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Spaced-Out Challenge: The Dog Days of Summer | Main | Top Headline Comments 8-25-14
August 24, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (8-24-2014)

The WaPo Finds Officer Darren Wilson Guilty....of Having an Imperfect Family

The Washington Post unleashed a team of 9 reporters to find some dirt - any dirt - on Darren Wilson. And the best they could come up with is that he once worked for a police department with some problem officers and that his family background was somewhat chaotic.

The family later moved to the suburban Missouri town of St. Peters, where Wilson's mother again got divorced and married a man named Dan Durso, records indicate.

Wilson attended St. Charles West High School, in a predominantly white, middle-class community west of the Missouri River. He played junior varsity hockey for the West Warriors but wasn't a standout.

There were problems at home. In 2001, when Wilson was a freshman in high school, his mother pleaded guilty to forgery and stealing. She was sentenced to five years in prison, although records suggest the court agreed to let her serve her sentence on probation.

She died of natural causes in November 2002, when Wilson was 16, records show. His stepfather, Tyler Harris, took over as his limited guardian, which ended when the boy turned 18.

A family friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of threats, said Wilson sought out a career in law enforcement as a way to create a solid foundation in his life that he'd been missing.

But despite their best efforts they couldn't find anyone - on or off the record - that would say anything bad about Wilson.

Robert Orr, the former Jennings police chief who retired in 2010, said of Wilson: "He was a good officer with us. There was no disciplinary action."

This is one of those failed hit pieces that ends up raising your opinion of the target since if this is all the WaPo could find even after a full court press of an investigation then the target likely is a true straight arrow.

Also note that during the 70 paragraphs in the article delving into Wilson's family history at no point is any mention made of Michael Brown's family nor how it may have lead to his criminal behavior.



Number of White House officials who will attend Michael Brown's funeral: 3

Number of White House officials who attended two star General Harold Greene's funeral: 0


Does ISIS Now Have an Air Force?

A bloody assault by Islamic State forces captured the Syrian government air base in Tabqa, today, acquiring "several warplane squadrons, helicopters, tanks, artillery, and ammunition bunkers." An aviation "squadron," according to Wkipedia, is "a unit of aircraft that consists of three or four flights with a total of 12 to 24 aircraft, depending on the type of aircraft and the air force, naval or army air service."

Again, according to Wikipedia, the Taqba air base possessed 12 squadrons of the aging MIG-21 - both combat fighters and trainers. The base also housed about 20 Mi-8 helicopters, probably a mix of transport and gunship models.

So Islamic State possesses several dozen aging, but effective MIG-21 fighters, several helicopter gunships armed with anti-tank weapons, as well as an unknown number of tanks and a lot of ammunition.

Normally I wouldn't worry about some jihadi group getting their hands on any aircraft since they're usually utterly incompetent when it comes to anything technical - but ISIS seems extraordinarily resourceful and probably is capable of finding pilots who could fly these craft.

Britain is the Fattest Country in Europe. Why?

The only reason the study - produced by Christopher Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) - is shocking is because it contradicts one of the great received ideas of our politically correct times: that fatties are the hapless victims of the rapacious and bullying food and drink industry which pressures them into eating and drinking far too much fat and sugar.

...But what is rarely mentioned by health campaigners is that this rise in obesity over three decades has coincided with a steady fall in average sugar and fat consumption.


Just a Little Disturbing...

In a Wall Street Journal editorial about Russia, there was a remarkable sentence. An accurate sentence, but a jarring one - and a telling one. Here it is: "The State Department admitted last month that Russia has violated the 1987 INF Treaty . . ."

You might expect "The Kremlin admitted"; instead you get "The State Department admitted."

Telling, right?

The entire Obama government seems to have become a giant kick-the-can-down-the-road-and-cover-everything-else-up operation in an attempt to keep any shit from getting on the Lightworker before he finally leaves office and goes on his permanent victory tour.

Sometimes 3 Seconds of Warning Isn't Enough

And Iron Dome isn't perfect.

