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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 44,131

Journal Archives

Hurricane and Jordan

The public now knows a little more about the White House K-9 guard dogs that helped subdue the latest White House fence jumper Wednesday night. The Secret Service tweeted out photos and Twitter-length bios of Hurricane and Jordan, both Belgian Malinois dogs.

U.S. Secret Service ✔ @SecretService
USSS K-9 Hurricane - black Belgian Malinois, brown eyes, age 6, enjoys playing with his Kong toy, ready to work
1:12 PM - 23 Oct 2014


U.S. Secret Service ✔ @SecretService
USSS K-9 Jordan - black/tan Belgian Malinois, brown eyes, age 5, enjoys walks around White House, ready to work
1:09 PM - 23 Oct 2014


WAPO Shilling For The Cops? - Expert: My Michael Brown Autopsy Analysis Was Taken 'Out Of Context'

Expert: My Michael Brown Autopsy Analysis Was Taken 'Out Of Context'


But Melinek told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Wednesday that her comments had been taken "out of context" and that she believed the findings could be explained by other scenarios as well.

"What happens sometimes is when you get interviewed and you have a long conversation with a journalist, they're going to take things out of context," she said. "I made it very clear that we only have partial information here. We don't have the scene information. We don't have the police investigation. We don't have all the witness statements. And you can't interpret autopsy findings in a vacuum."

She and O'Donnell then walked through a variety of alternative situations in which the gunshot residue found on Brown's hand -- the key finding that suggested Brown had been reaching for Wilson's gun -- could have gotten there.

"I'm not saying that Brown going for the gun is the only explanation. I'm saying the officer said he was going for the gun and the right thumb wound supports that," Melinek. "I have limited information. It could also be consistent with other scenarios. That's the important thing. That's why the witnesses need to speak to the grand jury and the grand jury needs to hear all the unbiased testimony and compare those statements to the physical evidence."

Video & More:

Farce of US Multibillion Dollar War on Opium in Afghanistan Exposed by Record Crop

Thursday, 23 October 2014 08:33
Farce of US Multibillion Dollar War on Opium in Afghanistan Exposed by Record Crop

Opium field in Afghanistan. (Photo: isafmedia)

After 14 years of covering the shady underside of US politics and international policy, it would be easy to assert that all too often, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

It became clear within a couple of years after the US invaded Afghanistan that the Bush administration's claim to be implementing a vigorous opium eradication program in that nation was fabricated for domestic political reasons. The reality was that the practical politics of the occupation resulted in opium production actually increasing in Afghanistan. According to Listcrux.com and other sources, Afghanistan remains the number one producer of opium (also the derivative for heroin) in the world.

Indeed, the US occupation has been good for opium growers, very good. According to an official US analysis by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, opium cultivation in the nation is now at record levels. The title of the government report says it all: "Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan: After a Decade of Reconstruction and Over $7 Billion in Counternarcotics Efforts, Poppy Cultivation Levels Are at an All-Time High."

Combat the epidemic of misinformation that plagues the corporate media! Make a tax-deductible donation to Truthout and BuzzFlash today.

Listcrux.com provides background on why it listed Afghanistan as the number one poppy grower in the world:

Despite 10 years of US-led war on the nation, opium production in Afghanistan reached a stupendous record-high in 2013 and we are yet to see what the next year has to bring. In fact, this year, Afghanistan has produced more opium than rest of the world combined! The cultivation this year amounted to some 209,000 hectares as opposed to the previous-highest of 193,000 hectares in 2007. Moreover, it is a 36% increase in production since the last year.... Afghanistan has been marked at an export value of 4 billion dollars, where only a quarter goes to the opium farmers. The rest travels back to the drug trafficking dealers, warlords and the district officials.

Other online publications have reported on the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on attempting to reduce opium production in Afghanistan - and cited the squandered funds as a failure.



Oops: Scott Brown lists self as Mass. state senator in recent campaign filing

..........in Brown's latest campaign finance report, Brown is listed as donating $244 to his campaign on Sept. 9, the day of the Republican primary. His employer is listed as "Commonwealth of MA" and is occupation as "state senator."

