Monthly Archives: July 2010


The Perseids are coming! The Perseids are coming!


 Observing Photo Gallery Magazine Archive Shop at Sky

Apophis and Earth in 2029
Dan Durda

Bulletin at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

The Sky is Not Falling

July 30, 2010 | This past week, news surfaced that a sizable asteroid has a roughly 1-in-1,000 chance of whacking Earth sometime in the next two centuries. But don’t let the news spoil your summer vacation — the story is being overplayed. > read more 



Perseid montage
Gain Lee

Dark Nights for the Perseids

July 27, 2010 | Mark your calendar for watching the year’s best-known meteor shower late on the nights of August 11th and 12th. > read more 

Tour August’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

July 30, 2010 | Venus, Mars, and Saturn dance in the west after sunset, while soon afterward giant Jupiter rises in the east — all that, and Perseid meteors too! Host: S&T’s Kelly Beatty. (6MB MP3 download: running time: 6m 48s) > read more 

Ceres in 2010

May 27, 2010 | Ceres, the largest main-belt asteroid, is well placed for observation in June through August 2010. > read more 

This Week’s Sky at a Glance


West view after sunset

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

July 30, 2010 | Venus, Saturn, and Mars have formed up into a triangle at dusk. Watch it change shape day by day. And Vega overhead means the Sagittarius Teapot, rich in deep-sky objects, is on best display in the south. > read more 



"First light" for Tatakoto's telescope
Edwin Aguirre & Imelda Joson

A Telescope for Tatakoto

July 29, 2010 | A tiny South Pacific atoll rolled out the welcome mat for dozens of eclipse-goers — and got an unexpected thank-you gift in return. > read more 


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July 29, 2010 11:48 AM

Shirley Sherrod Vows to Sue Andrew Breitbart

Posted by Brian Montopoli

Ousted USDA official Shirley Sherrod said in a speech to the National Association of Black Journalists in San Diego this morning that she will sue Andrew Breitbart, the conservative journalist and activist who posted the out-of-context video of her that resulted in her forced resignation.

Speaking of a lawsuit, Sherrod said she “will definitely do it,” arguing that “he had to know that he was targeting me.”

“Now whether he was also trying to target the NAACP, he had to know he was targeting me,” she added.

Sherrod said she wished Breitbart had come to the event “because I really would like to talk to him.”

“At this point he hasn’t apologized and I don’t want it at this point,” she said. “He will definitely hear from me.”


Sherrod also said she wasn’t sure if she would take an offer from chastened Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for a new job at the USDA.

“I have many, many questions before I make a decision,” she said, adding the has “not had a chance to read the offer.”

Breitbart could not immediately be reached for comment. He has said the video was that intended not to sabotage Sherrod’s career but instead take down the NAACP.

Speaking around the same time, President Obama said Sherrod “deserved better than what happened last week.” The comments that appeared in the edited video were part of a larger story about how she realized that race should not be the determining factor in who she helps.


What? Just Breitbart?
Don’t forget, Ms. Sherrod, he was not the only one who stabbed you in the back.
Have Breitbart bring forth that certain someone from Georgia he said gave him the edited tape. (Fat chance of him being able to pull that off.) Sue for libel, slander, malicious intent, defamation of character, punitive damage, fraud, and mental and physical distress.
But, whatever you do, please do not accept an out-of-court settlement.
Take Breitbart and all to court.
Invertebrates like Faux News, Breitbart, O’Reilly, Vilsack, Cook, USDA, NAACP, et. al. need to all be made an example of for their craven behaviour.
And that is just for starters.

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July 29, 2010 ColorLines Direct. News and commentary from

What’s Next for Arizona’s SB 1070?Activists storm the state as lawyers hunker down for a long fight.ALSO: A Breakdown of Legal Challenges to SB 1070


Scenes from SB 1070 Demonstrations Across the NationColorLines hits the streets–and surfs the Web–to illustrate a day of activism.


Get the latest and get involved with our new Twitter account, @colorlines. We’re on Facebook and Tumblr too!

More from

In Arizona, Feds Are Fighting a Monster They Built
The federal judge weighing SB 1070 zeroed in on a question the feds can’t answer: How does the law depart from the course Washington has already set?

Dream Act Moves to the Top of the List
Sen. Harry Reid is talking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the possibility of making the Dream Act a standalone bill.

