Evening News Reads: Manic Monday Edition
Posted: March 26, 2012 Filed under: Affordable Care Act (ACA), Afghanistan, Anti-War, Barack Obama, China, Climate Change, court rulings, Crime, Environment, Food, Foreign Affairs, Politics as Usual, racism, Russia, science, SCOTUS, SDB Evening News Reads | Tags: Sky Dancing Blog Soundtrack, Trayvon Martin
It’s Monday Evening…
and I certainly hope
you are having
a good one!
I’ve spent the day downloading songs on my phone so that I can have something to listen to while at the hospital. Of course, they were 80’s songs. So it made me think about those years in high school, when we would smoke clove cigarettes in the back of our creative writing class…playing poker and goofing off for fifty glorious minutes.
It was sort of like our daily version of The Breakfast Club, only there were no jocks in our group of misfits. Just a bunch of under achieving kids in the gifted class, who were already burned out from doing college level work in 6th and 7th grade. So tonight I am going to post the news reads with a little twist, we will call it the SDB Evening News Soundtrack. Hit it Steve… (Damn I hope this works.)
Here is the latest on the Trayvon Martin situation. Zimmerman is beginning to talk and some of the story does not connect to what we have heard.
Let’s listen to this wonderful song from Bobby Womack…Across 110th St.
It is not an 80’s tune, but it sure fits the bill for the next few links.
Trayvon Martin: George Zimmerman’s account to police of the Trayvon Martin shooting. – Orlando Sentinel
With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law-enforcement authorities told the Orlando Sentinel.
That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say. There have been no reports that a witness saw the initial punch Zimmerman told police about.
Zimmerman has not spoken publicly about what happened Feb. 26. But that night, and in later meetings, he described and re-enacted for police what he says took place.
In his version of events, Zimmerman had turned around and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from behind, the two exchanged words and then Trayvon punched him in the nose, sending him to the ground, and began beating him.
Zimmerman told police he shot the teenager in self-defense.
Little Green Footballs – Miami Herald Headline: ‘Trayvon Suspended Over Marijuana; Thousands Expected at Rally’
I’m trying to understand how this kind of headline is considered ethical journalism: Trayvon Suspended Over Marijuana; Thousands Expected at Rally.
And it gets worse; the article says George Zimmerman “thought” Trayvon Martin “looked drugged out.” This is not a quote from Zimmerman or anyone else. “Drugged out” are the words of the reporter, Frances Robles.
You can read the quote from Miami Herald at the LGF link, I will add this from Johnson’s post:
Trayvon Martin’s mother said today, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.” I don’t have anything to add to that.
This just came through from ThinkProgress: What You Need To Know About The Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)
Over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”
Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false and irrelevant. Much of this leaked information seems intended to play into stereotypes about young African-American males. Here’s what everyone should know:
1. Prominent conservative websites published fake photos of Martin. Twitchy, a new website run by prominent conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, promoted a photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. [Examiner]
2. The Sanford Police selectively leaked irrelevant, negative information about Martin. The authorities told the Orlando Sentinel this morning that Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days “after being found with an empty marijuana baggie.” There is no evidence that Martin was under the influence of drugs at the time of his death, nor would prior possession of marijuana be a reason for killing him. It’s unclear what the relevance of the leak was, other than to smear Martin. [Orlando Sentinel]
3. On Fox News, Geraldo said that Martin was dressed “like a wannabe gangster.” Bill O’Reilly agreed with him. The sole evidence is that Martin was wearing a hoodie. Geraldo added that “everyone that ever stuck up a convenience store” was wearing a hoodie. [ThinkProgress; The Blaze]
4. Without any evidence, prominent right-wing bloggers suggested that Martin was a drug dealer. Right-wing blogger Dan Riehl advances the theory, also advanced in a widely linked peice on a site called Wagist. There does not appear to be any evidence to support this claim whatsoever. [Riehl World View]
5. Without any evidence, a right-wing columnist alleged that Martin assaulted a bus driver. Unlike Zimmerman, Trayvon has no documented history of violence. This allegation continues to be advanced by a blogger on the Examiner even after the real reason was leaked to the police and confirmed by the family. [Miami Herald; Examiner]
6. Zimmerman’s friend says Martin was to blame because he was disrespectful to Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s friend Joe Oliver said that Martin would not have been shot to death if Trayvon had just said “I’m staying with my parents.” Of course, Zimmerman was not a police officer, and Trayvon had no duty to tell him who he was or where he was going. [NBC News]
The final part of the effort to smear Trayvon Martin is to link him and his supporters to irresponsible fringe groups like the New Black Panthers and marignal provocateurs like Louis Farrakhan. Threats by these groups are serious and should be investigated, but they have nothing to do with Martin or his supporters. The leader of the effort to associate Martin with these groups is Matt Drudge. You can see how he is framing the story today here.
