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Blue_Tires

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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,948

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Journal Archives

MEANWHILE, in Rhode Island...

Westerly man charged with shooting corncobs at neighbor's home

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — A 50-year-old Westerly man is charged with shooting corncobs at his neighbor's home.

The Westerly Sun reports that Jeffrey Osella was arrested Tuesday night. Police say he answered his door shirtless and had corn kernels stuck to his chest.

Police say Osella used a potato gun to shoot corncobs at his neighbor's house, which is up for sale. The gun is made of PVC pipe and uses a light accelerant such as hair spray that can be ignited.

Police say Osella and his neighbor have long-running disputes.

Osella is charged with disorderly conduct and firing in a compact area. He's free on bail and is to be arraigned Friday.

A phone number for Osella could not be found.

Osella's attorney says he can't comment until he reviews the case.

http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20160901/NEWS/160909935/SHARED/st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/tFq1J3ZkTP

Aurora shooting massacre survivors ordered to pay Cinemark theater chain $700,000

Source: Salon

Four survivors of the shooting massacre in Aurora, Colorado, now owe the third-largest movie theater company in the country $700,000.

In 2012, 12 people were killed and at least 70 others were wounded when James Holmes walked into the Cinemark’s Aurora Century 16 theater and opened fire.

While Holmes was found guilty in 2015, a group of survivors filed a state lawsuit against Cinemark in 2012, claiming lax security allowed the heavily-armed Holmes to enter the theater and carry out the shooting. Ultimately, a jury of six sided with Cinemark in the civil case in state court, finding that there was no way they could have foreseen the attack and that additional security would have done little to stop Holmes, who was wearing body armor and was armed with gas canisters and multiple firearms.”

Colorado law allows the winning side of civil cases to seek costs. According to the Los Angeles Times, Cinemark’s lawyers at the time told a judge the money was needed to cover the costs of preserving evidence, retrieving and copying records, travel and other expenses – including $500,000 for expert testimony.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2016/09/01/aurora-shooting-massacre-survivors-ordered-to-pay-cinemark-theater-chain-700000/

The Quest to Build the First Robotic Vagina (HAIL SCIENCE!!!)

he female body is a complicated thing—just ask your doctor. Specifically, women’s reproductive systems exhibit a wide array of anatomical variation, and the bulk of our lady parts are tucked inside and invisible to the eye. This presents doctors-in-training with a daunting challenge: how to master the dreaded gynecological exam.

Although an influential health panel recently suggested healthy women may not need a full pelvic exam every single year, many doctors still see the annual exam as a critical opportunity to look for cancers, cysts, fibroids and more. Now, researchers at Imperial College London are creating a robotic female pelvis which would allow medical students to learn to “see” the female body by feel, so they’ll be more prepared when they encounter a live human being with her feet in stirrups.

If these researchers succeed, their funny-looking silicone recreation of the lower female torso could help new doctors get better—faster—at conducting the most intimate exam most women regularly face. It could also ensure that these doctors’ first exams are more comfortable for the women on the receiving end. The team’s project involves 3D imaging as well as haptic technology to simulate the sense of touch—a suitably complex project to simulate a complex facet of the human anatomy.

But even with cutting-edge techniques, it's a tough feat. The team has been working on the project for about five years, and they’re finding that there’s still a lot to learn about the female body. “It’s fascinating, really,” says Fernando Bello, a professor in surgical computing and simulation science who leads the team. “We’ve been working on this for a number of years now, and in many ways, we feel as if we’re kind of just beginning.”



Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/your-vagina-biological-miracle-and-researchers-are-trying-recreate-it-180960304/#g5MtKG1o2TqlfQ5z.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

The Curious Deaths Of Kremlin Critics

Two weeks from now in Surrey, England, a coroner's inquest is scheduled for a most peculiar death.

Here are the facts: In November 2012, a 44-year-old man died while out jogging near his Surrey home. The man was reported to have been in robust health, and police declared that the death was not suspicious.

But here are a few more facts: The jogger was a Russian banker who had fled Russia after helping expose tax fraud that implicated both the Mafia and the Russian state. Traces of a rare, poisonous flowering plant were found in his stomach.

This is one of several cases raising questions about why opponents of the Kremlin seem to be dying at an unusual rate.

"Vladimir Putin's enemies have this uncanny habit of being killed," says Guardian correspondent Luke Harding.

He says authorities couldn't find a cause of death in the case of the banker turned whistleblower, Alexander Perepilichny. "They decided that there was no foul play and it was just a kind of unexplained case that sometimes happens."

But a botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, southwest London, was called in just last year to conduct more tests. What she found caused a sensation, says Harding: Gelsemium elegans, a lethal plant favored by Chinese and Russian assassins.

