Russia has been preparing for this contingency for years - which comes as a surprise to no one who had been following the situation closely. While there have been howls from corners of Congress that the US intelligence community failed to see this coming, Russian contingency planning over Crimea has been known to the US government for at least seven years.
A Dec. 7, 2006 cable from the US Embassy in Kiev, leaked to Wikileaks by former US soldier Chelsea Manning, outlined the ways in which Russia - alarmed by NATO expansion to the east and afraid of Ukraine possibly joining the European Union - was setting the table in Crimea. Ukraine’s so-called Orange Revolution, which brought a government to power that looked west more than east, had happened just two years prior.
Russia had been busy in the meantime.
This is hilarious. You just have to watch it.
Obama can meta almost as good as Galafianaikis.
Too many zingers to list.
Launched in 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA started as a single pack of girls in Savannah, Georgia, meeting in the hopes of getting out of their “isolated home environments and into community service and the open air.” Founder Juliette Gordon Low, an artist and athlete, saw her personal mission in launching the troop as “to go on with my heart and soul, devoting all my energies to Girl Scouts, and heart and hand with them, we will make our lives and the lives of the future girls happy, healthy and holy.”
Since that first troop, tens of millions of girls have joined the scouts, forming friendships, earning badges for new skills and, of course, selling the Girl Scout cookies so ubiquitously linked in every person’s mind with the organization. Beginning in 1917, when the first cookies were sold by an Oklahoma troop in a local high school as a service project, troops now sell approximately 200 million boxes per year, resulting in around $700 million in sales.
It’s through these cookie sales that anti-abortion groups are making their voices heard. Dubbing their effort “cookie-cott,” abortion opponents have been urging allies to refuse to purchase cookies from any girl scout this year to show their opposition to what they perceive as the Girl Scouts’ increasing support of people and advocacy groupswith ties, however tendentious, to abortion.
When I saw this post over at Wonkette, I thought I just had to show Charles Johnson and Gus. I just wonder if and when they’ll make a Greenwald action figure.
Are you a grown-ass person that still likes to play with toys and pretend you are someone else? We really wish we could stop you from doing that. But since we can’t, why not consider fighting for freedom of the press or something like that, but in a really self-aggrandizing way by pretending you are Julian Assange and/or Edward Snowden?
An Oregon firm introduced an action figure of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. ThatsMyFace.com, whose catalog also includes Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, said that the 12-inch Snowden figure comes dressed in a blue shirt, casual trousers and black high-top shoes, but wardrobe options include a gray-striped business suit, Indiana Jones outfit and a combat uniform. It sells for $99.
To be fair, $99 is a very small price to pay to pretend you fled to Russia and are now addressing SXSW via eleventy proxies while living in Russia, land of the free and home of the brave.
Brazilian prodigy Gabriel Medina put together an impressive come-from-behind performance to win the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast over Joel Parkinson.
In an era when we’ve all got GPS in our pockets, OnStar in our cars and the NSA tracking anyone, anywhere, it is still possible-although rare-for an airliner to seemingly vanish.
That appears to be what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on Friday night. As of Monday, search and rescue teams from nine countries including the United States had not found any trace of the Boeing 777-200 or the 239 people aboard. There are many theories about what went wrong, but the airline, Boeing and investigators in Malaysia have so far refused to speculate or offer any insights.
Whatever happened, it happened quickly, aviation experts said, and catastrophically. The fact it happened over the ocean-presumably the South China Sea, but possibly the Gulf of Thailand-means it could be months or years before we know exactly what went wrong. The ocean is a very big place, and finding clues will be slow. It took investigators two years to recover the black box data recorder from Air France Flight 447, which went down over the Atlantic on June 1, 2009.
“The simple hard truth is it’s very difficult to find things in the water,” said retired Col. J. Joseph, a former Marine Corps pilot and aviation consultant.
I need to post this since I propagated the original Der Spiegle story here. This debunks the “European” linkage headlined in the story. All of the genes are Asian / Siberian in origin. H/T to Freetoken who pointed out the shoddy reporting back then in the comments.
