Wednesday

Marijuana on ballot in four states, but the legalization momentum is about to stall
The Conversation
— Of the 19 U.S. states that have no form of legal marijuana, only six – Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah and Missouri – allow for direct initiatives.
— The remaining 13 states without legal marijuana are mostly conservative places like South Carolina and Alabama, where legislatures have indicated reluctance to loosen restrictions. If voters there wanted medical or recreational marijuana, they would not have the option of bypassing policymakers to get the issue on the ballot.

How do you move a bookstore? Hand -to-hand, it turns out
NPR
— When October Books, a small radical bookshop in Southampton, England, was moving to a new location down the street, it faced a problem. How could it move its entire stock to the new spot, without spending a lot of money or closing down for long?
— The shop came up with a clever solution: They put out a call for volunteers to act as a human conveyor belt.bookstore.jpg


Study: Most billionaires want to cut their own taxes and don’t give a damn about regular folks’ issues: jobs, income, healthcare, retirement
The Guardian
— Most of the wealthiest US billionaires – who are much less visible and less reported on – more closely resemble Charles Koch. They are extremely conservative on economic issues. Obsessed with cutting taxes, especially estate taxes – which apply only to the wealthiest Americans. Opposed to government regulation of the environment or big banks. Unenthusiastic about government programs to help with jobs, incomes, healthcare, or retirement pensions – programs supported by large majorities of Americans. Tempted to cut deficits and shrink government by cutting or privatizing social security benefits.
— How can this be so? If it is true, why aren’t voters aware and angry about it?


The Well-Regulated Militia
Intelligent, kindly, broad-minded and totally legal gun owner threatens to shoot his neighbors back to Mexico
KSL-Utah

booth
JAMES EDGAR BOOTH — Did anyone think to ask him whether he was related to John Wilkes?

— James Edgar Booth, 27, was charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony.
— On Oct. 8, a woman said Booth was “yelling and cussing” at her aunt and grandma, so she told him to leave them alone, according to charging documents.
— “That is when Booth pulled out a rifle and told (her) that he was going to kill her,” the charges state.
— In April, Booth was arrested for investigation of aggravated assault for allegedly brandishing a gun while driving.
(One can only hope that no one will interfere with this stable genius’s right to bear arms in the future.)


California paid $4 billion in bogus health care claims
Courthouse News Service
— “The key reason for these questionable payments is that Health Care Services failed to ensure that the counties resolved discrepancies between the state and county Medi-Cal eligibility systems,” State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote in the 47-page audit.


Wages, salaries get biggest boost in a decade
CNBC


Study: When Adolescents Give Up Pot, Cognition Quickly Improves
NPR
— A study published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry finds that when adolescents stop using marijuana – even for just one week – their verbal learning and memory improves. The study contributes to growing evidence that marijuana use in adolescents is associated with reduced neurocognitive functioning.
— More than 14 percent of middle and high school students reported using marijuana within the last month, finds a National Institutes of Health survey conducted in 2017. And marijuana use has increased among high schoolers over the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.


√ So, is it possible our friends the Saudis are murdering dissidents right here in America? Somehow these women, age 23 and 16, were a threat to the Kingdom? 

Sisters found dead, duct-taped together had applied for asylum
NY Post

— The mother of the young Saudi sisters whose duct-taped bodies mysteriously washed up along the Hudson River told cops she learned a day before the grim discovery that the girls had applied for asylum in the United States, police sources said.
— Rotana and Tala Farea’s mom told detectives that she received a phone call on Oct. 23 from the country’s Washington, DC, embassy stating that their family’s residency in the US was in jeopardy because the sisters had applied for immigration asylum, sources said.
— The next day, the bodies of Rotana, 23, and Tala, 16, were found beached off the shore of Riverside Park near West 68th Street, bound together at the waist by duct tape, according to officials.saudisisters


New Jersey’s biggest newspaper: Both Senate candidates suck really really bad
NJ.com (aka Newark Star-Ledger)
— A slimy crook who barely escaped a bribery conviction vs. a Big Pharma exec who tried to squelch a cancer drug … gee, which one of these fine citizens should serve in the distinguished halls of the US Senate?


Fed-Ex cancels sweetheart deal for gun owners
Reuters


√ We’ve paid scant attention to some clown named Kanye, and therefore feel no obligation to give credence to his “awakening.” … FURTHERMORE, unlike USA Today, we don’t care whether Barbara Streisand is happy. ……..


Scientists confirm: China a major source of ozone-depleting chemicals
Yale E-360
— Despite being banned in 2010, about 40,000 tons of carbon tetrachloride, an ozone-depleting compound, are still emitted into the atmosphere every year. But the origins of the illegal emissions have long baffled scientists. Now, an international team of researchers has tracked down the source of nearly half of the emissions to eastern China, according to a recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Tuesday

√ The bombast coming from the White House is merely meant to get the rubes into the voting booth. There is no threat to Americans from any caravan. There is no need for US combat soldiers at the border.

Trump’s claim that he can sign a piece of paper and eliminate “birthright citizenship” is bogus. Even if he signs such an executive order, it will go straight to the courts … and be decided long after the mid-term elections. His claim that the US is the only nation in the world to grant birthright citizenship is an outright lie.

These are tricks right out of the Fascist playbook. Shame on Axios for becoming Trump’s lapdog, and spreading his lies. The US media at all levels needs to stop accepting White House agit-prop as news. 

Since this isn’t a site for rubes, we move on  to the real news.

