Thursday Morning Open Thread: Shana Tova!

Always thought that Autumn was a better time to begin again than mid-winter… and a lot of us could use a reset button on 2014. Cheat sheet for us Gentiles here.
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Apart from that, what’s on the agenda for the day?






76 replies
  1. 1
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I like how the President started Rosh Hashanah by killing a bunch of people

  2. 2
    raven says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    BEIRUT, Sept 25 (Reuters) – At least 14 Islamic State fighters were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led forces overnight in northeast Syria, a group monitoring the war said on Thursday.”
    Breaks my fucking heart,

  3. 3
    R-Jud says:

    Starting a new and exciting round of hospital appointments thanks to a lump in my neck.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Breaks my fucking heart,

    Reuters seems to have changed its writing standards.

  5. 5
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Baud: You noticed that as well.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I blame George Washington for crossing the Potomac on Christmas.

  7. 7
    Cervantes says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    and a lot of us could use a reset button on 2014

    But press that reset button and you’ll end up in 5775.

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I like how the President started Rosh Hashanah by killing a bunch of people

    Maybe it’s an Israeli tradition.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: I didn’t think that was possible. Don’t you have to have one first?

  9. 9
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud:

    I blame George Washington for crossing the Potomac on Christmas.

    Was that before or after he saved the troops from Pharaoh by parting the waters of the mighty Delaware?

  10. 10
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: No kidding.

    Now and then I realize that there really are Americans, even supposedly “liberal” ones, who are the exact mirror image of people who sneer like that at any concern about Americans being killed. Even got the tone just about right.

    By the way that quote with no link to the Reuters report left off the next sentence in it:

    The strikes also killed at least five civilians

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Oh no NO LINK!

  12. 12
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    By the way that quote with no link to the Reuters report left off the next sentence in it:

    When we don’t want to see something, we find a way to not see it.

  13. 13
    Cervantes says:

    @raven:

    Oh no NO LINK!

    Well, you quoted something but did not identify the source document.

    Here is a report.

  14. 14
    gene108 says:

    @R-Jud:

    Hope turns out to be a minimally bad as possible.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    Here’s a link for you. Nobody knows the answer so you can be all smug about how “liberals” are supposed to think if you want to.

    There is widespread revulsion at Isis’s brutal ways. Most know of the beheadings of the hostages. The same sort of summary slaughter takes place most days in the city’s main square – routine killings without hearing or mercy. Many families say they have stopped taking their children to public parks.

    It is Raqqa’s silent, seething anti-Isis rump on whom the US and its regional partners will depend to eventually rise up. But before that happens, the spectre of a deadly air assault is terrifying many.

    “I believe most of the casualties will be civilian,” said Abu Mohammed, 33, a shopkeeper. “The majority will be from Raqqa and very few from Isis. Many of our young men in the city have joined Isis either because of fear or because of the wages they give, which is $400 (£246) per month. This is a very good salary for us here.”

    Abu Mohammed said he had adapted to the group’s hardline rule and saw Isis as a better option than the regime of Bashar al-Assad. “We are afraid that after the US air strikes, the regime will take control of the city. Assad is a criminal and his regime is brutal. We had bad experience with the Free Syria Army [FSA], they are corrupt and now we are getting used to Isis’s Islamic rules. Day after day, they are getting better with people.”

    Abu Maya Al-Raqawi, 40, a media worker from the city, said: “Some people are already fleeing the city as they know that civilians are going to be the real victims for these air strikes. Raqqa will be completely destroyed. We all know that Isis are spreading themselves among civilians and they occupy the FSA and old regime headquarters, which are in civilian areas. People in Raqqa have to deal with two evils, Isis or Assad. Which one is better? I don’t know the answer.”

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @Cervantes:

    I knew I would get something wrong by commenting pre-coffee.

  17. 17
    gene108 says:

    I woke up from a very vivid but very strange dream. I do wonder sometimes what my subconscious is trying to hint at.

  18. 18
    Schlemazel says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    I realized back in the ’60s that the political spectrum is not a line or an arc it is a circle. If you go out to the left edge or the right edge you can reach out & touch the other side without straining.

