Remember when Philly coppers killed 11 – including 5 children – in a Black neighborhood?

Thirty years ago…in an act of state-sponsored terrorism, police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dropped powerful bombs on a home that served as the headquarters of the MOVE organization, resulting in the deaths of 11 people, including 5 children.

The MOVE organization was a Black liberation group that also exposed a radical environmental outlook. The organization and its members were seen as a thorn in the side of Philadelphia police and city officials.

Police and MOVE members had clashed before, resulting in the death of one police officer in 1978 and the imprisonment of 9 members of the organization for their role. That incident would pale in comparison to the events of May 13, 1985.

City officials, firefighters, and heavily-armed police arrived at the headquarters of the organizations, a fortified row house in a residential area of West Philadelphia. Police had come to arrest four members of the group for relatively minor offenses such as parole violations.

When members — who were adamantly opposed to police actions — put up resistance, police responded with startling brutality.

Firefighters attempted to flush people out of the building using powerful fire houses. When that didn’t work police fired tear gas into the building before firing thousands of rounds of live ammunition. None of those actions were successful. It was then that Philadelphia police commissioner George Sambor ordered a police helicopter to drop two bombs on the roof of the house.

The resulting explosion tore through the building and ultimately burned approximately 60 neighboring houses. Ramona Africa, one of two survivors, stated that police shot live rounds at people who attempted to flee the inferno.

The firefighters on scene were ordered to let the building burn.

Despite a commission ordered by then Mayor Wilson Goode that deemed the actions “unconscionable,” not one city official or police officer was ever prosecuted. A grand jury, steered by police-friendly prosecutors, cleared all involved of any criminal liability.

If we had a Justice Department and a President back then who at least allowed an investigation – do you think something might have been done? Something that had sufficient effect upon police violence to have prevented some of the murders of unarmed civilians by cops, nowadays?

Oil baron wants Oklahoma University to stop studying quakes, fire scientists

harold hamm

Oil tycoon Harold Hamm told a University of Oklahoma dean last year that he wanted certain scientists there dismissed who were studying links between oil and gas activity and the state’s nearly 400-fold increase in earthquakes, according to the dean’s e-mail recounting the conversation.

Hamm, the billionaire founder and chief executive officer of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources, is a major donor to the university, which is the home of the Oklahoma Geological Survey. He has vigorously disputed the notion that he tried to pressure the survey’s scientists…Hamm was quoted as saying…”I don’t try to push anybody around.”…

Yet an e-mail obtained from the university by Bloomberg News…says Hamm used a blunt approach during a 90-minute meeting last year with the dean whose department includes the geological survey.

“Mr. Hamm is very upset at some of the earthquake reporting to the point that he would like to see select OGS staff dismissed,” wrote Larry Grillot, the dean of the university’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, in a July 16, 2014, e-mail to colleagues at the university. Hamm also expressed an interest in joining a search committee charged with finding a new director for the geological survey, according to Grillot’s e-mail. And, the dean wrote, Hamm indicated that he would be “visiting with Governor [Mary] Fallin on the topic of moving the OGS out of the University of Oklahoma.”

Kristin Thomas, a spokeswoman for Continental, says the company has no comment.

Hamm’s meeting with Grillot resulted in no apparent changes at the university. Reached by telephone, Grillot confirmed his discussion with Hamm. He says…he never discussed Hamm’s displeasure with OGS staffers…”I didn’t want it to impact their day-to-day work,” he says. “Foremost for us is academic freedom.” Grillot adds that Hamm was not added to the search committee for the new OGS director…

Hamm has been a generous donor to the University of Oklahoma, including a 2011 gift of $20 million for a diabetes research center named after the oilman. University President David Boren, a former U.S. senator, sits on the board of directors of Hamm’s Continental Resources…

Scientists overwhelmingly attribute the sharp rise in earthquakes across swaths of the central U.S. to the oil and gas industry, primarily the deep underground disposal of vast amounts of wastewater, which is produced with oil and gas. The injected water can alter underground pore pressures and cause faults to slip…

In Oklahoma, where the number of earthquakes of a magnitude 3.0 or greater increased from an average of 1.6 a year before 2009 to 585 last year, researchers at the OGS have been slower than many others to draw a link between the industry and the earthquakes.

