Something major is going on in the Boston area right now

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UPDATE: THESE ARE NOW THOUGHT TO BE THE SUSPECTS SOUGHT IN THE BOSTON BOMBING. ONE DECEASED, ONE AT LARGE ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEOUS

A police officer is reported shot dead tonight and there are reports of explosions and a firefight going on or just concluded in Watertown, MA. There are rumors that one person is in custody and one person being chased. So far there are no links to the Boston bombings and, reader beware, there have been some stellar dumbass false reports out of that area all week. The only thing I can say for sure I’ve seen blowing up is Twitter. That being said there is rampant speculation this may be related and that one of those people involved fits the descriptions and images released earlier today. There are conflicting rumors it may be related to an armed robbery investigation.

Follow hashtag #SCanner; #Watertown; Reported on #Scanner: “We Do Not have the second suspect in custody”.

Update: Police reportedly have a suspect on the ground at gunpoint and then suddenly backed up as if he were wired or somehow posing a danger.

Update: MSNBC showing video of a suspect stretched out prone on the ground.

Audio/video from West, Texas explosion

This is all unfolding about an hour and half north of me. There are at least three people I know who we haven’t heard from who live near the area. I have no reason to think they’re among the 5 to 15 reported dead or the 200 or more injured, but it’s definitely close to home. Meanwhile, in a report that should be shocking to no one, the plant reports on itself as being completely safe just a few years ago:

Dallas Morning News — The fertilizer plant that exploded Wednesday night in West, Texas, reported to the Environmental Protection Agency and local public safety officials that it presented no risk of fire or explosion, documents show. West Fertilizer Co. reported having as much as 54,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia on hand in an emergency planning report required of facilities that use toxic or hazardous chemicals.

But the report, reviewed Wednesday night by The Dallas Morning News, stated “no” under fire or explosive risks. The worst possible scenario, the report said, would be a 10-minute release of ammonia gas that would kill or injure no one.

It’s certainly possible that someone at the plant did this on purpose, it’s probably more likely there was a confluence of unlikely events that conspired to cause a freak accident. But it’s just as possible a company was squeezing every last dime of profit they could, fuck the employees and safety, and took advantage of underfunded government oversight orgs and a state governor who thinks the EPA and related groups are the economic spawn of Satan to skirt regs and cut corners.

Regardless of which one of those scenarios,  if any, turns out to be closest to the mark, I assure you, taxpayers will be stuck cleaning this mess up and the local middle class working community will continue to bear the brunt of the pain. Socialism and government is only evil when it helps the middle class or working poor. When grabbing government dough, when fat subsidies are being handed out, and most especially when pawning off the losses caused by anything from bad luck to gross negligence, socialism is the tea-party CEO’s best friend.

The main explosion occurs at about 30 seconds. The guy who got this video was interviewed on the news and added both he and the little girl you’ll hear are doing fine.

And if that sounds too bitter or cynical at this early juncture, sorry, but it’s the truth. Over the last decade our nation has become the most crooked, corrupt, ugly joyless place to work and live I’ve ever visited, much less lived in. And it’s almost entirely the doing of corporate money buying politicians and picking the pocket of everyone they can get their filthy mitts into.

Update: it’s not clear what happened in West, obviously, even the exact substances are not agreed upon right now. But here’s a video showing you a scaled down version of the basic physics that may have been at work. A heat source ignites a cloud of explosives, the basis of a Fuel Air Bomb or thermobaric device when weaponized.

Huge explosion rocks Texas town

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More terrible news for an already grieving nation. A huge explosion at a fertilizer plant has laid waste or caused structual damage to everything in some 20 to 30 square miles in the town of West, Texas (West is the town’s name, it does not refer directly to the region of Western Texas) located 19 miles north of Waco, between Dallas and Austin, on Interstate 35. The air is rife with noxious fumes, casualties are estimated to be in the hundreds, the devastation is so great no one can really say yet. [Read more...]

God’s Plan for Sexual Purity

Abstinence, it’s all the rage. And you know what we call young couples who rely on abstinence? That’s right, we call them parents. So it was that the abstinence only tide swept bottom feeding grifters high into the sweet hills of West Virginia this week, using the phrase God’s Plan for Sexual Purity (It seems God has a rather perverse interest in who puts their whats in where … or at least the people who speak for him do …) except one local high school girl wasn’t taking their nutty shit laying down. Naturally, her principal allegedly retaliated: [Read more...]

Marathon bomb suspect in custody: now media backpedals

Update: Now CNN and NBC are backing off saying there are suspects police want to bring in and talk to but no arrests have been made.

Not much to add, details are sketchy, and remember the Centennial Olympic bombing where they guy they strongly suspected turned out to be completely innocent:

TPM — A suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was taken into custody Wednesday in a breakthrough that came less than 48 hours after the deadly attack, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said Wednesday.The official spoke shortly after several media outlets reported that a suspect had been identified from surveillance video taken at a Lord & Taylor store between the sites of the two bomb blasts, which killed three people and wounded more than 170.

The official was not authorized to divulge details of the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The suspect was expected at a Boston courthouse under heavy security, the official said.

So now we all wait. Hoping the psycho’s can’t be linked to our specific ideology even loosely with some licking their chops hoping to link them to the other guy’s politics and causes.

Letter to President tests positive for ricin

White House spokesman Jay Carney revealed that a letter addressed to President Obama tested positive for ricin. It’s a nasty substance:

USA Today — The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a letter containing a “suspicious substance” that was addressed to President Obama, the agency confirmed on Wednesday, and at least three U.S. senators also reported receiving suspicious mail. FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said the letter to Obama tested positive for the substance ricin. The letter was sent to Obama on Tuesday, and was intercepted at the White House mail screening facility, according to Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary.

Ricin is toxic at the microgram level because it disrupts the ability of RNA to maintain and repair cells. It acts like a low abundance protein, actually it is a low abundance protein, just a deadly one rather than a helpful version. Other letters have also tested postive, one sent to Sen Shelby (R-AL). If those results are confirmed, this is not a partisan effort. It remains to be seen if these letters have anything to do with the Boston bombing.