“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

US Police Recruitment Videos - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

BBC Data collected by the Washington Post newspaper suggests that the number of people shot by US police is twice as high as official figures claim. 
Official statistics rely on self-reported figures from law enforcement agencies. 
They suggest about 400 people have been killed each year since 2008.
The number of black people was disproportionately high among the victims, especially unarmed ones.

The US has seen a number of controversial cases where unarmed black people have been killed by white police officers. 

A man participates in a demonstration in Cleveland, Ohio, on 23 May 2015
A series of police killings of unarmed black people has sparked major protests

Police are allowed to use deadly force when they fear for their lives or the lives of others, however there is currently no reliable way of tracking police shooting deaths. 
Instead, the government relies on self-reported figures from the nation's 17,000 law enforcement agencies. The figures exclude killings deemed not to have been justified.
The Washington Post says it logged every fatal shooting in 2015 by police in the line of duty using interviews, police reports, local media reports and other sources.
It found a homicide rate of almost 2.6 per day so far this year - more than double the average 1.1 deaths per day reported in FBI records over the past decade.
"These shootings are grossly under­reported," former police chief Jim Bueermann told the newspaper. "We are never going to reduce the number of police shootings if we don't begin to accurately track this information."
Among the report's other findings:
  • Black people were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusted for local population 
  • Most were armed, but one in six was unarmed or carried a toy weapon
  • 365 men and 20 women were killed 
  • Most (118) were aged 25-34, while 94 were 35-44. Eight were children younger than 18
  • In all three 2015 cases in which charges were subsequently filed against police officers, videos had emerged showing officers shooting a suspect during or after a chase on foot.


  1. What kind of people are being targeted for recruitment by these videos?

    When I saw the first, I thought it must be a spoof. It could;t be serious.

    The website for the California recruitment video. Well, if them want them BAD, that is exactly what we are getting

  2. Among the report's other findings:

    Black people were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusted for local population

    Nonsense. I put up a post the other day from a Washington State University study showing just the opposite. WHITES were killed at a higher rate than blacks with the adjustments.....police being loath to expose themselves to the usual tirades.

    You need better sources.

    1. WSU right across the border from Moscow has a good criminology school, or whatever it is called.

      WSU is finally, finally ! starting a Medical School in Spokane too. This has been long needed.

  3. That is what you get out of the post?

    1. That is what stood out immediately.

      That and your attacking the character of anyone that thinks of going into Police work.

      "What kind of people are being targeted for recruitment by these videos?"

      You may say it's simply an innocent question but that it not the way it reads.

      It reads "These videos are targeting born free killers"

      I really doubt you would find such videos at WSU.

      I'm going to bed.

      Bruce Jenner actually looks kinda nice :) but according to Megyn Kelly he didn't go for the whole 100% sexual fluidity deal.

      What all this means I have no idea.

    2. Thick as a brick.

      A target market is a group of customers towards which a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise. A well-defined target market is the first element to a marketing strategy.

      A. The group of customers are potential police recruits
      B. The business is a local police department

      What is the merchandise? In this case, violent military style assault tactics.
      Who would this merchandise appeal to? The target market.

      What characteristic of the target market is the theme of these videos? People that are enamored with violent military assault tactics. What percentage of civilian police work entails the necessity for violent military assault tactics?

      Statistics show that 1 in 4 women in the US is a victim of domestic violence, those numbers jump to 1 in 2 if they are married to a cop.
      May 7, 2014

      Law Enforcement officers beat their significant other at nearly double the national average. Several studies, according to Diane Wetendorf, author of Police Domestic Violence: Handbook for Victims, indicate that women suffer domestic abuse in at least 40 percent of police officer families. For American women overall, the figure is 25 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      According to The Advocates for Human Rights Organization, studies indicate that police families are 2-4 times more likely than the general population to experience domestic violence, making the potential for disparities in protective success particularly troubling.

      Historian John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, has a famous quote, Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This rings true through all levels of government ‘power,’ however it is particular prevalent among police officers.

