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Judge in San Francisco lets biggest medical pot shop stay open A federal magistrate judge on Monday ruled that a medical-marijuana dispensary that bills itself as the world's largest can continue to operate, at least for now, in Oakland and San Jose despite a bid by federal prosecutors to shut it down.
The ruling marks the latest move in a tug-of-war between local and federal authorities over medical marijuana dispensaries and over Harborside Health Center, which was featured on the Discovery Channel reality TV show "Weed Wars." (Reuters)
Police Stop-and-Frisk Program in Bronx Is Ruled Unconstitutional An element of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practice was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge on Tuesday, a ruling that may have broad implications for the city’s widespread use of police stops as a crime-fighting tactic.
The decision, the first federal ruling to find that the practice under the Bloomberg administration violates the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure, focused on police stops conducted in front of several thousand private residential buildings in the Bronx enrolled in the Trespass Affidavit Program. Property managers in that program have asked the police to patrol their buildings and to arrest trespassers.
But the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said officers were routinely stopping people outside the buildings without reasonable suspicion that they were trespassing.
“While it may be difficult to say where, precisely, to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters, such a line exists, and the N.Y.P.D. has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops outside TAP buildings in the Bronx,” Judge Scheindlin ruled. (New York Times)
3D Systems goes high-end with CubeX 3D printer Now 3D Systems is getting serious.
Along with the new midrange Cube, 3D Systems has also introduced a new, higher-end desktop 3D printer, the CubeX, with technical specs that puts it in direct competition with MakerBot's Replicator 2 and forthcoming dual-color Replicator 2X 3D printers.
Starting at $2,499, the CubeX boasts a 10.8x10.45x9.5-inch build area, dwarfing that of MakerBot's Replicator 2 (11.2x6x6.1 inches). And while you will soon be able to purchase a two-color capable Replicator 2X from MakerBot, 3D Systems will offer the CubeX in both two- and three-color options. (CNet News)
American Spirit Arms the Most Recent Victim of Bank of America Anti-Gun Discrimination My name is Joe Sirochman owner of American Spirit Arms and I wanted to share my recent experience with Bank of America (which we have been doing business with for over 10 years).
Everyone is familiar with the latest increase in guns sales , dealers selling out of inventory, manufacturers back logged for months, large amounts revenue all generated in the last weeks.
American Spirit Arms is no exception to the overwhelming demand. What we have experienced is that our web site orders have jumped 500% causing our web site E commerce to be sending much larger deposits to BANK OF AMERICA.
Well, this threw up a huge RED Flag with Bank of America. So they decided to hold the deposits for further review, meaning that the orders/payments that were coming in through the web, being paid by honest customers, for goods that were shipped out by American Spirit Arms, were all help by the bank “UNDER REVIEW” (Ammoland)
John Noveske Killed in Car Crash Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant Tyler Lee reports that on January 4, 2013 at approximately 9:13 p.m., a 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser driven by John Noveske, age 36, from Grants Pass, was westbound on Highway 260 near El Camino Way. As the vehicle negotiated a right curve, it traveled across the oncoming lane onto the dirt highway shoulder until it struck two large boulders. The vehicle rolled and Mr. Noveske was ejected.
Noveske, who is the owner of a local rifle manufacturing company, was not using safety restraints and was pronounced deceased at the scene. (The Outdoor Wire)
Obama's picks for defense, CIA signal new security era Obama's nominations of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as defense secretary and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA signal second-term course adjustments at institutions that have been dominated by their lethal assignments during more than a decade of war. - President Obama is assembling a national-security team designed for an era of downsized but enduring conflict, a team that will be asked to preside over the return of exhausted American troops and wield power through the targeted use of sanctions, Special Operations forces and drone strikes.
Obama's nominations of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as defense secretary and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA signal second-term course adjustments at institutions that have been dominated by their lethal assignments during more than a decade of war.
Those adjustments could include returning the CIA's focus to its core mission of gathering intelligence, even though it is expected to maintain its fleet of armed drones for years. The Pentagon faces an even more aggressive restructuring to balance budget cuts against threats, including China's ascendant military and emerging al-Qaida affiliates in North Africa and the Middle East.
