Friday, August 28, 2015
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
From the southwest
Fremantle's own Mama Kin sings "Tore My Heart Out" from her first album.
And let it wait until the next "harvest" of your money
When the clean up fails
What do you do when efforts to clean up a problem aren't going to work? And you can't leave the problem where it is because it involves nuclear waste? We should find out sometime in the near future.
A nearly completed government facility intended to treat the radioactive byproducts of nuclear weapons production is riddled with design flaws that could put the entire operation at risk of failure, according to a leaked internal report.It's nice to know reviewed the design before construction was complete. Hate to find out about these problems in a working plant.
A technical review of the treatment plant on the grounds of the former Hanford nuclear site identified hundreds of “design vulnerabilities” and other weaknesses, some serious enough to lead to spills of radioactive material.
The draft report is the latest in a series of blows to the clean-up effort at Hanford, the once-secret government reservation in eastern Washington state where much of the nation’s plutonium stockpile originated. Engineers have struggled for years to come up with a safe method for disposing of Hanford’s millions of gallons of high-level radioactive waste, much of which is stored in leaky underground tanks.
Energy Department officials have spent tens of millions of dollars to design and construct the site’s Low-Activity Waste Facility, intended to convert some of Hanford’s radioactive waste into a glasslike product that could be stored underground in the future. Although the plant is regarded as one of Hanford’s most successful projects, the internal report identified serious flaws in its design...
The report cites fundamental lapses in multiple areas, ranging from ventilation of waste-
handling areas to the plant’s backup electricity supply. The reviewers found numerous problems with the system that “vitrifies” waste by turning it into glass, noting that the engineers miscalculated how long it would take for the radioactive end-product to cool. “When a container full of molten glass is lifted, there is a chance that the container lifting flange will fail because it has not cooled enough to regain its strength,” the document states.
They really need a No Crimes Unit
The confession, that stalwart element of the Catholic Church and murder mysteries can, in the case of police investigations, all too often be a crime in and of itself.
An investigation by the Brooklyn DA’s Conviction Review Unit (CRU) found that Fowler had inadequate legal defense and that the case relied on unreliable witness testimony, false identification and a false confession by Fowler, who was only 17 years old at the time.Police has a great incentive to "solve" cases and a confession neatly wraps up everything because a good interrogator can get someone young scared and maybe not very smart to say what he needs to make his case. And despite the Miranda warning, not every arrestee understands that even a public defender can help.
There is a presumption that if “someone confessed, then they were guilty, and what more was there to think about?” said his attorney, Lynn Fahey. But that is not always true, especially in cases involving young or mentally ill defendants or others who might believe that a confession offers the best chance of escaping life in prison, she added.
Fowler’s case illustrates a national concern, since reforms to assist prisoners who claim postconviction innocence are lagging. The CRU under Thompson is dedicating significant resources to look into alleged miscarriages of justice. Many legal advocates believe that others should follow his example, because as a 2014 report by the National Registry of Exoneration points out, there is no reason to believe that the problem of wrongful convictions is limited to Brooklyn.
More than 40 percent of exonerated defendants who were younger than 18 at the time of the alleged crime gave a false confession, according to the report from the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the University of Michigan Law School. The number jumps to 69 percent when the accused is mentally ill or deficient, compared with just 8 percent of adults with no known mental disabilities who confess to a crime they did not commit.
False confessions have been a contributing factor nationwide in about 13 percent of exonerations, according to another report by the project.
Time to get this snake off the plane
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
A new song from Mike and Ruthy.
Judge says its the best you can get
So after many years of polluting wetlands and marshes around its refineries in New Jersey, Exxon will get aeay with paying a mere $225 Million, thanks to the efforts of The Outlaw Jersey Whale, Chris Christie.
New Jersey’s widely debated $225 million settlement of a pollution lawsuit with Exxon Mobil Corporation was approved on Tuesday by a state judge who called the deal fair, reasonable and in the public interest.Of course it is at the expense of New Jersey residents. Did anyone really expect a major oil corporation to pay for cleaning up their shit?
The ruling comes in a longstanding legal battle in which New Jersey demanded $8.9 billion in compensation for natural resource damage to more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes, meadows and waters at refinery sites that Exxon once owned in Bayonne and Linden.
