Category Archives: Coby

Climate Change Has Left the US Exposed in the Arctic, Say Military Experts

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “”>

This story originally appeared on the Guardian and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Political gridlock over climate change has left the US military exposed to Russia’s superior fleets in the Arctic, flooding in its naval bases and a more unstable world, according to high-ranking former military commanders and security advisors.

The comments, published on the Weather Channel on Wednesday, echoed president Barack Obama, who recently lambasted climate skeptic politicians for jeopardizing global and national security.

Sherri Goodman, who served as Bill Clinton’s deputy undersecretary of defense and founded the security analysis firm CNA Corporation, said the US climate debate was “stuck in the past” and that climate change was “acting as a threat multiplier in the Arctic”.

The Arctic is the most rapidly warming region on Earth and its sea ice has undergone major declines in recent years and decades. Goodman said the intransigence of US politics had left a technology deficit in the far north—a place where the two increasingly tense powers are separated by just 82 kilometers.

“Right now we have a fleet, a very small fleet of ageing icebreakers. The Russians and other countries have vastly more ice-breaking capability and other capabilities to be present in the Arctic. We will need to have a greater presence in the Arctic of various types,” she said.

“We’re still having debates about whether this is happening, as opposed to what we should do about it,” she said. “We need to guard against the failure of imagination when it comes to climate change. Something is going to happen in the future years, and we’re not going to be prepared.”

“Literally, the nation’s defense is at stake,” said rear admiral David Titley, former naval oceanography operations command and a professor of meteorology.

“Unfortunately all we have to look at are the events of the day in Crimea and Ukraine and we see that the Russians are making some noises about, ‘well, you know, maybe the Arctic is another place we should compete rather than cooperate,'” he said.

Brigadier general Stephen Cheney, CEO of the American Security Project and a foreign affairs advisor to the State Department, said the security concerns extended beyond the Arctic to the very foundation of US military power—its naval bases.

“I can start here in the continental United States where we’ve got 30 naval bases both here and overseas. Naval bases by the nature of course are on the coast. Coasts are threatened as the sea level rises, and I can give you two very prominent examples, the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia, for instance. Eglin Air Force base in Florida, another one, has already flooded in this past year when they had to shut it down for the first time in its history,” he said.

But he said the concerns were not limited to the US’s ability to defend itself. Climate change was already causing wars around the world. He gave the example of Tuareg farmers in Mali, displaced by drought and radicalized by conflict, who have destabilized the west African country. “We know climate change caused this,” he said.

It was important, said Cheney, that the military recognized its own contribution as the largest polluter in the world’s second highest polluting country. Weaning the defense force off fossil fuels is an active policy that would solve a security and supply problem as well as bring down carbon emissions.

“Many conflicts throughout our history have been based on resource competition,” said General Charles Jacoby, who was the commander of the US North Command—the primary line of defense against invasion for the US mainland—until last year. He said that this competition would only intensify in the future, with energy and water supply at the top of the list.

Jacoby said climate change was a “legitimate mission that we readily embrace.” He said the military had to be pragmatic and the politicking around climate change, on which the Republican party has grown increasingly extreme, was ultimately irrelevant.

“It can be considered a politicized issue. And it can be considered something that one party is more interested in, another party less interested in. I’m a soldier. I’m a requirements guy. I’m a mission accomplishment guy. And so for me, it’s be in favor of what’s happening. And so, I deal with the facts. Whatever the cause, is less relevant to me than the effect,” he said.

On Tuesday the Guardian revealed US conservatives had directed $125 million toward groups in an effort to seed doubt over the existence of global warming and derail the Obama administration’s climate policies.

The Weather Channel also interviewed leading Republicans, who bemoaned the party’s obstructionism.

Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican who governed New Jersey and served as director of the Environmental Protection Agency under George W. Bush, said the Republican stance on climate change was “frustrating and puzzling” citing the GOP’s history of environmental stewardship.

“It was Richard Nixon who established the Environmental Protection Agencies. I mean, it’s ours. It’s our issue. It’s conservation. It’s conservative. This is an issue we should be talking about in a rational way. Let’s not politicize it, let’s not demand that everybody be absolutely for or absolutely against climate change,” she said.

Henry Paulson, Bush’s treasury secretary, appeared to disagree with Whitman’s assessment of the Republican attitude to climate change. “I think that there are plenty of Republicans that understand that this is a huge problem and we need to deal with it. And there are plenty of Democrats that don’t want to deal with it,” he said. This is despite just five Senate Republicans voting for a measure to recognize the significant contribution of humans to climate change—the bill was defeated.

