Washington Post: Obama needs to focus on how the United States can meet global challenges

Allies are vital; the United States overstretched in the Bush years; it can’t solve every problem. All true. But it’s also true that none of the basic challenges to world order can be met without U.S. leadership: not Russia’s aggression, not the Islamic State’s expansion, not Iran’s nuclear ambition nor China’s territorial bullying. Each demands a different policy response, with military action and deterrence only two tools in a basket that includes diplomatic and economic measures. It’s time Mr. Obama started emphasizing what the United States can do instead of what it cannot.

Fat luck waiting on that, Post.

via President Obama needs to focus on how the United States can meet global challenges – The Washington Post.


In Washington State, Statutory Child Rape = 6 Months in Jail

…if you are a female ‘first time’ offender.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson said he believes Powell is remorseful, which is why he suspended all but six months of a 5-year sentence and ordered her into a three-year sex offender program open to first-time offenders.

How much Prison time would a ‘first time’ male offender, have received for this situation?

Former Tacoma teacher who had sex with students sentenced to 6 months in jail | Crime | The News Tribune.

Scientist transmits message into mind of colleague 5,000 miles away using brain waves

According to the researchers, this is the first time humans have sent a message ‘almost directly’ into each other’s brains.‘We anticipate that computers in the not-so-distant future will interact directly with the human brain in a fluent manner, supporting both computer- and brain-to-brain communication routinely,’ they wrote.

We live in amazing times.

via Scientist transmits message into mind of colleague 5,000 miles away using brain waves | Mail Online.

Teacher’s Novel Cause Craziest Police Overreaction Ever?

Since using a pen name and publishing a novel are not even remotely sinister actions, it seems the trouble must center around his depiction of a school shooting 900 years from now. But that’s not really grounds for dismissal or a police investigation, either. Plenty of writers use what they know as a jumping off point, and McLaw landed very far from anything resembling real-life intention. Authorities also searched his home and found nothing. They haven’t charged him or booked him—for now, they won’t even divulge his current location.

Uhhh….. I got nuthin’

via Did This Teacher’s Novel Cause Craziest Police Overreaction Ever? – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

St. Paul MN Police and All the rest of the Police: Stop this Stupid Bullshit.

…for fuck’s sake.

via St. Paul police roughly arrest black man sitting in skyway [VIDEO] | City Pages.

2nd story: http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/08/st_paul_police_defend_chris_lollie_arrest_lawyers_question_aggressive_use_of_force.php

“Police are supposed to help, and they still have that capacity,” Lollie continues. “But the mental capacity of many officers today is questionable.”

Militarization of Police Helps Feed SWAT Call Pranks

I suppose it’s a “training issue” that police officers for some reason believe “acting like a threatening asshole to any other human being you encounter” is synonymous with “gaining control of a situation.” These reactions are exactly the kinds of things swatters are hoping for. Because the police have developed this reputation for violent, over-the-top reactions to everything, they are actually reinforcing the value of using swatting as a way to torment others.

via Militarization of Police Helps Feed SWAT Call Pranks – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Iranian Ayatollah: 3G internet is immoral and inhumane

An Iranian Grand Ayatollah has said high speed internet [3G] is unethical and contrary to humanitarian principles, Iranian media sources reported on Tuesday.

“Now, 4G and my personal Gbit fiber optic pipe–that’s the shit man. I can find all the best T-girl videos at X-hamster.”

via Iranian Ayatollah: 3G internet is immoral and inhumane | JPost | Israel News.

Hedy Lamarr

Lamarr was also notable as co-inventor, with composer George Antheil, of an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping,[6] which paved the way for today’s wireless communications[7][8] and which, upon its invention in 1941, was deemed so vital to national defense that government officials would not allow publication of its details.[9] At the Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s Sixth Pioneer Awards in 1997, she and George Antheil were honoured with special awards for their “trail-blazing development of a technology that has become a key component of wireless data systems.”[6]

News and history

Hedy Lamarr

via Hedy Lamarr – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Extrajudicial Taxes: LA

Noise complaints at a child’s party are also cited as an example. “We don’t want to arrest Mommy and Daddy,” explained one City Council member. But note the examples here are all common community nuisances where actually most (nonlibertarian) folks wouldn’t object to citations. But the devil, as always, is in the details. The pilot program lists two-and-a-half pages of citable offenses, most of which have to do with pets and animals, and many of which the average resident might not be aware are even offenses. In addition to “failure to keep sidewalks clean,” the offenses include “tampering with refuse” (which will likely snag the many extremely poor folks who comb through recycling bins on trash day before the trucks come), “failure to post city business permit in a fixed location of business,” “café entertainment without a permit,” “amplified sound—refrigeration, air or heating,” “harboring unlicensed dog,” and most importantly “feeding pigeons in certain areas.” A police officer could probably hand out a half-dozen of these citations walking down the street where I live (especially in regards to pet licensing and stray animals). You can read the city’s details about the proposed program and the rest of the list here (pdf).

via Los Angeles Can’t Fix Its Sidewalks but Wants to Fine Citizens for Not Keeping Them Clean – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy is Not Afraid of ISIL and mohammadists

[Elmadhy] posted a photo to Facebook Saturday of herself and another unidentified women defecating and menstruating on an Islamic State flag while in the nude, in what appears to be a protest against the Islamist terror group’s recent advances in northern Iraq and Syria

The image is NSFW.  Brave woman.