      Sociopaths are attracted to positions in which they are able to assert authority over others, so it should come as no surprise that there are higher concentrations of sociopaths within law enforcement.

      The trouble with spousal abuse lies in the very nature of police work. The authority and control in the wrong hands, will be misused, according to domestic violence counselors.

      What makes police domestic violence more difficult to deal with is the fact that women feel scared to report it. Even advocates for battered women are reluctant to dive into domestic violence cases involving police for fear of alienating the agencies they rely upon for help in other abuse cases, according to a report by SFGate.

      When other women report their abuse, they do so to law enforcement officers. Think about it from the position of the one being abused by a law enforcement officer. The one doing the beating is simultaneously holding a position in which they are tasked with preventing that very abuse!

      “There are a lot of good cops who go into the work for the right reasons, to help people. But then you have these others who are more interested in the authority, in the badge and the gun.”
      Diane Wetendorf told SFGate in an interview,

      “The biggest problem for a woman reporting that she’s been abused by her police officer husband or boyfriend is that nobody believes you.”
      “There are a lot of good cops who go into the work for the right reasons, to help people. But then you have these others who are more interested in the authority, in the badge and the gun.”
      “They start out with command presence and voice to gain and maintain control, and if that doesn’t work, they go up the scale with an increasing amount of force until they get compliance,” Wetendorf said. “Unfortunately, these guys use the same technique with their wives and girlfriends. And some of them go from 0 to 60 right away.”


    3. Those police recruitment videos are effectively directed at sociopaths, people that are essentialty antisocial and apt to resort to extreme violence as a solution to all problems. People that want to shoot, attack, assault, blow things up and knock things down. The US government is enabling the practice by dumping surplus military equipment into police departments.

      Still don’t see problem? Nothing?

      What could possibly go wrong?

    4. Hamas police killed an activist of a rival Islamist militant group in a shoot-out at his Gaza home on Tuesday, witnesses said.

      A spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry identified the man, Younis al-Honnor, only as a "lawbreaker", and said he was shot dead after firing at police officers who came to arrest him.

      Local residents who witnessed the incident said Honnor was an activist in a Salafi group.

      Hamas, an Islamist militant movement that governs the Gaza Strip, has mounted occasional crackdowns on rival and more radical Salafi groups that support global holy war endorsed by Islamic State and al-Qaida.

      "(Honnor) had booby-trapped the house he was in. Explosive belts, explosive devices and rifle-propelled grenades were found inside," the spokesman said


      Trained by America?.

  4. Whites getting killed at a higher rate makes it better?

  5. You are good with those recruitment videos?

    You approve of that target marketing?

  6. Here's how the Police are trained out this way -

    Department of
    Criminal Justice and Criminology

    Graduate program


    Combining a passion for scholarship with a keen understanding of practical applications, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers students the opportunity to learn, explore and develop in a substantive and expanding field. The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is located on three campuses of Washington State University, at Pullman, Spokane and Vancouver.

    The department offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees; students may earn a minor, a bachelor of arts, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D. in criminal justice and criminology. We have degree options to suit today’s students, with our B.A. and M.A. offered both on campus and online, and our Ph.D. offered on campus. With groundbreaking research, renowned professors, and students who are making a difference, WSU is an exciting place to pursue your education.
    Criminal Justice and Criminology Newsletter
    Read the current issue of our newsletter
    criminal justice undergrad studentsUndergraduate

    Undergraduates benefit from a policy-focused curriculum that prepares them both for careers and future study, learning from leaders in the field.
    criminal justice faculty and grad studentGraduate

    Graduate students work closely with faculty, pursuing a more comprehensive understanding of the field of criminal justice and developing as scholars and researchers.
    Meet our faculty

    criminal justice faculty

    Department faculty have a wide range of research and teaching interests, and the department is nationally and internationally recognized for its scholarship.

