Winter strikes back

The last bit of snow and sleet and freezing rain earlier this week was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back or, in my case, caused the roof of my garage to collapse last night. The garage is a total wreck with the roof completely caved in and one wall flat on the ground. It is a detached garage so the house was not affected. Luckily, there were no people or animals or cars in the garage when it happened.
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2015 World Cup update #13: Another major disappointment for Scotland

This has been a tough World Cup for Scotland. This is their third appearance at this tournament and they are still seeking their first win. They came close against Afghanistan earlier but fell short by a whisker. Then yesterday they played Bangladesh and batting first, scored 318/8 with a fine 156 by opener Kyle Coetzer. They had to have been confident of their chances at the break but Bangladesh targeted this score in a clinical fashion and reached it quite comfortably with 6 wickets and 11 balls to spare, even though they had never successfully chased such a high score before.
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Ferguson and the hidden tax on the poor

The Department of Justice has issued a scathing report of the policing practices of the city of Ferguson, MO in the wake of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown last August. It reveals instance after instance of the way that the police abused poor and minority people, subjecting them to systematic arrests and harassment. The report details instances of racist, discriminatory, and abusive behavior.
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The weird winter we just had

In Cleveland yesterday March as usual came in like a lion with a mixture of snow, rain, and sleet that covered things with an icy mess. While temperatures went above freezing after a long, cold period, later this week will see it plunge again, as winter socks us one last time before going out like a lamb. Dennis Mersereau has been monitoring the weather and he says that we just coming to the end of a weird winter in the US, highlighted by this chart. He says that despite our subjective impressions in the eastern part of the US, for the contiguous US as a whole this winter will be warmer-than-average and drier-than-average.
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What is ISIS trying to achieve?

It seems like not a day passes without hearing about yet another atrocity carried out by the group known as ISIS (or ISIL or IS). The level of horrific actions, such as the most recent brutal beheadings by ISIS of a large number of Egyptian Christians, seems to be steadily increasing and designed to provoke the west and draw them further into the conflict. It seems likely that ISIS is going to keep upping the shock value of their actions until they get what they want. But what do they want exactly and why would ISIS want to goad the world’s largest military power into a fight against them?
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Infrastructure – The Movie

Jon Oliver has another excellent investigative report, this time on the way that America’s leaders act so cavalierly about the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The American public of course thinks that raising money to pay for repairs and maintenance is a sign that godless Communists are taking over by taxing the rich of their hard-earned dollars when that money could be used to buy yachts. They seem to think that elves will magically appear in the night and repair things for free.
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What Iranians think about Netanyahu’s visit to the US

There has been quite a to-do about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the US and his speech today to the joint session of Congress. For the first time that I can remember, there was not universal approval in Congress and the establishment media about his blatant attempt to direct US foreign policy and undermine negotiations with Iran.
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Filing false charges against the innocent

Radley Balko highlights another case where police were caught red-handed completely manufacturing false charges against Stephen Dendinger whose only ‘offense’ was that he was the person who delivered process papers to a police officer at a police station who had been charged with acting brutally against his nephew. This serving of papers is something that happens routinely all the time as part of the legal process.
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