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Posts from — September 2011

FYI

Most of you have seen the assault on the demonstrators by Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna. I say it was an assault because that’s what the New York State Penal Law says it was, and that’s what I would have charged if he had done it in front of me while I wore the uniform.

Now, as a Deputy Inspector he is a political appointee. Patrolman through and including Captain in the NYPD are civil service positions with testing, but ranks above that, and Deputy Inspector is the first rank above, are appointed.

In most departments in New York, the police union only covers the lower ranks. The upper ranks are considered part of management and have either a separate bargaining unit, or none.

From a procedural stand point, he had no business being where he was. The patrol officers were dealing with the situation, and he should have been directing activities, not getting involved.

Since he isn’t in a civil service slot, getting rid of him is simple, and it should be done for reasons of liability. The department doesn’t need the cost of the law suits, and there is no way of interpreting the ‘use of force’ procedures to justify what he did.

September 27, 2011   2 Comments

Israeli Negotiating

When the US and Europe talk about negotiations they seem to forget the daily process that is Israel annexing Palestinian land. CBS reports that Israel OKs 1,100 new homes in east Jerusalem. The Israelis keep talking about a moratorium on new settlements, and keep approving them. This is the reason the Palestinians have no confidence on the ‘peace process’, and see it as a stalling tactic by Israel while they occupy more land.

September 27, 2011   Comments Off on Israeli Negotiating

Banned Book Week

It is once again Banned Book Week, the American Library Association’s attempt to remind people that we are supposed to have freedom of speech in this country.

While most people assume that sex is the number one reason for banning a book, politics is really more common. The reasons behind the banning don’t have to make sense. A primary example is The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which was burned by the Nazis for promoting socialism, and banned by East Germany for being “inimical to communism”.

Locally the works of JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling have been attacked for promoting ‘witchcraft and Satanism’. If that weren’t silly enough, a local parent tried to sue a library because her child snuck into the Adult section of the library and stole a graphic novel that was very graphic. The suit was dropped when the library started talking about criminal charges.

September 27, 2011   6 Comments

Tropical Storm Philippe – Day 4

Tropical Storm PhilippePosition: 16.1N 37.0W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [300°] near 10 mph [17 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [ 80 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 175 Miles [280 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1006 mb ↑.

Currently about 865 miles [1390 km] West of the Cape Verde Islands.

It is weakening over cooler water, and the upper level winds could reduce it to a remnant low at any point.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 27, 2011   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Philippe – Day 4

Bad Ideas Never Die

The Republicans keep repeating them.

On a day when the most popular story around the world would seem to be Pink Floyd pig flies over London again, the College Republicans prove they don’t have a clue.

CNN reports that Pay-by-race bake sale at UC Berkeley still on, student Republican group says.

If the tactic seems familiar, it is because this is, as David Weigel notes at Slate, the Ninth Anniversary edition of this bit of racist theater. It is designed to invoke outrage so the College Republicans can prove they are victims.

Update: Oh, yes, according to the College Republicans this is satire, which people would understand of “they had a sense of humor”.

As this is taking place at a member of the University of California system, they should shut up and thank the state that there are quotas or all of the students would be Asian, based on entrance exams and academic records.

September 26, 2011   6 Comments

Tropical Storm Philippe – Day 3

Tropical Storm PhilippePosition: 15.9N 34.8W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northwest [315°] near 8 mph [13 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 50 mph [ 85 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 70 Miles [110 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1003 mb ↑.

Currently about 715 miles [1155 km] West of the Cape Verde Islands.

The storm is unlikely to get stronger as it is moving into a region with cooler water, and the wind shear will be increasing.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 26, 2011   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Philippe – Day 3

Tropical Storm Philippe – Day 2

Tropical Storm PhilippePosition: 14.1N 32.5W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northwest [310°] near 12 mph [19 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 70 Miles [110 km].
Minimum central pressure: 997 mb.