The nominations also set the stage for confirmation fights driven not only by criticism of Hagel and Brennan but by the foreign-policy approach they represent.
Hagel, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, shares Obama's aversion to military intervention. White House officials described him as ideally suited to managing the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the shrinking Pentagon budget. But he has attracted fierce criticism from groups that question his support for Israel. (Washington Post)
Sandy Hook School Massacre Timeline The following timeline of the December 14 mass killing of 20 children and 8 adults in Newtown Connecticut attempts to demonstrate how the event was presented to the public by corporate news media. The chronological assemblage of coverage is not comprehensive of all reports published on the incident but rather seeks to verify how the storyline was to a substantial degree constructed by federal and state law enforcement authorities and major media around the theory that 20-year-old Adam Lanza was the sole agent in the massacre.
This scenario became an established reality through the news media’s pronounced repetition of the lone gunman narrative and meme. This proposed scenario significantly obscured the fact that police encountered and apprehended two additional shooting suspects on the school’s grounds within minutes of the crime. These suspects remain unaccounted for by authorities but the roles they may have played arguably correlate with the shifting information presented by authorities and major news media on injuries and weapons vis-à-vis the mass carnage meted out in the school. While the certain detainment of additional suspects was pointed to by alternative news media, including Natural News, Infowars, Veterans Today and Global Research in the days following the tragedy, the untenable lone gunman narrative has become firmly established in the public psyche via an overwhelming chorus of corporate media reports and interpretations. (Memory Hole Blog)
113th Congress (2013-2014) H.J.RES.15.IH Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.
- IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 4, 2013
Mr. SERRANO introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary ( Rep. José Serrano [D-NY15] ) (US Congress)
3-D Printing: Technology May Bring New Industrial Revolution 3-D printing technology, used industrially for the last few decades, is poised to break into the mass market. Its endless and swiftly developing possibilities -- from entrepreneurial manufacturing to the potential sculpting of human organs -- could become the next industrial revolution. - When the TV series Star Trek first brought the starship Enterprise into German living rooms, the concept of a replicator was pure science fiction, a fantastical utopian vision we might experience one day centuries in the future. Replicators, something of a mixture between computer and miniature factory, were capable of creating food and replacement parts from next to nothing. They were highly practical devices, since Captain Kirk couldn't exactly take along a lot of supplies for his journeys through outer space. That futuristic vision, though, has receded far into the past -- overtaken by the present. (Der Spiegel)
3D Systems Brings Next-Gen Consumer 3D Printing to CES 2013 Experience 3D lifestyle with the only at-home 3D printer
-- Get equipped with hip 3D printed products and accessories
-- Access apps that make 3D design-to-print easier than ever before
3D Systems DDD +0.89% announced today that it will bring its next generation consumer 3D printing experience to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV, January 8-11, 2013, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the Main Hall, booth 15447 and the MommyTech zone, booth 71003 in the Venetian.
3D Systems plans to showcase its new line of consumer 3D printers, 3D printed products, and apps delivering an exclusive 3D lifestyle experience. Attendees can sip a cup of coffee at the Cube Cafe while checking out the only home desktop 3D printers on the market, try on designer printed fashion and gadget accessories and get creative with gamified 3D design apps. Toy and entertainment brands and app developers are invited to learn how to monetize their intellectual property and creativity on 3D Systems' hosting, publishing and production platform, Cubify, and join in the 3D printing revolution. (Market Watch)
Legal sale of medical marijuana coming soon to DC Occupying a distinguished-looking bright blue store front on North Capitol Street just off New York Avenue is a company called Capital City Care.
It is getting ready to open its doors in a matter of weeks. Capital City Care should be the first of four businesses in the city to begin legally selling marijuana.
"Some of them will be open by early spring and the rest of them will be opening throughout the rest of the year," says Morgan Fox of the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. "Qualified patients who have a doctor's recommendation will be able to purchase marijuana from these stores and take it directly home and use it in their homes."
But only if you live in the District. And only if you have any one of the four qualifying conditions: glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, cancer or multiple sclerosis. (FOX)
Menino: Veep promised him fast action on gun control Vice President Joe Biden “guaranteed” Mayor Thomas M. Menino — a leading national gun control advocate — that President Obama will pass sweeping firearms reforms by the end of the month, the mayor said today.
