I don’t know about where you live, but it’s a glorious day here in Southwest Washington. I can’t really imagine that you have your nose stuck to the screen. But if so, I hope you’re outside–and here are some good articles I’ve run across recently in my meanderings around the Internet.
Why you may want to read it: Britain’s Economist runs a feature called Graphic Detail: a new chart or map each day, often interactive and with interesting external links. Oh, I know, it sounds a little wonky, but take “Sharia Do Like It.”
What exactly do Muslims who support sharia law mean by that, anyway? How does Islam in Afghanistan compare with Islam in, say, Kazakhstan? And how do fans of sharia feel about religious freedom, anyway?
Excerpt: Almost 80% of Egyptian Muslims say they favour religious freedom and a similar number favour sharia law. Of that group, almost 90% also think people who renounce Islam should be put to death. Confused? So are they.
The subjects in NMH [No More Hesitation] targets were chosen in order to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training.
The targets are “meant to help the transition for officers who are faced with these highly unusual targets for the first time.”
Translation? There are some people cops have a really, really hard time shooting. But these targets are expressly designed to help them get past that. To not only shoot them, but to shoot to kill.
An Army carry team carries the remains of Spc. Mikayla Bragg to a waiting vehicle at Dover Air Force Base, Christmas Eve, 2011 (U.S. Air Force photo/Steve Kotecki)
Flags on Washington State buildings were lowered to half-staff last January 5th for Spc. Mikayla Bragg of Longview, the first Cowlitz County resident to die in a battle zone since the waning days of Vietnam. Bragg, 20, was alone in a guard tower at Afghanistan’s Forward Operating Base Salerno when she was shot in the head four days before Christmas. The 2008 Mark Morris High School grad died less than two weeks before she was scheduled to come home on leave.
And an Army report now says Bragg died by her own hand.
Sunken Road, Sharpsburg (Alexander Gardner, Library of Congress)
When it comes to pivotal battles of the Civil War, Gettysburg gets most of the press. But before Gettysburg, there was Sharpsburg.
That’s if you’re from the South–which I am. If you’re from the North, it’s Antietam. (Confederate General D. H. Hill once suggested that Confederate farmer boys tended to be impressed by towns and other human-made things; Union city boys, by some natural landmark. For whatever reason, well over a dozen Civil War battles have dual names. This battle was fought just east of Sharpsburg, Maryland, by Antietam Creek.)
Monday was the 150th anniversary of the battle. Over 23,000 men were killed or wounded in twelve hours on September 17th, 1862, making it the bloodiest day in American history.