Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fwd: Khorasan

'within a timeframe of just days, the Islamic State has been sidelined by a new name in the world of Islamic extremism: "Khorasan." U.S. officials say that Khorasan, often referred to as "the Khorasan group," is a small al-Qaeda linked outfit operating in Syria. They are portrayed as a more direct threat to U.S. interests than the Islamic State, which is still largely focused on operations in Syria and Iraq…

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fwd: Nitrogen

'The most common method of executing condemned prisoners in the U.S. — lethal injection — has suffered a mountain of setbacks in recent months. Most notably, executions using relatively untested drugs have not gone as intended in several states, including Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma.


But one Oklahoma lawmaker thinks he might have a potential solution to the lethal-injection crisis: nitrogen gas.


Rep. Mike Christian, a Republican from Oklahoma City, is slated to present the idea Tuesday to the state legislature, inviting its members to take up a broader study on the issue.


According to a story by a local television station:


    [Rep. Christian] wants to use nitrogen gas. . . . The process is officially called Nitrogen Asphyxiation, a fancy term for the process of slowly replacing oxygen with nitrogen. Those who have studied the process say it causes no pain and can kill a person within a matter of minutes.


A message left with Rep. Christian wasn't immediately returned. But he told News Channel 4 that "if you deplete oxygen it's within 8-to-14 seconds, up to no more than 20 seconds that they pass out. And then, within a few minutes, up to 8 minutes, probably less, that they would be pronounced dead."


According to the Oklahoman, nitrogen has likely never been used for an execution. But Mr. Christian told the paper that the approach seems humane. "Some who have received an accidental excess of the gas have even said the effect was mildly euphoric," according to the story. '

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fwd: Iran

Despite the pious promises from Kerry and all of the other defenders of the interim accord that the West had learned its lesson about being strung along by the Iranians, they have in fact fallen for the same trick again. Having been suckered into an interim deal that weakened sanctions on Iran just at the moment when the enormous economic and military leverage over the regime seemed to provide an opportunity to pressure it to come to terms without the use of force, Western negotiators have now found themselves trapped in a device of their own making. They gambled everything on the belief that Iran was ready to sign a final accord that would allow President Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to stop Iran. But after several months of talks that demonstrated anew that the Iranians will never give up their nuclear program or agree to any terms that will effectively prevent them from building a bomb, the U.S. and its allies feel they have no choice but to keep talking even if there is no end in sight.