We certainly have created a lot of ways to destroy each other haven’t we? We also seem to breed a lot of individuals that are capable of doing great harm without reservation. This week has brought the carnage once again into our back yard. It is important to remember that we have brought and are bringing worse carnage and that we are not alone in our experience.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said today that he hopes to cut gun crimes in half this summer during Boston’s most violent months: July and August, when the city typically sees between 37 and 48 shootings each month.
The department’s ranks were boosted as 28 members of the force were promoted and one new officer was named during a ceremony this morning.
Davis said those promotions represent the department’s efforts to fill vacancies in preparation for the summertime.
“We’re going to have a full court press on those months this year,” said Davis. “We’re gonna do a lot of preventive work leading up to those months. There’s gonna be a significant amount of attention paid to the impact players in the city. We want them to put their weapons down.”
Mr. Kissinger’s most significant historical act was executing Richard Nixon’s orders to conduct the most massive bombing campaign, largely of civilian targets, in world history. He dropped 3.7 million tons of bombs** between January 1969 and January 1973 – nearly twice the two million dropped on all of Europe and the Pacific in World War II. He secretly and illegally devastated villages throughout areas of Cambodia inhabited by a U.S. Embassy-estimated two million people; quadrupled the bombing of Laos and laid waste to the 700-year old civilization on the Plain of Jars; and struck civilian targets throughout North Vietnam – Haiphong harbor, dikes, cities, Bach Mai Hospital – which even Lyndon Johnson had avoided. His aerial slaughter helped kill, wound or make homeless an officially-estimated six million human beings**, mostly civilians who posed no threat whatsoever to U.S. national security and had committed no offense against it.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a staunch supporter of the U.S. drone wars, Wednesday become the first government official to put a number on the estimated drone strike death toll.
“We’ve killed 4,700,” Graham said during a speech at a South Carolina rotary club, reported on by the local Easley Patch and flagged by Al Jazeera.
“This is the first time a US official has put a total number on it,” said Micah Zenko, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations told Al Jazeera, but Graham’s office stated that the senator was only repeating “the figure that has been publicly reported and disseminated on cable news.” Graham’s figure aligns with estimates from groups included the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), which has calculate that between 3,072 and 4,756 people have been killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Graham’s figure did not distinguish between “combatant” and “civilian” casualties — a distinction which has, in the War on Terror, prompted debate. But the senator did reportedly say, “Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we’re at war, and we’ve taken out some very senior members of al-Qaida.”
In London, public trash cans are hard to come by, as they’re an easy receptacle for bombs. Which makes it hard to throw things away properly! Now, the city is going to bring trash cans back, but they’re going to be big, hulking masses, totally bomb-proof and equipped with LCD screens to tell you the days news as you throw away your coffee cup.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were forced to live in holes and caves, like animals. Many tens of thousands were burned alive by the bombs, slowly dying in agony. Others were buried alive, as they gradually suffocated to death when a 500 pound bomb exploded nearby. Most were victims of antipersonnel bombs designed primarily to maim not kill, many of the survivors carrying the metal, jagged or plastic pellets in their bodies for the rest of their lives.
Then, riddle me this. What is the difference between setting bombs on the street filled with crowds, or a bomb in a cafe, or a drone that hits a wedding or having one Texas “Job Creator” callously killing an entire city and a lot of its inhabitants because he just doesn’t want to be bothered with work place safety regulations or say, proper placement of a dangerous plant to start out with? I mean what exactly do you call a guy that runs a business that blows up an entire town and kills–at this point in time–35 people including 10 first responders? (That’s a link to CNN and USA Today so consider it with care.)
It really bothers me that we–as a nation–appear to have selective attention on what kind of violence gets our shock and attention and what kinds of violence we choose to ignore every day, every year, or in the case of the atrocities of Kissinger, every decade or four. We have had some horrific carnage recently. We’ve had children slaughtered in their classroom. We’ve had folks standing on the street celebrating a holiday ending up in hospital with wounds severe enough to warrant the kinds of amputees soldiers need in Afghanistan. This is horrific, but it does not operate in a vacuum or a world where we have done no wrong or where these kinds of events are rare.
Child victim in Gaza
So, call me Debbie Downer and tell me to get my unpatriotic ass out of the country or call me insensitive. I want to see a consistent and strong level of outrage, shock, and trauma displayed for all innocent victims of unspeakable violence. The hometowns of all of these victims should be our hometowns.
The idea of three dead, several more critically wounded, and over a 100 injured, merely for running in a marathon (often running for charities or victims of other tragedies) is terrible to contemplate. Our hearts are broken for the victims and their family and friends, for the runners who will not run again.
