Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Courts in Norway have determined that Anders Behring Breivik suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. He killed 77 people and wounded 151 in two attacks July 22 in Oslo and on the nearby island of Utoeya.
Verden Gang Nett and other Norwegian media reported the decision.
“Paranoid schizophrenia is one of several types of schizophrenia, a chronic mental illness in which a person loses touch with reality (psychosis). The classic features of paranoid schizophrenia are having delusions and hearing things that aren't real,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Two psychiatrists compiled a 243-page report for the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine.
The BBC said although the 32-year-old remains insane it is not clear whether his trial will go ahead as planned in April.
Breivik inhabited his “own delusional universe where all his thoughts and acts are guided by his own delusions.” In the past it was frequently diagnosed as a split or multiple personality, but in fact it is a shattered image or personality.
In most countries victims of such a psychotic illness end up being hospitalized in mental wards, even if they were convicted of murder.
A key element in many locations is not whether the defendant can tell right from wrong but whether he or she can control the behavior that resulted in physical violence.
Years ago psychiatrist Karl Jung said that for every one such sociopath who is known there are ten others not discovered.
In some cases paranoid schizophrenics are more capable of appearing to act normal than others suffering different symptoms.
In Breivik’s view he was fighting a cultural Marxist and Islamic invasion.
Many of the dead were youngsters attending a summer political party on the island.
First published on Technorati http://technorati.com/blogging/article/courts-judge-norwegian-mass-killer-insane/
Monday, November 28, 2011
The issue isn't being tested in a ghetto or other high crime area. A federal court in Denver has allowed two residents of one the wealthiest regions in the nation to file a constitutional challenge to a ban on possession of guns in either post offices or their parking lots.
No, there have been no claims that it is particularly dangerous in the Vail or neighboring Avon, home of two of the nation's richest gated communities.
The lawsuit, filed by Debbie and Tab Bonidy, and supported by the National Association for Gun Rights and Mountain States Legal Foundation, mentions the right of self-defense but it is clear it is the right of unlimited gun possession that is at stake.
There have been no reports of the couple being attacked on the ten-mile drive from their mountain home to the Avon Post Office.
Their case was twice turned down, but on Nov. 18, Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch of Denver, who handled the trial of Timothy McVeigh, reinstated their case and ordered a scheduling conference.
The law seems clear enough. The Supreme Court has ruled that the right to possess arms can be subjected to some restrictions in so far as where they can be possessed. Not in schools, for example.
The Supreme Court has ruled that guns can be barred from "sensitive areas." Earlier decisions have determined that Post Offices are just such places.
Can anyone forget where the term "going postal" came from? "The expression derives from a series of incidents from 1983 onward in which United States Postal Service (USPS) workers shot and killed managers, fellow workers, and members of the police or general public in acts of mass murder. Between 1986 and 1997, more than forty people were gunned down by spree killers in at least twenty incidents of workplace rage," according to Wikipedia.
Part of the issue is that the gun prohibition includes post office parking lots.
Conflicts are bound to arise in mountainous areas where hunting is popular. There is no legal way to drive into such a parking lot with a gun, no matter how secure it is in a storage area and even dismantled.
Up to now federal courts have held that "de minimus" restrictions are legal. That means rules of "minor importance."
In the unlikely event the strict federal laws specifically preventing non-law enforcement officers from bringing guns into Post Offices is declared unconstitutional how many other such areas will also be open to guns?
Postal workers undoubtedly will protest. As the late Warren Zevon put it: "Send lawyers, guns and money."
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Los Angeles Times photo trucks held up by closure of Pakistan-Afghan border
NATO has admitted it is “highly likely” it was responsible for an attack by warplanes and helicopters that killed dozens of Pakistan soldiers on an Afghan border post near Mohmand. Pakistan forces returned fire.
Reuters and Al Jazeera said the toll could reach or exceed 30. It was deadliest attack on Pakistan forces by NATO since it invaded neighboring Afghanistan after 9/11.
