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83134 Posts in 2259 Topics by 1067 Members
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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: May 13, 2014, 07:29:08 AM
Pretty amusing:

http://deadstate.org/here-are-31-of-the-most-ironic-moments-ever-caught-on-camera/
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Incomplete Collection of the Journals of the Continental Congress on: May 12, 2014, 10:33:43 PM
So damn cool!!!!!

http://www.constitution.org/uslaw/cont-cong/journals.html
53  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: May 09, 2014, 08:54:40 AM
Woof Guide Dog: I love seeing you post again here! I will hope that your momentum continues.

I am grateful for the close of the busiest academic year of my career. I am grateful for the opportunities that the summer holds. I am grateful for the students who taught me much and who are graduating. And I am grateful for the time to pursue my art.
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama executive action on: May 09, 2014, 08:30:01 AM
This is an interesting tandem of articles related to Obama's executive actions.

http://thehill.com/regulation/205660-obama-flexing-executive-muscle-on-immigration

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-concedes-executive-actions-have-limited-success/2014/05/08/2b7ad718-d708-11e3-95d3-3bcd77cd4e11_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NATO expansion on: May 08, 2014, 12:32:36 PM
Also from National Interest, and may be of interest here:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/bad-move-further-nato-expansion-10350
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Lessons of Town of Greece v. Galloway for Campaign Finance Laws - See more a on: May 08, 2014, 12:19:19 PM
http://schultzstake.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-lessons-of-town-of-greece-v.html

57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: May 06, 2014, 02:46:12 PM
Probably written by a clerk.
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DOJ's 'Operation Choke Point' May Be Root of Porn Star Bank Account Closings on: April 29, 2014, 03:47:44 PM
By request of Guro Crafty:

http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/28/doj-operation-chokepoint-and-porn-stars

Seemingly not concrete yet, but the hypothetical link is interesting. From the article:

"The very premise is clearly chilling—the DOJ is coercing private businesses in an attempt to centrally engineer the American marketplace based on it's own politically biased moral judgements. Targeted business categories so far have included payday lenders, ammunition sales, dating services, purveyors of drug paraphernalia, and online gambling sites."
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DOJ's 'Operation Choke Point' May Be Root of Porn Star Bank Account Closings on: April 29, 2014, 02:35:01 PM
http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/28/doj-operation-chokepoint-and-porn-stars

Seemingly not concrete yet, but the hypothetical link is interesting. From the article:

"The very premise is clearly chilling—the DOJ is coercing private businesses in an attempt to centrally engineer the American marketplace based on it's own politically biased moral judgements. Targeted business categories so far have included payday lenders, ammunition sales, dating services, purveyors of drug paraphernalia, and online gambling sites."
60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Justice Breyer’s intriguing suggestions in Hussain on: April 29, 2014, 02:20:23 PM
http://justsecurity.org/2014/04/23/justice-breyers-intriguing-suggestion-hussain-sign-habeas-challenges-come/

From the article:

In the post-Boumediene habeas cases, the government has argued, and the habeas courts have agreed, that being part of al Qaeda or Taliban forces is, in and of itself, sufficient for AUMF detention.  And that’s (at most) all the government demonstrated in Hussain — that the individual had been a part of Taliban forces.  The government did not try to demonstrate that Hussain had engaged in any belligerent acts or otherwise been involved in the armed conflict against the United States.

As Justice Breyer notes, however, the Supreme Court has never actually opined on whether being a member of Taliban forces, standing alone, is sufficient for AUMF detention.  Justice O’Connor’s controlling plurality opinion in the leading case, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, held only that the AUMF authorized military detention of (in her words) “an individual who . . . was part of or supporting forces hostile to the United States or coalition partners in Afghanistan and who engaged in an armed conflict against the United States there” (emphasis added).
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Court springs into action on: April 28, 2014, 08:47:50 AM
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/204497-tipping-the-scales

From the article:

"... while the first and second branches of the federal government have fallen into quiescence, it’s springtime at the third branch and its justices are delivering decisions on big, controversial issues such as campaign finance and affirmative action. By the end of June, the justices will rule on the constitutionality of Obama- Care’s birth-control mandate."
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / G. Will on constitutional interpretation on: April 19, 2014, 10:10:56 AM
Guro, I think you will appreciate this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-progressives-are-wrong-about-the-essence-of-the-constitution/2014/04/16/7c05aa00-c4ac-11e3-bcec-b71ee10e9bc3_story.html
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / drone finds village on: April 19, 2014, 10:06:00 AM
http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2014/04/17/dnt-drone-discovers-village-in-new-mexico.krqe.html
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Google getting in on the drone action on: April 19, 2014, 10:05:27 AM
And Facebook is too.

