February 13, 2014 archive
Feb 13 2014
Feb 13 2014
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.
February 13 is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 321 days remaining until the end of the year (322 in leap years).
On this day in 1633, Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo officially faced the Roman Inquisition in April of that same year and agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. Put under house arrest indefinitely by Pope Urban VIII, Galileo spent the rest of his days at his villa in Arcetri, near Florence, before dying on January 8, 1642.
Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), commonly known as Galileo, was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of science”, and “the Father of Modern Science”. Stephen Hawking says, “Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science.”
The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.
Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime, when a large majority of philosophers and astronomers still subscribed to the geocentric view that the Earth is at the centre of the universe. After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman Inquisition early in 1615. In February 1616, although he had been cleared of any offence, the Catholic Church nevertheless condemned heliocentrism as “false and contrary to Scripture”, and Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it-which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.
Feb 13 2014
On September 30, 2011, President Barack Obama authorized the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen by virtue of his birth in New Mexico in 1971, by an American drone in Yemen along with another U.S. citizen, Samir Khan, who grew up in New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina. Two weeks later, Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, was killed by another US strike in Yemen. Jude Kenan Mohammad, alleged to have at one stage been part of an eight-man terror cell in North Carolina, was killed by a US drone strike in Pakistan later in 2011. These assassinations made Barack Obama the first president known president to have authorized the assassination of a US citizen.
Now, as was reported by the Associated Press, Pres. Obama is trying to find a way to legally justify the assassination of another American citizen living in Pakistan. The target has been accused, without evidence, of plotting attacks against America with Al Qaeda:
The CIA drones watching him cannot strike, because he’s a US citizen and the Justice Department must build a case against him, a task it hasn’t completed.
Four US officials said the American suspected terrorist is in a country that refuses US military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him. And President Obama’s new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House. [..]
Under new guidelines Obama addressed in a speech last year to calm anger overseas at the extent of the US drone campaign, lethal force must only be used “to prevent or stop attacks against US persons, and even then, only when capture is not feasible and no other reasonable alternatives exist to address the threat effectively.” The target must also pose “a continuing, imminent threat to US persons” – the legal definition of catching someone in the act of plotting a lethal attack.
Co-founders of the new digital magazine Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald discuss the issue of another American being targeted for assassination with [Democracy Now! ]’s Amy Goodman.
While the Associated Press had agreed to keep the name and location of Pres. Obama’s latest target, his location was disclosed by the Los Angeles Times.
Why should we, as Americans, accept that the Executive Branch can act as judge, jury and executioner without a trial in a duly recognized court of law? Where is any evidence that this person is a threat or even doing what the Obama administration charges are his alleged crimes? At FDL Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola asks why should a news organization should conceal the target’s identity and location for an administration that has touted greater transparency:
Knowing where he is currently located would help one understand this story appropriately. So, in what country would certain officials like to be able to launch an attack? [..]
It seems reasonable to question this decision by the AP to not publish. The decision bears a distinct similarity to refusing to print that a secret drone base is located in a certain country when covering the issue of drones, which US media organizations have previously done.
If it is illegal to add the person to a list and the government cannot come up with a legal way to launch a US military attack because the country opposes it, why should a media organization play the role of not “interrupting” this “ongoing counterterror operation”?
Just how many alleged American members of al Qaeda are there? This report disseminated on the Internet could now aid an “enemy” in figuring out some details on the extent to which he is being tracked and monitored for assassination in order to stop him from launching more attacks on Americans overseas. So, it would seem if AP really wants to protect counterterror operations from “interruption” they would simply not publish the story at all.
The story was given to Associated Press reporter Kimberly Dozier by four anonymous “US officials,” who were not authorized to speak, and a “senior administration official” possibly from the Department of Justice may have political undertones. Marcy Wheeler suggested that the sources may have been congressional staffers since Dozier mentioned Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, who is upset because Obama’s new guidelines would impede the assassination of another American.
Whatever the allegations are against this person, it does not legally justify the use of a drone to target an American in a sovereign country that we are not at war with or without due process. Breaking the law under the guise of protecting America from terrorist attack is not justifiable. Regardless of who is in the Oval Office, the US should be a nation of laws and respect the constitutional rights of its citizens.
Feb 13 2014
Our regular featured content-
These featured articles-
- Obama Targets Another American for Assassination by Drone by TheMomCat
- Introducing priceman’s Rants: No Real Choices for the People by priceman
These special events:
- XXII Day 6 by ek hornbeck
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Feb 13 2014
Men’s Curling 1 – 3. Women’s Curling 0 – 4. U-S-A! U-S-A! Temperatures still a slushy 60 degrees while it’s 26 in Stars Hollow and we’re expecting another 6 – 8 inches of snow and freezing rain starting at midnight. Guy who got stuck in the toilet also got stuck in an elevator. Bob Costas still has pink eye, says you shouldn’t come to work sick (no shit Sherlock, you just spread your disease).
Tonight’s highlights (for me at least) are Women’s Downhill (a surprise finish, but no spoilers), Women’s Half-Pipe, Luge Doubles, Team Relay (never heard of that before), Skeleton (belly flop Flexible Flyers).
|5 pm||CNBC||Curling, men’s: Switzerland vs. Great Britain.|
|5:30 pm||Vs.||Hockey, women’s: Canada vs. USA.|
|8 pm||NBC||Alpine skiing: women’s downhill gold medal final; speed skating: men’s 1000m gold medal final; figure skating: pairs’ gold medal final; snowboarding: women’s halfpipe gold medal final.|
|12:05 am||NBC||Luge: doubles gold medal final runs.|
|1:05 am||NBC||Alpine skiing: women’s downhill gold medal final; speed skating: men’s 1000m gold medal final; figure skating: pairs’ gold medal final; snowboarding: women’s halfpipe gold medal final. (repeat)|
|3 am||Vs.||Hockey, men’s: Finland vs. Austria.|
|5 am||USA||Curling, men’s: USA vs. Great Britain.|
|5:30 am||Vs.||Cross-country skiing: women’s 10km classical gold medal final; skeleton: women’s competition.|
|7:30 am||MSNBC||Hockey, men’s: Russia vs. Slovenia.|
|7:30 am||Vs.||Hockey, men’s: Slovakia vs. USA.|
|10 am||MSNBC||Curling, men’s: Canada vs. Denmark.|
|10 am||Vs.||Figure skating: men’s short program, part 1.|
|11:45 am||Vs.||Figure skating: men’s short program, part 2.|
|noon||MSNBC||Hockey, women’s: Sweden vs. Russia.|
|noon||USA||Hockey, men’s: Canada vs. Norway.|
|3 pm||NBC||Biathlon: men’s 20km individual gold medal final; luge: team relay gold medal final runs.|
|5 pm||CNBC||Curling, women’s: USA vs. Japan.|
|5 pm||Vs.||Hockey: Game of the Day.|
Wednesday Medal Results below the fold ~ TMC