Obama Slipping Among Latinos
A new poll shows that worry about jobs and immigration reform is hurting the president’s approval ratings.

NYC Settles Sean Bell Case for $7 Million
It’s getting expensive for city police forces to keep shooting unarmed citizens.

Why the “Conversation on Race” is Just Babble

Two essays well worth reading.

The Kids Are All Right, But Not the Queer Movement
Intentionally or not, Lisa Cholodenko has rendered on the big screen the narrow racial realities of our new gay world order.

Follow for ongoing coverage of the legal fight against SB 1070 is published by the Applied Research Center • 900 Alice Street, Suite 400, Oakland, CA 94607

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Here is an update on the Sean Bell case that made headlines over four years ago. I have posted on this case here, here, and here.

The family of Mr. Bell and his friends harmed that night, have been awarded $7 million in a settlement the City of New York will now have to pay.


NYC Settles Sean Bell Case for $7 Million

by Julianne Hing  | 

Wednesday, July 28 2010, 11:49 AM EST

New York City agreed on Tuesday to pay the family and friends of Sean Bell $7 million, four years after police officers shot and killed the 23-year-old black man the night before his wedding day.

Bell’s two children will receive $3.25 million and the remaining $3 million will go to Bell’s friend Joseph Guzman, Bell’s friend who was also injured that night. Trent Benefield will get $900,000. The New York Times reports that the wrongful death lawsuit also accused the NYPD of negligence, assault and civil rights violations.

Five police officers were involved in the incident on November 26, 2006, that left Bell dead and injured two of his friends. Bell was leaving a club in Queens the night before his wedding when NYPD officer Gescard Isadora thought he heard Bell and his friends refer to a gun in their possession. He alerted his fellow officers after Bell’s car hit an unmarked police car, and within seconds officers shot 50 bullets at Bell’s car. Three detectives who shot Bell were acquitted by a judge in 2008. The other two officers involved did not face criminal charges. Bell and his friends did not have a gun with them.

Police brutality is expensive. It’s tough to convict cops of misconduct in court, but city settlements for police misconduct is not uncommon. In the last three years, Detroit has spent over $19 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits. Between 2008 and July of this year, Newark paid $1.7 million to the victims of police misconduct. New York City already settled $35.2 million worth of lawsuits for police abuse in 2009 alone.

Insofar as payouts represent an acknowledgment of some culpability, they remain one of the only ways to wrest some justice from the courts for misbehaving cops. Still, it’s little comfort for families who’ve lost loved ones to police, when no amount of money will ever return their dead sons and fathers to them. As NYT reports Nicole Paultre Bell, Sean Bell’s fiancee, saying outside the federal courthouse yesterday: “No amount of money can provide closure, no amount of money can make up for the pain. We’ll just try to learn how to live with it and move on.” Nicole Paultre Bell will not receive a share of the settlement, because NYPD shot and killed her fiance before the couple could make it to the alter that morning and they are thus not legally related.

Photo: Nicole Paultre-Bell with her and Sean Bell’s baby Jordan in March 2007. behind March 14, 2007 in New York City. Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images.


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Cult Leader to be Retried on Rape Accomplice Charges

by Larry Keller  on July 28, 2010

A proponent of multiple wives, polygamous prophet Warren Jeffs appears destined to have multiple trials. The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed Jeffs’ two convictions on charges of rape as an accomplice and ordered that he be tried again.

“He was thrilled,” said Jeffs’ attorney, Wally Bugden. “He believed his prayers, and the prayers of many others, have been answered.” Despite a “media lynching,” Bugden added, “he felt the rights of an individual were protected by the Constitution.”

Jeffs is the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), with an estimated 10,000 followers. The sect first split from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — commonly known as the Mormon Church — in 1890 after Mormon officials renounced polygamy under pressure from the U.S. government. The FLDS captured national attention in 2008, when authorities acting on reports of sexual abuse of a minor raided its El Dorado, Texas, compound and placed 219 children and women in protective custody. Jeffs is considered a prophet in the FLDS, which has compounds in several western states, Mexico and Canada.

After spending nearly two years on the run, Jeffs was tried in 2007, convicted and sentenced to two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison. The charges stemmed from his arranging the marriage of an unwilling 14-year-old girl, Elissa Wall, to her 19-year-old cousin, Allen Steed, in 2001. Wall testified at Jeffs’ trial that she implored him to release her from the marriage. Instead, he instructed her to give herself to Steed “mind, body and soul, and obey him without question,” she said. That action by Jeffs was the source of the second rape as an accomplice count filed against him. The first was alleged to have occurred soon after Wall and Steed were married and first had sex.

