Friday, August 23, 2013

Today's Internets - Listen to Black Science Man.

LSD, Other Psychedelics Don't Drive You Crazy, New Research Says - Hit & Run : "Read it and weep, creators of crappy old black and white propaganda short films about the mad, mad dangers of psychedelic drugs, from Science Newsline: The use of LSD, magic mushrooms, or peyote does not increase a person's risk of developing mental health problems, according to an analysis of information from more than 130,000 randomly chosen people, including 22,000 people who had used psychedelics at least once."

"Whether gun-control laws actually produce the desired results is a matter of great dispute. But liberals will happily cherry-pick the data that best make their case. (Why should they be any different?) They will then argue as The New York Times did in 2010, when it denounced a Supreme Court ruling upholding gun rights: “The arguments that led to Monday’s decision,” the newspaper intoned, “were infuriatingly abstract, but the results will be all too real and bloody.”

Translation: Don’t give us any of that airy nonsense about rights. People’s lives are on the line here. This, in essence, was how conservatives reacted last week when a federal judge said New York’s stop-and-frisk tactics were unconstitutional. Stop-and-frisk was “a policy that has saved thousands of black lives,” wrote noted civil-rights icon Ann Coulter. The Wall Street Journal agreed: “If the judge’s ruling isn’t overturned, the victims won’t be in the tony precincts [but] in the barrios and housing projects.” Channeling The Times, Daniel Henninger of The Journal griped that “when liberals weigh the reality of physical threat . . . against hyper-abstract interpretations of constitutional rights, abstraction wins.”"

"Fuck Off books. You know, for the kids."

"We need police to catch murderers, thieves and con men, and so we give them special power -- the power to use force on others. Sadly, today’s police use that power to invade people’s homes over accusations of trivial, nonviolent offenses -- and often do it with tanks, battering rams and armor you’d expect on battlefields.

In his book “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” Radley Balko recounts the rise of police SWAT teams (SWAT stands for Special Weapons And Tactics) armed with heavy military equipment. SWAT raids began as rarely used methods of dealing with violent situations, like hostage-takings. But government always grows. In the 1970s, there were about 300 SWAT raids per year. “As of 2005,” says Balko, “100 to 150 per day.”  What began as a few specialized groups of police trained to address genuine threats to safety has degenerated into small armies descending on organic farms where farmers sell unpasteurized milk and legal medical marijuana dispensaries getting raided as if they were heavily armed threats.

The increase began under Nixon-era politicians who wanted to look “tough on crime,” even if that meant exaggerating the threat posed by illegal drugs. As the futile war on drugs escalated, cops worried that drug users would destroy evidence if cops knocked and announced themselves. So they stopped doing that, changing a centuries-old rule that treated citizens’ homes as their castles -- castles whose owners must be presented with a warrant before police can enter.  Soon, every police department wanted a SWAT team -- and many were more interested in getting cool military gear than in considering the potential downside -- like terrorizing innocent people, raiding the wrong house and causing violence. “I found over 50 cases where a completely innocent person was killed in one of these raids,” says Balko. Often this happens because the homeowner does not realize who is breaking down his door in the middle of the night..."

"A petition signed by a reported 26,000 veterans and sent to the White House on Tuesday calls for President Obama to fire Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, saying a change of leadership is needed to eliminate the lengthy backlog of veterans awaiting action on their disability claims. The claims backlog — those cases pending 125 days or longer — stands at 490,000, which is down from the 530,000 reported June 15, figures show. VA says its total claims inventory of 773,000 is the lowest since April 2011, and down from 808,000 on June 15.

 It’s pretty fucking disgusting and shameful that our government can find all the money in the world to bail out bankers, but when it’s time to provide care for the people who fought in fucking wars, we’re suddenly broke and can’t do anything about it."

So awesome.  Click here if too small to read... SMBC

Manning's Statement:
 "We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life. I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. 

It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. 

We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability. 

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror...

As the late Howard Zinn once said, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” I understand that my actions violated the law, and I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal. — Statement by Bradley Manning read after his sentancing, by his lawyer David Coombs "

"If we actually had a functioning judicial system and an independent press, Manning would have been a witness for the prosecution against the war criminals he helped expose. He would not have been headed, bound and shackled, to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. His testimony would have ensured that those who waged illegal war, tortured, lied to the public, monitored our electronic communications and ordered the gunning down of unarmed civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen were sent to Fort Leavenworth’s cells. If we had a functioning judiciary the hundreds of rapes and murders Manning made public would be investigated. The officials and generals who lied to us when they said they did not keep a record of civilian dead would be held to account for the 109,032 “violent deaths” in Iraq, including those of 66,081 civilians. The pilots in the “Collateral Murder” video, which showed the helicopter attack on unarmed civilians in Baghdad that left nine dead, including two Reuters journalists, would be court-martialed."

The New World.

Christians discover karma, science - There's a Measles Outbreak at Vaccine-Denying Pastor Kenneth Copeland's Fort Worth Church - Dallas - News - Unfair Park: "The epicenter of the outbreak is Tarrant County, which has now confirmed 10 cases, and the epicenter of cases in Tarrant County seems to be at Eagle Mountain International Church. Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons delivered the news in a sermon last Wednesday...
The sermon was awkward, to say the least. Pearsons is the eldest daughter of megapastor Kenneth Copeland, and her church is one of the cornerstones of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, his sprawling evangelical empire. He's far from the most vocal proponent of the discredited theory that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine causes autism, but, between his advocacy of faith healing and his promotion of the vaccine-autism link on his online talk show, he's not exactly urging his flock to get their recommended shots." 

 "Thorough investigations take time, but in this case, at a minimum, the attorney general’s office needs to inform the public about police policies regarding the use of deadly force. “Stop or I’ll shoot,” is not the law of the land. Law enforcement officers may not fire on fleeing suspects, or known criminals for that matter, simply to prevent them from getting away. Deadly force may only be employed when an officer needs to defend him- or herself or a third party from the imminent use of deadly force, or to prevent the escape of someone the officer believes will seriously endanger human life if not apprehended without delay."

Significant percentage of Republicans in Louisiana not very smart, apparently - Poll: Louisiana GOPers Unsure If Katrina Response Was Obama's Fault | TPM LiveWire
"A significant chunk of Louisiana Republicans evidently believe that President Barack Obama is to blame for the poor response to the hurricane that ravaged their state more than three years before he took office. The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, provided exclusively to TPM, showed an eye-popping divide among Republicans in the Bayou State when it comes to accountability for the government's post-Katrina blunders. Twenty-eight percent said they think former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, was more responsible for the poor federal response while 29 percent said Obama, who was still a freshman U.S. Senator when the storm battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more responsible. Nearly half of Louisiana Republicans — 44 percent — said they aren't sure who to blame."

Don't Fly While Brown, especially during Ramadan.  Disgusting.  Worth clicking over & reading in full to understand how pointless, surreal and incompetent the American Security State really is...
"I got in line for security at the airport and handed the agent my ID. Another agent came over and handed me a paper slip, which he said was being used to track the length of the security lines. He said, “just hand this to someone when your stuff goes through the x-ray machines, and we’ll know how long you were in line.’ I looked at the timestamp on the paper: 10:40..."

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