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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Angie Drobnic Holan, Aaron Sharockman on Monday, December 15th, 2014 at 3:08 p.m.
"Yet fear of the disease stretched to every corner of America this fall, stoked by exaggerated claims from politicians and pundits. They said Ebola was easy to catch, that illegal immigrants may be carrying the virus across the southern border, that it was all part of a government or corporate conspiracy.

The claims -- all wrong -- distorted the debate about a serious public health issue. Together, they earn our Lie of the Year for 2014." read more

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's a long-held sexist stereotype. Now, the prestigious British Medical Journal, no less, asserts that there's truth to it: Men really can be idiots.

In fact, in a study released December 11, the authors reveal to the world their new "Male Idiot Theory," or MIT: "Men are idiots, and idiots do stupid things." read more

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The infamous Helter Skelter killer Charles Manson, 80, has been granted a license to marry a 26-year-old woman who has been visiting him in prison. The marriage licence was issued 10 days ago for Manson and Afton "Star" Elaine Burton, a woman who moved to Corcoran, California, nine years ago to be nearer Manson's prisons. Manson is serving a life sentence for the murders of seven people and one unborn child in Los Angeles in 1969. Burton told AP she and Manson would marry next month. "Y'all can know that it's true ... It's going to happen," she said. "I love him." read more

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A New York doctor has recovered from Ebola and is scheduled to be released from the hospital Tuesday. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs the city's public hospitals, said Monday in a written statement that physician Craig Spencer "has been declared free of the virus." Spencer, who treated Ebola patients in Guinea while working with Doctors Without Borders, "poses no public health risk," the statement said. Nearly three weeks after Spencer tested positive for the virus, no one else has become sick. He was the last person being treated for Ebola in this country. read more

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners has, again, prohibited atheists from giving an invocation before meetings -- only this time, it claims that the Supreme Court has endorsed its decision to discriminate.

In August, the board voted unanimously to deny atheists the opportunity to deliver invocations or supplications before city meetings.

According to their decision, the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC) could only speak during period in the evening devoted to "Public Comments." read more


"44. You really don't get it do you? Both baden and the city ME came to the same conclusion that it was an aggravation of his health that caused his death. Yes breathing was restricted but he did not die from lack of breathing. Furthermore do you honestly think anyone who refuses to submit while talking is in danger? No no reasonable person would. See tragedies happen it sucks but it is life, not all deaths have to be murder. Look at what the autopsy report actually says not just what people looking to use a situation to their advantage say it says.
#46 | POSTED BY SALAMANDAGATOR AT 2014-12-06 01:37 PM"

What's to get?

You state that it's significant that Mr. Garner could talk, but I supplied a detailed explanation on how it is possible (even likely!) for that to occur and have Mr. Garner unable to get adequate air. The key here is ADEQUATE. It IS possible to speak and NOT get adequate air. What I do get is that you have not acknowledged, nor addressed, that basic fact. As to the struggling: what is so difficult to understand? I suspect every person (or any air-breathing creature) will struggle when they don't get enough air. They might even struggle as if their life depended upon it!

If your point is that Mr. Garner wasn't in top physical condition, I think all would concur with that. However, isn't that just all the more damning for these police officers to use this amount of force? The NY Police department banned the use of the chokehold IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES over twenty years ago. The use of a chokehold was banned even earlier UNLESS the officer's safety was in danger. So WHY was it OK to use it this time on a "not-so-healthy" individual?

Meanwhile: the autopsy report states this was a homicide. Not all homicides are murder. What's your point? "Look at what the autopsy report actually says not just what people looking to use a situation to their advantage say it says.". Now THERE is irony! The overall point is that it is disingenuous to claim that a grand jury does not have a vested interest when considering action that involves a police officer. What is also apparent, in this case, is that a webcam record and the autopsy report were not sufficient to result in an indictment.

"Apparently you never had brothers. What they did would not have injured a normal person. If you can speak you can breath, it's a simple concept.
#40 | POSTED BY SALAMANDAGATOR AT 2014-12-06 12:04 AM"

Not this ridiculous talking point AGAIN!

Obviously if air does not move passed one's vocal chords, then there can be no sound/speech.

HOWEVER, this analysis is overly simplistic as it ignores a basic fact: it is possible to expel air OUT of one's lungs with MUCH more force than one can inhale air INTO one's lungs. The inhalation pressure is limited by the ambient atmospheric pressure (less than 15 psi at sea level). The exhalation pressure is only limited by the volume of the lungs and the muscle strength to contract that volume. Unknown what the capability this particular individual had to force air out of his lungs, but a ten times (or more) greater pressure is not unusual.

Bottom line: it is much easier to force out of one's lungs than it is to draw replacement air back into one's lung's. It is entirely possible to have a situation in which one has their air supply being partially cut off while being choked such that they are able to force out some air to exclaim that they can not breathe, but then can not draw sufficient air back into their lungs. This can even be done repeatedly, but the downside is there is a limited supply of air in one's lung and that each exclamation comes at the price of having less and less air available in one's lungs to keep them alive. Imagine the terror one must experience as they become aware that they are not getting enough air back into their lungs and the only thing they can do is "waste" what little air they have remaining to plead for having their airways re-opened to permit an adequate supply of air to come back into their lungs.

RE: #74 | POSTED BY DIXVILLENOTCH AT 2014-12-01 12:18 AM

"It's not pure speculation since you've detailed the timing pretty well. While possibly consistent with the physical evidence --that's a pretty quick turnaround and surrender you're trying to wedge in there in the extra 0.2 seconds between the first and second shot. Also, your scenario is not consistent with any of the witness statements."

