September 12, 2012 archive

US Envoy & 3 Others Killed in Libya

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other American foreign service officers were killed in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The American news media is reporting that the attacks were spurred by an obscure film that was insulting to the Muslim religion that was promoted by anti-Islamic Florida pastor Terry Jones. The foreign press said that it may have been started by “hardline jihadists:”

The exact circumstances of the ambassador’s death remain unclear. On Tuesday night a group of extremists attacked the US consulate building in Benghazi, setting it on fire, and killing one US diplomatic officer.

On Tuesday the US state department confirmed that one of its employees had been killed by the mob that stormed the US mission in Benghazi, incensed by a US film that they deemed blasphemous to the prophet Muhammad. Libyan officials said Stevens and two security staff were in their car when gunmen fired rockets at it, Reuters reported. The official said the US military had sent a military plane to transport the bodies to Tripoli and to fly them back to the US.

One witness told the Guardian on Wednesday that a mob fired at least one rocket at the US consulate building in Benghazi and then stormed it, setting everything ablaze. “I was there about an hour ago. The place [consulate] is totally destroyed, the whole building is on fire,” said Mohammed El Kish, a former press officer with the National Transitional Council, which handed power to an elected parliament last month. He added: “They stole a lot of things.”

Kish, who is from Benghazi, blamed the attack on hardline jihadists. He said locals in Benghazi were upset by the activities of Islamist groups and would revolt against them. He also said the US consulate was not well protected, unlike the fortified US embassy in the capital, Tripoli. “It wasn’t that much heavily guarded. In Tripoli the embassy is heavily guarded.”

One of the other foreign service officers killed, Sean Smith, was mourned by the gaming community were he was an active participant and often spoke about his job.

President Barack Obama, speaking from the White House, strongly condemned the violence:

“These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity,” Mr. Obama said in a televised statement from the White House Rose Garden where he stood side-by-side with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Make no mistake: we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”

 Mr. Obama also offered praise for the Libyan government, noting that Libyan security forces fought back against the mob, helped protect American diplomats and took Mr. Stevens’s body to the hospital. “This attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya,” he said. [..]

“While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants,” Mr. Obama said, calling Mr. Stevens “a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States” who had “selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi” and, as ambassador, “supported Libya’s transition to democracy.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who appeared visibly upset, made this statement:

“This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence and we send our prayers to the families, friends and colleagues of those we’ve lost.”

Mrs. Clinton described the Benghazi assailants as “a small and savage group, not the people or government of Libya.”

Only two of those killed have been identified, Amb. Smith and Foreign Service Off. Sean Smith

The Daily Show/The Colbert Report Convention Interviews: Part 2

Andrew Sullivan

James Carville

Austan Goolsbee as aired

Extended Interview Pt. 1

Extended Interview Pt. 2

Extended Interview Pt. 3

Bill Richardson

Ed Rendell

The Daily Show/The Colbert Report Convention Interviews: Part 1

Tom Brokaw as aired

Extended Interview Pt. 1

Extended Interview Pt. 2

Reihan Salam

Kirsten Gillibrand as aired

Extended Interview Pt. 1

Extended Interview Pt. 2

Michael Grunwald


Another restored.  From May 19, 2011.

Tease for Two

On This Day In History September 12

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 110 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1940, Lascaux cave paintings discovered

Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne département. They contain some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic  art. These paintings are estimated to be 17,000 years old. They primarily consist of primitive images of large animals, most of which are known from fossil evidence to have lived in the area at the time. In 1979, Lascaux was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list along with other prehistoric sites in the Vezere valley.

The cave was discovered on September 12, 1940 by four teenagers, Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas, as well as Marcel’s dog, Robot. The cave complex was opened to the public in 1948. By 1955, the carbon dioxide  produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. The cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art. After the cave was closed, the paintings were restored to their original state, and were monitored on a daily basis. Rooms in the cave include The Great Hall of the Bulls, the Lateral Passage, the Shaft of the Dead Man, the Chamber of Engravings, the Painted Gallery, and the Chamber of Felines.

Lascaux II, a replica of two of the cave halls – the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery – was opened in 1983, 200 meters from the original. Reproductions of other Lascaux artwork can be seen at the Centre of Prehistoric Art at Le Thot, France.

Welcome New Users

re-posted from Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 07:00:00 PDT

Welcome New Users to DocuDharma.  We expect there will be a lot of you today.

DocuDharma is a Soapblox blog with Ajax comments.  If you’re here from someplace else like My Left Wing or Never In Our Names I expect most of our controls will be familiar to you.  If you’re visiting from Daily Kos or Booman Tribune some of them may be confusing.

