I would say too little too late but after the 'red line' comment the US has to do something to save face. After the press conference earlier today it looks like the US is going to do exactly what they should do, small scale, targeted strikes against chemical weapon manufacturing and storage sites. At least that's what I gathered from it.
Frankly, if the US was going to get involved it should have been in the early onset of the uprising so that it could cherry pick leaders and create a coherent power base to support. The US isn't necessarily 'war weary' it's tired of government flubs and missed opportunities coming back to bite us. So bomb the chemical sites and jot a note down for next time, step up or stay silent. Statements about red lines have no place is you lack the will and political capital to follow through.
-2 ( +2 / -4 )
I can only imagine the tax fraud to come from this.
Men and women have been signing marriage documents for years for the tax and insurance benefits. If a couple of dude's want to pull a Chuck and Larry I've got no problem with it.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
All I ever believed should happen was equal treatment under federal law for purposes of taxation, insurance, and death benefits. With a few exceptions the job is done on the federal end of things. As far as I'm concerned the states may do as they may from this point forward so long as the Federal government is no longer a roadblock.
4 ( +4 / -0 )
Look how large urban centers like Detroit are run and you'll start seeing why so many are left behind. Then when anybody tries to actually fix the mess they're called a racist and every Reverend in the city gets their congregation to protest.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
Go figure, it's kind of like how they won't allow camera's into horse races. Nobody want's their wife to know where the money's going.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Kind of a shame you weren't whispering in GW's ear in '02 instead of the other maniacs...
It really is rather unfortunate that more of the political big-wigs that frequent this site don't take more of my advice to heart.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
Institute a no fly zone and post drones over all known chemical weapon's facilities in order to prevent any further use. If anybody on either side attempts to reclaim the weapons, take them out. Never-mind who wins or loses in this messed up conflict, the Syrian government has shown that it either A) Has used chemical weapons or B) Lacks the resources and infrastructure needed to keep careful watch over their existing stockpiles and have allowed them to be used by terrorists. As such the US government has no interest in allowing the Syrian government to continue operating these chemical sites.
Secure the weapon sites and remove the air from play. Then let the cards fall. Without air or chemical weapons as a last line of defense Assad doesn't have much going for him and will likely fold soon after his aircraft start dropping out of the skies.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Friendly? Y' mean like in Iraq? Or Kabul?
Or unable to project power, either way works I suppose. If you can't flip the card in your favor you can at least take it off the table. Welcome to Geopolitics Poker, where everybody cheats and if you cry foul you probably shouldn't have been playing in the first place.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
And here I was all comfy-cozy arguing about the legal and ethical ramifications of Manning's decision to leak classified US documents and then we go and throw trans-gender hormone therapy into the mix. This is going to be fun.
As he did break the law he will be going to jail which is totally within the realm of logic. They're going to count the time he's already served plus a little extra for the abuses he suffered while imprisoned. It's unfortunate that such abuse occurred but given the charges leveled against him it's hardly surprising. With all said and done he may be paroled in 7 years.
During his time in prison I don't think he should be given hormone treatment. While I find the concept of transgender surgery/hormone therapy unnerving I submit that a person may be biologically predisposed to feeling out of place in their gender of birth. While in prison he can get counseling and therapy to make sure he's able to make the proper decision once he gets out. In the mean-time...hormone replacement and gender reassignment surgery can be expensive and dangerous. As such the procedure should be elective and entirely up to the individual to finance with their own time and money.
May Bradley serve his time and eventually go on to live his life as Chelsea should that be his decision once he gets out of prison. Until then he's a man and will go to a male prison where he should probably be kept out of the general population.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Might as well save the money.
I believe its time we start looking at these things not as conflicts but as valuable testing opportunities. No boots on the ground, no weapons or aid shipments, just a wide open theater to test the bugs out of our more advanced equipment. We haven't had to deal with anti-air capabilities in a while, lets see how the drones hold up under fire. Really put those Russian air-denial systems to the test.
4 ( +4 / -0 )
Allow me to quell my surprise and compose myself. The UK spying on Middle Eastern countries? How unlike a modern western power.
If the usual suspects ignore it then it's obvious they're obsessed with certain countries and not necessarily practices.
I'm sure they'll think of something.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Its not at all nutty to focus on the guns that are in vogue with killers, gang members and nuts. If a hunter, genuine militia-type or man who wants to protect his home cannot get an AR-15, there are plenty of other weapons to choose from.
