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Friday Open Thread

I'm swamped at work. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Another day (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 02:53:23 PM EST
    Another school shooting - in Colorado.

    Fitting - since it's the anniversary of the Newtown shooting.

    All in all, at least 91 children were killed by deliberate gunfire in 2012.

    Yep.  Guns are good and we shouldn't have restrictions on the Second Amendment.

    Daniel Kaszor 3 minutes ago (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 02:59:44 PM EST
    Daniel Kaszor 3 minutes ago

    Another student was found with a minor gunshot wound.
    Daniel Kaszor 3 minutes ago

    The Sheriff says that one student confronted the shooter, and was shot. That student is now in critical condition.
    Daniel Kaszor 4 minutes ago

    The Sheriff says that the shooter is dead, and that he apparently killed himself.
    Daniel Kaszor 4 minutes ago

    Grayson Robinson, the Arapahoe Country Sheriff, has said that the shooter came to the school with a shotgun, saying that he was after a teacher.



    Parent
    Doubtless, it is his mother's fault. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 03:45:57 PM EST
    Buying guns (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:41:50 PM EST
    for deeply troubled young men you never talk to is what? a therapeutic intervention recommended by professionals these days?

    Parent
    Uh, we do have restrictions (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:22:12 PM EST
    on the 2nd.

    Parent
    Not enough (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:22:38 PM EST
    An enough would be??? (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:42:48 PM EST
    Background checks on all gun sales (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 09:14:36 PM EST
     ... limited magazine/clip sizes, no assault weapons, no .50 calibre guns, gun registration, very restrictive access to handguns, ....

    ... should be a good start.

    Anything else?

    Parent

    Assault weapons are (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 10:09:31 PM EST
    already illegal.

    Look, we all know what you want is no guns owned by anyone except the government.

    Parent

    fwiw, "assault rifles" (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:06:27 AM EST
    are generally illegal for us commoners, and the term "assault weapon" has no real definition depending on the axe you wish to grind.

    Parent
    It's not worth much (none / 0) (#82)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 04:28:32 PM EST
    Hence your use of those qualifiers.

    "Generally" illegal and no "real" definition.

    Heh - yeah, according to you and Ted Nugent.  Assault weapons had a real, legal definition under the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, and has a real definition under several proposed pieces of legislation, most recently Dianne Feinstein's bill to reinstate the ban.

    But it's funny how the use of that term gets under the skin of the "gun rights" crowd.

    Parent

    According to me and Ted Nugent.

    Parent
    Ouch (none / 0) (#130)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 02:05:40 PM EST
    That would hurt ...

    ... if your/Ted Nugent's opinion were of any real value.

    Parent

    That's gotta sting. (none / 0) (#134)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 02:37:15 PM EST
    Like a gnat (none / 0) (#135)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 02:46:39 PM EST
    Although, even that's probably an overstatement.

    BTW - Nothing to back up your claim that the term "assault weapon has no real definition"?  Strange, considering it was part of a federal law and current proposed legislation to ban assault weapons.

    Parent

    Plenty. (none / 0) (#137)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:58:04 PM EST
    Is it top secret? (none / 0) (#142)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:54:04 PM EST
    Or is there some other reason you don't want to share the evidence to support your claim that "the term "assault weapon" has no real definition"?

    Parent
    We all know.. (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:58:26 AM EST
    more lurid, wild-swinging hyperbole that in the long run just undermines one's credibility. Paranoic ideation is how people in the mental health field characterize that type of thinking
    And as even people in the gun rights crowd readily acknowledge, craziness and gunownership don't belong together.

    Parent
    "We all know ..." (none / 0) (#81)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 04:19:07 PM EST
    As usual, the stuff you "know" is just a fairy tale - not to mention the fact that you really shouldn't speak for others.

    Pretty funny fairy tale considering that:

    1.  I own two guns, and
    2.  Assault weapons are not illegal.  Assault rifles - as defined by the military - are mostly illegal.

    Anything other false claims that need correcting, just let me know.

    Parent
    FYI (none / 0) (#146)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 12:45:17 PM EST
    ...the term "assault weapon" has no real definition depending on the axe you wish to grind.

    Yes, it was clearly defined in the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1984.

    Within the context of this law, the term assault weapon refers primarily to semi-automatic firearms that possess certain cosmetic features of an assault rifle that is fully automatic. Actually possessing the operational features, such as 'full-auto', changes the classification from assault weapons to Title II weapons.
    LINK

    There is a list, and generally speaking a gun has to contain two or more items.  It also specifically listed several weapons that are considered assault rifles.

    For example, if the shotgun used had a short barrel and a hand grip, it's is an assault weapon according to the Fed.  I own 12 gauge shot gun that falls into this category.

    No point other than many keep trying to act like there is no actual definition.  There is, and if go to the manufactures websites, like Colt, they clearly define their own weapons as assault weapons, like the AR-15.

    Just because it's not at Websters does not mean there isn't a definition.

    Parent

    In discussions about firearms laws and politics in the United States, an assault weapon is most commonly defined as a semi-automatic firearm possessing certain cosmetic, ergonomic, or construction features similar to those of military firearms. [...]

    The exact definition of the term in this context varies
    among each of the various jurisdictions limiting or prohibiting assault weapon manufacture, importation, sale, or possession, and legislative attempts are often made to change the definitions. Governing and defining laws include the now-expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994.


    Parent
    Thank the NRA propaganda (none / 0) (#149)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 05:00:22 PM EST
    Link (bolding mine)

    In the end, said George Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, the arguments often come down to language. "No matter what language you use about guns, it's going to be a problem because it's not just about guns, it's about personal identity," he said.

    Yet as Mr. Peterson noted in his buyer's guide, it was the industry that adopted the term "assault weapon" to describe some types of semiautomatic firearms marketed to civilians.

    "Assault rifle" was first used to describe a military weapon, the Sturmgewehr, produced by the Germans in World War II. The Sturmgewehr -- literally "storm rifle," a name chosen by Adolf Hitler -- was capable of both semiautomatic and full-automatic fire. It was the progenitor for many modern military rifles.

    But the term "assault rifle" was expanded and broadened when gun manufacturers began to sell firearms modeled after the new military rifles to civilians. In 1984, Guns & Ammo advertised a book called "Assault Firearms," which it said was "full of the hottest hardware available today."

