Four Marines and gunman killed in Tennessee

Four U.S. Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism.

The FBI named the suspect as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, but said it was too early to speculate on a motive for the rampage, which comes at a time when U.S. military and law enforcement authorities are increasingly concerned about the threat posed by ‘lone wolves’ to domestic targets.

“We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism,” Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, said earlier, adding that no official determination of the nature of the crime had yet been made and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has not ruled anything out.

“While it would be premature to speculate on the motives of the shooter at this time, we will conduct a thorough investigation of this tragedy and provide updates as they are available,” the agency said in a statement.

NBC reported he was a naturalized American born in Kuwait.

U.S. officials said law enforcement authorities are investigating whether he was inspired by Islamic State or a similar militant group.

President Barack Obama offered his condolences to the victims’ families and said officials will be prompt and thorough in getting answers on the shootings.

“It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion,” he said in a statement from the Oval Office.

The Department of Homeland Security was stepping up security at certain federal facilities and supporting the FBI investigation, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

Details emerge of Brady’s potential lawsuit against NFL

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As the football world awaits a decision from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tom Brady‘s suspension, the NFLPA is reportedly hard at work putting together a plan of attack in the event that the New England Patriots quarterback’s four-game suspension is not overturned entirely.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the NFLPA believes it has a a strong enough argument to challenge the NFL in court if that happens. The argument is based primarily on five points, which an NFLPA source laid out for Kilgore:

• The NFL policy for handling equipment in the NFL is in the club manual and pertains to club personnel, not players. The NFLPA would argue that the NFL suspended Brady four games under a policy that doesn’t apply to him.

• The Wells Report, the investigation on which the NFL based its suspension, alleged Brady was “at least generally aware” that footballs had been tampered. The NFLPA would argue that the “general awareness” standard has no legal merit – either Wells found direct evidence, or he didn’t.

• The NFLPA would argue Brady – given the rules in the club manual did apply to him – received a punishment without precedence. Under the collective bargaining agreement, players have a right to know specific punishment for specific violations.

• The NFLPA plans to cite a specific example in oral arguments in an effort to prove Brady’s suspension was arbitrary. Last year, the league caught the Minnesota Vikings tampering with footballs by placing them in a dryer, a violation of the club manual. The team, the NFLPA source said, received a letter from the league and no further reprimand.

• The NFLPA would mount an argument against the procedure the Wells Report used to measure the inflation and deflation of footballs, saying there was no previous standard.

Regardless of how strong the union thinks their argument is, getting a federal court to reverse the ruling won’t be easy. As Kilgore points out, reversals almost always occur because the court has an issue with the arbitration process itself, regardless of whether or not they find fault in how the arbitrator came to a decision.

That means the NFLPA’s best chance at winning a potential challenge in court will likely be to prove that Goodell had bias as the arbiter of Brady’s appeal.

Egos vs Egos……..

FEMA is planning for an earthquake that could devastate the Pacific Northwest


To the north of California’s famous San Andreas fault is a less known, but possibly more deadly, fault line. The Cascadia subduction zone runs some 700 miles from northern California to Vancouver.

In a deeply reported article for The New Yorker, Kathryn Schulz tells the tale of how this fault lies dormant for periods of 243 years, on average, before unleashing monstrous tremors. The Pacific Northwest is 72 years overdue for the next quake, which is expected to be between 8.0 and 9.2 in magnitude.

At the upper end of that scale, Schulz notes, we would experience “the worst natural disaster in the history of North America.” (The major 2011 earthquake in Japan was a 9.0, killing more than 15,000 people.)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) already has an emergency response plan for when this earthquake hits. Parts of FEMA’s quake expectations are truly terrifying. As Schulz writes:

FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Another twenty-seven thousand will be injured, and the agency expects that it will need to provide shelter for a million displaced people, and food and water for another two and a half million.

These projections are based on a scenario that has the earthquake striking at 9:41 a.m. February 6. (The agency isn’t trying to predict the future or saying that the earthquake will definitely occur then, they just need a date to plan around.) The toll would be far higher on a warm day, when more people — often huge crowds of people — are at the beach or in the water.

When the quake does occur, its severe effects and the impacts of the following tsunami (“It will look like the whole ocean, elevated, overtaking land”) will be felt all the way from Canada to Sacramento, in densely populated cities like Seattle and Portland.

What’s more, the Pacific Northwest is not earthquake ready. Buildings aren’t retrofitted properly and there aren’t many effective emergency warning systems or escape plans in place.

The aftermath will be devastating. Schulz writes:

By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

 

That’s OK with all the pot heads living in that region no one will notice or really care. All we will see is a Puff of smoke, good smoke I am sure, slip into the Ocean.

Retro of the day: Linda Ronstadt

 

Blue Bayou” is the title of a song written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, and originally sung by Orbison. It later became Linda Ronstadt‘s signature song.

Linda Ronstadt took the song to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late 1977 — where it held for four weeks — as well as #2 Country and #3 Easy Listening. It also reached #2 — for four weeks — on the Cash Box Top 100 chart.