Nice to see that academic freedom is still respected in Oklahoma.

Is everyone confident things will remain this way? Hardly.

SuperMané gets fastest hat trick in Premier League history

Mane #3
Click for the videosorry about the commercial

Sadio Mané scores the fastest hat trick in Premier League history

Remarkable. Incredible. Amazing. There are perhaps no words to sum up what happened in under three minutes at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton on Saturday.

Sadio Mané scored the quickest hat trick in Premier League, as Southampton’s Senegalese forward netted three times in 2 minutes and 56 seconds of Southampton’s game against Aston Villa…

We couldn’t believe it while we watched it live, this morning.

Poor Tim Sherwood. One of our favorite managers – and Aston Villa performing like defense hadn’t yet been invented.

Feds OK $73 million settlement in New Mexico radiation leak


Visitors to Carlsbad, NM, in appropriate attire

In a landmark settlement, the Department of Energy has agreed to fund infrastructure projects in New Mexico worth $73.25 million to resolve fines connected with last year’s radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

The New Mexico Environment Department levied the largest-ever fines against the federal government in December – $54 million – over permit violations at the WIPP nuclear waste repository and Los Alamos National Laboratory after a drum of Los Alamos waste ruptured in February 2014 at WIPP, near Carlsbad. That released radiation into the environment and contaminated nearly two dozen workers.

The higher-dollar settlement resolves all violations linked to the radiation accident – both the initial fines levied last year and the threat of additional fines to come, said state Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn.

It’s the largest settlement ever reached between the state and DOE, he said…

The settlement will fund road, water and emergency management projects around the state, but most of the resources will be focused on the Los Alamos and Carlsbad areas…

Flynn also underscored that the settlement money “is not contingent on a future appropriation.”

“It’s not being diverted from cleanup budgets or the operational budgets of WIPP or Los Alamos,” he said. “It’s going to supplement the money we currently receive.”…

DOE’s own investigations into the radiation leak found dozens of deficiencies in safety, emergency response, training and communications at WIPP, the nation’s only deep underground repository for certain types of Cold War-era nuclear waste.

WIPP has been closed to shipments, leaving waste piled up at sites around the country, including Los Alamos.

Your tax dollars at work.

U.S. Geography of Odd Deaths

You’re more likely to be shot by accident and die in Alabama than anywhere else in the U.S.

Further west in Louisiana, it’s syphilis. Think you’ll escape the clutches of strange death further north? Septicemia, a bloodstream infection, claimed more lives per person in New Jersey than any other state.

That’s according to a report published…by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing the most distinct causes of death in each state from 2001 to 2010. Using a list of 136 ways to go, each state is labeled with a cause of death that was higher on average than the rest of the U.S…

The map glimpses at less-discussed causes of death. Without killers like cancer and heart disease, things start to look a little weird. In Alaska and Idaho, air and water accidents were the most distinct cause of death. Flu claimed more lives in northern states like Maine and South Dakota than anywhere else.

Some of the unusual ways to kick the bucket were due to occupational hazards. In the coal-mining states of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, black lung disease, or pneumoconiosis, and chemical effects stood out.

In New York and neighboring Connecticut, female pelvic inflammatory diseases top the list. In women who get sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, the infections can spread when untreated, causing death in some cases.

I live in one of the states where the most distinct cause of death was “legal intervention.” You may have reason to wonder what that might mean. RTFA.

I knew exactly what it was. Instantly.

USDOE tells Freeport LNG not to sell to Chinese customers – Free Trade, eh?

The U.S. Energy Department cautioned Freeport LNG Development LP against signing up Chinese customers for the company’s planned liquefied natural gas export terminal in Texas, Chief Executive Officer Michael Smith said.

“Early on in our project, we were quite frankly warned by the Department of Energy that it would not be looked at as politically correct for us to have a large Chinese customer,” Smith said…at the FT Energy Strategies Summit in New York. “One of the largest Chinese customers wanted a full train,” or processing plant, he said.

In return for signing LNG purchase agreements, Chinese buyers demand equity stakes, which they say are required by their lenders, Smith said. Aside from Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass terminal, which has an investment from a Hong Kong-based company, no U.S. export projects have disclosed Chinese customers…That contrasts with Canada, where Chinese investors are key backers of export projects.