    Simulators help prepare officers for worst-case scenarios in the field

    Long before such officer-involved shootings as those in Ferguson, Missouri, and North Charleston, South Carolina, researchers at WSU’s Sleep and Performance Research Center were using a simulator to study officer-involved shootings.

    Mount Vernon, Wash., Police Lt. Chris Cammock said he spoke earlier this month with Lois James, research assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, about her research. Cammock hopes members of the Skagit Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) may be able to visit the University’s deadly force simulator.
    Read Story
    What Happens When A Police Officer Doesn’t Shoot?

    Law enforcement officers have come under pressure over the past few months to rethink how they use deadly force, as a result of the string of videos of shootings by police.
    Read Story
    Distracted driving dangers a focus of WSU lab’s work

    When Corporal Jordan Ferguson started his career in policing 30 years ago, he had a radio and a notebook in his car. Now, when Ferguson patrols the streets of Spokane, he’s tethered to technology.
    Read Story
    Criminologist takes on regional justice reform

    A WSU faculty member is steering the first major steps in a comprehensive overhaul of the way Spokane area police, courts, judges, and detention centers work together.
    Read Story

    If you follow the link you will not see anything resembling your 'recruitment videos'.

    But then I've always said civilization in the USA only exists between the Cascade Mountains and the Mississippi River.

    1. .

      WSU's Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology through a vast system of connections and agreements with local Washington businesses and organization guarantees full time employment for all of its criminal justice graduates. This is a growth industry, one of the fastest growing in the US, and security guard positions are opening up daily.


    2. WSU's Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology's Fraud Division is recognized as the very best our nation has to offer.

      Quirk once took classes here to learn how to commit fraud and get away with it.

      It's where I met this very intelligent interesting amoral man, at the local watering hole The Nobby Inn Bar, now closed.

      He was drinking an extremely stiff Russian Relski Vodka on the rocks served him by Nick the Bartender, himself a PhD holder from WSU in Sociology. Nick had gotten in an argument with the Professors there over employment, and had said to them, "Fuck you I'll just go bartending" and he did for the rest of his natural life.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.


    4. After Nick died, the Local Drinking Community (LDC) held a Remember Nick Story Night where dozens and dozens of folks got up and humorously told their favorite individual stories about Nick the Bartender. Nick will be long remembered in these parts. His death truly marked 'the end of an era' and our drinks have always tasted 'watered down' since that lamentable day.

  7. I hope Hillary is the nominee, as I think she is eminently 'beatable' -

    June 2, 2015
    Terrible news for Hillary in latest polls
    By Thomas Lifson

    Two new polls released this morning show that Hillary Clinton is losing the trust of the American people, other than Democrats, who remain committed to her. Both the polls by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation and ABC News/Washington Post show the presumptive Democrat nominee is under water on trustworthiness and favorability ratings. CNN summarizes:

    More people have an unfavorable view of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton now than at any time since 2001, according to a new CNN/ORC poll on the 2016 race.

    While Clinton remains strikingly dominant in the Democratic field, the poll shows that her numbers have dropped significantly across several key indicators since she launched her campaign in April.

    A growing number of people say she is not honest and trustworthy (57%, up from 49% in March), less than half feel she cares about people like them (47%, down from 53% last July) and more now feel she does not inspire confidence (50%, up from 42% last March).

    In head-to-head match-ups against top Republicans, her margin is tighter than it has been at any point in CNN/ORC's polling on the contest.

    In understanding the head-to-head polling versus GOP candidates, keep in mind that name recognition adds many points of Clinton versus the much less well-known GOP field. At this point, she should have double digit leads against any Republican simply based on her name recognition. Instead:

    In general election match-ups, Clinton now runs about even with Rand Paul, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, while she continues to top Bush and Ted Cruz by a significant margin.

    As noted above, those shifts stem largely from a change among independents, though Republicans appear to be solidifying their support for GOP candidates while Democrats are slightly less certain about Clinton.