He once ruled Boston underworld, now murdered in prison
(Poor Whitey Bulger. What’d he ever do to anybody?)
Rolling Stone
— The 89-year-old was serving life in prison after being convicted in 2013 of participating in 11 murders and a litany of other crimes connected with organized crime in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the FBI’s most wanted fugitive for 16 years before being arrested in 2011 in Santa Monica, California. He was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in Martin Scorsese’s 2006 film The Departed, and the more explicit subject of the 2015 film Black Mass, which starred Johnny Depp as Bulger.

whiteymug 1953
Note that this arrest occurred on the day before St. Patrick’s Day, which in Boston, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Special counsel Mueller accuses opponents of offering women money to make ‘false claims’ about him
CNBC


6 in 10 American jobs won’t support a middle-class life
USA Today
— Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.
— But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.
— “I’m frustrated with the fact that I’m not going to be able to save anything because my rent is so high,” says Akutekha, who says she’s 30ish. “I don’t even know if I can afford” to have children.
Despite an unemployment rate that has reached a 50-year low of 3.7 percent, most jobs across the U.S. don’t support a middle-class or better lifestyle, leaving many Americans struggling, according to a new study.


OCEAN SHOCK

A rapid warming in the world’s oceans is radically changing the lives of its creatures
Reuters
— Salmon, lobsters, sardines, flounder among the many species on the move trying to find a habitat that suits them.
atlantic-salmon-images.jpg

Billionaires join quest for “holy grail of energy”
Bloomberg
— Not long before he died, tech visionary Paul Allen traveled to the south of France for a personal tour of a 35-country quest to replicate the workings of the Sun. The goal is to one day produce clean, almost limitless energy by fusing atoms together rather than splitting them apart.
— The Microsoft Corp. co-founder said he wanted to view the early stages of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in Cadarache firsthand, to witness preparations “for the birth of a star on Earth.”
— Allen wasn’t just a bystander in the hunt for the holy grail of nuclear power. He was among a growing number of ultra-rich clean-energy advocates pouring money into startups that are rushing to produce the first commercially viable fusion reactor long before the $23 billion ITER program’s mid-century forecast.


Home prices cool for 5th straight month
Yahoo finance


Study finds MDMA (“Ecstasy”) dramatically helps trauma recovery
Reason
— A newly published study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder illustrates the striking results that led federal regulators to expedite the process for approving the drug, which has been banned since 1985, as a prescription medicine. One year after the last of three MDMA sessions, three-quarters of the 25 subjects who completed the study, reported today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis.


93% of world’s children breathing toxic air which ‘stunts brains’ and causes deadly disease, WHO warns

Exhaust fumes and pollution ‘uniquely damaging’ to children and causing deaths of half a million under-fives each year
The Independent

Danish leader mocks White House claim to higher living standards
BBC
— “Our children can get an education – no matter who you are and where you come from.”
— “We can get to the hospital and get help if we get sick… And if you become unemployed, run into problems or otherwise need a helping hand, then the community is ready to seize and help one back on the right track.”
— The only area where the US outperforms Denmark, Mr Rasmussen added, was in praising its own achievements: “Maybe we should just get better at bragging more about everything that we actually do really well?”


BEARS MAKING A COMEBACK —
AND THAT CAN MEAN TROUBLE

bears
Bears enjoy their lunch hour in Anchorage.

… AND NOT JUST IN THE WEST …
–New Jersey, which has the densest population of bears of any state, recently banned bear hunting on state land. State officials have previously said New Jersey’s bear population would double within four years without a hunt.
— In Connecticut, there is an increasing population of several hundred bears, state authorities say. In a recent incident, a 82-year-old woman woke up to find a bear in her bedroom in the town of Canton. The bear headed to the kitchen, where it rifled through her cabinets before fleeing into the woods after police officers fired bean bags at it. Another bear broke into a car. Yet another was shot after being found in a pen of goats.

Brazil’s new president plans to plunder the Amazon
Popular Science
— Among his many controversial statements, Bolsonaro vows to open up indigenous lands to resource exploitation, ban environmental NGOs like the World Wildlife Fund, place Brazil’s environmental ministry under the control of its ministry of agriculture, and relax laws safeguarding the Amazon from development.

German nurse admits he killed 100 patients
BBC
germankillernurse— An ex-nurse in Germany has admitted at the start of his trial that he murdered 100 patients, making him one of the world’s most prolific serial killers.
— Detectives say Niels Högel, 41, administered fatal doses of medication to the people in his care at two hospitals in northern Germany.
— His motive, prosecutors say, was to impress colleagues by resuscitating the very patients he had attacked.

Even in cloistered resorts, rape of Jamaica tourists has become common
USA Today
…. When the women reported the rape to hotel staff, management told them that they had never heard of this type of assault happening there before. Local officials took the same position, implying that sexual assaults were rare.
— But according to multiple victims interviewed by the Detroit Free Press, lawyers, lawsuits and hundreds of State Department and U.S. Embassy records, Jamaica has a sexual assault problem that it is not confronting. And the tourism industry is well aware of the problem.


HIGH WATER, EVEN BY VENICE STANDARDS
ABC NEWS

venice-high-water-01-ap-jc-181029_hpEmbed_3x2_992
Sirens sounded across the city early in the day when the water surpassed 43 inches. By late afternoon more than 70 percent of the city was flooded. The elevated levels shut down the city’s water bus service known as vaporetti except to the outer island.

Tuesday update

√ The bombast coming from the White House is merely meant to get the rubes into the voting booth. There is no threat to Americans from any caravan. There is no need for US combat soldiers at the border.

