Monday, August 03, 2015

It Feel Likes 164 Degrees in Iran

Thanks, Obama!

Water temperatures in the Persian Gulf routinely warm into the 90s each summer, releasing massive amounts of water vapor into the air above. For those unlucky enough to catch a breeze from the Gulf, the humidity can be stifling.

On Thursday, those breezes blew toward the Iranian side of the Gulf. At 3:30 p.m. local time Thursday, the manned observation site at the Mahshahr Airport in southwest Iran reported a temperature of 109 F (43 C) and a dewpoint of 90 F (32 C). Using the American heat index formula, those figures yielded a mind-boggling feels-like temperature of 159 F (70 C).

It was even hotter on Friday at the Mahshahr Airport when temperatures reached 114.8 F at 4:30 pm local time with a dew point of 89.6 F, leading to a heat index value of an incredible 164 F (73 C).

For $1,000 He'll Testify for Police Shooting Civilians

Training Officers to Shoot First, and He Will Answer Questions Later

The prosecutor, Stephen McIntosh, however, told The Columbus Dispatch that Dr. Lewinski’s “radical” views could be used to justify nearly any police shooting.“If that’s the sort of direction we, as a society, are going,” the prosecutor said, “I have a lot of disappointment.”

Iran Deal Opponents Living in Fantasy World

Fareed Zakaria:

The deal’s opponents have conjured up a fantasy scenario in which the world will sign up for more sanctions, Tehran will meekly return to the table with further concessions, or perhaps the Islamic republic will itself implode — and its successors will then denounce and dismantle the nuclear program. To bet on this scenario is the real gamble, a high stakes one with little evidence to support it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Officer Wilson: Michael Brown Was Powerful like Hulk Hogan, Intensively Aggresive, Gunting, Looked Like a Demon

Wilson: "I felt like a 5 year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan."

"Hulk Hogan. That's just how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm."

"I drew my gun... He immediately grabs my gun and says 'you are too much of a pussy to shoot me',"

"He...grabs my gun...and then he twists it and digs it down into my hip."

"Those punches in my face could knock me out or worse...the third one could be fatal."

"He looked at me...and had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon."

"It looks like a demon, that's how angry he looked."

"I tell him get on the ground, get on the ground."

"He turns, and when he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound..."

"He turns and he's coming back toward me...he kind of does a stutter step to start running."

"The first step, his first stride coming back towards me."

"As he is coming towards me, I tell, keep telling him get on the ground. He doesn't. I shoot a series of shots."

"I know I hit him at least once because I saw his body kind of jerk."

"He's still coming at me, he hadn't slowed down...I start backpedaling again, I tell him get on the ground.. he doesn't"

"I shoot another round of shots. I don't recall if it hit him every least once because he flinched again."

"At this point it looked like he was almost bulking up to run through the shots... like it was making him mad that I'm shooting at him. And the face that he had was looking straight through me... like I wasn't even there, I wasn't even anything in his way."

"Well, he keeps coming after me... gets about 8 to 10 feet away."

"I know if he reaches me, he'll kill me."

"I remember looking at my sites and firing, all I see is his head and that's what I shot" 

"the demeanor on his face went blank, the aggression was gone... the threat was stopped."

"His whole reaction to the whole thing was something I've never seen"

"Whenever [my gun] was visible to him, he then took complete control of it.

"Whenever it was displayed to him, he did take complete control."

"He had complete control of that weapon at that time."

Q: How many minutes from when you saw them walking in the street until Michael Brown was dead?

Wilson: "less than one minute"

Wilson on the community: "It is just not a very well-liked community."

Q: "Were you pretty much on high alert being in that community by yourself?"

A: "Yes"

Wilson: "That's not an area where you can take anything really lightly. Like I said, it is a hostile environment."

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rare Photos from Allied Invasion of Southern France in WWII

Life Magazine publishes little-seen photographs from the Allied invasion of southern France  in 1944. 

Dale Rooks took the pictures of U.S. troops in Marseilles, Toulon and other places in the region.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sunday, June 30, 2013

David Gregory, Glenn Greewald, and the Question of Journalism

Jay Rosen looks at the exchange between David Gregory, Glenn Greenwald, and the issue of 'who is a journalist?'

While the question may seem irrelevant, the press like to point out that their profession is specifically mentioned as deserving of special protection in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Journalists argue that protections for reporters against, for example requiring them to reveal their sources, benefit society in the same way such confidentiality protections do for lawyers, doctors, and ministers. The President himself recently endorsed a press shield law. Nevertheless, defining 'who is a journalist' is more difficult than many in the official press like to think it is, particularly in an age of online publishing.

If David Gregory thinks Glenn Greenwald should be charged with a crime, he should say so. On the other hand, the term "criminalizing journalism," is a term largely without meaning. Journalism is properly protected by the Constitution, but neither does an action become immune to prosecution merely because it is designated "journalism." Like any other person, a journalist may, or may not commit a crime ni the course of doing their job,' but to prosecute reporters merely for receiving classified information is properly and widely regarded an as dangerous in a functioning representative democracy.

Jay Rosen's analysis is excellent; but I would like to highlight a habit of David Gregory's that his method of interviewing : his use of the passive voice to inject certain opinions into his show.  I have little doubt Gregory himself thinks of this method as both hard-hitting and incisive; he probably cannot see what he is doing, parroting and giving credence to Beltway chatter. He usually does this by vaguely announcing “There’s a question" and repeating what he insists "people are saying," important people, naturally.


"The question of who’s a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you’re doing"

“There’s a question about his role in this, The Guardian’s role in all of this. It is actually part of the debate,"

"Some people think that security is more important, or that secrecy should be decided by democratically-elected officials and not by individual whistleblowers"

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Colonial Historians Solve a Crime From 1624

Colonial historians may have not only have identified a man found killed from a gunshot wound in 1624, but the person who shot him. Apparently the circumstances of the shooting, a duel, were recorded in documents in Jamestown colony archives.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

U.S. Government Targeted and Killed American Citizen Anwar al-Aulaqi

In a letter to Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder states that U.S. government specifically targeted and killed American citizen Anwar al-Aulaqi after a "thorough and careful review" and determining that he posed an imminent threat to Americans on U.S. soil.

He states that the U.S. government found al-Aulaqi posed an imminent threat of a violent attack and that his capture was not feasible. 

For example, Holder writes, al-Aulaqi instructed the so-called "underwear bomber" to blow up a plane when it was over American soil.
Describing the legal basis for these actions, a subject of much recent discussion, he writes that the Constitution does not prohibit government from killing American terrorists who hide in faraway countries and plot against homeland.

The letter states that Lethal force may be used when a person poses a continuing, imminent threat, capture is not feasible, no other reasonable means of addressing the threat exist. 

Holder also tells us that the government also killed three other U.S. citizens, who were not specifically targeted.

He also said that Obama will speak soon on legal and policy justifications for targeted killing.

Here is a link to the letter from Holder