Alternate Realities Roundup 8/27 | Buzz Blog
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Alternate Realities Roundup 8/27



The U.S. now will likely bomb Syria in response to the regime's use of chemical weapons. Here's how that campaign will likely play out.---

Top of the Alty World

“Obama's Guns of August”--Slate

Even after the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” transgender service men and women still lack protection from discrimination.--Rolling Stone

California still struggles to contain one of the state's largest wildfires (PHOTOS)--The Atlantic

Workers win a $2 million settlement from nation's largest assisted-living community.--ProPublica

Top of Alty Utah

Attorney General John Swallow could be cleared of a federal investigation this week.--Utah Political Capitol

Utah's Rep. Chris Stewart was bombarded with questions about immigration reform at a recent public meeting.--KCPW

An LDS Utah mother of a son with severe epilepsy calls for the legalization of medicinal marijuana.--Libertas

The Greek Orthodox Church's battle over the “benevolent fund” has been building for some time.--Salt Lake City Weekly


Activist-journalist Jesse Fruhwirth discusses the police investigation of 20-year-old Provo resident Alex Opmanis. Utah County police suspected Opmanis of dealing in large quantities of drugs and raided his home to discover he only had 1.5 ounces of marijuana on his person. Opmanis fired at officers, believing he was experiencing a home invasion.

“What pisses me off so much about this is all the time and attention cops/prosecutors/judges are putting into investigating Opmanis only NOW. They want his medical records, his criminal history, work history, school records, everything everything everything. But why didn’t they do that BEFORE they invaded his house!? They would have seen that he’s a decent kid, who’s had a hard time thus far in life, has been victimized and is still surviving his injuries, and probably isn’t a big-time marijuana dealer like some vile snitch says but just a kid who smokes some weed to sleep better and doesn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of state-sponsored terrorism.”--UT4PS

The Long View

New York looks at how former CIA officer David Cohen and current CIA analyst Larry Sanchez helped the New York City Police Department create its own citywide version of the NSA.

“Putting a CIA officer inside a police department was unprecedented. The CIA, by its very charter, was prohibited from having any “police, subpoena, or law-enforcement powers or internal-security functions.” But, 9/11 had changed the equation. Security had become the overriding priority. To the extent Sanchez had an official title, it was the CIA director’s counter-terrorism liaison to the state of New York. In reality, he was Cohen’s personal CIA representative, with an office at the CIA station in Manhattan and another at NYPD. The agency was footing Sanchez’s salary, but it was not clear to whom he answered, or what his duties were. He’d start many mornings at his CIA office, reading the latest intelligence reports. Then, he’d head downtown to give Cohen a personal briefing that was far more expansive than the updates the NYPD was getting officially from the FBI or CIA. While Cohen could be gruff and combative, Sanchez was easy to talk to and easy to like. A former amateur power lifter and boxer, he told great stories about scuba and skydiving—parachuting into Iraq with Army commandos from Delta Force. Cohen and Sanchez’s appointments represented a major shift in mindset at the NYPD. Police are trained to uphold the law. By comparison, CIA officers are trained to subvert laws and operate undetected in places where the Constitution doesn’t apply. They are forbidden from doing this in America.”--New York