Thur May 24

Congress claims its working to stop
vast amount of opioids in US mail

But our friends on Capitol Hill aren’t doing a very good job, apparently.

— “If you go on the dark Web and you look at these communications, they basically say ‘well how can you get the stuff here. And they will just put it through the mail because the chances of it getting caught are just so minimal.
— That’s because the Postal Service receives some 1.3 million inbound packages a day from overseas, and manages to inspect just 100.

Is it time to bring Elon Musk down to Earth?
The American Conservative
— Elon Musk plans to do everything from sending men to Mars, to creating a 700-miles-per-hour tunnel transportation system, to turbocharging human brains by implanting computers.  
— Unfortunately, Mr. Musk does not seem willing to bear all the risk himself. His business model revolves around hiring experts to discover ways to make the American people pick up the tab. 
— Take Tesla, for example. The car company was created to bring electric vehicles to the general public en masse—a mission that requires over $1 million in lobbying expenditures annually. As a result, the cars are financed by over $280 million in federal tax incentives, including a $7,500 federal tax break, and tens of millions more in state rebates and development fees.   

Lawsuit against Zuckerberg charges “malicious” fraud
The Guardian
–Mark Zuckerberg faces allegations that he developed a “malicious and fraudulent scheme” to exploit vast amounts of private data to earn Facebook billions and force rivals out of business.
— A company suing Facebook in a California court claims the social network’s chief executive “weaponised” the ability to access data from any user’s network of friends – the feature at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Seattle is now fastest growing city this decade
Seattle Times


USA Gymnastics lied to parents, covering for pervert doctor
Indianapolis Star
— USA Gymnastics officials agreed to provide what Larry Nassar’s attorney called “false excuses” for his absence from major gymnastics events in 2015, rather than disclose to parents and gymnasts that Nassar was under investigation for child sexual abuse.
— Emails obtained by IndyStar reveal that on two separate occasions, Nassar and a USA Gymnastics attorney negotiated cover stories — first that Nassar was sick and later that he was focusing on his private practice — to explain why the longtime team physician was not attending two major events in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics.

Jury awards $1 billion in rape of Georgia teen
— A Georgia jury has awarded a $1 billion verdict against a security company after an apartment complex guard was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl.
— Hope Cheston was outside with her boyfriend during a party in October 2012 when an armed security guard approached, attorney L. Chris Stewart said. The guard told the boyfriend not to move and raped Cheston, Stewart said.
— The guard, identified in the lawsuit as Brandon Lamar Zachary, was convicted of statutory rape and is serving a 20-year prison sentence.  Zachary, who was 22 at the time of the rape, should never have been hired because he wasn’t licensed to be an armed guard, Stewart said.

Russian missile downed airliner, killed 298, report says
— Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed by a missile fired by a Russia-based military unit, investigators have said.
— A Joint Investigative Team of officials from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday in Utrecht.  The Boeing 777 was shot down on July 17 2014 killing all 298 people on board, two-thirds of whom were Dutch.

Killer George Zimmerman whines he’s $2.5 million in debt
Orlando Sentinel
— George Zimmerman has $2.5 million in debt and no income, according to paperwork in his misdemeanor stalking case. Zimmerman is now being represented by Public Defender Blaise Trettis, whose office filed a not-guilty plea and a request for a jury trial. — Zimmerman is accused of sending threatening messages to private investigator Dennis Warren, who had contacted him about a documentary series on Trayvon Martin
— Zimmerman shot and killed the 17-year-old in Sanford on Feb. 26, 2012, but argued he did so in self-defense and was acquitted on a murder charge.

California case could change money bail system
Courthouse News Service
— The California Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of the state’s money bail system, granting review late Wednesday to the case of Kenneth Humphrey, whose $350,000 bail led to an appellate court ruling requiring judges to consider a person’s ability to pay when setting bail.
— Humphrey, accused of robbing his 79-year-old disabled neighbor of $7 and a bottle of cologne last year, has been out of jail awaiting trial since San Francisco Judge Brendan Conroy released him into a residential recovery facility earlier this month.

ACLU report:
Detained kids often abused by immigration officials
— Immigrant children in the custody of U.S. border authorities allegedly suffered pervasive abuse ranging from insults and threats to physical assaults, according to documents reviewed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
— A report released this week by the ACLU is based on more than 30,000 pages of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The documents, it says, “expose of culture of impunity” within U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security.

NFL players talking alternate forms of protest
Story on the Hill includes this tweet:

NFL owners admit they’re kissing Trump’s ass
Raw Story
— “Oh yeah,” said Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy. “It was more how [Trump] might react, anticipating that. Also, how the fans will react, how the media will react. That’s what we tried to think through.”
— “No matter what we did, [Trump] would probably try to get involved one way or the other — either criticizing us or taking credit for the change,” he added.

“There’s no other way to look at this other than a complete Donald Trump victory.”
–Rush Limbaugh

Climate change could increase arable land,
but upset balance of available water

— Climate change could expand the agricultural feasibility of the global boreal region by 44 per cent by the end of the century, according to new research.
— However, the scientists warn that the same climate trends that would increase land suitable for crop growth in that area could also significantly change the global climatic water balance – negatively impacting agriculture in the rest of the world.

There goes the Nobel Peace Prize!


N. Korea “blows up nuclear test site”
Uh huh. Move on, folks. Nothing to see here

N. Korea slams “ignorant and stupid” Pence
Hey, somebody’s paying attention!


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