The report was filed with the Senate last week, as required, but the Federal Election Commission has not put it online yet.

Brown did serve as a Massachusetts state Senator from 2004 to 2010, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in a special election. He lost re-election to his U.S. Senate seat in 2012. He moved to New Hampshire in late December 2013.

"This was a clerical error and the report is being amended and refiled accordingly," said Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Guyton.

Read more: http://www.wmur.com/political-scoop/oops-brown-lists-himself-as-mass-state-senator-in-recent-campaign-filing/29296742#ixzz3H02h3J9Z

Sorry Michelangelo...

Voter Suppression In America Today

Transgender federal employee wins historic discrimination case

Source: Washington Post

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel on Thursday announced a landmark determination that the Department of the Army engaged in “frequent, pervasive and humiliating,” gender-identity discrimination against Tamara Lusardi, a veteran and civilian Army software specialist who transitioned from male to female.

Lusardi was working in the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (“AMRDEC”) in Redstone, Ala., when she transitioned from male to female in 2010. During that time, the Army improperly restricted her restroom usage, referred to her with male pronouns and by her birth name and stopped giving her work, the OSC said in a report released Thursday.

In a telephone interview from Alabama, Lusardi, 49, who served in the Army from 1986 to 1993, including in Desert Storm, said she was called “sir” and “it” by co-workers and management after she legally changed her name, driver’s license and security clearance and began dressing as a woman.

Lusardi was also required to use a single-user, gender-neutral restroom, out of concerns that other employees might feel “uncomfortable” sharing a restroom with her.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/10/23/transgender-federal-employee-wins-historic-discrimination-case/

Labor Secretary Tom Perez: when it comes to minimum wage rates, “we suck.”

Labor Secretary Tom Perez: when it comes to minimum wage rates, “we suck.”

The U.S. federal wage floor ranks third-lowest -- as a percentage of median wage -- among the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a status that Perez said was embarrassing. I mean, we suck, Perez said. “We really do.”


Governor Christie Says GOP Needs To Win In Order To Control ‘Voting Mechanisms’

Governor Christie Says GOP Needs To Win In Order To Control ‘Voting Mechanisms’
By: DSWright Thursday October 23, 2014 9:36 am

Just in case it was not clear as to how the GOP plans to win elections despite having a shrinking demographic, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decided to remove any doubt – rigging the vote. In an amazingly honest speech to the US Chamber of Commerce Governor Christie said that the GOP had to control the voting process if they were to succeed in 2016.

Christie’s statements come in the wake of a wave of voter ID laws meant to drive down poor and minority turnout throughout the country – voters who generally vote Democrat. The US Supreme Court recently upheld Texas’ controversial voter ID law and Christie vetoed an early voting bill for New Jersey. Other states have also taken measures to tackle a non-existent voter fraud problem and limit early voting

Governor Christie pushed further into the contentious debate over voting rights than ever before, saying Tuesday that Republicans need to win gubernatorial races this year so that they’re the ones controlling “voting mechanisms” going into the next presidential election. Republican governors are facing intense fights in the courts over laws they pushed that require specific identification in order to vote and that reduce early voting opportunities. Critics say those laws sharply curtail the numbers of poor and minority voters, who would likely vote for Democrats…

“Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?” he asked.


No, marijuana use doesn’t lower your IQ

Even heavy marijuana use wasn’t associated with IQ.

“In particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline,” the authors write. “No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change.”


The UK study does find evidence, however, of slightly impaired educational abilities among the very heaviest marijuana users. This group of students scored roughly 3% lower on school exams taken at age 16, even after adjusting for confounding factors.

In a press release accompanying the study, lead author Claire Mokrysz noted that “this is a potentially important public health message- the belief that cannabis is particularly harmful may detract focus from and awareness of other potentially harmful behaviours.” Reviewer Guy Goodwin of Oxford University agreed: “the current focus on the alleged harms of cannabis may be obscuring the fact that its use is often correlated with that of other even more freely available drugs and possibly lifestyle factors. These may be as or more important than cannabis itself.”

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