    1. One feature of the race that has held even as the numbers shifted: These match-ups prompt enormous gender gaps. According to the poll, the gender gaps remain over 20 points in each of the five match-ups tested, including a whopping 34-point gender gap in Clinton's match-up with Scott Walker.

      Her declining support in those general election match-ups, alongside falling favorability ratings and worsening impressions of her, suggests recent news about her actions as secretary of state may have taken a toll.

      The ABC/WaPo polls offers similar outcomes:

      While still far ahead for her party’s nomination, Clinton faces challenges. She’s slipped underwater in personal favorability for the first time since her unsuccessful run for the presidency in 2008. She’s deeper in the hole for honesty and trustworthiness – down 5 points in just two months and 12 points in the last year. And Americans by 17- to 24-point margins disapprove of her handling of recent questions on her use of personal e-mail while secretary of state, her handling of the Benghazi attack in Libya and fundraising by her family’s foundation.

      Indeed, while Bush has lost ground in the contest for the GOP nomination, Clinton does less well against him in a head-to-head matchup. The gap between them has closed from 12 points to three – 47-44 percent, Clinton-Bush, among registered voters, vs. 53-41 percent two months ago.

      The GOP polling means very little at this point, but the one thing that is clear is that Jeb Bush is losing ground. However, with the first debate coming up toward the end of summer, there is ample time for him to rebound, assuming he can find a way to appeal to the base and make his message more coherent. His stumbles on the gotcha question on invading Iraq have harmed him.

      Hillary’s challenge is far more serious. Trust is not easily regained. And her dummy-up strategy for dealing with the media is doing her no good. Still opening her mouth in response to serious questions threatens her even more. The smart money still thinks she is a lock for the nomination and has a great shot at the general election. I see weakness and think that Democrats are quietly desperate to find a credible alternative. Watch Elizabeth Warren for signs of reconsidering her declaration she will not run.

      If she is elected President the American People will have elected an out and out fraud three times running.

      This would be a very bad omen indeed for our Nation.

      WSU's Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology's Fraud Division needs to get on her case ASAP.

      Alas our universities are liberal bastions and the higher ups are unlikely to allow this to happen.

    2. June 2, 2015
      Evidence mounts that Hillary's campaign in crisis
      By Thomas Lifson

      Face it MSM: the Hillary Clinton campaign is an Edsel, unsalable because she is unappealing and untrustworthy. But the media will not report it this way until there is a viable alternative in sight for the Dems. O’Malley can’t exactly promise to do for America what he has done for Baltimore, and Bernie Sanders would land a solid nd enthusiastic 20% of the vote, the percentage of the electorate that is actually hard left.

      The latest very telling sign of how serious the crisis is for Hillary comes from The New York Post’s Page Six:

      Hillary Clinton had trouble attracting high-powered women to a New York talk hosted by Silda Wall Spitzer two weeks before her campaign officially kicks off. Sources said that after ticket sales fizzled for an intimate, $2,700-per-person, “just for women” meeting on Monday, the event was thrown open to men at the 11th hour, and the deadline extended to buy tickets.

      The “Conversation With Hillary Clinton” event at Midtown law firm Akin Gump was originally aiming to attract 125 women. An email invitation seen by Page Six said the event is “just for women.” But by Friday, “They’d only sold 50 tickets, so they threw it open to men,” a source said. “Ticket sales were supposed to close at 10 a.m. Sunday, but the hostesses were working the phones and pushed the deadline till Monday.”

      We hear about 90 attendees included former Bill Clinton aide Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and his husband, Randy Florke, Maurice Tempelsman, Jill Braufman (wife of hedge funder Daniel Nir), Jean Shafiroff and Susan Cole. The event began at noon, but Clinton arrived at 1 p.m. in “a royal blue jacket and black pants.” She then took pictures with donors and delivered a half-hour speech before leaving at about 2 p.m.