It was Jeffs who performed her marriage ceremony to Steed, Wall testified at trial, ordering her to “go forth and replenish the Earth and raise good priesthood children.”

The law under which Jeffs was charged states that the victim must be younger than 18 years, and “the actor” must be in a position of special trust with the victim. Jeffs’ attorney argued on appeal that the jury instruction should have focused on Steed’s “position of special trust” with Wall rather than that of Jeffs.

The Utah Supreme Court agreed. “The state interprets the term ‘actor’ to mean the defendant,” the court opined. “We conclude that the state’s interpretation is erroneous.” The opinion added, “We regret the effect our opinion today may have on the victim of the underlying crime, to whom we do not wish to cause additional pain. However, we must ensure that the laws are applied evenly and appropriately, in this case as in every case.”

Defense attorney Bugden said that prosecutors tried Jeffs on a “far-fetched legal theory” and that “it would be very difficult for them to meet their burden of proof” if there is a retrial. But Jeffs won’t be going anywhere soon. He still faces criminal charges in Texas in connection with his own alleged marriages to underage girls in 2005. The judge has denied him bail in that case, Bugden said. There also remains a federal indictment stemming from his time as a fugitive on the Utah charges.

The Southern Poverty Law Center began listing the FLDS as a hate group in 2005 because of its racist tenets. “The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth,” Jeffs has preached. As for homosexuality, Jeffs said, “It is like murder. Whenever people commit that sin, then the Lord destroys them.”


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#1 R&B Song 1976:  “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine,” Lou Rawls

Born:  Roy Milton, 1907


1948   The only time in music history that two brothers charted on the same day with separate singles on separate labels happened when Joe Liggins jumped on the R&B hit parade with “Dripper’s Blues,” reaching #9, while Jimmy Liggins entered the charts with “Teardrop Blues,” rising to #7.

1954   The Castelles’ “Over A Cup Of Coffee” ($1,000) was released.

1961   The group that sang backup for most of Chubby Checker’s hits finally hit with one of their own when the Dreamlovers’ “When We Get Married” charted (#10 pop).

1965   Motown Records was in such a rush to get a new Four Tops single in the marketplace after the tremendous success of “I Can’t Help Myself” that they recorded the group on a Thursday singing “It’s The Same Old Song” and had the 45 in stores by next Monday.

1967   Janis Joplin played a benefit for the Free Clinic with Blue Cheer and the Charlatans (with Bill Cosby on drums).

1976   George Benson’s Breezin’ album reached #1, selling more than a million copies for the jazz-soul artist.

File:Breezin GB.jpg

1976   Natalie Cole secretly married her producer, Marvin Yancy Jr., but they did not announce it until seven months later (on Valentine’s Day) when she also announced she was pregnant.

1986   With apparently no limits to his talent, Stevie Wonder was nominated for an Emmy for his performance on Bill Cosby’s The Cosby Show.

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#1 R&B Song 1983:  “She Works Hard For the Money,” Donna Summer

Born:  George “Buddy” Guy, 1936


1936   One of the best blues guitarists of the ’50s, Buddy Guy, was born today. He was so infatuated with the guitar that at age thirteen he made his own and taught himself to play. Moving to Chicago in 1957, he beat out Otis Rush, Magic Sam, and Junior Wells at a battle of the blues at the Blue Flame Club. Influenced by Lightin’ Slim, Lightin’ Hopkins, and T-Bone Walker, he was known more for performing than recording, and had his only R&B hit in 1962 with “Stone Crazy” (#12).



1949   Lucky Millender & His Orchestra charted with “Little Girl, Don’t Cry,” peaking at #15 R&B. Big John Greer did the vocals on what is now a $50 collectible.

1955   Chuck Berry’s classic first single “Maybellene” was released.

1955   Muddy Waters charted with “Mannish Boy,” reaching #5 R&B. The tune was actually the same as Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man.”

1989   John Lee Hooker performed at the Newport Folk Festival’s Thirtieth Anniversary Show with Leon Redbone, Pete Seeger, and Theodore Bikel, among others.

1991   Arsenio Hall’s entire TV program was devoted to Patti LaBelle.

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