    "The popularly held idea that the term `assault weapon' originated with antigun activists, media or politicians is wrong," Mr. Peterson wrote. "The term was first adopted by the manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearm owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun."



    Parent
    So the term "assault weapon" ... (none / 0) (#150)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 10:02:00 PM EST
    ... has a definition that can vary between jurisdictions?  Like pretty much any term under the law?  And you think that means it "has no real definition"?

    Heh.

    Parent

    Meet the new boss (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jtaylorr on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 02:56:55 PM EST
    same as the old boss.

    On a recent afternoon, executives at Goldman Sachs invited a few hundred major investors to the Conrad Hotel in lower Manhattan. The bankers and their guests filed into a large room and turned their eyes to Hillary Clinton.

    Ordinarily these masters of the universe might have groaned at the idea of a politician taking the microphone. In the contentious years since the crash of 2008, they've grown wearily accustomed to being called names--labeled "fat cats" by President Obama and worse by those on the left--and gotten used to being largely shunned by Tea Party Republicans for their association with the Washington establishment. And of course there are all those infuriating new rules and regulations, culminating this week with the imposition of the so-called Volcker Rule to make risky trades by big banks illegal.

    But Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish. Striking a soothing note on the global financial crisis, she told the audience, in effect: We all got into this mess together, and we're all going to have to work together to get out of it. What the bankers heard her to say was just what they would hope for from a prospective presidential candidate: Beating up the finance industry isn't going to improve the economy--it needs to stop. And indeed Goldman's Tim O'Neill, who heads the bank's asset management business, introduced Clinton by saying how courageous she was for speaking at the bank. (Brave, perhaps, but also well-compensated: Clinton's minimum fee for paid remarks is $200,000).

    Certainly, Clinton offered the money men--and, yes, they are mostly men--at Goldman's HQ a bit of a morale boost. "It was like, `Here's someone who doesn't want to vilify us but wants to get business back in the game,'" said an attendee. "Like, maybe here's someone who can lead us out of the wilderness."

    Clinton's remarks were hardly a sweeping absolution for the sins of Wall Street, whose leaders she courted assiduously for financial support over a decade, as a senator and a presidential candidate in 2008. But they did register as a repudiation of some of the angry anti-Wall Street rhetoric emanating from liberals rallying behind the likes of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). And perhaps even more than that, Clinton's presence offered a glimpse to a future in which Wall Street might repair its frayed political relationships.

    Makes a Clinton/Booker ticket sound even more depressing. As long as politicians can gain more votes from fundraising than actually interacting with and representing their constituents, this will continue to be the status quo. Republican or Democrat, Wall Street will (continue to) have a friend in office come January 20th, 2017.

    "We all got into this mess together" (none / 0) (#11)
    by unitron on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 03:53:24 PM EST
    If you mean in the sense that a mugger and the mugged got into that mess together, or that you and the person who swerved into your lane and hit you head on got into that mess together, or that when your rapist got you pregnant and gave you AIDS you got into that mess together, well, then yeah.

    Remember when politicians at least tried to sort of pretend that they weren't selling out, instead of rubbing our noses in it?

    Parent

    I Haver No recollection of That Time Period (none / 0) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:25:10 PM EST
    But to read that article about the whining kazllionaires who think we are regulating them to boost the economy.  Pretty sure we are doing tit so they don't run the economy into the ground, again.

    Obama has only been tough on them in a few select speeches, or have they forgotten that no one has answered for the housing mess and all the BS wrapped up in it.

    To read some of those quotes you would think it was a group of martians that have been shunned from society for no reason.  Not some of the highest paid executives who not so long ago crashed our economy and made a healthy profit doing it.

    Parent

    Hey (none / 0) (#57)
    by kmblue on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:03:54 AM EST
    I don't see a link to the source.  Want to read it.

    Parent
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 217 (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:19:26 PM EST
    He is religious about staying in shape. (link)

    Vol. 216
    Vol. 215

    Have a great Saturday peeps. Off to hike. Peace.

    Fox News' Megyn Kelly ... (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:56:44 PM EST
    ... wishes you and yours a White Christmas. Literally.

    But rest assured, she was only doing it for the kids who watch her show, and anyway, can't you people take a phuquing joke? Besides, it's commercialism's fault that Santa is white.

    I hereby offer the use of my bong with a free bowl full to any parent who forces his or her kids to watch Fox News, because clearly, you need it much more than I do. Of course, you'll have to wait your turn, because Jimmy Kimmel's not through using it.

    Is it just me, or has anyone else also concluded that we're all living as extras in a Fellini film, and just don't realize it yet?

    Aloha.

    Pope Francis: I am not a Marxist but.... (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:09:56 AM EST
    link

    "Marxist ideology is wrong," the Pope told the Italian newspaper La Stampa in an interview published on Saturday. "But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended."

    Take that Rush Limbaugh and chew on this bone for days till your teeth fall out while we laugh at your stupidity!

    RIP, Peter O'Toole (1932-2013). (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 02:18:30 PM EST
    The 8-time Oscar-nominated actor died in London yesterday, his agent announced.

    O'Toole first burst on the scene with a spectacular debut in David Lean's sweeping 1962 epic, "Lawrence of Arabia." But speaking for myself only, I'll remember him as the swashbuckling, hard-partying Alan Swann, in Richard Benjamin's 1982 comedy "My favorite Year" -- "I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!"

    Aloha.

    Supposedly (none / 0) (#133)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 02:28:28 PM EST
    the decidedly flamboyant Noel Coward said, "He's so pretty, they should call it Florence of Arabia."

    We all have our idiosyncratic taste, and as such he'll stick in my mind as the mephistophelean director in The Stuntman.

    One of the greats, as they say.

    Parent

    Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 02:34:57 PM EST
    A federal judge has ordered the giant 43-ft. white cross atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego to be taken down by county officials in 90 days, ruling that its continued presence constitutes a violation of the First Amendment's separation of state and church:

    Los Angeles Times | December 13, 2013
    Giant cross ordered removed in San Diego; supporters hope for appeal -- "SAN DIEGO -- Supporters of a giant cross atop Mt. Soledad are holding out hope for an appeal to a federal judge's order Thursday that the display be removed within 90 days as a violation of the separation of church and state. After two decades of legal and political wrangling, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns on Thursday issued the order, although he also issued a stay so that those defending the cross have time to appeal."