“He said, ‘Tommy, I guarantee you, we’ll get it done by the end of January,’” Menino said at City Hall today. “They’re going to get it done.”
The mayor, who has been recovering from a host of ailments for the past two months, said Biden called him several times while he was in the hospital, including a call after the Newtown school massacre to discuss gun control.
Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg co-chair the 500-mayor-strong Mayors Against Illegal Guns and have called for national gun reform in the wake of last month’s Sandy Hook school killings. (Boston Herald)
Nurses Fired for Refusing Flu Shot An Indiana hospital has fired eight employees, including at least three veteran nurses, after they refused mandatory flu shots, stirring up controversy over which should come first: employee rights or patient safety. The hospital imposed mandatory vaccines, responding to rising concerns about the spread of influenza.
Ethel Hoover wore all black on her last day of work as a nurse in the critical care unit at Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital. She said she was in "mourning" because she would have been at the hospital 22 years in February, and she's only called out of work four or five times in her whole career , she said.
"This is my body. I have a right to refuse the flu vaccine," Hoover, 61, told ABCNews.com. "For 21 years, I have religiously not taken the flu vaccine, and now you're telling me that I believe in it."
More than 15,100 flu cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since Sept. 30, including 16 pediatric deaths. Indiana's flu activity level is considered high, according to the CDC, which last month announced that the flu season came a month earlier than usual. (ABC)
What it'll be like to buy medical marijuana in D.C. Medical marijuana will go on sale in the District in March, but patients in need of its painkilling qualities can begin visiting Capital City Care dispensary next month.
The facility, located in a townhouse in the 1300 block of N. Capitol Street, will be the first of five dispensaries to open to the public.
David Guard, general manager of Capital City Care says only qualified patients -- those with cards from the D.C. Department of Health saying they they suffer from HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and severe muscle spasm conditions like multiple sclerosis -- will be allowed to purchase the pot. (WTOP)
The San Antonio Theater Shooting the National Media Ignored At approximately 9:25 p.m. on Sunday night, December 16, just two days after the horrific shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Jesus Manuel Garcia, age 19, entered the China Garden restaurant across the mall from the Santikos Mayan Palace 14 theater complex in San Antonio, Texas, looking for his ex-girlfriend. Angered that she had just broken up with him, he sent her a text message saying that he planned to go to the restaurant where she worked and “shoot somebody.”
Before she could warn patrons at the restaurant Garcia entered and started shooting. One bullet slightly wounded one patron while others scattered out the exit doors and headed for the safety of the theater lobby across the mall. Garcia chased them and continued shooting.
This got the attention of an armed off-duty law-enforcement officer who was working at the theater, Bexar County sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa Castellano, who chased Garcia to the back of the theater where he ducked into the men’s room. When he emerged, Castellano shot him four times which immediately and effectively ended the threat. Garcia was handcuffed with the help of another off-duty officer and taken to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition. He was charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and his bail was set at $1 million. (The New American)
Members-Only Marijuana Clubs Open In Colorado Recreational marijuana clubs opened Monday in Colorado, less than a month after the state governor signed into law a constitutional amendment allowing recreational pot use.
With a reggae soundtrack and flashing disco-style lights, Club 64 in an industrial area just north of downtown Denver opened Monday afternoon, with some 200 people signed up. The opening came less than 24 hours after club organizers announced they would charge a $29.99 admission price for the bring-your-own pot club.
Two Colorado clubs were believed to be the first legal pot dens in the nation.
New Club 64 members were firing up bongs and exchanging hugs before the sun set Monday, and they also planned to ring in the new year together. (Associated Press)
US Mass Shootings, 1982-2012: Data From Mother Jones' Investigation -- The full data set from our five-month investigation into mass shootings. Since we began our investigation into mass shootings following the attack in Aurora, Colorado, in July 2012, we've heard from numerous academic researchers, legislative aides, and others wanting access to our full data set. Here it is below, including links to sources where available. You can also download this data in CSV, XLS, or TXT formats, or click here for the Google spreadsheet view. (Unfortunately, the embedded version below does not support expanding the cells to see the full text in some places, but you can access it these other ways.)
