10
Feb
16

l am confused

fdr-impeachment-mcclures-magazine1-659x412.

For several days now, and using any number of key words, I have been looking for pictures of FDR’s portraits hanging in American homes, post offices, and schools of the 1930s and ’40s. My search has been unsuccessful. Why?

I know that such photographs exist; I have seen them countless times in documentary films of the period. Franklin Roosevelt was revered as the paterfamilias of the whole country (except for those Republicans who called him “that man in the White House,” not wanting to utter his name). Yet such photographs seem to be no longer common enough to be easily available on the Internet. Is this because of the triumph of Conservatism?

I suppose we have been through too many assassinations, too many impeachments, too many betrayals and scandals to ever fall for such naïveté again. We expect to be let down by the likes of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; their imperfections are already out there for everyone to see. Cruz and Rubio, too. No surprise. They’re guaranteed to disappoint.

According to Secret Service agents who have begun to talk, even squeaky-clean Jimmy Carter was one of the most unpopular presidents of recent time. Everyone has their flaws. Before everything is said and done, I’m sure that there will be bad stories from someone about Bernie Sanders—about how he once kicked his dog or something.

I suppose the best we can do is choose the best from a bad lot.

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josrem

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۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to Living Colour performing “Cult Of Personality”

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Weather Report

73° and Clear

09
Feb
16

more false confessions

Taser.

Study: People tased by cops are more likely to waive their rights, give false confessions

by Bonnie Kristian, The Week

February 8, 2016

Suspects who have been tased by police while being taken into custody are more likely to waive their Miranda rights and provide false confessions, according to new research (PDF) published in the Criminology & Public Policy journal.

That’s because a Taser’s 50,000-volt shock temporarily impairs brain function, so “TASER-exposed participants resembled patients with mild cognitive impairment,” the study says. “Thus, part of our findings implicates a suspect’s ability to issue a valid waiver [of Miranda rights], whereas another part implicates the accuracy of information he or she might give investigators during a custodial interrogation.”

Even innocent suspects are at greater risk of self-incrimination after being tased. “They may waive their Miranda rights and make incriminating statements to police without the benefit of counsel,” and then find those comments difficult to explain once their mental function has recovered later on.

The study notes that American police have tased 2.37 million people in the last decade, an average of 904 tasings per day, or one every two minutes.

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Bonnie Kristian is a freelance writer and seminary student living in the Twin Cities. She is a regular contributor to TheWeek.com‘s Speed Reads blog and pens a weekly column for Rare. Her writing has also appeared at Relevant Magazine, The American Conservative, Antiwar.com, Reknew, and other outlets.

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Groove of the Day

Listen to the Korean girl group f(x) performing “Electric Shock”

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Weather Report

67° and Clear

08
Feb
16

windy

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I haven’t made a special point of mentioning it in this blog, but for the past week it has been windy—which can be quite a big deal out here. Sometimes some very heavy objects indeed have a way of moving in very unexpected ways because of the wind. Even stones have a way of sometimes moving.

Last Monday the wind downed a power line in Big Bend National Park, and it started a grassland wildfire which has burned for a week and by midweek consumed nearly 1,500 acres east of the Park headquarters in Panther Junction. The Park consists of over 800,000 acres (or 1,250 square miles).

Heavy winds howled and helped the fire spread quickly. Fire had initially stopped spreading by Tuesday morning, but the winds picked up again that afternoon and started moving the fire into more rugged, hard-to-reach terrain.

Roadways and trails remain open, but a road to Rio Grande Village has intermittently closed when smoke or fire approach the roadway. The fire has been smoldering in some areas and openly burning in others. Crews are working to maintain firebreaks to stop the flames from spreading further.

Thirty-five to forty firefighters were on hand this week, along with 14 people from the esteemed “Los Diablos” firefighting team from just across the border in Mexico. Los Diablos are renowned across the country for their elite firefighting skills, enough so that they’re allowed special and fast legal entry into the US when their help is needed (sorry Donald Trump).

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۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to Cat Stevens (a Muslim) performing “The Wind”

(Sorry again, Donald.)

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Weather Report

48° Cloudy and Wind

07
Feb
16

swoosh

Please allow me this visual rant, just this once.

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200_s.

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trump 2.

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9.

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trump-hildebeast.

Trump-Hair.

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۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to College Humor’s “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Trump”

(Sorry about all the tacked-on trash; this was the best I could find.)

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Weather Report

54° and Clear

06
Feb
16

light show

At the ocean depths not reached by sunlight, as many as 90% of life forms make their own light. They flash. They sparkle. They glow. Like the fireflies you remember chasing in your youth, they produce light by biofluorescence or bioluminescence.

Sometimes they reach the surface or live on land. Waves of phosphorescent algae crash on the shore and form the wakes of ships. This is as wondrous as a James Cameron sci-fi film… but it’s real.

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Bioluminescent-polych.

bioluminescent-fungus.

biolum-3.