But they're not going for popular guns. AR-15's and other 'assault' style weapons don't even rank in the ATF top 10, the list is heavily populated by knock-off .38 handguns and Chinese 9mm under the name of Bryco or Raven arms. Nowhere on the ATF list does a rifle, let alone an 'assault' style rifle, even make the list. The only long gun that appears at all is the economy version of the Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun. Restricting or banning semi-automatic long guns would have little or no impact on crime and banning or restricting regular handguns would be similarly ineffective because most of these cheap Chinese or small manufacture guns are imported or produced illegally. In the instance of Raven Arms, that company has been sued into bankruptcy because of fraudulent and criminally reckless business practices. Bryco is owned by the same people as Raven and is similarly under heavy lawsuits. Regular citizens rarely buy these firearms because they're cheap pieces of garbage.
Which begs the question what has banning sawed-off shotguns really done for reducing gun crime in the US? Why are they still illegal with out a license?
The justification for banning sawed-offs was that they were more easily concealed but the fact of the matter is that if you have a pump action shotgun with a standard magazine tube you're only capable of taking off about a 10-12 inches leaving the overall profile still being in excess of 2 feet long. You can go shorter with break-action shotguns but as the barrel gets shorter muzzle velocity drops sharply and it becomes impossible to hit anything reliably. It just makes a lot of noise and sends shot everywhere. The only use they really have is as a home defense weapon for civilians and as a door breaching weapon for police.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
I don't know the regulations for trains in India but generally they have to signal their approach to known crossing points. After reading the article it's likely that the pilgrims were not crossing at a known intersection and the train probably wouldn't have known to signal. It takes a long time to stop a fully loaded train and I can't imagine what the conductor could have done to have prevented this tragedy. Stay off the tracks and don't ride on the exterior of trains.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I fully support the judge's assessment on this case that, in essence, just because a practice is effective does not mean that it is constitutional. Stop and frisk has likely removed numerous drugs and illegal weapons from the streets but ends never justify means when it comes to laws in a republican democratic society where there must be limitations on police authority, and especially their powers of search and seizure.
Searches require probable cause or a basic level of evidence, while I respect the experience and intuition of police officers I also respect their intelligence and I believe that if someone is suspicious they have the experience and training necessary to remove the threat without resorting to unconstitutional behavior.
Specifically, the New York Police Department uncovered a weapon in one out of every 49 stops of white New Yorkers, while for Latinos a weapon was found for every 71 stops, and for African Americans that number was 93 stops.
You focus on metrics but forget that there are officers providing them. Officers are more likely to stop an innocent Hispanic or Black person because officers are more likely to view them as 'out of place' or 'up to no good' even if they aren't doing anything wrong (because of racial profiling which is valid but still sucks when you're on the receiving end). By contrast an officer will likely only stop a White person if they look seriously out of place or nervous. The behavior and bias of officers skews the numbers so that they stop more innocent minorities resulting in a lower crime-per-stop ratio while they only stop blatantly out of place whites resulting in a higher ratio.
This is hard data based off of fuzzy collection and needs to be analyzed within the context of the culture that the data collection is occurring in.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
Considering it was a high end store that probably caters to a lot of rich foreigners I doubt miscommunication was at fault in this particular scenario. If this were the Swiss version of JC Penney than I'd buy that argument in a heartbeat but at in a centrally located European country in an upper class store where the employees are probably expected to know the languages of their clients this story doesn't fly. You can practically see the dust flying from how hard that store owner was backpedaling.
I think of members of my own family who immigrated from Poland to the Detroit area. By the time I was born and was growing up, I became aware of how deeply many in my family detested African-Americans. Those feelings and attitudes were not brought with them from the old country. I have visited family in Poland and saw nothing like that at all in people.
Our perceptions are shaped by our experiences. My family is the same way, most families that lived in Detroit in the wake of the riots to the present have the same thing happen to them. Year after year of people normalizing stereotypes through anecdotes and seeing many of them fulfilled in your daily life can dangerously skew any person's perceptions after years of exposure. My principle residence is still in Detroit and I admit it happens to me too, but like everybody else I take a step back to re-contextualize my thoughts and I get over it.
But Europe is by no means better, whether they're black, Arab, Eastern European, or the Irish, and you get the same patterns of racism.
I'm in compliance but I we've had a few problems over the years in the Lyon office. During the height of the riots in 2005 we found out that they were throwing out the CV's of qualified black and Arab individuals, some of whom I had worked with at other companies and I vetted myself.
It's a bag. How can it be 'worth' more than many people earn in a year?
