Tony Robison’s killing by Officer Kenny was determined to be legal according Dane County DA. Police sent officers to Williamson St. in Madison WI on March 6, 2015 due to reports of a man (Robinson) darting in and out of traffic, and assaulting two people. Officer Kenny was the first on the scene, reported hearing a disturbance inside a home, entered and was attacked by Robinson. Tony pushed the officer hard enough to break the drywall. The officer then backed out the door firing his revolver seven times, hitting Robinson five times. Kenny performed CPR, but Robinson died at the hospital. Robinson was later determined via autopsy to have Xanax, psilocybin mushrooms, and THC in his system. Robinson was unarmed
Given the above details it’s hard to argue with Dane County District Attorney’s assessment this was a righteous shooting, or is it? Many Madisonians don’t seem to think so, holding multiple school walk outs, marches, and protests. So given that the boy was on drugs, dashing through traffic, trying to enter homes, and assaulting people including an officer, why the civil backlash? Shouldn’t everyone thank Madison PD for keeping the streets safe from this menace?
The facts of case lack nuance and perspective. First off, Madison is one of the worst cities in the worst state of the Union for blacks regarding inequality. This fact makes Tony’s killing representative of all injustices suffered by the marginalized races of Dane County. It’s easily argued this never would happen if blacks were treated equally and given the same opportunities. This shooting also happened hot on the heels of events in Ferguson, MO, Staten Island, New York City, and Baltimore, MD where unarmed black men were killed by police. The pain of those unjust police killings serves to inform Madison residents more than the facts of this particular case. The pain of loosing a nineteen year old boy serves to inform Madison residents more than the facts of this case. To many people this case reflects the nation as a whole and the racism systemic in the DOC and Police.
If you come to Madison, the street where the most assaults occur is Langdon St., affectionately known as “Frat Row”. Here young white men can be seen most nights dashing about traffic on an array of drugs, fighting and cursing. The police are rarely called. Often they are present for these cavalcades of testosterone, and simply allow the boys to be boys making sure nothing gets too rough. I have personally seen this. For all the times the white men Tony’s age fought and cussed and acted inebriated in public, not one of them has been shot on Langdon. Not. One. Madison noticed this too.
Tony’s killing may have been “legal” but that doesn’t make it any less useful as a rallying cry to fight discrimination, systemic injustice, and inequality across the board. The fact is people are protesting the state of police relations with black people. They are protesting the state of inequality of black people in Wisconsin. They are protesting the absurdly high incarceration of black men. They are protesting money being spent on MRAPs and Bradley Vehicles instead of police training on how to deal with someone on Xanax, psilocybin mushrooms, and THC. The are protesting the Drug War and the pain and misery that comes with it. They are protesting for every person who has ever been marginalized, harassed, and hurt by the system. Tony Robinson just had to be legally killed for us to take notice.
Drive fast. Take Chances. Thanks for reading.
History Of Black Friday
The term “Black Friday”, coined in the 60’s by Philadelphia‘s police griping about the congested streets clogged with motorists and pedestrians, marks the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.
The term “Black Friday” got wider exposure around 1975, as shown by two newspaper articles from November 29, 1975, both datelined Philadelphia. The first reference is in an article entitled “Army vs. Navy: A Dimming Splendor”, in The New York Times: “Philadelphia police and bus drivers call it “Black Friday” – that day each year between Thanksgiving Day and the Army–Navy Game. It is the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year in the Bicentennial City as the Christmas list is checked off and the Eastern college football season nears conclusion.” The derivation is also clear in an Associated Press article entitled “Folks on Buying Spree Despite Down Economy”, which ran in Pennsylvania’s Titusville Herald on the same day: “Store aisles were jammed. Escalators were nonstop people. It was the first day of the Christmas shopping season and despite the economy, folks here went on a buying spree… “That’s why the bus drivers and cab drivers call today ‘Black Friday,'” a sales manager at Gimbels said as she watched a traffic cop trying to control a crowd of jaywalkers. “They think in terms of headaches it gives them.” The term’s spread was gradual, however, and in 1985 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that retailers in Cincinnati and Los Angeles were still unaware of the term.
For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000’s many had crept to 5:00 or even 4:00. Taken to a new extreme in 2011 several retailers (including Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Bealls) opened at midnight for the first time. In 2012, Wal-Mart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (except in states where opening on Thanksgiving is prohibited due to blue laws, such as Massachusetts where they still opened around midnight), prompting calls for a walkout among some workers.
Psychology of Black Friday
While the sales are often the touted drive for Black Friday shoppers, there is good evidence indicating people feel a “need” to shop that day. When professors from South Carolina’s Winthrop University studied and interviewed multiple Black Friday participants, they found a common thread behind the need for Black Friday. They included the social effect and enjoyment that comes with the experience, Black Friday being an after-Thanksgiving tradition and the aspect of loving the hunt for goods. Shoppers who make a tradition out of Black Friday often speak in its defense saying it is the social aspects and togetherness the enjoy the most. Fair enough, but do we really want to revolve our memories of family and friends with rampant consumerism?
First of all, it severely over shadows Thanksgiving. The irony of a day revolving around gross consumerism usurping a holiday set aside to remind us of all we have is palpable. It is a harsh and embarrassing reflection of the state of the nation and now with shops opening on Thanksgiving we completely bypass being grateful and seek to stuff our already opulent houses with more and more. If you think I am being hyperbolic, stop. About 80% of the world lives on ten dollars a day. We spent $11.4 billion, the most in history, on Black Friday last year. Opulent doesn’t even begin to cover how good the majority of Americans have it.