Any HTML that works at Daily Kos will also work here.  There are no fancy format buttons or autoformatting shortcuts (*bold* for instance), no ordered or unordered lists either.  Here is a table of the most common formatting tags-

So Today’s The Big Day!

re-posted from September 12, 2007 at 05:00:00 PDT.

Time to start making our marks.

We look sharp, time to be sharp.

When I think about blogging as art I see it as halfway between a Magazine and a TV Channel.  You have an audience for the Gilmore Girls and when they tune in they expect to see it.

But also a Community blog is a team effort, the kind of artistry you see on a Baseball Diamond between 9 people who love the game they play.  Sort of a dance, but competitive.

First day of the season.  Home opener.  Score is nothing nothing and anything can happen.

That said I expect we’ll get our asses kicked and be cleaning up the mess for weeks, but I love this game.

It’s a long season, 162 games at least.  I’m not disappointed in the talent, but we’ve never played together before and you can only expect miscommunication and errors.

It’s all good.

As we learn together we will get stronger as a team.  Pretty soon we’ll be turning those double plays and figure out where the bumps in the field are.  We have the pitching to succeed and the bullpen to close.

Now we just have to start scratching out the runs.

Five Years!

This puts us a mere 5 years behind Atrios who celebrated his 10th anniversary earlier this year and 3 years behind dK.

1827 days.  30,833 essays posted (17 a day).  20,089 featured (11 a day).  343,863 comments (188 per day).

Yes, that seemed like an awful lot to me too.  The initial values are taken directly from the database which sequentially numbers each essay and comment.  The larger amount of essays includes everything that the post button was pushed on including static, draft, and deleted pieces as well as all those that were not featured on the Front Page.  The featured essays come from direct measure of the number of Main Archive Pages (now 673 @ 30 per page +19 from the inception of the site on August 17, 2007) starting at our very first essay on our official launch day, September 12, 2007 (page 667 currently).

So 11 features a day seems reasonable since we’re currently running around 8 or 9, but 188 comments?  Well, if you average them out per feature you end up with about 17 comments which is not orders of magnitude outrageous when you consider that many of the 30% that didn’t make the Front Page got comments too, some quite a few.

Even if the numbers are a little inflated though, it’s still quite a record of accomplishment and I want to thank you, our readers and contributors, for making it such a success.

There are 2 individuals I’m going to publicly embarrass- Robyn and mishima.  They’ve been part of the site since before the beginning and the consistent high quality of their work as well as its dependability is an example for anyone, including myself.

For your amusement I thought you might like to see our opening day line up-


September 12, 2007

Another damned, thick, square book!  Always scribble, scribble, scribble!  Eh, Mr. Gibbon?

Doing the research for one of these retrospectives exposes you to some pretty interesting content, parts of which you are expected to be familiar with even if you weren’t around for the entertainment.  Here’s some meta from pre-launch.

And our first Hide Rates

We talked a lot about regulating controversy.  Oddly the central concept, having Editors debate questionable actions in private and recommend temporary penalties for misbehavior to buhdy who would make the final decision instead of automatic banishment based on witch-hunting mobs, didn’t generate nearly as much as the questions of whether it should be possible to express disapproval of a statement without further explanation (Wrong!) and if Pony was simply too cutesy to live.

When we found out there was no way for Members to examine hidden comments and uprate them if they disagreed with the assessment, we suspended ratings for all but Admins and Editors until Soapblox could fix the problem (a big surprise to sites that had been using ratings but not checking them).

Unfortunately, some people have difficulty following the Eight Fold Way (and distinguishing a metaphor from scripture I might add).

Have I mentioned I like irony?

I kind of miss the big guy and expect his disputes with Jeralyn over Zimmerman/Martin and Markos over… well everything, to soon lead to his finding something of substance to write about.  He wasn’t always wrong you know.

Later I’ll be re-publishing So Today’s The Big Day! which is kind of about the positive energy we felt when we opened our doors and Welcome New Users which describes some of the basic tools and organization.  Our handling of HTML has gotten much better with time so we now do have formatting buttons and a literal character (backslash-‘\').  While technically limited to avoid spam, there’s no practical cap on your daily essays if you get in touch with TheMomCat or I.  We monitor pretty closely, but we’re not instantly available necessarily.  I’ve kind of come to enjoy the slower pace where no one sets a serious time limit for you to provide linked evidence of your unfounded accusations, conspiracy theories, and catalog of calumnies and slanders!

I hope you’re enjoying your experience here as much as we do providing you a forum to have it.  I’m looking forward to many more years of stimulating discussion and thought provoking pieces.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Art Glass 11