The Science Is Settled: Not So Much Edition

The forensic evidence that led to your execution was, er, um, how shall we say, perhaps not quite as compelling as we led the jury to believe

FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000

By Spencer S. Hsu April 18 at 5:44 PM
The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.

…The review confirmed that FBI experts systematically testified to the near-certainty of “matches” of crime-scene hairs to defendants, backing their claims by citing incomplete or misleading statistics drawn from their case work.

In reality, there is no accepted research on how often hair from different people may appear the same.

And of course there will be no consequences for these people whose actions led to the incarceration of hundreds for many years, and the death of at least 14.

Good lord.

Anything That Pissed Off Goebbels

Is okay by me

Nazis…I hate those guys.

This Is Brilliant

Via Ace’s sidebar here’s every economic report you’ve ever seen in one video

Went To The Gym Tonight

Then afterwards had some BingleyAde to recover

postworkout

well I guess it was last night, technically.

Did My Taxes And Guess What My Refund From NJ Is?

onedollar

And I’m making them wire it to me.

These Bastards Must Be Charged With Assault

Watch the video.

He falls off the horse and is lying on the ground. LONG before any cop gets there you can clearly see him put his hands behind his back in a completely submissive “I surrender” posture.

So naturally the first cop to get there kicks him in the face.

Repeatedly.

While the next cop kicks him in the balls and then a bunch of them begin to punch him.

EVERY
SINGLE
ONE
of them needs to be fired, arrested, and criminally charged. This shit has got to stop.

This is what happens when you give all power to the State.
This is what happens when you shield government employees from responsibility and liability for their actions.
This is what happens when you militarize the police force.

Combine this with the execution of Walter Scott by Officer Michael Slager in South Carolina and one can easily see why police are agitating to limit the public’s and media’s right to film any and all encounters.

Oops

Mi scusi

Layers Of Fact-Checkers

Note to Comcast: Duke’s nickname is not “Tar Heels”

comcastrstupid

Finally Snowden Is Made To Squirm

and it is so telling of the current state of our supposed “journalists” that it takes John Oliver to do it

It’s worth watching in its entirety; in spite of the validity of several of his points, Edward Snowden really is an egotistical ass.

They “Apologize” To Everyone Except The Real Victims

The fraternity and UVA.

Pardon my french but Dear Rolling Stone: Fuck You

Rolling Stone magazine retracted its article about a brutal gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity after the release of a report on Sunday that concluded the widely discredited piece was the result of failures at every stage of the process.

The report, published by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and commissioned by Rolling Stone, said the magazine failed to engage in “basic, even routine journalistic practice” to verify details of the ordeal that the magazine’s source, identified only as Jackie, described to the article’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely.

On Sunday, Ms. Erdely, in her first extensive comments since the article was cast into doubt, apologized to Rolling Stone’s readers, her colleagues and “any victims of sexual assault who may feel fearful as a result of my article.”

Something bad may have happened at some point, sometime, somewhere to that young lady, we will never know, but the article is a hoax, a complete lie and fabrication.

By The Power Vested In Me

I hereby declare Winter is Over

winterbegone

Another Random Attack In Kenya

Al-Qaeda-linked gunman storm college campus, shoot Christians

At least 14 people were killed, 65 injured and hundreds were unaccounted for Thursday after al Qaeda-linked gunmen stormed a college campus in Kenya.

…Al Shabab, an al Qaeda-linked terror group based in neighboring Somalia, claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack. Sheik Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman, said many Christians were being held by the militants. “We sorted people out and released the Muslims,” he told Reuters.

Robert Godec, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, condemned what he called a “heinous terrorist attack” by al Shabab.

Collins Wetangula, the vice chairman of the student union, said he was preparing to take a shower when he heard gunshots.

When the gunmen arrived at his dorm he could hear them opening doors and asking if the people who had hidden inside whether they were Muslims or Christians. “If you were a Christian, you were shot on the spot,” Wetangula told The Associated Press. “With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die.”

A few more attacks like this and poor Kenya will be like Indiana.

Update: now it’s over 70 147 dead.

Sorry

Been too busy to write even my usual drivel.

And frankly just too disgusted by the stuff going on, so I’m finding my bourbon far more interesting of late.

“I Will Never Compromise When It Comes To Israel’s Security”

I tell you, I regret every day that this guy didn’t become President

I want you to know that today I’ll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel. And I know that when I visit with AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), I am among friends. Good friends. Friends who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow and forever.

…We know that the establishment of Israel was just and necessary, rooted in centuries of struggle and decades of patient work. But 60 years later, we know that we cannot relent, we cannot yield, and as president I will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security.