It appears that the usual Solutrean Hypothesis / Solutrean Truther crowd at work, and underneath it all if you dig deep enough are lots of white supremacists who want to be able to designate the americas as a white homeland; because the Solutrean hypothesis posits that the original human settlers of the Americas were European instead of Asian. Any article linking American Native ancestry to Europe instead of Asia will draw them like flies and gain lots of hits, which is one reason some journalists propagate the long debunked pseudo-science hypothesis.
Unfortunately, the majority of media reports about the Clovis child’s genome chose to give undue weight to the Solutrean hypothesis and/or his “European origins”. I saw two major types of this reporting. The first, like this Reuters article presented the debate as if there were equal weight to both sides, an example of false equivalency that we see quite often in science coverage of controversial topics (and which I explicitly tried to warn reporters against when I was being interviewed on the subject). The second, like this article in der Spiegal “Montana Boy: Bones Show Ancestral Links to Europe”, emphasized the Anzick-1′s genetic affinities with the recently published genome from the ancient Siberian “Mal’ta child” (Raghavan et al. 2013) as evidence of European ancestry. (They specifically suggest that he may have German ancestry). That they chose to do so is puzzling. Shared ancestry between an ancient Native American and an ancient Siberian individual from the Lake Baikal region is a totally unsurprising result and fits within our consensus models for the peopling of the Americas. But Spiegal’s interpretation of this as a “European” connection to Native Americans is inaccurate. The Mal’ta individual shows shared ancestry with a broad distribution of Eurasian populations, not just modern Europeans. Furthermore, the Mal’ta child lived 24,000 years ago, and the genetic landscape of that time period was almost certainly unlike the genetic landscape of today. To say that the Mal’ta child was “European” is to inappropriately apply a modern description of genetic variation backwards to a time when genetic diversity patterns in Europe likely were very different: by that logic, it would be just as accurate to say that modern Europeans are “Siberian”!
Emphasizing the “European connections” to the ancient Native American genome seems at first glance to be a particularly bizarre approach, because the genome showed absolutely nothing new in this context; it fit all expectations for what Clovis genetic diversity should look like if the standard migration model from Siberia to the Americas (via Beringia) was correct. So why did they choose to report it this way?
More on the Solutrean Hypothesis from Skeptical Inquirer
Zimmerman has been doing everything that he can think of to build on the infamy that he gained from killing Trayvon Martin. Public outrage forced the cancelation of the celebrity boxing match that Zimmerman was scheduled to participate in. Almost no one showed up at his autograph signing. The message being sent is clear. Society is not going to let George Zimmerman build a career out of being famous for killing an unarmed teenager.
Most people if they were involved in an incident where they took the life of another human being would have the decency to express remorse. Most people would keep a low profile. Only the most sociopathic of individuals would look to take advantage of their notoriety. George Zimmerman is a killer without a conscience. He isn’t content with beating a murder charge.
There are in fact some things that members of Congress can agree on. With a vote of 97-0, the Senate unanimously approved a set of changes to the military’s sexual assault policies late on Monday night. The bipartisan bill composed by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), ends the time-old practice of using a “good soldier defense” in cases of assault. Here’s the AP:
The new legislation would change the military rules of evidence to prohibit the accused from using good military character as an element of his defense in court-martial proceedings unless it was directly relevant to the alleged crime. The “good soldier defense” could encompass a defendant’s military record of reliability, dependability, professionalism and reputation as an individual who could be counted on in war and peacetime.
McCaskill described it as “the ridiculous notion that how well one flies a plane should have anything to do with whether they committed a crime.”
It certainly made for a startling video: police, lights ablaze, pull up to local churches. Once inside, they march up to the pulpit and place the pastor preaching there under arrest, in front of the congregation. The men of the cloth are perp-walked out of the church with handcuffs on.
This very scenario created a brief uproar - first at the Akron, Ohio, churches where the “arrests” took place, and then around the country as word spread on social media - among Christians concerned that they were witnessing modern-day persecution.
It was, however, all fake - except for the uniforms of the arresting officers. Those were real enough - and that fact has raised eyebrows in the Ohio precincts where it all took place.
In fact, the mock arrests had been arranged ahead of time by the pastors themselves, who persuaded the Summit County Sheriff’s Department to participate in the stunt as a way of dramatizing and publicizing an upcoming community event called “Defending The Faith,” in which the pastors will face a mock trial and be forced to defend their Christianity.