April 12, 2010 archive

Man fired shotgun when Census worker visited his home. Way to go CNN and Erick Erickson, you idiots

Was it his wife’s shotgun?

ST. MARIES, Idaho (AP) – A northern Idaho man who police say fired his shotgun near a U.S. census worker who was trying to deliver a census form has been cited for exhibition of a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor.

Fifty-4-year-old Richard L. Powell of St. Maries faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The Benewah County Prosecutor’s office says that on March 3 Powell told the census worker to get off his property and then fired a shotgun into the air.


Bold text added by the diarist

    Although this happened before Erickson told his listeners on RedState radio that he would pull his wife’s shotgun on any census worker who set foot on his property, it shows how some people are already on the verge of violence and need no egging on.

    So it is official, Erick son of Erick is the new Lou Dobbs/Glenn Beck of CNN.

More below the fold

Sunday Train: Working on the Railroad – Why Krugman is Wrong

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

In his inimitable “twisting mainstream economics in as progressive direction as he can accomplish” style, Paul Krugman has made a splash among those following the challenge of our headlong and reckless pursuit of Climate Chaos with a column on the cost of policies to put the brakes on that reckless gamble.

Hat tip to A Siegal, who nailed a critical failing of Krugman’s analysis:

Krugman falls into the trap of discussing the costs of dealing with climate change … a robust cost/benefits analysis would … result in a very serious statement as to the “huge risks and costs of inaction vs the very serious benefits of action”.

In particular, it is a common failing of mainstream economics to assume an economy that naturally tends to full employment, so that policies that boost employment are a cost, when in the real world they are a benefit.

Of course, the oil-industry funded belief tanks will be promoting the idea that Krugman is overstating the case for taking action against climate chaos … when the reality is that he overstates the cost to the public of taking action and so understates the case for taking action.

Pique the Geek 20100411: Distillation (with Poll!)

Distillation is a general term for several different processes, all of them involving elevated temperature relative to the materials to be separated boiling points.  It is generally a separation process, but in some cases actually involved chemical reactions to create new materials during the process.

Distillation as we generally think of it is a method used to separate two or more liquids, but it is much more general than that.  It also is a term that is used, by extension, to take a large amount of information and extract the most pertinent parts of it into a concentrated form.  Indeed, distillation is often used to concentrate a minor component of a mixture to pure (or at least more concentrated) material.

Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

Willie Nelson’s Band Members Charged with Drug & Alcohol Possession in North Carolina

On January 28, 2010, six members of Willie Nelson’s band were charged with possession of illegal drugs and alcohol. In a news conference on Friday, Duplin County district attorney Dewey Hudson said the substances have been sent to Raleigh for testing.

Hudson has been under pressure to drop the charges against the band members, but he has refused to do so. He has said that he has to show that famous people are not above the law.

Band members gave officers permission to search the bus after an officer smelled marijuana when he walked near the bus. The search was done prior to a concert in Kenansville. Nelson canceled the concert after the citations, claiming that his hand was injured and he wouldn’t be able to play his guitar. Willie Nelson was not on the bus at the time of the bust.

The six band members are charged with possession of either marijuana or untaxed liquor. The citations are specifically for possession of moonshine and a misdemeanor amount of marijuana.

District Attorney Hudson’s primary critic is state Senator Charlie Albertson, D-Duplin. Albertson has argued for marijuana to be made legal and uses the argument that alcohol is believed to be just as dangerous as pot and is legal. He also recorded a country music song about the case titled, ‘Leave the Man Alone’. In his song, he criticizes Alcohol Law Enforcement agents and the Nelson band members charges.

Hudson is currently running for the state Senate.

Nelson’s publicist has not commented on the case. The Nelson band members are scheduled to face charges of drug & alcohol possession in North Carolina on April 21, 2010.

Child Brides of Obama’s Islamic Allies

CB1 (3)

This is Faiz Mohammed and his bride, Ghulam Haider, who was 11 years old on the day of her wedding in Afghanistan, in 2006.