I have watched Drudge spin this since the very beginning…
Ultimately, whether Martin was a perfect person is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman’s conduct that night was justified.
Moving on to our next series of news links, and our next song to play in our SDB Evening News Soundtrack, from Pink Floyd…Dogs of War…
President Obama Asks Medvedev for ‘Space’ on Missile Defense — ‘After My Election I Have More Flexibility’ – ABC News
At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”
The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
Sticking with the tune you are listening to…
Support for Afghan War Falls in U.S., Poll Finds – NYTimes.com
After a series of violent episodes and setbacks, support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped sharply among both Republicans and Democrats, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent —thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, more than a decade old.
The increased disillusionment was even more pronounced when respondents were asked their impressions of how the war was going. The poll found that 68 percent thought the fighting was going “somewhat badly” or “very badly,” compared with 42 percent who had those impressions in November 2011.
No kidding, but now that steps are starting to move forward to withdrawing from Afghanistan, the new US military front is in Asia. U.S., Australia announce deeper military ties amid Pentagon pivot to SE Asia – The Washington Post
The United States and Australia are planning a major expansion of military ties, including possible drone flights from a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean and increased U.S. naval access to Australian ports, as the Pentagon looks to shift its forces closer to Southeast Asia, officials from both countries said.
The moves, which are under discussion but have drawn strong interest from both sides, would come on top of an agreement announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard in November to deploy up to 2,500 U.S. Marines to Darwin, on Australia’s northern coast.
The talks are the latest indicator of how the Obama administration is rapidly turning its strategic attention to Asia as it winds down a costly decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. government is finalizing a deal to station four warships in Singapore and has opened negotiations with the Philippines about boosting its military presence there. To a lesser degree, the Pentagon is also seeking to upgrade military relations with Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
Our next tune my be a song you are unfamiliar with, from the Thompson Twins…No peace for the wicked…
Since Dakinikat had a post earlier today about the SCOTUS hearing, I will just update you with a few new stories.
Health Law Hearings Open in Supreme Court – NYTimes.com
Justices preview bigger issues of health care case – Boston.com
Tax Or Penalty? SCOTUS Unlikely To Let Arcane Jurisdictional Issue Stand In The Way Of Deciding Constitutionality Of Obamacare – Forbes
Let’s get to something more tasty…and for that I will give you some Squeeze, Tempted…(Yes, I am associating cheating on your lover with food.)
BBC News – Chocolate ‘may help keep people slim’
People who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner, new research suggests.
The findings come from a study of nearly 1,000 US people that looked at diet, calorie intake and body mass index (BMI) – a measure of obesity.
It found those who ate chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than those who ate it occasionally.
Popcorn Packed With Antioxidants
Popcorn, already known to be a good source of fiber, has higher levels of healthy antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables, according to new research.
“Based on fiber, whole grains, and antioxidant levels, popcorn is the king of snack foods,” says Joe Vinson, PhD, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton.
Chocolate and popcorn, my two favorites. I bet there are a few of you who love them too!
And for our last series of links…a bit of oceanic science, James Cameron and biodiversity, environmental protection and climate change…and for this section of the news reads, let’s go to The Fixx…One thing leads to another…
James Cameron, the man who brought you Terminator, Titanic and Avatar, has returned from his dive into the deepest crack in the earth. There is something quite funny about him going solo in a Deep torpedo submarine. Makes me think of all those frothy Santorum jokes. Anyway, here is a few links from his deep ass dive.
James Cameron on Earth’s Deepest Spot: Desolate, Lunar-Like – This is from Nat Geo…
James Cameron emerges from ‘alien world’ at ocean’s depths – This CNN link has a video of his return.