For more context, analysis, and links to the series of stories from our five-month investigation, see "The NRA Myth of Arming the Good Guys" and our guide to mass shootings in America. (Mother Jones)
John Noveske's Last Facebook Post Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold's medical records have never been made available to the public.
Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather's girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.
Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.
Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.
Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.
Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.
Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.
Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.
A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.
Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..
A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.
Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.
TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.
Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.
James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.
Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania
Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California
Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.
Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.
Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic's file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.
Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.
Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.
Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.
Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.
Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family's Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.
Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara's parents said ".... the damn doctor wouldn't take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil...")
Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
(Gareth's father could not accept his son's death and killed himself.)
Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family's detached garage.
Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.
Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.
Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.
A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.
Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and "other drugs for the conditions."
Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.
Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.
Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.
Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his
New York high school.
Missing from list... 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds....
What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21...... killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az
What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24..... killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado
What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or
What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct
Roberts is the only one that I haven't heard about being on drugs of some kind. (Facebook)
Sandy Hook affidavits remain sealed A state Superior Court judge said Thursday that search warrant affidavits for the cars and home of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza and his mother would stay sealed for another 90 days.
Judge John Blawie granted motions filed Wednesday by Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky to extend the statutory sealing period for the five warrants, including three for the Yogonanda Street home where the 20-year-old Lanza fatally shot his mother, Nancy, four times in the face on the morning of Dec. 14, before embarking on the rampage that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.
The judge's order also covers the two other search warrants, for the 2010 Honda Civic Adam Lanza drove to the school and for Nancy Lanza's 2009 silver BMW, which was parked in the garage attached to the home.
"The court finds that due to the nature and circumstances of this case and the ongoing investigation, the state's interest in continuing nondisclosure substantially outweighs any right to public disclosure at this time," Blawie wrote. (Connecticut Post)
Iran to conduct navy drill in Strait of Hormuz in December Iran will begin six days of naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz at the end of this week, an Iranian naval commander said on Tuesday, an exercise meant to showcase its military capabilities in what is a vital oil and gas shipping route.
The "Velayat 91" drills will be held from Friday to Wednesday across an area of about 1 million square kilometres in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, said Habibollah Sayyari, according to Iranian media.
Iranian officials have often said that Iran could block the strait - through which 40 percent of the world's sea-borne oil exports pass - if it came under military attack over its disputed nuclear programme. (Reuters)
FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring (See the released documents here) FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.
The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country.
“This production, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI’s surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). “These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.” (Partnership for Civil Justice Fund)
Click, print, shoot: Guns made on 3D printers Downloading a gun's design plans to your computer, building it on a three-dimensional printer and firing it minutes later. No background checks, no questions asked.
Sound far-fetched? It's not. And that is disquieting for gun control advocates.
Rep. Steven Israel, D-NY, said the prospect of such guns becoming reality is reason enough for the renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act, which makes illegal the building of guns that can't be detected by X-ray or metallic scanners. That law expires at the end of 2013. (Associated Press)
Ford's Gift to Engineers: MakerBot 3D Printers Ford Motor (F) has caught the DIY revolution and now puts 3D printers at workstations for its engineers. Furthermore, the car company plans to put the smaller MakerBot replicators at every engineer’s desk in the coming months. Ford pitches this as its commitment to engineering, but I see it as the future of distribution if the desktop replicator technology follows the path taken before it by the minicomputer and then the PC.
Here’s the Ford video showing an employee talking about using 3D printers for prototype designs of a gearshift.
A Ford spokesman told me that while it’s tough to give an exact count of the number of employees who have the 3D printers, the company has multiple locations at the company’s Dearborn (Mich.) headquarters where hundreds of engineers have access. And at the carmaker’s Silicon Valley Lab in Palo Alto, Calif., all employees have Makerbots. The most popular areas they are in use today at Ford are in the Vehicle Design and Infotronics group. (Business Week)
Obama likely to issue executive order on cybersecurity as early as January An executive order from President Obama aimed at protecting the nation from cyberattacks is likely to be issued in early 2013, and perhaps as soon as January, observers say.
The long-awaited executive action is unlikely to be taken before the end of the year, given the delicate negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.” Republican lawmakers have made it known that they strongly oppose an executive order on cybersecurity.
