Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 21st, 2014

When the public won’t accept good news

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Melanie S. posted a comment to me regarding this case:

This girl, Abby Hernandez, is sixteen and was missing from a small community in the northern part of my home state of New Hampshire since last October. I point the story out to you because now that she has been found alive and reunited with her family, who are not releasing details and who request privacy, the online commenters are skewering her as if they somehow “know” that she was “just a runaway” or was “never really in danger.” They are calling for her to be jailed or otherwise punished, or claiming that she must have been pregnant and hiding it since she was gone 9 months. I am horrified.

[It’s an example of] how the uninformed public immediately reacts and blames her. I will tell you that I spoke with a state trooper last year who said (off the record) that they think she was taken by human traffickers, as there is an active problem with that in the area of Abby’s hometown. Meanwhile, the investigation is continuing and this has been an FBI case since very shortly after she disappeared.

The public can become a mob quite easily.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Daily life

“Israel has been bitten by a bat”

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Lawrence Weschler writes at TruthDig:

The news out of Israel and Palestine: relentless, remorseless, repetitively compulsive, rabid.

And I am put in mind of a passage from Norman Mailer, in 1972, in which he attempted to plumb the psychopathology behind America’s relentless bombing of Cambodia and Laos and Vietnam during the Nixon years:

… bombing [which] had become an activity as rational as the act of a man who walks across his own home town to defecate each night on the lawn of a stranger—it is the same stranger each night—such a man would not last long even if he had the most powerful body in town. “Stop,” he would scream as they dragged him away. “I need to shit on that lawn. It’s the only way to keep my body in shape, you fools. I’ve been bitten by a bat!”

A species of human rabies, as Mailer had explained earlier in the same book (“St. George and the Godfather,” his account of the McGovern campaign), “and the word was just, for rabies was the disease of every virulence which was excessive to the need for self-protection.”

I know, I know, and I am bone tired of being told it, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is plenty of blame to go around, but by this point after coming on almost 50 years of Israeli stemwinding and procrastinatory obfuscation, I’d put the proportionate distribution of blame at about the same level as the mortality figures—which is, where are we today (what with Wednesday morning’s four children killed while out playing on a Gaza beach)? What, 280 to 2?

For the single overriding fact defining the Israeli-Palestinian impasse at this point is that if the Palestinians are quiescent and not engaged in any overt rebellion, the Israelis (and here I am speaking of the vast majority of the population who somehow go along with the antics of their leaders, year after year) manage to tell themselves that things are fine and there’s no urgent need to address the situation; and if, as a result, the endlessly put-upon Palestinians do finally rise up in any sort of armed resistance (rocks to rockets), the same Israelis exasperate, “How are we supposed to negotiate with monsters like this?” A wonderfully convenient formula, since it allows the Israelis to go blithely on, systematically stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank, and continuing to confine 1.8 million Gazans within what might well be described as a concentration camp.

Note, incidentally, I say “concentration camp” and not “death camp.” I am not comparing Gaza to Auschwitz-Birkenau, but one cannot help but liken the conditions today in Gaza to the sorts of conditions once faced by Japanese-Americans during World War II, or the Boers in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War, or the black South Africans years later in such besieged townships as Soweto, or for that matter Jews and gays and gypsies at Dachau and Theresienstadt in the years before the Nazis themselves settled on their Final Solution.

And it is quite simply massively self-serving delusion that Israelis (and their enablers and abettors here in America, among whom incidentally I count a steadily declining number of American Jews) refuse to recognize that fact. The backbone of Zionist AIPAC-like electoral strength in the U.S. today is rooted among Protestant evangelicals and other instrumentalist neocons, and I suspect that Israel will one day come to rue that fact.

I’m tired, for example, of hearing about how vital and cosmopolitan and democratic are the streets and cafes and nightclubs of Tel Aviv. For the fact is that one simply can’t sustain such cosmopolitan vitality 40 miles from a prison camp containing close to 2 million people: It’s a contradiction in terms. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Mideast Conflict

Glaser, Cuomo, and the Refusals That Made the Story

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I blogged earlier on Andrew Cuomo, who increasingly seems to be corrupt, and his relationship with Howard Glaser. Nicole Bronzan has a brief article in ProPublica—and there’s a podcast at the link:

Justin Elliott (@JustinElliott) was doing his poking around a year ago when he uncovered a story he hadn’t even known existed, he tells Assistant Managing Editor Eric Umansky (@ericuman) in this week’s podcast.