"Pakistan's sovereignty was attacked early this morning," said Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. "This is our Pakistan and we have to defend it," told the Wall Street journal.“Close air support was called in, in the development of the tactical situation, and it is what likely caused the Pakistan casualties,” Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for NATO said. He apologized.
News reports said NATO forces were involved in an anti-Taliban operation in the Khyber region of northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border.
Relations between Islamabad have deteriorated as the war seems to drone on without end. And U.S. military and government officials have accused Pakistan of giving some of the ammunition and other aid it delivers to anti-Afghanistan government groups.
In some cases NATO forces allegedly were killed with these munitions.
Pakistan was outraged by the Navy Seal attack inside its territory that resulted in the execution of Osama bin Laden.
Afghan President has simultaneously criticized the U.S. for allegedly killing civilians not involved in the conflict.
In the U.S., support for the war has declined as casualties climb at the same time American commanders say they are winning. Intense pressure to cut government spending adds to the pressure to pull out of the graveyard of empires.
Pakistan, meanwhile, said it returned fire on the attack early Saturday. There was no information on NATO suffered casualties.
“Pakistani troops effectively responded immediately in self-defense to NATO’s aggress with all available weapons,” its military said in a statement.
Dawn, the BBC, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, the Times of India and others reported the attack, which was followed immediately by the closure of the main transport route into Afghanistan. They quoted Pakistani TV, military and government officials.
The attack occurred in the same area where Pakistan forces have been fighting the Taliban.
NATO said it was aware an incident had occurred but it didn’t have details.
Relations between Islamabad and Washington have grown increasingly tense. Pakistan is accused of providing some support to anti-Afghan governments.
The U.S. incursion into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden outraged our main ally in the Afghan war. In turn the fact that Pakistan had allowed the author of the 9/11 attacks to hide in its territory for years made things even worse.
This was at least the second such incident, but the previous one involved only two dead and the two sides worked it out.
This was at least the second such incident, but the previous one involved only two dead and the two sides worked it out.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Although former President Nelson Mandela did not condemn the legislation his foundation said it was concerned about its implications.
News24 said the vote was 259 yes, 41 no ballots asnd 32 abstentions. "In its current form, the bill represents an attack on principles of open democracy that are deeply embedded in our constitution and our national life," the South African National Editors' Forum told allAfrica.com.
South African unions also have opposed the bill. There may be amendments before the final version is passed. With the African National Congress controlling two-thirds of the parliament there is no doubt they can push it through if they wish.
The bill was introduced after several years of reported corruption and President Jacob Zuma's spokesman, Mac Maharaj, was accused if receiving kickbacks from a French arms manufacturer, News24 reported. Maharaj is suiing several journals.
Under apartheid there were strict rules limiting press, such as barring banned people from meeting with reporters or being quoted. Violent methods were employed against some anti-apartheid dissidents.
However, under apartheid a scandal erupted and cost some high-ranking officials their jobs for using government money to try to secretly spread pro-regime propaganda. A Johannesburg newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail, was leaked the information and reported it. It was later driven out of business.
Under white-minority rule newspapers were a leading supporter of majority rule.
There have been widespread claims of ANC officials manipulating government contracts to enrich themselves. Journalists, of both races, again have been leading the calls for reforms.
Article first published as <a href='http://technorati.com/
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Not gold this time. But more the Archimedes version. A solution. He stepped into a bath full of water and saw the level rise. In the California and American case, the answer would be that there is no free lunch. Bills must be paid.
On Monday a group of billionaires, celebrities and others are releasing a plan to use their money and brains to get the state out of debt that is destroying it.
"As Washington is in gridlock, maybe California can lead the way again by showing that we know how to fix things," former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg told the Sacramento Bee.
He is a member of "The Think Long Committee for California." The group is going to try to get an initiative on the ballot that would raise $10 billion to get the state back on the yellow brick road.
At first glance it seems another pie in the sky scheme. First, it costs millions to get an initiative on the ballot. Second, it costs even more for TV and other political expenses to get it passed.