The EPA’s director under the first president Bush, William Reilly, said he was also bemused by his party’s undermining of climate action. But he said he was hopeful of change.

“Young people of all stripes including young Republicans are very supportive of both acknowledging that we have a climate problem and humans are contributing to it,” he said.


Climate Change Has Left the US Exposed in the Arctic, Say Military Experts

Posted in alo, Anchor, Coby, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Ultima, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Climate Change Has Left the US Exposed in the Arctic, Say Military Experts

James O’Keefe Loses Libel Suit Over Landrieu Incident

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “”>

Conservative filmmaker and provocateur James O’Keefe has lost another legal battle: on Monday, a federal court in New Jersey dismissed a libel suit O’Keefe filed against legal news website MainJustice. In August 2013, MainJustice published an article referring to a 2010 incident in which O’Keefe and his associates posed as telephone technicians to gain access to the offices of then–Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). O’Keefe and three others ultimately pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of entering federal property under false pretenses.

In its original article, MainJustice said that O’Keefe was “apparently trying to bug” Landrieu’s offices. After O’Keefe complained, the website changed the sentence to read that O’Keefe and his associates “were trying to tamper with Landrieu’s phones.” Still, O’Keefe sued, alleging that both characterizations were defamatory because they implied he had committed a felony. MainJustice countered that the language wasn’t defamatory because the substance of the article was true, and the site accurately described the legal proceedings triggered by the episode.

The court didn’t find O’Keefe’s case convincing. Judge Claire Cecchi wrote in her opinion:

Regardless of whether the article used the words “apparently trying to bug” or “trying to tamper,” the few words challenged by the Plaintiff, taken in context, do not alter the fundamental gist of the paragraph… Therefore, the words “trying to tamper with,” understood in the colloquial sense, convey the substantial truth of the Landrieu incident and do not alter the ultimate conclusion of the paragraph—that Plaintiff was guilty of a misdemeanor.

Mary Jacoby, editor-in-chief of MainJustice, writes in a statement:

This is an important First Amendment victory. It’s a total, resounding defeat of O’Keefe’s attempts to intimidate journalists into accepting his spin on the circumstances of his 2010 entry into Sen. Landrieu’s offices under false pretenses.

In 2013, O’Keefe paid $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed against him by a former employee of ACORN, a nonprofit the filmmaker had targeted. In a statement to Mother Jones, an O’Keefe spokesman said, “While we are disappointed in the Court’s decision, it is one that we respect due to the complex and difficult nature of proving defamation. That being said, we think it is important to note that this decision in no way validates any of the false statements made against Project Veritas or James O’Keefe.”

Read the article: 

James O’Keefe Loses Libel Suit Over Landrieu Incident

Posted in Anchor, Coby, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Ultima, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on James O’Keefe Loses Libel Suit Over Landrieu Incident

Congress Stuffed Some Coal In Its Omnibus Package

The Export-Import Bank wants to stop financing coal plants. Congress has other ideas. Miloslav78/Thinkstock The 1,000-page omnibus spending package released Tuesday night is reigniting a fight over rules for U.S. financing of coal plants abroad. In October 2013, the Treasury Department announced that it would stop providing funding for conventional coal plants abroad, except in “very rare” cases. And in December 2013, the Export-Import Bank announced a new policy that would restrict financing for most new coal-fired power plants abroad. The bank, often called Ex-Im, exists to provide financial support to projects that spur the export of U.S. products and services. The change in coal policy aligned with President Barack Obama’s June 2013 call to end U.S. funding of fossil fuel energy projects abroad unless the products include carbon capture technology. But the language in the omnibus blocks both Ex-Im and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S.’s development finance institution, from using any funds in the bill to enforce these new restrictions on coal projects. Read the rest at The Huffington Post. See more here: Congress Stuffed Some Coal In Its Omnibus Package ; ; ;

See original: 

Congress Stuffed Some Coal In Its Omnibus Package

Posted in Coby, eco-friendly, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, Monterey, ONA, OXO, PUR, solar, solar power, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Congress Stuffed Some Coal In Its Omnibus Package

Rumain Brisbon Is Just the Latest to Be Shot Dead by a Cop Over a Phantom Gun

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “”>
A student at a “die-in” protest at the University of Michigan on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. The Ann Arbor News, Patrick Record/AP

Last week, 34-year-old father of four Rumain Brisbon was shot and killed by a police officer at an apartment complex in north Phoenix. The officer, 30-year-old Mark Rine, approached Brisbon’s SUV while investigating a suspected drug deal. According to police officials, after Brisbon stepped out of his car and Rine ordered him to show his hands, Brisbon reached for his waistband. Then Rine drew his gun, and Brisbon fled. After a short chase the two engaged in a struggle, with Rine firing two shots into Brisbon’s torso. Rine later said that he thought he’d felt a gun in Brisbon’s pocket, but it turned out to be a vial of Oxycodone, a pain reliever. Rine has since been placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation.

