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March 20, 2012 04:04 PM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

O masters, if I were disposed to stir

Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,

I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,

Who, you all know, are honourable men:

I will not do them wrong; I rather choose

To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,

Than I will wrong such honourable men.

–From William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar


59 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. sources of energy other than fossil fuels are available.  Other sources of air and water are not. Seems like a no brainer.  Why haven’t we been going full steam ahead for decades now, Apollo style, to develop an energy economy that doesn’t involve self destruction?

    1. There has been real progress though. Over at there are many well educated and industry insiders whoo discuss this all the time and provide more than ample research and data sourcing to support their findings.  

    2. It will take a bit of time, first to get the charger infrastructure in place and second it will happen as people buy new cars. And part of it will require waiting for the next generation of EVs including various types.

      Over the next 3 years we’ll see EVs of every type come out. They’ll be 2nd generation which will be a significant improvement. And we’ll have a critical mass of chargers (all paid for by Ralphie). And then the switch will accelerate.

    3. R&D adds to TC, but not necessarily to TR

      “full steam ahead” takes energy too. Check out the forests of our merry olde neighbors.

      Solar is the only thing that makes sense in the end  (fusion is solar – fission is suicide).

      And we’ll get there, following der Deutschelnad (uber alles)  and China.

      P = TR – TC

      P max =

      either  max TR – TC

      or TR- min TC

      or, max TR – minTC

  2. …and excellent blog post debunking most of what the mainstream media is regurgitating about his military and domestic life:

    Robert Bales is not the victim

    Major news outlets are trying to find an angle and lens from which to view this guy and I get that. But all that’s coming out are reasons why the Army is at fault for what happened – included some gross inaccuracies or outright lies, outlined here – and not SSG Bales.

    It seems there were a lot of factors that probably caused his state of mind that day – I can only guess that they include financial problems, TBI, PTSD, family stress, unhappiness with how his career was progressing – but most of those things fall on SSG Bales, not the Army. Could the Army have done some things differently? Undoubtedly – but stop blaming the Army for what this man did.

    Do your research, journalists, and stop making excuses for this guy. If the 16 dead were Americans, would we be doing this hand-wringing over why the Army screwed down the perpetrator?

    Being a soldier is hard and while command has many responsibilities, commanders are not responsible for everything. Hundreds of thousands of troops have gone through what SSG Bales has gone through – or worse – and none of them shot 16 Afghan civilians.


    1. ….because it’s starting to sound like their’s evidence that the Chain of Command knew SSG Bale had either physical or behavioral health issues, and deployed him anyway:

      U.S. military to conduct administrative probe into Bales, Afghan massacre

      The military will also conduct a separate investigation into the circumstances surrounding Bales’ assignment to the combat outpost in southern Afghanistan, the top commander for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan said Tuesday.

      The administrative review, which will take place separately from the criminal investigation, will be conducted by U.S. Forces Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen told the House Armed Services Committee.

      The investigation will consider how Bales was assigned and why he was assigned to the combat outpost, Allen said. “It will look at the command relationships associated with his involvement in that combat outpost,” Allen said.

      A defense official told CNN Tuesday that the military had not started the probe. “It is in preparation to start soon,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak on the record and asked not to be identified. “That is by design not to conflict with the criminal investigation.”

      The investigation will examine other administrative, training and command channels “to see if anything can be attributed to the incident,” the official said.

      Let’s see – the CDR of Madigan Army Hospital was relieved when news broke that the Command was discouraging diagnosis of PTSI. And the TBI screening facility is under Congressional investigation when it was discovered their accuracy rate in diagnosing TBI was less than 10%….

        1. SSG Bales was on his 4th deployment, and had a diagnosis for TBI and had other physical injuries. I suspect the Army is going to try and “lose” every single document that shows they knew he was injured and deployed him anyway.

          Future PV0 Hasan never deployed. And the Army tried to cover their ass by leaking every bad OER he had.

          But even then, they actually had an Article 32 hearing (with a real investigation) before they charged him, even with the overwhelming evidence. The Army barely knows what happened with SSG Bales, and they’re falling all over themselves to get the charges in place.

          and, you’re a dumbass.

    1. IIRC he has called 911 46 times since 2004.  You let a brainless, dangerous moron like this into a position of even basic authority, like neighborhood watch, they completley overstep their bounds, and you end up with a very good young kid dead.

      Very, very sad.

