Court must decide if police are allowed to use drones to help make arrests…
The tiny town of Lakota, N.D., is quickly becoming a key testing ground for the legality of the use of unmanned drones by law enforcement after one of its residents became the first American citizen to be arrested with the help of a Predator surveillance drone.
The bizarre case started when six cows wandered onto Rodney Brossart’s 3,000 acre farm. Brossart, an alleged anti-government “sovereignist,” believed he should have been able to keep the cows, so he and two family members chased police off his land with high powered rifles.
After a 16-hour standoff, the Grand Forks police department SWAT team, armed with a search warrant, used an agreement they’ve had with Homeland Security for about three years, and called in an unmanned aerial vehicle to pinpoint Brossart’s location on the ranch. The SWAT team stormed in and arrested Brossart on charges of terrorizing a sheriff, theft, criminal mischief, and other charges, according to documents.
Brossart says he “had no clue” they used a drone during the standoff until months after his arrest.
“We’re not laying over here playing dead on it,” says Brossart, who is scheduled to appear in court on April 30. He believes what the SWAT team did was “definitely” illegal.
“We’re dealing with it, we’ve got a couple different motions happening in court fighting [the drone use].”
Plant defenses against leaf-eating herbivores, like this cabbage looper caterpillar, are activated by the plant’s sense of touch. (Credit: Tommy LaVergne/Rice University)
RICE (US) — When touched, plant defenses go into overdrive to fight off fungal infections and insect invaders.
“From previous studies, we knew that plants change their growth in response to touch but we didn’t know how these growth changes were activated,” says Wassim Chehab, a faculty fellow in the department of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University and lead author of the study.
“We used a widely studied plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, to test the idea that the touch-induced growth was regulated by a plant hormone called jasmonate.”
I happened to run across this story this morning, but did not read it. Read MORE.
Then went to the dentist (had appointment at 1pm) to have my teeth cleaned and the dentist then to check out my teeth for any further work. Of course, the first thing is to take full x-rays of my teeth. And I remembered the headline and told the nurse, I go crazy or get cancer, it’s your fault. She told me that in all her years, she had never lost a patient to going crazy or having cancer because of x-rays of the teeth. So I just laid back and enjoyed the attention. She did a damn good job, quite thorough, on cleaning all my teeth. Dentist then checked out everything and told me that my lower gums were like a 20 year old. Made me feel good until he said the upper gums were not as good, but that is because of my appliance I have to wear all the time. Short story, he just found a couple of minor places that need filling. So I go back in a couple of weeks for that. And that brings up this that I found also:
We’ve all been sitting in the dentist’s chair when they bring out a heavy lead apron and tell us it’s time for us to get our teeth x-rayed. The science behind investigative dental x-rays is to stop decay before it causes irreparable harm to the tooth (please forgive the simplistic interpretation). Many dentists urge patience to get their teeth x-rayed every year. Americans probably have had her teeth today than at any time in history.
The unintended consequence of achieving these white shiny smiles is a higher incidence of meningiomas a noncancerous brain tumor. In a study conducted by Yale University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, dental patients had significantly higher risk if they agreed to bitewing x-rays than did patients who refused such prophylactic care. In fact, compared to patients who had never had these x-rays there appear to have been a doubling in risk.
The apparent incentives in this situation work against the patient (both financial rewards and concerns about liability). A dentist who disregards potential risk from x-rays for his patients has higher income than does a similar dentist who is careful to administer only the minimum necessary number and amount of x-rays. That suggests that to limit the impact of this unintended consequence that individuals need to proactively monitor and control what happens to them at the dentist office.
Readers interested in learning more can read the article published today, 4/10/12 in the journal Cancer. They may also be interested in reading my book, Unintended Consequences: How to Improve our Government, our Businesses, and our Lives. There is more on similar topics blog at my blog harlanplatt.com.
Eggs of enigmatic dinosaur in Patagonia discovered…
An Argentine-Swedish research team has reported a 70-million-year-old pocket of fossilized bones and unique eggs of an enigmatic birdlike dinosaur in Patagonia. “What makes the discovery unique are the two eggs preserved near articulated bones of its hind limb. This is the first time the eggs are found in a close proximity to skeletal remains of an alvarezsaurid dinosaur,” says Dr. Martin Kundrát, dinosaur expert from the group of Professor Per Erik Ahlberg at Uppsala University.
The first Argentine-Swedish Dinosaur expedition and collaboration; Fernando Novas, F. Agnolin and J. Powell from Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales and Martin Kundrát was performed in December 2010.
