Thursday, January 19, 2012

Boston Molasses Disaster

On 15 January 1919 a huge (50 ft. tall, 90 ft. wide with 2.3 million gallons) molasses tank burst in Boston, unleashing a tidal wave of molasses from 8 to 15 feet high traveling at 35 mph! The wave broke girders of the elevated railway, swept some buildings off their foundations and crushed others Several blocks were two to three feet deep in molasses. 150 people were injured & 21 killed, crushed or drowned by molasses. Horses were crushed. It was a terrible tragedy.

Red Tails and Tall Tales

One would be hard-pressed to name a city in America without a Holocaust memorial, though it’s difficult to understand why this entirely European tragedy must be constantly mentioned in the United States.

One would be equally hard-pressed to name a city in America without a street named after the Tuskegee Airmen, or an airport, Air Force base, or military installation deprived of a huge exhibit honoring the Red Tails.

At the National Air and Space Museum outside Washington, DC, the Spirit of Tuskegee—this holiest of planes—overshadows the other exhibits not for being the plane that broke the sound barrier, but for being the vehicle that propelled black people to break the infinitely more important color barrier.

“That the glorification of the black pilots is almost entirely based on lies—it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that 1986’s Iron Eagle is based on more truth—doesn’t matter.”

Schoolchildren across America watch HBO’s 1995 The Tuskegee Airmen movie as the source material for this courageous story of black people proving they could fly planes just as well as whitey. (Never mind that less than two percent of pilots in the US military today are black and that major commercial airlines show similarly low quotients of black pilots.)

Does it matter that the 1995 movie is largely a Hollywood production based on now-discredited lies such as the “never losing a bomber” myth? Not really. Only a Tuskegee Airmen Denier—basically the equivalent of a Nazi sympathizer—would dare question the legitimacy of the “Red Tails” story. America has racially progressed to such a point that the mere thought of questioning the official Tuskegee Airmen story would be on par with a European asking if “six million Jews” really died in the concentration camps.

Today, George Lucas has decided to one-up Tyler Perry’s determination to be the lone filmmaker who makes movies targeted primarily to black people by releasing Red Tails. The film purports to tell the true story of those black fighter pilots who trained at Morton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, ultimately defeating the twin evils of Jim Crow and Nazi Germany in the process.

Much of the glory surrounding the Tuskegee Airmen’s success was situated around the superlative, almost unbelievable tale that not one of the bombers they escorted was ever lost. For 62 years this story went unchallenged, largely because of the reverence and esteem that had been built up toward these black aviators who were so pivotal in the integration of not only the armed forces, but America as a whole.

It wasn’t until a dreaded Tuskegee Airmen Denier by the name of Dr. Daniel Haulman came along in 2007 and actually researched this story—started by black journalist Roi Ottley and quickly picked up by black newspaper The Chicago Defender in 1945—that the truth came to the surface.

Vietnam Vet Randomly Attacked By Teens On Olney Street

Animals, they are

Via Tom

A Vietnam veteran who lost his eye while serving his country was violently beaten during a random attack by a group of teens on a Philadelphia street earlier this week.

The attack happened shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday in the 5000 block of N. 5th Street in the city’s Olney section.

“These animals are specializing on our elderly people out here and a gentleman who served our country,” Lt. George McClay said.


Another one in the net

Via Your Crazy Uncle

ONE of the unforgettable experiences to be had in California is to go whale watching in Monterey Bay. Nancy Black, a licensed marine biologist, is one of the scientists who lead these commercial outings, besides doing her own whale research. As Lawrence Biegel, her lawyer, tells it, one day Ms Black was in her research boat with assistants when killer whales attacked a pod of grey whales and killed a calf. Its blubber floated to the surface, and the killer whales were about to feed on it. Seizing this opportunity to film their behaviour, Ms Black threaded ropes through some pieces of blubber, then lowered a camera underwater.

For this, Ms Black might now face up to 20 years in prison and half a million dollars in fines, after a federal grand jury indicted her this month. Little about the charges makes common sense. The federal law in question is the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, which was intended to save dolphins, seals and whales from being killed and harassed. The law also banned feeding these animals, on the theory that doing so might compromise their ability to forage naturally in future. Feeding is what Ms Black is now accused of. She says she was using the protocols she had learned from the federal agencies that are now investigating her to observe a natural feeding that was already in progress.

If You See Something, Film Something (You Have The Right To Film The Police)

Via On To Liberty

Interview-Why she loves welfare, food stamps, and Obamacare

Chart: Congress's position change after SOPA/PIPA black out


The Effect of Throwing Money at Education

Verbatim Post

Adjusting for inflation, California spent $27 BILLION more on K-12 public education than they did the first time Governor Moonbeam was elected. Here’s what those who have not yet managed to escape the former Golden State have been getting for their money:


Not only are progressives spending us into bankruptcy. We are getting nothing whatsoever in return.

Anonymous shuts down government sites in retaliation

Via Vox Popoli

Update: Anonymous says they've also knocked off the RIAA's site—looks down for us at the moment as well.

Update 2: Universal Music Group has also fallen off an e-cliff.

Update 3: Goodbye for now,

Update 4: Affected sites are bouncing in and out of life, and are at the very least super slow to load. Anon agents are currently trying to coordinate their DDoS attacks in the same direction via IRC.

Update 5: The US Copyright Office joins the list.

Update 6: This Anon sums up the mood in their "official" chat room at the moment:

Danzu: STOP EVERYTHING, who are we DoSing right now?

Update 7: Russian news service RT claims this is the largest coordinated attack in Anonymous' history—over 5,600 DDoS zealots blasting at once.

Update 8: the Anonymous DDoS planning committee is chittering so quickly, it's making my laptop fan spin.

Update 9: Major record label EMI is down for the count.

Update 10: La résistance est international—French copyright authority HADOPI bites the dust under Anon pressure.

Update 11: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has fallen and can't get up.


Piper Bill Millin, RIP

Via Borepatch

The woman in the changing room

Via Cousin Bill

1929 Gar Wood Miss America VIII with 1931 Twin Miller V16 Engines