As stores open earlier and earlier realize someone must run the register, stock the shelves, provide security, manage the operations, etc. Often those who make the least in our society are the ones who are losing out the most. We need empathy for those who work behind the scenes on Black Friday and allow them to have a holiday as well.
Known as a particularly violent shopping event there have been four deaths and sixty-five injuries to date. Let me say that again. Know as a particularly violent shopping event. Let that sink in… How is it with so much and very little real need we clamber over and crush aside our contemporaries for sales? It’s not even as if Wal-Mart and Macy’s won’t restock their shelves and Samsung and Apple will stop production. We disregard the rights and well-being of our fellows for sales. The idiocy and barberism revolving around Black Friday should cause any sane person to vehemently repudiate everything to do with the event
I can feel many of you nodding in agreement but thinking, “The deals are simply to good to pass up.” Let’s put that myth to rest. With the exception of electronics many items can be purchased throughout the year at similar prices from the same stores. It may take a little more work to be aware of these sales, but not perpetuating Black Friday is surely worth it.
Shop online. This is generally thought to be better for the environment, not to mention you can get exactly what you want rather than settling for what the store has in stock.
Buy from second-hand, estate/garage sales, and resale shops. Again, the environmental benefits alone make this a desirable practice. Your gifts may gain a tinge of originality and if the hunt is what you enjoy about shopping I promise “thrifting” will become your catnip.
Shopping online and “used” not only can save money and add originality, often it keeps the money in the U.S. Purchasing items from department stores guarantees a portion of that money goes overseas. In the current economic climate, every little bit counts.
Boycott Black Friday
Let us support already underpaid retail workers, reduce negative consumerism, and reclaim Thanksgiving. Let’s spend the holiday truly being grateful for all we have rather than ramping up for a shopping spree. I strongly urge public protest of shopping on Thursday, and if you must shop Friday, stay away from the stores who robbed the customers and employees alike of their holiday. We are a capitalist society and by definition we, the consumers, have control. Let us exercise that control this season.
Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.
Senator Missy Irvin has sponsored a bill entitled “AN ACT TO LIMIT BODY ART PROCEDURES; AND FOR OTHER 10 PURPOSES” subtitled “TO LIMIT BODY ART PROCEDURES”. It passed Arkansas Senate by a landslide and is on its way to the house. The wording is vague and depending on interpretation could outlaw body modification in general.
I can hear you saying, “I don’t live in Arkansas.” or “I don’t care about body mods, so this doesn’t affect me.” First off, defend the rights of those who do care. Secondly, bills like this set precedent the government can tell us what we can cannot do with our most precious possession, our bodies. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, it starts with dermals and scarification and can move into unhealthy food and drink. It removes personal responsibility. You shouldn’t eat junk and fast food all the time. You will do yourself damage. However, every now and then it’s a great treat. Just because some individuals in society eat themselves to death does not mean the government needs to reach into everyone’s life and dictate what we eat and we should not be cowed into thinking this a good way to operate a society.
Now obviously there needs to be oversight in the body modification industry just as the FDA watches over what we consume, but that is the other danger of bills like this. If you make body modification illegal it doesn’t go away. It goes underground. There are many laws in place on the industry insuring artist, piercers, and the like are held accountable. Sterilization of equipment, licensing, testing, first aid, aftercare training, health inspections, age limits, consent forms, etc. The list goes on and on what a parlor must go through to operate. If you take away the right of these law abiding shops to trade their skills and wares, criminals will provide the desired services. Kitchens and basements across the country will become populated with tattooing machines and piercing needles. No one will insure the needles are clean and single use. No one will make sure people know how to take care of their modification as to avoid infection. No one to keep impulsive thirteen year-olds from permanently altering their body.
If someone wants to use their body as a canvas to display art, that is their prerogative. We need to nip legislation like this in bud before more liberties come under fire. Keep a sharp eye in your own state for these kind of bills. They start with the fringes of society and slowly encompass us all. Call, email, mail, Missy Irvin in protest. Let her know our bodies are just that, ours.
Senator Missy Irvin (R)
P. O. Box 106, Mountain View, 72560
Seniority Number 13
Occupation Marketing Director
Church Affiliation: Methodist
Public Service Senate 2011, 2013 Asst. President Pro Tempore
Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.
In 2001 America and the world changed. Since those attacks we have lost Habeas Corpus, spent trillions on the war on terror home and abroad causing a recession and loss of more life, and legalized and excused the use of torture.
As we remember the lives lost at WTC1, WTC2, WTC7, the Pentagon, the four planes hijacked and crashed, our soldiers who are dying in the following conflicts, and the countless citizens of the middle east caught between world super powers and religious fanatics, let us not forget how we got there so we aren’t doomed to repeat the folly and loss.