    Supporters of the cross argue that it is a war memorial, but it really only became a war memorial in the 1990s, when the first veterans' placards were set in place. According to my tea party uncle who's lived in the San Diego area since 1948, the original intent of the Mt. Soledad cross -- first erected in 1954 -- was to serve as a none-too-subtle hint to Jews who might have otherwise desired to live in La Jolla, that the coastal enclave was very much a "Christian" community.

    Given that the SCOTUS has already declined to hear the case, thus kicking it back down to the trial court for final disposition, this should be the end of the matter. Hopefully.

    Aloha.

    Accordking to my former boss, who moved to San (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 03:44:17 PM EST
    Diego in about 1980, and who is a Jew, the Jolla Country Club would not admit Jews as members. But I've never heard your uncle's rationale for construction of "THE CROSS" in a city park.

    Parent
    "The La Jolla Covenant" effectively ... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:51:04 PM EST
    ... discouraged realtors and property owners in that seaside locale from selling to prospective buyers of Jewish ancestry and persuasion. That's ironic, considering that today, thousands of Jewish-Americans call La Jolla home.

    The Mt. Soledad cross is not the only one in the San Diego area which had its presence called into question. As you no doubt know as a local resident, there's another large cross atop nearby Mt. Helix, which is an unincorporated residential area next to La Mesa.

    This cross was also the subject of similar extended litigation before the courts ruled that the cross constituted a violation of the First Amendment, given that it was located on county property. San Diego County resolved the situation in 1999, by subdividing the property in question, and then transferring title of that portion upon which the cross is sited to a private non-profit foundation, while keeping the surrounding lands in public hands.

    Given that precedent, I'm wondering if the City of San Diego ever attempted to do the same.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Actually (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 03:48:59 PM EST
    The cross that sits there now was erected in 1954.  It is the third such structure in that place - the first one being erected in 1913.

    Parent
    Personally, I think that ... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:18:43 PM EST
    ... if it's truly a war memorial, then they should replace the cross with a 43-ft., 3D hologram image of John Wayne in "Back to Bataan."

    Parent
    Can't have an authentic War Memorial without (none / 0) (#36)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:13:16 PM EST
    a couple of giant scrolls emblazoned with lists of heroic war profiteers, like these contractors, who were belatedly discovered to be charging $500/gallon for diesel fuel.

    Parent
    And also, your Wikipedia link says: (none / 0) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:26:50 PM EST
    "The cross dominating La Jolla's highest point identified La Jolla as a Christian neighborhood. For many years, Jews were denied opportunity to purchase a home in La Jolla. This was enforced by 'The La Jolla Covenant' among all local realtors."

    My Uncle Teaparty is wrong about so many things, but he's right on this one. The cross's primary intent was to reinforce religious discrimination and ethnic prejudice against Jews.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Been an issue as long as I lived there (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 03:49:18 PM EST
    Mid 80s to about three years ago. Great to see it coming down. My best friend from high school is a pastor down in SD now, and I'm sure he'd think it a travesty.

    Parent
    Dadler, remember the year the atheists beat (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:01:43 PM EST
    out the Christians signing up to hold sunrise event on Mt. Soledad on Easter?

    Parent
    I actually recall something like that (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:46:36 PM EST
    How long ago are we talking?

    Parent
    AP: (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:50:03 PM EST
    Longer ago than I remembered (none / 0) (#41)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:24:21 PM EST
    But still a great story.

    Parent
    Next Target: WTC Cross (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:06:36 PM EST
    The WTC cross, a salvaged group of steel beams from the WTC towers, stands in front of the WTC Museum. The organization American Atheists lost a law suit to have it removed because they claimed that is undeniably Christian, its inclusion in the taxpayer-subsidized WTC Memorial is an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity. On March 29, 2013, Judge Deborah Batts disagreed and ruled that the cross is a secular "artifact," not an unconstitutional religious symbol. American Atheists will appeal.

    Oh, and Judge Batts says that a cross is so commonplace an object that:

    No reasonable observer would view the artifact as endorsing Christianity.


    Parent
    This appeal won't be heard by the Ninth Circuit (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:11:38 PM EST
    though.

    Parent
    I don't have a problem with it (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:51:45 PM EST
    It should be included in the museum.  I agree with the judge on this one.

    Nobody created the beams to be a symbol of Christianity - that's what was left of the building when it fell.  Just because some people saw it as a divine sign and took hope and faith from that, does not in any way mean that the US Government is supporting or endorsing a religion.  If the building fell and left rubble that resembled a Star of David or other religious symbol, I would feel the same way.

    As Jeff Toobin so eloquently put it:

    "I think the odds of a court ordering the cross removed are literally zero," said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN's legal analyst. "The museum is not building a place for religious worship, they are preserving a historical relic that was meaningful to a great many people and part of the story of 9/11."

    Toobin compared the cross's inclusion in the museum with the many other instances in which government-funded museums feature religious artwork.

    "When the government is surveying a historic development, the government does not have to exclude religions images and artifacts from its displays," Toobin said

    For example, the National Gallery of Art has an exhibit going on right now - Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections - should that not be allowed?  It contains Christian symbols and artifacts and is paid for with public dollars.

    The fact that the ACLU is nowhere near this case is very telling.

    Parent

    "Nobody created the beams to be" (none / 0) (#38)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:20:10 PM EST
    Actually, somebody did.

    - from the wikipedia description:

    On September 13 a worker at the site named Frank Silecchia discovered a 20 foot (6.1 meter)[5] cross of two steel beams amongst the debris of 6 World Trade Center,[6] and had a cross cut from it.[7] Those with access to the site used the cross as a shrine of sorts, leaving messages on it or praying before it.

    The Cross shape was not an artifact; it was deliberately created.

    Parent

    You keep using that word... (none / 0) (#47)
    by unitron on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 09:39:14 PM EST
    "The Cross shape was not an artifact; it was deliberately created."

    Generally "artifact" means something deliberately made by a human, and comes from the same roots as artifice, artificial, artesian, artisinal, et cetera.

    Parent

    Agreed. It all comes down to context. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:22:36 PM EST
    The National Gallery's exhibit is displayed within the context of art, and not religious expression.