Looking into the relationship between Howard Glaser, a mortgage industry lobbyist, and Andrew Cuomo, now New York’s governor, he filed a Freedom of Information request for Glaser’s emails in that capacity. The state denied the request, citing Glaser’s role as a consultant in Cuomo’s investigation into the mortgage industry during his time as attorney general — a previously unreported fact.

It was a surprising twist on the revolving door between government and industry, Elliott says: “Howard Glaser was on both sides of that door at the same time, and not only that, at least two of the companies that Andrew Cuomo was investigating as attorney general were actually acknowledged clients of Glaser.”

Umansky takes a moment to “savor the deliciousness” of that turn of events. “In the course of objecting to and fighting our open records request,” he says, “their argument for that actually turned out to be revealing another story to us.”

In the end, one of Glaser’s clients ended up getting immunity, Elliott says, which may have made sense for the investigation, but it’s never been reported that Cuomo ever used any information obtained as part of the deal with the due diligence firm Clayton. “It’s not clear why this deal was made,” he says.

Meanwhile, Glaser had a prominent role in news reports about Cuomo’s investigations, including the story that broke the news of the 2007 deal with Clayton, Elliott says– but without mention of his role consulting for the attorney general’s office. “If you read the New York Times story, which we link to in our story, who’s quoted in it? None other than Howard Glaser, as a mortgage consultant,” he says. “Story doesn’t mention the fact that Glaser had worked for both Clayton and Cuomo.”

Asked for answers about all this, Glaser instead began a Twitter campaign against ProPublica and its founding funder weeks before the article was published, Elliott says.

That “prebuttal” of the story actually worked against him in the end, Umansky says, calling it one of the “great moments in PR management.” In response to Glaser’s tweets, “a number of reporters started tweeting about their interest in seeing what the story was.”

By publishing time, ProPublica’s publicity team already had a head start, thanks to Glaser.

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Business, Government, Law

Tweets from the war in Gaza

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Read this Twitter stream. All Tweets are from Mohammed Suliman  @imPalestine

Informed Comment listed these by him:

I look forward to surviving. If I don’t, remember that I wasn’t Hamas or a militant, nor was I used as a human shield. I was at home.

People get massacred in Shijaiyya, I hear knocking on my door. It was survivor of the massacre looking for a shelter to spend the night.

Hani mourns the victims of Al Shijaiyya massacre. He wishes that his friends stay safe. He soon gets killed. His friends mourn his death.

We decide to escape the harrowing reality we’re entrapped in by sleeping. Sleeping however has become an absurd wish. Death is easier.

Electricity is off. Escaping the dark and hot weather, friends gather outside their house. Missile hits them. Nine are dead, three brothers.

Yesterday missiles killed children on the beach. Children avoid the beach. They play on the rooftop. Again, missiles hit. Three are dead.

My friend tells me their neighbor’s house was hit. He had some pigeons. Two have died. The rest flew, and came back to perch on the rubble.

Amir, 12, and Mohammed. 10, want to buy yogurt. Things are calm, they tell their mom. They leave the house. A blast is heard. They’re dead.

Some Israelis wish me death. I might die. But I wish no death unto you. I want us both to live. Live together as equals in this country.

Anas, 17, posts on Facebook, ‘I’m too tired, shell our home so I can get some sleep.’ A while later, his home is shelled. He sleeps forever.

I read that Israel ‘urges’ north Gaza residents to leave their homes. Curiously I Google how many live in northern Gaza. Over 200,000.

25 children killed, 10-year old Maysam sends a message to the world: ‘I’m alive, and I’m not a terrorist.’ ‘Don’t kill me,’ she entreats.

A jet fires two missiles at a civilian house. The house becomes rubble. Five are instantly killed. 18 injured. The only survivor is a cat.

Continue reading.

And if the 200,000 leave their homes as Israel urges, where do they go?

This increasingly seems like a Warsaw-Ghetto incident: systematic slaughter of despised civilians by military forces.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Mideast Conflict

D.C. man exonerated in 1982 rape and murder; DNA reveals FBI error in conviction

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This was an FBI “elite” unit. God knows what their regular units do. Keith Alexander and Spencer Hsu report for the Washington Post:

A D.C. Superior Court judge concluded Monday that DNA evidence exonerates a man who spent 26 years in prison for the 1982 rape and murder of a Washington woman.

