May 9, 2017

Posted by orrinj at 7:40 PM

DO YOU NEED A PSYCHIC TO TELL YOU A TURTLE HASN'T GONE FAR?:

Bernie the tortoise returns home after 9½ months (Kyle Stucker, 5/09/17, seacoastonline.com)

At first blush, Kristine Spencer's ordeal seems filled with a number of hot-button political elements ripped right from last year's presidential election -- a Bernie, a shocking loss, a link to Russia, a swamp, and a wall.

But her story isn't a political thriller at all -- it's a tale about a Gonic woman, a Rochester city councilor, a psychic and a missing tortoise.

Spencer's beloved 6-year-old Russian tortoise Bernie recently returned home on his own, roughly 9½ months after escaping a pen in Spencer's Railroad Avenue back yard in July -- coincidentally, just one day before the tortoise's namesake, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Spencer is overjoyed because she and her friends spent countless hours posting signs and searching the dense woods and swamp behind her home. They believed Bernie may have made it to the swamp, as Spencer found a hole under her fence and flattened grass, about the width of Bernie, pointing toward the swamp after Bernie went missing July 11.

They even called New York psychic Kristin Thompson, who is experienced at communicating with lost pets. Thompson claimed she could see through Bernie's eyes and was able to feel he was within a mile of the house. While Thompson was confident Bernie would return, things didn't look good for the missing reptile when winter came.

"Winter was so long and so cold," said Spencer, who named Bernie after Sanders because she adopted him from a home in Vermont. "I looked everywhere for him. I didn't think he'd have the wits to survive."

Then, on the evening of April 29, as Spencer's husband, Rochester City Councilor Tom Abbott, was returning home, he spotted a man helping a tortoise cross Railroad Avenue, just a few houses up the street from Spencer and Abbott's home.

Posted by orrinj at 5:10 PM

A SAD LITTLE MAN WITH SAD LITTLE HANDS:

Condoleezza Rice: I feel bad for 'lonely' President Trump (Sarah Taylor, 5/09/17, The Blaze)

 Rice expressed some sadness for the president:

He had never been in government before. And when you haven't been in government before, sometimes it looks kind of easy in there, until you get in there. And when he said, you know, "This job's a lot harder than I thought," I actually kind of felt bad for him, because it is a really hard job, and it's a lonely job, and you want people around you who you trust.

Pretty sure pity wasn't the reaction he expected his presidency to provoke.

Posted by orrinj at 5:05 PM

THE MIGHTY RUSSIAN WAR MACHINE:

Sinking of the Liman Undermines Russia's Sea Power Credentials (Ridvan Bari Urcosta, May 4, 2017, Eurasia Daily Monitor)

While operating in Black Sea waters near the mouth of the Bosporus, on April 27, the Russian naval reconnaissance vessel Liman sank after colliding with the Youzarsif, a Togo-flagged livestock freighter. The incident did tremendous damage to Russia's self-promoted image as a global sea power, particularly when looked at in the context of two other important events that occurred only a week before.

Posted by orrinj at 5:03 PM

SHE WATCHED THE WHOLE WORLD ANGLOFY:


Posted by orrinj at 5:01 PM

THE GLOBAL WARMING BUBBLE:

Are methane seeps in the Arctic slowing global warming? (Randall Hyman, May. 8, 2017, Science)

Good news about climate change is especially rare in the Arctic. But now comes news that increases in one greenhouse gas--methane--lead to the dramatic decline of another. Research off the coast of Norway's Svalbard archipelago suggests that where methane gas bubbles up from seafloor seeps, surface waters directly above absorb twice as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as surrounding waters. The findings suggest that methane seeps in isolated spots in the Arctic could lessen the impact of climate change.

"This is ... totally unexpected," says Brett Thornton, a geochemist at Stockholm University who was not involved in the research. These new findings challenge the popular assumption that methane seeps inevitably increase the global greenhouse gas burden.

Posted by orrinj at 4:46 PM

BUT FOR THE dEEP sTATE THAT'S ABOUT WHAT YOU'D GET FOR HIS nATION:

Trump Taj Mahal c*sino sold for 4 cents on the dollar (Associated Press, 5/09/17)

The Trump Taj Mahal, the Atlantic City, N.J., c*sino that the real estate mogul built for $1.2 billion in 1990, went for 4 cents on the dollar when it was sold in March.

Posted by orrinj at 4:33 PM

TURNING AWAY DRED SCOTT:

CAN YOU GO TO JAIL FOR 'ASSISTING' YOUR UNDOCUMENTED NEIGHBOR? (KRISTIE DE PEÑA, 5/08/17, American Conservative)

Among the new "charging practices" that Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this month--ostensibly to help establish lawfulness in our immigration system--is the prosecution of individuals aiding or assisting criminal aliens entering the United States. Despite what the administration wants Americans to believe, the law is not new, although prioritized enforcement of the policy is.