Brisbon’s death is just the latest example of police killing suspects—often black men—over guns that aren’t actually there. And scientific research has shown that unconscious racial bias can be a factor in these situations. As Chris Mooney wrote recently, in an experiment testing whether an object such as a wallet or a soda can be mistaken for a gun, “police are considerably slower to press the ‘don’t shoot’ button for an unarmed black man than they are for an unarmed white man—and faster to shoot an armed black man than an armed white man.”

Below are 10 other cases since 2006 in which an officer shot a suspect after mistaking some other object for a gun. Two of the victims in this list (which is hardly comprehensive) were white, one was Latino, and seven were black. As is common with police shootings, few of the officers faced charges, and none were convicted of a crime.

Date: February 25, 2014
Location: Clover, South Carolina
Race of victim: White
What happened: Terrance Knox, a county deputy sheriff, stopped Bobby Canipe, a 70-year-old white man, for driving with an expired license tag on a highway north of Clover. Officials said that Canipe stepped out of his car and began walking toward Knox while holding a cane, which Knox said he thought was a gun. Knox fired six shots, one of which hit Canipe in the chest, injuring him. Prosecutors declined to charge Knox in August 2014, saying that the shooting was “without question accidental.”

Date: February 14, 2014
Location: Euharlee, Georgia
Race of victim: White
What happened: Officer Beth Gatny and another officer were serving a search warrant for the father of Christopher Roupe, for a probation violation. When the officers knocked on the door of the family’s home, Gatny said she thought she heard “the action of a firearm” before the door opened, and drew her weapon. When Roupe, 17, opened the door, Gatny opened fire, killing him, later saying that she thought she’d seen him holding a pistol. Roupe’s family members said he was holding a Nintendo Wii game controller. A Bartow County grand jury declined to indict Gatny in July.

Date: May 8, 2011
Location: North Little Rock, Arkansas
Race of victim: Black
What happened: North Little Rock police officer Vincent Thornton and two other officers chased Henry Lee Jones, Jr., in the Silver City Courts housing projects, after responding to a domestic violence complaint. “As he charged toward me and put his shoulder down…I saw a light-colored object I believed to be a gun,” in Jones’ hand, Thornton, then a 28-year veteran of the force, later testified. The object was a cell phone; Thornton shot Jones, a black 20-year-old, in the upper back, lodging a bullet between Jones’ lungs, severing his spinal column, and leaving him paralyzed. Jones died two years later. In May 2014, a federal court jury cleared Thornton of charges, deeming his use of force reasonable.

Date: July 5, 2010
Location: Miami, Florida
Race of victim: Black
What happened: Rookie Miami police officer Joseph Marin and his partner pulled over DeCarlos Moore, who they suspected of driving a stolen vehicle. Moore stepped out of his car, and the officers ordered Moore to put his hands on his vehicle, according to a report by a civilian investigative panel. When Moore reached for a shiny object inside his car, Marin shot Moore in the head, killing him. Police investigators discovered that the shiny object was rock cocaine wrapped in tin foil (and that the car was not stolen). The State Attorney’s office declined to prosecute Marin in May 2011, and in 2013, the independent panel also exonerated Marin. Moore was one of seven black men killed by Miami police in an eight-month period, eventually prompting a civil rights investigation by the US Department of Justice.

Date: March 12, 2010
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Race of victim: Black
What happened: Around 11 a.m., Metro Police Canine Officer Joe Shelton was responding to call about a burglary and ended up chasing 40-year-old suspect Reginald Dewayne Wallace. As he caught up to Wallace and grabbed him, the two engaged in a struggle. When Wallace reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny object, Shelton fired three times, thinking it was a weapon. The object turned out to be a silver iPod he allegedly stole from the home. Wallace died of his wounds two hours later at a hospital. Wallace’s family members sued the government of Nashville and the officer for damages and deprivation of civil rights. The Nashville Metro Police told Mother Jones that Shelton is still serving in the department and did not face disciplinary action for Wallace’s death.