Kevin Martin’s case marks the fifth time in as many years that federal prosecutors in D.C. acknowledged that errors by an elite FBI forensic unit have led to a wrongful conviction.

U.S. attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. joined defense calls to vacate Martin’s conviction and declare him innocent of the rape and murder of Ursula C. Brown. Machen cited DNA evidence that contradicts a previous finding by forensic experts linking Martin to a hair collected at the scene.

Martin, who had long professed innocence in the killing, left the D.C. courthouse with his name cleared. He was paroled in 2009 and lives in San Francisco.

“I am free at last. I am humbled. I never gave up,” Martin said, hugging and high-fiving his attorneys. Martin’s younger sister, his fiancée, his 6-year-old niece and other family members gathered around.

“I just want to live,” said Martin, 50,

The hearing came as Machen’s office nears the end of a 2-1 / 2 year review of all local convictions involving FBI hair matches that was launched in 2012 after demands by the D.C. Public Defender Service. The service has worked to exonerate four men convicted by such matches since 2009. And the troubling problems exposed in the FBI lab’s methods have led the FBI and Justice Department to undertake a nationwide review of more than 2,100 convictions in the 1980s and 1990s.

Martin’s is the first exoneration uncovered by District prosecutors, who also say it is the only one found by the local review. PDS praised the effort to clear Martin’s name but criticized the U.S. Attorney’s Office review as secretive and the disclosure of results as incomplete and overdue. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 11:29 am

The government doesn’t seem to care about protecting your data

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You credit card numbers and expiration dates sent (and stored) without encryption, for example. See this article at Ars Technica by Cyrus Farivar. From the article:

. . . Hasbrouck pointed out that the more information the airlines choose to retain, the more of an opportunity the government has to build a profile on me. “They have seat assignments [and] could probably search who is seated next to you for social network analysis,” he said. “You have no way of knowing when you’re using this website which information they are storing.”

“This is not to catch people under suspicion; this is for the purpose of finding new suspects,” Hasbrouck added.

I asked Travelocity about its practices and received a statement from Keith Nowak, a company spokesman.

“As the ticketing agents to the airlines, travel agencies like Travelocity routinely provide ticketing and other relevant passenger data to the airlines to help facilitate passenger flight requests,” he said, declining to answer further specific questions. “Once this data has been transferred, the airlines use the data for appropriate operational purposes, and the airlines determine how and when the data may be shared with other parties. As a partner in this process, Travelocity consistently complies with all relevant data privacy and data security requirements.”

He declined to respond to how or why my credit card number was transmitted in the clear.

Fred Cate, a law professor at Indiana University, said that my story raises a lot of questions about what the government is doing.

“Why isn’t the government complying with even the most basic cybersecurity standards?” Cate said. “Storing and transmitting credit card numbers without encryption has been found by the Federal Trade Commission to be so obviously dangerous as to be ‘unfair’ to the public. Why do transportation security officials not comply with even these most basic standards?”

The goal of PNR collection, according to CBP, is “to enable CBP to make accurate, comprehensive decisions about which passengers require additional inspection at the port of entry based on law enforcement and other information.”

This information is retained for quite some time in government databases. CBP publicly states that PNR data is typically kept for five years before being moved to “dormant, non-operational status.” But in my case, my earliest PNR goes back to March 2005. A CBP spokesperson was unable to explain this discrepancy. . .

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 11:08 am

Havens Are Few, if Not Far, for Palestinians in Gaza Strip

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Anne Barnard reports in the NY Times on how Palestinians are trapped in a war zone—75% of Palestinians killed so far have been civilians (including children, such as the four who were playing on the beach when they were killed).

As civilian casualties mounted on Monday in the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, Israel’s military reminded the world that it had warned people living in targeted areas to leave. The response from Palestinians here was unanimous: Where should we go?

United Nations shelters are already brimming, and some Palestinians fear they are not safe; one shelter was bombed by Israel in a previous conflict. Many Gaza residents have sought refuge with relatives, but with large extended families commonly consisting of dozens of relatives, many homes in the shrinking areas considered safe are already packed.

Perhaps most important, the vast majority of Gazans cannot leave Gaza. They live under restrictions that make this narrow coastal strip, which the United Nations considers occupied by Israel, unlike anywhere else.

