I was talking the other day with my sister and the subject of thunder storms came up. We have them up here in Ohio but not like the kind we had in Florida. Not by a long shot. From mid June or so until around the end of September, sometimes later, we had nearly every day in the afternoon local thunderstorms generated by by the sea breeze from the gulf and Atlantic.
I mean these suckers could be very intense. With frequent lightning and very heavy rain and some winds approaching tropical storm strength, at times. Getting off of work it could be a challenge to make it to my car at times without getting struck. Dodging the lightning bolts and down pours. It was not unusual for roads and parking lots to become flooded and at least once it rained so hard and long that the water backed up at the University and caused some damage to one of the class room buildings. Causing it to be lifted out of the ground about six inches.
Most people think of Florida with Hurricanes and tropical storms but just our local storms can cause havoc at times. With them lowering the viability to just a few feet, if that. Then just like that they would be gone.
It was not uncommon for houses and apartment to be struck by lightning and the one I lived in was hit a number of times, causing the whole building to shake. It could sound like artillery fire, it was so loud.
I oft times think the people up here in Ohio don’t know what a “Real thunderstorm” is like.
Joe Walsh won’t be home for long after the Eagles finish their summer tour.
Walsh has announced a run of solo tour dates that will keep him on the road for at least a month this fall, starting with a Sept. 18 performance in Warren, Ohio, and continuing through Oct. 17 in Boston. Fans who turn out can reportedly expect a career-spanning set that will include favorites from Walsh’s solo records as well as his outings with the James Gang, Barnstorm and the Eagles.
“I’m going back in the catalog to dig out some songs that I haven’t ever played live, but everything everyone’s coming to hear will also be in the show,” says Walsh in a press release. “I’ve got a great band and I’m excited to play with my old friend Joe Vitale again. I also love being able to go into smaller venues. I’ve missed it. … The interaction with the audience is much better, everybody has a good seat and it reminds me of the old days. I think I play my best in a small venue when the bass drums are kicking me in the pants. I’m really looking forward to it all.”
Along with Vitale, Walsh will be touring with new guitarist Gannin Arnold, as well as bassist Tommy Sims and Foo Fighters percussionist Drew Hester on drums. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale to the general public starting July 31, after Joe Walsh Fan Club members get first dibs via a pre-sale that’s set to begin on July 28. For information on how to join Walsh’s fan club and additional tour details, visit his official site.
NEW YORK – The United States faced criticism on Monday over claims that it condoned Turkish strikes on Kurdish militants as a quid pro quo for Ankara’s boosted support against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said it was a “coincidence” that Turkey had launched strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets at the same time that Ankara increased its role in the US-led military coalition against IS.
“There’s no connection between what they [Turkey] did against PKK and to what we’re going to try to do together against ISIL,” Kirby told reporters in Washington, using an alternate acronym for the Sunni fighters.
He said Ankara had acted in “self-defence” against the PKK, which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state partly from bases in northern Iraq and is listed as a “terrorist” group by Turkey, the US and the European Union.
American officials say that the US and Turkey are working on military plans to clear IS from stretches of northern Syria and carve out an “IS-free zone” that would bring more stability to the Turkey-Syria border.
Under an agreement that is reportedly being agreed between the NATO allies, IS would be expelled from a 109km stretch west of the Euphrates River, according to the Washington Post newspaper.
The discussions follow a big shift in Ankara’s approach to IS over recent days in which Turkey – which was previously reluctant to intervene in Syria – has launched raids against IS and permitted US warplanes to use a Turkish military base.
The Turkish strikes have raised tensions with Kurdish militia forces fighting IS in northern Syria and, on Monday, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said Turkish tanks had shelled their forces near the border town of Kobane. Turkey said it was investigating the claim.
At the same time, Turkey has struck PKK militants in northern Iraq. It follows a week which saw a bomb attack blamed on IS kill 32 people in Suruc, Turkey, and the PKK reportedly kill two Turkish police officers in retaliation for the blast and what it sees as Turkey’s collaboration with IS.
Police have detained more than 1,000 people across Turkey in nationwide raids against militants since last week, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said. He did not say how many were suspected PKK fighters and how many are accused of belonging to IS.
According to Edmund Ghareeb, author of The Kurdish Question in Iraq, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken advantage of a crisis following his Justice and Development (AKP) party’s poor showing in last month’s parliamentary elections.
“By changing his strategy, Erdogan is doing several things at the same time. He wants to placate Turkey’s army, which eyes him with suspicion, and to prevent the unification or expansion of the two Kurdish cantons within Syria,” Ghareeb told Middle East Eye.