      While 2700 bucks is a lot of money to you and me, it is a bargain basement price for a grip-and-grin photo with the presumptive nominee, considered to have a good chance to win the presidency. It’s the perfect sort of picture to adorn the wall of a lawyer, accountant, or other professional needing to impress clients. And the fact that they had to dump the women-only lure and work the phones hard to get a less than embarrassing turnout tells us that Hillary’s people have had an unrealistic view of her appeal.

      Face it: the Edsel is just not selling the way management thought it would.

      Keep your eyes on Elizabeth Warren. Tick, tick, tick.

    3. The Democrats so far can't seem to find anyone interested in running who isn't

      1) A fraud

      2) A commie

      3) Both

      If Lizzy Warren has Cherokee blood then Rufus must be a full blooded Cherokee.........

      Can't they find one more or less middle of the road more or less sane Democrat to think about running ?

      So far, it doesn't seem so.

    4. And, finally, this from May Katharine Ham -

      Clinton campaign already lowering expectations for early-state performances
      posted at 10:11 pm on June 1, 2015 by Mary Katharine Ham

      She almost literally has no competition. But who’s to say what could happen in Iowa? It’s tough out there.

      The Clinton campaign is walking that often comical campaign trail line— How do we say, ‘This is the most awesomest, qualified person (and WOMAN!) to ever walk the face of the earth. Hear her ROAAARRRR!” but also say, “Please don’t make fun of us if she utterly underwhelms people as she parades the dead zone that is her charisma around the Heartland and early voting states.”

      Managing expectations can be a great trait. It’s one President Obama should have learned at any point before or after he promised to change the actual sea level. I’m not sure managing expectations works as planned when there’s, again, almost literally no one running against you. Why all the fear? Maybe because in ramping up to Clinton’s showings in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, she’ll actually be answering questions. And, we’ve seen how well that goes.

      She is expected to do her first media interviews about the same time. Clinton has briefly responded to some questions from reporters traveling with her since the campaign’s launch but has held no formal press conference.

      Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement that Clinton should answer questions about foreign donations to her family’s foundation and her use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

      “After dodging questions for months, she should take this opportunity to finally come clean and discuss the issues important to everyday Americans,” Priebus said.

      I noticed and remarked at the time of her bizarre U.N. press conference on the e-mail server that, if you didn’t know she was Hillary Clinton and had 30+ years of political experience, you’d assume by her performance she must be a third-tier candidate with no chance. And, yet, she is the nearly inevitable nominee of the Democratic Party with a fairly decent chance at winning the presidency.

      Her lofty (at long last) announcement paired with this embarrassingly low expectations is Clinton being both. She is a third-tier candidate operating as an inevitable one, and her team is smart enough to know it. Lord knows her team staked too much on her political skill last time around. It still makes for an odd juxtaposition from this supposed juggernaut.

    5. Her High Ass HIlary On The Campaign Trail -

      DC Trawler
      Queen Hillary To Adoring Subject: ‘Go To The End Of The Line’
      Jim Treacher

      Most peasants are happy just to feel the breeze of Hillary Clinton’s passage through their meager, insignificant lives. But every once in a while, a serf forgets his or her place. Every once in a while, Her Majesty must put the rabble back where they belong.

      Every once in a while, we get to watch.

      Honestly. Why is she being forced to put up with this sort of impertinence? Can’t we just coronate her already? Hillary 2016: Go to the End of the Line! P.S.

  8. The World's Eighth Largest Economy obtained 25% of its Electricity, yesterday, from Renewables (does not include large hydro.)


  9. It looks like auto sales were off the charts in May. Ford is putting it at around 18 Million pace for annualized sales.

  10. Deuce is losing one of his 'issues'.

    It is no longer Bush's War -

    Poll: More now blame Obama’s policies for the current problems in Iraq than blame Bush’s

    posted at 1:21 pm on June 2, 2015 by Allahpundit

    This may seem like a no-brainer — of course the guy who’s been in charge for six years bears more responsibility for the current state of affairs than his predecessor — but for much of the public, Iraq is “Bush’s war” unto eternity. That’s part of the media fascination with asking Republican contenders whether they’d order the invasion in 2003 knowing then what we know now. Implicit in that question is the idea that the last six years of Iraqi history were fated to happen once Bush gave the order to go 12 years ago. Republicans own this issue and they must answer for it, even though Hillary Clinton is the only top-tier candidate in either party who actually had some say over whether the war happened.