65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine on: April 17, 2014, 01:11:07 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/?csp=fbfanpage

From the article:

Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to "register" with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.

Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," reported Ynet News, Israel's largest news website.

Or, perhaps not:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117415/relax-ukraine-not-ordering-its-jews-register
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "a do-nothing Congress is a conservative’s best-case scenario" on: April 09, 2014, 11:46:07 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/us-policy-has-gone-liberals-way-for-70-years/2014/04/08/8dffa2b2-b906-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_print.html

From the article:

In response, conservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. and Israel Said to Be Near Agreement on Release of Spy on: April 01, 2014, 10:43:50 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/world/middleeast/jonathan-pollard.html?hp&_r=1   huh huh
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Common Core on: March 31, 2014, 01:32:58 PM
Oppose Common Core with all your energy.  And when it comes back under some other name, oppose that too.

I do NOT like Common Core, Sam-I-am.

https://twitter.com/ColetteMoran/status/395967716382629889/photo/1
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our Troops in Action on: March 24, 2014, 08:05:48 PM
A different type of story:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/23/flat-stanley-home-safe-after-decade-in-soldiers-wallet-/6762359/?csp=fbfanpage


"...whenever you feel despair or emptiness setting in, remember a saying I learned in the Army — 'If you ever get to the point where it's hopeless and nothing more can be done, you've overlooked something.'"
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Young Republicans OK with gay marriage on: March 11, 2014, 10:31:42 AM
From the article:

Sixty-one percent of Republican-leaning adults ages 18-29 say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, according to a Pew Research Center study released Monday. That number sharply contrasts the views of the party’s older members, for whom gay marriage support drops off sharply at each age increment.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/young-republicans-gay-marriage-poll-104517.html#ixzz2vfW3kUAn
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: March 09, 2014, 12:56:45 PM
And your point is taken, too. Thanks for the links. I'll try to get to a few (at least) this week.
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / minority outreach at CPAC on: March 08, 2014, 06:38:18 AM
http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2014/03/06-cpac-2014-minority-outreach-panel-hudak
73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine on: March 07, 2014, 11:42:12 AM
Read in tandem, these seem interesting to me:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-obamas-inaction-enables-putins-grab-for-ukraine/2014/03/06/c4222690-a55f-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_print.html

http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/obama-s-leverage-over-putin-20140306
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political marriage between Christie and Obama breaks up on: March 07, 2014, 11:27:56 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/political-marriage-between-chris-christie-and-president-obama-breaks-up-over-sandy-aid-rift/2014/03/06/070627ae-a47f-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics

Sounds like he is trying make a run for it...

From the article:

“These were never two guys who could sit down in a bar and watch the game on TV,” said former New Jersey governor Richard Codey (D). “The relationship was symbiotic, and now it’s gone.”

Obama’s team has played down talk of a split. “Since the day Hurricane Sandy made landfall, the president has been determined to put politics aside and coordinate with local officials to meet the needs of those Americans who were impacted by the storm,” said Bobby Whithorne, a White House spokesman. “We appreciate Governor Christie’s close coordination during the ongoing recovery, and we hope it will continue.”

75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: God Bless my Mom on: March 07, 2014, 11:25:31 AM
With condolences and respect, my friend.

76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: March 02, 2014, 06:55:25 PM
I have no words for how cool this is:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/inside-the-armys-spectacular-hidden-treasure-room
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Kepler telescope doubles number of known planets outside solar system on: February 26, 2014, 08:44:56 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nasa-kepler-telescope-doubles-number-of-known-planets-outside-solar-system/2014/02/26/e83af186-9ee0-11e3-9ba6-800d1192d08b_story.html

From the article:

“We’ve almost doubled today the number of planets known to humanity,” said Jack Lissauer, a NASA planetary scientist, announcing the discovery during a teleconference Wednesday with reporters. The findings will be published in March in two scientific papers in the Astrophysical Journal.
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 26, 2014, 02:49:13 PM
Too bad the article does not have the courage to actual say what the words in question were.


Agreed.
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: February 26, 2014, 01:23:41 PM
NSA watchdog: Snowden should have come to me
Politico
Darren Samuelsohn
25 February 2014

The National Security Agency’s top watchdog slammed Edward Snowden on Tuesday for failing to follow official protocol in relaying his concerns about wayward intelligence gathering and also faulted Congress for not vetting the details of post-9/11 surveillance programs.

“Snowden could have come to me,” George Ellard, the NSA’s inspector general, said during a panel discussion hosted by the Georgetown University Law Center.