      1. In just over a year is what I recall hearing on the radio.  Impeccable source, that.

        Also pertinent is the new NRA promoted “stand your ground” law which doesn’t require one to avoid a confrontation before using deadly force.

        It sounds pretty sketchy to claim self-defense when the dead kid was yelling”help” repeatedly before being shot.

          1. Trayvon Martin was his name.  

            This from the Columbus Dispatch:

            By all accounts, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was a good kid. According to news reports, he helped his father coach little league baseball; he was good in math and dreamed of becoming a pilot. His high school English teacher described him “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.”

            He got an ice tea and had a bag of skittles in his hand because his little brother asked him to pick up some.  I hope that provides more context on how senseless and horrible this was.

          2. Martin’s cell phone. The phone company will have records of what time he was on it, the length of time and where which will validate his friend’s eyewitness account but where the hell is that poor boy’s phone?

              1. I heard it reported they didn’t have his phone but the police may be holding it as evidence. Rumors seem to be abounding without much confirmation so I’d like to retract that statement, that it’s missing.  

        1. Sanford police said Zimmerman has called 911 46 times since 2001, reporting disturbances, break-ins and other incidents. On nine different occasions, Zimmerman has reported a suspicious person.

          Worst case of police dropping the ball in recent memory. Thank God Brevard County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger announced a grand jury investigation. While he’s at it, he might want to take a look at the Sanford Police Department.

          This case makes me sick to my stomach, particularly after listening to Zimmerman’s 911 call. There’s some indication that he is using a racial slur under his breath at around 2:21 timestamp into the call.  

          1. You mean an indication like he says f***ing  *oons?

            He said it – it was recorded.  The recording is public.  It’s more than an indication.   It’s a declaration.

            1. The recording is a bit rough and hard to hear. And yes, I listened to the cleaned up version and that’s also what it sounded like to me. But that doesn’t mean you or I are right.

              And you know what? Whether he said it or not is just one more insult on a heap of insults to our system of justice and to Martin’s family.  He stalked this kid (even after the dispatcher told him not to), he hunted him down, cornered him and murdered him in cold blood. Martin’s family deserves justice and that’s what I’m concentrating on and hoping for.  

              1. Fair is calling like it is.


                Tell it to Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney.  Hell, tell it to  Fred Hampton.  Or the good folk of Rosewood, FL.

                A lynching is a lynching. And the moment that Zimmerman left his hiding place to follow/stalk Mr. Martin, that’s what this became.  

                I respect that you are trying to be …gentle.  But there are times and a place to stand and point – and this is one of those times.

                  1. that in the days before wall to wall media this would have just faded away when the local poice chose to just let it go. Too bad Florida’s stand your ground law makes it easier for paranoid vigilante types to blow people away with the excuse that they thought they were being threatened. Even so, the fact that Zimmerman had to stalk and corner Trayvon in order to kill him should work against his ability to get away with it now that the Feds are saying “not so fast” to the local authorities.


                    1. And, Zimmerman doesn’t even qualify as a vigilante. What “wrong” was he redressing?  There was no cattle rustling, no one’s family was wronged, no theft — zimmerman had no justification whatsoever to confront, or even follow this kid. Vigilante my ass. Sick, twisted racist dreg stalker hardly begins to describe this stain on humanity.  

                      I’m sorry I got started on this, because every minute I think about it, the angrier and sadder I get.   There’s a dead innocent kid who committed no crime,  and his killer walking is currently free — WTF, WTF. WTF?  There’s nothing that can be done to zimmerman at this point that’s going to provide any kind of “justice” for Trayvon.  Where is the justice that allows some kid, of any color, to become the walking target for a pistol happy wannabe gunslinger killer? There simply is no justice . . .  

                    2. Jonathon Capehart of the Washington Post lists the rules his mother taught him to follow as a young black man back in the 80s.  Among them, don’t run in public because that makes you suspicious.  Don’t run while holding anything. Someone will think you stole something.  Trayvon wasn’t even doing those things.  Just walking back to a relatives home in a gated community while black.

                      Many successful black professionals have stories of being stopped by police as suspicious in their own affluent neighborhoods, not in the far past but recently. Jogging (don’t run, son) or driving a high end car while black being the only source of suspicion. At least they weren’t chased down and murdered which is a far cry from standing your ground in the face of a threatening aggressor.

