June 17, 2013 archive

Jun 17

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Jun 17

On This Day In History June 17

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

June 17 is the 168th day of the year (169th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 197 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, arrives in New York City’s harbor.

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World, French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue has become an icon of freedom and of the United States.

Bartholdi was inspired by French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye, who commented in 1865 that any monument raised to American independence would properly be a joint project of the French and American peoples. Due to the troubled political situation in France, work on the statue did not commence until the early 1870s. In 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the pedestal and the site. Bartholdi completed both the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was fully designed, and these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions. The arm was displayed in New York’s Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the World initiated a drive for donations to complete the project, and the campaign inspired over 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe’s Island. The statue’s completion was marked by New York’s first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.

The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War; since 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service. The statue was closed for renovation for much of 1938. In the early 1980s, it was found to have deteriorated to such an extent that a major restoration was required. While the statue was closed from 1984 to 1986, the torch and a large part of the internal structure were replaced. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, it was closed for reasons of safety and security; the pedestal reopened in 2004 and the statue in 2009, with limits on the number of visitors allowed to ascend to the crown. The statue is scheduled to close for up to a year beginning in late 2011 so that a secondary staircase can be installed. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch has been barred for safety reasons since 1916.

Jun 17

Just What We Need

You see, things are getting a little hot on the domestic front what with IRS-gate (probably no there there),  AP/Fox-Gate (it’s bad to spy on reporters), NSA-gate (Hey, no big.  We’re spying on everybody!), and the various policy failures (No Grand Bargain for YOU!  Mr. Deficit- he dead).

So we need a distraction.  Something that will revive that good old mindless U-S-A! U-S-A! chanting spirit.

I’ve got it!  How about another Middle Eastern war?

U.S. Confirms Syrian Government’s Use Of Chemical Weapons

By Hayes Brown, ThinkProgress

Jun 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm

The United States on Thursday confirmed that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people, ending weeks of uncertainty over precisely who had unleashed the deadly agents.



That uncertainty apparently no longer exists within the U.S. intelligence community. According to a statement from the White House, the intelligence community now with a high-degree of confidence “estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks.” The White House also indicated that the United States is “going to make decisions about further action on our own timeline.”



President Obama has long called the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime a “red-line,” one that would be met with unspecified consequences if it were to be crossed. The determination that the line has been crossed has led to the Obama administration finally deciding to provide more and greater types of support to the Syrian rebels in their attempts to overthrow Assad.

On a call with reporters, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama has decided to give the rebels “military support,” but refused to directly say whether the U.S. had decided to arm Syria’s rebels, saying he was unable to detail every type of support the Syrian rebels will be receiving. Rhodes stressed, however, that this aid would be “responsive” to the requests of the Syrian Military Council and that it would be “substantively different” in “both scope and scale than what we have provided before.” The Obama administration has mulled arming the rebels for months now without pulling the trigger, instead insisting on only providing non-lethal aid.

Gee, didn’t we arm Osama Bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein?

What could possibly go wrong?

Jun 17

Cartnoon

Jun 17

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Jewelry 1

Jun 17

Late Night Karaoke


Jun 17

Who Used Chemical Weapons in Syria?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

There are a lot of unanswered questions about the use of chemical weapons in the two year old conflict between the Syrian government and the Syrian rebels. This week, the Obama administration has concluded that Syrian regime of president Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against rebel fighters:

Congressional sources told CNN that investigators concluded that Syria has used chemical weapons multiple times.

In a statement released on Thursday, the White House says U.S. intelligence concluded that the Assad regime used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent Sarin, against rebel fighters in the last year. [..]

National Security Council deputy advisor Ben Rhodes said on Thursday that the President Obama reached a decision on what the new support for the Syrian opposition would look like. According to Buzzfeed, Rhodes said: “The president has made a decision “about what kind of additional support will be provided to the rebels. It will be “direct support to the SMC [Supreme Military Command] that includes military support.” Rhodes added that no decision has been made on the institution of a no-fly zone.

That’s correct the US is now going to arm Al Qaeda against the Hezbolah backed Assad government and no one, not even the press, is asking the hard questions. That is all but one member of the press. Al Jazeera White House correspondent goes there and asks, Where is the proof?

No one, not one person asked if the Obama administration would make public any of its “proof” that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons.

Think about that for a moment. An American administration is being allowed to say “trust us” on the issue of chemical weapons use and its consequences.

I’m not an expert, I don’t know what they have or if it would prove what they say. What I’m wondering is if they should have to share something.

I think it takes on an added importance when you hear the scepticism from other countries and what seem to be flaws in the US explanation. [..]

The allegations of chemical weapons being used and any kind of military response require a serious discussion, and questioning. I didn’t get a chance to ask – but if you look in the way back of the room – you’ll see my hand held high – I couldn’t get the White House’s attention that way, maybe this will work instead – couldn’t do that in grade school – we didn’t have the internet.

Patrick Coburn,  veteran foreign correspondent of The Independent, joined Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democarcy Now! to discuss this latest development in Syria’s civil war.

“There must be some doubts about this,” Cockburn says, adding that it “reminds me of what they were saying in 2002 and 2003 about Saddam [Hussein]’s weapons of mass destruction.” Cockburn warns U.S. involvement could escalate regional conflicts that could “go on for years,” and critiques the media’s lack of skepticism about White House claims.



Transcript can be read here

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. We all know where that got us the last time.

Jun 17

My rant of the week

Jun 17

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our regular featured content-

These weekly features-

These featured articles-

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Write more and often.  This is an Open Thread.

The Stars Hollow Gazette