US, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain Launch Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

World • Views: 1,877

The US is reportedly launching airstrikes inside Syria tonight.

Republicans are on vacation. Enjoy your time off.

Monday Night Open Thread

A thread that is open for whatever
LGF • Views: 1,809

Yes, it’s an old school open thread like we used to have when the Internet was young.

St. Louis County Police Semi-Apologize for “How to Handle the Media” Flyer, Delete It From Their Website

“Make something out of nothing”
US News • Views: 4,248

The St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy has responded to the uproar over their course on how to handle media after an officer-involved shooting, and the instructor says he’s “outraged” that anyone would “read between the lines.”

Police Academy spokesman Brian Schellman sort of apologizes in the usual non-apology “if anyone was offended” way:

Schellman also issued the following statement: “Chief of Police Jon Belmar and his command staff were unaware of the flier and its wording until the subject was brought up by several members of the media. The St. Louis County Police Department recognizes the sensitive nature of this flier in the wake of Mr. Brown’s death, and the events that transpired in Ferguson. This flier has been worded in nearly the same manner for all of Mr. Rosenthal’s prior teachings at our academy, with the exception of the newly added lines referencing Ferguson. Being that the flier was sent by our police academy, we apologize for anyone hurt by the wording of the flier. We believe Mr. Rosenthal’s use of the terms ‘900-pound gorilla’ and ‘feeding the animals’ were mentioning police departments from across the nation dealing with the media and meant no racial harm.”

The instructor, Rick Rosenthal, focuses on the racially-charged language, denying he meant it that way — but completely missing the point that the entire idea of a “highly entertaining” course teaching police how to control and “handle” the media after gunning someone down is, in itself, pretty outrageous.

Rosenthal said that was nothing racial about his flier.

“It’s outrageous that someone would try to read between lines and make something out of nothing,” he said.

He also issued a statement, which read in part: “The term ‘feeding the animals’ is a tongue-in-cheek reference to dealing with mainstream news media reporters (the ‘animals’ - I used to be one, myself.) The term ‘900 pound gorilla’ is a similar tongue-in-cheek reference to news reporters, particularly those who aggressively strain the bounds of First Amendment privilege while ignoring their responsibilities for fairness and accuracy, especially as defined by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. I have been using these terms in my programs for the past 20 years. I strongly reject any suggestion that these terms are new, or are in any way a specific reference to the recent tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, or are in any way a racial slur. Any suggestion to the contrary is just plain wrong.”

It’s clear that the contentious attitude we saw from St. Louis police during the Ferguson protests was no fluke; it stems from an organization that sees itself in opposition to the community and to the media. And these statements do nothing to change that evaluation.

It’s unclear from these statements whether the course has actually been canceled, but the offensive flyer has now been removed from the St. Louis County website. Here’s a screenshot, for the record.

The Sick Mind of Jim Hoft: Publishing ISIS Propaganda to Attack Obama and Kerry

High fiving ISIS
Wingnuts • Views: 5,795
This man is not well

Jim Hoft isn’t just the Dumbest Man on the Internet; he also has a very sick mind. And today he demonstrates this fact by publishing ISIS propaganda directed at President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, because he obviously agrees with it. You can almost smell the glee in his grotesque post: ISIS Lashes Out at Kerry “The Uncircumcised Old Geezer” in Latest Audio Release | the Gateway Pundit.

When he isn’t doing his best to spread fear with phony stories about ISIS terrorists infiltrating from Mexico, or spreading racist hatred with his endless posts about “black on black crime,” he’s giving high fives to ISIS for insulting Obama and Kerry. This man is not well.

And you don’t even want to read what his incredibly vile commenters have to say about this.

Fox News Host on White House Fence Jumper: “BENGHAZI”

Stunningly stupid
Wingnuts • Views: 6,487

Media Matters

Good lord, the amount of idiocy in this clip from Fox News could power all the world’s idiots for years. Mind-bogglingly moronic. Astoundingly asinine. I don’t watch Fox News very much these days, I have to admit; is it always this stunningly stupid?