There is negative energy implicit in such a violent event, and there is potential positive energy to be had from the way that we respond to it. To fight our contemporary pathologies, the tragedy has to be turned to empathy and universal compassion rather than to anger and racial profiling. Whatever sick mind dreamed up this act did not manifest the essence of any large group of people. Terrorists and supremacists represent only themselves, and always harm their own ethnic or religious group along with everyone else.
The negative energies were palpable. Fox News contributor Erik Rush tweeted, “Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let’s bring more Saudis in without screening them! C’mon!” When asked if he was already scapegoating Muslims, he replied, ““Yes, they’re evil. Let’s kill them all.” Challenged on that, he replied, “Sarcasm, idiot!” What would happen, I wonder, if someone sarcastically asked on Twitter why, whenever there is a bombing in the US, one of the suspects everyone has to consider is white people? I did, mischievously and with Mr. Rush in mind, and was told repeatedly that it wasn’t right to tar all members of a group with the brush of a few. They were so unselfconscious that they didn’t seem to realize that this was what was being done to Muslims!
Indeed, sympathy for Boston’s victims has come from around the world from places like Iraq that we’ve plastered with bombs not that long ago. Condemnation for this act came from elected officials in Egypt from the Muslim Brotherhood which has been absolutely slathered with the mark of satan by the likes of our elected officials like whacko Michelle Bachmann. This part of Cole’s essay really got to me and I was already teary eyed hearing about Jane and Martin Richard from their school’s headmaster on Last Word.
Some Syrians and Iraqis pointed out that many more people died from bombings and other violence in their countries on Monday than did Americans, and that they felt slighted because the major news networks in the West (which are actually global media) more or less ignored their carnage but gave wall to wall coverage of Boston.
Aljazeera English reported on the Iraq bombings, which killed some 46 in several cities, and were likely intended to disrupt next week’s provincial election.
What happened in Boston is undeniably important and newsworthy. But so is what happened in Iraq and Syria. It is not the American people’s fault that they have a capitalist news model, where news is often carried on television to sell advertising. The corporations have decided that for the most part, Iraq and Syria aren’t what will attract Nielsen viewers and therefore advertising dollars. Given the global dominance by US news corporations, this decision has an impact on coverage in much of the world.
So I’d like to turn the complaint on its head. Having experienced the shock and grief of the Boston bombings, cannot we in the US empathize more with Iraqi victims and Syrian victims? Compassion for all is the only way to turn such tragedies toward positive energy.
Perhaps some Americans, in this moment of distress, will be willing to be also distressed over the dreadful conditions in which Syrian refugees are living, and will be willing to go to the aid of Oxfam’s Syria appeal. Some of those Syrians living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey were also hit by shrapnel or lost limbs. Perhaps some of us will donate to them in the name of our own Boston Marathon victims of senseless violence.
Terrorism has no nation or religion. But likewise its victims are human beings, precious human beings, who must be the objects of compassion for us all.
It is absolutely true that the shortcomings of our press this week were on parade this week. They basically spent hour-after-hour in what seemed like a glorified witch hunt. But there is a bigger injustice and short coming. Other people around the world–suffering and dying–deserve to have their stories told also. Every innocent victim of violence deserves justice and recognition. This is true of those 88 who die every day in this country from guns. It is true of all those killed by state violence be it ours or Bashar al-Assad or the crazy jerks that set of bombs on streets all over the world or fire military style weapons in our schools and movie theaters. All of this should cause the press to do its job and it should cause our hearts to grieve equally. Why obsess minute by minute on one act when there is a world full of them to choose from? Why not give all of the victims of violence their due?
So, what is on your reading and blogging list today?
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The Elephants of the Republican Party don’t seem to have very good memories. Diaper Dave Vitter, Ralph Reed, and even Mark Sanford seem to have continuing careers despite basic transgressions of civility and law. Words fail me on the convenient memories of the perpetrators of one of America’s greatest sins on its 10th anniversary.
There are so many things that are wrong with the lead-up and the shock-and-awe of the Iraq War that we should make yesterday a national holiday to remember the criminal enterprise that brought us the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and all the other murderous chicken hawks of the Republican Party. Voters should be made to remember that Jeb Bush was also a signatory to neocon documents that became policies of the of group of folks that were disgruntled that Poppy Bush didn’t take the initiative to get us into Iraq after the Kuwait Invasion. That’s another resurrection that shouldn’t happen. PNAC and all its signatories and enablers should go down in history as a list of War Criminals. Judith Miller and various other ‘journalists’ should be added to the list of enablers of war crimes too.