“It’d be reasonable to say that releasing the executive order now would irritate Congress and might create an unnecessary burden for reaching a deal on the fiscal issues,” said James Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (The Hill)
Oil Slicks and Sleazy Dealings: The BP Settlement The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 was the single worst man-made ecological disaster at sea. Due to the epic scope of the accident, one would believe it would have a lasting impact on the company responsible, or at the very least increased environmental regulations. One would be mistaken.
Approximately $100 Million worth of advertising, spent by British Petroleum following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, essentially made the disaster a political and societal non-issue. The anger of gas consumers towards BP was short-lived, demonstrated by the company’s impressive third quarter gains of $5.4 billion.
As cars continued to line the company’s gas pumps, the focus of mainstream media shifted from the 9/11 of ecological devastation to something more sensationally substantial, like what those crazy Kardashians were up to. Without the continual news coverage, the public’s glaring disapproval was detoured in other directions. The unforgivable mistake British Petroleum had made was largely forgiven (or at least forgotten), even as tons of unrefined sludge were pumped into the Gulf of Mexico. (The Boston Occupier)
The coming drone attack on America -- Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations. In time, they will likely be weaponised People often ask me, in terms of my argument about "ten steps" that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are. I am sorry to say that with the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here.
In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by […] the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds – meaning that you won't necessarily see them, tracking your meeting with your fellow-activists, with your accountant or your congressman, or filming your cruising the bars or your assignation with your lover, as its video-gathering whirs.
Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them.
An unclassified US air force document reported by CBS (pdf) news expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil, which is the bright line that separates a democracy from a military oligarchy. (The US constitution allows for the deployment of National Guard units by governors, who are answerable to the people; but this system is intended, as is posse comitatus, to prevent the military from taking action aimed at US citizens domestically.) (London Guardian)
Marijuana, Not Yet Legal for Californians, Might as Well Be -- Stigma Fading Marijuana Common in California Let Colorado and Washington be the marijuana trailblazers. Let them struggle with the messy details of what it means to actually legalize the drug. Marijuana is, as a practical matter, already legal in much of California.
No matter that its recreational use remains technically against the law. Marijuana has, in many parts of this state, become the equivalent of a beer in a paper bag on the streets of Greenwich Village. It is losing whatever stigma it ever had and still has in many parts of the country, including New York City, where the kind of open marijuana use that is common here would attract the attention of any passing law officer.
“It’s shocking, from my perspective, the number of people that we all know who are recreational marijuana users,” said Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor. “These are incredibly upstanding citizens: Leaders in our community, and exceptional people. Increasingly, people are willing to share how they use it and not be ashamed of it.” (New York Times)
Medical pot dispensary shuttered by feds reopens in Berkeley One of the East Bay's largest medical marijuana dispensaries reopened here Wednesday down the street from its former location that was closed in May under pressure from the federal government.
Berkeley Patients Group, which at one time boasted 10,000 members but now declines to give numbers, reopened at 2366 San Pablo Avenue. It's former location at 2747 San Pablo Avenue was closed after the federal government threatened to seize the property from the owner if it did not close because it was too close to two nearby schools.
Since May, the dispensary has run a delivery service but has not had a storefront. One of three dispensaries licensed by Berkeley to do business in commercial zones, the group this year is celebrating 12 years. (Oakland Tribune)
MIT discovers a new state of matter, a new kind of magnetism Researchers at MIT have discovered a new state of matter with a new kind of magnetism. This new state, called a quantum spin liquid (QSL), could lead to significant advances in data storage. QSLs also exhibit a quantum phenomenon called long-range entanglement, which could lead to new types of communications systems, and more.
Generally, when we talk about magnetism’s role in the realm of technology, there are just two types: Ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism. Ferromagnetism has been known about for centuries, and is the underlying force behind your compass’s spinning needle or the permanent bar magnets you played with at school. In ferromagnets, the spin (i.e. charge) of every electron is aligned in the same direction, causing two distinct poles. In antiferromagnets, neighboring electrons point in the opposite direction, causing the object to have zero net magnetism (pictured below). In combination with ferromagnets, antiferromagnets are used to create spin valves: the magnetic sensors used in hard drive heads. (Extreme Tech)
Police Dept. to Use Internet to Try to Stop Mass Shootings Top intelligence officials in the New York Police Department met on Thursday to examine ways to search the Internet to identify potential “deranged” gunmen before they strike, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.