  19. 19
    raven says:

    @Baud: Make sure you put in a link for the fucking link police.

  20. 20
    Cervantes says:

    @raven: Can’t speak for you — but me, if I don’t know whether bombing “targets” and “accidentally” killing civilians will improve things, I tend to err on the side of not bombing and not killing.

  21. 21
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud: If only I had that excuse.

  22. 22
    raven says:

    @Cervantes: Good for you.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Cervantes:

    It’s not really an excuse. I exist in a constant state of pre-coffeeness.

  25. 25
    Schlemazel says:

    @Cervantes:
    And that is why you are unfit to be POTUS! On the International front we have become Teddy Roosevelts nation.

  26. 26
    Cervantes says:

    @Baud:

    I exist in a constant state of pre-coffeeness.

    I like that way of looking at it.

    Reminds me that, technically, walking involves a pre-falling state.

  27. 27
    Schlemazel says:

    @Baud:
    Seems the paintings have taken more damage than the actual event

  28. 28

    Oh, yip yah I get to do a monthly post-award grant financial training session today.

    I try to make it as entertaining as possible. I killed at the MGM Grand with Lola Falana as the opening act.

  29. 29
    Schlemazel says:

    @Schlemazel:
    It occurred to me on the domestic front we have become Hardings nations, so worst of both worlds.

    Online I bumped into someone that posted the picture of the coffee cup salute so I replied by posting the Bush doggy salute. He took exception & quoted the UCMJ and went on to say “Plus it was different I know Bush loved and respected the troops while Obama does not”
    After pointing out that send troops to Iraq for no good reason & starving them in Afghanistan is neither loving nor respectful I got to use a favorite line:
    “Oh you can read minds too, you must be a blessing at the JAG, they should make you an officer because you are a JAGOff.”

    So the morning is starting off well.

  30. 30
    Cervantes says:

    @Schlemazel: Why do you bother? Life is short enough as it is.

  31. 31
    debbie says:

    @raven:

    I didn’t realize how far gone Syria was until I heard a report this morning that ISIS had control of 45% of Syria’s oil refineries and were raking in up to $3 million a day. I for one was glad to hear that the refineries were the apparent target last night.

  32. 32
    debbie says:

    @Cervantes:

    I tend to err on the side of not bombing and not killing

    I can certainly relate to this feeling, but I think events have moved beyond that by now.

  33. 33
    Aimai says:

    @R-Jud: very sorry! Hope it turns out to be nothing.

  34. 34
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I’m flying to DC today to visit a friend. I intend to be a tourist.

    @R-Jud: Ack. I hope all goes as well as it can.

  35. 35
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Cervantes:

    I tend to err on the side of not bombing and not killing.

    Not bombing maybe, but not killing? For every abomination we know about, there are five we won’t know about for a decade. Every society’s streets are paved over a carpet of bones.

  36. 36
    PurpleGirl says:

    Whether religious or cultural, to all Jewish BJers… L’Shanah Tovah.

    AL: That guide to 11 questions about the High Holidays was good.

  37. 37
    AxelFoley says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I like how the President started Rosh Hashanah by killing a bunch of people

    Duly noted, your concern is.

  38. 38
    Schlemazel says:

    @Cervantes:
    I rarely do, in fact I argue against engaging the trolls that appear here. This was a special case based partly on the troll inviolved but mostly on my chance to use the jagoff line.

  39. 39
    ThresherK says:

    Cleaning in advance of looking to move. Cathartic in a good way for me. Also finding out where free shred events are, plus bulk pickup.

  40. 40
    sparrow says:

    Going to my first Rosh Hashana luncheon today (not jewish, neighbors invited us)! Making Challah bread. :)

  41. 41
    Cervantes says:

    @debbie:

    I can certainly relate to this feeling, but I think events have moved beyond that by now.

    I don’t think so — not least because what we do is part of “events” that others then respond to, or so they can claim when they behead the next one of us. A history of killing innocent people “by accident” is noticeable and counter-productive.

    As brutal as ISIS may be, so are the Syrian and Iraqi governments. There is no military solution to the chaos in Iraq and Syria (and the Kurdish lands), none whatsoever.

