In re the Oregon "militia" that has occupied the Malheur wildlife refuge, John Nichols asks, "What Do the Bundy Brothers Have Against Wildlife?" And their real complaint isn't about Gubmint Gone Wild, or even mandatory minimum laws affecting Dwight and Steven Hammond -- it's about our federal government failing to relinquish all federal lands to ranchers and miners (and corporations, though of course they won't say so). Our federal government protects federal land for our benefit, or at least does so with enough of our oversight, but these "militia" folk seem to think "our government" means a government that does only the things they want it to do.
But there's good news: social media users have pointed out en masse that if the Oregon "militia" members were black or Muslim, Our Glorious Elites would be calling them "terrorists." As a friend of mine reminded me yesterday, the "militia" members haven't done anything violent yet, and may not. Still, "y'all Qaeda" and "Vanilla ISIS" is chickens-coming-home-to-roost territory for the American right. The right will never cop to understanding that, irony (like science) being a thing to be hated whenever it doesn't give you the answers you want.
Glenn Greenwald reminds us that Our Glorious Elites only care about "privacy" when the NSA spies on them. As per usual, his demolition of Rep. Hoekstra's hypocrisy is worth experiencing in full, and I'm pleased to be reminded that former Rep. Harman, Tha Bush Mobb's favorite Democrat this side of Joe Lieberman, also seemed shocked, shocked! back in 2009 after discovering that the NSA listened in on her phone conversations (and the NSA actually had a warrant that time!). But these revelations won't spark soul-searching any more than all that David Petraeus drama did in 2012. And Our Glorious Elites will tell you soul-searching is for little people like us. I wish I were kidding about that.
Congress is actually talking corporate tax reform again, and The Hill finds liberals in Washington, such as there are, playing offense. A little more aggressiveness from liberals would be good to see -- I've had more than enough of the "bipartisanship" that means "Democrats and Republicans coming together to do whatever Republicans want" -- and yes our corporate tax code needs to bring in more money, not less, not least because corporate power needs to be reined in as surely as wealthy individuals' power needs to be reined in. We will provide the steel for our Congressfolk's spines whenever we can.
Finally, Jake Kilroy, writing at Take Part, describes one non-profit's efforts to distribute oral-swab self-tests for HIV to folks in Africa. AIDS is a big problem in Africa, not least because so many African elites deny it's a problem and so many others deny it's a problem "good" people have, and giving good Africans the ability to test themselves could do a lot to help solve the problem -- but sadly I can also imagine bigots beating up anyone who they think is carrying around test kits, or describing anyone who uses one as gay or a prostitute.