“He’s mobilising nationalist forces in Turkey, particularly as there could be new elections on the horizon, he’s attacking the PKK in Iraq, which he sees as his biggest threat, and getting Obama and the West back on side by fully participating in the war against IS.”
According to Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network, US support for Turkey is risky because it sets Washington against the PKK and the YPG, two linked Kurdish groups that have been useful allies against IS.
“It looks like Washington gave Turkey a green light to drop bombs on PKK Kurds in Iraq so the US can work with Turkey to eliminate IS in Syria. But this conflicts with another US interest: working with the YPG and PKK, which have been their most effective boots on the ground against IS,” he told MEE.
And, according to Xulam, US President Barack Obama may have chosen the wrong partner.
“Obama thinks he can contain the situation with Turkey’s help, but that’s like mopping up with a dirty cloth. Turkey has its own agenda. The daily bomb attacks that we see in Iraq and Syria we will start seeing weekly in Turkey,” he told MEE.
“The demographics of Iraq and Syria are really not so different from Turkey, and this is propelling the country ever-further into a perfect storm.”
Other analysts agree that Turkey and the US make convenient bedfellows but have divergent agendas. Hussein Ibish, a scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, said Ankara is more interested in defeating the PKK than IS.
“Turkey has pledged to establish a safe zone in northern Syria, under the rubric of its intervention against IS. But one of its primary aims will be to deny the YPG control of a large, contiguous area across the soft Turkish underbelly near its own restive Kurdish areas,” he told MEE.
“In effect, Turkey had relied on IS to deny this to the PKK by holding the territory. Not only is IS attacking inside Turkey now, perhaps even more significantly it is failing to prevent the PKK, Ankara’s main enemy, from expanding into that area.
“Turkey is therefore preparing to push IS aside and do the job itself.”
Mike Huckabee told Breitbart News that President Obama is “naive” and that by doing the deal with Iran, “he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Politico reports,
The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitism, immediately denounced Huckabee’s language.
“Whatever one’s views of the nuclear agreement with Iran — and we have been critical of it, noting that there are serious unanswered questions that need to be addressed — comments such as those by Mike Huckabee suggesting the president is leading Israel to another Holocaust are completely out of line and unacceptable,” ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “To hear Mr. Huckabee invoke the Holocaust when America is Israel’s greatest ally and when Israel is a strong nation capable of defending itself is disheartening.”
Huckabee refuses to back down from his insanely stupid and offensive statement.
Then along comes Jeb Bush: After criticizing US workers for not working hard enough, even though their productivity has increased as their incomes have fallen while the rich, including Bush, have gotten richer without working, he stepped in it again saying he wants to get rid of Medicare and replace it with vouchers, a remarkably bad idea pushed by Paul Ryan. A Bush spokesperson tried to clean up his mess by saying Bush only meant to say he wanted to raise the age of eligibility. Paul Krugman figuratively slammed him up against a wall today by noting,
There are two things to say about this claim. First, it’s clearly false: in context, Mr. Bush was obviously talking about converting Medicare into a voucher system, along the lines proposed by Paul Ryan.
And second, while raising the Medicare age has long been a favorite idea of Washington’s Very Serious People, a couple of years ago the Congressional Budget Office did a careful study and discovered that it would hardly save any money. That is, at this point raising the Medicare age is a zombie idea, which should have been killed by analysis and evidence, but is still out there eating some people’s brains.
On July 9, just a few days after swimming in Minnesota’s Lake Minnewaska, 14-year-old Hunter Boutain was dead. Doctors believe the culprit was the water-dwelling amoeba Naegleria fowleri. Some people know it by another name: the brain-eating amoeba.
It’s the stuff of horror films: The tiny amoeba crawls up the nose to the brain, where it wreaks havoc, killing 97 percent of its victims. But while the amoeba is certainly devastating for the small number of people it infects, calling it a brain-eater may not be quite right. The immune system’s response to infection — not the amoeba itself — is the real killer, some scientists suspect.
DENVER — The death of a Rosebud Sioux man in Denver earlier this month is a painful reminder that police shootings are not limited to any one part of the United States, and certainly not just to places that received mainstream media attention after recent killings.
On July 12, Lynn Eagle Feather called police for help with her schizophrenic son, Paul Castaway. Witnesses and police give conflicting accounts of an incident that quickly spiraled out of control. Officers shot Castaway multiple times while he held a knife to his own neck. He died the following day at an area hospital. Police say they shot in self-defense, but witnesses and Castaway’s family disagree.
As his family struggles for justice, a diverse coalition of protesters from the American Indian Movement to local groups like Denver Community Defense Committee are working with the families of the victims of Denver police brutality. They’re hoping to draw attention to a largely overlooked epidemic of police violence that rivals other cities like Baltimore or New York City for its ability to destroy lives. Now, police are targeting activists and journalists who support them with arrests and even violence.