Trump’s claim that he can sign a piece of paper and eliminate “birthright citizenship” is bogus. Even if he signs such an executive order, it will go straight to the courts … and be decided long after the mid-term elections. His claim that the US is the only nation in the world to grant birthright citizenship is an outright lie.

These are tricks right out of the Fascist playbook. Shame on Axios for becoming Trump’s lapdog, and spreading his lies. The US media at all levels needs to stop accepting White House agit-prop as news. 

Since this isn’t a site for rubes, we move on  to the real news.

6 in 10 American jobs won’t support a middle-class life
USA Today
— Esther Akutekha, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, has a good job as a public relations specialist that pays more than $50,000 a year.
— But because of the $1,440 a month rent on her studio apartment in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, she never takes vacations, dines out just once a month and scrapes together dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.
— “I’m frustrated with the fact that I’m not going to be able to save anything because my rent is so high,” says Akutekha, who says she’s 30ish. “I don’t even know if I can afford” to have children.
Despite an unemployment rate that has reached a 50-year low of 3.7 percent, most jobs across the U.S. don’t support a middle-class or better lifestyle, leaving many Americans struggling, according to a new study.


12 young people on why they won’t bother voting
NY Mag
… “Everyone on Twitter can be like, “Oh, we need the Democratic Senate to pack the courts.” But have they watched the Democratic Party at any time during my lifetime? They have not done anything. Like, they don’t stand for anything. And I just don’t see the point anymore.”


OCEAN SHOCK

A rapid warming in the world’s oceans is radically changing the lives of its creatures
Reuters
— Salmon, lobsters, sardines, flounder among the many species on the move trying to find a habitat that suits them.
atlantic-salmon-images.jpg

Billionaires join quest for “holy grail of energy”
Bloomberg
— Not long before he died, tech visionary Paul Allen traveled to the south of France for a personal tour of a 35-country quest to replicate the workings of the Sun. The goal is to one day produce clean, almost limitless energy by fusing atoms together rather than splitting them apart.
— The Microsoft Corp. co-founder said he wanted to view the early stages of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in Cadarache firsthand, to witness preparations “for the birth of a star on Earth.”
— Allen wasn’t just a bystander in the hunt for the holy grail of nuclear power. He was among a growing number of ultra-rich clean-energy advocates pouring money into startups that are rushing to produce the first commercially viable fusion reactor long before the $23 billion ITER program’s mid-century forecast.


Home prices cool for 5th straight month
Yahoo finance


Study finds MDMA (“Ecstasy”) dramatically helps trauma recovery
Reason
— A newly published study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder illustrates the striking results that led federal regulators to expedite the process for approving the drug, which has been banned since 1985, as a prescription medicine. One year after the last of three MDMA sessions, three-quarters of the 25 subjects who completed the study, reported today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis.


93% of world’s children breathing toxic air which ‘stunts brains’ and causes deadly disease, WHO warns

Exhaust fumes and pollution ‘uniquely damaging’ to children and causing deaths of half a million under-fives each year
The Independent

Danish leader mocks White House claim to higher living standards
BBC
— “Our children can get an education – no matter who you are and where you come from.”
— “We can get to the hospital and get help if we get sick… And if you become unemployed, run into problems or otherwise need a helping hand, then the community is ready to seize and help one back on the right track.”
— The only area where the US outperforms Denmark, Mr Rasmussen added, was in praising its own achievements: “Maybe we should just get better at bragging more about everything that we actually do really well?”


BEARS MAKING A COMEBACK —
AND THAT CAN MEAN TROUBLE

bears
Bears enjoy their lunch hour in Anchorage.

… AND NOT JUST IN THE WEST …
–New Jersey, which has the densest population of bears of any state, recently banned bear hunting on state land. State officials have previously said New Jersey’s bear population would double within four years without a hunt.
— In Connecticut, there is an increasing population of several hundred bears, state authorities say. In a recent incident, a 82-year-old woman woke up to find a bear in her bedroom in the town of Canton. The bear headed to the kitchen, where it rifled through her cabinets before fleeing into the woods after police officers fired bean bags at it. Another bear broke into a car. Yet another was shot after being found in a pen of goats.

Brazil’s new president plans to plunder the Amazon
Popular Science
— Among his many controversial statements, Bolsonaro vows to open up indigenous lands to resource exploitation, ban environmental NGOs like the World Wildlife Fund, place Brazil’s environmental ministry under the control of its ministry of agriculture, and relax laws safeguarding the Amazon from development.

German nurse admits he killed 100 patients
BBC
germankillernurse— An ex-nurse in Germany has admitted at the start of his trial that he murdered 100 patients, making him one of the world’s most prolific serial killers.
— Detectives say Niels Högel, 41, administered fatal doses of medication to the people in his care at two hospitals in northern Germany.
— His motive, prosecutors say, was to impress colleagues by resuscitating the very patients he had attacked.

Even in cloistered resorts, rape of Jamaica tourists has become common
USA Today
…. When the women reported the rape to hotel staff, management told them that they had never heard of this type of assault happening there before. Local officials took the same position, implying that sexual assaults were rare.
— But according to multiple victims interviewed by the Detroit Free Press, lawyers, lawsuits and hundreds of State Department and U.S. Embassy records, Jamaica has a sexual assault problem that it is not confronting. And the tourism industry is well aware of the problem.