Of course California has more Warren Buffetts than any other state. Some have signed on, as well as celebrities like former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Current governor Jerry Brown isn't ready to join, although he has tried and failed to raise taxes.
"The problem with most initatives is funding. That's not a problem this group will have," committee adviser Nathan Gardels told the Los Angeles Times. It also will create a watchdog committee to avoid some of the mistakes that led to this situation.
Everyone would end up paying somewhat more, though low- and middle-income families would pay less in state taxes. It is a commplicated plan that is to be released Monday. The goal is to raise 11 percent more in state revenue.
It is hoped to get it on the ballot next year.
Los Angeles may have invented gridlock in one sense, but partisan politics has created a much more dangerous version. Now the Golden State may be ready to cry "Eureka" again.<br /> Not gold this time. But more the Archimedes version. A solution.<br /> He stepped into a bath full of water and saw the level rise. In the California and American case, the answer would be that there is no free lunch. Bills must be paid.<br /> On Monday a group of billionaires, celebrities and others are releasing a plan to use their money and brains to get the state out of debt that is destroying it.<br /> "As Washington is in gridlock, maybe California can lead the way again by showing that we know how to fix things," former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg told the Sacramento Bee.<br /> He is a member of "The Think Long Committee for California." The group is going to try to get an initiative on the ballot that would raise $10 billion to get the state back on the yellow brick road.<br /> At first glance it seems another pie in the sky scheme. First, it costs millions to get an initiative on the ballot. Second, it costs even more for TV and other political expenses to get it passed.<br /> Of course California has more Warren Buffetts than any other state. Some have signed on, as well as celebrities like former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Current governor Jerry Brown isn't ready to join, although he has tried and failed to raise taxes.<br /> "The problem with most initatives is funding. That's not a problem this group will have," committee adviser Nathan Gardels told the Los Angeles Times. It also will create a watchdog committee to avoid some of the mistakes that led to this situation.<br /> Everyone would end up paying somewhat more, though low- and middle-income families would pay less in state taxes. It is a commplicated plan that is to be released Monday. The goal is to raise 11 percent more in state revenue.<br /> It is hoped to get it on the ballot next year.<br /> <img src="http://scm-l3.technorati.com/11/11/20/56961/gold.jpeg?t=20111120100414" /><br />
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Dennis Davern, speaking on the Today show, said he was urging a fresh investigation. Asked if an argument that included bottle smashing between the couple led to her death he responded: "Yes."
Davern said, "I made some terrible decisions and mistakes. I did lie on a report several years ago." He added, "We didn't take any steps to see if we could locate her," Davern added.
"I think it was a matter of, 'We're not going to look too hard, we're not going to turn on the searchlight, we're not going to notify anybody right now.'"
Davern helped write a book in 2009 that included the information he was providing now, he said. The Los Angeles Times first reported the investigation was being reopened. The newspaper said sheriff's investigators have received new information on comments the yacht's captain made about the case and are reopening it.
Few actresses were more popular than the woman of Russian ancestry. Only 43, she had made 56 movies with the likes of Steve McQueen, Orson Welles, James Dean, Gene Tierney, James Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, Bette Davis, Laurence Olivier and Bing Crosby. She was taking the Thanksgiving weekend off at Isthmus Cove near Santa Catalina while making "Brainstorm" with Wagner, whom she had remarried after they divorced, and Christopher Walken.
"The official theory is that Wood either tried to leave the yacht or to secure a dinghy from banging against the hull when she accidentally slipped and fell overboard. When her body was found, she was wearing a down jacket, nightgown, and socks. A woman on a nearby yacht said she heard calls for help at around midnight. The cries lasted for about 15 minutes and were answered by someone else who said, "Take it easy. We'll be over to get you. It was laid back," the witness recalled. "There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts," Wikipedia reports.
Read more: http://technorati.com/entertainment/celebrity/article/natalie-wood-yacht-captain-says-robert/#ixzz1e5BSJEIf
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Unlike Ayn Rand's character, Still didn't seek to subvert the government. He just kept to himself, rarely selling paintings, and even deciding which work a customer could buy.