1980s: Osama bin Laden runs a front organization for the mujaheddin—Islamic freedom fighters rebelling against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The CIA secretly backs the mujaheddin. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Bhutto, understanding the ferocity of Islamic extremism, tells then President George Bush, “You are creating a Frankenstein.” [MSNBC, 8/24/98, Newsweek, 10/1/01, more]
1994: Two attacks take place which involve hijacking planes to crash them into buildings, including one by an Islamic militant group. In a third attack, a lone pilot crashes a plane at the White House. Yet after Sept. 11, over and over aviation and security officials say they are shocked that terrorists could have hijacked airliners and crashed them into landmark buildings. [New York Times, 10/3/01]
1996: The Saudi Arabian government is financially supporting Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and other extremist groups. After 9/11, the Bush Administration does nothing to confront the Saudi leadership over its support of terror organizations and its refusal to help in the investigation. [New Yorker, 10/22/01, more]
1996-1999: The CIA officer in charge of operations against Al Qaeda from Washington writes, “I speak with firsthand experience (and for several score of CIA officers) when I state categorically that during this time senior White House officials repeatedly refused to act on sound intelligence that provided multiple chances to eliminate Osama bin Laden.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/5/04]
1996-2001: Federal authorities have known for years that suspected terrorists with ties to bin Laden were receiving flight training at schools in the US and abroad. One convicted terrorist confessed that his planned role in a terror attack was to crash a plane into CIA headquarters. [Washington Post, 9/23/01]
1996-Sept 11, 2001: Taliban envoys repeatedly discuss turning bin Laden over, but the US wants to be handed bin Laden directly, and the Taliban want to turn him over to some third country. About 20 more meetings on giving up bin Laden take place up till 9/11, all fruitless. [Washington Post, 10/29/01]
1997: Former National Security Advisor Brzezinski publishes a book portraying Eurasia as the key to world power, and Central Asia with its vast oil reserves as the key to domination of Eurasia. He states that for the US to maintain its global primacy, it must prevent any adversary from controlling that region. He notes that because of popular resistance to US military expansionism, his ambitious strategy can’t be implemented “except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” [The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives]
1998: An Oklahoma City FBI agent sends a memo warning that “large numbers of Middle Eastern males” are getting flight training and could be planning terrorist attacks. [CBS, 5/30/02] A separate CIA intelligence report asserts that Arab terrorists are planning to fly a bomb-laden aircraft into the WTC (World Trade Center). [New York Times, 9/19/02, Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02, more]
Aug 1998: Within minutes of each other, truck bombs blow up the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, killing more than 220. For some of the time that bin Laden’s men were plotting to blow up the two embassies, US intelligence was tapping their phones. [Newsweek, 10/1/01]
Dec 1998: A Time magazine cover story entitled “The Hunt for Osama,” reports that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet – a strike on Washington or possibly New York City. [Time, 12/21/98]
Late 1998-Early 2000: On at least three occasions, spies in Afghanistan report bin Laden’s location. Each time, the president approves an attack. Each time, the CIA Director says the information is not reliable enough and the attack cannot go forward. [New York Times, 12/30/01, more]
Sept 1999: A US intelligence report states bin Laden and Al-Qaeda terrorists could crash an aircraft into the Pentagon. The Bush administration claims not to have heard of this report until May 2002, though it was widely shared within the government. [CNN, 5/18/02, AP, 5/18/02, Guardian, 5/19/02]
Nov 1999: The head of Australia’s security services admits the Echelon global surveillance system exists. The US still denies it exists. BBC describes Echelon’s power as “astounding.” Every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission can be listened to by powerful computers capable of voice recognition. They home in on key words, or patterns of messages. [BBC, 11/3/99]
Jan 2000: George Bush Sr. meets with the bin Laden family on behalf of the Carlyle Group. He also met with them in 1998. Bush’s chief of staff could not remember that this meeting took place until shown a thank you note confirming the meeting. [Wall Street Journal, 9/27/01, Guardian, 10/31/01]
Summer 2000: A secret military operation named Able Danger identifies four future 9/11 hijackers, including lead hijacker Mohamed Atta, as a potential threat and members of Al Qaeda. Yet none of this is mentioned later in the 9/11 Commissions’ final report. When questioned, the 9/11 commission’s chief spokesman initially says that staff members briefed about Able Danger did not remember hearing anything about Atta. Days later, however, after provided detailed information, he says the uniformed officer who briefed two staff members had indeed mentioned Atta. [New York Times, 8/11/05, more]
Sept 2000: The think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC) writes the blueprint for a global “Pax Americana.” Written for the Bush team before the 2000 election, Rebuilding America’s Defenses is a plan for maintaining global US preeminence and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests. The plan shows Bush intends to take control of the Persian Gulf whether or not Saddam Hussein is in power. It advocates the transformation of the US military. But, “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbour”. [BBC, 2/14/07,Sunday Herald, 9/7/02, read report, more]
2000 – 2001: The military conducts exercises simulating what the White House later says is unimaginable: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties. One imagined target is the WTC. [USA Today, 4/19/04] Another is the Pentagon. [Military District of Washington (Army), 11/3/00]
Jan 2001: A flight school alerts the FAA. Hijacker Hani Hanjour lacks English and flying skills needed for his commercial pilot’s license. An FAA official then sits next to him in class. The official offers a translator to help him pass, but the flight school says this is against the rules. [AP, 5/10/02] Yet despite poor flying skills, official reports later state Hanjour executes a 330 to 360 degree turn of AA Flight 77 over Washington on 9/11 in under four minutes and manages a precision hit on the Pentagon. [NY Times, 10/16/01, NTSB, 2/19/02]
Jan 2001: After the elections, US intelligence agencies are told to “back off” investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals. There have always been constraints on investigating Saudis. [BBC, 11/6/01,more]