Not when there are still voices that deny the Holocaust. Not when there are terrorist groups and political leaders committed to Israel’s destruction. Not when there are maps across the Middle East that don’t even acknowledge Israel’s existence, and government-funded textbooks filled with hatred toward Jews. Not when there are rockets raining down on Sderot, and Israeli children have to take a deep breath and summon uncommon courage every time they board a bus or walk to school.

…Because of the war in Iraq, Iran — which always posed a greater threat to Israel than Iraq — is emboldened and poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation.

…And then there are those who would lay all of the problems of the Middle East at the doorstep of Israel and its supporters, as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all trouble in the region. These voices blame the Middle East’s only democracy for the region’s extremism. They offer the false promise that abandoning a stalwart ally is somehow the path to strength. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be.

…Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.

That starts with ensuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage. I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat — from Gaza to Tehran.

…We must isolate Hamas unless and until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and abide by past agreements. There is no room at the negotiating table for terrorist organizations.

…Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper — but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.

…Syria continues its support for terror and meddling in Lebanon. And Syria has taken dangerous steps in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, which is why Israeli action was justified to end that threat.

…We must never force Israel to the negotiating table, but neither should we ever block negotiations when Israel’s leaders decide that they may serve Israeli interests.

…There is no greater threat to Israel — or to the peace and stability of the region — than Iran. Now this audience is made up of both Republicans and Democrats, and the enemies of Israel should have no doubt that, regardless of party, Americans stand shoulder to shoulder in our commitment to Israel’s security.

…The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. Its president denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.

…He criticizes my willingness to use strong diplomacy but offers only an alternate reality — one where the war in Iraq has somehow put Iran on its heels. The truth is the opposite. Iran has strengthened its position. Iran is now enriching uranium and has reportedly stockpiled 150 kilos of low enriched uranium. Its support for terrorism and threats toward Israel have increased. Those are the facts, they cannot be denied, and I refuse to continue a policy that has made the United States and Israel less secure.

…We will also use all elements of American power to pressure Iran. I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That starts with aggressive, principled diplomacy without self-defeating preconditions, but with a cleareyed understanding of our interests. We have no time to waste. We cannot unconditionally rule out an approach that could prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We have tried limited, piecemeal talks while we outsource the sustained work to our European allies. It is time for the United States to lead.

…We will pursue this diplomacy with no illusions about the Iranian regime. Instead, we will present a clear choice. If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives — including the lifting of sanctions, and political and economic integration with the international community. If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure.

…Finally, let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel. Sometimes there are no alternatives to confrontation. But that only makes diplomacy more important. If we must use military force, we are more likely to succeed, and will have far greater support at home and abroad, if we have exhausted our diplomatic efforts.

Ah, what could have been, what could have been had President Obama governed in any way similar to the way Candidate Obama quoted above promised. As Ace so poignantly put it yesterday: “So, Jewish Democrats who voted for Obama: How’s Obama’s ass taste?

U.S. Caves to Key Iranian Demands as Nuke Deal Comes Together
Limited options for Congress as Obama seeks to bypass lawmakers

LAUSSANE, Switzerland—The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.

U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.

…“Once again, in the face of Iran’s intransigence, the U.S. is leading an effort to cave even more toward Iran—this time by whitewashing Tehran’s decades of lying about nuclear weapons work and current lack of cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” said one Western source briefed on the talks but who was not permitted to speak on record.

…“Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do,” said the source. “That is a terrible mistake—if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won’t answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?”

The United States is now willing to let Iran keep many of its most controversial military sites closed to inspectors until international sanctions pressure has been lifted, according to sources.

The White House has decided that a nuclear Iran is a good thing.

Well, That Would Explain It

The Germanwings crash wasn’t an accident. According to the reports now, the co-pilot locked the pilot out and wouldn’t let him back in.

And then dove the plane into the ground.

Randomly. Deliberately

Funny how there’s been a complete embargo on the names of the pilot or co-pilot, isn’t it.

What’s up with that?

UPDATE: now we have a name: Andreas Lubitz

UPDATE the Second: the prosecutor:

We heard the captain ask the co-pilot to take control, then we hear the noise of a seat that goes back and a door open, we can assume he went to relieve himself.
The co-pilot was alone. It is at this moment that the co-pilot manipulates the buttons of flight monitoring system to action the descent of the plane.
The action of this altitude can only be deliberate. We hear the captain then speaks via an interphone to speak to the co-pilot, no response of co-pilot, he taps on door, no response from the co-pilot, all we can hear is the sound of breathing, until impact suggesting the co-pilot was alive until impact.
Air traffic control tried to get through via 7700 but couldn’t get through. Air traffic control even tried to contact other planes to try and contact the plane, but no response.
Alarms sounded to signal to crew the proximity of the ground, then we hear banging of someone trying to break down the door
The pull up alarms to pull the plane up went off.
Just before the final impact one can heard what appears to be the first impact of the plane on a mountain top.
There was no message of distress type or mayday recevied by air traffic control, and no response to all the air traffic controllers.
The interpretation is 48 hours after the crash, I take precautions, but for us investigating…the most plausible and realistic is that the co-pilot by a deliberate decision refused to open the cabin door to the captain and actioned the button ordering the loss of altitude.
There was a deliberate desire to destroy this plane. Apparently the co-pilot was breathing normally. He said absolutely nothing after the captain left the cabin.