A glut of natural gas production from shale reservoirs has spurred dozens of projects to export LNG. The U.S. may become a net exporter of gas by 2017, government data show. In China, the third-largest market for LNG, demand for gas as a cleaner alternative to coal and oil for power generation is rising…

The Energy Department has given final authorization to six projects, including Freeport’s, to export LNG to countries lacking a free trade agreement with the U.S…The only countries that can’t receive exports are those prohibited by U.S. law or policy, Lindsey Geisler said by e-mail.

If the department did advise Freeport not to seek Chinese customers, “the comment made by DOE was, in my judgment, ill-advised and probably made in the expectation of not being cited publicly, but perhaps to gently dissuade Mr. Smith from entertaining a Chinese terminal user,” Zach Allen, president of Pan Eurasian Enterprises, a…tracker of LNG shipments said.

Canadian LNG projects have attracted Chinese investors, who have bought gas supplies in the field and taken stakes in potential pipelines and shipping terminals. Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s project along the Pacific Coast counts China’s state-owned PetroChina Co. as an investor. CNOOC Ltd., another Chinese state-owned company, has a less advanced Canadian LNG proposal with Inpex Corp. and JGC Corp., both of Japan.

If you’re concerned about how Free Trade operates under the United States government, you can look at this tale as a classic example of our government as liars. Time after time, we get statements from the White House and Congress about China and other Asian nations – but, mostly China – needing to step up and spend their money in the United States. From Huawei to CNOOC, our government then steps in and tries to shut down business.

There is little or no difference between Conservative liars on committees controlled by Congressional Republicans and Liberal liars on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Fox News Station blurred out the nipples of $179 million Picasso

fox version of picasso

When a Fox news station reported on the record-breaking $179 million sale of Picasso’s Women of Algiers (Version O) at a Christie’s auction, it outdid itself by blurring out the abstract breasts in the painting.

After Fox5NY ran the story on Wednesday, several people took to Twitter to express their derision at Fox’s decision to censor a masterpiece firmly established of the Western canon of art.

New York magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz even weighed in, calling Fox News “sexually sick.”

Not only did the censorship reveal a perversion in how Fox views the human body, but blurring out the nipples inherently sexualizes and objectifies the female form, even in an abstract piece of art like this.

In response, some evoked the #FreeTheNipple campaign, an initiative to desexualize women’s breasts and allow women to reclaim ownership over their bodies. The movement was inspired by a film of the same name, which explored the legal double-standard in New York of men being allowed to expose their nipples while women can’t. It has transformed into an international campaign and is particularly popular in Iceland, a country known for its feminism, in the fight to make the treatment of men’s and women’s bodies equal…

Given how marginalized and objectified women are on Fox, it’s unfortunately not that surprising they decided to blur out the breasts on Picasso’s masterpiece. If you have kids, just make sure not to take them to any museums before they’re 18. By the Fox logic, it could really mess them up.

If you are required to redefine all life, lifestyle and politics, into terms acceptable to that small American minority whose ideology is stuck into the 14th Century this sort of result is predictable. And consistent.

How did identity thieves get passport data? From passport agency contractor!

Three women from Houston, Texas, stand accused of engaging in an identity theft scheme in which one of them, a contract employee of the Department of State Passport Agency, was in charge of stealing personally identifiable information of persons applying for a passport.

The information was then used to create counterfeit identification documents, which the other two women would use to successfully impersonate the affected individuals in order to fraudulently obtain commercial lines of credit and to purchase iPhones, iPads and other electronic merchandise.

This scheme went on for over five years.

There are no more details about how Chloe McClendon, the Passport Agency contractor, exfiltrated the personal data in question, but according to The Washington Post, the US Passport Agency has decided last month to ban both federal employees and private contractors from bringing devices equipped with a camera into the offices where they review and process requests for passports…

Technically, banning devices with cameras won’t stop determined insiders from stealing information.

No surprise. The majority of cases like this stem from a disgruntled employee or a plant.

Another problem in this particular case might be cost cutting. According to Rob Arnold, in the last few years the Passport Agency has been employing contractors to do jobs that used to be higher responsibility government posts.

Life with beancounters in charge of Congress produces exactly the most predictable result.