In fact, there is no reason these laws need prioritization, since they are well-known and regularly used. Publicizing enforcement of the laws serves mainly to chill the behavior of Americans, and to isolate their undocumented neighbors, family members, and fellow community members.

One of the illegals on our geoseismic crew was a 17-year old kid who drove a red Dodge Charger with horse head decals on the doors.  Suffice it to say, he had no license and no insurance.  We convinced him he needed to at least be a little more subtle and we made him room with us.  When the crew changed locations--distances up to 8 hours--one of us would drive the car.  We once did the math and figured out that 40% of the vehicles in our convoy were being driven by either an illegal or a native with a suspended license for DUI.

Our buddies on a crew closer to the border would sneak the illegals on their crew over the border when they had days off and visited the whorehouses in Nuevo Laredo.  

And every time we got paid they'd show us the federal withholding on their checks....

Posted by orrinj at 4:29 PM

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Rohani Chides 'Executioners And Jailers' In 'Risky' Campaign Gambit (Golnaz Esfandiari, 5/09/17, Radio Liberty)

In a campaign speech in the western city of Hamedan, Rohani said on May 8 that voters did not want someone who in the four decades since Iran's revolution has only known how to "execute and jail."

That appeared to be a reference to hard-line candidate and cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who is said to have condemned many political opponents and opposition activists to death during a spate of thousands of summary trials in the 1980s.

Raisi spent years in senior regional and national posts in Iran's powerful judiciary, which plays a key role in enforcing state repression and silencing critics.

Iranian political analyst Taghi Rahmani called Rohani's tactic potentially "risky," because it could anger powerful hard-line interests, including within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a branch of the military, and the judiciary.

There is no risk.  Iranians agree.

Posted by orrinj at 4:26 PM

IT WOULD BE MORE SHOCKING IF HE WERE LIVING AS A GUY:

Richard Simmons sues over tabloids' sex change stories (DEBRA CASSENS WEISS, 5/09/17, ABA Journal)

Richard Simmons says he supports transgender rights, but he is entitled to truthful reporting on his personal life.

The fitness guru on Monday sued the National Enquirer and Radar Online for reporting that he had undergone "shocking sex surgery" and was "now living as a gal named Fiona," report the Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Posted by orrinj at 4:18 PM

THE KEY TO HEALTH REFORM IS REDUCING CONSUMPTION:

Don't Screen For Thyroid Cancer, Task Force Says (Richard Harris, 5/09/17, NPR)

If you hear rock star Rod Stewart's husky voice in a radio spot imploring you to get your thyroid checked for cancer, don't be seduced.

An industry-backed foundation has been putting out that message, with Stewart as a celebrity spokesman, but it's not based on sound science. No major medical organization recommends mass screening for thyroid cancer.

Now, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has added its forceful voice to the mix. The federal oversight group puts thyroid cancer screening in its don't-do-it category, in recommendations published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday.

"The harms outweigh the benefits," task force member Dr. Seth Landefeld says.

Posted by orrinj at 4:15 PM

HOPEFULLY THEY'RE AT LEAST USING HILLARY'S SERVER:

8 out of 14 Trump administration officials clicked a link in a fake phishing email sent to them by Gizmodo (The Week, 5/09/17)

When sent a fake phishing email by the technology website Gizmodo, more than half of 14 targeted Trump administration officials fell for clicking on the potentially dangerous link. 

Posted by orrinj at 11:16 AM

NO ONE DOESN'T HAVE A JOB WHO'S WILLING TO WORK:

US has 5.7 million job openings, near record high (Patrick Gillespie, 5/09/17, CNNMoney)

Looking for a job? America has 5.7 million openings.

That's close to the record number of job openings reported by the Labor Department since it started tracking them in 2000. The US had an all-time high of 5.9 million openings last July.

Posted by orrinj at 10:23 AM

BEATS THE HECK OUT OF PICASSO:

Students Leave a Pineapple In a Museum, Everyone Mistakes It for Art (Nahema Marchal, May 9, 2017, Heat Street)

A pineapple that was left in the middle of an art exhibition by two students at a Scottish university has now been "adopted" as a work of art.

Ruairi Gray, 22, and his friend Lloyd Jack, left the exotic fruit they had bought in a supermarket for £1 on a stand at the Look Again exhibition at Robert Gordon University (RGU) as a "joke."

To their surprise, when the two friends later returned to the exhibition four days later, the pineapple had been covered by a glass case and put on show at the center of the display.

Posted by orrinj at 7:10 AM

HOMO ECONOMICUS IS DEAD:

Testosterone is the enemy of smart investing decisions, study finds (Mitch Tuchman, May 9, 2017, Marketwatch)

A new study from Caltech, Wharton, Western University and ZRT Laboratory found that men are quicker to make judgments and less likely to examine facts that might prove them wrong. [...]

"What we found was the testosterone group was quicker to make snap judgments on brain teasers where your initial guess is usually wrong," says Caltech Professor Colin Camerer.

"The testosterone is either inhibiting the process of mentally checking your work or increasing the intuitive feeling that 'I'm definitely right.'"