We chased the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan in 2001, and if you still believe the Bush/Obama propaganda, we are now and were always on the verge of installing a more enlightened form of Islam where the demonic Taliban formerly ruled.

But it was surprisingly difficult to find a “more enlightened form of Islam” to install in Afghanistan, even if the “goal” of nine years of mass murder by the CIA and other American agencies hadn’t suddenly changed from driving the Taliban out of Afghanistan to making a deal with those same demons.

Karzai has endorsed the idea of talking with all levels of the Taliban, and his aides insist that women need not worry about the equal rights the Afghan constitution guarantees them.

(Apparently among the “equal rights” which the Afghan Constitution guarantees for women was Ghulam Haider’s “right” to marry Faiz Mohammed when she was 11 years old.)

But after we make our deal with the demonic Taliban, the condition of women in Afghanistan will supposedly improve, because the Taliban will peacefully share power with our more enlightened Islamic allies.

And where will Obama find those more enlightened Islamic allies, after he makes a deal with the Taliban?

CB1 (2)

Roshan Kasem was 8 years old on the day of her betrothal to Said Mohammed in Ghor Province, Afghanistan, in 2006.

Maybe Obama can find a more enlightened form of Islam among his allies in Yemen!

A 13-year-old Yemeni child bride who bled to death shortly after marriage was tied down and forced to have sex by her husband, according to interviews with the child’s mother, police and medical reports.

The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen and has drawn the attention of international rights groups seeking to pressure the government to outlaw child marriages.

A February 2009 law set the minimum age for marriage at 17, but it was repealed and sent back to parliament’s constitutional committee for review after some lawmakers called it un-Islamic.

The issue of Yemen’s child brides received widespread attention three years ago when an 8-year-old girl boldly went by herself to a courtroom and demanded a judge dissolve her marriage to a man in his 30s.

In September, a 12-year-old Yemeni child-bride died after struggling for three days in labor to give birth, a local human rights organization said.

So apparently Yemen isn’t exactly the best place to look for a “more enlightened form of Islam” to substitute for the Taliban, and maybe we should look in Bahrain instead!

Lawmakers in Bahrain have no plans to close a loophole that allows girls below the age of 15 to be married in the Gulf island state, despite legislation intended to ban the practice.

The government prompted a storm of controversy last year when it pushed through a law which set the minimum marriage age for girls at 15. Lawmakers from the largest opposition bloc in the Bahraini Parliament had opposed the legislation, saying it went against Islamic principles.

Nixon’s Wet Dream

One of the most important aspects of this whole FISA mess has been largely overlooked. That is that it is not just about privacy. Or principle.

It is about political power.

The power of the Executive to spy on Americans is an incredible political weapon. Our Founders understood this even back in the 18th Century – information is power.

And if one has any doubt about the dangers of such power, one has to look no further than the presidency of Richard Nixon. There’s a great scene in the movie All the President’s Men where Woodward finally gets Deepthroat to talk. It is not, as far as I know, taken from an exact quote. But it is an accurate depiction of what Woodward learned:

Woodward: I’m tired of your chickenshit games. I need to know what you know.

Deepthroat: … Mitchell [Nixon’s attorney general] started doing covert stuff before anyone else. The list is longer than anyone can imagine. It involves the entire US intelligence community. FBI, CIA, Justice. It’s incredible.

The cover up had little to do with Watergate. It was mainly to protect the covert operations. It leads everywhere. Get out your notebook. There’s more.

Preparing for the new era of domination

Since neither we nor our legislators plan to do anything about it, and since our adherence to progressive ideology apparently outweighs our willingness to exercise our power, it is time to state with determination where this is all going to hit bottom.  The ecological dilemma of a society dependent upon not-so-cheap and not-so-clean oil provides a starting-point for my argument that the capitalist system has reached a cul-de-sac.  In this respect, predominant policy initiatives anticipate a post-capitalist world in which an elite of special interests uses government as a gatekeeper for public access to limited slots in a relatively tiny consumer society.

Crossposted at Orange and at Firedoglake)

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