Ellard, making his first public comments in seven years working for NSA, insisted that Snowden would have been given the same protections available to other employees who file approximately 1,000 complaints per year on the agency’s hotline system.

“We have surprising success in resolving the complaints that are brought to us,” he said.

In Snowden’s case, Ellard said a complaint would have prompted an independent assessment into the constitutionality of the law that allows for the bulk collection of Americans’ telephone metadata. But that review, he added, would have also shown the NSA was within the scope of the law.

“Perhaps it’s the case that we could have shown, we could have explained to Mr. Snowden his misperceptions, his lack of understanding of what we do,” Ellard said.

And if Snowden wasn’t satisfied, Ellard said the NSA would have then allowed him to speak to the House and Senate intelligence committees.

”Given the reaction, I think somewhat feigned, of some members of that committee, he’d have found a welcoming audience,” Ellard said in a reference to outspoken NSA critics on the panel, including Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).

“Whether in the end he’d have been satisfied, I don’t know,” Ellard added. “But allowing people who have taken an oath to protect the constitution, to protect these national security interest, simply to violate or break that oath, is unacceptable.”

The NSA inspector general is the latest high-ranking U.S. national security official to publicly condemn Snowden, the former contractor granted asylum last summer by Russia after stealing what the NSA estimates are upwards of 1.5 million classified documents and leaking them to select journalists.

While also criticizing Snowden, President Barack Obama has said the disclosures have prompted a necessary debate between protecting national security and safeguarding their privacy. Ellard said he too welcomed that debate, but argued that Snowden’s moves were “the wrong way to do it” because the stolen documents also gave America’s enemies a blueprint for how the country tries to safeguard against terrorist attacks.

“The losses…were not the result of some wacko bureaucrat wanting to classify everything and anything,” he said. “If I were to be able to speak more specifically about these particular documents I think you’d agree with me [that] yes, there’s absolutely good reason that they should be classified at the highest levels.”

Ellard praised Congress for conducing extensive oversight — he has four staffers assigned over the next year to review the legality of several programs in response to a query from the Senate Judiciary Committee — but he also complained that lawmakers hadn’t done their homework either.

Here, he cited a recently declassified opinion from the federal court that oversees NSA programs where Judge Claire Eagan highlighted the role that lawmakers could have played in attending top-secret briefings on the bulk collection program.

”Now that should have led to some sort of discussion,” Ellard said. “The fact that it did not is certainly not the blame of the intelligence community.”

David Cole, a Georgetown law professor speaking on the same panel as Ellard, pushed back at the NSA official’s explanation that Snowden could have followed the official channels to raise his concerns. That review, he said, wouldn’t have gotten him anywhere and the public debate would never have started.

“I think it was appropriate in telling the American public and no one else had done it,” Cole said. “George [Ellard] hadn’t done it despite his independent constitutional reviews. The courts hadn’t done it despite their independent reviews. The executive branch hadn’t done it. Congress hadn’t done it. Somebody has to do it.

Cole said there’s no dispute that Snowden’s moves were illegal, but he added, “There couldn’t have been a debate without a leak.”
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 26, 2014, 01:10:59 PM
I don't know if Nugent is a racist or not, but this is not the first time there have been public utterances that led to questions:

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/ted-nugent-uses-slurs-in-radio-interview-gets-kicked-off-the-air/
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 26, 2014, 11:45:13 AM
I think the question for Paul, at least as it relates to the 2016 presidential election, should be: will this attract voters. It might play a part in a win in the primary, but I suspect (but don't know) that it will not attract the "average" voter. Moreover, I suspect that the stance will likely repel that voter. And if you can't appeal to the average, you can win the general.
82  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action on: February 26, 2014, 11:03:51 AM
This is an example of understanding the acronym:

DWI: driving while impaired, which he seems to have been, perhaps because of a lack of sleep
DUI: driving under the influence (of a testable substance)
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bobby Jindal comes out swinging on: February 26, 2014, 08:44:43 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kathleen-parker-bobby-jindal-waves-war-flag/2014/02/25/4ee4a9ce-9e5d-11e3-a050-dc3322a94fa7_story.html

From the article:

Of course he’s running for president in 2016. He hasn’t said so, but he clearly is. His actions speak far louder than his words. Given this obvious fact, Jindal can’t start too soon demonstrating his older, wiser, more experienced persona. He has to be aggressive to convince the Republican base that he’s a stand-up guy willing to jump in the ring with Apollo Creed. Okay, so maybe with Dannel Malloy.