                      In France a gunman chased down Jewish children, including a 4 year old and a 7 year old, and then shot them in the head at close range.  The nation and world are in an uproar, the authorities doing everything they can to find and prosecute the guy who did it.  In Florida a racist thug chases down an African American teenager doing absolutely nothing that would be considered suspicious had he been white and the local police do nothing?  

                      As Capehart points out, we aren’t yet, even in 2012, as far from the horrific days of Jim Crow and lynchings as we’d like to think. At least we’re far enough so that, this time, the police aren’t getting away with letting the perpetrator off without so much as an investigation. That’s something and we have to make sure the pressure stays on.    

      1. I think we found us your Google linguist . . .

        Hes been stomping on him own dick.

        I told you it was:   “The boy has[Libertad’s] ball.”

        I’m reserving this one for some future sig line.  

            1. And thanks for supporting a very nice, non-chain, locally owned, not to mention Dem friendly, Littleton business. They were afraid of the local (The Tavern, metro area) chain that moved in across the street but are doing just fine. Best fresh cut fries anywhere in south metro. Nothing fancy. No hip spices to obscure the real deal. Just great, simple fresh cut fries like we used to get at the hot dog stand in the old Chicago neighborhood when I was a kid. Practically bring tears to my eyes.  

  3. Who’s your daddy?

    Are you an American citizen?

    Complications beset ‘posthumous conception’ case

    The Capatos married in 1999, and shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Because they feared that his treatments might leave him sterile, Robert Capato began depositing sperm at a sperm bank in Florida.

    He rallied at one point, and the couple had a naturally conceived son in 2001. But as his condition worsened, the Capatos began to talk about in vitro fertilization to give their son siblings. They signed a notarized statement that any children “born to us, who were conceived by the use of our embryos” shall in all aspects be their children and entitled to their property.

    But the provision was not included in Robert Capato’s will at his death in March 2002.

    After the twins were born, Karen Capato applied for Social Security survivor benefits. The Capatos’ naturally conceived son received the benefits; the twins did not. The administrative-law judge said the 1939 federal law looked to state laws to determine whether the benefit seeker is eligible to inherit property, and under Florida law, the twins were not eligible.

    In vitro babies denied U.S. citizenship

    Chicago native Ellie Lavi could not have been happier when she gave birth to beautiful twin girls overseas.

    She found that the U.S. State Department did not share in her joy when she went to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to apply for citizenship for her children.

    An embassy staffer wanted to know whether Lavi got pregnant at a fertility clinic. She said yes and was told that her children were not eligible for citizenship unless she could prove that the egg or sperm used to create the embryo was from an American citizen.

    “I was humiliated and horrified,” Lavi said. “We’re talking about the children I gave birth to. Of course they’re my children.”

    The incident points out what critics say is a glaring inequity in U.S. citizenship regulations. A child adopted overseas by a U.S. citizen is eligible to become an American, and a baby born in the USA is American even if the parents are not.

    1. … I thought the second was problematic – that if she was the mother, then shouldn’t her child be a citizen automatically?  But the excerpt makes it sound like she got implanted with a random egg/sperm donor set, not with her own egg.  So at worst wouldn’t that mean that the baby needs to be effectively adopted, and the State Department did the wrong thing in denying citizenship altogether?  At best she’s the effective mother and the child is born to her, so is automatically a citizen (unless there’s a problem with a conflicting foreign citizenship claim…).  There’s definitely room for some legal patch-up work in this case.

      The first case was heard before the Supreme Court today.  (Was the other one, too?)  The quote leaves out that the twins were apparently conceived after the death of the biological father, and to me that makes the difference.  The mother decided to have these children on her own after the fact, so to speak; absent some quirk in the law, I don’t see where they should receive SSI survivor benefits – they aren’t really survivors, after all.  Even with the notarized statement, even if it had been in his will, I don’t see how they are survivors.

        1. If, in the future, someone freezes their sperm and 200 years later someone uses it, do they still get survivor benefits?  Does a clone?

          I’m sorry – if they weren’t conceived by the time he died, they’re not really survivors.  They might be related, even his children, but they’re not survivors.

          1. as far as the survivor benefits go.  But it seems that a child born to an American mother ought to be a citizen even if the egg wasn’t the mother’s. If not, then the mother ought to be able to adopt the child she carried and take care of citizenship that way.  But I agree it isn’t fair to keep coming up wth new heirs to complicate the lives of heirs conceived during a father’s life time.  You’d have situations where somebody inherits and then 15 years later three more heirs are born claiming their share. How can anyone plan for that?  