28_2UV.

biolum-1.

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Atolla-wyvillei-Jellyfish-777x437.

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126.

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Acanthephyra-BL.

biolum-5.

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AQneon10_750_635_70.

Ophiochiton ternispinus.

bioluminescent-plankton.

۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to Isao Tomita performing Debussy’s “The Snowflakes Are Dancing”

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Weather Report

57° and Clear

05
Feb
16

too little, too late

I should have run this story a week ago, but I didn’t. Why wait?

I am just so disgusted with the tardiness of the Supreme Court (in clarifying that its ruling on JLWOP was retroactive) and the slowness of the President to eliminate the excessive use of solitary confinement for youths in adult Federal prisons. Hell, the Feds shouldn’t even be incarcerating kids with adults in the first place.

Running this story after a picture of a dog’s ass demonstrates the respect their slow action deserves.

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Black Arms in Cell.

End of Youth Solitary Confinement in Federal Prisons Long Overdue

President Obama, citing Justice Department data issued the ban, setting the stage for similar actions to be taken across the board

by Marcy Mistrett, Ebony

January 26, 2016

In an historic moment yesterday, President Obama used his executive authority to end the use of solitary confinement for youth in the federal prison system.

This action is incredibly important to the numerous youth who are prosecuted and sentenced as adults in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) each year. Youth housed in adult facilities are often subject to solitary confinement as a perverse means of “protecting” them from the adult population; making the abuse even more egregious for this population. Citing a Department of Justice review of the overuse and abuse of solitary confinement by the BOP, Obama called upon our “common humanity” to end this torturous practice.

The 53 recommendations drawn by the Department of Justice will apply to the BOP and the US Marshals Service, but also sends a strong message to states to create a less harmful environment for those in its care. The recommendations state that youth under age 18 “shall not be placed in restrictive housing.” They further state that in “very rare” circumstances when there is serious and immediate risk of injury to another person, a youth may be removed and placed in restrictive housing as a “cool down” period—but only in consultation with a mental health professional. While the recommendations stop short of articulating a specific maximum length of time allowed in those “very rare circumstances,” the recommendations clearly state that youth under 18 don’t belong in isolation, period.

But the recommendations go farther, and include recommendations for youth ages 18-24 that include training all correctional staff on young adult brain development and de-escalation tactics; developmentally responsive policies and practices including therapeutic housing communities and services to reduce the number of incidents that could lead to restrictive housing; and call to limit the use of restrictive housing whenever possible, and if used, to limit the length of stay and to identify appropriate services they can receive while in restrictive housing.

These recommendations are important first steps to ending the use of solitary confinement for youth. The harmful effects of solitary confinement are well documented. Individuals subjected to such extreme deprivation, locked in isolation for 23 hours a day for weeks, months, and even years, are linked to devastating, long term psychological consequences including depression, anxiety, and withdrawal from other individuals. For youth whose minds and bodies are still growing and developing, these consequences are amplified and too often lead to dire consequences including self-harm and suicide. In fact, the Department of Justice found that youth in solitary commit suicide at twice the rate of adults; and other research has shown that youth in solitary in adult facilities are 36 times more likely to commit suicide than if they were housed in the juvenile justice system.

In his announcement, President Obama stated, “We believe that when people make mistakes, they deserve the opportunity to remake their lives. And if we can give them the hope of a better future, and a way to get back on their feet, then we will leave our children with a country that is safer, stronger, and worthy of our highest ideals.”

While we certainly applaud President Obama for taking this momentous step forward, we urge him to take further actions to protect youth in federal custody, such as preventing them from being in adult facilities to begin with. In 2012, the recommendations made by the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, included the charge to abandon practices like solitary confinement, which traumatize children and reduce their opportunities to become productive members of society. However, the report also recommends “whenever possible, prosecute youth offenders in the juvenile justice system instead of transferring their cases to adult courts.” We urge the president to use his remaining time in office to implement this recommendation by “strengthening federal regulations and essentially prohibit states and localities from incarcerating any person younger than 18 in an adult prison or jail as a condition of federal funding.”

It is long past due that our country starts treating children like children. Ending the practice of placing youth held in federal prisons in solitary confinement is a critical step toward this broader goal. Now isn’t it time to ask why children are sentenced to time in federal prison at all?

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Marcy Mistrett is CEO of the Campaign For Youth Justice, a national initiative focused entirely on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system.

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۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to the Barenaked Ladies performing “Too Little, Too Late”

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Weather Report

57° and Clear

04
Feb
16

miracle

jesus on dog's anus.

How could I have missed this? I’ve been wandering in the wilderness so long!

Had I seen it when Reddit released this image in June of 2013, I could have saved myself 2½ years of unnecessary anguish. I would have had the proof I needed as to why “dog” spelled in reverse is “god.”

It would have amply demonstrated to me that the deity permeates all creation.

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۞

Groove of the Day

Listen to the Royal Choral Society performing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”

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Weather Report

52° and Clear

 




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