The dinosaur represents the latest survivor of its kind from Gondwana, the southern landmass in the Mesozoic Era. The creature belongs to one of the most mysterious groups of dinosaurs, the Alvarezsauridae, and it is one of the largest members, 2.6 m, of the family. It was first discovered by Dr. Powell, but has now been described and named Bonapartenykus ultimus in honor of Dr. José Bonaparte who 1991 discovered the first alvarezsaurid in Patagonia.
“This shows that basal alvarezsaurids persisted in South America until Latest Cretaceous times,” says Martin Kundrát.
Why is the Political Situation so Bleak? Because the Elite Fears Being Unfashionable More Than Being Wrong
“In the attics of the students, in the garrets of Bohemia, and the deserted offices of doctors without patients and lawyers without clients there are [the revolutionaries] in bud.” — Hippolyte Taine, writing about France in the 1860s
“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” — Patrick Henry to the Virginia convention, March 23, 1775
How do you turn “the smartest people in the world” into the dumbest? Simple: you turn the sophisticated sources of information on which they depend — elite media, academia, and schools — into sources of misinformation.
And how do you persuade people who should know better to embrace bad ideas and silly concepts? Equally simple.
You make those ideas fashionable.
One of the girls in my son’s sixth-grade class told him he would look better if he wore blue jeans. After he explained to me that this is what the other kids in his class are wearing, I took him shopping and bought him a couple pairs. He wore jeans the next day at school, and a kid said: “Hey, look, Daniel is wearing blue jeans!” And they applauded.
But why, he asked me afterward, does it matter so much what someone wears? After all, that’s just a superficial outer appearance. I was proud of him for asking that question — which showed that he valued character over image — but explained that these things are important because they send social signals. Most people really don’t know how to evaluate someone in terms of their character and values. They lack the time or ability to do so. Thus, they look at symbols like clothes, haircuts, and the kind of car someone drives, or their credentials, like college degrees, in order to judge others.
Once I was in the elevator of a fashionable Manhattan high rise holding take-out coffee for myself and my wife. I was informally dressed and wearing a Baltimore Orioles cap. One woman in the elevator turned to another and said: “I didn’t know Starbucks delivers!”
Indeed, fashion may be the greatest enemy of survival for America today. Holding a certain set of ideas has been defined as making one seem sophisticated, successful, and admirable. Other ideas are deemed horrible, indicating that the person is a hick, rube, bumpkin, yahoo, racist. In short, the kind of person who hates others because they are different and clings to guns and religion.
One of the great successes of leftism (pretending to be liberalism) in North America and Europe today is that it has made itself so fashionable, so identified with sophistication, intellectual quality, and what used to be called the upper class. Not the old upper class of country clubs and yachts (though Senator John Kerry has a whopper of a boat), but the upper class of merit, the truly good who hate racism and are saving the Earth.
Funny how many of these people are quite wealthy themselves. The message: my money and success is justified by my holding proper attitudes. Al Gore may have a big house and a big carbon footprint, but that’s okay because he talks about how these things are evil.
After 25 years, Simpsons creator Matt Groening spills the beans on Springfield: “Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon. The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show Father Knows Best took place in the town of Springfield, and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown. When I grew up, I realized it was just a fictitious name. I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S. In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, ‘This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.’ And they do.”
Voter ID laws have been a topic of much controversy lately. In states covered by the Civil Rights Act, where changes to voting requirements trigger review by the federal government, the Justice Department has acted aggressively to block photo ID requirements for voters. There are three primary reasons given in the legal briefs DOJ files against these laws:
1. Photo ID for voters is an unnecessary burden, because voter fraud isn’t really a big problem.
2. The ID requirements would discriminate against poor and/or minority voters, even though every state which has introduced such laws has gone to great lengths to make a suitable ID card available to those who don’t already have a drivers’ license, at zero or minimal cost. This argument is generally advanced by implication, subsumed into a more forceful legal argument, which is:
3. Photo ID requirements would have a disproportionate effect on minority voters, even if there’s nothing particularly discriminatory about them. In other words, a large number of minority voters don’t have suitable ID at the moment, and even if obtaining a photo ID wouldn’t be much of an inconvenience (and the inconvenience is not demonstrably intended as any sort of racial discrimination) it would still hit a disproportionately large number of minority voters. In Texas, for example, this argument was buttressed by asserting that a very large percentage of the Hispanic population does not currently hold a driver’s license.
Argument Number Three is really all the DOJ needs, even though it might seem odd to a reasonable denizen of 2012 America that a law from 1964 would infer that a carefully crafted, racially neutral modern law is presumptively racist, simply because it affects unacceptably large numbers of people in a given community. Leaving the Civil Rights Act aside, we certainly don’t apply that standard to most of our other laws, a great many of which demonstrably affect various subsets of the American populace in disproportionate ways.