    Were we to draw the lines so sharply and without exception, we could no doubt probably make a strong case for eliminating the display on public properties of most all Western art that was produced between the fifth and fifteenth centuries, A.D., because churches were the primary repository for music and the arts during medieval times.

    But then, what would be accomplished by doing that?

    Parent

    Byzantine Art and WTC Cross (none / 0) (#71)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:41:27 PM EST
    Yes, clearly the WTC cross is not art, it is a religious symbol. And given that the WTC bombing context is a religious war, putting up a cross front and center of the museum is a religious statement.

    It is offensive, maybe those who grew up in christian culture, see it is a secular, does not make it secular.

    And as for art that has religious iconography or context, it is either good art or bad art, but it is still ART and can be enjoyed by those who appreciate are or music.

    To compare the WTC cross to Byzantine Art in the National Gallery is bizarre. Or maybe natural for someone who is a bean counter, as opposed to an art lover.

    Parent

    BS (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:32:41 PM EST
    Comparing the WTC cross with art in the museum is absurd.

    Any normal person, who is not christian, will see the WTC cross as a symbol of Christianity, as opposed to a . And the fact that it stands alone, in the context of the WTC "museum" is a bold statement about the dominance of Christianity over Muslim terrorism.

    The American Atheists argued that if the WTC cross is meant to be meaningful to many people and a part of the story of 9/11, then it should not stand alone, but be placed in context of other symbols that are meaningful to many people... Many atheists died in 9/11 and there are many "stories of 9/11" not just the christian one.

    The cross is an eyesore, and it is clearly a religious symbol that is a dominant feature of the museum site.

    Parent

    Local Congressmen: (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:38:34 PM EST
    A 2014 defense spending bill before Congress would have at one point provided protection from legal challenges to religiously adorned war memorials on federal property such as the Soledad cross.

    Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, last spring placed the amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act, but it was dropped during negotiations leading up to the final version of the full measure scheduled for a vote this week, Hunter spokesman Joe Kapser said.

    When he introduced the amendment in April, Hunter, a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, suggested the courts were being used to suppress religious expression.

    Other local congressmen expressed support for the cross Thursday.

    "Our founding fathers did not seek to scrub all religious expression from public spaces, but rather sought to create a government and a society that respected the practice of all religions," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, whose district includes Camp Pendleton. "The Mount Soledad War Memorial and the landmark cross honor the veterans in the same vein as crosses that mark the grave sites of soldiers entombed at Arlington National Cemetery and other U.S. veterans cemeteries worldwide."

    A spokeswoman for Democratic Rep. Scott Peters, whose district includes the cross, said he has always supported it as a war memorial.

    "But we are a nation of law and he respects the court's decision and thanks the Mount Soledad Association for all of its hard work," spokeswoman MaryAnne Pintar said.

    . [SD UT.]

    Parent
    That's my guy! (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:46:18 PM EST
    Which one? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:03:49 PM EST
    Hunter, Issa or Peters?

    Parent
    The Chairman (none / 0) (#42)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 07:56:20 PM EST
    Mr. Benghazi, IRS and so on

    Parent
    Ugh! (none / 0) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 08:07:24 PM EST
    My condolences.

    Parent
    I did call his office to complain (none / 0) (#45)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 08:35:12 PM EST
    and got a nice letter.  Great guy.

    We got gerrymandered in recently, although California I thought gave up gerrymandering.....

    Parent

    San Diego Transcript [usually a reliable (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:47:09 PM EST
    source]:

    Mt. Soledad

    Parent

    Controversy aside, I think Mt. Soledad ... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:14:32 PM EST
    ... offers the most beautiful views in all of San Diego. A few years ago on a clear winter's afternoon, my mother and I were driving back to Pasadena and decided to stop at Mt. Soledad, because (surprisingly!) neither of us had ever been there. We could see everything from the Tijuana hills and Torrey Pines to Camp Pendleton and the snow-capped Laguna Mountains, and it was just stunning.

    Parent
    I hadn't been there since the assoc. (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:20:20 PM EST
    put up all the photos of veterans. My brother wanted to go there to take photos. Yes. A stunningly beautiful view.

    Parent
    Seperation of church and state (none / 0) (#49)
    by coast on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 11:24:20 PM EST
    isn't that a bit of an ironic argument in San Diego?  I mean the city is named after a saint.  Shouldn't they look into renaming the city?

    Stay classy San Diego!

    Parent

    Should rename Los Angleles (none / 0) (#51)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:09:33 AM EST
    and San Francisco, too, among muy others...

    Parent
    Or in other words (none / 0) (#54)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:40:03 AM EST
    why would anyone care unless it had religious significance?

    If it were just a piece of stone or steel, who would care if it were removed?

    Parent

    If the cross has no religious (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:37:19 AM EST
    significance why are so many concerned on religious grounds and talking about religious freedom?

    Parent
    It (none / 0) (#58)
    by lentinel on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:17:03 AM EST
    continues to be bizarre to me that the cross, a barbaric means of execution, should be the chosen symbol of a religion related to the teachings of Jesus.

    I believe it was Irwin Corey that pointed out that if Jesus had been killed in the twentieth century, people would be walking around wearing little electric chairs.

    I wish there could be a symbol that evoked the intelligence, compassion and dogged adherence to principle that Jesus personified and lived.

    Instead, we are made to concentrate on the horror that befell him and the means that were chosen to eliminate him from the scene. So, ultimately, it seems like the cross is meant more as a subliminal warning to us to be obedient to authority, or suffer the consequences.

    Parent

    A symbol of the Father brutally (none / 0) (#59)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:36:41 AM EST
    "sacrificing his only begotten son" for the greater good. The way Abraham was ready to. The way innumerable old men have proudly sent the young men off to war..

    Freud should've talked about the Abraham Complex along with his Oedipus Complex..

    Parent

    For me, (none / 0) (#64)
    by lentinel on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:51:33 AM EST
    that part is pure mumbo-jumbo.

    What moves me are the teachings of the man as reported in the Gospels.

    The rest is a diversion.

    Again - just for me.

    No offence intended to those for whom the concept of "the father sacrificing his only begotten son" has meaning.

    Parent

    The Jefferson Bible (none / 0) (#66)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:04:44 PM EST
    is probably for you, then.