  42. 42
    Howard Beale IV says:

    And here we go again with a cop shooting an unarmed back man.

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    Didnt blow my mind at all

    ……………………

    Yep, We Need Dashcams
    ByJosh Marshall
    Published September 24, 2014, 11:09 PM EDT

    This video will blow your mind.

    On the plus side, the officer in question was fired from the South Carolina Highway Patrol and has now been charged with aggravated assault. But here’s the story (with video). White Highway Patrol officer stops a black man for a seat belt violation outside Columbia, SC. The state trooper Sean Groubert, 31, asks the driver for his license. The driver, Levar Jones, reaches into the car to retrieve his license – at which point Groubert screams “get out of the car” and proceeds to unload four or five rounds from his pistol into Jones at close to point blank range.

    Dashcam video after the jump …

    As you can see, the shooting is followed by a macabre and surreal dialog between Groubert and Jones in which Jones asks Groubert why he shot him. Jones seems genuinely dumbfounded, in addition to (one presumes) a mixture of fear, shock and anger. Groubert comes off not so much as consciously malevolent as bumbling and almost ridiculous – a frightening example of someone who should not be a cop or have a firearm. (Groubert’s casefile has a series of citizen complaints against him.)

    .

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/e.....d-dashcams

  44. 44
    raven says:

    @rikyrah: Good thing he’s such a shitty shot.

  45. 45
    Pee Cee says:

    White Highway Patrol officer stops a black man for a seat belt violation outside Columbia, SC.

    There’s a high probability that some doofus in this state will now call to repeal the seat belt laws … for FREEDOM.

  46. 46
    scuffletuffle says:

    Why a seat belt violation, how did the officer see whether his seat belt was fastened or not? Also, so what, he wasn’t even on a fucking street, he was driving in a parking lot. WTF?

  47. 47
    Cervantes says:

    @scuffletuffle: Good morning, Mr. van Winkle.

    (Just kidding, you know, but these occurrences are not all that new.)

  48. 48
    Cervantes says:

    @Schlemazel: Yes, I think the Brits destroyed the original — their final revenge on General Washington.

  49. 49
    Uncle Cholmondeley says:

    Even after all these years, I never get tired of this:

    “Minnesota Democrats have cash advantage”

    http://www.startribune.com/pol.....20421.html

    “State Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey, acknowledged the cash challenge but said Republicans will make up for it in other ways. “In a situation where you’re underfunded, you have to be better,” he said.

    This is excellent news…for Republicans!

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: That cop needs to do hard time for that and be banned for owning so much as a BB gun or slingshot for life. Jesus, what an idiot.

  51. 51
    mai naem says:

    I have never heard of somebody being stopped for an adult passenger not having their sear belt on. A child, yes. A driver, yes. A passenger, no. Furthermore, seat violations are generally noted when you stop the person for another more serious violation.

  52. 52
    raven says:

    @scuffletuffle: You can see if a shoulder belt is off. I got nailed a couple of years ago for one.

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @mai naem: Baloney, if the heat sees you without one they’ll give you a ticket. What do you think the “Click it or Ticket” campaign is all about?

  54. 54
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Personally? Impressive for a sitting president. Ass.

  55. 55
    beth says:

    @mai naem: It used to be a secondary violation, meaning they couldn’t stop you just for not wearing one but the law changed about five years ago where they can stop you just for that now. Of course, you’re still free to talk and text on your cell phone while driving in most of SC because that’s not dangerous at all is it?

  56. 56
    JCT says:

    Indeed, Happy New Year to those who celebrate.

    Just received a delightful missive from my daughter who is studying in the Middle East this year – apparently she spent the evening teaching her host mother about the culinary delights of the holiday.

    And on another note, re: that SC trooper, can you imagine what his story would have been without that dash cam?

  57. 57
    Cervantes says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):

    Personally? Impressive for a sitting president. Ass.

    Poetic.

    A haiku, almost.

  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:

    @AA+ Bonds: NYTimes report today:

    Sameera Salih Ali al-Nuaimy, a lawyer known for her work promoting women’s rights, was seized from her home by Islamic State fighters last week and tortured for several days before a masked firing squad executed her in public on Monday, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nation’s human rights commissioner, said in a statement.