It's not necessary to wedge the turnaround and surrender only into the interval between the first and second shot (which is 0.507 seconds). It's only necessary for one shot to hit the front of Michael Brown during the first volley. That time period is almost two seconds (1.707 seconds). That's plenty of time for a person to react instinctively, stop, and turn around. The scenario I described suggested that the first shot instigated the reason for Michael Brown to stop and turnaround, but it's also quite possible that he could have stopped and turned around anytime during the first volley to set up a situation in which he could get hit by a bullet from the front.

As for any witness discrepancies: several witnesses initially claimed that Michael Brown was shot in the back. Some (all?) of those witnesses later changed their story after the autopsy report was released showing all the bullet wounds on Michael Brown were from the front. It's not unusual for a witness to modify their story to match subsequent evidence ("testifying to the evidence"). The witnesses may have assumed that Michael Brown had been shot in the back, not realizing that it was also possible that all (if there were any) shots fired at his back could have missed. As time passes, a witness will even talk themselves into something they "saw" that they really did not see. That is one of the reasons why it is critical to document witness testimony as soon as possible after an event. BTW, it's interesting to note that Darren Wilson's testimony was provided weeks after the event and had the benefit of knowing the physical evidence and having legal counsel. Also, Darren Wilson's testimony was not subjected to cross examination. It's therefore not surprising that Darren Wilson's testimony was clear and consistent.

Again, I'm not saying this is what actually happened. It is just a plausible scenario that fits the evidence as has been released so far.

As long as I'm speculating:
There are some illogical aspects of the events as described by Darren Wilson. Let's review the circumstances: Michael Brown is running away from the police car after an altercation with a police officer. He is wounded and even though the wound is not life-threatening, he knows the wound definitely 'branded' him as being involved in an attack on an officer. He also knows the police officer is armed and willing to use deadly force. Michael Brown then does something logical: he flees as fast as he is able to flee given the wound and lack of shoes. He actually succeeds in putting about 150 feet between himself and Darren Wilson. It's not much, but it greatly increased his chances of not being shot again and/or arrested (at least for the moment). So, WHY then does Michael Brown stop, turn around and come back towards Darren Wilson? Certainly Michael Brown knows that he does not have any weapons, that he has loss the effective use of one hand, and that he isn't even wearing shoes that would permit him to deliver a substantial kick. Michael Brown also knows Darren Wilson does have a loaded gun and he is willing to use it. Meanwhile, Darren Wilson knows (according to his own testimony) that Michael Brown is wounded, and that Michael Brown does not have a weapon (or, at least, he is not inclined to use whatever weapon he might have) and is busy running down the road in essentially bare feet. This does not sound like a situation that would support Darren Wilson's claim (as he testified) that he had to use deadly force to defend himself.

RE: #61 | POSTED BY DIXVILLENOTCH AT 2014-11-30 12:30 AM

Thank you again for providing a link to a graphical display of the "Astro Glide" audio tape (BTW, the graph in the link was limited to only the ten shots outside of Darren Wilson's patrol car). Astro Glide has gone on record stating that their analysis indicated that the location of the shooter did not change by more than a foot or so during these ten shots.

NOTE: I make no claim regarding the accuracy of Astro Glide's audio data graph, that you provided, and simply analyzed it as if it were "OK".

Quickie summary of facts:
1. Total time interval from first shot (#1) to last shot (#10) is less than seven seconds (6.440 seconds).

2. First volley [six shots] duration: less than two seconds (1.707 seconds).

3. Second volley [four shots] duration: less than two seconds (1.680 seconds).

4. Pause between first volley and second volley: about 3 seconds (3.053 seconds).

Several observations:
1. Generally, the first volley's six shots were fired in rapid succession with one variation: there's about a half second interval between shot #1 and shot #2 (0.507 second). The following five shots (#2 - #6) were fired in more rapid/consistent succession: five shots in just over one second (1.200 second) at an average interval of 0.300 seconds between shots (the interval variation was only between 0.280 and 0.360 seconds). I suspect that shooting at a rate of three shots per second is probably about as rapid as one could reasonably fire this particular gun if one were to concentrate more on rate of fire rather than accuracy (especially under these circumstances).

2. Generally, the second volley's four shots were fired at a slower rate had an interesting variation: there's nearly one second between shot #7 and shot #8 (0.933 second). The following three shots were fired in less rapid/consistent succession: three shots in just under one second (0.747 second) at an average interval of 0.374 seconds between shots (and the variation was between 0.214 and 0.533 seconds).

Possible significance/interpretations:

A. It seems likely that the pause between the two volleys probably allowed an "adjustment" that resulted in a more-controlled firing of the second volley shots.

B. Since the first volley shots were fired when Michael Brown was furthest away and were more rapid, it's unlikely many (if any) of these shots would have hit Michael Brown. This would be especially true if Michael Brown were running away at the start of the first volley. However, from the other evidence, it's apparent that one (at least) of the shots in the first volley hit Michael Brown so any interpretation must address that fact.

C. Shot #1 misses its mark, but it causes Michael Brown to become aware that he was being shot at. Whereupon he stops and turns around (maybe even with his arms outstretched and his palms up). With Michael Brown stopped and turned around, one (at least) of the first volley shots then hits Michael Brown.

D. At this point, Michael Brown might have either become enraged at being shot while surrendering or he might have felt that Darren Wilson was going to shoot him whether he surrendered or not and felt his best chance for survival was to rush Darren Wilson. Michael Brown might even have thought that Darren Wilson had emptied his gun and he then decided to rush Darren Wilson before he was able to re-load.

E. Given the shorter distance between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson combined with the manner of the firing, it's most likely that most (if not all) the second volley shots hit their mark.

Obviously, without supporting evidence (e.g., a video record), this scenario is pure speculation. However, this scenario is consistent with both the physical evidence and several witnesses' statements.

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