Spring 2001: Military and government documents are released that seek to legitimize the use of US military force in the pursuit of oil. One article advocates presidential subterfuge in the promotion of conflict and “explicitly urge[s] painting over the US’s actual reasons for warfare as a necessity for mobilizing public support for a conflict.” [Sydney Morning Herald, 12/26/02, more]
May 2001: Secretary of State Powell gives $43 million in aid to the Taliban government. [Los Angeles Times, 5/22/01, CNN 5/17/01] This follows $113 million given in 2000. [State Dept. Fact Sheet, 12/11/01]
May 2001: The US introduces “Visa Express” program allowing any Saudi Arabian to obtain visas through their travel agent instead of appearing at a consulate in person. [US News and World Report, 12/12/01] Five hijackers use Visa Express to enter the US. [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/20/02]
May-Aug 2001: A number of the 9/11 hijackers make at least six trips to Las Vegas. These “fundamentalist” Muslims drink alcohol, frequent strip clubs, and smoke hashish. Some even have strippers perform lap dances for them. [San Francisco Chronicle, 10/4/01, Newsweek, 10/15/01]
June 13, 2001: Egyptian President Mubarak through his intelligence services warns the US that bin Laden’s Islamic terrorist network is threatening to kill Bush and other G8 leaders at their July economic summit meeting in Italy. The terrorists plan to use a plane stuffed with explosives. [NY Times, 9/26/01]
June 28, 2001: CIA Director George J. Tenet has been “nearly frantic” with concern. A written intelligence summary for national security adviser Condoleezza Rice says: “It is highly likely that a significant al Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks.” Rice will later claim that everyone was taken by complete surprise by the 9/11 attack. By late summer, one senior political appointee says, Tenet had repeated this threat “so often that people got tired of hearing it.” [Washington Post, 5/17/02]
July 4-14, 2001: Bin Laden reportedly receives kidney treatment from Canadian-trained Dr. Callaway at the American Hospital in Dubai. Telephoned several times, the doctor declines to answer questions. During his stay, bin Laden allegedly is visited by one or two CIA officers. [Guardian, 11/1/01, Sydney Morning Herald, 10/31/01, Times of London, 11/1/01, UPI, 11/1/01, more]
July 10, 2001: A Phoenix FBI agent sends a memorandum warning about Middle Eastern men taking flight lessons. He suspects bin Laden’s followers and recommends a national program to check visas of suspicious flight-school students. The memo is sent to two FBI counter-terrorism offices, but no action is taken. [New York Times, 5/21/02] Vice President Cheney says in May 2002 that he opposes releasing this memo to congressional leaders or to the media and public. [CNN, 5/20/02]
July 24, 2001: Larry Silverstein’s $3.2 billion 99-year lease of the WTC is finalized. Silverstein hopes to win $7 billion in insurance from the destruction of the WTC towers. [NY Times, 02/16/03, Newsday, 09/25/02]
July 26, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft stops flying commercial airlines due to a threat assessment. [CBS, 7/26/01] He later walks out of his office rather than answer questions about this. [AP, 5/16/02,more]
Late July 2001: The US and UN ignore warnings from the Taliban foreign minister that bin Laden is planning an imminent huge attack on US soil. The FBI and CIA also fail to take seriously warnings that Islamic fundamentalists have enrolled in flight schools across the US. [Independent, 9/7/02, more]
Summer 2001: Intelligence officials know that al Qaeda both hopes to use planes as weapons and seeks to strike a violent blow within the US, despite government claims following 9/11 that the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks came “like bolts from the blue.” [Wall Street Journal, 09/19/02, CNN, 9/12/02]
Summer 2001: Russian President Putin later says publicly that he ordered his intelligence agencies to alert the US of suicide pilots training for attacks on US targets. [Fox, 5/17/02]
Late summer 2001: Jordanian intelligence agents go to Washington to warn that a major attack is planned inside the US and that aircraft will be used. Christian Science Monitor calls the story “confidently authenticated” even though Jordan later backs away from it. [CS Monitor, 5/23/02]
Aug 5-11, 2001: Israel warns US of an imminent Al Qaeda attack. [Fox News, 5/17/02]
Aug 6, 2001: President Bush is warned by US intelligence that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. The White House waits eight months after 9/11 to reveal this fact. [New York Times, 5/16/02] Titled “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,” the intelligence briefing specifically mentions the World Trade Center. Yet Bush later states the briefing “said nothing about an attack on America.” [CNN, 4/12/04, Washington Post, 4/12/04, White House, 4/11/04, CNN, 4/10/04,Intelligence Briefing, 8/6/01, more]
Aug 22, 2001: Top counter-terrorism expert John O’Neill quits the FBI due to repeated obstruction of his al-Qaeda investigations and a power play against him. He was the government’s “most committed tracker of bin Laden and al-Qaeda.” The next day he starts a new job as head of security at the WTC. He is killed weeks later in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attack. [New Yorker, 1/14/02]
Aug 24, 2001: Frustrated with lack of response from FBI headquarters about detained suspect Moussaoui, the Minnesota FBI begins working with the CIA. The CIA sends alerts calling him a “suspect 747 airline suicide hijacker.” Three days later an FBI Minnesota supervisor says he is trying to make sure that Moussaoui does not “take control of a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center.” [Senate Intelligence Committee, 10/17/02] FBI headquarters chastises Minnesota FBI for notifying the CIA. [Time, 5/21/02] FBI Director Mueller will later say “there was nothing the agency could have done to anticipate and prevent the [9/11] attacks.” [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02, more]
Sept 10, 2001: A particularly urgent warning may have been received the night before the attacks, causing some top Pentagon brass to cancel a trip. “Why that same information was not available to the 266 people who died aboard the four hijacked commercial aircraft may become a hot topic on the Hill.” [Newsweek, 9/13/01] “A group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.” [Newsweek, 9/24/01, more]
Sept 10, 2001: Former president Bush is with a brother of Osama bin Laden at a Carlyle business conference. The conference is interrupted the next day by the attacks. [Washington Post, 3/16/03]
Sept 10, 2001: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announces that by some estimates the Department of Defense “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” CBS later calculates that 25% of the yearly defense budget is unaccounted for. A defense analyst says, “The books are cooked routinely year after year.” [DOD, 9/10/01, CBS, 1/29/02] This announcement was buried by the next day’s news of 9/11.