There is a new species of shark that is causing some concern, check it out: New shark species raises threat specter – UPI.com
A young Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Credit: NOAA
Did you hear about the space junk near miss?
For this news bit, lets use REM…Man on the Moon…
Space junk forces astronauts into escape capsules on International Space Station – CNN.com
A piece of a debris from a Russian Cosmos satellite passed close enough to the International Space Station on Saturday that its crew was ordered into escape capsules as a precaution, NASA said.
The six crew members were told to take shelter late Friday in their Soyuz capsules after it was determined there was a small possibility the debris could hit the station, the U.S. space agency said in a statement.
NASA said it began tracking the debris early Friday morning but only decided to take the precautionary steps after an analysis showed a slight possibility of hitting the space station.
The debris was predicted to pass about 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) from the space station, NASA said.
Space Station’s Near Miss Underlines the Dangers of Debris in Space – The Daily Beast
On a Saturday when most Americans were enjoying an early spring weekend, the six astronauts aboard the international space station had a very close encounter. A discarded fragment of a Russian-made rocket-booster nearly collided with the space station. The March 24 incident was serious enough, according to NASA, for the six astronauts (3 Russians, 2 Americans and a Dutchman) to take safety precautions and move to the escape capsules.
“It basically forced the astronauts on the space station to take cover because of the potential fear that it could hit the space station,” Frank Rose, the State Department’s most senior diplomat working on space policy, told The Daily Beast in an interview. Noting that the rocket booster was hurtling through space at 17,500 miles per hour, Rose said, “Had that hit the space station, it would have done catastrophic damage.”
Rose, whose formal title is Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defense policy, is trying to forge an understanding between the space-faring nations to agree not to intentionally create space junk, or the debris created when satellites, rockets, and other man-made objects in orbit collide.
Rose has some reason to be concerned. In 2007, the Chinese military tested an anti-satellite missile successfully, shattering one of China’s old satellites into thousands of shards of debris. Two years later a communications satellite owned by the company Iridium crashed into a Russian satellite. Rose said those two events are responsible for more than a third of the space junk that threatens U.S. satellites today. “Quite frankly these two events account for 36 percent of the total amount of catalogued space debris to be traversing in low earth orbit,” he said.
Wow, I wonder if maybe the moon is safer than orbiting around the earth.
And for the last two links in tonight’s evening reads…The Police…Walking in your footsteps…
Venice Sinking More Than Previously Thought : Discovery News
Venice has begun sinking again and is even tilting slightly eastward, new satellite measurements have revealed.
Despite previous studies suggesting the subsidence had levelled off, new research indicates that the lagoon city continues to sink an average of one to two millimeters (0.04 to 0.08 inches) a year. That’s more than researchers previously thought.
“It’s a small effect, but it’s important,” Yehuda Bock, a research geodesist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, Calif., said.
With the Adriatic rising in the Venetian lagoon at the same rate, the combined effect is a 4mm (0.16 inches) a year increase in sea level. This means that Venice could sink up to 80 mm (3.2 inches) by 2032.
The study, which will be published March 28 in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, also found that the City of Water in north-east Italy is listing one millimeter or two (0.04 to 0.08 inches) eastward per year, meaning that the western part is higher than the rest.is listing one millimeter or two (0.04 to 0.08 inches) eastward per year, meaning that the western part is higher than the rest.
Link builds between weather extremes and warming | Reuters
Extreme weather events over the past decade have increased and were “very likely” caused by manmade global warming, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change said on Sunday.
Scientists at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Research used physics, statistical analysis and computer simulations to link extreme rainfall and heat waves to global warming. The link between warming and storms was less clear.
“It is very likely that several of the unprecedented extremes of the past decade would not have occurred without anthropogenic global warming,” said the study.
The past decade was probably the warmest globally for at least a millennium. Last year was the eleventh hottest on record, the World Meteorological Organization said on Friday.
Extreme weather events were devastating in their impacts and affected nearly all regions of the globe.
They included severe floods and record hot summers in Europe; a record number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic in 2005; the hottest Russian summer since 1500 in 2010 and the worst flooding in Pakistan’s history.
Last year alone, the United States suffered 14 weather events which caused losses of over $1 billion each.
The high amount of extremes is not normal, the study said.
Not normal is right…so give all those links a read…or just listen to the music and enjoy the rest of your night.