    As it turns out, though, Republicans don’t own this issue anymore.

    Those race, gender, and party-ID gaps should all look familiar — they’re the same sort of splits you typically see on issues with that have been polarized ideologically, with men, whites, and Republicans tilting GOP and women, minorities, and Democrats tilting Dem. The age demographics are familiar too, with young adults blaming Bush 62/34 while the three older groups lean towards blaming Obama. But that’s the whole point: Thanks to Obama’s disastrous diplomatic disengagement from Iraq and his ineffective airstrike campaign against ISIS, this is now a mundane partisan issue instead of a “Bush’s war” fiasco for which Republicans exclusively must answer. (Independents, in fact, now blame Obama more than Bush.) That’s big news potentially for 2016, both generally, in how it suggests the public may be newly receptive to a Bush-style hawk who’ll vow to smash ISIS, and specifically for Jeb Bush, whose Iraq albatross now might not be quite as heavy as everyone thinks.

    How’d we get from “Bush’s war” to Obama sharing the blame for the fall of Iraq? Pretty simple, really. Per CNN’s crosstabs, in May 2009, 52 percent said things were going very or moderately well for the U.S. in Iraq. Today, when ISIS is inserted into that question, just 38 percent say so. Last September, support for Obama’s handling of ISIS split along partisan lines at 45/49; today, with ISIS in control in Ramadi and threatening Baghdad, it’s 32/63. All of which is to say, starting when Obama took office and even for several years afterward, the public had come around to believing that Iraq was finally on the right track. In fact, Obama had come around to believing that Iraq was on the right track. Two weeks before the last American soldier left the country in December 2011, he gave a de facto victory speech at Fort Bragg. “We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq,” he told the troops. “By battling and building block by block in Baghdad, by bringing tribes into the fold and partnering with the Iraqi army and police, you helped turn the tide toward peace.” In his rush to take credit for bringing the troops home by effectively declaring “mission accomplished,” he set the stage for the public to turn on him, not Bush, when everything fell apart later. And now they have. Congrats, champ. You earned it.

    Speaking of former allies turning on Bush critics, here’s Hannity politely quizzing Rand Paul on why Rand thinks GOP hawks like Hannity “created ISIS” merely for wanting to address the threat more aggressively than Obama did.


  11. :):):):)

    Here's a video to watch

    Just in from OGF in Vegas from some friend -

    The Egyptian media doesn't seem to think much of Obama

    Is he crazy ?

    Is he insane "

  12. This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for May (red, light vehicle sales of 17.79 million SAAR from AutoData).

    This was above the consensus forecast of 17.0 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate).

    The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.

    Note: dashed line is current estimated sales rate.

    This was above the consensus forecast, and the strongest sales pace since July 2005. It appears 2015 will be the best year for light vehicle sales since 2001.


    Calculated Risk

  13. "Climate change is the biggest enemy we face"

    President "Gas Bag" Obama

    Another global warming catastrophe: the Sahara Desert is getting greener
    posted at 5:21 pm on June 2, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

    This story is actually quite fascinating and it obviously has something to do with changes in the climate, but just how to explain it all remains a subject of contention. You would think that increasing temperatures would make things worse in the deserts of the world, but in a rather counterintuitive instance of planet watching, it appears that the Sahara desert may actually be shrinking.