There’s going to be a whole lot of digging into this guy’s background.

Good For SouthWest

This guy is a crude boorish pig.

Well My Bracket Is Totally Hosed

Does this mean I actually have to talk with my family for the rest of the month?

First Day Of Spring?

springmyass

my ass.

The Possible Racial Angle Is Disturbing, But…

Also very disturbing are (armed?) and uniformed Alcohol Control Agents

(CNN)”Hey! His head is bleeding! Yo, his head is bleeding!” a bystander screams.

Martese Johnson is lying face-down on the pavement, blood flowing from his forehead. He was injured when Virginia alcohol control agents took him to the ground, trying to arrest him for public intoxication and obstruction of justice.

As he’s pinned, video captures him yelling: “I go to UVA! … You f****** racists! What the f***? How did this happen?”

An agent can be heard telling the student to stop fighting.

The video does not show the moments leading up to the arrest. But many say it’s the latest example of excessive force by officers against a black man.

Denied entry at a bar
The incident started when Johnson, 20, was turned away from a bar during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control agents approached him and decided to “further detain the individual based on their observations and further questioning,” the agency said.

The proper response to a possibly tipsy 20 year old kid trying to get in a bar on St. Pats is to laugh and say “nice try”, not tackle him and handcuff him.

This is what fascism looks like, boys and girls: Official Alcohol Agents beating the shit out of people trying to get a drink.

Should I Leave Room In The Cup For Your White Privilege?

Starbucks wants its baristas to talk to you about race

Starbucks to encourage baristas to discuss race relations with customers

CEO Howard Schultz is encouraging his employees to bring up the hot-button issue — his latest foray into controversial topics.

Starbucks SBUX -0.58% CEO Howard Schultz has never shied away from involving his company in controversial debates, whether those debates are about same-sex marriage, or gun control, or U.S. government gridlock.

But the executive, who oversees a coffee empire with 4,700 U.S. stores, has now taken on arguably the most polarizing political debate in the United States: race relations.

Starbucks published a full page ad in the New York Times on Sunday — a stark, black, page with a tiny caption “Shall We Overcome?” in the middle, and the words “RaceTogether” with the company logo, on the bottom right. The ad, along with a similar one on Monday in USA Today, is part of an initiative launched this week by the coffee store chain to stimulate conversation and debate about the race in America by getting employees to engage with customers about the perennially hot button subject.

Beginning on Monday, Starbucks baristas will have the option as they serve customers to hand cups on which they’ve handwritten the words “Race Together” and start a discussion about race. This Friday, each copy of USA Today — which has a daily print circulation of almost 2 million and is a partner of Starbucks in this initiative — will have the first of a series of insert with information about race relations, including a variety of perspectives on race. Starbucks coffee shops will also stock the insert.

Why does everything, every single act in life, have to be a political statement to some people?

Steak And Kale

So this weekend my Bride is out of town, my Daughter is overseas, I have a bad cold and Virginia lost.

Normally any one of those three would be enough to make me put up a massive cooking/drinking thread but since we lost our sweet boy I just haven’t got the energy.

Sure I made a kick-ass cast iron fried ny strip with sautéed kale tonight

steaknkale

but without that Dear Sweet Boy it might has well been takeout from McDonalds.

The pain never goes away.

gimmeawiddle

There Ain’t No Trash In My Trailer

The ironing board surfing is a new one for me!

I Call Man Law

Another Friday The 13th

Now excuse me whilst I clean up that mirror I broke when I dodged that black cat crossing my path…

Oops

But in his defense I can kind of understand if he didn’t see it

World’s smallest sculpture no bigger than ant’s head accidentally crushed by photographer

Jonty Hurwitz, from Hampshire, uses a high-tech process called nano-painting to craft detailed representations of the human form in miniature.

Some of his pieces are just 100 microns tall and so tiny that they cannot be seen by the human eye without a microscope.

…“I went off to have the original sculpture photographed so I found a laboratory with an electron microscope and the photographic technology,” Hurwitz told the Daily Mail.

“The technician went to change the orientation and then for the next half an hour we were looking for the piece through the lens.

“Eventually I noticed there was a fingerprint exactly where the sculpture used to be and I was like ‘Man, you have just destroyed one of the smallest art pieces ever made’. I slightly freaked out.”

It had taken Hurwitz a year to make the sculpture.

eyeneedle

Horton was unavailable for comment.

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