    Parent
    Haven't heard (none / 0) (#75)
    by lentinel on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:23:27 PM EST
    of it.

    But I'll look it up.

    Parent

    No miracles, no Ressurection (none / 0) (#78)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:36:52 PM EST
    Just teachings of Jesus.

    Jefferson reportedly literally cut out those portions.

    Parent

    I searched (none / 0) (#120)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:01:22 AM EST
    it on Wikipedia - and I see what you mean.

    Interesting fellow that Jefferson.
    He put some real effort into that.

    I'm going to pursue it more.

    I find it a very compelling idea.

    Jesus without the religion.

    Parent

    Uh no (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:40:33 AM EST
    The cross is a symbol of Christ taking on our sins and dying for them. He was then resurrected and that established the Christian Church.

    Parent
    Uh (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:47:34 AM EST
    tell it to five hundred pastors, preachers, and circuit riders. Interpreting the Gospel has never been quite as clear cut historically as you're making it sound.

    But I'm actually more curious how guys manage to keep "he died for our sins" and "bomb 'em back to the stone age" together in one skull in such perfect equilibrium. On the face of it, one would think it would be a source of conflict.

    Parent

    Pope Francis is certainly (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:11:07 PM EST
    a challenge for conservatives who worship wealth and Ronald Reagan and Ayn Rand.   And they cannot be happy with the Catholic Church's recent history of being anti-war.

    Parent
    Not being a Catholic (none / 0) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:04:16 PM EST
    I'm not up to date with whatever the Pope is doing.

    But I am familiar with Left wing of the CC, especially in Central America. (I don't think they did too well in Cuba.)

    Parent

    Yes, that "left wing" of the ... (none / 0) (#99)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:34:34 PM EST
    ... Catholic Church in Central America - advocating for the poor, speaking out against the right-wing death squads, supporting democratic elections over military dictatorships ...

    You don't need to be a Catholic to see how crazy that is ...

    Heh.

    Parent

    Indeed indeed (none / 0) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:37:10 PM EST
    They wanted to do good so they decided it was okay to take property from some and give it to others.

    How Leftie of them.

    lol

    Parent

    "Taking property" is wrong (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:37:47 AM EST
    but nuking children in the Far East is a viable option.

    The only property you need is a room in an asylum.

    Parent

    Really? (none / 0) (#102)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:39:09 PM EST
    Who in the Catholic Church took property, and from whom did they take it?

    Be specific here, Jim, because this is about to get funny.  Or run away and hide.  Your choice.

    Parent

    Yman, try reading what I wrote (none / 0) (#103)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:52:17 PM EST
    and quit making things up that I never said.

    It is the honest thing to do.

    Parent

    Already read it (none / 0) (#105)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:00:58 PM EST
    You were attacking the left wing of the Catholic Church:

    But I am familiar with Left wing of the CC, especially in Central America. (I don't think they did too well in Cuba.)

    Then, when I pointed out that the "left wing of the CC" was advocating for good, you made this claim:


    They wanted to do good so they decided it was okay to take property from some and give it to others.

    Now, you can't back up this silly claim.  I understand why you prefer to duck and hide.  SOP for some.

    Parent

    This is what you wrote (none / 0) (#111)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:00:46 PM EST
    Who in the Catholic Church took property, and from whom did they take it?
    Be specific here, Jim, because this is about to get funny.  Or run away and hide.  Your choice.

    This was my comment:

    They wanted to do good so they decided it was okay to take property from some and give it to others.

    No where did I say they had taken any property.

    I stand by my comment. Property distribution is and was an integral part of the Left wing of the CC.

    Really Yman. Must you always be making false claims??

    Parent

    And you attack them ... (none / 0) (#121)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:18:23 AM EST
    ... for (according to you) wanting to take property from some and give it to others?

    Hahahahahaha ....

    Sort of like how you support actually taking $$ from others to pay for SS, your Medicare, etc., etc. - for you and Mrs. PPJ?

    Too easy.

    Parent

    This is what you wrote (none / 0) (#112)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:06:50 PM EST
    Who in the Catholic Church took property, and from whom did they take it?
    Be specific here, Jim, because this is about to get funny.  Or run away and hide.  Your choice.

    This was my comment:

    They wanted to do good so they decided it was okay to take property from some and give it to others.

    No where did I say they had taken any property.

    I stand by my comment. Property distribution is and was an integral part of the Left wing of the CC.

    Really Yman. Must you always be making false claims??

    Parent

    BTW - If you're talking about ... (none / 0) (#122)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:24:14 AM EST
    ... the Church's position on the use of taxes to help the poor (i.e. "Take property from some and give it to others"), maybe you should take it up with Jesus Christ.  He was a strong advocate for giving to the poor and for paying your taxes.

    Funny how some "cafeteria Christians" like to "forget" about that ...

    Parent

    Yman, please quit acting like you don't understand (none / 0) (#138)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:17:33 PM EST
    I understand completely (none / 0) (#141)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:50:22 PM EST
    You're complaining about the "left wing of the CC" because they "decided it was okay to take property from some and give it to others" (i.e. advocate for helping the poor through the use of tax money), while you and the Mrs. actually receive SS, Medicare, etc.

    Which is precisely why you make these silly comments - try to deflect and dodge.

    It's all you can do.

    Parent

    Here are 5 names of Catholic "lefties." (none / 0) (#110)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:52:31 PM EST
    Jim: "They wanted to do good so they decided it was okay to take property from some and give it to others. How Leftie of them. lol"

    Please look them up, learn about their lives, and educate yourself:

    • Archbishop Oscar Romero
    • Jean Donovan
    • Sr. Ita Ford
    • Sr. Maura Clarke
    • Sr. Dorothy Kazel

    Aloha.

    Parent
    I would add (none / 0) (#115)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:05:21 AM EST
    Archbishop Gerardi.

    Parent
    Absolutely. (none / 0) (#119)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:24:00 AM EST
    He was an outstanding man who walked the walk.

    Parent
    Dom Helder Pessoa Camara (none / 0) (#136)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 02:49:18 PM EST
    Whose property was it, Jim? (none / 0) (#114)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:03:34 AM EST
    I think you may have it backwards.