The words of his contemporary, who created Galt in "Atlas Shrugged," would have suited him well.
Still rarely was interviewed, and kept his thoughts to himself. But the way he acted was almost a mirror-image of John Galt.
In a chapter in which Galt is trying to persuade train magnet Dagney Taggert to join his struggle, this is what he said to explain why he was secretly recruiting the best of the best to join him an effort to bring the government down.
"We are on strike. Why should this seem so startling? There is only one kind of men who have never been on strike in human history. Every other kind and class have stopped, when they so wished, and have presented demands to the world, claiming to be indispensable -- except the men who have carried the world on their shoulders, have kept it alive, have endured torture as sole payment, but have never walked out on the human race."
It would not be that much of a stretch to take Rand's anti-socialist theme and apply it to some of the Occupy Wall Street activists. Rand frequently threw darts at corrupt capitalists. What follows might fit today.
"Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. Yes, you are bearing punishment for your evil.But it is not man who is now on trial and it is not human nature that will take the blame.It is your moral code that's through, this time. Your moral code has reached its climax, the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality -- you who have never known any -- but to discover it," said Galt.
Still didn't want to influence anyone or be influenced by anyone.
His work, now that it is being revealed to the world in a new museum exclusively for his art in Denver, will stun many. His 2,400 works were far more than the several dozen large impasto-laden abstractions that did impress museum curators and his colleagues when they were allowed to see them. In fact the museum only got possession of all of them several weeks ago.
Some of the most stunning are still waiting to be framed or put on stretchers so that they could be hung after being rolled up for more than 40 years.
The sale of four of them at Sotheby's in Manhattan last week for a total of $114 million was twice what was expected, an indication of how hungry the market is for his unseen works
Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko recognized Still's vision long before the public.
At first glance some of his works can be almost scary as they tower overhead. Many were ten feet high and 12 feete wide. On the other hand, you have to get within two feet to see all that is there.
Still climbed up ladders to do his work with a palette knife, employing thick impasto.
Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb had made a run at persuading Still's late wife, Patricia, to let Denver build the museum her husband wanted. It fell through.
But the city did not give up and managed to enlist Still family members to help them persuade her.
Mayor John Hickenlooper, now governor, went to Washington, D.C., to meet Mrs. Still. He passed up on a meeting of several mayors with the president to make sure he got to her.
Correspondence shown at a media briefing Tuesday showed it was never a sure thing. Still's two daughters were persuaded to support the sale of four paintings to help pay the cost of construction and create an operational endowment. Mrs. Still had died and thus a judge in Maryland had to give his approval. The four paintings drew $114 million.
Museum Director Dean Sobel says no museum has as many works, 2,400, of any major artist. And few artists hated museums as much as Still. "Museums were like morgues,death places," Sobel said.
The planners had to take that into consideration when they chose to put it next to the Denver Art Museum's two buildings, one built by Daniel Libeskind and the other by Gino Ponti. The library just across the street had a top put on it by Michael Graves.
It is a museum to an interesting man. Some of his library is displayed, and it included Marcel Proust, Sophocles, Oswald Spengler and many other of the literati.
Born in 1904 in North Dakota his family moved quickly to Alberta, and it's hard to conceive that the rolling and jagged plains did not influence him. He died in 1980, 30 years after turning away from any public interaction with the art world.
Friday, November 11, 2011
For many years Still refused to allow any of his paintings to be displayed in New York because he felt it was too corrupt.
When he finally did permit the Metrpolitan Museum of Art to show some in 1980 it was only after it agreed, in an unprecedented fashion, to allow him to post the paintings himself and curate the he exhibition, according to retired Denver Art Museum Director Lewis Sharp. He was working at the Metropolitan at the time.
Money was less important to many famous painters than Still, even though he got his art education during the the Great Depression. He rarely sold any of his more than 2,000 works. And a buyer had to take the work Still chose for him. His difficult attitude resulted in some calling him the Unabomber of painting.
