Morning Reads for Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

The Battle of Missionary Ridge was fought on this day in 1863, and it’s Evacuation Day in NYC (above). Morning Reads, after the jump…


  • With the straight and narrow, try to comport,
  • because private probation got the OK from a Georgia court (Telegraph)
  • Cheeba, chronic, ganja, Mary Jane,
  • a prefiled bill seeks to make marijuana legal (in the main) (ajc)
  • The dismissal of his ethics complaint made him exalt with glee,
  • now Tim Lee wants to know, “why don’t you appreciate me?” (ajc)
  • The story of the board company of Salemtown,
  • as the neighborhood moves up, can they stay down? (BitterSoutherner)
  • Did Rep. James Beverly’s fraud force a buyer to gut
  • a historic home to make room for a Dunkin’ Donut? (Telegraph)
  • The Atlanta Fire Chief writes a book with his thoughts on gays (ajc),
  • supposed to put out fires, now started one that’ll last for days.



  • Benghazi Coverup Claims Rejected in House Investigation (Bloomberg)
  • Wale and Jerry Seinfeld: a list as preamble to angry conversation (Complex)
  • Uber’s Travis Kalanick spends a lot of his time on the warpath defending the black car (Vanity Fair)
  • Mr. Miller Doesn’t Go to Washington: A candidate’s memoir. (Politico)
  • Why Countries Wage Currency War (Bloomberg View)
  • this goes beyond helping exports and slowing imports – it’s not a bore,
  • Why Google and Uber Are Playing Badly on the continent (The Fiscal Times)
  • Hint: Big Data and hubris go poorly in EU government,
  • No matter the source, getting work done is a matter of joules,
  • but now Solar and Wind Energy are starting to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels (NYT)
  • The case for open borders, without pretense (Vox)
  • sorry guys, it makes economic sense
  • The Best Jokes Are Dangerous, An Interview with Kurt Vonnegut, Part One. (McSweeney’s)
  • Out of the Birdcage: How Mike Nichols Made Gay Culture Tons of Fun (Daily Beast)
  • Bill Nye on Science, Space and the Bow Tie (WSJ),
  • and belt driven cycles, swing dancing, and martinis, oh my!







  1. Harry says:


    Barack Obama defied the ­advice of his embassy in Canberra to deliver a stinging attack on the Abbott government’s climate policies in Brisbane last weekend. The US embassy, under the leadership of ambassador John Berry, advised the President, through his senior staff, not to couch his climate change comments in a way that would be seen as disobliging to the Abbott government, sources have revealed. . .

    It is normal practice when the US President makes an overseas visit that the ambassador in the country he is visiting is consulted about the contents of major speeches. It is unusual, though not unprecedented, for an embassy’s advice to be ignored. The Obama speech in Brisbane was added to the President’s program at the last minute. During his extensive talks with Tony Abbott in Beijing at APEC, Mr Obama did not make any mention of a desire to make a speech, or of any of the contentious climate change content of the speech. Only in Naypyidaw, in Myanmar, immediately prior to the leaders travelling to Brisbane for the G20 summit, did the US party demand that the President make a speech and that it be to an audience of young people. At the speech, the President did not ­acknowledge the presence of Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

    Despite repeated Australian requests, White House officials refused to provide a text of the speech to their Australian hosts in advance, and did not provide a summary of what would be contained in the speech.

    Mr Obama’s repeated references to the climate change debate in Australia, his accusation that Australia was an inefficient user of energy and his repeated references to the Great Barrier Reef, which has figured heavily in the climate change debate, have led observers to conclude that the speech was a deliberate swipe at the Abbott government. Historians of the US-Australia relationship are unable to nominate a case of a visiting president making such a hostile speech for the host government.

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has accused Mr Obama of speaking in ignorance about the joint plans by the federal and Queensland governments to act to preserve the Great Barrier Reef. She sent a briefing on the reef to the White House after Mr Obama’s speech was delivered. . .

    Sources in Washington said the Brisbane speech was a sign of deep divisions within the Obama administration over how to deal with Australia, and over Asian policy generally. . .

    Since the Abbott government was elected last September, there has been a group within the Obama administration that wants to take a tougher public line against Canberra on differences over climate change, in particular the decision to abolish the carbon tax. Washington sources say the figure who ultimately adjudicated on this internal debate was Mr Obama, who recognised that Mr Abbott had been elected with a clear mandate to abolish the tax. . .