    A few thousand years ago, a mighty river flowed through the Sahara across what is today Sudan. The Wadi Howar—now just a dried-out riverbed for most of the year—sustained not just fish, crocodiles, and hippopotamuses, but also agriculture and human settlement. As late as 1,000 B.C., a powerful fortress stood on its shores. But then the Sahara dried out, turning from a green savannah into an inhospitable desert. The culprit: climate change. According to desert geologist Stefan Kröpelin, who has studied geological data for the eastern Sahara going back 6,000 years, the desert spread as temperatures dropped. Global cooling meant that the air had less capacity to hold moisture from the oceans, leading to fewer rains and more arid climes.

    Now, that same process is happening in reverse. As temperatures rise, the Sahara and other dry areas are greening on the edges. “I’ve been studying the Sahara for 30 years and can definitely say that it’s getting greener,” says Kröpelin, who specializes in desert archaeology and climate history at the University of Cologne. Where there used to be nothing but desert, he says, there is now not just grass but shrubs and acacia trees–and he has the photos from 30 years of extensive field study to prove it. “The nomads are taking their camels to graze in areas where they’ve never been able to graze before.” Satellite data showing more green on the southern edge of the Sahara also bear him out. “There are always winners and losers if weather patterns change,” he says. “But as a general rule, warmer temperatures inevitably mean that the air picks up more moisture from the oceans, which will lead to more rainfall. If you look at the geological records in the Sahara, there have been repeated periods where the Sahara was greener when temperatures were warmer than today.”

    1. So the desert was originally created around six thousand years ago under this theory. (Clearly caused by the hydraulic fracturing taking place in the Garden of Eden. Darned industrialist snakes…) But now the warmer temperatures are causing more rain at the edges of the desert? The subject is endlessly fascinating. Over the years I’ve heard all sorts of theories being tossed out in the scientific community regarding the planet’s biggest, baddest desert. One of the most recent ones – and for some reason I thought this was generally accepted, but perhaps not – is that the planet’s orbital tilt drifts over time. Around the same time period they’re talking about in this article, the tilt began to change, shifting the planet into a less inclined tilt from then until now.

      The widely-held belief is that the Sahara dried up due to a change in the Earth’s orbit, which affects solar insolation, or the amount of electromagnetic energy the Earth receives from the Sun. In simpler terms, insolation refers to the amount of sunlight shining down on a particular area at a certain time, and depends on factors such as the geographic location, time of day, season, landscape and local weather.

      Climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, explained that around 8,000 years ago, the Earth’s orbit was slightly different to how it is today. The tilt changed from around 24.1 degrees to the present-day 23.5 degrees.

      “Additionally, the Earth had its closest approach to the Sun in the northern hemisphere (with) summer in August,” Schmidt said. “Today, that closest approach is in January. So, summertime in the north was warmer back then than it is now.”

      Earlier theories speculated that there was a growing “rain shadow” effect caused by the continually rising Himalayan Mountains, disrupting weather patterns and stopping the rainfall in some areas. Still other have said that eccentricities in the earth’s orbit around the sun (a different consideration than the orbital tilt) have periodically thrown things off kilter in either direction which also contributed to the growth or recession of major deserts.

      In either event, even if we can’t nail down exactly what’s causing it and to what degree the effects are felt, this must at least be some good news for farmers and herders in Africa. Party on, folks.

  14. With Police becoming fearful of doing their jobs, murders are way up in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago, St Louis.........

    Violent crime down in Texas, however, Dallas....

    If I lived in Philly I'd be arming up, hiring armed security, maybe get myself a small fire truck......and bullet proof glass for the Limo.......

  15. Ross Ulbright gets his - life in prison -

    >>“Make no mistake, Ulbricht was a drug dealer and criminal profiteer who exploited people’s addictions and contributed to the deaths of at least six young people,” Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.<<


    Mao would have simply shot him, which is cheaper.

    N.Y. / Region
    Ross Ulbricht, Creator of Silk Road Website, Is Sentenced to Life in Prison



    Thank you, men in blue.

    (article mentions 'the dark web' and many other things unknown to me)

    Guy was a scumbag.

    But he seemed such a handsome polite young man.....

    1. And thank you Judge Katherine B. Forrest, and the Prosecutor's Office, and the Jury.