Lending her analysis to the case of the man who jumped the fence and ran into the White House this weekend, Fox dunderhead Harris Faulkner burbles, “I couldn’t help but let my mind just flow to something else”… and that “something else” is… yes, wait for it…


Right Wing Blogger Chuck C. Johnson Says He’s “Defying an Illegal Subpoena”

From the “Very Bad Idea” file
Wingnuts • Views: 7,168

Right wing smear merchant Chuck C. Johnson (who is NOT ME) has been accused of paying a shady witness to lie about participating in a vote-buying scheme purportedly orchestrated by the Thad Cochran campaign in Mississippi, and last month he was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury investigating the issue. In typical Chuck C. Johnson fashion, he posted the subpoena at his website even though it explicitly said he was forbidden from revealing its existence.

And today, this ace right wing “journalist” announced on Twitter that he’s going to defy the subpoena entirely, and refuse to appear.

This is not going to end well for him.

The Wall Street Journal Trots Out a Former Chief Scientist for BP to Argue Against Action on Climate Change

Just roll over and go back to sleep
Environment • Views: 11,410

As hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate across the world to demand action on the growing threat of climate change, the Wall Street Journal trots out the former chief scientist of BP, one of the world’s top fossil fuel producers, to say Climate Science Is Not Settled.

And the argument boils down to this: roll over and go back to sleep, everyone.

Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science itself.

Did I mention that the person described by the Wall Street Journal as “leading scientist Steven E. Koonin” was previously the “leading scientist” for BP — the company responsible for one of the worst oil spill disasters in history? I did?

Dr. Koonin was undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term and is currently director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University. His previous positions include professor of theoretical physics and provost at Caltech, as well as chief scientist of BP, where his work focused on renewable and low-carbon energy technologies.

Well, you should also know that Koonin is not a climate scientist. He’s a computational physicist. And this “do nothing” strategy is just the latest in a long line of conservative chicanery.

Also see:
The Link Between BP, Geoengineering and GM

Sunday Night Jam: Bob Schneider on Austin City Limits, “Bullets”

I can tell you where it is but I can’t tell you where it’s at
Music • Views: 10,155


With a massively funky horn section, here’s a good quality video of Bob Schneider on Austin City Limits more years ago than I like to admit, tearing it up with a live version of “Bullets.”

This episode of Austin City Limits was the first time I heard Bob doin’ his thang, and it turned me into a life-long fan.

Photos from the People’s Climate March in Manhattan

Mobilizing for action on climate change
Environment • Views: 13,975

A huge demonstration is taking place today in midtown Manhattan, expected to draw up to 100,000 people: the People’s Climate March, intended to focus the world’s attention on the need for action on climate change, as the disaster clock is ticking.

Here’s a good post at Think Progress on this event and the other events planned for the coming week: Everything You Need to Know to Attend the Biggest Climate March in History.

Here’s the hashtag you can follow on Twitter for more info as it happens: #PeoplesClimate.

STL County Police Academy’s New Course: How to Handle the Media After You Gun Down an Unarmed Teenager

US News • Views: 21,313

Sometimes you get a glimpse into a separate subculture that shows you how incredibly removed from the ordinary person’s experience its members are; for example, this new course being offered by the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, which promises to teach officers how to handle the media in situations like that, with topics like “Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla,” and “Feeding the Animals.”

This is not a parody, folks. Here’s the PDF: Mediashoot.pdf.


The shooting death of a black teenager by a white police officer on August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri and the events that followed were tragic. In addition to the Ferguson case study, this fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques that will help you WIN WITH THE MEDIA! It is practical training, not theoretical: Take what you learn and put it to work for you on the street right away! The training is also highly entertaining: numerous video clips illustrate key points, and there is NO PowerPoint! You will learn a lot, and you’ll have fun doing it! In addition to the detailed case study of Ferguson (including numerous practical tips for handling the media in an officer-involved shooting) topics will include:

  • Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla
  • DWI and the Media
  • Feeding the Animals
  • "No comment" is a comment
  • Don't Get Stuck on Stupid!
  • Managing Media Assault and Battery
  • Managing the Media When Things Get Ugly (think Ferguson)
  • Managing the Media in a Crisis (including lessons learned from the Newtown, CT school shooting.)

(h/t: @ShaunKing.)

UPDATE at 9/20/14 4:58:13 pm by Charles Johnson

In case the document suddenly disappears, here’s a screenshot:

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