Posted by orrinj at 6:59 AM

IF THEY TIE-DYE THEIR SHEETS ARE THEY NOT THE KLAN?:

Appeals Court Focuses on Trump's Travel Ban Comments : Trump used phrases 'Muslim ban' and 'we all know what that means' (Todd Ruger, 5/09/17, Roll Call)

 A federal appeals court appeared ready Monday to deliver another legal setback to the administration's revised travel ban based on whether it should use President Donald Trump's own comments against him.

Trump's statements on the campaign trail and as president were front and center as the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit heard more than two hours of arguments about whether the government should be able to implement key parts of an executive order that advocacy groups say unconstitutionally targets Muslims.

The case appears to come down to whether comments from Trump -- such as calling it a "Muslim ban" and saying "we all know what that means" when signing the first version of the executive order -- can be used to determine the purpose behind the ban. 

"That's the most important issue in the whole case," Judge Robert B. King said during arguments.

It appeared Monday that a majority of the 4th Circuit seemed ready to consider those statements as part of the case, likely leading to a ruling that would uphold a lower court order that has temporarily blocked the order's implementation.



Posted by orrinj at 5:42 AM

GONNA NEED MORE FEET:

Putin Shoots Himself In The Foot (Brian Whitmore, 5/09/17. Radio Liberty)


The hacking didn't work.

The leaks didn't work.

The fake news didn't work.

And the smear campaign didn't work.

So now the Kremlin is saying: can't we all just get along?

In his congratulatory message to Emmanuel Macron yesterday, Vladimir Putin called on the French president-elect to overcome the "mutual mistrust" between Paris and Moscow.

That's pretty rich when you consider who created the mutual mistrust.

It's pretty rich given that for months the Kremlin-backed media and Kremlin-backed social-media trolls have been relentlessly smearing Macron with lies, rumors, and innuendo.

It's pretty rich when in the midst of the French election campaign, Putin hosted Macron's rival, the nationalist Marine Le Pen, in the Kremlin.

And it's pretty rich considering that a cyberattack on Macron's campaign and a data dump on the eve of the election looked suspiciously like the Kremlin's handiwork.

It can't work out worse than backing Donald did.

Posted by orrinj at 5:40 AM

GREATEST WAR EVER:

IS Video Purportedly Shows Beheading Of Russian Officer In Syria (Radio Liberty, May 09, 2017)

The extremist group Islamic State has issued a video showing the beheading of a man it described as a Russian intelligence officer captured in Syria, according to a U.S.-based monitoring organization.

Posted by orrinj at 5:38 AM

NOTHING COSTS MORE THAN IT USED TO:

Amazon lowers free shipping minimum ... again (Kathryn Vasel, May 8, 2017, Money)

The company has lowered the minimum for non-Prime members to $25 of eligible items, according to a shipping page on its website.

Shoppers used to have to spend $35 or more to qualify for free shipping. The new minimum represents a drop of nearly 29%.

Posted by orrinj at 5:25 AM

THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS QUALITY:

Science proves Stradivarius violins just aren't that great (Cosmos, 5/09/17)

Stradivarius violins - made in the 17th and 18th centuries by the Stradivari family in Italy - are regarded by many as sounding better than any others, especially instruments made in modern times.

But research published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) might have finally consigned that pre-eminence to the realm of myth.

Testing led by Claudia Fritz from the Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris concludes robustly that concert-goers far prefer the volume and tone of new violins. [...]

The finding harmonises with the research published by Fritz and colleagues in 2014. In a blind listening experiment, professional violinists asked to distinguish between Stradivari and modern instruments were unable to do so at a rate better than chance.

Posted by orrinj at 5:20 AM

ONLY ISHMAEL SURVIVES:

Comey's Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate : The FBI hasn't decided how to correct the director's false claim that she forwarded thousands of Clinton emails to the laptop computer of her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner. (Peter Elkind, 5/08/17, ProPublica)

The problem: Much of what Comey said about this was inaccurate. Now the FBI is trying to figure out what to do about it.

FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found. On Monday, the FBI was said to be preparing to correct the record by sending a letter to Congress later this week. But that plan now appears on hold, with the bureau undecided about what to do.

ProPublica is reporting a story on the FBI's handling of the Clinton emails and raised questions with government officials last week about possible inaccuracies in Comey's statements about Abedin.

It could not be learned how the mistake occurred. The FBI and Abedin declined ProPublica's requests for comment on the director's misstatements.

According to two sources familiar with the matter -- including one in law enforcement -- Abedin forwarded only a handful of Clinton emails to her husband for printing -- not the "hundreds and thousands" cited by Comey. It does not appear Abedin made "a regular practice" of doing so. Other officials said it was likely that most of the emails got onto the computer as a result of backups of her Blackberry.

It was not clear how many, if any, of the forwarded emails were among the 12 "classified" emails Comey said had been found on Weiner's laptop. None of the messages carried classified markings at the time they were sent.