September 11, 2001
Sept 11, 2001: Warren Buffett, the second richest man on Earth [BBC, 6/22/01], schedules a charity event inside Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. A small group of business leaders attend, including at least one who would otherwise have died in the WTC. [SF Business Times, 2/1/02, Forbes 10/15/01] Bush flies to this same base that day, where there is an underground command center. [CNN, 9/12/01,CBS, 9/11/02]
Sept 11, 2001: Recovery experts extract data from 32 WTC computer drives revealing a surge in financial transactions. Illegal transfers of over $100 million may have been made through some WTC computer systems immediately before and during the disaster. [Reuters, 12/18/01, CNN, 12/20/01,more]
Sept 11, 2001: In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence, a US intelligence agency (the National Reconnaissance Office or NRO) was all set for an exercise at 9 AM on September 11th in which an aircraft would crash into one of its buildings near Washington, DC. [AP, 8/22/02] Four wargames were also in progress at the time of the attacks. [C-SPAN Congressional Testimony, 3/11/05,more]
(All information from http://www.wanttoknow.info/911/9-11-facts used without permission)
As with The Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf of Tonkin, the tragedy which pushed the American people our current wars were both avoidable and the cause falsified to point the barrels of our guns to the targets the people in power chose.
In avenging the acts of 9/11 what have we lost?
The general consensus puts the fiscal cost between $4 and $6 trillion. Unlike WWII’s war bonds and victory gardens, these wars have been paid for largely by loans and the FED.
The human life cost: All of the war’s recorded dead — including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians — shows that over 330,000 people have died due to direct war violence, many more indirectly. Indirect deaths from the wars, including those related to malnutrition, damaged health infrastructure, and environmental degradation, must also be tallied. In previous wars, these deaths have far outnumbered deaths from combat and that is likely the case here as well. The number of war refugees and displaced persons –7.4 million– is equivalent to all of the people of Connecticut and Oregon fleeing their homes. At least 6,600 of our own soldiers have died and new disability claims continue to pour into the VA, with over 750,000 disability claims already approved. Many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been identified. Even after this war ends the cost of the veterans (heroes) will fall to our children.
As to our freedoms we have lost:
1st AMENDMENT FREEDOM OF SPEECH
• The Patriot Act broadly expands the official definition of
terrorism, so that many domestic groups that engage in
nonviolent civil disobedience could very well find themselves
labeled as terrorists.
• The Government may now prosecute librarians or keepers
of any other records if they reveal that the government
requested information on their clients or members in the
course of an investigation. It has become a crime for these
individuals to try to safeguard your privacy or to tell you
that you are under investigation.
1st AMENDMENT FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
• Government agents may now monitor the First Amendmentprotected activities of religious and political institutions, and
then infiltrate these groups with no suspicion of criminal
activity. This is a return to domestic spying on law-abiding
religious and political groups.
• You may now be the subject of a government investigation
simply because of the political, activist, or advocacy
groups you are involved in, or the statements you make
within these groups.
1st AMENDMENT RIGHT TO ACCESS
• A U.S. Department of Justice directive actively encourages
federal, state, and local officials to resist and/or limit access
to government records through Freedom of Information Act
• The Government has conducted immigration hearings in
secret behind closed doors. Such proceedings were once
open to the public. Hundreds, if not thousands, of immigrants
have already been deported in secret.
4th AMENDMENT FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE
• Law Enforcement authorities may now conduct secret searches and wiretaps in your home or office
without showing “probable cause.” They need only to claim that intelligence gathering is “a significant
purpose” of their intrusion, even when the primary goal is ordinary law enforcement. They may also
monitor where and to whom you send and receive e-mail, or where you go on the Internet, recording
every e-mail address and website you have been in contact with.
• Law Enforcement may now demand any personal records held by any source including your doctor,
employer, accountant, or library. All they have to do is claim that it is related to an investigation into
“terrorism.” The record keepers may not reveal that your records were provided to the government.
• Judicial oversight of secret searches has been effectively minimized. The Patriot Act directs judges to
consent to secret searches based only on the Government’s assertion that a “significant” purpose of
an investigation is gathering information related to “terrorism,” as the government defines it.
5th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS & FREEDOM FROM BEING
HELD WITHOUT CHARGE
• Americans can now be jailed without a formal charge & without the right to confront the witnesses or
evidence against them. American citizens are now being held in military jails without charge and without a clear path of appeal for their indefinite confinement.
• Hundreds of Arab, Muslim and South Asian men were rounded up in the Ashcroft raids following
September 11, and held for weeks without charges until all were cleared of terrorism charges
6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION
• Hundreds of U.S. residents have been detained for months at a time, and denied access to the advice
and advocacy of an attorney. The Government may now monitor conversations between attorneys &
clients in federal jails.
• The Bush Administration filed papers in court that arguing that an American citizen held in a military
jail without charge should be denied access to legal counsel because such access would interfere with
the process of his interrogation.
6th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL
• The U.S. Government may now jail its residents and citizens indefinitely without charge & without a public trial.