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2010 called Gaza “an open-air prison,” drawing criticism from Israel. But in reality, the vast majority of Gazans are effectively trapped, unable to seek refugee status across an international border. (Most are already refugees, those who fled from what is now Israel and their descendants.)

A 25-mile-long rectangle just a few miles wide, and one of the most densely populated places in the world, Gaza is surrounded by concrete walls and fences along its northern and eastern boundaries with Israel and its southern border with Egypt.

Even in what pass for ordinary times here, Israel permits very few Gazans to enter its territory, citing security concerns because suicide bombers and other militants from Gaza have killed Israeli civilians. The restrictions over the years have cost Palestinians jobs, scholarships and travel.

Egypt has also severely curtailed Gazans’ ability to travel, opening its border crossing with the territory for only 17 days this year. During the current fighting between Israel and the Hamas militants who control Gaza, only those with Egyptian or foreign passports or special permission were allowed to exit.

Even the Mediterranean Sea to the west provides no escape. Israel restricts boats from Gaza to three nautical miles offshore. And Gaza, its airspace controlled by Israel, has no airport.

So while three million Syrians have fled their country during the war there, more and more of Gaza’s 1.7 million people have been moving away from the edges of the strip and crowding into the already-packed center of Gaza City. . .

Continue reading. At the link you’ll find links to more stories about the war; for example, “In Hospitals Across Gaza, Scenes of Chaos and Grief.”

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 9:39 am

Posted in Mideast Conflict

The drawbacks of videotaped confessions and interrogations

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Very interesting article on how choices of camera angles can completely change the conclusions one draws from a videotaped interrogation. Obviously, adding background music would make it even worse…

The CIA made sure that its videotapes of its own brutal interrogations did not get misinterpreted by destroying all the videotapes. (Obvious reason for destruction: war crimes and heinous brutality.)

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 9:29 am

FBI shutters site prostitutes used to protect themselves, ostensibly to protect prostitutes

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This reminds me of an earlier post this morning: how “humanitarian intervention” is the phrase used to whitewash a war of aggression.

The article by Radley Balko in the Washington Post shows how cynical the FBI is. He quotes the following from CNN:

 Late last month, the FBI raided and shut down MyRedbook, a website that allowed escorts to advertise their services and negotiate with clients.

Women in the industry relied heavily on MyRedbook to do background checks on their clients. Sex workers would post about instances of violence or circumstances in which they felt unsafe.

Without MyRedbook, prostitutes are having a difficult time vetting their clients.

“It’s like sex workers lost their Yelp,” said Bay Area sex worker and activist “Siouxsie Q.”

Male clients also used the site to review and discuss their experiences.

That’s why call girls say that the further underground sex work goes, the more dangerous it is for everyone involved.

Read the whole thing.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 9:23 am

Posted in Law Enforcement

The EPA Dithers While a Popular Pesticide Threatens Ecosystems

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A somewhat depressing article in Mother Jones by Tom Philpott.

He cites many studies, but the EPA so far has shown little or no interest.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 9:19 am

What happens if the internet’s not open and free: Government propaganda dept.

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Julia Ioffe writes in The New Republic:

id you know Malaysia Air Flight 17 was full of corpses when it took off from Amsterdam? Did you know that, for some darkly inexplicable reason, on July 17, MH17 moved off the standard flight path that it had taken every time before, and moved north, toward rebel-held areas outside Donetsk? Or that the dispatchers summoned the plane lower just before the crash? Or that the plane had been recently reinsured? Or that the Ukrainian army has air defense systems in the area? Or that it was the result of the Ukrainian military mistaking MH17 for Putin’s presidential plane, which looks strangely similar?

Did you know that the crash of MH17 was all part of an American conspiracy to provoke a big war with Russia?

Well, it’s all true—at least if you live in Russia, because this is the Malaysia Airlines crash story that you’d be seeing.

As the crisis surrounding the plane crash deepens and as calls for Vladimir Putin to act grow louder, it’s worth noting that they’re not really getting through to Putin’s subjects. The picture of the catastrophe that the Russian people are seeing on their television screens is very different from that on screens in much of the rest of the world, and the discrepancy does not bode well for a sane resolution to this stand-off. . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 8:40 am

Posted in Government, Media

The “Show Me” state refuses to be shown re: Prescription drug database

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Missouri is the only state that refuses to create a prescription drug database to detect and prevent prescription drug abuse. The reasons seem to be a refusal to be shown. The NY Times story by Alan Schwarz begins:

On his office phone at L & S Pharmacy, Richard Logan listened as a doctor’s office detailed how a patient had just left with her third prescription for painkillers in only nine days — and was quite possibly getting more, illegally, elsewhere.