    Mr Obama has previously had a warm personal relationship with Mr Abbott. The President has been a frequent telephone caller to Mr Abbott, almost always with a request for Australian support for a US policy or initiative, from troops for the Middle East, US trade initiatives in Asia, or important regional diplomatic matters, especially those involving security. On every occasion the US President has asked for help, the Australian Prime Minister has provided it. Doubt that will continue.

  2. Noway says:

    Let’s see, grand jury sees and hears all of the evidence and issues no indictment; but stores looted, cars burned. Why?

    • John Konop says:

      A few thoughts:This was not Travon Martin case were a kid was walking home eating sciddles not committing any crimes…..With that said, I have never seen the prosecutor act like a defense lawyer like in this case….yet I do think at the end….it appears the policeman had reason to fear Mike Brown….the question is what degree of force should he had used….12 bullets, he was unarmerd, and the distance between them should be at least of enough in most cases to get an involuntary manslaughter charge…..In now way from what I have seen is this a premedited murder…..This also is not slam dunk case via involuntary manslaughter….a long trial and no conviction could of made the problem worse…At the end day, this calls for police to have mini camras on them…..and ending The war on drugs would lower tensions….

      • saltycracker says:

        How about not robbing a store and assaulting an officer ? The sad takeaway is all the police and national guard support will not stop mob’s from burning and looting.
        After all the coverage on the grand jury and info, folks interviewed on TV still rejected the legal process and insisted Brown was gunned down in the back…… have never thought about arming my family until watching last night.

        • John Konop says:

          I agree about much of it….but the prosecutor sounded like a defense attorney, and the jury was 9 whites and 3 blacks….You are right like the Martin case the media is out of control….trying to drive viewers first….

          • saltycracker says:

            Analysis is good for the learning process. Our expectation of police/national guard is protection from the immediate threat. When assaulted and charged, if 12 bullets don’t stop it, reload. When the situation escalates to out of control with property being burned and looted, shoot to kill. Hurricanes or violent mob riots ( not to be confused with peaceful/loud demonstrations).

      • Raleigh says:

        How is pounding someone head into the pavement “not committing a crime”? After robbing a store, assaulting the store owner, and refusing to follow a police officer’s instructions then attacking the officer we should charge the officer with manslaughter? How did the officer know after receiving a report of the robbery that the 6 foot 4 inch 290 pound “kid” wasn’t high on meth or worse?

        This has nothing to do with the “war on Drugs”. Listen to the rhetoric from the race warlords to understand why this has been such a flash point. They started it, fanned the flames, and now they are trying to sound like the voice of reason. They are not the voice of reason they caused this and they should own it. Mr. Brown is dead because of his own actions no one else is to blame.

        • John Konop says:

          First, a charge does not mean you are guilty….Second, the kid was unarmed, and shot at the time when he allegedly charged him…., the issue is could the officer done something less than 12 shots one in the head and one in the chest….from what I heard he could of gotten out of the way via the distance and or shot him in the knees….

          • Raleigh says:

            Why charge the officer at all? Just because someone wants it is not justice either. How many shots does it take? There are documented cases where a full clip 9mm did not stop a charging perp especially when they were high on drugs. I don’t believe the officer had time to ask him if he was on drugs or have him tested to be sure.At 6 foot 4 inches and 290 lbs that’s no child. As far as getting out of the way the officer had a large bruise and other marks to the left side of his head from photographic evidence take after the altercation. Obviously Mr. Brown was much closer to the officer than at a distance he could “get out of the way”. How many shots? If you are forced to shot you shoot until the threat has been neutralized. This Grand Jury saw more evidence presented for this case than at any other proceeding and decided there was no case. BTW the store where Mr. Brown allegedly robbed and roughed up the store owner was burned down last night how about justice for him?

            • John Konop says:

              The story is not clear…

              ………The witness said she was watching Brown talk to Wilson through the window of the police car when Wilson grabbed Brown. She says a scuffle ensued, Wilson fired two shots, and at least one of them struck Brown.

              “I know I seen a spot on him; knew that he was hit; and then the second shot rung off,” she says. At that point, Brown ran away from Wilson and toward where she was standing, she says.

              When he reached a nearby telephone pole, Brown stopped running. “And that’s when his arms went up and he turnt around, and he was walkin’ back towards the police,” she says. “But … I heard him say, ‘I give up.’ I know I heard him say that … ‘I give up.'”