HIGH WATER, EVEN BY VENICE STANDARDS
ABC NEWS

venice-high-water-01-ap-jc-181029_hpEmbed_3x2_992
Sirens sounded across the city early in the day when the water surpassed 43 inches. By late afternoon more than 70 percent of the city was flooded. The elevated levels shut down the city’s water bus service known as vaporetti except to the outer island.

nonono-lineGov’t porn surfer gawked at 9,000 porn sites, infected a whole system
Nextgov
— An Interior Department watchdog recommended the U.S. Geological Survey ratchet up internet security protocols after discovering its networks had been infected with malware from pornography sites.
— The agency’s inspector general traced the malicious software to a single unnamed USGS employee, who reportedly used a government-issued computer to visit some 9,000 adult video sites, according to a report published Oct. 17.

From supression to fraud: Voting obstacles of 2018
McClatchy
— A state by state rundown. And yes, there are lots of obstacles in our so-called Democracy.  Just to pick one national example: Researchers say the voting systems of 30 states are eminently hackable.

Right-wing site Gab, connected with synagogue murders, goes down
The Independent 

Muslims crowd-fund to help victims of synagogue attack
Al-Jazeera

Drug prices too high, so Utah workers sent to Mexico to fill Rx
The Salt Lake Tribune
— Utah insurer is offering plane tickets to San Diego, transportation to Tijuana, and a $500 cash payout to patients who need certain expensive drugs for multiple sclerosis, cancer and autoimmune disorders.

The West is losing the gene-editing sweepstakes.
And the stakes: Everything.
Stat/Opinion
— I fear that the West is losing today’s version of the “space race” — this one to use and control gene editing. That worries me because the nations that gain control of the most effective gene-editing technologies will, quite literally, control the world.
— As someone who helped give birth to the gene-editing field 30 years ago, I have a unique perspective on the changes that have been happening in the six years since CRISPR-Cas9 opened the eyes of every biologist, life scientist, and biomedical researcher.

√ Meanwhile, we’ve got more important things to do in America, like shoot each other…
Guns send 8,000 KIDS to ER every year
AP
— Gun injuries, including many from assaults, sent 75,000 U.S. children and teens to emergency rooms over nine years at a cost of almost $3 billion, a first-of-its-kind study found.
— The scope of the problem is broader though; the study doesn’t include kids killed or injured by gunshots who never made it to the hospital, nor does it count costs for gunshot patients after they’re sent home.

Couple finds spy camera in cruise ship bedroom
USA Today
— Carnival PR dep’t response: “This is certainly a unique and unusual occurrence and it is unclear who or why this transmitter (i.e. camera) was placed in the guest’s stateroom.”
√ Note to Carnival PR dep’t: Please look up the meaning of “unique.” 

FBI: Ariz. Border Patrol agent paid smugglers $650K for cocaine while on duty
PoliceOne
— A veteran Border Patrol agent handed over $650,000 to drug traffickers and picked up 90 pounds of cocaine during his late-night shifts at a remote border crossing in Southern Arizona, an FBI special agent wrote in a federal criminal complaint.
— Ramon Antonio Monreal Rodriguez, a 32-year-old Vail resident who worked at the Border Patrol’s station in Three Points, is accused of conspiring to smuggle cocaine in Tucson and on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, federal court records show.

Bitcoin mining alone could raise global temps above crucial limit
Motherboard
— Bitcoin requires massive amounts of energy to run the computers that secure the record of transactions that have occurred on the network, which are stored in a digital ledger called a blockchain. Each computer is simultaneously searching for the solution to a complex math problem—a process known as mining since the first computer to solve the problem is rewarded with newly-minted Bitcoin.
— Bitcoin’s environmental footprint has been a serious point of criticism for years, mostly thanks to the work of the Dutch economist Alex de Vries.
bitcoin_mining_a

Drunk students overload ER, causing mayhem at university hospital
The State
— So many drunk University of South Carolina students are being transported to the emergency room during home football games that stretchers line the hallways of Palmetto Health Baptist, emergency services are strained and drunken antics slow nurses who are trying to tend to the truly sick.
— “They try to run away, fight people, pee in the corner,” said a nurse at Palmetto Health Baptist. “It’s been that way the whole time I’ve worked there.”
— “We do get violent USC students,” another nurse at Palmetto Health Baptist said. “It just takes away from other patients.”

Americans staying put in dicey housing market
Market Watch
— Housing-market headwinds are keeping American homeowners in their properties for the longest stretches on record, in a sharp distortion of the mobility Americans have for decades prized.
— Across the country, homes that sold in the third quarter of this year had been owned an average of 8.23 years, according to an analysis from Attom Data Solutions. That’s almost double the length of time a home sold in 2000, when Attom’s data begin.

Daylight Savings ends in Europe, maybe for the last time
Amp.ABC

In a medical first, couple BOTH carry their baby
Newser
Uh, yeah, it is possible. Read on.

Weekend…

typewriter-realnews-line

The “Caravan”

How a century of US dirty tricks in Honduras
set the nation up to fail,
and made its people desperate to leave

By Joseph Nevins, Associate Professor of Geography, Vassar College
In The Conversation
… American companies “built railroads, established their own banking systems, and bribed government officials at a dizzying pace.” As a result, the Caribbean coast “became a foreign-controlled enclave that systematically swung the whole of Honduras into a one-crop economy whose wealth was carried off to New Orleans, New York, and later Boston.”

honduras

Meanwhile, the Dog & Pony show continues
dog-pony-juggleMany news outlets took the bait and ran stories under headlines such as: DHS CHIEF NIELSEN SAYS MIGRANT CARAVAN “NOT GETTING IN.”
Among those who fell into this trap were: The Washington Times, Politico, Fox News, Talking Points Memo, The Blaze, The Hill, and of course the right wing nut sites such as Breitbart and Newsmax.

