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Friday :: November 28, 2014

Friday Open Thread

Who's going shopping today?

I'm taking the day off, which means I won't be on line much.

I hope all Talkleft visitors had a wonderful holiday. I looked at so many store ads my eyes are blurry. At least I forgot about ISIS for a few days.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome

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Wednesday :: November 26, 2014

Pre Thanksgiving Open Thread

TalkLeft wishes you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget to check in with your local radio station to find out what time they will play Alice's Restaurant. It was November 28, 1965 that Arlo was convicted of littering in Stockbridge, MA. You can read the backstory here.

I will be busy setting up my new Desktop computer. I spent 8 hours Sunday reading up on every feature of every Dell and HP, I ended up with a great deal on a very powerful Dell. Of course, now comes the agony of transferring stuff over and hoping it works. I used a program last time and it caused a lot of problems, so this year I will do it by hand. My 2 GB hard drive is filled on the old one, and windows installer hasn't worked in year and a half --which means I haven't been able to add or remove any programs. Black Friday is definitely the day to do swap it out.

It's also that time of year to ask those of you who appreciate TalkLeft to send us a little thanks, via paypal or snailmail

I'll be back to normal schedule next week, my last day of an 8 day court run was today.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone. This is an open thread, all topics welcome. (Alice's Restaurant is below.)[More...]

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Tuesday :: November 25, 2014

More National Guardsmen Called to Ferguson

MO Governor Jay Nixon has ordered 2,200 more national guardsman to Ferguson.

More than 2,200 additional National Guard troops will take to the streets in the St. Louis area at night, Gov. Jay Nixon announced. They will join 700 Guardsmen already on the scene and hundreds of local police officers.

The Washington Post notes some contradictions in Wilson's testimony and "unorthodox police procedures." The New York Times says much of the evidence was conflicting.

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Ferguson G. J. Decision : No Indictment, Violence Erupts

The prosecutor's office has released the grand jury testimony in the investigation of the Michael Brown shooting. The grand jury declined to indict Officer Wilson. The local CBS affiliate has this recap, with links to some of the testimony. Officer Wilson's testimony is here. Dorian Johnson's testimony is here.

Evidence photos are here and here.

As expected, violence erupted following the announcement. More on that here. The St. Louis Post Dispatch has a running feed of incidents. The police chief says the violence is worse than the worst night in August.

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Monday :: November 24, 2014

Monday Open Thread

Showtime's Homeland is back in its element. After a shaky start this season, it slowly got back on track, and the last two episodes were Homeland at it's best.

Separated at birth: One of the two guys above is Saddam Jamal, a terrorist in real life, now with ISIS, and the other, Numan Acar, plays one on Homeland. I think they look a lot alike. If you haven't been watching Homeland, which one do you think is the real terrorist?

In the news department, the court administrator of the St. Louis Circuit County Court has issued a statement contradicting news reports that the Judge has agreed to consider releasing the Wilson/Brown grand jury records if no Indictment is returned. She hasn't even considered it. The letter is here.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Sunday :: November 23, 2014

Rudy Giulani's Shows His True Colors

Rudy Giuliani is justly taking a heap of justly deserved criticism for his comments on Meet the Press about race and crime today. In a discussion about Ferguson and the disproportionate number of white cops in neighborhoods with a large minority population, he complained that too much attention was being paid to the Michael Brown shooting. He rattled off statistics about black on black crime. When another guest on the show objected, he said:

“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other.”

You can watch the segment here.

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The Next Generation of Mujahideen

ISIS has released a lot of videos the past few days. In one, Race Towards Good (link removed),ISIS takes us inside a training camp for Kazakh children. They are purposely indoctrinated from a young age (There's even a toddler holding a toy gun.) It shows a class teaching very young males how to write Arabic and the kids receiving receiving fighter training. There's also an adult class on how to be a sniper.

It's fascinating to watch, but horrifying that they would encourage young kids to kill those who do not share their religion. [Update: Photos removed at the request of the Government of Kazakhstan]

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Former U.S. Ranger Claims al-Zarqawi Beaten to Death

In 2006, the U.S. proudly announced that al Qaida leader al Musab al-Zarqawi had been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq.

Now there are claims he was murdered after surviving the airstrike. A former U.S. Army Ranger who writes using the name Utlendr at a well-known website written by veterans of the Special Forces called Special Operations Forces Situation Report (Sofrep), wrote an article Friday, How Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Really Met His Fate. The author, who uses the name Utlendr, according to The Australian, was part of the team that worked with Delta Forces to locate al Zarqawi's safe house in order to bomb it. The U.S. gave two official statements in 2006 on al Zarqawi's death. In the first, it said he was killed in the bombing. In the second, it said he was critically injured in the bombing and died an hour later.