    And, I know of no confiscations in Central America.  Even United Fruit under Arbenz was to receive compensation for the fallow land that the Government acquired via their version of eminent domain to distribute to Mayan Indians....again whose land was it?

    Parent

    I am very, very familiar (none / 0) (#113)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:57:24 PM EST
    with the "Left Wing of the Catholic Church," as you put it, in Central America.

    I would be very happy to discuss it with you.  I am a big proponent of Liberation Theology.

    Parent

    Yes, it is a conflict but (none / 0) (#97)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:31:45 PM EST
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: `And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That's enough!" he replied.

    --Gospel of Luke 22:36-38, NIV

    Parent
    I guess (none / 0) (#61)
    by lentinel on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:47:10 AM EST
    I never understood that concept - that Jesus died for "our sins". Sins that were not yet committed?
    Whose sins? What sins?

    How does the killing of this great man absolve anyone for anything?

    I can't get past the reality of the story - that entrenched power felt threatened by him, and so they killed him.

    I see no upside to his murder.

    Parent

    Some historians (none / 0) (#67)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:07:59 PM EST
    think the extreme grief in Jerusalem after the execution of Jesus caused the disciples to create a story of a resurrection.  

    Parent
    Didn't Jesus specifically (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:18:20 PM EST
    attack the mindset that yearns for and clings to "signs and wonders"?

    Parent
    lentinel: If you want to look into the (none / 0) (#87)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:15:22 PM EST
    ultimate unfathomable question about the most simple (and yet most challenging) aspect of the core Christian belief, there are obviously extensive theological treatises, books, and all forms of exegesis about the reality and mystery of the Cross.

    Without yet having read Pope Francis' recent work "Evangelii Gaudium"--the highly publicized document available on the Vatican website--I'd guess that the work is quite accessible for a broad public.  A few years back, I read Pope Benedict's "Jesus of Nazareth" -- enlightening from an academic standpoint, but quite difficult for us non-theological scholars.  I'm not being facetious in suggesting that you might want to read further, lentinel.  A person, like yourself, who asks questions--who says "How can this be anything other than a fable," etc. but who also states that he admires the words and work of the man known as Jesus--is precisely the person who might want to read further.  

    Insofar as Pope Francis' earlier writings, there are a number of books.  Because his emphasis has been Pastoral, rather than the more typical academic presentations, his work may be the voice that would speak to you more clearly than a St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas or Teresa or Thomas Merton.  Perhaps, also, the patron St. Francis of Assisi could offer an explanation of why he did and became what he did via his prayers and works.
    There is a lot out there that could speak to your questions.

    Parent

    I never (none / 0) (#145)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 05:01:38 AM EST
    said, or even implied, what you wrote:

    A person, like yourself, who asks questions--who says "How can this be anything other than a fable,"

    I have no way of knowing what actually happened.
    I was not there.

    And I do not deny anyone the right to believe anything that is meaningful to them.

    Whether certain aspects of religious teachings linked to Jesus are fables or not has no significance for me.

    My emphasis is on the realities of his teachings as reported in the Gospels. The rituals that have linked themselves to Jesus are the things with which I do not identify - but would never ever deny anyone the right to believe in them or derive comfort from them.

    Once, again - for me it is what he has been reported as having said that matters.


    Parent

    You have to have faith (none / 0) (#95)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:09:24 PM EST
    to believe.

    And to understand.

    If you don't that's fine with me. Time will tell who is right.

    Parent

    Sorry (none / 0) (#125)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:56:57 AM EST
    you don't get to get away with "believing" and saying "kill them all and let God sort them out" simultaneously. Anymore than rape and murder are sanctioned in the Sermon on the Mount.

    Parent
    Seems that Christians want us to believe (none / 0) (#106)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:39:51 PM EST
    that the same God who designed this wonderful earth, and human beings that he loves so much that he wants to save from (his own) eternal damnation, came up with the most cockamamy scheme for 'redemption' that could ever be devised.

    I'm way too faithless to buy it.

    Parent

    Liberal Catholics (none / 0) (#116)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:11:43 AM EST
    are among the coolest people around imo.  I am so happy for them they finally have a Pope that validates them and standard Catholic values....They have the gift of faith and do some really good things.

    Parent
    lentinel, Jesus of Nazareth ... (none / 0) (#108)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:40:37 PM EST
    ... suffered and died for the sins of man, and on the third day, he was resurrected in fulfillment of scripture.

    It's actually hard to explain the concept of one's own spirituality to someone else, because it is an inherently personal concept and not a one-size-fits-all proposition. If you are indeed serious about trying to understand the promise of the resurrection and what it means to Christians, then you need to truly open your heart, set aside your own preconceived notions of religion, and stop looking at Jesus Christ through the warped prism of earthly politics -- right, left or middle.

    Otherwise, you will continue to see Him only as a historical figure who was literally martyred in an ongoing political power struggle between Roman and Jew, and nothing more. And as any practicing Catholic can tell you, martyrs are a dime a dozen in the Holy Mother Church. It's why and how they came to choose the path of martyrdom that matters.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    A friend of mine seems to be searching (none / 0) (#140)
    by christinep on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:41:33 PM EST
    for some kind of proof.  What I asked her then: How do you prove Love, how do you prove Trust?

    Donald is right, lentinel ... reading can help the mind in terms of understanding the historical Jesus, but it is ultimately about so much more than the mind.  It isn't mathematics. Nor is it about the absence of doubt, because we all grow. It really is the action and acceptance of Love, and the Trust that is enveloped in it.

    Keep the mind and the heart open.  


    Parent

    Please read (none / 0) (#144)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 04:52:13 AM EST
    my response to Donald above.

    I am aware of what happen to Jesus in a historical sense. In my opinion, it is not all that different than what happened to Martin Luther King or Malcolm X or Socrates.

    So I admire him for refusing to compromise his principles - even in the face of death.

    But, for me, as I have said, his importance has been the substance of his teachings.

    I will add, sometimes I feel that the emphasis on the mystical, the trappings of religious organizations, have led to a marginalizing of what Jesus in fact had to say. That's how someone like GW Bush could call himself a Christian without feeling the least desire to pursue anything that Jesus had to say.

    Parent

    The point that you made in the last paragraph (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by christinep on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:42:33 PM EST
    the point about "emphasis" is a perceptive one, imo. Acts as well as Spirit.