    …The killing follows the execution of a number of Iraqi women in areas under Islamic State control documented by United Nations monitors, including that of two women candidates contesting Iraq’s general election in Nineveh Province, who were killed in July. A third woman candidate was abducted by gunmen in eastern Mosul and has not been heard from since.

    United Nations monitors in Iraq have received numerous reports of executions of women by Islamic State gunmen, some of them after perfunctory trials, the organization said. “Educated, professional women seem to be particularly at risk,” it added.

    These killings, together with abductions and the enslavement of women and children, illustrated “the utterly poisonous nature” of the extremist group, Mr. Zeid said, drawing attention to the plight of hundreds of women and girls of the Yazidi religious minority and other ethnic and religious groups sold into slavery, raped or forced into marriage after the group overran large areas of northern Iraq.

    … Information gathered by United Nations monitors on the situation in areas under Islamic State control “reveals acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale,” [UN deputy high commissioner Flavia Pansieri] said.

    I regret the civilian deaths, and support the strikes against ISIS/ISIL. Their ideology and cruelty is a destabilizing force.

    Maybe not sending boots on the ground frees up some $$ for helping Africa combat Ebola.

  59. 59
    Cervantes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I regret the civilian deaths

    And even if you don’t, you will be made to.

  60. 60
    Mike in NC says:

    @Pee Cee: Probably right. Lindsey Graham should take the lead once he gets over BENGHAZI!!

    They already have no requirement to wear a motorcycle helmet.

    Columbia SC is one of the creepiest places I’ve ever been to. About as close to North Korea as you can get, where you can’t turn around with bumping into several cops. As a bonus, to get there you need to drive down the Strom Thurmond Freeway.

  61. 61
    srv says:

    Dudebros solving real world problems:

    Simply put, Herzog has created an alternative to the tired old hoodie-and-jeans look that permeates the lofts and startups of San Francisco techie culture. It is — wait for it — the “suitsy.”

    The suitsy is a pair of dress pants, a nice white shirt and jacket … all sewn together. You step into it like a pair of mechanic’s coveralls, zip up the hidden zipper, and voila — you’re dressed for success.</blockquote

  62. 62
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike in NC: Columbia SC is one of the creepiest places I’ve ever been to.

    Long time back we had a contract there, and I’d have to go 4-5 times a year. Hated the place. One of the worst aspects was that even the really good BBQ place on the way to the airport (Maurice’s Piggie Park) was owned by an unreconstructed and unrepentant racist.

  63. 63
    gene108 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I do wonder what the hell the billions we spent training and equipping the Iraqi Army was for?

    If those fuckers had put up a fight, things would not have gotten this bad this quickly.

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @gene108:

    I do wonder what the hell the billions we spent training and equipping the Iraqi Army was for? If those fuckers had put up a fight, things would not have gotten this bad this quickly.

    There is no “Iraqi Army” the way there is a Chinese Army or a US Army. The Iraqi army is fragmented, and the fragments are not particularly respectful of, or inspired by, the central government that we put in place. That is why they do not fight for it with any particular conviction. The money we spent training and equipping them was an utter waste — as many of us said it would be — yet another example of Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s incompetence that should surprise just about no one.

    Query those who tell you otherwise.

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Their ideology and cruelty is a destabilizing force.

    If we were to bomb all the parties in the Middle East whose “ideology and cruelty is a destabilizing force,” we’d have to start with Israel (but not end there); and the fact that we don’t is itself a “destabilizing force.”

    Bombing ISIS is obviously hypocritical and will achieve nothing — well, nothing good or of lasting value.

  66. 66
    Cervantes says:

    @Cervantes: I should add: “incompetence” if you don’t count the millions that their cronies made off with in the process.

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cervantes:

    I’m not sure that it won’t. Time will tell. I don’t see the Iraqis being able to do much on their own, and a reign of terror on moderating forces must be addressed.

    Although not by US boots on the ground.