              Wilson had gotten out of the police car by now, the witness says, and when Brown turned around with his hands in the air, she says, Wilson fired at least four more times until Brown, who was unarmed, collapsed to the ground. Wilson fired 12 shots in total, according to St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch.

              In his grand jury testimony, Wilson said that Brown punched him twice in the face through the car window and that a third blow could have been “fatal” or at least rendered him unconscious. He said he had warned Brown to get back from the car, or he would shoot. He also said that he felt using his weapon was his “only option.”

              Wilson said that after Brown ran away from him, Brown turned back around, making a “grunting” sound and then charging at him. That was when Wilson said he fired the shots that killed Brown.

              In announcing the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson on Monday, McCulloch talked about the problems inherent in eyewitness accounts. He said that many people who saw the shooting “truly believe” their version of events “even in the face of their testimony being in conflict with the physical evidence.”

              The witness who told law enforcement that Brown said, “I give up,” for instance, said there was another police officer in the car with Wilson during the incident, even though accounts from both sides have always maintained Wilson was alone.

              Several eyewitnesses offered contradictory accounts of both the timing and order of events of the shooting. Some claimed Brown held his hands up before he was shot, while others claimed he did not. Other witnesses said Brown charged Wilson before being shot, while yet additional witnesses claimed the teenager was on his knees before his death. There is also conflicting testimony on whether Brown made a motion toward his waistline, as Wilson described.

              A young woman, who witnessed a portion of the incident from a third-floor apartment window, said she saw Brown on his knees “grabbing his, either this stomach or his side and had it … then he put his hands up and then the man just keep aiming … um … firing and then that was it.” Another witness who saw the shooting from a third-floor window claimed that he saw Brown on his knees with his hands up in the air, telling Wilson, “Please don’t shoot me.”

              A man who witnessed the incident while on his porch claimed that Brown was shot in the back while he was running away. According to his testimony, Brown then turned around, put up his hands, and said, “Don’t shoot.”

              A man who was working about 100 yards from the shooting, however, claimed that Brown’s hands never went up at all, and that he was not on his knees.

              “He turned around and he did some type of movement. I never seen him put his hands up or anything. I’m not sure if he pulled his pants up or whatever he did but I seen some type of movement and he started charging towards the police officer,” said the witness, who was not close enough to hear any words being exchanged.

              “I know for sure they weren’t above his head,” he added………

              • Raleigh says:

                John, the Grand jury heard many different eye witness accounts. If they just had that to go on you still could not have honestly charged that officer because of all the differing views of the events as you just pointed out. After hearing all the evidence presented the result was the Grand Jury could not bind over the case for trial. Case closed. None of this justifies what is happening now, looting, destruction of property, riots, and more murders before this is over.

        • Three Jack says:

          Well put Raleigh. If Brown had paid for the Swisher Sweets like most folks do when they decide to acquire a product, he would still be wandering around aimlessly just as he was before he met Officer Wilson. It’s as simple as that.

            • Three Jack says:

              “Petty theft”, assault of the store owner, property damage, assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, verbal attacks…the list goes on. None of it would have happened if the loser would have purchased his stogies. He was a thug, he is no more.

            • Noway says:

              Yeah, Dave, he got the “death penalty” for stealing the Swishers! (Eye roll…) What a moronic comment with no value whatsoever…

      • Will Durant says:

        I’m waiting to read the evidence presented as we are just now getting access. Why wasn’t this at least announced this morning so that the criminals would not have had the cover of darkness to help hide their initial actions?

  3. xdog says:

    I’m thankful for the return of the rhyming news,
    It’s a standout among dry political views.
    The top-flight links are an additional boost
    To a rhyme scheme that sometimes really gets juiced.
    Black car and memoir and joules and fuels
    Are merely a sampling of poetic tools
    Used to honor the journalistic jewels
    That are offered up gratis to us grateful mules.

  4. androidguybill says:


    Please, stop it with the “end the war on drugs” nonsense. In the 1980s, civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson and the Congressional Black Caucus were demanding the war on drugs, demanding more police, more enforcement, tougher sentences etc. with claims that the racist government were not doing enough to stop the drugs that they said were destroying the black community. A common slogan back then: “If they can put a man on the moon, they can stop drugs from coming into the black community if they wanted to.” As a matter of fact, there were a lot of conspiracy theories that white people (i.e. the government, the mafia etc.) were REALLY behind flooding the black community with drugs as a plot to keep blacks from gaining political and economic power and to destroy the black family. So when that “Freeway Ricky Ross” scandal involving crack money being used to buy arm for Contras hit during the Bush administration, that was all the proof that was needed that racist whites were REALLY the ones flooding the black community with drugs. (Not just drugs. Movies from that era like “Boyz N Tha’ Hood” and “Lethal Weapon 2” depicted “white conspiracies” to flood the black community with guns.)