The mother of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, who was killed by a Gaza mortar shell on Friday, said on Saturday that the family was preparing to leave their home for safer areas when the attack came.

..."The children were playing in a tent inside the house, and from the moment of the siren to the explosion only three seconds passed. We didn't have time to get the children and go into the protected room."

Gila said her son Daniel was very disciplined when it came to rocket sirens.
Daniel was killed Friday afternoon when a mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip exploded outside the family's home at Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Region. The family - his parents and siblings - were all at home at the time. He was killed by shrapnel from the explosion.

An Israeli army spokesperson said the fatal shell was fired from near a school used as a shelter for Palestinian refugees. Hamas took responsibility for the attack.


Oh Sweet Delicious Hubris!

The Westboro Baptist Church has accepted a comic's offer to fly them to Iraq to protest ISIS. Please Lord let this happen. (Thanks Slu)


Greens Engage in Rituals to Allay Their Anxieties

Environmentalism as a coping mechanism.

This also explains why they're largely immune to facts and reason: It's basically something more like a religion, or maybe compulsive hand-washing.

Sad Scientists are Sad

Over your failure to obey their climate change advice.

Photographer Nick Bowers, Art Director Celine Faledam and Copy Writer Rachel Guest have teamed up to bring attention to the issue of climate change in a completely novel and frankly terrifying way with their portrait/interview project Scared Scientists.

The title, in a way, says it all.


D-Day Locations - Then and Now


RIP Richard Attenborough

He was 90 years old. While he's best known as an actor, he's also been a director for 45+ years and won several Oscars for the movie Gandhi.


100 Years of the Panama Canal

In the mid-19th century, the Suez Canal, originally 102 miles long, shortened the sea route between Europe and India by thousands of miles.

The Panama Canal route was much shorter than these three great canals, a mere 48 miles. But Suez was built in a level, low-lying desert. Building Suez was, therefore, essentially a matter of shoveling sand, although, to be sure, there was a lot of sand to be shoveled.

Panama, in contrast, was another matter altogether. Rather than desert, Panama has one of the densest rain forests on earth. The rainfall for much of the year is torrential, with Colon, at the Atlantic end of the canal, receiving as much as 138 inches a year, mostly between May and December. Even Panama City, on the drier Pacific side, gets nearly 80 inches. In this climate, tropical diseases such as yellow fever and malaria were rampant.

And Panama has a range of low mountains running along its length. These would have to be breached before there could be a water route across the isthmus.

Still, Ferdinand de Lesseps, the hero of the Suez Canal, was sure he could duplicate his feat in Suez despite the very different conditions. He was wrong. After eight years of work, the project collapsed in bankruptcy and scandal in 1889.


The Dune Activity Coloring Book

I wonder how many of these were actually filled in by kids.


Weekly Commenter Standings

Top 10 commenters:
1 [554 comments] 'Insomniac' [77.81 posts/day]
2 [547 comments] 'Misanthropic Humanitarian  '
3 [506 comments] 'Costanza Defense'
4 [449 comments] 'AllenG (Dedicated Tenther), Derringer Bandit.'
5 [406 comments] 'Mike Hammer, etc., etc.'
6 [405 comments] 'Anna Puma (+SmuD)'
7 [354 comments] 'rickb223'
8 [343 comments] 'Ricardo Kill'
9 [329 comments] 'artisanal 'ette'
10 [293 comments] 'EC'

Top 10 sockpuppeteers:
1 [89 names] 'King Putt' [12.50 unique names/day]
2 [73 names] 'The Political Hat'
3 [66 names] 'Harrison Bergeron'
4 [52 names] 'Romeo13'
5 [50 names] 'Doctor Fish'
6 [44 names] 'not an expert, but did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night'
7 [39 names] 'stranglers'
8 [35 names] 'Costanza Defense'
9 [35 names] 'Bob's House of Flannel Shirts and Wallet Chains'
10 [35 names] 'Ashley Judd's Puffy Scamper, formerly MrCaniac'

The group. Never heard of it.

Where it's at - the Twitter

Tonight's post brought to you by then and now:


Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips and spare organs/children to Ace.

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