“The techniques would include cyber-searches of language that mass-casualty shooters have used in e-mails and Internet postings,” Mr. Kelly said in a statement. “The goal would be to identify the shooter in cyberspace, engage him there and intervene, possibly using an undercover to get close, and take him into custody or otherwise disrupt his plans.” (New York Times)
27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012 We may never have our flying cars, but the future is here. From creating fully functioning artificial leaves to hacking the human brain, science made a lot of breakthroughs this year. - 1. Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm
Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm
At the University of Pittsburgh, the neurobiology department worked with 52-year-old Jan Scheuermann over the course of 13 weeks to create a robotic arm controlled only by the power of Scheuermann's mind.
The team implanted her with two 96-channel intracortical microelectrodes. Placed in the motor cortex, which controls all limb movement, the integration process was faster than anyone expected. On the second day, Jan could use her new arm with a 3-D workspace. By the end of the 13 weeks, she was capable of performing complex tasks with seven-dimensional movement, just like a biological arm.
To date, there have been no negative side effects. (Buzz Feed)
Bill Would Study Impact of Violent Video Games on Children -- Rockefeller introduces proposal as a response to Sandy Hook tragedy The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary has triggered calls for more than just gun regulation, putting violent video games and programming again in the spotlight. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill today that calls for the National Academy of Sciences to study the impact of violent video games and violent video programming on children.
As chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee, Rockefeller has some pull in getting his bill before it. This bill could see immediate action because he is "hot lining" it, meaning that if no one objects it goes up for a vote on the floor. (Ad Week)
Letter From a Passenger: "What Really Happens in the TSA Private Room?" GFTB asks:
"Tell us, please, what really happens in that private room and why the TSA does not want it seen in public nor recorded."
I can only speak from my personal experience on this blog, as well as from second hand accounts from screeners I knew in my time at the TSA: screeners whose accounts I consider to be quite credible, from many different angles. That being said, though there are many claims in the news about outrageous things happening in the private screening rooms (such as this one last year) I’ve never seen or even heard of anything malicious, illicit or illegal happening in the private screening room, depending, at least, upon what one’s personal definition of “illegal” may be, per the Fourth Amendment, in regards to TSA policy in general (and yes, I’m familiar with U.S. vs Davis 1973 for you TSA apologists reading this, your perennial go-to rejoinder). (Taking Sense Away)
Pulled over for littering, women given body cavity searches Two Irving, Texas, women are suing two Texas State Troopers and the director of the Department of Public Safety after they say they were violated during roadside cavity searches in full view of the public and without probable cause.
On July 13, while driving along state Highway 161, Angel Dobbs and her niece Ashley Dobbs were stopped for littering by Trooper David Ferrell. In the dashcam video released by the women and their attorney, Ferrell can be heard telling the women they would both be cited for littering for throwing cigarette butts out of the car.
Farrell then returned to his cruiser and, in the video, can be heard calling female trooper Kelley Helleson to the scene to search both women whom he said were acting weird. (MSNBC)
Regulate Marijuana Better Than Alcohol and Tobacco Voters in Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana November 6, apparently buying proponents' claim that regulating marijuana like alcohol will keep the drug out of the hands of teenagers.
That's a claim worth analyzing.
For one thing, science has established that children who initiate drug use in adolescence are several times more likely to become addicted than those who start as adults. For another, a landmark study out of New Zealand finds persistent marijuana use before age 18 that continues into adulthood results in a significant drop in IQ by mid-life, enough to move a person from average to the bottom third of the IQ scale. With more than one-third of Washington's and more than one-fourth of Colorado's high school students failing to graduate, it is critical to make sure adolescents can't obtain a drug that will make it harder for them to succeed academically.
One way to estimate how effective regulating marijuana like alcohol will be is to compare young people's alcohol use with their marijuana use in these states today. It turns out that twice as many younger teens (ages 12 to 17) used alcohol in the past month as used marijuana, while three times more older teens and young adults (ages 18 to 25) did so. Even worse, on a national scale, six times more 12-year-old children used alcohol than marijuana in 2010. (The Huffington Post)
The Real Conversation About Mental Health I have been ruminating -- some might say obsessing -- over the tragedies in Connecticut for days now.