          2. so play with me here — if the CO eggmendment nuts get their way then personhood is bestowed on fertilized eggs.  What if those fertilized eggs are packed away on ice for some future use by my great-great-grandsomething in a cryo center.  Let’s say some slacker 99%er janitor trips and unplugs that cryo freezer and all them eggs get defrosted.  That would mean the fine state of CO (or whatever we’re called in the future) gets to slap that slacker 99%er janitor with mass murder?  

  4. Poll for Faux News (no less) finds 59% of Latinos identify as Democrats with 15.9 self-diagnosed as Repugs and if they voted today it’d likely be Obama @70% to Romney@14% of the vote.  That’s one helluva beat down.  

    How did it all go wrong so fast?  Seems like just a day ago Mitt won over a majority of 132,000 Puerto Ricans on his side.  Hell he even said that his Puerto Rico win proved that Latinos like him (yeah that’s one way to spin it and just another outta touch Mitt-ment).

    Just what happens if Mitt can’t get even 15% of the Latino vote nationally?  You can read about it here & it don’t look good: Mitt Romney’s Latino problem, in charts and maps

  5. Once again, Rep. Cheri Jahn has demostrated that her primary constituency is business not people.  She sponsored HB 12-1115 which would have given busnesses –  and only businesses – the right to comment on legislation and have those comments included as part of the Fiscal Note.  Employees, labor unions, environmentalists and just plain people would not be afforded this right.  Fortunately, the Democrats on the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee stuck together and killed this one.

  6. Returns from 75 percent of Illinois’ precincts showed Romney gaining 47 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for Santorum, 9 percent for Ron Paul and 8 percent for a fading Newt Gingrich.

    That was a far more substantial showing for Romney than the grudging victories he eked out in the previous few weeks in Michigan and Ohio, primaries that did as much to raise questions about his ability to attract Republican support as to quell those questions.

    Santorum, who hopes to rebound in next Saturday’s Louisiana primary, sounded like anything but a defeated contender as he spoke to supporters in Gettysburg, Pa. He said he had outpolled Romney in downstate Illinois and the areas “that conservatives and Republicans populate. We’re very happy about that and we’re happy about the delegates we’re going to get, too.”

    “Saddle up, like (Ronald) Reagan did in the cowboy movies,” he urged his backers.

    Romney triumphed in Illinois after benefitting from a crushing, 7-1 advantage in the television advertising wars, and as his chief rival struggled to overcome self-imposed political wounds in the marathon race to pick an opponent to Obama.

    I guess that if even the whackjobs in the GOP don’t think it’s the best idea to tell spanish speakers to get “official,” or to have your preacher buddy doing your introductions telling non-Christians that they should leave this country, then it probably is time to “saddle up” Santorum?  (Don’t worry though, Santorum’s still got lots of women to denigrate . . . )

    In some related good news:

    The Republican presidential candidates are running low on campaign cash as expensive primaries in states like Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania loom, leaving them increasingly reliant on a small group of supporters funneling millions of dollars in unlimited contributions into “super PACs.”

    Mitt Romney raised $11.5 million in February but spent $12.4 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday. He began March with $7.3 million in cash, slightly less than in January.

    Rick Santorum raised more than $9 million in his best month yet, but spent $7.9 million; he ended with $2.6 million in cash, along with close to $1 million in debts, mostly associated with television and Internet advertising.

    Newt Gingrich raised $2.6 million, spent $2.9 million and had about $1.5 million in the bank, barely enough to keep his campaign going. He also began March with myriad debts totaling over $1.5 million for expenses like media placement, security services, salaries and airfare.

    but fear not (O&)Gopers, it’s Citizen’s United to the rescue:

    A reclusive Texas homebuilder who helped finance the “Swift Boat Veterans” attacks against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 contributed nearly half of the $6.4 million raised by a super PAC backing Mitt Romney last month.

    Bob Perry, owner of the Houston-area custom homebuilder Perry Homes and a longtime backer of conservative causes, gave $3 million last month to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, according to a report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.


  7. Goober in today’s CO mean that you think its fine to send false ‘election notices’ out to confuse voters–because one needs to protect ‘speech.’  But dain to vote with a name of Juan Rodriquez, and should there be another ‘Juan Rodriquez’ con ‘Green Card,’ then one or the other might well be a voter scofflaw and Both should be disqualified–or at least hauled up to Mr. Gessler’s office and made to recite passages from the Federalist Papers and properly place Kalamazoo on a map.


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