  68. 68
    Mike in NC says:

    @Cervantes: One thing we learned during the glorious invasion of Iraq in 2003 was that their army appeared to have as many colonels and generals as it did privates and corporals, and their loyalties were with their tribes, though they could be temporarily bought off for the right price. The same probably holds true in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the other regional dictatorships.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I don’t see the [Palestinians] being able to do much on their own, and a reign of terror on moderating forces must be addressed.

    Is that an argument for bombing Tel Aviv?

  70. 70
    gene108 says:

    @Cervantes:

    How did Saddam get his Iraqi Army to fight for 8 years against Iran?

    Iraq can have a functioning military, which would be relatively powerful in the region. It’s been done.

    yet another example of Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s incompetence that should surprise just about no one

    The damage Bush & Co did will be felt around the world for generations.

    For example, Clinton had pushed for the U.S. to join the Kyoto Protocols on greenhouse gas emissions. It was stalled in the Senate.

    Bush & Co. killed any chance for the Kyoto Protocols to be taken seriously at all by basically having the U.S. flip it the bird and tell the rest of the world to fuck off, we don’t give a damn about global warming.

    This is the less talked about sort of screw up, unlike say disbanding the Iraqi Army and trying to rebuild the Iraqi government from scratch.

    the fragments are not particularly respectful of, or inspired by, the central government that we put in place

    What is interesting in the articles, I have read recently about Maliki’s approach to government is that he is basically convinced that if he had any serious opposition they would stage a coup and over throw him and then proceed to execute him.

    From that sort of world view, he was a rational actor. Unfortunately you cannot build a democracy, when you do not believe the peaceful transfer of power is possible.

  71. 71
    Cervantes says:

    @gene108:

    Iraq can have a functioning military, which would be relatively powerful in the region. It’s been done.

    As you noted, it took Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party to “achieve” that.

    Neither of those forces are available today, for some reason.

  72. 72
    Cervantes says:

    @gene108:

    How did Saddam get his Iraqi Army to fight for 8 years against Iran?

    With substantial help from us, overt and covert — and you can see what happened afterwards.

    “Time will tell” has no particular meaning.

  73. 73
    raven says:

    @Cervantes: BAGHDAD (AP) — Militants with the Islamic State group publicly killed a rights lawyer in the Iraqi city of Mosul after their self-styled Islamic court ruled that she had abandoned Islam, the U.N. mission in Iraq said Thursday.

    Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was seized from her home on Sept. 17 after allegedly posting messages on Facebook that were critical of the militants’ destruction of religious sites in Mosul.

    According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, al-Nuaimi was tried in a so-called “Sharia court” for apostasy, after which she was tortured for five days before the militants sentenced her to “public execution.


    Look up the link yourself.

  74. 74
    Bob In Portland says:

    How ironic:

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has blamed the rise of violent extremism in the Middle East on the West’s “strategic blunders”.

    Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Rouhani said the solution for the crisis had to come from within the region.

    He also accused “certain intelligence agencies” of funding groups such as Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq.

    World leaders are meeting at the UN in New York to discuss the threat of IS.

    In a wide-ranging speech, Mr Rouhani said that terrorism was now a “global threat, from New York to Mosul, from Damascus to Baghdad, from the easternmost to the westernmost parts of the world, from al Qaeda to [Islamic State].”

    “The interests of Western countries in our region are tied to their recognition of beliefs and the desire of the people for democratic governance in the region.

    Our region expects that the Western world would once and for all place itself in the company of those true seekers of democracy, and, hence, soften the bitter memories of its support for dictators,” he said.

    Russia Today had more of his speech included in its story though.

  75. 75
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Russia Today had more of his speech included in its story though.

    I’m sure it did. Say, didn’t Russia and Afghanistan use to have a history?

  76. 76
    Cervantes says:

    @raven:

    Look up the link yourself.

    You see to be having a bad day. Was there a point to your excerpt? You didn’t specify one.

    If the point was that ISIS people are bad people, welcome to the world. You might want to learn more about the depredations of the Iraqi government that have produced sympathy for ISIS among the populace.

    As I said above, anyone whose idea of geopolitical strategy is to Bomb Bad People should explain why we are not bombing so many other bad, badder, and baddest people.

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