8th AMENDMENT FREEDOM FROM CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS
• The U.S. Government has taken into custody individuals they identify as “material witnesses,” transported them across the country, and held them for months in solitary confinement without charge or
contact with their family.
• According to the Justice Department’s own Inspector General, immigrant men rounded up in the
Ashcroft raids following September 11 and held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY
were subjected to a pattern of “physical and verbal abuse.”
14th AMENDMENT RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION
• Over 82,000 men from Arab, Muslim and South Asian countries registered with the Government
under the Special Registration program. Over 13,000 are now in deportation proceedings. None
have been charged with terrorism.
We know Osama Bin Ladin was hiding in Pakistan, funded by Saudi Arabians, and is dead.
We know Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with Sept 11, 2001. We also know he did not have weapons of mass destruction. He is also dead.
President Bush and Obama have said we would bring stability, peace and democracy to the Middle East. The complex answer goes back to the early 1900’s and isn’t worth getting so far off topic. The short answer is “no”.
As our government rattles its saber at Syria, today of all days let us hold it accountable. Let us honor those who died and are dying because of the events of 9/11 by saying, “Not another war! End the current wars! Give us back our rights! Give us back our country! Give us back our fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters! 9/11 Never Forget! Never again!
Drive Fast. Take Chances. Thanks for reading.
At 2 PM on May 7th Tim Lambesis, frontman of the highly acclaimed metal act As I Lay Dying, was arrested at a Barnes and Nobel in Oceanside San Diego on suspicion of soliciting first degree murder. The San Diego police department became aware of Lambesis’ alleged need of a hitman last Thursday, May 2nd. The proposed target, his estranged wife, Meggan Lambesis. The police quickly set up a sting operation to avert future tragedy. Lambesis reportedly solicited an undercover detective to kill his wife. After affirming Tim’s intentions the undercover officer identified himself as a police officer and took Lambesis into custody without incident.
Metal Blade Records, As I Lay Dying members, and Lambesis have been unavailable for comment. It is unclear if Tim has secured a lawyer at this time. Solicitation of murder is a felony regarded as first degree murder. Under California law my fall under first-degree felony-murder law – Penal Code 189 PC. What this means is while Lambesis did not intend to commit the murder he intended to set in motion the events which would lead to Meggan’s death. If convicted Lambesis faces any or all following penalties
– twenty-five (25) years to life in California state prison,
– life in California state prison without possibility of parole, or
– the California death penalty.
The second and third of these penalties may only be imposed if the felony murder qualifies as so-called special circumstances murder under California law. The special circumstances murder is slightly arbitrary including the murder and torture of a police officer to drive by shootings. It is unlikely Lambesis will be charged with the special circumstances murder since it is more difficult to prove he intended something more sinister than “just murder”.
AILD has just returned from a tour in China and is scheduled for the Killswitch Engage: Disarm The Descent Tour in the up coming months. Needless to say it is likely these dates will be cancelled. No word on refunds for pre-purchased tickets. Other bands on the tour are Miss May I and Affiance.
Meggan Lambesis, who lives in nearby Encinitas with their two adopted children from Ethiopia, has not been reached for comment. She began the process to file for divorce in September according to public record.
For more info on As I Lay Dying refer to The Rave without MDMA.
Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.
We often think of wind farming as a new concept but the truth is humans have been using wind power for 3,000 years. Most of us can think back to windmills turning milestones to grind grain into flour or the small windmills on farms during the 1930’s pumping water up from underground wells when the blades spun at 15 MPH or higher. If we have been using wind power so prolifically through history why is there so much attention given to it today? To properly answer that question we first need to understand how these farms work.
What is wind?
Seems like a simple question but understanding exactly why the wind blows is integral to choosing wind farm placement. Think of wind as you would liquid, the difference being the particles are gas rather than liquid. Interestingly wind is a result of the center of the galaxy, our sun. The sun heats a certain area of land; the air around that land mass absorbs some of that heat. At a certain temperature, that hotter air begins to rise very quickly because a given volume of hot air is lighter than an equal volume of cooler air. Faster-moving (hotter) air particles exert more pressure than slower-moving particles, so it takes fewer of them to maintain the normal air pressure at a given elevation.
Same idea as a hot air balloon or how soaring birds stay aloft without flapping their wings.
When that lighter hot air suddenly rises, cooler air flows quickly in to fill the gap the hot air leaves behind. That air rushing in to fill the gap is wind. f you place an object like a rotor blade in the path of that wind, the wind will push on it, transferring some of its own energy of motion to the blade. This is how a wind turbine captures energy from the wind. The same thing happens with a sail boat. When moving air pushes on the barrier of the sail, it causes the boat to move. The wind has transferred its own energy of motion to the sailboat.
What are the parts of the wind turbine:
1. Rotor blades – The blades are basically the sails of the system; in their simplest form, they act as barriers to the wind (more modern blade designs go beyond the barrier method). When the wind forces the blades to move, it has transferred some of its energy to the rotor.
2. Shaft – The wind-turbine shaft is connected to the center of the rotor. When the rotor spins, the shaft spins as well. In this way, the rotor transfers its mechanical, rotational energy to the shaft, which enters an electrical generator on the other end.
3. Generator – At its most basic, a generator is a pretty simple device. It uses the properties of electromagnetic induction to produce electrical voltage – a difference in electrical charge. Voltage is essentially electrical pressure – it is the force that moves electricity, or electrical current, from one point to another. So generating voltage is in effect generating current. A simple generator consists of magnets and a conductor. The conductor is typically a coiled wire. Inside the generator, the shaft connects to an assembly of permanent magnets that surrounds the coil of wire. In electromagnetic induction, if you have a conductor surrounded by magnets, and one of those parts is rotating relative to the other, it induces voltage in the conductor. When the rotor spins the shaft, the shaft spins the assembly of magnets, generating voltage in the coil of wire. That voltage drives electrical current (typically alternating current, or AC power) out through power lines for distribution.