This isn’t such an easy sell for the slightly built Rhodes scholar who became the nation’s youngest governor. And though Jindal is a Catholic convert — and he speaks with the natural lilt of his birth state of Louisiana — he is not visually “one of us” in the way some Republicans have demonstrated they’re most comfortable. To the birther sensibility, if President Obama was born in Kenya, then Jindal could be from Punjab. In fact, he was conceived there but born in Baton Rouge.
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Supreme Court rules in favor of police in home searches without objector presen on: February 26, 2014, 08:36:33 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-police-in-home-searches-without-objector-present/2014/02/25/7bc1bb6a-9e5a-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_story.html

From the article:

“An occupant who is absent due to a lawful detention or arrest stands in the same shoes as an occupant who is absent for any other reason,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority.
85  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Supreme Court rules in favor of police in home searches without objector presen on: February 26, 2014, 08:35:58 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-police-in-home-searches-without-objector-present/2014/02/25/7bc1bb6a-9e5a-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_story.html

From the article:

“An occupant who is absent due to a lawful detention or arrest stands in the same shoes as an occupant who is absent for any other reason,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority.
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A tale of two countries on: February 25, 2014, 09:39:32 AM
http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/02/ukraines-crisis

From the article:

One of the most important European trading and university cities since the 14th century, modern Lviv has been Soviet Lvov, Polish Lwów and Austro-Hungarian Lemberg in the past 100 years. It was seized by the Soviet Union in 1939 but guerilla resistance was intense, and broken only in the 1950s. Lviv’s sense of its own belonging in Europe was supported by its architecture and its history of resistance to the Soviet rule. It jubilantly supported the Orange revolution in 2004 and was bitterly disillusioned by the failure of that revolution’s leaders, notably Viktor Yushchenko to modernise and reform the country in the years that followed.
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / GOP lobbyist drafts bill to ban gay athletes from playing in the NFL on: February 25, 2014, 09:38:03 AM
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/24/powerful-gop-lobbyist-drafts-bill-to-ban-gay-athletes-from-playing-in-the-nfl/

From the article:

According to the statement, the idea for a Congressional ban on gay athletes in the NFL came to him after he watched coverage of Michael Sam’s decision to come out of the closet prior to the NFL draft. In recent weeks, Sam has been praised by many Democratic lawmakers, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama, who called him “an inspiration.”
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / oh hell: Iraq signs deal to buy arms, ammunition from Iran on: February 25, 2014, 09:33:47 AM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/24/iraq-iran-arms-idUSL6N0LT41H20140224?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Mideast%20Brief&utm_campaign=Mideast%20Brief%202-25-14

Iran has signed a deal to sell Iraq arms and ammunition worth $195 million, according to documents seen by Reuters - a move that would break a U.N. embargo on weapons sales by Tehran.

The agreement was reached at the end of November, the documents showed, just weeks after Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki returned from lobbying the Obama administration in Washington for extra weapons to fight al Qaeda-linked militants.
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Extradite 'El Chapo' on: February 24, 2014, 11:42:37 AM
http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/americas/198985-mccaul-extradite-el-chapo
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Putin interested in a second Cold War? on: February 24, 2014, 11:40:41 AM
http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/russia/198998-susan-rice-us-not-interested-in-second-cold-war-but-putin-might
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Facebook-WhatsApp deal raises security concerns on: February 24, 2014, 11:38:52 AM
http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20140224-facebookwhatsapp-deal-raises-security-concerns?page=0,0
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: February 22, 2014, 09:45:37 AM
Well, that would increase the Senate by 10 senators.  Should it get so far as to be on the ballot and approved, one suspects fierce political fighting in Congress about this.  What articles of the Constitution would control this?


Article IV, section 3.
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Changing Picture of Washington "Influence" on: February 22, 2014, 09:11:47 AM
http://mischiefsoffaction.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-chainging-picture-of-washington.html

From the article:

 In recent years, at least since 2011, there has been a decline in the amount of money spent on lobbying, although the trend is not as monotonic as the Opensecrets’ presentation suggests.

What explains these trends?

One possibility is that lobbying firms have just gotten more efficient.  They can deliver the same amount of “punch” (i.e., influence) with fewer lobbyists and less expenditures on direct lobbying.  This may be possible; however since the percent change over time is not constant, even for the last few years, it doesn’t seem to be the case that K-street is just more efficient.  It seems more likely that they are supplementing their (reported) lobbying elsewhere.
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Plan to split California into six states on: February 22, 2014, 09:10:08 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/plan-split-california-six-states-gains-ground-222139687.html

From the article:

A plan to divide California into six separate US states is closer to making it on to a November ballot, with organizers gaining approval to collect signatures.