— Plainly, this is Kirsten Nielsen, a proven liar,(*) doing her master’s bidding, trying to fan the flames of immigration hysteria. She’s also trying to keep Trump from firing her. (See article in Salon)
Attention news editors: Learn to tell the difference between a PR stunt and news. Hint: A PR stunt usually starts with a press release …
(* recall that Nielsen once denied that the Feds were holding migrant children in custody.)


Goddamn it, blasphemy to be legal in Ireland
The Irish Times
— Every single one of the 40 constituencies in Ireland voted to remove the word “blasphemous” from article 40.6.1 of the Constitution in a unanimity unique in recent Irish referendums.
— Last Friday’s vote was closest in constituencies along the Wild Atlantic Way. In Donegal 51.5 per cent voted Yes to 48.4 per cent No, while those in Sligo-Leitrim voted 56.1 per cent to 43.9 per cent to change the Constitution.


Billionaire soccer team owner killed
as chopper crashes in flames outside stadium

BBC

chopper
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was in the helicopter when it came down at about 20:30 BST on Saturday, a source close to the family has told the BBC. He was the founder of duty-free consortium King Power International. It is not known how many other people were on board the helicopter.

US passes  landmark decision in ‘right to repair’ movement
Tech Radar
— A victory for consumers and a blow to Apple and other companies that want to monopolize the tech repair business.

Boy, 13, recognized for dramatically improving pancreatic cancer treatment
Good News Network
jain.png— A 13-year-old boy has just been named America’s Next Top Young Scientist in recognition of his ingenious method for making pancreatic cancer treatment more effective.
— Rishab Jain was awarded the prize for creating an algorithm that used artificial intelligence to accurately locate and target the pancreas in real-time during a cancer patient’s MRI radiotherapy.

simpleline

Complete local report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
11 now dead in synagogue shooting

— Eleven people are dead and six more are wounded — including four police officers — after a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood Saturday morning.
— The shooter, who officials said had an assault-style rifle and three handguns, is in custody, Pittsburgh police report. Officials have confirmed he is Robert Bowers, 46, of Baldwin Borough. He is in Allegheny General Hospital in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds, officials said.
— The U.S. Attorney’s office Saturday night filed 29 charges against Bowers. The Anti-Defamation League said it believed it was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the U.S. history.

Polizei und Rettungskräfte

Trump: If Pittsburgh Synagogue Had Armed Guard, ‘Results Would Have Been Far Better’
CBS Pittsburgh

simpleline

ROME SAYS ENOUGH!
The Eternal City is going straight to hell and a lot of its residents are fed up
Reuters
“Rome has become an open sewer, a scandal, full of rats, foxes, wild boar and rubbish,” said Rome resident Salvatore Golino. “We are drowning in trash and we can’t take it anymore.”rome


If this story doesn’t point out the stupidity
and obtuseness of Trump cultists,
I don’t what does …

The Intercept
— CESAR SAYOC, THE Donald Trump-loving Floridian who was taken into custody in relation to pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats, was foreclosed on in 2009 by a bank whose principal owner and chair is now Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin.
— The documents used to enact the foreclosure were signed by a prominent robo-signer and seemingly backdated. Nonetheless, the evidence was good enough for the famously inattentive Florida foreclosure courts to wave the case through. Years later, Sayoc became a supporter of Trump, who came into office and appointed a treasury secretary who ran the bank that snatched Sayoc’s house.


Single fingerprint led FBI to ‘MAGAbomber’: Trump-supporting, bodybuilding  strip club worker is charged with five federal crimes and faces 58 years in prison for mailing 14 packages to liberals

  • Cesar Altier Sayoc, 56, was taken into custody on Friday morning in Plantation, Florida
  • He is an avid Trump fan with an interest in bodybuilding who says he is a member of the Seminole tribe
  • Seminole Tribe of Florida has disavowed him however, saying he has never been a member of the tribe
  • Sayoc had reportedly been kicked out of his parents’ home and was living in his van when he was arrested
  • Four additional suspicious packages discovered on Thursday and Friday brought the total to 14
  • On Friday afternoon, postal officials in Burlingame, California intercepted a package for billionaire Tom Styer
  • Earlier Friday a package addressed to Senator Kamala Harris was intercepted in  Sacramento, California
  • A postal inspector intercepted another package to James Clapper in Manhattan Friday morning  
  • FBI also discovered suspicious package addressed to Senator Cory Booker in Florida on Thursday night 
  • Discoveries marked suspicious packages targeting outspoken critics of President Trump

maga-bomber

>>> Jim Carrey, Ron Howard Among Celebrities Threatened on Twitter by Mail Bomb Suspect
Variety

>>> Dude had a long criminal history, including bomb threats
Miami Herald

Florida man arrested in bomb probe 
… two more bombs found

bomber?–Senior law enforcement officials identified the suspect as 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
— He reportedly has a criminal history and ties to New York. Sayoc, a registered Republican, was a resident of Brooklyn in the mid-1980s. It was unclear if authorities were seeking additional suspects in the domestic terror investigation.
— He was arrested near Plantation, Fla., in the district represented by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), whose office was listed as a return address on several of the packages.
— A police source indicated to the NY Daily News that Sayoc, the target of a coast-to-coast manhunt, was tracked down via his cell phone after using the device in a Florida post office.
— FBI agents were seen in media footage from near where the suspect was arrested covering up a white van that appeared to be covered in political stickers and decals.
— Investigators quickly covered the vehicle, a likely source of evidence in the case, with a blue tarp before moving the van from its space. An assortment of law enforcement officials stood in the parking lot of the residential neighborhood after the suspect was cuffed to end the national search.
political truck.jpg

simpleline
“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!”
— D.J. Trump, president of the Electoral College

simpleline


firstbirdNew species of “first bird” uncovered
Eureka Alert
— A new species of the famous ‘first bird’, Archaeopteryx, supporting its status as the transitional fossil between birds and dinosaurs, has been published by in the journal Historical Biology.
— Contrary to some previous studies, Archaeopteryx can now be conclusively shown to be a primitive bird antecedent, and an evolutionary intermediate between birds and dinosaurs, which possessed teeth and clawed fingers.