Easily. He was quite right in saying that something is worth what a person is willing to pay for it. When you get down to it a masterpiece work of art is just canvas and paint. I've never paid more than $300 for any single piece of attire (unless you count a 3 piece suit as a single unit) in my life but I recognize that some people are interested in more expensive designers as a matter of preference and status.
Two people walk into the store to buy a handbag. One offer $120, normal for a middle class American shopper, while the other offers $30,000. As far as the store is concerned that handbag is now worth $30,000.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
From the time the summit was announced I knew the US would be looking for a reason to drop the mic and leave. I just figured it would be over the homosexual crackdown, the treatment of political opponents, the adoption thing, or the imprisonment of free speech advocates so that the US could look good compared to the Russians.
If people think this is a snub to Russia they need to take a hard look at US-Soviet relations. Russia could not give less of a damn. The Russians aren't used car salesmen that play it tough and then chase you into the parking lot with a better offer, they are shrewd politicians that have survived and even thrived after a full blown economic collapse.
Putin and his supporters would get to lambaste the Americans for right-wing brownie points and pretend that they are still a super power and the US would get to stand up to the corrupt Russians on the topics of human rights, homosexual integrity, and yadda yadda.
Thanks to Snowden, Putin gets exactly what he wants and Obama (and by extension the US) looks like a petulant child walking away from the table. Typically I see Obama as an intelligent statesman worthy of respect due to the POTUS with policies that I don't support, but this is just sloppy.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
Pretty much every terrorist threat announcement is met by the same response by some.
The response is ordinary, the publicity is not. When the Arab spring thing was going on dozens were closed and those closures only merited a footnote in most national news publications. This time they close a few embassies in response to a threat and its on the front page of every news ticker for 3 days. The timing and the media saturation is suspect, the embassy closures themselves are to be expected.
Under those conditions it's better to be safe than sorry.
I totally agree, issuing a travel advisory and temporarily closing embassies is a totally acceptable response. What I find odd is the, "See, look what we found." coverage as public dissatisfaction with NSA practices continues to rise as more information comes out on the program.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
So many conspiracy theorists these days.
I don't buy into most conspiracy garbage but having a widely publicized global travel advisory issued because of threats made by terrorists right as the NSA is under incredible public scrutiny is just to transparent to be anything but deflection. Even if there is a legitimate threat the length to which they went to make it known that they were closing embassies is well beyond the norm. In turbulent countries there are credible threats on a regular basis which often force temporary closures, these closures are almost never broadcast over national media.
I'm not saying there isn't a credible threat, I'm saying that the lengths they went to make this headline news seems suspect.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Or use a teaser, or a sleeping drug bullet as they would if the animal was of a protected species.
To debunk these in order;
Tazers are notoriously unreliable, the prongs don't always make it through the clothing and even if they do they might only cause a partial shock, just enough to freak the person with the gun out and shoot. Added to the fact that even if it does work, a tazer can cause involuntary muscle spasms which may result in a shot being fired if the individual had a finger on, or near the trigger.
Any kind of tranquilizer takes time whether its a few seconds or a few minutes. IE just enough time for the person to get panicked and start firing at the police.
If the police are responding with lethal force its probably because there is no other viable way of resolving the situation without mortal risk to the officers.
Yeah, "the black market" or "the kitchen cabinet". Nowhere does it say the kid got the gun illegally, nor that it was illegally kept in his home, does it?
The individual was already charged with illegal possession of a handgun once which, in New York state, would exempt anybody in the household from being able to possess, register, or even apply for a pistol license. The laws become even more stringent within NYC itself making it incredibly difficult to posses a handgun legally within the city.
Probably got it from someone in the neighborhood that was going to jail or found it in a hiding spot. In most major city's criminals don't store the gun in their own house for fear that it will be found by the police and confiscated, so they put them in abandoned houses, mailboxes, or in other places where they can retrieve it easily if they need it without it being inside of their home.
Because of that children, teens, and other individuals in the area can just 'pick up' a gun if they know where one is hidden. Also, friends and family members often give their legally or illegally owned guns to relatives while they are incarcerated so they don't have to find a new one.
4 ( +4 / -0 )
My old plan didn't qualify as insurance under the law, it was a small co-op with catastrophic injury insurance through a larger provider, and I had to get another one last month when the plan finally wrapped up. Paying an extra 6 grand a year for services I don't want or need, the services I do want I still have to pay out of pocket for, and I'm looking at a big ole hike next year, goodie.