Still abhorred the idea of his works being scattered around the nation or world. He wanted them together as much as possible.
The paintings, when first seen could be mistaken for a horror movie. Works from the 1940s average 4 feet by 6 feet, and paintings from the 1950s average 9 1/2 feet by 12 feet. He splashed thick impasto in what some called a color-field approach.
The pastels are much smaller and are on paper.
Still died in 1980, and it was 24 years later before his late widow, Patricia Still, agreed to an offer from the city of Denver to build a museum for his paintings if she would donate many of them. It was under the condition that none would be sold and none would be sent on tours.
Denver had to get a court to approve its decision to sell four of the several hundred it received. The money is needed to help pay for the construction of the museum, which opens next week, and its operation.
There can be no doubt that Still's appeal was enhanced by the few sales of his works throughout his lifetime and even after his death.
Wealthy investors may be viewing paintings as a refuge from the volatile markets. And with gold at $1,800 an ounce Thursday it may not be seen as a viable alternative.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The firing of Joe Paterno and bad publicity Herman Cain has received are not likely to result in any permanent changes in the U.S., if early reactions mean anything.
Penn State students rioted Wednesday night to protest Paterno's dismissal for failing to reveal the alleged sodomization of children by a foundation run by one of Paterno's former assistants.
Thousands of students gathered shouting "F* the trustees" and "We want Joe," reported the school's Daily Collegian. Two news vans were overturned.
As allegations that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed women grow so do his standings in most polls.
Paterno, known as "Joe Pa" at the university for bringing them winning teams without breaking NCAA rules, has won more games than any other coach in NCAA history. It is alleged he was told by a coaching assistant about the sexual abuse of youngsters by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky at the university-supported foundation. Paterno reported passed the information on to the higher ups but did nothing when no action was taken.
There are unconfirmed reports that Sandusky was forced to retire as a coach after a witness reported seeing him sodomizing a 10-year-old. The university retirement date was not clear. He is charged with sexually assaulting children from 1994 to 2009. Sandusky retired from "The Second Mile Foundation," which he founded, last year.
The foundation declined to make anyone available to comment. Sandusky's lawyer says he is innocent.
The Collegian said Sandusky's non-profit organization was given $399,000 in donations the past six years. He said he founded the group to help under-privileged and at risk children.
The Detroit Free Press published the Penn State grand jury indictment: http://www.freep.com/assets/freep/pdf/C4181508116.PDF
At least five women have accused Cain of sexually harassing them. Although he concedes some were paid settlements that nothing happened and it was not him who paid them. He said the Natonal Restaurant Association, which he formerly served as president and CEO, made the payments.
Cain says Democrats launched the attacks. Some radio hosts have attacked the accusers, the usual pattern when women accuse powerful men of sexual assaults.
The FBI says the vast majority of sexual assault claims are valid.
Top university athletic teams have frequently been accused of breaking recruiting rules.
The University of Southern California, winner of 11 national football titles, was stripped of one earlier this year because it violated recruiting rules to get star running back Reggie Bush.
NCAA athletics generate hundreds of millions of dollars, and they have never been more crucial than now as states have had to cut funding because of economic crisis.
A joke has widely circulated for years, any of the top teams could put be put here, Blank University's football team has made the university something students can be proud of.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Whether it was Ernest Hemingway, or his writer-mentor Gertrude Stein, who coined the term "the lost generation," turned out to be perhaps the most understated prediction in history. Made in the last years of World War I and the years that followed, it was hoped it would at least be the war to end all wars.
Archives estimate 17 million died, 10 million military and seven million civilians, according to Wikipedia. The death in World War II and the Holocaust that accompanied it was put at 60 million.
The point of the lost generation was that the wounded and dead were only a part of the toll. Many people lost the spirit to rebuild, even if it was possible.
Although the world had far more powerful weapons during the Cold War 30 years later, the worst was avoided.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, using much milder language, is predicting that if bold, worldwide action is not taken quickly there will be a "lost decade."