No, eating less meat won’t do much to slow climate change
EcoWatch
— The author, a professor at UC Davis, says the research that showed animal husbandry as a significant factor in climate change was deeply flawed. His analysis puts the contribution of animal farming at 2.6%, far less than other factors, such as transportation. And an all-vegetarian diet wouldn’t necessarily be ideal anyway, he writes.


“One job should be enough”
Marriott hotel workers’ strike hits eight US cities
The Guardian
— Eight thousand members of the Unite Here union are demanding a living wage from the company that made $3.2bn last year.


Brown University study
Apparently, you CAN drink away your troubles, for a little while 

Daily Mail
— Just one glass of wine could be enough for you to dismiss your bad memories and focus only on the good times, a new study suggests.
— Researchers say that alcohol ‘hijacks’ the pathway that forms memory on a fundamental, molecular level.
— It affects a gene involved with encoding whether a memory is pleasing or unpleasant and changes a protein the gene makes, which in turn makes you form ‘craving memories’.
— One drink only changes the pathway for an hour, but three can change the pathway for 24 hours – which could explain why we forget being sick or stumbling home.
— The team, led by Brown University in Rhode Island, says its findings may help explain why recovering alcoholics find it hard to stay on the wagon and that this could lead to forms of treatment that help decrease how long the craving memories last, or how intense they are.


Hedge fund trendies take a hit as Wall Street tanks
Bloomberg
“It’s a bloodbath out there across almost every strategy with very few exceptions,” said Vaqar Zuberi, head of hedge funds at Mirabaud Asset Management.

US secretly shackled JP Morgan, but no longer
Bloomberg
— For almost six years, Washington secretly shackled JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation’s biggest bank.
–Now the chains are off, thanks to bank-friendly regulators in the Trump administration.

Thursday

Roundup for breakfast, phase two
CNN
— General Mills, whose products were cited in the report, maintained that glyphosate levels in its foods do not pose any health risks. “The extremely low levels of pesticide residue cited in recent news reports is a tiny fraction of the amount the government allows,” the company said.

Google reportedly paid Android creator millions after sex misconduct claim
NY Post
— Google is about to pay Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, the last installment of his $90 million exit package — a golden parachute he received despite his being credibly accused of coercing a female employee into performing oral sex, it was revealed today.
— Google had investigated the woman’s claims and found them credible,


Retiring US general:
Europe should focus on restraining Russia
because US likely to be at war with China
Military Times

FDA OKs research into “magic mushroom” therapy
Inverse.com
— The US Food and Drug Administration has given a group of psychiatrists its blessing to dose patients with magic mushrooms in therapy sessions. This week, the FDA granted “Breakthrough Therapy” designation to COMPASS Pathways’ psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression. The London-based life sciences company, backed in part by Peter Thiel, will use the psychedelic drug psilocybin, the active chemical in most psychedelic mushrooms, to treat patients in Europe and North America in a Phase 2b trial to determine the optimal dose of the drug.
— For scientists that study psychedelic drugs, the FDA’s move is welcome news. The Breakthrough Therapy designation, first established in 2012, allows the FDA to closely assist researchers in the development of a promising drug to treat serious conditions or diseases.

FDA approves new single-dose flu treatment Xofluza
Axios
… the first novel treatment approved for the flu in almost 20 years, which targets the virus at an earlier stage in its development in the human body in the hopes of lessening recovery time.


migrants
Staged photos of migrants on the move suggest that the US is threatened by waves of newcomers. But the actual data says those numbers are down — way down.

Is the US in an illegal immigration crisis?
Politicians say yes, data says no
The Guardian
— According to the latest statistics from US Customs and Border Protection, 396,579 undocumented people were apprehended after entering the country illegally in 2018.
— Another 124,511 people presented themselves at ports of entry, many seeking humanitarian protection, but immigration officials found them inadmissible.
— In 2000, however, more than 1.6 million illegal border crossers were apprehended. In 2001, the figure was 1.3 million.

Migrant Caravan Top Of Mind For Voters In Tennessee
NPR
“Our people are wanting jobs. Our citizens want jobs. And they’re going to others.”


WIFE OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICE GOES FEAR MONGERING

And is it really appropriate for the wife of a SUPREME COURT JUSTICE to be posting misleading images like this on Facebook? Supposedly, the policeman below was bloodied by immigrants. Here is her comment: “The media won’t share THIS, will they? It is an invasion, and thank GOD for President Trump.”
>>> THE PHOTO IS SIX YEARS OLD. THE COP IN THE PHOTO IS NOT AN AMERICAN.
Facebook commenter George Smiley’s reaction: “You should be embarrassed to spread falsehoods and misinformation like this, Ms. Thomas.”

bloddied cop


The Weekly Standard: “The security codes we have on lottery tickets are far better than anything we have on the paper ballots that are used in any of the states,” Mercuri said. It is much more difficult, she explained, to defraud the lottery than it is to fake a ballot or alter vote totals.