This is just a subsidy for the insurance companies that will drive up the cost of care and insurance. Same as what happened to college debt and what happened to mortgages, the federal government gets involved, prices surge, and in time, the whole thing falls apart. Rinse and repeat.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Murder and manslaughter were stupid charges that the prosecution was pushed into thanks, in no small part, to the actions of a deliberately misinformed public. They should have gone for criminal negligence or spent some time building a case for manslaughter, as it was the case was poorly handled by the prosecution and it shows in the verdict.
Murder requires intent, not intent to follow or intent to observe, but intent to cause harm. Nothing brought forth in the trial gives any indication that he intended to do harm.
The problem is that the rubbish laws of Florida say it's OK to respond with a bullet not only to a punch in the face, but to 'he looked at me funny and I felt threatened'.
The laws in Florida are fine and he would have been found guilty if he had been prosecuted under different charges or if the prosecution had been more competent. But individuals like some of the posters got so whipped up into a tizzy that there would have been riots if the prosecutor hadn't pressed for the murder charge. They overplayed their hand because of public pressure and got burned for it.
Murder requires intent, intentional manslaughter requires malice, nothing in any of the evidence shows any of that. And even involuntary manslaughter would have required Zimmerman to initiate the fight, which the prosecutor could not prove anyway but they might have been able to make a case out of it if they weren't so focused on the murder charge.
Mr. Martin had a right to be free to walk home without being harassed or stalked (as Florida law clearly defines it). Zimmerman knew that the rules for the Watch group included "No following."
Florida law says no such thing and defines stalking as "A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083."
Please note the "and" in the law which would require Zimmerman to repeatedly follow the same individual. Like manslaughter the charge requires malice or ill intent which the prosecution could not prove.
End note, if you don't like the verdict than I suggest you blame the prosecution and the media. The laws are written appropriately and I'm hard pressed to find any state in the US that would have found him guilty of murder or manslaughter given the case that was made against him. The prosecution overplayed because of public pressure, you wanted a murder charge, you got a murder charge and it failed.
4 ( +4 / -0 )
If the integrity of your culture and security of your state cannot survive a headscarf you may want to seriously evaluate your priorities.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
cleo, It'' S ME
Now as to why they were low on fuel ....?
From what I read on other news sites the jets were forced to turn back because of complications at the intended bomb site which made the return flight heavier than it would have been if the bombs hadn't been on-board. The extra weight burned more fuel which made it necessary for them to drop the extra weight.
My only complaint is that military vessels and craft were allowed anywhere near the Great Barrier Reef.
The reef covers a huge swath of area and it's highly unlikely that any carrier launched aircraft would be able to go all the way around the reef before reaching its destination especially while on low fuel. This article isn't as bad as others but Green party members and other opportunists are blowing the situation way out of proportion. The unarmed bombs were dropped near the reef, and the US military tends to retrieve such things so its not as if its just going to lay there.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
The pension funds that are taking the bankruptcy to court don't have much of a chance. Their claim is unsecured and will be addressed after municipal bond holders who are likely to get pennies on the dollar. Judge will probably end up selling off Water, Sewage, and possibly Belle Isle which is what I and other sensible Detroit residents have been advocating for years considering the misuse and massive cost overruns.
The public union bosses in Detroit have been getting payoffs from mayors and city council members for decades in exchange for their support. The city government and unions have been robbing the city blind for years, I'm all out of sympathy for these people.
Maybe I'd be more open to their plight if the city could do basic things like replace streetlights or fill potholes or, you know, not fine me when I fill them myself, or respond to a 911 call in under 45 minutes, or any number of basic functions that I pay city income taxes for. I've stayed in the city and I helped make my neighborhood a little stronghold of civility in this broke town, no thanks to the city and no thanks to the robber barrens in the union hierarchy.
2 ( +2 / -0 )
I understand the concept, but why does a pope's intercessory prayer that results in someone getting healed put him on the path to sainthood, whereas the laypeoples prayers that result in a miraculous recovery aren't considered?
They can be considered for sainthood through the process of beautification, that's how you get local and regional saints. Canonization is different in that it allows the Saints name to be venerated in liturgy and used in public prayer throughout the Roman Rite.
And for intercession or miracle healing to be considered it has to be rapid enough to defy any available medical explanation. The Church usually spends several years doing interviews to check for consistency and for any available medical explanation for the recovery.
Surely he wasn't the only person who prayed for this woman? Is everyone who prayed for her up for sainthood too?