How do power companies choose the land and acquire it to build wind farms?
What makes a good windsite:
Sustained wind speeds are critical to a project’s economic viability. Wind turbines require a minimum annual average wind speed of about 15 mph, or 6.7 meters per second. The proximity of turbines to electric transmission lines is another important factor in evaluating the economic viability of a project. Due to the high costs associated with building transmission lines, most wind projects are located within three miles of high-voltage transmission lines.
Also, land features (hills and ravines), vegetation, and nearby structures can affect how valuable a site is for wind energy development. In the Northeast, high hilltops, relatively free of trees and buildings, are favorable for a wind energy project. Factors such as the accessibility of the land for construction, soil type, and terrain impact construction as well as maintenance needs and costs. Environmental impacts related to view-sheds, noise, birds, wetlands, and historical preservation are crucial to the viability of a project and its community acceptance.
Two Forms of Payment
A farmer who signs a contract for the installation of a wind turbine on his farm land will typically receive two types of payments. The initial payments are a lease of the development right for the land. The leasing company locks up the right for a period of three to five years to start building wind turbines on the land. A 2009 report from North Dakota State University reports this option lease pays two to ten dollars per acre to the farmer. Once the company starts building a wind turbine, the lease changes to payments based on the electricity produced by the turbine.
Ongoing Wind Turbine Payments
The payment to a farmer for a completed wind turbine can be based on one criteria or a combination of several. One option is an annual payment based on the rated capacity of the turbine. Another is a flat annual payment per turbine. Some contracts include a payment based on a percentage of the value of electricity produced by the wind turbine. The typical length of a wind turbine contract with a farmer is 20 to 25 years. The contract should include an annual rate increase factor to insure the payments keep up with inflation.
Typical Wind Turbine Payments
The payments for a wind turbine will vary based on the location and the utility company. Here are some published payment amounts from different states. A wind turbine contract from 2009 in Indiana paid $1.10 per megawatt hour but not less than $3,500 per megawatt rated capacity per year. The North Dakota State University report listed payments of $4,000 to $6,000 per megawatt of rated power or royalties of three to five percent of gross electricity sales. A Penn State news release concerning farms in western New York quoted farmers being quoted $3,500 per two megawatt turbine per year plus royalties of four to five percent of the electricity produced.
Wind Turbine Considerations
Large commercial wind turbines have rated production capacities of one to two and a half megawatts. A farmer would earn $10,000 from a two-megawatt turbine with a $5,000 per megawatt per year payment. Wind turbine contracts are very long term and farmers should protect themselves against turbines not producing the projected amounts of electricity and the cost of eventual removal of a turbine. Turbine payments should have an indexing mechanism to allow payment amounts to increase in future years, protecting the buying power of the payments to the farmer.
How much does it cost to build one turbine?
Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3-$4 million installed. Wind turbines have significant economies of scale. Smaller farm or residential scale turbines cost less overall, but are more expensive per kilowatt of energy producing capacity. Wind turbines under 100 kilowatts cost roughly $3,000 to $8,000 per kilowatt of capacity. A 10 kilowatt machine (the size needed to power a large home) might have an installed cost of $50,000-$80,000 (or more) depending on the tower type, height, and the cost of installation. Oftentimes there are tax and other incentives that can dramatically reduce the cost of a wind project.
What is the benefit of wind power:
- The creation of wind energy is “clean”. Unlike the use of coal or oil, generating energy from the wind doesn’t produce pollutants or require any harmful chemicals.
- Wind is free. If you live in a geographical location that receives plenty of wind, it is there for the taking.
- As a renewable resource, wind can never be depleted like other natural, non-renewable resources.
- The electric company may end up owing you. If you generate more electricity than you need from wind power, it can be fed back into the grid and you’ll receive credit.
- The cost of producing wind energy has dropped significantly in recent years, and as it gains popularity, it will continue to become more affordable.
- You will recoup the cost of purchasing and installing your wind turbine over a relatively short period of time.
- Wind turbines can provide energy for many homes. You don’t necessarily have to own a wind turbine in order to reap the benefits; you can purchase your electricity from a utility company that harnesses wind energy.
- Tax incentives are offered for installing wind turbines on the federal and state levels.
- Land owners who rent land to wind farms can make quite a bit of extra money, and wind energy also creates new jobs in this growing technology field.
- Wind turbines are considered by some to be beautiful. The modern versions look nothing like pastoral Dutch windmills, but they are white, sleek and modern.
- Wind energy reduces our dependence on fossil fuels from foreign countries.
- Wind doesn’t always blow consistently, and turbines typically operate at only 30 percent capacity. If the weather is not in your favor, you may end up without electricity (or at least you’ll have to rely on the utility company).
- Severe storms or extremely high winds might cause damage to your wind turbine, especially when they are struck by lightning.
- The blades of wind turbines can sometimes be dangerous to wildlife, particularly birds.
- Wind turbines create a sound that averages around 60 decibels, and if you don’t have enough space to locate it away from your house it may prove to be a nuisance.
- Some people believe that wind turbines are unattractive, so your neighbors may complain.
- Compliance with city codes and ordinances may be bothersome when you are trying to install a wind turbine. In some cases, height restrictions may prevent you from installing one.