Girls, 11 and 12, plotted to stab classmates, drink blood
Newser


Georgia town will hold sex offenders in city hall on Halloween
USA Today
the 25 to 30 offenders will be overseen by the Georgia Department of Community Supervision and a local police officer.
— If you’re wondering if this is legal, the answer is yes.
— The Georgia Department of Community Supervision has the option of requiring paroled sex offenders to check into a specific location on Halloween night or at any time.


World’s first all-robot restaurant to open in Beijing
Bloomberg
— Asia’s biggest listed restaurant chain by market value is partnering with Japan’s Panasonic Corp. to open what the two companies say is the world’s first eatery with a fully automated kitchen Oct. 28 in Beijing. At the new Haidilao restaurant, robots will take orders, prepare and deliver raw meat and fresh vegetables to customers to plop into soups prepared at their tables.
— Haidilao became Asia’s first eatery chain to surpass $10 billion in market value when it held its initial public offering in Hong Kong last month. The company has more than 360 locations around the world including Japan, the U.S. and Taiwan.

When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn
NY Times
— When President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening — and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy, current and former American officials said.
— Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.

Latest bomb target: Robert DeNiro
CNN
— Police are examining a suspicious package addressed to actor-director Robert De Niro at a building in Lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, two law enforcement sources said early Thursday.
— The package has markings similar to the pipe bomb packages recently mailed nationwide to top Democrats, the sources said.
— The address, 375 Greenwich St., matches that of Tribeca Enterprises, De Niro’s film and television production company and organizer of the Tribeca Film festival. The site also contains De Niro’s Tribeca Grill restaurant.
>>> The Guardian: And now, Biden


POLICE RELEASE PICTURE OF CNN BOMB:
pipe bomb ny

Trump decries “political violence” after six years of encouraging it
Politico
— The president cast himself as a uniter after bombs were sent to several top Democrats, infuriating critics and touching off an argument about America’s political discourse.

DqVpi0RXQAAPhIc

Wednesday

nypd bomb.jpeg

noads-line

MAD BOMBER?
Explosive devices sent to Obama, Clintons as CNN evacuated over suspicious package
ABC News
— Explosive devices addressed to the residences of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were intercepted, and the Time Warner Center that is home to CNN in New York City was evacuated after a suspicious package was sent there, officials said Wednesday morning.
— Investigators are working to determine whether the two devices addressed to Clinton and Obama are linked to a pipe bomb found earlier this week in the home mailbox of billionaire George Soros, near where the Clintons live in Chappaqua, New York, multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News.
>>> News4NewYork:
— All four “potential explosive devices” sent to Hillary Clinton, former President Obama, billionaire philanthropist George Soros and CNN at Manhattan’s Time Warner Center are thought to be linked, law enforcement officials say.
>>> Miami Herald:
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office evacuated after suspicious package found.
>>> San Diego Union-Tribune:
News staff, others evacuate after suspicious package spotted.
>>> Raw Story:
Bomb also sent to Eric Holder


Today’s Dog & Pony Show

The “migrant caravan”

dog-pony-juggleWhich is merely Trump’s update on the Willie Horton strategy. The “caravan” is a distraction timed to excite Trump’s lunatics and get them to the polls.
Yet the networks, the mega-news websites and even PBS keeps regurgitating this non-story.
For those who don’t remember Poppy Bush’s racist campaign strategy of 1988, here’s a refresher from The Marshall Project:
How did a single sadistic home invasion — one of many senseless crimes in the violent 1980’s — reshape the politics of criminal justice for a generation? It began with a 30-second television ad.


Inside China’s internment camps: tear gas, Tasers and textbooks
AFP
— On state television, the vocational education centre in China’s far west looked like a modern school where happy students studied Mandarin, brushed up their job skills, and pursued hobbies such as sports and folk dance.
— But earlier this year, one of the local government departments in charge of such facilities in Xinjiang’s Hotan prefecture made several purchases that had little to do with education: 2,768 police batons, 550 electric cattle prods, 1,367 pairs of handcuffs, and 2,792 cans of pepper spray.

UE Parliament votes for ban on single-use plastics
BBC
— The European Parliament has voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans.
— MEPs backed a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks.
— The proposal also calls for a reduction in single-use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups.
— The measure still has to clear some procedural hurdles, but is expected to go through. The EU hopes it will go into effect across the bloc by 2021.
√ Apparently, the coming world order will be led by an enlightened EU and a Big Brother China … with the US fading into irrelevance along with its Saudi friends.

New fibre-optics spiral promises radical speed-up of Internet
The Guardian
— A new development in fibre optics could make internet speeds up to 100 times faster – by detecting light that has been twisted into a spiral.
— The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, can be used to easily upgrade existing networks and significantly boost efficiency, scientists say.
— Fibre optic cables use pulses of light to transmit information, but currently information can only be stored through the colour of the light, and whether the wave is horizontal or vertical.
— By twisting light into a spiral, engineers effectively create a third dimension for light to carry information: the level of orbital angular momentum, or spin. “It’s like DNA, if you look at the double helix spiral,” said Min Gu from RMIT University. “The more you can use angular momentum the more information you can carry.”

Apple’s Cook calls out giants in “data industrial complex”
Tech Crunch
— Cook has joined the chorus of voices warning that data itself is being weaponized again people and societies — arguing that the trade in digital data has exploded into a “data industrial complex”.
— Cook did not name the adtech elephants in the room: Google, Facebook and other background data brokers that profit from privacy-hostile business models. But his target was clear.