Environmental groups, federal and state politicians and others had sharply criticized the administration of Gov. Chris Christie for accepting just a small fraction of the damages that the state had long sought, and had filed briefs asking the judge to reject the deal.
But in an 81-page opinion, the judge, Michael J. Hogan of Superior Court, found that “although far smaller than the estimated $8.9 billion in damages, Exxon’s payment represents a reasonable compromise given the substantial litigation risks” that the state faced at trial and would face on appeal.
Criticism of the decision was almost immediate. Margaret Brown, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the organizations that fought the deal in court, said, “This is a multi-billion-dollar gift to Exxon Mobil from Gov. Christie and his administration, at the expense of New Jersey residents.”
Water, water everywhere...
And the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin is experiencing the agony of what Samuel Taylor Coleridge was writing about as the contamination of their aquifer requires it to get a new drinking water source, but Lake Michigan a mere 17 miles away is out of bounds to them.
Waukesha has run smack into a landmark 2008 compact that prohibits large amounts of water from the five Great Lakes from being pumped, trucked, shipped or otherwise moved beyond the system’s natural basin without approval from the governors of each of the eight states that touch a lake. (Unless it is in a product like beer or soft drinks.) Waukesha, despite being so close to Lake Michigan, is about a mile and a half outside the lake’s natural basin.Obviously the solution is to have Nestle build a water bottling plant that draws from the lake and sell all the output, at a profit, to the city.
In a wetter era, the city’s plan to build a $200 million pipeline to tap into Lake Michigan might have fallen on more sympathetic ears. But it faces a daunting obstacle now: historic drought in the West, which has made officials in the Midwest more protective than ever of their increasingly valuable resource.
“Obviously I have concerns about the usage of the Great Lakes in any capacity,” Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan said in an interview, adding that he was closely watching the Wisconsin city’s request and had yet to decide how he would vote. A single governor can veto a diversion of water.
“To some degree it’s like, where do you draw the line?” Mr. Snyder said. “It shouldn’t be done just as an ad hoc thing or a political thing. It should be based on sound science and good economics and what’s best for the long term. The Great Lakes are one of the world’s most precious assets.”
If national drought conditions and the economic and political pressures that follow worsen over time, some Midwestern water experts fear that the lakes’ existing protections might ultimately weaken. Waukesha’s quest for water — the first proposal for such a diversion outside the Great Lakes basin in years — is seen by some as a first major test of the compact, its strength and its limits.
The Power of Makeup
Monday, August 24, 2015
A French Canadian Superstar
Coeur De Pirate is seen here performing "Our Love" before an audience of ordinary Canadians who speak English, eh. Station plug at the end.
The Ultimate Proof
Developed by Very Serious People and exposed for us by Tom Tomorrow
Well named but it should be a little lower
Must be something in the TV rays
Last week John Oliver did an expose of Television Christohustlers whom the IRS has failed to properly oversee. And part of his schtick, he revealed that he was the head of the new church of Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.
In just one week, John Oliver has received thousands of dollars in donations for Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, the ministry the HBO host said he founded to draw attention to the tax-free practices of prosperity gospel churches.More responses than expected. Either people will send money to any request from television, even when they know it is false or his viewers responded to the notice that "Doctors without Borders" would receive anything left if and when he dissolved his church. I like to think it is the second reason.
“And we asked you to send us money at this address,” Oliver said, displaying a P.O. box number on the screen during Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight.”
“To be honest,” he added, “slightly more of you responded than we were expecting.”
Oliver, moving into the pseudo-reverend character he uses to speak about his new ministry, then displayed a large pile of letters (and at least one FedEx package), surrounded by several U.S. Postal Service bins filled with additional donations.
There were thousands of letters in all, he said, equaling thousands of dollars in donations.
Having suffered little to no damage
Except from the occasional stray shot from the Army and Air Force, Israeli villages near Gaza were hardly damaged during IDF attacks on the ghetto and are finally showing signs of recovery from their ordeal. And in an effort to cover up the lack of recovery in Gaza thanks to the Israeli economic stranglehold on Gaza, Israel has their PR people wailing about the struggle of their poor villages.
The volunteer program, Tent and Tower, run by the nonprofit organization New Guard, is one of several signs of recovery along the Israeli side of the border. Residents of the farms and villages in the area are reporting a stronger sense of community. Young families are moving in, replacing those that left after the war.It is truly heartbreaking the suffering they have endured. The Israeli government deserves high praise for their help in restoring the lives of these suffering Israelis.
