fact is that armed groups cannot wage a guerrilla war without the at least tacit support of large sections of the population. The end of the conflict didn't come about because the British and Irish Prime Ministers knocked thick Ulster heads together, it happened because the people of Northern Ireland were exhausted. 30 years of war will do that to you. The fact that the loyalist flag protestors and various zombie IRA micogroups resemble the Keystone Kops more than their forebears is an indication that what support there is for violence is patchy and extremely localised.

    Following the weekend's debacle, the Orange Order for its part has warned, correctly, of a culture war going on.

    Edward Stevenson , Grand Master – seriously – of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland complained: "Republicans are engaging in a cultural war to erode all symbols of Britishness."

    True enough, but Orange complaints about culture wars would be easier to take seriously if they weren't engaged in it themselves. What is the point of a marching organisation if not to play at culture wars? Besides, transforming the shooting war into a culture war was the inevitable outcome of the peace process.

    The future? Ah sure, it'll be grand… ENDS Jason Walsh is a reporter based in Ireland


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  21. A Scribble

    JASON WALSH, JULY 12, 2013 Violence flares at banned unionist parade in Belfast.

    Walking to church in the summer sun doesn't sound controversial, but when the walk is a political march and the location is Northern Ireland things are not as simple as they sound.

    In the midst of an 80 degree heat wave, Temperatures are not all that is high in Belfast tonight: tempers have flared, too.

    Police have used water cannon and fired plastic bullets after coming under sustained attack in the Woodvale district of north Belfast.

    Police were enforcing a Parades Commission ban that said the marchers were not allowed a night-time return parade through the predominantly Irish republican and Catholic Adoyne district.

    At least four police officers, one being stretchered away after being hit by a brick, and one civilian have been hurt. Violence continues.

    This years Twelfth of July parades by the pro-British Protestant fraternal organization are often controversial, particularly when the pass though republican districts and the Parades Commission, a government body that regulates street protests and demonstrations, deemed the return parade was likely to be provocative and potentially violent.

    This morning's parade through the district passed off without serious incident, but anti-Catholic songs such as "the Famine Song" were chanted.

    The Orange Order invited members from across Belfast to defy the ruling tonight. Simmering resentment met sweltering heat as alcohol-fuelled youths confronted police barricades.

    Local member of parliament for the hard line Democratic Unionist Party, Nigel Dodds, is on the scene and has blamed the conflagration on the decision to ban the march.

    "The police were well aware that was the danger the Parades Commission had put them in. I would appeal for everybody to stay calm, not to get involved in violence," he said.

    Gerry Kelly, an MP for Irish republican party blamed the Orange Order for the violence, saying speeches made today stirred-up discontent.

    Reports are coming in of violence in other parts of the city. The trouble follows on the heels of a bad year for Northern Ireland. Several months of unionist protests brought the city to a standstill in late 2012 as early 2013 after the municipal council voted to stop flying the British Union flag daily on City Hall.

    600 police have been drafted-in from Scotland in anticipation of violence.

    The Twelfth of July is the central point of the so-called marching season when pro-British Protestant unionists commemorate the 1690 and 1691 defeat of the British Catholic king James by Protestant William of Orange. Battles were fought in Ireland, notably the battles of the Boyne and Aughrim.

    The Orange Order, which celebrates these defeats, is central to Protestant identity in Ireland. Republicans and Catholics see the marches through their districts as sectarian coat-trailing. Despite the peace process, the marching season has been a continual locus of conflict on the streets.

    Violence continues.

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  22. A Scribble

    Whoa, it's the 12th of July and I was so busy noroviring I didn't notice. Jason, has this been an unusually quiet one so far or was I puking too loudly to hear the drums?


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  23. A Scribble

    Via Wikileaks, Snowden's statement to human rights groups praises Russia as among "the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless."


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  24. A Scribble

    After reading the link David posted I keep thinking of that very strong, unacknowledged symbiosis between the academic left and the populist right in the US. They're like secret lovers. Has anyone ever written on this?


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  25. A Scribble

    So it turns out Rand Paul's been stealing a phrase from War Nerd favorite Adam Gurowski, clearly without a clue as to how Gurowski favored dealing with the Confederates Paul's Southern Avenger pals revere.


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  26. A Scribble

    Good on you, Google!

    By posting this on desknotes I'm absolved for not switching to Bing, right?

  27. A Scribble

    Feedback re oligarch farmers gaming tax subsidies:

    From: bob Date: Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 2:47 AM Subject: For Yasha, deer "herds"

    Have you ever seen venison on a menu at a restaurant? The meat came from an estate.

    It's just another tax break.

    You can't "sell" deer unless you "farmed" them. Every state I know of expressly forbids the sale of wild game in order to stop disease.

    You can only sell, or donate meat that has been penned. If they "sold it" they would have to pay tax on it. They prefer to donate it.

    The local oligarch has herds of wild boar, among other things. He lets the pols who come visit shoot at them in their large, fenced in pens.

    After they are dead, they are "donated" for a very good tax credit/break to the "local food bank". What's the going rate per pound for "wild boar"? It's high, and it's not wild, as explained above.

    The food bank, rather than cook and eat the meat, takes a very sensible approach. They sell it, if they can, and take the money to buy much more food.

    I've been searching for any foodbank anywhere that serves "wild game". I can't find any evidence that it has ever happened. They sell it. They are just a cut out for the oligarchs.

    A few years ago he also tried to get it exempt from taxes by calling it an "educational institution". He's a leader in the field of tax dodging. Look for more of that.

  28. A Scribble

    Irish far left is voting against the abortion bill as it doesn't go far enough. Liberals have exploded with rage. Vote to be held at 2AM.

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  29. A Scribble

    Dayvid, a friend of yours perhaps?

    WASHINGTON (CN) - The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Jennifer A. Dorsey of Las Vegas as a federal judge for the U.S. District of Nevada.

    Dorsey, 42, will fill the judgeship vacant since July 9, 2010, when U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson assumed senior status. The Senate refused to hold a confirmation vote for Dorsey after President Obama nominated her last September. He renominated her on Jan. 3.

    Dorsey has practiced law with Kemp, Jones & Coulthard in Las Vegas since 1997, and has been a partner with the firm since 2004. She graduated from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in 1994 and received her J.D., cum laude, from Pepperdine University School of Law, where she was on the Law Review.

    Dorsey's confirmation leaves the federal bench in Nevada with one vacancy on its seven allotted judgeships.
  30. A Scribble

    And now NC House Republicans have inserted, without public notice, abortion rules into a motorcycle safety bill.

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