Report claims Amazon helping ICE track, deport immigrants
NY Daily News
— Amazon and other tech companies are raking in billions by selling services that aid President Trump’s deportation agenda, according to a report.
— The tech giant is among the Silicon Valley companies that provides technology to ICE that helps it track, detain, and deport immigrants, a group of nonprofits including Mijente, Immigrant Defense Project, NIPNLG and Empower LLC, concludes in its report entitled Who’s Behind ICE?
–“It’s time to hold Amazon accountable for its outsized share in building the deportation machine, and demand that they stop. It won’t be easy — Amazon makes billions from these contracts,” Mijente said.

Facebook collapse? This researcher sees it coming
Metro UK
… if Facebook stops being a virtual watercooler for friendly conversation, but a lair for trolls and misinformation – advertisers might find the service too dangerous to showcase washing tablets and shoes. Research earlier this summer suggested that young people are deserting Facebook.
>>>Raw Story:
Exxon and Ben & Jerry’s among buyers of $256 million in political ads on Facebook

Doctor ” borrowed” $300,000 from patient, then diagnosed her with dementia
The Tennessean
— A Tennessee doctor has retired her medical license after it was discovered that she borrowed a hefty loan from a longtime patient, then diagnosed the woman with dementia when she asked for her money back, according to state discipline records.
— But the doctor now insists she was “set up” by a vindictive patient, and said she only agreed to retire after state attorneys presented her with an unwinnable legal case.
— “It was all lies and I was told that if I fought it would be extremely costly to me,” said Dr. Suellen Lee on Tuesday. “And there would still be no benefit. There was no chance of reversal.”
— Lee, 79, an internal medicine specialist in Columbia, retired her license last month in a peculiar case before the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, which is responsible for disciplining doctors throughout the state. Government attorneys said Lee borrowed $300,000 from a patient when her medical clinic fell on hard times, and when the patient later requested repayment, Lee diagnosed her with dementia in an apparent effort to escape the debt.

Apparently, somebody won absurd $1.5 Billion jackpot
USA Today
— The ticket was sold at a convenience store in Simpsonville, state lottery officials confirmed Wednesday. South Carolina, however, is one of several states that does not require lottery winners to publicly reveal their identities. The winner or winners can quietly claim the annuity, or more likely the cash option of $877.8 million, and disappear.

Discovered: Oldest intact shipwreck, 2,400 years ago in Black Sea
NPR
— More than a mile beneath the surface of the Black Sea, shrouded in darkness, an ancient ship sat for millennia unseen by human eyes — until the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project happened upon its watery grave last year.
— The team announced the find Tuesday, saying its discovery has been “confirmed as the oldest intact shipwreck known to mankind.” Radiocarbon-dated to roughly 400 B.C., the trading vessel plied the waves in the days of Plato and Sophocles, when the city-states of ancient Greece had scattered colonies all around the Black Sea.
… “”This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world.”

Tuesday

noads-line

Monsanto loses in latest court tussle over Roundup/Cancer
Anti-Media

SHOCK! Wife of infamous racist says he beats her up
Raw Story
— Descriptions of the alleged abuse include the woman “being hit, being grabbed, being dragged around by her hair, being held down in a manner causing bruising, and being prevented from calling for help” by Richard Spencer.
— According to the filings, “Much of the abuse has occurred in the presence of the parties’ children,” and Kroupiianova “has been reluctant to call police or seek an order of protection for fear of further reprisal” by her husband.
(They’re quite the charming couple overall. She is a Putin-boot-licking propaganda writer.)

Man arrested for groping woman on flight:
‘President says it’s OK to grab women’s private parts’

Albuquerque Journal

Overuse of antibiotics ‘risks return to dark ages of life-threatening surgery’
The Guardian
… 
without swift action to reduce infections, we are at risk of putting medicine back in the dark ages – to an age where common procedures we take for granted could become too dangerous to perform and treatable conditions become life-threatening.

Former Fed boss: “We’re in a hell of a mess”
CNBC
— When Paul Volcker looks around now, he sees “a hell of a mess in every direction,” including a lack of basic respect for government institutions, a current Fed that seems to be following a completely arbitrary benchmark and a “swamp” in Washington run by plutocrats.
… “how can you run a democracy when nobody believes in the leadership of the country?”
… “There is no force on earth that can stand up effectively, year after year, against the thousands of individuals and hundreds of millions of dollars in the Washington swamp aimed at influencing the legislative and electoral process…”

Will Pope allow priests to marry?
AP via Yahoo
— As the Vatican copes with the growing clergy sex abuse scandal and declining number of priests worldwide, it is laying the groundwork to open formal debate on an issue that has long been taboo: opening up the priesthood to married men in parts of the world where clergy are scarce.

Michigan brothers face $450,000 for cutting trees on their property
M-Live
√ Who owns the forest? Hmm. Good question.

Boise, Reno Capitalize on the California Real Estate Exodus
Bloomberg
–For some Californians, the state’s punishing housing costs, high taxes, and constant threat of natural disaster have all become too much. They’re making their escape to areas such as Boise, Phoenix, and Reno, Nev., fueling some of the biggest home-price gains in the country. While the moves are motivated mainly by economics, they’re also highlighting political divides as conservatives from the blue state seek friendlier areas and liberal transplants find themselves in sometimes hostile territory.
>>> New realty outfit specifically aims to help people flee SF Bay Area
Reason

Former Trump Lawyer Ty Cobb: No ‘Witch Hunt,’ Mueller ‘Is an American Hero’
PJ Media

USA falling behind, chapter XXX
Europe on quest to build unhackable internet
MIT Technology Review
Oh well, America’s got Facebook, so…