Date: July 13, 2009
Location: Los Angeles, California
Race of victim: Black
What happened: Two LA County deputy sheriffs pulled up to the car of Woodrow Player III around 9 p.m., believing he matched the description of a man who had reportedly threatened people with a gun. Player fled, and in the foot chase that ensued pointed a “dark object” at the deputies, which they thought was a gun, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputies shot and killed Player, who was 22. Investigators later found a cell phone next to Player’s body. Player’s family filed a wrongful death suit against the department; in September 2011 a jury exonerated the deputies. The LA County Sheriff’s department told Mother Jones that an internal investigation found the deputies did not violate any department policy, and that both still serve on duty there.

Date: March 1, 2008
Location: Los Angeles, California
Race of victim: Black
What happened: At about 7 p.m., several officers from the city’s South Traffic Division saw a gray truck speeding in the Hyde Park area and crash into a palm tree. According to the police account, when Officer Jose Campos approached the truck on foot, Maurice LeRoy Cox, 38, who was driving truck, reached into the glove compartment and threatened to kill the officers if they didn’t move away. Cox stepped out of his truck and pointed what looked like a gun at the officers before running away, police said. Other officers shot at Cox as the chase led to a bank parking lot. Cox died shortly thereafter of his wounds. Police later recovered a cigarette lighter power adapter on the scene. Cox’s wife filed a $10 million claim against the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD officers for civil rights violations, battery and negligence. In November 2010, a LA Superior Court jury ruled in favor of Campos.

Date: February 27, 2008
Location: Los Angeles, California
Race of victim: Latino
What happened: Around 7 p.m., LAPD motorcycle officers in the Van Nuys neighborhood pulled over Julio Eddy Perez in a 1997 burgundy Saturn for a traffic violation. After the officers approached the car and had a brief conversation with Perez, Perez drove off and a chase ensued. Byron San Jose, a 25-year-old Latino who was riding in the backseat, jumped out of the car as it slowed down. San Jose walked toward the officers holding a “black metal object,” and one officer hit San Jose with the front of his motorcycle. The other officer, Derek Mousseau, fired several shots, killing San Jose. The aspiring rapper had been carrying a 2-foot-long microphone stand. San Jose’s family later sued the LAPD and Officer Mousseau for use of excessive force, asking for $750,000 damage compensation. The family lost the suit in November 2010.

Date: November 30, 2006
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Race of victim: Black
What happened: Joseph Fennell and Coby Taylor were walking to work when a San Antonio police officer drove onto the sidewalk, blocking their path. Officer Robert Rosales, who was investigating a string of robberies, ordered them to put their hands in the air and move toward a fence. Police officials later said Rosales stopped Fennell, 24, and Taylor, 20, because they both matched the description of a robbery suspect: a short black man in his twenties. Fennell pulled his hands out of his coat pocket; he was holding a set of keys, which prompted Rosales, who mistook the keys for a gun, to shoot. The bullet grazed Fennell’s forehead. In 2007, a grand jury declined to indict Rosales and the City Council approved an $80,000 settlement for Fennell. An internal probe into the incident did not result in disciplinary action, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Date: June 6, 2006
Location: San Francisco, California
Race of victim: Black
What happened: Three San Francisco police officers, John Keesor, Michelle Alvis, and Paul Morgado entered a town house near Lake Merced after responding to a call about suspected trespassing. After apprehending one man and finding a knife near him, they found another man, Asa B. Sullivan, hiding in a dark attic. Police said that Sullivan had stretched out his arms holding a “cylindrical object” when the officers confronted him and refused to cooperate, prompting the three officers to shoot and kill Sullivan. The object was an eyeglasses case. Sullivan’s family sued the SFPD for entering the building without a warrant and using excessive force. Eight years later, a federal court declined to charge the officers, ruling that they had acted reasonably and did not violate Sullivan’s rights. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in May 2009 that Alvin was placed on desk duty after the shooting incident. SFPD told Mother Jones that the officers were still serving on duty, but declined to disclose whether they’d faced disciplinary action related to the case, saying it was confidential.

Original article: 

Rumain Brisbon Is Just the Latest to Be Shot Dead by a Cop Over a Phantom Gun

Posted in Anchor, Coby, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rumain Brisbon Is Just the Latest to Be Shot Dead by a Cop Over a Phantom Gun