    As for my earlier comment, in this thread, about "questions" (rhetorical or otherwise), I meant that as a compliment.  That an individual presents what could be read as indirect questions that go to central points--again, imo--is a process that should be encouraged ... because that is where discussion can always begin now or in future.  I did not assume anything else ... because, as you expressed, belief systems are inevitably very personal.

    Parent

    At present, (none / 0) (#143)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 04:46:02 AM EST
    I do not see Jesus as a historical figure.

    I have been influenced by this thinking and his teaching, so for me he has been a very influential thinker and philosopher.

    I also admire that he would under no circumstances moderate his moral convictions to suit anyone.

    As far as resurrection is concerned, personally it does not matter to me if that was literal or figurative, but I would not deny the right of anyone to feel his resurrection in a manner that is meaningful to them.

    Great people, great minds, great contributors to humanity are often forgotten, and then resurrected to human consciousness - perhaps when they are perceived as less threatening. This has also been true of great artists.

    My heart, as you say, is open to anyone who wants to believe anything. I am not doctrinaire. I know how I feel about things, and I do not deny others the right to their personal feelings. Faith is faith. It is related to something intuitive and beyond tangible proof. I'm for that.

    Parent

    Empty Cross v. (none / 0) (#65)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:03:09 PM EST
    Crucifix.

    An empty cross without Jesus on it means Jesus has prevailed over death.

    A crucifix with the body is not everyone.

    The early Christians used a fish as their symbol. The Greek letters spelling the word "fish" were an acronym for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior."

     

    Parent

    And here I thought an empty cross (none / 0) (#73)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:57:52 PM EST
    was a welcome to the neighborhood from the KKK.

    Parent
    You need to ask the ghost of (none / 0) (#94)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:06:24 PM EST
    that well known Democrat, Senator Byrd.

    lol

    Parent

    Byrd was a Dixiecrat (none / 0) (#96)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:22:34 PM EST
    ... who apologized for joining the Klan, though he certainly wasn't alone - Hugo Black, Bibb Graves, George Gordon, David Duke.  Turns out, Klan membership is not a big negative in the south.  Probably helped some of them get elected.

    Of course, yesterday's Dixiecrats are today's southern Republicans ...

    Parent

    Whatever Byrd was he was a Democrat (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:34:09 PM EST
    and a KKK hoodoo.

    You can run but you can't hide.

    Of course your problem is that you can't admit fault and then change. You'll be Yman, following along in my shadow forever.

    lol

    Parent

    Who's "hiding"? (none / 0) (#101)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:37:14 PM EST
    Of course he was a Democrat.

    A southern Dixiecrat doing what was popular in the South to get elected.

    Not that anyone needs to tell you about the South ...

    Parent

    Ah yes, (none / 0) (#104)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:57:38 PM EST
    I am the shining example of the New South.

    Thank you.

    Parent

    No no no no (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:58:32 AM EST
    I am the shining example of the New South

    Parent
    OK, I'll split the (none / 0) (#139)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:19:21 PM EST
    difference.

    Neither of us shine.

    Parent

    I see (none / 0) (#76)
    by lentinel on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:31:06 PM EST
    the distinction you are making - and I appreciate the subtlety of it.

    But still, wearing an electric chair even with no one sitting in it would be a trifle odd don't you think?

    Or a hypodermic needle...

    But, again, if it is meaningful or comforting to people to see the cross, so be it. Not for me to question.

    Parent

    Not a distinction I am (none / 0) (#77)
    by MKS on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:33:18 PM EST
    making.   Many, many note the difference.  And a difference between Protestants and Catholics.

    By the way, Mormons totally agree with you.  That's why you will never see a cross on a Mormon Chapel or Temple.

    Parent

    Who are these people? (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 02:35:26 PM EST
    Authorities on Friday arrested a 58-year-old Wichita, Kan., man [Terry L. Loewen] who they said tried to commit a suicide bombing at the airport there.[...]

    The bomb was inert, the complaint said. Mr. Loewen had constructed it with the help of a man he thought was tied to the al Qaeda arm based in Yemen, but the man was actually an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the complaint.

    Federal prosecutors aren't accusing Mr. Loewen of plotting with any actual terrorists. Instead, the complaint said, he communicated online over the summer and fall with another FBI employee who also pretended to be connected with al Qaeda's Yemeni arm, known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.



    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 216 (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 03:16:27 PM EST
    Interesting criminal case in Brooklyn: (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:49:05 PM EST
    Wow (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:57:42 PM EST
    Good for him...  hope that the decision gets reversed.

    Parent
    it is hard to say (none / 0) (#31)
    by nyjets on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:53:59 PM EST
    Unless I might have missed something he article does not give specific reasons as to why he believes his original decision was incorrect.


    Parent
    Defense claimed self-defense. (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:55:19 PM EST
    Judge disagreed then, but now agrees. iirc.

    Parent
    Included in the link: (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:04:33 PM EST
    Mr. Barbaro's change of heart led to a highly unusual spectacle this week in a Brooklyn courtroom: He took the witness stand in State Supreme Court to testify at a hearing that his own verdict should be set aside. His reason was even more unusual: As a die-hard liberal who had fought as a politician against racism in Brooklyn and weathered the race conflicts in Bensonhurst, he said he had been biased against Mr. Kagan because he was white and the shooting victim, Wavell Wint, was black.

    "I believe now that I was seeing this young white fellow as a bigot, as someone who assassinated an African-American," Mr. Barbaro testified on Wednesday before Justice ShawnDya L. Simpson. He added: "I was prejudiced during the trial."



    Parent
    Jeez. A hate crime. (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:11:35 PM EST
    Dennis's dream team (none / 0) (#33)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:59:06 PM EST
    link

    And some one got executed for "dreaming different dreams" link

    Truly macabre!

    This story has to make you smile. (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 08:04:23 PM EST
    SA Woolworth's is one of the largest retail and supermarket chains in South Africa, not to be confused with the once-popular retailer here in the U.S.

    Last Saturday morning, in the immediate wake of Nelson Mandela's passing, "Woolie's" in Parkview (a district of Johannesburg) came up with a rather unique way to honor the late president, teaming up with the internationally renowned Soweto Gospel Choir in a moving flash mob tribute, by which choir members first posed as shoppers and clerks scattered throughout the grocery section of the store.