‘What’s wrong with you guys?’: The death of Paul Castaway
In a conversation with MintPress News last week, Lynn Eagle Feather told MintPress that she wanted police to force her son to calm down and rethink his actions. She says she never intended to risk his life.
“Usually I can control him, and talk him down,” Eagle Feather said by phone last week. That night was different, though. Paul Castaway seemed especially haunted. Eagle Feather snuck out of her house and called 911, because, she said, “I thought if I filed charges, he’d understand that he can’t act like this.”
Not only did she inform the officers and 911 of his mental illness, but Eagle Feather also added that police in her district had encountered him before and should have been familiar with his condition. She also denied police claims that Castaway stabbed her. She said officers saw her neck that night, which didn’t require medical care and shows no sign of injury today.
A transit police officer in Cleveland pepper-sprayed a group of people on July 26 at a bus stop across the street from Cleveland State University. It was about an hour after the Movement for Black Lives gathering concluded.
Video captured by Twitter user @KentaviousPrime shows the white officer in the street rushing into a crowd. He sprays the canister at everyone nearby until it is empty.
The Cleveland transit police apparently believed a 14-year-old black boy was “intoxicated to the point where he was unable to care for himself.” Officers slammed the boy to the ground, detained him, and angered the crowd, which included activists leaving the gathering. The boy was put into a police car, which the crowd surrounded to stop police from taking him.
According to activists at the scene, the boy had a Snapple drink. This was probably the open container the police seized upon as justification for making an arrest.
None of the witnesses at the scene corroborated the police claim that the boy was drunk.
A statement from the transit police declared, “A transit police officer used a general burst of pepper spray in an attempt to push back the crowd, to no avail.”
Shooting a stream of pepper-spray, especially about an hour after a major conference of freedom fighters, could never be reasonably expected to contain or control a crowd. The one officer spraying is terribly reckless in his attempt to drive people away from the scene, and, as transit police seem to admit, the pepper-spray only inflamed the situation more.
“I was told the police are pepper spraying people down the street, and I’m seeing people run for milk so they can be protected from pepper spray all because people are asking what happening to a young man,” said Rhonda Y. Williams, history professor at Case Western Reserve and member of the Cleveland Eight. “When we have an officer who comes out of nowhere and is pushing people and then takes out and just starts spraying with his pepper spray, that’s not deescalation.”
Another weekend gone, but it was a nice weekend. I bagged 20+ 40gal trash bags with cut grass and other lawn trash. You don’t realize how much is there until you have to pick it up!
Speaking of picking it up….
The discussion of a Dead Pacific begins to get traction. I was initially hesitant about including things here that could be climate change related, but there’s no evidence of changing water temps in the area in question at all. The sea creatures have now had several generations of bathing in hot water and it looks like the response is no more breeding.
I’m glad that the United States and Iran reached an agreement in Vienna after nearly two years of negotiations and 35 years of enmity. A failure to do so under present political conditions would certainly have left a festering conflict with unpredictably bad consequences. And the successful negotiation of such a far-reaching agreement in which both sides made significant concessions should help to moderate the extreme hostility that has been building up in the United States over the years.
But my enthusiasm for the agreement is tempered by the fact that the US political process surrounding the Congressional consideration of the agreement is going to have the opposite effect. And a big part of the problem is that the Obama administration is not going to do anything to refute the extremist view of Iran as determined to get nuclear weapons. Instead the administration is integrating the idea of Iran as rogue nuclear state into its messaging on the agreement.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday makes the administration’s political strategy very clear. In two sentences, Kerry managed to combine the images of Iranian-supported terrorism and sectarian violence across the entire region and Iranian determination to get nuclear weapons. He told the Committee about the administrations plans to “push back against Iran’s other activities – against terrorism support, its contribution to sectarian violence in the Middle East,” which he called “unacceptable”. Then he added: “But pushing back against an Iran with nuclear weapons is very different from pushing back against Iran without one.”
The administration’s determination to be just as alarmist about Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions as its opponents creates a US political discourse on the Iran nuclear issue built around two dueling narratives that disagree about the effect of the agreement but have one politically crucial common denominator: they both hold it as beyond debate that Iran cannot be trusted because it wants nuclear weapons; and the only question is whether and for how long that Iranian quest for nuclear weapons can be held off without war.
The Israeli line is that the agreement is merely a temporary lull, and that it will simply embolden Iran to plan for a bomb once the agreement expires ten years hence. But for the administration’s tough-minded diplomatic efforts, Iran would have continued advancing towards getting a nuclear weapon, and that the only alternative to the agreement is war with Iran. (more…)