I am a mother of a young child who cannot fathom going through anything close to what this community and all of its families are going through.
I am someone who has had more experiences with guns in my 31 years of living than I've ever wanted.
I am also an advocate. And I am torn. Since Friday's unspeakable tragedies, I have seen countless stories and comments about how finally this may be the impetus we need to start talking about mental health and mental illness as a society. I agree, but believe it's for the wrong reasons. (The Huffington Post)
3D printing and the future of warfare Imagine 20 years from now U.S. soldiers establish a combat outpost deep inside territory surrounded by people who are less than friendly. In past decades, resupplying this outpost would have meant risky and expensive flights or ground convoys escorted by troops or helicopter gunships. Now, however, unmanned, armored supply trucks and choppers run beans and bullets to the remote base while spare parts and other hardware is fabricated on site using a 3D printer.
As the United States shifts its military focus toward the Pacific while drawing troops back to the United States from bases in Europe, the Army recognizes that it will need to become lighter and more flexible in how it sustains itself due to the likely expeditionary nature of a conflict in the Pacific -- a region where distances are vast and American forces may find themselves fighting out of scattered facilities that are much more bare bones than it is used to.
To that end, Army officials are looking at a future where whole convoys of unmanned trucks (or possibly choppers) inspired by Google's self-driving cars replenish forward bases. What can't be, or doesn't need to be, shipped in will be made in the field by troops using 3D printers. (Foreign Policy)
Instagram Puts a Sunny Filter on Its Terms of Service Instagram won’t be selling your food photos to Denny’s after all.
The popular photo-sharing site made an abrupt about-face on Tuesday and said it will remove a portion of its updated terms of service that would have allowed Instagram to use your photographs, likeness, photo metadata (location information) and screen name to generate revenue from third-party businesses and “other entities” without your permission, or even telling you about it. (Wired)
Mass Shooter Adam Lanza 'Spent Hours Playing Call Of Duty' The Connecticut school massacre gunman Adam Lanza spent hours playing violent video games such as Call Of Duty in a windowless bunker, according to an interview with a plumber who worked at the family home.
Lanza killed 20 children aged six and seven and six adults at Sandy Hook elementary school having previously shot dead his mother Nancy last Friday. He then shot himself dead. Police are still searching for a motive.
It has emerged that Lanza spent his time in the basement of the family’s four-bedroom home in Newtown playing video games, such as Call of Duty and obsessing over guns and military equipment, according to an interview in The Sun with plumber Peter Wlasuk. (Business Insider)
Memo to Media: Manhood, Not Guns or Mental Illness, Should Be Central in Newtown Shooting Many of us whose work touches on the subject of masculinity and violence have long been frustrated by the failure of mainstream media -- and much of progressive media and the blogosphere as well -- to confront the gender issues at the heart of so many violent rampages like the one on December 14 in Connecticut.
My colleagues and I who do this type of work experience an unsettling dichotomy. In one part of our lives, we routinely have intense, in-depth discussions about men's emotional and relational struggles, and how the bravado about "rugged individualism" in American culture masks the deep yearning for connection that so many men feel, and how the absence or loss of that can quickly turn to pain, despair, and anger. In these discussions, we talk about violence as a gendered phenomenon: how, for example, men who batter their wives or girlfriends typically do so not because they have trigger tempers, but rather as a means to gain or maintain power and control over her, in a (misguided) attempt to get their needs met.
We talk amongst ourselves about how so many boys and men in our society are conditioned to see violence as a solution to their problems, a resolution of their anxieties, or a means of exacting revenge against those they perceive as taking something from them. We share with each other news stories, websites and YouTube videos that demonstrate the connection between deeply ingrained cultural ideas about manhood and individual acts of violence that operationalize those ideas. (The Huffington Post)
Party Identity in a Gun Cabinet An American child grows up in a married household in the suburbs. What are the chances that his family keeps a gun in their home?
The probability is considerably higher than residents of New York and other big cities might expect: about 40 percent of married households reported having a gun in their home, according to the exit poll conducted during the 2008 presidential election.