One of the requirements for sainthood is that they spent their lives emulating the example of the savior so most beautified or canonized saints are members of the Catholic clergy but an individual can become a saint outside of the clergy. A notable example would be Gianna Beretta Molla who had a uterine tumor which could not be removed without causing the death of the child. She gave live birth and had the tumor removed but died from complications from the surgery.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Thunderbird2, as per church doctrine lack of knowledge of the Church or lack of faith does not preclude salvation or grace. Basically if a Buddhist performs a miracle in a forest and there's no Catholics around to take credit for it it does, in fact, count. Can't become a saint in the modern context but it still counts.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
May the commission act with diligence and discretion.
It's a fact. God didn't really care that much about this woman's ailment until the pope brought it to his attention and recommended that she be healed. In heaven, politics is every bit as important as here on earth. It's all about your connections to high ranking clergy with close ties to God.
It's called intercession. The basic guiding principle is that everyone pray's for themselves but when someone prays on behalf of another it is considered an act of humility. Tens of thousands get sick and die every day because we are imperfect and subject to injury, illness, fried candy bars, and all sorts of life shortening things, so it takes a lot of spiritual mojo, that being a technical term, to change things up even a little bit. And that's what we call a miracle.
The Church is just so relevant to the pressing issues of the day.
This is an article about an internal process of religious significance within an established religion. It's like criticizing the selection process for the next Dalai Lama. Alas, not every article can be relevant and interesting like which company is winning the console war and the most recent scandal of some interchangeable AKB48 member.
Why don't we hear about these miracles when they occur? Retroactive seems just a little too convenient.
For the same reason we don't hear about exorcisms, blessings, or long term opponents of the church asking for last rights, they are all matters involving internal church policies. Whenever a miracle that the Church is actually interested in occurs they take years to investigate the matter, otherwise you have delightful people pandering to some of our lovely posters that will dog the individuals involved in the miracle to their last dying breath.
For a bunch of people seemingly divested from all that goes on in the Church you spend a lot of time asking about up to date reports and independent verification of miracles. This isn't the IRS, stocks don't rise and fall based on the Vatican's exports of holy water so I always have to wonder why anybody outside of the church cares about the arcane process of canonization.
-3 ( +1 / -4 )
I saw this one coming, if the charges were unsealed I'm guessing they're being filed due to an infringement of one of the non-disclosure agreements Snowden was likely required to sign as part of his job. If the charges go through the Electronic Espionage Act of 1996 has charges outlined for leaking data for up to 10 years in prison.
Being the Snowden is a private citizen, not a member of the us Armed forces like Manning was, I think he deserves considerably more leniency.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Another story of government misusing public dollars with stories of poor service, bloated government salaries, waste, and corruption. The solution of the socialist components?
In Sao Paulo, an estimated 110,000 people flooded the main Paulista Avenue to celebrate the fare rollback and keep the pressure on Rousseff’s leftist government to increase social spending.
Have them spend more money of course. But better this time. There's something magical about those words that makes people think that they are true, that if only we spend more money the endemic problems of corruption and the distribution of wealth will disappear when it is merely a re-allocation to a new set of elites.
So instead of deciding just country could pay for it, it would become which country would be the most deserving.
The problem with poorer nations hosting the cup is that a lot of the cost of hosting major global events comes in the form of developing the infrastructure to be able to actually contain the number of visitors that attend these events. Many cities in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia would certainly benefit from hosting an event where the stadium was paid for but the cost in roads, electrical distribution, telecommunications structures, hotel building and renovation, not to mention the strain on the police force that is already incredibly corrupt in many developing economies. While on the subject it's worth noting that public safety in developing nations is also a huge liability.
It might be fine and dandy if a major organization paid for these necessary improvements but you still run into the massive long term costs. In a worst case scenario these costs can cripple a city in a developed nation if they are unable to make use of the new structures, in a poor city the long term implications could be disastrous.
These events tend to be economically ruinous either way and regardless of who pays the initial cost. More developed nations are merely better equipped to deal with the long term burden than smaller, poorer ones.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
How is this different from the current and past use of airplanes, helicopters and poll cameras to conduct surveillance?
I'd almost be okay with it if they just used them in place of helicopters and aircraft as the police already do but considering this is coming from the FBI and also the fact that the director didn't spell out how and when the drones are used the burden of proof is squarely on the government to prove that they aren't being used in passive surveillance activities. And if they say that the warrants for drone surveillance come from a FISA court than all bets are off, I don't trust that rubber stamp sham of a court.
And for the record I'm against all forms of passive surveillance including poll camera's. Dash cams on cars are fine though, those are there to make sure that the police are held liable for their actions.
0 ( +0 / -0 )