Powerful: Egyptian Feminists Literally Shit, Bleed on ISIL Flag NSFW – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Update:  Her reasons: via FEMEN

Shevchenko: We did this action in the format of photo message as a reply to latest Islamic State video message showing the execution of the journalist [James Foley]. With our photo message we propose our own “way of execution” of Islamic State ideas. Our caption to the photo reads: “Animals, our execution of your ideas looks like that! Watch it well! We don’t demand ransoms, we don’t threaten you with new killings, we just SHIT ON YOU, ISIS!”


Richmond Times: [Police] Stonewalling — inexcusable

Likewise, the Virginia State Police refused to disclose what sort of rifles and other military gear they have. Rationale? Disclosing its armaments would disclose its “tactical plans,” which are exempt from FOIA.
Nonsense. If that were true, then someone could look at the knife block on your kitchen counter and figure out what you’re planning for dinner.


via Today’s Top Opinion: Stonewalling — inexcusable – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Our Opinion.

Arab Nations Strike in Libya, Surprising U.S.

Several officials said in recent days that United States diplomats were fuming about the airstrikes, believing the intervention could further inflame the Libyan conflict as the United Nations and Western powers are seeking to broker a peaceful resolution. Officials said the government of Qatar has already provided weapons and support to the Islamist-aligned forces inside Libya, so the new strikes represent a shift from a battle of proxies to direct involvement. It could also set off an arms race.
“We don’t see this as constructive at all,” said one senior American official.

Really?  Like the airstrikes the US lead from behind had a constructive effect.  Al least they have decided to deal with the mohammadists directly, and of their own initiative.  Does President Jarrett  0, think the US are the only ones entitled to kinetic actions?

via Arab Nations Strike in Libya, Surprising U.S. – NYTimes.com.

G.H. Reynolds: Police Problems Are Unaccountable Attitude

This attitude is more dangerous than a Bradley, and the main danger of giving police military equipment isn’t that they’ll be well-armed, but that it fosters a war-zone mindset. The notion of unaccountable power is what does the real harm. A recent Washington Post column by an LAPD officer saying “If you don’t want to get shot, Tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you,” illustrates the problem.

And 3 very good ideas to make systemic changes.  Click forth and read all:

via Police problem is unaccountable attitude: Column.

NSA’s ICREACH and ‘Parallel Construction’

Parallel construction involves law enforcement agents using information gleaned from covert surveillance, but later covering up their use of that data by creating a new evidence trail that excludes it. This hides the true origin of the investigation from defense lawyers and, on occasion, prosecutors and judges—which means the legality of the evidence that triggered the investigation cannot be challenged in court.

via The Latest NSA Revelation Wouldn’t Be So Scary If Agency Hadn’t Gone Bonkers – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Hypocrisy, Meet Bill Burton

And regardless of the location, this president – like every occupant of the Oval Office before him – is making decisions based on the welfare of the nation, far ahead of what his vacation schedule is.
Something unspeakable happened to James Foley, and his grieving family lives with the tragedy created by the ruthless monsters who took him from them. I can’t say how I’d react if someone took my son from me in the same way. No one can know who hasn’t gone through such a horrible thing. But I can guess. My guess is that I’d want the entire world to stop. That I’d want a moment of silence that never ended. I would want people to stop laughing and businesses to close. I have no judgment for the impulse of any American who feels any hint of that sadness at Foley’s loss.
But I have little patience, and our country has little need for, the people who play politics with his life. One mindless commentator tweeted that people who share my view support golfing while Americans are being beheaded. The New York Times wrote that the president was “seemingly able to put the savagery out of his mind,” as he went on to continue his vacation with his family and his friends after addressing the incredible tragedy.

via Stop Complaining About Obama’s Golfing – Bill Burton – POLITICO Magazine.

Scientists create water splitter that runs on a single AAA battery

A new emissions-free device created by scientists at Stanford University uses an ordinary 1.5-volt battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen at room temperature, potentially providing a low-cost method to power fuel cells in zero-emissions vehicles and buildings.
The water splitter is made from the relatively cheap and abundant metals nickel and iron. It works by sending an electric current from a single-cell AAA battery through two electrodes.

via Scientists create water splitter that runs on a single AAA battery.