But the odds vary significantly based on the political identity of the child’s parents. If they identify as Democratic voters, the chances are only about one in four, or 25 percent, that they have a gun in their home. But the chances are more than twice that, almost 60 percent, if they are Republicans.
Whether someone owns a gun is a more powerful predictor of a person’s political party than her gender, whether she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she is Hispanic, whether she lives in the South or a number of other demographic characteristics.
It will come as no surprise to those with a passing interest in American politics that Republicans are more likely to own guns than Democrats. But the differences have become much more stark in recent years, with gun ownership having become one of the clearest examples of the partisan polarization in the country over the last two decades. (Five Thirty Eight)
Sheriff: Putnam Officials to Talk School Safety This Afternoon -- Part of the meeting will be closed to the public and the media. Four days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, area authorities, local elected leaders and school officials are slated to come together for a discussion on civic and school security in Putnam Tuesday afternoon.
Part of the meeting will be closed to the public and the media "to allow officials to discuss specific security issues that, if disclosed publicly, would imperil public safety," Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith said. It's happening at the Sheriff's Office at 3 County Center in Carmel, and members of the press are slated to arrive at about 1:15 p.m., Smith announced Monday.
Here is part of a statement Smith released earlier in the day: (Southeast-Brewster Patch)
The Antipsychotic Prescribed To Adam Lanza Has A Troubled History All Its Own By now the whole country is fully embroiled in the Gun Control debate, spurred by the grisly murder of 27 people, mostly kids, at the Sandy Hook Elementary school last Friday.
Guns might not be the only problem though.
New York Magazine wrote a piece about shooter Adam Lanza's supposed "aspergers" syndrome as a "red herring" meant to distract from the real problem (guns, of course, the subject goes without mentioning).
Inside the piece though they report Adam Lanza's uncle said the boy was prescribed Fanapt, a controversial anti-psychotic medicine.
UPDATE: Since the publishing of this article, New York Daily News has removed the reference, the originator of the quote from Lanza's "uncle," because they believed him to be an "imposter." (Business Insider)
After Divorce, Lanzas Had Joint Custody Of Adam Divorce records on file in Stamford Superior Court show the parents of suspected Sandy Hook school shooter Adam Lanza had joint custody of their son and that Lanza's father paid alimony that kept him and his mother financially comfortable.
Nancy and Peter Lanza's divorce was finalized in September 2009 when Adam was 17. He turned 18 the following April.
Peter Lanza paid Nancy yearly alimony totaling $240,000 in 2010, $265,000 in 2011 and $289,800 in 2012, records indicate. The couple cited irreconcilable differences.
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Adam Lanza's primary residence was with his mother, according to the divorce decree. They lived in a Newtown home that Peter Lanza quitclaimed to Nancy. Peter was solely responsible for the cost of college for Adam and brother Ryan. He also was responsible for buying Adam a car. (Hartford Courant)
Experts Argue to Keep Thimerosal in Some Vaccines The mercury component was removed from most childhood vaccines, but doctors say an international ban would put more youngsters at risk of infectious diseases.
The U.N. Environment Program is discussing ways to lower environmental exposure to mercury, a chemical linked to developmental problems. Part of the proposal involves removing thimerosal, a mercury-based compound used as a preservative to maintain vaccine quality, from immunizations given to children around the world.
The proposed ban could potentially create a situation in which thimerosal-containing immunizations, with their potential but still unknown health risks, are concentrated in lower-resource countries while developed nations rely on thimerosal-free shots, owing primarily to more robust health systems that allow better storage and preservation of the immunizations. (Time)
Instagram's New Terms Of Service: 5 Things You Need To Know If you've used Instagram today, you may have seen a little bubble appear at the top of your News Feed.
It reads thus:
It links to lengthy explanations of the new changes, which it says are "part of our new collaboration" with Facebook (which acquired Instagram earlier this year) and geared toward building "better experiences for our users."
Chances are you haven't read all of the text and probably won't. So here's what you need to know about the new Terms of Service, which takes effect on January 16, 2013.
1. Your data will be used for ads. Ads are coming to Instagram. This isn't a surprise. (The Huffington Post)
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