If only the president we have now in the white house was a class act like the president he followed.
NEW YORK — Gov. Chris Christie said the country is becoming a “paternalistic entitlement society” this morning in a speech at a conservative conference headed by former President George W. Bush.
Addressing Bush and other national Republicans, Christie said he hasn’t seen a less optimistic period in the country in his lifetime.
Bush said the topic of the conference is how to grow the private sector. He introduced Christie by complimenting his “enormous personality” and “belief in the individual,” saying even Texans had taken note of the governor.
“We admire the courageous stance you take,” said Bush, who nominated Christie to be U.S. Attorney.
“I was a proud member of the Bush administration for seven years,” Christie said, later adding that Bush “inspired a whole new generation of conservative Republican leaders.” [...]
“I have decided to stay out of the limelight,” Bush said. “I don’t think it’s good, frankly, for our country to undermine the president and I don’t intend to do so. But I do intend to remain involved in areas that I’m interested in.”
Am sure that somewhere, there is a law that says a hanger company can be sued if someone swallows one.
Again, wrong planet for this guy.
And unemployment was like 5.3% under Bush and 9% with Obama.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today came up with a novel way to spin the disappointing March employment numbers, which showed the economy created only 120,000 jobs, some 80,000 below expectations. [...]
Here’s what Carney said on the way to Florida, where Obama will be creating jobs for his campaign organization by attending three fundraisers:
We talked a lot about jobs numbers on Friday, the fact that 120,000 jobs created, which made for the best quarter since 2006 in jobs created, came in under expectations, and there was a lot of discussion about whether or not that was a good number or a bad number. The fact of the matter is under President George W. Bush, the average monthly job creation figure was 67,000 jobs.
Freaking Obama regime assholes! Being nicey, nicey to the islamics yet again! And of course, insulting our intelligence with shit like this!
(CNS News) – Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said Monday that “religion is not driving extremist violence” in Nigeria–just one day after a Christian church conducting an Easter service was targeted by a car bombing that left 39 dead.
Similarly, on Christmas Day, the Nigerian Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, attacked a Catholic church in that country, killing more than 40 people.
“I want to take this opportunity to stress one key point and that is that religion is not driving extremist violence either in Jos or northern Nigeria,” Assistant Secretary of State Carson said Monday at a forum on U.S. policy toward Nigeria held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.
“While some seek to inflame Muslim-Christian tensions, Nigeria’s ethnic and religious diversity, like our own in this country, is a source of strength, not weakness,” he added, “and there are many examples across Nigeria of communities working across religious lines to protect one another.”
On Easter Sunday a church in Kaduna, Nigeria, was targeted by a suicide bombing that killed 39 and wounded dozens. Though no organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, it is suspected that Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist organization, was behind it.
Then there is this, someone who lies all the time for his boss, has forgot which lie to tell!
President Obama is traveling to Florida today to tout the so-called Buffett Rule, as well as to raise money from people who would have to pay more taxes under that same rule. The president’s proposal “asks everyone to pay their fair share” of taxes, according to the White House. In other words: It’s an increase on taxes for the rich.
“The Buffett Rule is [sic] simple principle that everyone should pay their fair share in taxes,” the White House explains. “No household making more than a $1 million should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay. For the 98 percent of American families who make less than $250,000, taxes should not go up.”
But the money that would be brought in by the government through this sort of tax increase would hardly reduce the growing federal debt. The debt is too large, and the revenue would be too small. Even Obama’s spokesman admitted that fact to reporters today on the plane ride down to Florida.
“[N]o one ever suggested that implementing the Buffett Rule would contribute in large measure to reducing the deficit,” said press secretary Jay Carney.
However, Obama’s own campaign team is touting the Buffett Rule as a way to pay down. . . the federal deficit.
“The Buffett Rule would reduce the deficit while helping to pay for investments in education, clean energy, jobs, and other programs that will help our economy grow,” Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina claims on BarackObama.com.
And in another place on Obama’s campaign website, this assertion is made: “The Buffett Rule would require everyone to pay their fair share — a key step to reduce the deficit and invest in what we need to grow and strengthen the economy. Mitt Romney’s alternative is to give millionaires and billionaires trillions of dollars in tax breaks paid for by either increasing the deficit or by cutting programs critical to the middle class and economic growth.”
Oh hell! The bullshit from the obama meter just melted after this one from the dictator in charge….
President Obama, who famously called for tax increases on the wealthy to “spread the wealth around,” denied today that his tax increases on the rich are an attempt to “redistribute wealth.”
“So these investments — in things like education and research and health care — they haven’t been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another,” the president said today at Florida Atlantic University. “This is not some socialist dream,” Obama added as hecalled for tax increases on millionaires today to pay for those investments.