Currently about 545 miles [ 875 km] West of the Cape Verde Islands.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 25, 2011   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Philippe – Day 2

Post-Tropical Storm Ophelia – Day 6

Post-Tropical Storm OpheliaPosition: 18.5N 60.4W [ 4PM CDT 2100 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [290°] near 8 mph [13 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 35 mph [ 55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [ 80 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1010 mb ↑.

Currently about 145 miles [ 235 km] East of the Leeward Islands.

Ophelia has degenerated into a remnant low and this is the final advisory from the NHC.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 25, 2011   Comments Off on Post-Tropical Storm Ophelia – Day 6

Ouch!

CNN reports that Florida’s Repubs don’t like Governor ‘Goodhair’:

Orlando, Florida (CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign was dealt a worrying blow Saturday when he finished in a distant second place to businessman Herman Cain in a closely watched straw poll in Florida.

Cain won 37% of the 2,657 votes cast in the straw poll conducted at Presidency 5, a three-day convention sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida that brought thousands of party activists to Orlando.

Perry’s campaign had courted Presidency 5 delegates for weeks and printed up glossy fliers that were distributed throughout the convention hall in Orlando, but the Texas governor captured just 410 votes, or 15.4% of the vote.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finished third with 14%.

It’s all about fund-raising, and these results don’t inspire donors. The Repubs are running out of time to find a candidate that is acceptable to a majority of their party, without even considering a majority of voters in the general election.

September 24, 2011   6 Comments

The Sun Will Come Up

The BBC announces the obvious:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he has accepted a proposal to stand for president in March 2012.

Addressing the ruling United Russia party’s annual congress, Mr Putin and current President Dmitry Medvedev backed one another to switch roles.

The announcements end speculation over which man should run for the top job.

Everyone with two neurons to keep each other company, and is capable of locating Russia on a map knew that Putin was taking a break from the title of ‘President’ to show he wasn’t actually a dictator. Medvedev understands whose hand is on the detonator, so he pretended he was president for one term to satisfy the Russian constitution, which Putin allows to continue to exist for the look of it.

September 24, 2011   2 Comments

It’s Down

The satellite managed to come down, probably in the Pacific, and there are no reports of death or destruction — yet.

CBS reacted by bringing back a classic from Saturday Night Live [when it was funny] John Belushi reporting on the fall of Skylab as the science reporter of Weekend Update.

September 24, 2011   2 Comments

Tropical Storm Philippe

Tropical Storm PhilippePosition: 11.6N 28.8W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [285°] near 13 mph [20 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [ 80 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 45 Miles [ 75 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1006 mb.

Currently about 370 miles [ 595 km] Southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 24, 2011   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Philippe

Tropical Storm Ophelia – Day 5

Tropical Storm OpheliaPosition: 18.3N 58.4W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [295°] near 12 mph [19 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 45 mph [ 75 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 260 miles [415 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1007 mb ↑.

Currently about 310 miles [ 495 km] East of the Leeward Islands.

Ophelia is really struggling and could degenerate into a remnant low at any time.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 24, 2011   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Ophelia – Day 5

Neutrinos Break The Law?

The BBC reports on the possibility of a major problem for physics: Speed-of-light experiments give baffling result at Cern

Puzzling results from Cern, home of the LHC, have confounded physicists – because it appears subatomic particles have exceeded the speed of light.

Neutrinos sent through the ground from Cern toward the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km away seemed to show up a tiny fraction of a second early.

The result – which threatens to upend a century of physics – will be put online for scrutiny by other scientists.

In the meantime, the group says it is being very cautious about its claims.

“We tried to find all possible explanations for this,” said report author Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration.

“We wanted to find a mistake – trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects – and we didn’t,” he told BBC News.

“When you don’t find anything, then you say ‘Well, now I’m forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinise this.'”

We know that sub-atomic particles are weird, but if any of them can travel faster than light, it is back to the drawing board for a lot of what we think we know.

September 23, 2011   16 Comments