    But that shifted. First, early in the Clinton era, the rhetoric shifted, starting with Jesse Jackson trying to pressure Bill Clinton to rescind federal laws mandating tougher penalties for crack cocaine than powder cocaine. (Though Jackson was not sincere; he was trying to embarrass and undermine Clinton from the left.) Of course, Jackson, when railing against this policy as having a racist intent and disparate impact, totally failed to mention that it was the Congressional Black Caucus led by John Conyeres who were responsible for pressuring the Reagan administration for the tougher laws on crack cocaine to begin with. Then, the idea came about that laws that blacks committed were “racist” and should be decriminalized, and that attempts to enforce the law in communities that suffered racism, poverty, bad schools, poor health care, lack of capital investment, redlining etc. was unjust anyway (this became popular in response to Rudy Giuliani’s “stop-and-frisk” policy as well as 3 strikes laws).

    So no, ending the war on drugs won’t stop the tension. The tension is due to a large portion of the population that feels that the law should not apply to them, and their having a vocal contingent of backers in politics, entertainment and media. I go to the New York Times,, The Atlantic, Slate, Los Angeles Times … many of the oped columnists and even the news reporters never really confronted the fact that Brown attacked Wilson, tried to take his gun and shoot him with it. None of them bothered to interview current or former police officers and ask them what their reaction would be to a person who did such a thing. To its credit,, an “urban media” site which is generally prone to trafficking racist rhetoric and Marxist propaganda, did interview a black female police woman (who requested anonymity of course) who stated that if anyone attempted to assault her and steal her service weapon, she would A) assume that the person is very dangerous, psychotic, on drugs etc. and B) do her level best to “take that person down” in order to defend herself and innocent bystanders. A little research reveals that in some areas, police officers are specifically trained to take out anyone who goes for their gun, no questions asked. Because of this disgraceful behavior of the media and politicians, a lot of people right now honestly believe that Brown’s trying to take Wilson’s gun and murder him with it – and then carry it off and do who knows what with it, like maybe go back to that convenience store that Brown had violently robbed just 15 minutes earlier and finish off the shopkeeper that he assaulted – is just nonessential, extraneous information that had nothing to do with what happened seconds later … that Brown’s having “his hands up” was far more important than what he used those hands for (to assault and attempt to kill Wilson) seconds earlier.

    As long as these facts exist – that the common belief exists that because racism/poverty/marginalization etc. exempts them from the law and the rules of civil society, this tension will continue. You can repeal the drug laws, and these folks will simply move on to another set of laws that they don’t feel like adhering to. They have already practically taken the position that there should be no real effort to curb even murder in some areas (yes this includes Chicago) because, you know, the NRA and their opposition to gun control and stuff.

    And as for Trayvon Martin: here is the reality. George Zimmerman had stopped pursuing Martin. Martin was home free; he merely needed simply keep running (or walking) to his father’s house. Martin stopped, turned around, went back to where Zimmerman was waiting for the police and attacked him! This is not in dispute but was 100% clear based on where the crime scene took place. And this was why:
    A) the police department and local prosecutor did not initially press charges
    B) why the black female in the jury stated that the case should have never gone to trial to begin with!

    Now this information was commonly known to the media. They chose not to report it. Instead, they lied to the public by falsely claiming that Zimmerman pursued Martin because he was black (when in fact Zimmerman only gave Martin’s race because and when the dispatcher asked for it) and repeating the litany of lies produced by the family’s lawyer Benjamin Crump (who also represented the Brown family and repeated his tactic of releasing outright lies to inflame public opinion), including his claim that he had cell phone transcripts that proved that Zimmerman chased Martin down and killed him (no such transcripts ever existed, and further his claims of the contents of the transcripts were contradicted by Rachel Jeantel’s testimony).