Mr. Logan, 61, holstered two guns, slipped on a bulletproof vest and jumped into his truck. Because in his small corner of America’s epidemic of prescription drug abuse, Mr. Logan is no ordinary pharmacist. He is also a sheriff’s deputy who, when alerted to someone acquiring fraudulent drug prescriptions, goes out to catch that person himself.

“I’m only one guy, and for every person we get to, there are probably 100 who we can’t,” Mr. Logan said. “How many people have to get addicted and die for us to do what everyone else is doing about it?”
Continue reading the main story

His frustration stems from this: Missouri is the only state in America that has declined to keep a prescription drug database — the primary tool the other 49 states use to identify people who acquire excess prescriptions for addictive painkillers and tranquilizers, as well as the physicians who overprescribe them.

Not having the database has not only hampered Missouri’s ability to combat prescription drug abuse, but also attracted people from neighboring states looking to stockpile pills and bring them home to take themselves or sell to others, according to law enforcement officials, legislators and data compiled by a prescription drug processing firm.

“Welcome to Missouri — America’s Drugstore,” said Dr. Douglas Char, an emergency room physician in St. Louis. “We aren’t just allowing abuse, we’ve created a business model for dealers.”

Drug monitoring programs, whose procedures and powers can vary significantly from state to state, all share a similar strategy: to require doctors, pharmacists or both to enter all prescriptions into a database that can — or, in some states, must — be consulted later to make sure patients do not get excess medication.

Because many states’ programs appear effective, Missouri has been urged to put one into effect. Among those calling for a change are Missouri medical associations, members of Congress from neighboring states, the White House and even Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, the St. Louis-based manufacturer of oxycodone, the highly abused prescription painkiller.

But while proponents say the vast majority of the Legislature supports the measure, it has been blocked by . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 8:33 am

More than 75% of Palestinian fatalities in Gaza are civilians

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Israel advises citizens to take shelter, but will not allow them to leave the area (and of course is apt to kill them even if they are uninvolved in conflict: the four children playing on the beach). Watch this video (less than 4 minutes) of what it is like in Gaza now. Trigger warning: the video shows an Israeli sniper killing a wounded Palestinian civilian.

The video comes from this article, which notes:

The Israeli military just shot a Gazan man trying to reach his family, during an announced ceasefire. He was with a group of municipality workers and international human rights defenders who were attempting to retrieve injured people in the Shujaiya neighborhood.

“We all just watched a man murdered in front of us. He was trying to reach his family in Shujaiya, he had not heard from them and was worried about them. They shot him, and then continued to fire as he was on the ground. We had no choice but to retreat. We couldn’t reach him due to the artillery fire and then he stopped moving.” Stated Joe Catron, US International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist in Gaza. “Shajiya is a smoking wasteland. We just passed two bombed out ambulances.”

The Israel military has also shelled Red Crescent ambulances as they attempted to retrieve injured people in the Shujaiya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City. A ceasefire was announced, during which injured and dead people, could be evacuated from the area, in which at least 60 people have been killed today.

“They said we would be able to evacuate the injured from the disaster zone, but they have been shelling ambulances,” stated Dr Khalil Abu Foul of the Palestinian Red Crescent, speaking from Shujaiya.

Now, the international volunteers, including some from the US, the UK, and Sweden, are in a rescue centre on the outskirts of Shujaiya.

There’s more at the link. The text above is a press release from the International Solidarity Movement.

Notice also the wholesale destruction of buildings—Palestine will have to do much rebuilding, but they lack money and have trouble importing building materials. (Israel and Egypt control the borders, and both are hostile to Palestinians, who in effect are trapped in a large prison.)

Glenn Greenwald quotes an interesting comment from Benjamin Netanyahu along with a parallel comment from history:

Benjamin Netanyahu, yesterday, on CNN, addressing worldwide sympathy for the civilian victims of Israeli violence in Gaza:

They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.

Joseph Goebbels, November 16, 1941, essay in Das Reich, addressing Germany sympathy for German Jews forced to wear yellow stars:

The Jews gradually are having to depend more and more on themselves, and have recently found a new trick. They knew the good-natured German Michael in us, always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is.