- Wind turbines and other equipment required to create wind energy can be very expensive up front, and depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a vendor and someone who can maintain the equipment.
- It requires a lot of open land to set up wind turbines, and cutting down trees sort of defeats the green purpose. Desirable areas to install them are often located far from dense urban areas that could benefit the most from their power.
- Wind turbines may interfere with reception for televisions or other equipment.
Summary from my point of view:
I am all for renewable energy, reducing oil dependency foreign and domestic, and creating more jobs, however while doing research on this piece something didn’t sit right with me. Many local people cite health issues about the noise of the turbines, the strobing effect of the turning blades, and the dominance they have on the land scape. While I have never lived close to a turbine I have lived by rail road tracks, freeways, football stadiums, and downtown areas and have learned to cope with the noises, lights, and smells with which these areas are associated. Esthetically I find turbines to be beautiful and majestic in their own right.
I support community’s right to have a say on whether or not their neighbors should build a 350 foot monolith that will shadow their land and create strobing effects on their windows and yard. If the community votes it in, stop complaining.
What concerns me is the fiscal push behind these farms. The farmers who lease their land really get nothing back when put in perspective what the utility is making. Also these are often government subsidized projects so taxes are building these wind farms at $3 million a turbine. If they build seven wind turbines that’s $21 million. The American government has spent billions developing this technology and millions subsidizing it. Imagine if the government had put that money into improving the average American home’s appliances, energy consumption reduction education, and solar panels on homes? While the government has spent money on the former, far more was spent on wind.
The utility companies are also very aware of how to make money hand over fist on wind. When a utility sells a wind farm to another utility its as if those turbines were just built and all tax breaks come flooding to the new owners even though they simply purchased used and likely outmoded equipment.
Much of the land wind farms are built on is simply leased. When these farms break down or aren’t viable anymore will these leases be renewed? Probably not and the farmers will be the ones left with massive concrete foot prints and huge structures towering over their land waiting to topple. The cost of deconstructing one of these things is astronomical. Moreover they are very difficult to fix since they can be 650 feet in the air. When they are hit by lightning they are allowed to burn until the flames die naturally raining fiery debris for miles, simply because you cannot put the fire out. They are just too tall.
It seems to me this tech will be obsolete rather quickly. From what I understand the first generation of turbines have already gone the way of the buffalo. Seems like a lot of money and materials for something that can’t be repurposed or even removed.
They also are very hard birds and the air pressure of the blades spinning at 150 MPH cause bat’s lungs to explode. Yes. EXPLODE. Hope everyone likes mosquitos. Maybe we can make renewable energy of the billions upon billions of the blood suckers when all their natural predators are dead or gone.
Lastly, wind turbines are the only power plants that draw off the grid. That’s right, they take power. There are a series of brakes to keep the rotors from spinning to fast or not at all. This means when the turbine is shut down because it’s broken or spinning faster than it can safely manage they put on the brakes and that energy comes from the rest of the grid, so while they operate at 30% capacity they waste energy when shut down or being regulated.
Clean energy is paramount to our survival, but wind turbines seem too costly, short-lived, and untested to warrant the amount of money, time, resources, and public discourse spent on them. We absolutely need renewable energy and wind may have some answers but lets rein it in a bit.
The real answer is to consume less. Do one thing today to keep the planet livable that much longer. Turn off lights, unplug unused appliances, ride your bike to work, bring a reusable bag to the market. A little everyday and it will become a lifestyle. That is the real answer to the energy issues we face today.
Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.
Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev (joe-HARR tsar-NAH-yev) was found hiding in a boat late Friday Night, about 26 hours after his picture went into circulation. The owner of the boat, who had been inside all day as per request of the Boston PD went into his driveway where he saw blood leading to his boat. He lifted the boat’s tarp to find Dzhokar lying covered in blood. He quickly went inside his house called the police.
Boston PD – “Over the course of the next hour or so we exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was inside the boat, and ultimately the hostage rescue team of the F.B.I. made an entry into the boat and removed the suspect, who was still alive,” Mr. Davis said. He said the suspect was in “serious condition” and had apparently been wounded in the gunfight that left his brother dead.
Federal lawenforcement officials said they did not plan to read Dzhokar his Miranda rights despite his citizenship invoking the public safety exception in order to question him extensively about other potential explosive devices or accomplices and to try to gain intelligence. The F.B.I. released a statement late Friday confirming it had scrutinized Mr. Tsarnaev but “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign.” It had requested more information from the foreign government, it said, but had not received it.
Tsarnaev is charged with detonating a weapon of mass destruction and maliciously destroying public property, capital offenses that carry the death penalty. He is currently in the hospital being treated for wounds sustained in a shootout with police last week prior to his capture.
He said “no” he was asked in his hospital bed if he could afford legal defense. Miriam Conrad is his public defender and heads the Federal Public Defender Office in Boston. Her resume includes defending “shoe bomber” Richard Reid in 2001 for trying to blow up a Paris to Miami jetliner. She and her team are highly qualified and skilled to defend one of the most hated men in America.
While there are outcries of terrorist and the call for torture by Republican Sen. Greg Ball, there is little to no evidence the brothers had affiliations with extremist group, Russian, Chechnen, or otherwise. Speculation has already begun and Senate is rethinking immigration laws and have introduced a reform bill six days after the bombing.
I strongly encourage people to wait for the facts. Resist the urge to demonize any larger group for these two young men’s actions. Hate and division is the last way the wounds ripped open on April 15th, 2013.