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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 1,988

Journal Archives

Death penalty fuels violence in Iraq, says U.N. report

Source: Reuters

By Tom Miles
GENEVA | Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:25pm EDT

Iraq should stop its widespread use of the death penalty, which is unjust, flawed and only fuels the violence it purports to deter, the United Nations said in a report on Sunday.

Sixty people were hanged in Iraq by the end of August this year, and although that is fewer than the 177 who were executed in 2013, 1,724 people remained on death row.

Iraq tends to carry out the sentence in batches because President Jalal Talabani opposes the death penalty so a vice president orders executions when he is out of the country, said the report, published jointly by the U.N. Mission in Iraq and the U.N. Human Rights Office.

Judges often pass death sentences based on evidence from disputed confessions or secret informants, condemning suspects who are unaware of their rights, may have been tortured and have no defense attorney until they arrive in court, the report said.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/19/us-iraq-un-idUSKCN0I80QK20141019

Interesting exchanges abound: Chuck Todd seems to 'appreciate' being told to take a long walk....

Here is an excerpt from a facebook Q&A with Chuck Todd from October 17, 2014:

Here is the contact information for the City of Hammond, IN....

Email via webform:



Hammond City Hall
5925 Calumet Avenue
Hammond,IN 46320


(219) 853-6300

Here is more on the incident:

Hammond police accused of excessive force in traffic stop

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) --
A police officer broke a car window and used a stun gun on a man during a traffic stop in Hammond, Ind., as a 14-year-old boy in the backseat recorded video on a cell phone.

Lisa Mahone and her boyfriend, Jamal Jones, accuse the officers of excessive force, false arrest and battery in a federal lawsuit. The couple said they were on their way to visit her dying mother.

"My first thing that I said to them, 'My kids in the car. My momma's passing. Can we please just make this as quick as possible. Here's our information. Can we go to the hospital?' He threw that out the window," Jones said.

Mahone was pulled over at 3:45 p.m. on September 24, 2014, at 169th Street and Cline Avenue Service Road because she and Jones were not wearing seat belts as required by Indiana law, a fact she does not dispute. Mahone produced her driver's license for police.



Here is a longer version of the video of the disturbing incident:

Here is more on the Hammond Police Department:

Police shatter car window, extract passenger after alleged seatbelt violation


The Hammond Police Department has been mired in controversy recently after several uses of excessive force. Additionally, there is a federal lawsuit pending after an HPD officer crashed a family cookout and shot a family pet in the face while inside its own yard, secured by an electric fence. In yet another recent incident, an officer was filmed whipping an HPD K-9 and lifting off the ground it by its leash. Both officers were supported by department officials and faced no consequences.



Here is one of the separate incidents (noted above) that involved the Hammond Police Department - WARNING the pictures of the wounded dog are graphic:

Pit bull shot in face, Hammond cop claims self defense
By Lisa Chavarria, FOX 32 News Reporter
Posted: Jun 10, 2014 6:32 PM CST
Updated: Jun 15, 2014 6:32 PM CST

HAMMOND, Ind. (FOX 32 News) -

A family is outraged after their pit bull was shot by a police officer, Monday.

The dog was recovering at home on Tuesday afternoon. One and a half-year-old pit bull mix, “Lily” was shot in the face.

Norma Maldonado said her five children love to play with her and were doing so that day.

"Very lovable. She loves everybody that comes here, she's very playful," said Maldonado.



Here is the other of the separate incidents (noted above) that involved the Hammond Police Department - WARNING the treatment of the dog is disturbing:

Here is a longer version of the video with NSFW language and WARNING the same disturbing behavior towards the dog:

Is the Hammond Police Department steeped in a culture of violence that extends from the use of excessive force on people to the abuse of animals? All of the above incidents took place this year - 2014. Maybe it seems hyperbolic to ask the question, but should the Hammond Police Department be investigated by the DOJ for their apparent culture of violence?

Radical Tea Baggery: Joni Ernst's Responses to Campaign for Liberty - Nullification & Arrest for ACA


  1. Do you oppose the use of unmanned devices being used for law enforcement and used in order to fine citizens?
  2. Will you support a “Constitutional Carry” bill that would allow any law-abiding citizen to carry a firearm concealed without a permit?
  3. Will you support a “Castle Doctrine” bill that would protect any law-abiding citizen who is protecting their property from civil lawsuits?
  4. Would you support a bill that would remove the state and local government’s power to use eminent domain to confiscate citizen’s private property to transfer it to another private party for economic development purposes?
  5. Will you support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?
  6. Do you oppose taking federal money to create a state health insurance exchange?
  7. Will you support legislation that would allow TSA agents to be charged with sexual assault if they use invasive “pat-down” procedures?