Rather than lard up the point with numerous defensive caveats about what is and is not being said here (which, in any event, never impede wilful media distorters in their tactics), I’ll simply note three brief points:

(1) To compare aspects of A and B is not to posit that A and B are identical (e.g., to observe that Bermuda and Bosnia are both countries beginning with the letter “B” is not to depict them as the same, just as observing that both the U.S. in 2003 and Germany in 1938 launched aggressive wars in direct violation of what were to become the Nuremberg Principles is not to equate the two countries).

(2) In general, the universality of war rhetoric is a vital fact, necessary to evaluate the merit of contemporary claims used to justify militarism (claims that a war amounts to mere “humanitarian intervention”, for instance, have been invoked over and over to justify even the most blatant aggression). Similarly, the notion that one is barred from ever citing certain historical examples in order to draw lessons for contemporary conflicts is as dangerous as it is anti-intellectual.

(3) Anglo-American law has long recognized that gross recklessness is a form of intent (“Fraudulent intent is shown if a representation is made with reckless indifference to its truth or falsity”). That’s why reckless behavior even if unaccompanied by a desire to kill people – e.g., randomly shooting a gun into a crowd of people – has long been viewed as sufficient to establish criminal intent.

One can say many things about a military operation that results in more than 75% of the dead being civilians, many of them children, aimed at a population trapped in a tiny area with no escape. [It is, however, certainly bigger than the Warsaw Ghetto. – LG] The claim that there is no intent to kill civilians but rather an intent to protect them is most assuredly not among them. Even stalwart-Israel-supporter Thomas Friedman has previously acknowledged that Israeli assaults on Lebanon, and possibly in Gaza, are intended ”to inflict substantial property damage and collateral casualties” because “the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians” (which, to the extent it exists, is the classic definition of “terrorism”). The most generous claim one can make about what Israel is now doing in Gaza is that it is driven by complete recklessness toward the civilian population it is massacring, a form of intent under centuries of well-settled western law. . .

Continue reading.

While Israel understandably does not want to be victimized by terrorism, it would be ingenuous to ignore that the Israelis themselves used terrorism in their effort to drive the British out: Menachem Begin, for example, led the Irgun, which was responsible, for example, for the King David Hotel bombing in 1946 (91 killed, 46 injured).

I’m wondering how many suicide bombers are motivated to kill innocent civilians because they themselves lost innocent family members to various attacks and bombings?

The cycle of violence is hard to break.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 8:16 am

Posted in Mideast Conflict

Uber as a target of law enforcement

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Very interesting incident, well reported: Denver Police harassing Uber driver (and passenger as well). Being able to use a smartphone to do research on the spot (not to mention the camera and video capabilities) certainly changes the nature of interactions with police.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 7:47 am

BBS from 5-day stubble with the Stealth slant

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SOTD 21 July

I read a speculation that the Stealth slant would require more passes with a heavy stubble, so I sacrificed shaving for 5 days to build up a good stubble.

I found that the pre-shave beard wash worked up more suds with the 5-day stubble than I normally get, which was interesting. I rinsed partially, but it took more than a splash, and then I used the Omega 11047 boar+badger brush to work up an excellent (and peach-fragranced: seemed right as we move into late summer) lather from’s Just Peachy shaving soap.

The first pass went quite well. I shaved my left cheek with the 37C, which someone also suggested would be too mild for heavy stubble. It’s not: it did a fine job, but once I verified that, I stuck with the Stealth.

My usual 3-pass shave (WTG, XTG, ATG, lathering before each pass) produced the usual BBS finish I get with this razor. There may have been a bit more stubble than usual left after the first pass—it’s hard to remember—but that made no difference: the second pass cleaned it up admirably, and the ATG acted as a polishing pass.

Certainly experience can contradict expectations, but I already have a fair amount of experience with slants in general and the Stealth in particular, and I actually did expect that the shave would go fine and present no difficulties, and this time my expectation was borne out. Still, one never knows for sure until the actual test.

It feels very good indeed to be freshly shave again, and a good splash of Hâttric finished the job.

So heavier growth presents no problem to slants in general and to the Stealth (or 37C) in particular.

The Stealth is supposed to go on sale at around 31 August.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 July 2014 at 7:25 am

Posted in Shaving

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