I supported Ken Pollack’s war, which led me to support George W. Bush’s war. Both were wrong. The assumptions required to make them right — Hussein had WMDs, Hussein was truly crazy, Hussein couldn’t be contained, American military planners and soldiers could competently destroy and then rebuild a complex, fractured society they didn’t understand — were implausible.
But saying, in retrospect, that I shouldn’t have supported the Iraq War is easy. The harder question is how to avoid a similarly catastrophic misjudgment in the future.
So here are some of my lessons. First, listen to the arguments of the people who will actually carry out a project, not the arguments of the people who just want to see the project carried out. Who manages a project can be as important as what the project is.
Second, don’t trust what “everybody knows.” There is, perhaps, nothing more dangerous than a fact that everyone thinks they know, because it shuts down critical thinking. In a retrospective for Foreign Policy, Stephen Hadley, Bush’s national security adviser, said, “It never occurred to me or anyone else I was working with, and no one from the intelligence community or anyplace else ever came in and said, ‘What if Saddam is doing all this deception because he actually got rid of the WMD and he doesn’t want the Iranians to know?’ Now, somebody should have asked that question. I should have asked that question. Nobody did. It turns out that was the most important question in terms of the intelligence failure that never got asked.”
“I’ve got to say, I think that is not a reasonable question. What we did at the time was done in the belief that it was necessary to protect this nation. You can’t, a decade later, go back and say, ‘Well, we shouldn’t have done that,’” Perle responded.
Perle’s refusal to evaluate the question seems to underscore just how little those who made decisions in the lead-up to the invasion want to go back and re-evaluate a choice that most Americans think was a mistake.
The war hawk made some spectacularly wrong predictions and proclamations prior to the Iraq war. Mother Jones reported that Perle claimed Saddam Hussein had ties to Bin Laden days after 9/11, suggested that war with Iraq would be easy (requiring only about 40,000 troops), and claimed that Hussein was “working feverishly” to acquire nuclear weapons. Perle also said that Iraqis could finance their own reconstruction.
Elsewhere in Wednesday’s interview, Monagne asked Perle if it ever crossed anyone’s minds that Iraq’s deception about its chemical weapons could have been directed towards, say, Iran — with which the country fought an eight-year war — rather than the United States.
“I’m sorry to say that I didn’t achieve that insight,” Perle replied.
Perle also cast the toppling of Hussein’s reign of nearly 24 years without any centralized authority as an opportunity. “You can say we left it broken. I think we left it open for opportunity. And then we closed our own opening by moving into an occupation,” he said.
And isn’t that what we did in Iraq? We spent billions of dollars in Iraq as damages. We did so not because the war was wrong, but because it was right — and we shared the benefits of the war with the Iraqi people by transferring some of it in the form of reconstruction funds.
It’s at these times when I understand the appeal of an almighty deity that will firmly send such folks to eternal suffering for all their hubris, ignorance, and murderous acts. However, I’d just like to see a little justice done to them here on Earth while we can. It could start with never, ever letting them show up as experts on anything and absolute excoriation when they try to redefine their mistakes. I know it’s too much to think the Justice Department would deliver their arrogant asses to a court. But, I would like to think the court of opinion and the press could treat them with the contempt they deserve. It galls me to think that they’re moving around press circles trying to spread more lies and resurrect themselves. What they should be doing is Public Service for the rest of their lives to make living tolerable for Iraqi veterans, their families, and for Iraqis. None of them should live any kind of life of ease nor should any of us ever let them try to forget that they are Unrepentant War Criminals.
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Time for another cartoon post, damn…it seems like the week flew by doesn’t it? Before we get to the funnies, here are a couple of news links I think you may find interesting.
Over at National Journal, they have a page that maps out Muslim Protests Around the World. They are supposed to be updating it as more hot spots come into play…gives me the creeps just seeing all those dots of violence across the globe.
In New Hampshire, they are suppressing the vote before the new voter id law comes into effect. Assholes.
They picked the perfect actor for a political ad loaded with f-bombs.
Samuel L. Jackson will film a provocative spot supporting President Obama’s re-election bid as early as tomorrow — telling voters to “Wake the f–k up, Vote for Obama.”
The ad is a riff on Jackson’s viral video “Go the F–k to Sleep,” where he narrates a children’s book written by Adam Mansbach.
It’s paid for by the Jewish Council for Education and Research Super PAC — which earlier this summer aired an ad of comedian Sarah Silverman offering “free lesbian sex” to billionaire Sheldon Adelson if he stopped supporting GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
It is coming out on Youtube Sept. 24th and I can’t wait. And if you want to laugh at something, I say check this out:
Drink Samuel L. Jackson’s beer — before he gets medieval on yo’ ass. (1:15)
Alright, let’s get on with the funnies…The cartoon pages were filled with things about Romney and his appalling performance the other day. Actually, it really wasn’t a performance act per say, it was his real personality showing through.