District: 12
Party: R
Name: Joni K. Ernst
City: Red Oak

ANSWERS (Y = yes; N = no; + = will sponsor):
  1. Y
  2. Y+
  3. Y+
  4. Y
  5. Y
  6. Y
  7. N


How does Western Iowa spawn these right wing extremists - Ernst, King, ..?

Sadly, that is not to be the case....

Richard Stulz, County Attorney Going After Medical Cannabis Mom, Is Running Unopposed

By Aaron Rupar Tue., Sep. 30 2014 at 10:00 AM

Do you think Richard Stulz, Lac Qui Parle County attorney, is doing a good job spending taxpayer dollars by going after Angela Brown, the mother who gave her son medical cannabis to treat a brain injury?

Apparently, other attorneys in Lac Qui Parle County are apathetic about that question, as according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's website, Stulz is running for reelection without opposition this year.

Stulz was present in Montevideo yesterday for Brown's hearing, but he didn't actually enter the courtroom. That's because he's delegated Brown's prosecution to one of his assistants, Brown says.

"He threw her to the wolves, and he's out in the hallway," Brown adds, referring to Stulz's assistant. "That was awfully spineless of him."



Office of the
Minnesota Secretary of State
Mark Ritchie

2014 State General Election Candidate Filings

Use this candidate finder tool to find candidates running for office in the November 4, 2014, State General Election. Candidates for federal, state and county offices are added as filings occur. Candidates for local offices may continue to be added after the filing period.


Lac Qui Parle County, County Attorney
Candidate Name: RICHARD G STULZ
Party: Nonpartisan
File Date: 5/20/2014


Here is the contact information for the County Attorney:

Lac Qui Parle County

Richard G. Stulz, County Attorney
214 Sixth Avenue
Madison, MN 56256
Fax 320-598-3701


Here is more information on Dome A and cold temperatures (directly measured vs. imaged) ...

T = −89.2°C:
Dome A
Location: 80°22' S 77°22'E.

With a surface elevation of 4093 m, Dome Argus (Dome A) is the highest place in Antarctica, though one of the least-known places on the globe. It lies near one end of an elongate ridge (about 60 km long and 10 km wide). The ice thickness there is more than 3000 m, overlaying the subglacial Gamburtsev Mountains. Palaeo-scientists consider it suitable for collecting an ice core that will provide a record of past climate and atmospheric gas composition going back more than one million years.

The coldest place on Earth?

The world’s lowest temperature ever recorded was −89.2°C in July 1983, at the Russian station Vostok, inland of Australia’s Casey station. Dome A is nearly 600 m higher in elevation than Vostok, so there’s a good chance that the automatic weather station at Dome A will one day record the world’s lowest surface temperature. The coldest temperature reached to date was −82.5°C in July 2005.



T = -93.2 °C:
Coldest place on Earth tucked in Antarctic ice pocket
14:07 10 December 2013 by Anil Ananthaswamy

Small dips in the snow atop the Antarctic plateau have set new records for the coldest ever surface temperature on Earth, a distinctly chilly -93.2 °C.

"This temperature is almost as far below the freezing point of water as boiling water is above ," said Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at Boulder, Colorado, at a meeting yesterday of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Scambos and his colleagues analysed 32 years of thermal imaging data collected by NASA's MODIS and AVHRR satellite instruments and high-resolution images beamed back by Landsat 8.

The record was set on 10 August, 2010, when the surface temperature plummeted to -93.2 °C. Another pocket dropped to -93 °C on 31 July, 2013. These record lows occurred in small dips in the ice along a 1000-kilometre section of the ridge that stretches between Dome Fuji and Dome Argus, two of the summits on the East Antarctic ice sheet.



I was unaware that China now has a station (Kunlun Station) at Dome A - this video has a good representation of ground conditions:

Minus credibility? Antarctic record low temperature disputed
Published time: December 09, 2013 10:27
Edited time: December 10, 2013 08:41


Still, there is a solid chance to beat the 30-year-old record, believes Russian scientist, and it could be done by Chinese scientists at Kunlun stationed opened in 2009.