The border communities are still dotted with fortified bomb shelters, and because the war ended inconclusively, many residents say they can never quite escape the thought that the rockets and mortar rounds will start flying out of Gaza again or that Hamas militants will burst out of surreptitious tunnels right into their midst. Still, life is returning, though more quickly in some places than in others.
In Nahal Oz, a kibbutz north of Sufa, 16 families — nearly a fifth of the 380 residents — moved out permanently last year, traumatized by the death of a 4-year-old boy, Daniel Tregerman, who was killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell as he played in his home just days before the war ended. The potato, sunflower, wheat and jojoba fields were churned up by tank tracks.
But the crops grew back, 12 new families have recently arrived, and four more are expected by the end of the summer.
Sharona Poslushni, 41, a kindergarten teacher, moved into one of five newly built houses at Nahal Oz on July 1. She and her husband, who works at the port in Ashdod, came with their three young sons from Yavne, a town about 40 miles north.
“We wanted a place that is more open, more intimate, to be part of a community where the children can run around freely without shoes,” Mrs. Poslushni said, adding that she had also been looking for somewhere “with a good educational level and with good values.”
The Gaza periphery, or envelope, as the area is known in Hebrew, also offers newcomers incentives in the form of tax breaks and lower housing costs.
The Poslushnis had been planning the move for more than a year, but it was delayed by last summer’s war. Despite fears of renewed violence, Mrs. Poslushni said, the values of Zionism and love of the land that attracted them to Nahal Oz in the first place had become “more prominent.”
After the crisis last summer, the government provided financial support for the kibbutz, and the regional council brought in psychologists. Industry consultants and other professionals came to offer help to get them back on their feet, and veteran members of the kibbutz held brainstorming sessions and formed teams to explore development opportunities.
John Oliver Takes On Gay Rights
Meet your welfare family
Sunday, August 23, 2015
There was a shy musician when this was recorded
The music track of this performance of "Molly Town" from Joss Stone's new album Water For Your Soul clearly has an accordion or similar sounding instrument on it but whoever is playing it is not seen.
GOP's best & brightest playing catch up
When intelligent people don't want him
God's Own Hemorrhoid Ted Cruz has switched to going after evangelical voters. It makes sense for a man who has a stark raving loonie who calls himself a pastor for a father.
Sen. Ted Cruz, who has assiduously courted evangelicals throughout his presidential run, will take a lead role in the launch this week of an ambitious 50-state campaign to end taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood — a move that is likely to give the GOP candidate a major primary-season boost in the fierce battle for social-conservative and evangelical voters.With so many so-called evangelicals who know nothing of God but will jump through fiery hoops at the command of their self styled 'pastors', what better group could he hope to enlist in his benighted cause?
More than 100,000 pastors received e-mail invitations over the weekend to participate in conference calls with Cruz on Tuesday in which they will learn details of the plan to mobilize churchgoers in every congressional district beginning Aug. 30. The requests were sent on the heels of the Texas Republican’s “Rally for Religious Liberty,” which drew 2,500 people to a Des Moines ballroom Friday...
The push comes as Cruz seeks to grab a decisive edge in a crowded primary-within-a-primary, with half a dozen GOP contenders battling for what he has referred to as “the evangelical bracket.”
Roughly 1 in 4 voters have identified themselves as evangelical in exit polls from the 2004 campaign on. In key Republican primaries such as Iowa, and in some of the Southern states that Cruz has said are critical to his run, that figure was higher during the last presidential campaign — nearly 50 percent.
Cruz has consistently pointed to his ability to motivate and mobilize those voters as a key element of his 2016 strategy. Earlier this summer, he said repeatedly that his main bases of support were tea party voters — and religious conservatives.
Ben Carson digs in deeper
There is an old adage that says "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging". All too often, people in power, like politicians, make mistakes and their attempts at correction just make matters worse or to put it another way, they keep digging. One of our latest diggers is Ben Carson, former brain surgeon and Republican presidential candidate, who having stumbled when he proposed using armed drones at the US-Mexican border tried to correct what he said.
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Sunday called for using drones to beef up surveillance along the U.S.-Mexico border and destroy caves used by those who smuggle people and drugs, but said he did not support strikes aimed at people.No doubt he will tell anyone in those alleged caves to leave before he drops a little Hellfire on them. Maybe he had a good reason to retire from brain surgery.