Lagarde, whose tough face would make her the most sinewy cut of beef on fine restaurant menus, is calling on all governments to make the cuts in spending and investment in growth necessary.
The U.S., still the most powerful economy in the world, isn't doing it. The will to raise taxes is missing, though the nation hasn't had the violence that has occurred in many other countries _ yet.
Two European prime ministers, George Papandreou of Greece and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, this week announced they would step down to get their people and opposition to accept cuts even steeper than the trillion already made around the globe.
Before what is needed can be done the angry public must be convinced control of government power will be taken from banks, many say. Banks too-big to fall have profited while millions lost their homes and jobs.
Rich countries like the U.S. are spending fortunes on wars while taxes are lowered.
In Denver, an active center of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the focus now is on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said corporations are real people, and have the rights of people.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Most groups around the world are refusing to meet government demands to act conventionally. The Mile High City is only a bit different.
The group, which has clashed on several occasions with downtown Denver police announced it would name a director: but the activists chose a dog named Shelby.
An unidentified spokesman said that if corporations can be people, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, then dogs can as well.
"Shelby is closer to a person than any corporation: she can bleed, she can breed, and she can show emotion. Either Shelby is a person, or corporations aren't people," the spokesperson said.
A statement emailed to the media Tuesday said: "Newly-elected leader Shelby will be leading this Saturday's Occupy Denver march against Corporate Personhood, and invites all other civic minded dogs (and their leash-holders) to join.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Spc. Bradley Manning leaked information he believed revealed war crimes in Iraq. Starlet Lindsay Lohan bought and used drugs and stole a fancy bracelet from a jewelry story.
Despite breaking parole conditions after several releases, Lohan only spent four late evening hours in the county jail on her latest arrest this weekend _ and that was after breaking parole again. Apparently her jail was too crowded.
We don't know much about what is going on with Bradley Mannning. He was arrested in May of last year. He is still in prison though there has been no trial. He has been held in solitary much of the time.
I don't think Lindsey had to remove her clothes when she went to bed. Of course if she had there would have been paparazzi around to catch her.
Of course given that she was unable to post satisfactorily nakedly for Playboy, including full view of her vagina, there might not have been enough time. Her return to jail was delayed at the request of Playboy, whose editors said her naked photos were lame.
Justice expert Jiwei C, author of "The Two Faces of Justice," says this kind of disaparate treatment cripples our justice system. Many will simply see no reason to obey the law. Some may want revenge.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost our nation trillions, as our infrastructure falls apart. No value can be put on blood. Cops, teachers, firefighters, hospital workers are laid off. Schools are closed.
Yet when one of our generals, Peter Fuller, tells the truth about what is going on he gets fired.
Daniel Petraeus and other commanders have known from the start that Pakistan supported the Taliban and Haqqani networks and other insurgents. There are so many groups fighting us the media had to create a new word: militants.
American soldiers and contractors have been killed in Pakistan and Afghanistan with weapons and ammo the U.S. provided Pakistan.
Despite claims by Petraeus and others that we are winning, casualties in Afghanistan are at their highest level ever. During the Vietnam War a more skeptical nation recognized "the five o'clock follies" for what they were.
One famous joke: In 1969 IBM's smartest computer was asked when the war would be over at the current kill rate of Viet Cong and NVA. The answer was 1967.
The only warrior to ever defeat the Afghans was Alexander the Great, and he had to marry one of their princesses to get a deal.
The big difference between Afghanistan and Vietnam is that there are no draftees. Should that justify fighting a war we have no interest in?
Afghan President Hamid Karzai had insulted America on numerous occasions. He made it clear he wanted our military to die before risking killing an Afghan civilian.
When he said Afghanistan would support Pakistan if the U.S. attacked it, Maj. Gen. Fuller said:
“Why don’t you just poke me in the eye with a needle! You’ve got to be kidding me … I’m sorry, we just gave you $11.6 billion and now you’re telling me, ‘I don’t really care’?”
He also said NATO would rather teach Afghans how to fish than buy them fish. But they would prefer to just get more free fish.