He has argued for U.S. military intervention in Syria, and has been loudly critical of President Obama’s approach to the Syrian uprisings. He has also criticized Obama’s decision to pull out of Iraq and his strategy in Afghanistan.
Finally, Romney has argued for dramatic increases in defense spending, while at the same time claiming he will cut the federal deficit if elected.
Based on his hawkish policy positions, it seems relevant to ask what Romney did when he was eligible for military service; and the AP recently took a look at Romney’s military service–actually his lack of military service. Not to put too fine a point on it, Romney is a chicken hawk. His (non)military history also shows that his etch-a-sketch behavior began quite early in life.
Taken at the height of the swinging Sixties, Mr Romney holds a sign declaring ‘Speak Out, Don’t Sit In’ as, alongside like-minded individuals, he proclaims his support for Lyndon Johnson’s ever-expanding draft….
A newspaper clipping headlined ‘Governor’s son pickets the pickets’ states: ‘Mitt Romney, son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, was one of the pickets who supported the Stanford University administration in opposition to sit-in demonstrators.’
The photograph was taken on May 20, 1966, shortly after a group of students had taken over the office of Stanford University President Wallace Sterling.
They were protesting at the introduction of a test designed to help the authorities decide who was eligible for the draft.
Of course Romney himself could have been drafted in 1966, but he applied for and received a student deferment in the same year he participated in the pro-war demonstration. After one year at Stanford, young Mitt left school to serve as a mormon missionary in France. From MSNBC.com:
Though an early supporter of the Vietnam War, Romney avoided military service at the height of the fighting after high school by seeking and receiving four draft deferments, according to Selective Service records. They included college deferments and a 31-month stretch as a “minister of religion” in France, a classification for Mormon missionaries that the church at the time feared was being overused. The country was cutting troop levels by the time he became eligible for the draft, and his lottery number was not called.
Romney received three more deferments during his missionary service, even though the Mormon church was strongly supportive of the Vietnam war and was limiting the number of deferments it signed off on. Romney got three of them though. Gee, I wonder why?
After his first year at Stanford, Romney qualified for 4-D deferment status as “a minister of religion or divinity student.” It was a status he would hold from July 1966 until February 1969, a period he largely spent in France working as a Mormon missionary.
He was granted the deferment even as some young Mormon men elsewhere were denied that same status, which became increasingly controversial in the late 1960s. The Mormon church, a strong supporter of American involvement in Vietnam, ultimately limited the number of church missionaries allowed to defer their military service using the religious exemption.
Later, a 23-year old Romney had turned against the war he avoided.
“If it wasn’t a political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don’t know what is,” a 23-year-old Romney would tell The Boston Globe in 1970 during the fifth year of his deferment.
His 31-month religious deferment expired in early 1969. And Romney received an academic studies deferment for much of the next two years. He became available for military service at the end of 1970 when his deferments ran out and he could have been drafted. But by that time, America was beginning to slice its troop levels, and Romney’s relatively high lottery number — 300 out of 365 — was not called.
Later, when he ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney was quoted in the Boston Herald as saying:
“I was not planning on signing up for the military”…”It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam, but nor did I take any actions to remove myself from the pool of young men who were eligible for the draft,”
But he in fact had applied for and been granted four deferments–nearly as many as Dick Cheney got.
Mitt’s views on Vietnam continued to “evolve.” During his last run for president in 2007, he the Globe again quoted Romney on Vietnam:
“I was supportive of my country,” Romney said. “I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there, and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam.”
Romney’s views on Vietnam had gone full circle–from enthusiastic pro-war demonstrator, to draft dodger, to vocal critic of U.S. policy, to claiming he never wanted to go to war, but never tried to get out of it, to nostalgia for how much he “longed” to be in Vietnam while he served out his extra-long 4-D deferment.
What a guy!
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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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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The Sky Dancing banner headline uses a snippet from a work by artist Tashi Mannox called 'Rainbow Study'. The work is described as a" study of typical Tibetan rainbow clouds, that feature in Thanka painting, temple decoration and silk brocades". dakinikat was immediately drawn to the image when trying to find stylized Tibetan Clouds to represent Sky Dancing. It is probably because Tashi's practice is similar to her own. His updated take on the clouds that fill the collection of traditional thankas is quite special.
You can find his work at his website by clicking on his logo below. He is also a calligraphy artist that uses important vajrayana syllables. We encourage you to visit his on line studio.