    So actually the converse of what you said is true: there is a much bigger chance that Darren Wilson committed a crime than George Zimmerman did. You can at least ARGUE that a person who attacks a police officer and tries to steal his gun and murder him with it and then tries to run away should not be gunned down after he surrenders. (Now in reality this is not going to happen … if you do this you are signing your own death warrant. But there is at least in theory that doing so violates the letter of the law and in some areas proper police procedure, even if there isn’t a jury on this planet that will actually convict you.) But there is NO WAY and NO CHANCE that Zimmerman committed any crime. The problem with the Zimmerman case is that so many people chose to believe the lies of the Martin family’s lawyer instead of the actual evidence that was presented to the jury.

      • androidguybill says:

        The guy who has an intense, inexplicable burning dislike for Kasim Reed, one of the most moderate urban mayors in the country, and who wants to see MARTA chopped up and parceled out to state and private control? That is not me.

    • John Konop says:

      YOU SAID:

      …Please, stop it with the “end the war on drugs” nonsense…..

      THE FACTS:

      I could careless who advocated what…BUT THE FACTS ARE CLEAR! If you increase the amount of people in jail by 828% post War on Drugs via a policy change… are a FOOL not to take this into consideration.

      ……. In the twenty-five years since the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the United States penal population rose from around 300,000 to more than two million.[14] Between 1986 and 1991, African-American women’s incarceration in state prisons for drug offenses increased by 828 percent.[15……….

      • androidguybill says:

        And you are a FOOL if you do not take into consideration the FACT that people who do not respect one law will generally break others. And if you do not take into consideration the FACT that for at least the past 20 years, people in certain communities have had it instilled in them that breaking the law is OK, acceptable and justified because of their circumstances and the law – and society itself – being unfair.

        So go ahead, legalize drugs tomorrow. You will still have to deal with a huge population of people who do not believe that the law applies to them and acts accordingly.

        And this population includes both Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin. Who in addition to being “strung out on dope” (to make use of that anachronistic term) when they died but also violently attacked and tried to kill people. You can legalize marijuana, but that won’t stop people like Brown and Martin from trying to kill people because they have no respect for the law, civility, other people and ultimately themselves. And that is the sad fact that people are trying their best to avoid.

        • John Konop says:

          ….And you are a FOOL if you do not take into consideration the FACT that people who do not respect one law will generally break others…

          1) You are ok with Rush Limbaugh doing no time for abusing prescription drugs way stronger than pot, but against poor people who smoke dope? I guess Rush can not respect the laws in your view….but the poor people…..

          …….. law is OK, acceptable and justified because of their circumstances and the law – and society itself – being unfair. …

          2) I am not justifying anything…I am just explaining how to fix the problem…if you take away the ability for a person to make a decent living…you will see push back…lets say your hero Rush had all his money and assets seized, and was in jail…and could not longer get a good job….what we would be his behavior and or his family?

          ….And this population includes both Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin. Who in addition to being “strung out on dope”….

          3) Just because a someone is high and drunk does mean they are “strung out on drugs”…Once again your hero Rush had way more issues….

          • androidguybill says:

            Rush Limbaugh is not my hero. Even if I were a conservative Republican – and I am not – I would be furious at Limbaugh for torpedoing the candidacy of the one guy who had a shot at beating Obama in 2012, which was Mike Huckabee.

            Rush Limbaugh got off for the same reason that O.J. Simpson and Ray Lewis did: being rich and able to afford the best lawyers. That has very little to do with race and nothing to do with the war on drugs.

            OK, so if Brown and Martin were not strung out on drugs, what explains their attempts to murder Zimmerman and Wilson? If you ask me, being able to attribute it to drug impairment is actually in their favor. Otherwise, they were simply vicious criminals. Right?

            If you want to make your arguments for drug decriminalisation, use the same ones that folks use in Sweden, OK? Don’t claim that it will turn people like Martin and Brown into solid citizens.

            • John Konop says:

              You are twisting my words…..never said decriminalizing pot would stop people from smoking pot, drinking beer…..the issue is putting people in prison is not a smart solution….and has done way more harm….numbers do not lie….

    • zedsmith says:

      stop playing politics and start talking policy. Either the last 30 years of law enforcement and sentencing regarding drugs should be changed or it shouldn’t. It really doesn’t matter what Jesse Jackson thought, or a bunch of neighbors thought way back in the day.

  5. Jon Lester says:

    I wish as much energy had gone into investigating why we destroyed Libya in the first place, to say nothing of purposefully destabilizing Ukraine and making energy executives out of Hunter Biden and John Kerry’s old campaign manager.

Comments are closed.