“It is uninhabited in winter time, but if they put a meteorological station there – they can register a temperatures lower than at Vostok station,” Vyacheslav Martyanovtold RIA Novosti.

Kunlun station is situated in Antarctica’s highest region known as Dome A (Dome Argus).

The station was opened on February 2, 2009, after the 25th Chinese Antarctic expedition made a 1,200km march from the sea-shore, getting to the continent’s hardest-to-reach area 4,093 meters above sea level.



NYT Science: A Tiny Emissary From the Ancient Past

A Tiny Emissary From the Ancient Past
SEPT. 25, 2014

Carl Zimmer

In the early 1920s, farmers in New Jersey noticed their potatoes were shriveling, their leaves becoming deformed. The plants were sick with an illness that came to be known as potato spindle tuber disease. But it took almost five decades for someone to find the cause.

In 1971, Theodor O. Diener, a plant pathologist at the Department of Agriculture, discovered that the culprit is an inconceivably tiny pathogen — one-80th the size of a virus. Dr. Diener called it a viroid.

Since Dr. Diener’s initial discovery, scientists have identified nearly three dozen species of viroids that attack crops from tomatoes to coconuts, as well as flowers such as dahlias and chrysanthemums. In many cases, the only way to stop an outbreak is to destroy all the infected plants. These days many countries require that plants be certified viroid-free before being imported.

But viroids may be much more than agricultural pests. New research suggests that they existed at the earliest stages of life on Earth, enduring in their primitive state for billions of years. These are the pterodactyls of the microbial world — except that they are still very much with us. We just didn’t realize it.



NYT Opinion Page: Don’t Execute Those We Tortured

These points should be carefully considered:

Don’t Execute Those We Tortured
SEPT. 24, 2014

AFTER years of legal battles, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, will finally be put on trial before a military commission at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, though a trial date hasn’t yet been set. If he is convicted, as expected, he will almost certainly face the death penalty. And, assuming one believes in the death penalty, it would be hard to think of a stronger candidate for its use.

But there are reasons Mr. Mohammed should not be executed, irrespective of how one feels about capital punishment. He was the victim of blatantly illegal treatment — the C.I.A. waterboarded him 183 times in March 2003, and threatened to kill his children while imprisoning him in a secret jail — at the hands of the government.

What happens in his case particularly matters, because President Obama has declined to pursue criminal charges against officials of George W. Bush’s administration for torture and other illegal conduct as part of the war on terror, declaring that the United States must “look forward, as opposed to looking backwards.” His administration declined not only to bring criminal prosecutions, but also to undertake a comprehensive investigation into torture. In contrast, a Senate committee is about to release a long-awaited summary of a 6,200-page “torture report,” after years of legal review and redactions.

The absence of accountability for those who encouraged and conducted torture leaves the criminal sentencing of convicted terrorists as one of the few tools, however imperfect, that remain for addressing past abuses of law, and restoring America’s reputation for dedication to the norms of international law. If convicted, Mr. Mohammed should be spared, because his execution — after years of mistreatment in a series of secret C.I.A.-run prisons before he was moved to Guantánamo — would send a disastrous message about impunity for torture and about the rule of law.



Isn't that the truth!

But the IQ of police recruits would have to be increased, so that they would be able to read either medical symbols or descriptions of various maladies. Maybe a general and simple slogan like "SICK - NO BEAT! NO SHOOT! NO KILL!" (on the front, back and sleeves of a jersey) would be enough if the requisite IQ for police candidacy could not be increased.

As an example of the pure, unspoilt intellect of one of the police officers who was on the scene of this incident, from 1:10 to 1:28 in the video, the following conversation occurs:

Sept. 6, 2014 - Westover & Granville Police


Police Officer: "Ok, how are you involved with this guy?"

S.B.: "I just was driving by....THIS IS INSANE!"

Police Officer: "You're just a bystandard (sic)?"

S.B.: "I'm not a standard (actually dripping sarcasm and anger) of anything. Go away! Leave me alone! I'm not doing anything wrong either, and I'm on private property.


TRIGGER WARNING: Violent Restraint and Cries for Help

There is also this page on facebook:

Per Aspera Ad Astra, it is not...

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