Carson, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," dismissed reports that he had suggested using drone strikes to target people trying to cross into the United States as a "total lie" and blamed media reports as irresponsible.
"Read my lips. I said there are caves that they utilize. Those caves can be eliminated. I'm not talking about killing people," the retired neurosurgeon told CNN. “In no way, did I suggest that drones be used to kill people.”
Carson suggested greater use of drones to patrol border areas after a tour of the region last week. He said local authorities told him they were completely outgunned and receiving little assistance from federal authorities.
Immigration has become a contentious issue for Republicans seeking the presidency in the November 2016 election. Donald Trump, the party's front-runner, and other contenders have called for amending the Constitution to end of the right of automatic citizenship for all people born in the United States.
Carson reiterated his support for deporting families who come to the United States expressly to have children and ensure them U.S. citizenship. Critics call those children "anchor babies," but others view it as offensive.
Carson said he did not view the term as racist and dismissed such objections as "silly political correctness."
An unusual defense
According to his lawyer, the Moroccan dude who was tackled while trying to shoot hi AK-47 for which he had 9 filled magazines as backup, was only trying to rob the train because he was hungry.
A gunman who attacked passengers on a high-speed train in France two days ago is "dumbfounded" at having been taken for an Islamist militant and says he only intended to rob people on board because he was hungry, his lawyer said on Sunday.If he was going to imitate Jesse James, he forgot his bandanna. Can't rob a train without your bandanna.
As details emerged of the gunman's early adult life in Spain, lawyer Sophie David said her client -- now in detention near Paris -- also looked ill and malnourished.
French and Spanish sources close to the case have identified him as a 26-year-old Moroccan named Ayoub el Khazzani who was known to European authorities as a suspected Islamist militant.
"(I saw) somebody who was very sick, somebody very weakened physically, as if he suffered from malnutrition, very, very thin and very haggard," David told BFMTV.
"He is dumbfounded by the terrorist motives attributed to his action," she added.
David said the man was barefoot and wore only a hospital shirt and boxer shorts for the police interrogation in Arras, northern France, where the train stopped after the incident.
The Moroccan told David he had found the Kalashnikov he had taken onto the train in a park near the Gare du Midi rail station in Brussels where he was in the habit of sleeping.
"A few days later he decided to get on a train that some other homeless people told him would be full of wealthy people traveling from Amsterdam to Paris and he hoped to feed himself by armed robbery," David said.
The lawyer said the Moroccan had untreated wounds on his face when he spoke to her through an interpreter. He also told David he did not think he had fired any shots before his gun jammed.
The Natural Order of the World
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Before sister Jessica left
They were a bluegrass trio known as The Lovell Sisters and sang songs like "One Day I Walk". Since then sisters Megan on dobro and Rebecca on mandolin changed the band name to Larkin Poe and have taken a turn towards rock.
A new standard, of a sort.
We bagged another Number 2
According to White House reports, US airstrikes continue to make the position of Number 2 in a terrorist organization the most dangerous job in the world.
The second-in-command of the Islamic State died in a U.S. airstrike near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul earlier this week in what the White House described on Friday as a blow to the group’s operations.Makes you wonder why anybody would take the job.
Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, who used the alias Hajji Mutaaz, is the second senior leader of the Islamist extremist group killed by the United States since May. It remains unclear, however, how much damage the losses have done as the Islamic State continues to hold huge swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria more than a year after the U.S. began efforts to crush the group.
“There’s no doubt that ISIL has proven capable of replacing leadership losses,” said a U.S. official, using one of the acronyms by which the group is known. “That said, the death of Mutazz removes a key figure from ISIL and further pierces the group’s veneer of invincibility that it has sought to cast.”
The U.S. official requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the issue publicly.
Hayali died when the vehicle in which he was riding was struck by U.S. aircraft on Tuesday, Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement. Killed along with Hayali was an Islamic State media operative Price identified as Abu Abdallah.
Hayali was a member of the Islamic State’s leadership council and second-in-command to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the organization’s paramount leader. He was responsible for coordinating the movements of large amounts of ammunition, explosives, vehicles and fighters between Syria and Iraq, Price said.
Sharing pubes but not the profits
Bill Maher gives us his take on the "Sharing Economy"
Feel The Bern
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