Utlendr now writes that al Zarqawi was indeed badly injured in the bombing. But, he says, Iraqi forces had loaded him into an ambulance to take him to the hospital. The Delta Forces ambushed the ambulance.

Here's where it gets interesting. [More...]

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Saturday :: November 22, 2014

Saturday Night Open Thread

JFK was assassinated today in 1963. I just tuned into a CNN special and saw Lee Harvey Oswald get arrested, and then shot. They cut to interviews of passersby. "That wasn't right. He deserved a fair trial," said the first one. The second one echoed the same sentiments.

Amazing how many people forget or intentionally disregard that bedrock principle of our criminal justice system. The latest victim: Bill Cosby. I won't dignify the accusations against him by repeating them. I will report that he got a standing ovation in Florida last night.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Saudi Detainee Transferred From Guantanamo

Muhammad al-Zahrani, imprisoned at Guantanamo since 2002, returned home to Saudi Arabia today. He agreed to participate in the Saudi rehabilitation program.

Al-Zahrani is the 13th prisoner to leave Guantanamo Bay this year and the seventh in just the past two weeks. Officials have said more prisoners will be released in the coming weeks as part of a renewed effort to close the site. Seventy three are already cleared for release.

142 detainees remain at Guantanamo. 73 of them have been cleared for release.

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WSJ: U.S. Marshals Posing as Mexican Marines to Catch Cartel Members

The Wall Street Journal reports:

U.S. Justice Department personnel are disguising themselves as Mexican Marines to take part in armed raids against drug suspects in Mexico, according to people familiar with the matter, an escalation of American involvement in battling drug cartels that carries significant risk to U.S. personnel.

A U.S. official says the marshal's participation was approved by high levels of the Mexican Government. The Mexican Embassy in Washington denies that: [More...]

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ISIS Releases New Issue of Dabiq Magazine

ISIS has released Issue #5 of its English publication, Dabiq Magazine. You can read it here.

There's nothing in it about Peter Kassig or other ISIS beheadings. It's mostly about the other groups which recently announced their allegiance to ISIS leader al Baghdadi. There's also an article about its new currency and about Kobane. And a four page essay by hostage John Cantlie, titled "If I were U.S. President Today," in which he again criticizes the policy of the U.S. and its allies. [More...]

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CT Releases New Report on Adam Lanza

The Office of the Child Advocate in Connecticut has released its report on Adam Lanza. It's 114 pages and available here. The Daily Mail has this recap. I just finished reading the report. Here are some quotes:

Autism Spectrum Disorder or other psychiatric problems neither caused nor led to his murderous acts.

As to what did cause Lanza's murderous rampage, the report does not have a definitive answer.

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Friday :: November 21, 2014

Ferguson News Reports

The media hype over the grand jury decision in Ferguson is over the top. Except for a few stories about Buffalo and one warning of a cyber attack by China or Russia, CNN aired nothing else this afternoon, except commercials. It was that way on my hour drive to the jail to see a client at noon, and that way for the hour drive back at 4 pm. Wolf Blitzer kept breathlessly announcing "We're expecting a grand jury announcement any moment so stay tuned." It's now 3 hours later and there has been no announcement of the grand jury decision. But the media's non-stop reporting of anticipated violent reactions persist. I learned from CNN that Best Buy is closing its stores for the weekend. Schools have decided to close the whole week. Homeowners in outlying areas are stocking up on guns fearing increased crime. Police are worried. And on and on. [More...]

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New John Cantlie Message Video

ISIS has released Episode 6 of prisoner John Cantlie's "Lend Me Your Ears" video messages. In it, he discusses the failed U.S. rescue attempt of James Foley. He excoriates the U.S. and British governments for not negotiating with ISIS, for threatening James Foley's mother with prosecution if she participated in ransom negotiations, and for abandoning him and the other foreign hostages recently executed.

He says ISIS was holding six foreign hostages, presumably referring to Foley, Sotloff, Haines, Henning, Kassig and himself. He doesn't mention the female U.S. aid worker who reportedly is being held by ISIS. Hopefully, she's just being held in a different place.

Cantlie blasts the hypocrisy, arrogance and lies of the U.S. and Great Britain, saying they treated his life and those of the other English and American hostages like a "roll of the dice" while the other hostages all went home. He is not angry at ISIS.

You can watch the video here, but it probably won't stay up long.

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