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Monday Open Thread

I have a brief due today, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Saturday Open Thread

Our last open thread is full, so here's another one. All topics welcome.

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Saturday Morning ISIS Update

While ISIS got overshadowed by other events this week, it's still on a tear, wreaking havoc in both Iraq and Syria. It announced today it seized the Assad military airport in Deirezzor city and the army there is trying to flee.

ISIS is also getting tougher on Shari'a law enforcement. Their women's unit is patrolling for women who don't dress appropriately. How would you like to be confronted by this group? ISIS is getting tougher about Shari'a law violators: Thursday it stoned an adulteress in the Tabaqa market area in Raqqa. Friday, it stoned another one to death near the football stadium. These were public events, and well attended. One of the events was even made wheelchair accessible (see the photo.) Are we supposed to take that as a sign of how caring they are for the disabled among them?

Question: Were these really adulteresses or just wives of ISIS enemies? The photos were posted on an official ISIS page. [More...]

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Thursday Open Thread: Stop the Amber Alerts

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

Update: Is there any way to stop Amber alerts from interrupting TV shows? It's bad enough we get weather warning interruptions that don't involve Denver or its surrounding counties, but Amber alerts are just too much. Is there some law that authorizes them? Was it a Joe Biden bill? I also resent the flashing Amber alerts on the highway -- they force you take your eye off the road and are dangerous. If the networks are going to allow interruptions for public service messages, they should at least limit them to emergencies that affect everyone. If there was a campaign, Stop the Amber Alerts,, I'd sign in an instant. [More...]

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Journalist: Mexico's Government More Dangerous than Drug Cartels

Prominent journalist Anabel Hernandez, author or the Mexican best selling non-fiction book “Los Señores del Narco” (translated into English as “Narcoland,”) says Mexico's officials are more dangerous than the leaders of the drug cartels.

What I have learned in nine years of investigation into drug trafficking is that a general, a public security secretary or a governor is more dangerous than Chapo Guzman himself. They are the ones that betray the country, that sell the state to organized crime and they should face exemplary punishments. … If there are no exemplary punishments against the Mexican political and business class who permit people like Chapo Guzman to exist, then nothing is going to change and we are just going to be repeating this story of death, sometimes with more violence, sometimes with less, but always with the Mexican state under control of drug traffickers. We have to break this cycle.

On President Nieto: [More...]

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Monday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Sunday Open Thread

I'm spending this beautiful day outdoors. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Sunday Middle East Developments

ISIS is back in action. The reporters, analysts and ISIS supporters I read on Twitter and on their websites say ISIS this weekend took Dhuluiya, and Ishaqi and Barwānah. They blew up the bridge from Dhuluiya to Balad. They have the army boxed in at Samarra. They've also been advancing on the 8th Brigade base near Ramadi and Tikrit and made another try for Haditha, although they havent' gotten the dam.

There's an interesting article here on the synergy between the tribes and ISIS that is strengthening their ability to overthrow Malik's government and shi'a rule. If those issues weren't so important, they might not have hooked up to the extent they have, since usually, the tribes would have plenty of differences with ISIS.

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Report on Mass Killing of Sunni Prisoners in Iraq

Human Rights Watch has released a report on the mass killings of Sunni prisoners by Iraqi forces.

Iraqi security forces and militias affiliated with the government appear to have unlawfully executed at least 255 prisoners in six Iraqi cities and villages since June 9, 2014.

The vast majority of security forces and militias are Shia, while the murdered prisoners were Sunni. At least eight of those killed were boys under age 18.

Mass extrajudicial killings of prisoners should be viewed as a war crime. [More...] evidence of war crimes or crimes against humanity, and appear to be revenge killings for atrocities by ISIS.

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Wednesday Night Open Thread

Bon Jovi is screening his new movie, Access All Areas, for free starting now.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday Open Thread

I've got a busy workday. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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World Cup Quarterfinals, Day 1

2 big matches today. First up France v Germany which has extensive history both in soccer(their 1982 World Cup semifinal clash made me a soccer fan for life)and of course, in war.

In this tournament, they have been among the top teams. France has been brilliant at times. But I think this is a bad matchup for them, as Germany is more disciplined and equally skilled. The pick is: Quarter Final - Rio de Janeiro, Germany Pick over France.

The home team Brazil faces a flying James Rodriguez and Colombia in the second game. On form, Colombia is the favorite. But this is Brazil playing at home we are talking about. (This consideration includes the effects on officiating, which will certainly favor Brazil.) I have 2 lays here - Quarter Final - Fortaleza - 1st Half Line Colombia Pick (+185) and Full time Colombia + (+105). IF the game goes extra time, that is a different wager. I suspect Brazil will be put through in extra time or penalties.

A final word on USA' performance against Belgium. Other than Howard's heroics, it was a terrible performance, taking the USA back to its pre-1994 form. Just an awful performance. Klinsmann is a good coach imo, but he really missed the boat with Bradley at attacking midfielder where he failed miserably. Beating Belgium was a tall order, but that performance was a head shaker, Really bad.

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Eve of 4th of July Open Thread

Tomorrow is a day to celebrate our freedom and independence, and to be thankful we live in a nation, that with all its flaws, is still among the best at respecting individual liberty.

But tonight I'm also thinking about the freedoms we need to protect and defend, not just for our law-abiding citizens, but for all who are living within our country's borders, including those who continue to be detained at Guantanamo, who are languishing in our prisons, and who live in fear of being separated from their families and deported.

If you're looking for something to evoke a feeling of what this holiday is about, the graphic above is one of my favorites. Timothy McVeigh gave it to me one day during a jail visit.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday Night Open Thread

Rough day at the dentist. Since our last open thread is full, here's another one, all topics welcome.

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Monday Open Thread

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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