    At 10:15 a.m., they broke into song with the spiritual "Asimbonanga" ("We Have Not Seen Him"), as they came together and passed out long-stemmed roses to surprised onlookers (many of whom were white), and most of whom were obviously touched by the seemingly impromptu musical offering to their country's beloved Tata Madiba.

    Since SA Woolworth began airing the tribute on South African television, the video has gone viral around the world. It is scenes such as this which offers one confidence in and hope for the people of South Africa, as they begin to seek their way in a post-Mandela world.

    Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika. God Bless Africa.

    Walking robots (none / 0) (#52)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:35:24 AM EST
    Walking robots can deliver your package. It does not have to be drones.

    link

    Google walking robots Vs Amazon's drones?

    I think that whole drone thing was purely (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:13:50 AM EST
    For publicity.  The fuel for the "drones" we have costs a fortune.  My husband has 2 RC helicopters of the sort that yes, the rotor blades can kill the operator, and he has 5 RC planes.  It is a very expensive hobby though once rotor blades enter the equation, and weighting all the aircraft is tricky too.  I saw on the tube a sort of hovercraft that Amazon was pointing to, but that thing has to be a fuel guzzling monster with all those spinning rotors.

    Parent
    Energy efficient drones (none / 0) (#79)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:53:10 PM EST
    I think they are going to be electric drones whose battery is charged via solar panels or wind turbines.

    link

    From what was reported, these drones are just for the "last mile delivery" and loads are going to be light (I think less than 5 lbs).

    Parent

    Considering the energy needed (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:08:58 PM EST
    and expended to keep such a lightweight craft stable as well as it having to be versatile enough to carry various weights various distances, I just snort laughed reading your reply about this being done via rechargeable electric and solar.  I have also ridden in a Tesla recently and reached 60 mph faster than anything on combustible, but my neighborhood is also populated with golf carts that can't climb the dam road because they are electric.

    Is Jeff Bezos saying he is going to break new drone ground here?  Because the drones that I know that can take off, land, and carry a payload, they require jet fuel.  Not making this up.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#85)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:42:10 PM EST
    Yes, "Is Jeff Bezos saying he is going to break new drone ground here."

    I understood him to be saying just that! Google and Amazon are not just software companies anymore; they are doing a lot of hardware research by investing the profits they make from their existing businesses. They also have cutting edge research programs supported by the government.

    Jeff Bezos's other company is Blue Origin. That is a space technology company. Solar panels are used very efficiently to power a lot of functions in spacecrafts.

    Parent

    I really believe (none / 0) (#86)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:01:44 PM EST
    that if Amazon's delivery drones do not materialize, it won't be because of technological reasons. Fuel cells, electric and solar power are finding very innovative uses in applications that were not imagined a few years ago.

    The stumbling block may be FAA regulations or other delivery systems using disruptive technologies which will make it less viable to use drones from a business standpoint.

    Parent

    Agree. I think the practical realities (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 08:46:08 PM EST
    of sending unguarded expensive drone devices carrying people's stuff into neighborhoods will kill the idea. I doubt many drones will make it out alive.

    Parent
    Collateral damage. (none / 0) (#151)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:51:53 PM EST
    And the trees in my yard and on my (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 05:12:25 PM EST
    street.  Has Jeff Bezos heard of a blade strike?  I think he's talking out his arse.

    Parent
    I think the future.. (none / 0) (#88)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:16:29 PM EST
    of drones is drones for cops.  I can see it now.  Hundreds of thousands of tiny cop-drones, running on batteries, policing every street and highway for speeders and scofflaws,  peering into your windows and bedrooms, and with aroma detectors so they can determine what your smoking, or eating for dinner for that matter.  They will be the size of dragonflies so they can enter buildings. The possibilities can make fortunes.

    Parent
    Maybe so but methinks (none / 0) (#117)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:16:29 AM EST
    you are right and Bezos will laughing all the way to the bank.

    Parent
    An interesting excerp from NYT article (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:47:50 AM EST
    re legal MJ in Washington state and CO:


    But most important, Colorado and Washington must show skeptical federal authorities that they can control this new world of regulated marijuana, and keep it from flowing to underage consumers, into other states or into the grip of drug traffickers and violent cartels. Even as the Justice Department announced in August that it would not block states from regulating marijuana, it also warned that their enforcement rules "must be tough in practice, not just on paper."

    link

    France (none / 0) (#80)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:26:02 PM EST
    has broadened its surveillance power. link

    South American nations (none / 0) (#89)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:47:27 PM EST
    are increasingly looking at women to lead them.
    link

    After the two biggest countries, Brazil and Argentina, it is Chile's turn once again.

    Yeah, that's it. (none / 0) (#91)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:57:48 PM EST
    Run to Mommy. ;-D

    Parent
    And Mommy knows best :-) (none / 0) (#92)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:01:13 PM EST
    That she does. (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:41:33 PM EST
    Aloha. :-)

    Parent
    Tata Madiba has come home. (none / 0) (#118)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 12:18:36 AM EST
    It's 8:10 a.m. in Qunu, Eastern Cape, South Africa. (8:10 p.m. Saturday night in Hawaii, 1:19 a.m. EST).

    The funeral service in Nelson Mandela's home village has just commenced. You can watch it HERE.

    Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.

    Chile goes to vote (none / 0) (#126)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:11:51 AM EST
    link

    Michelle Bachelet is an extraordinary woman- surgeon, pediatrician, military strategist, speaks 5 foreign languages, was held in prison by the Pinochet regime and is campaigning on a platform to mitigate economic inequality in Chile. Her father died in Pinochet's prison. Her mother was also imprisoned.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 218 (none / 0) (#128)
    by Dadler on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 11:10:49 AM EST
    Tough crowd this season. But he'll find a way. (link)

    And the rest of last week's comics, for those who missed any.

    v. 217
    v. 216
    v. 215
    v. 214
    v. 213
    v. 212

    Happy Sunday, peeps. Wife is making truffles all day. I'll be trying to finish a story. Peace.

    The "War on Christmas" (none / 0) (#132)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 02:18:37 PM EST
    has a history. link

    people desing (none / 0) (#152)
    by peter123 on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:41:09 AM EST
    People desing vine video