Any comments/thoughts, my California friends?
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Earl Warren’s extra-judicial assignment on: February 20, 2014, 02:52:16 PM
http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/02/looking-back-earl-warrens-extra-judicial-assignment/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scotusblog%2FpFXs+%28SCOTUSblog%29

From the article:

When Lyndon B. Johnson initially asked Earl Warren to chair the commission to investigate John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Chief Justice respectfully declined. His reasons:  “First, it is not in the constitutional separation of powers to have a member of the Supreme Court serve on a presidential commission; second, it would distract a Justice from the work of the Court, which had a heavy docket; and, third, it was impossible to see what litigation such a commission might spawn, with resulting disqualification of the Justice from sitting on the case.” Concerned that the wild conspiracy stories circulating around the world might lead to nuclear war, Johnson insisted. He said it was Warren’s patriotic duty “in this hour of trouble.”

On the first day the Commission met, Warren, who was a close friend of Kennedy’s,  told his staff: “I enter into it with great feeling of both inadequacy and humility because the very thought of reviewing these details day by day is really sickening to me.” Despite such misgivings, Warren dutifully set up the Commission in offices diagonally across the street from the Supreme Court – on the fourth floor of the Veterans of Foreign Wars building — so that he could carry on his full Court duties during the grueling ten-month investigation.

During its third meeting, on December 15, 1963, the Commission discussed the problem of how to deal with the press. Although as governor of California he had embraced the Fourth Estate, Warren had grown used to keeping reporters at arm’s length since he had become head of the judiciary a decade before. Warren emphatically told the other members present at that meeting that he would refuse to speak to TV reporters:  “I never have [appeared on television] and I don’t propose to do it here….  I am going to treat this as much in a judicial way as I possibly can, and that in the first place is not to talk.” He also declined to hire a press specialist, which Commission staffer Howard P. Willens says in retrospect “was probably a mistake.” Instead, Commission members issued a short press release after every meeting and mostly dodged the cameras and microphones that besieged them.
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Asteroid zips by Earth on: February 18, 2014, 05:02:53 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/17/us/asteroid-earth-close-call/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

From the article:

Only in space would 2 million miles be considered a close call.

An asteroid with an estimated diameter of three football fields zoomed by Earth late Monday, missing our home by about that distance.
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / the rare Earth crisis on: February 17, 2014, 02:10:17 PM
http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20140217-the-entertainment-industry-understands-the-rare-earth-crisis-why-doesn-t-everybody-else

From the article:

U.S. dependence on rare earths imports substantially exceeds our dependence on imported petroleum. In 2011, the United States imported 45 percent of the petroleum we consumed, but we imported 100 percent of the rare earth materials we consumed that same year — and rare earths are far more essential to a wider variety of industries than petroleum is. China controls the production, refining, and processing of over 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements despite only controlling about half of the world’s rare earth resources. In the 1980s, there were approximately 25,000 American rare earth-related jobs; now we barely have 1,500. The United States must take action now to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of rare earth materials and bring back jobs.
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / How Big the Universe is, in One Mind-Blowing Interactive on: February 16, 2014, 06:06:49 PM
http://www.policymic.com/articles/81873/experience-just-how-big-the-universe-is-in-one-mind-blowing-interactive?utm_source=upworthy

Very, very cool.
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / GOP Split Laid Bare on Debt Limit Vote on: February 13, 2014, 09:37:15 AM
http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/gop-split-laid-bare-on-debt-limit-vote/

From the article:

The split between establishment Republicans and their tea party brethren over debt limit strategy boiled over on the Senate floor Wednesday, when GOP leaders scrambled to put down a filibuster threat by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The behind-the-scenes battle over the party’s debt limit strategy between Cruz and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky ended with McConnell and Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas walking to the well of the Senate to vote to end Cruz’s filibuster attempt — a vote no Republican was eager to cast.
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Drones/UAV/UAS on: February 13, 2014, 09:34:02 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/curbs-shut-us-drone-makers-out-of-export-markets/2014/02/13/bda46332-9484-11e3-9e13-770265cf4962_story.html

From the article:

   
“China is positioning itself so that any country on the planet that, for political or financial reasons, is restricted from purchasing American or allied drones will be able to go to Beijing and get a comparable platform,” said Ian Easton, a research fellow at the 2049 Project Institute security think tank. He co-authored a recent report on China’s drones.

China’s $139 billion defense budget last year was the world’s second biggest, accounting for about 9 percent of global military spending, according to a report last week by IHS Jane’s. It’s leading a broader rise in regional military spending, with Australia, India and South Korea also hiking budgets that’s widens opportunities for defense contractors.
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