"We're talking about suburban England and a that comes from the Himalayas being used. It's not growing in your or my back garden," he says. "And I think the calculation was that it would never be discovered — that this would just be simply an unexplained murder, and the whole thing would go away."

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/08/30/491898040/the-curious-deaths-of-kremlin-critics?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160830

How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets

Julian Assange was in classic didactic form, holding forth on the topic that consumes him — the perfidy of big government and especially of the United States.

Mr. Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, rose to global fame in 2010 for releasing huge caches of highly classified American government communications that exposed the underbelly of its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and its sometimes cynical diplomatic maneuvering around the world. But in a televised interview last September, it was clear that he still had plenty to say about “The World According to US Empire,” the subtitle of his latest book, “The WikiLeaks Files.”

From the cramped confines of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he was granted asylum four years ago amid a legal imbroglio, Mr. Assange proffered a vision of America as superbully: a nation that has achieved imperial power by proclaiming allegiance to principles of human rights while deploying its military-intelligence apparatus in “pincer” formation to “push” countries into doing its bidding, and punishing people like him who dare to speak the truth.

Notably absent from Mr. Assange’s analysis, however, was criticism of another world power, Russia, or its president, Vladimir V. Putin, who has hardly lived up to WikiLeaks’ ideal of transparency. Mr. Putin’s government has cracked down hard on dissent — spying on, jailing, and, critics charge, sometimes assassinating opponents while consolidating control over the news media and internet. If Mr. Assange appreciated the irony of the moment — denouncing censorship in an interview on Russia Today, the Kremlin-controlled English-language propaganda channel — it was not readily apparent.

Now, Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks are back in the spotlight, roiling the geopolitical landscape with new disclosures and a promise of more to come.

In July, the organization released nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails suggesting that the party had conspired with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to undermine her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders. Mr. Assange — who has been openly critical of Mrs. Clinton — has promised further disclosures that could upend her campaign against the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump. Separately, WikiLeaks announced that it would soon release some of the crown jewels of American intelligence: a “pristine” set of cyberspying codes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/world/europe/wikileaks-julian-assange-russia.html?smid=tw-share

I'm just glad more people are discovering what I've been saying all along...

How will history look back on Rousseff's impeachment?

In 1992, senators and MPs in Brazil's Congress came together to impeach the country's first democratically elected president in almost 30 years.

Fernando Collor de Mello (simply known as Collor) had won the votes of 53% of the electorate three years earlier, but was caught in a massive corruption scandal.

Mr Collor's impeachment was a clear-cut case. There was abundant proof of bribes paid to him and a smoking gun - a car that was bought with illegal money. Also Collor was part of a small political party with weak support both from Congress and the streets.

Twenty-four years later, Brazil has for the second time impeached a president. But this time the circumstances seem far less clear cut.

Although polls suggest there is ample rejection of Dilma Rousseff as a president, the question of whether she is guilty of a crime punishable with the loss of her mandate has proven explosively controversial in Brazil.

How did things get to this point and how will history look back on the impeachment of Brazil's first woman president?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-37235510

Impeachment or Coup in Brazil? Depends on Your Politics

WASHINGTON — Was the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff as the president of Brazil on Wednesday a coup?

Technically, the answer is no. Although there is no single definition of what constitutes a coup, it is at its core an illegal seizure of power. The Brazilian Senate’s 61-to-20 vote to remove Ms. Rousseff was the culmination of a legal process set forth in the Brazilian Constitution, and it simply does not meet that standard.

But Ms. Rousseff and her supporters have argued for months that the effort to oust her was in fact a coup engineered by a small group of elites.

They are not bothered by strict legal definitions. Rather, “coup” has become shorthand for accusing Ms. Rousseff’s political opponents of exploiting the law to subvert democracy.

There is truth to that. But it is rooted in problems that afflict Brazil’s entire political system, not just its right or its left.

Any opposition party anywhere stands to gain from the downfall of the governing party’s leader. In Brazil, that was heightened by the fact that members of the opposition had been caught up in a major corruption scandal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/world/americas/brazil-impeachment-coup.html

Brazil's flawed impeachment of Dilma Rousseff

After a largely successful—especially in light of almost insultingly low expectations—Olympics, Brazil is now abruptly pulled back to reality. The end of Olympics revelry coincided with the tempestuous final stretch of former President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment trial, and the general atmosphere in Brazil has taken an unenviable 180-degree turn.

Brazil's fourth democratically elected president since the end of the military dictatorship was officially removed from office on Wednesday afternoon. Her impeachment has been lauded and derided both within Brazil and abroad, with her supporters denouncing the proceedings as a "judicial coup d'état" and her opponents hailing the process as a victory for Brazilian democracy.

Both theses, however, are deeply flawed.
On the one hand, likening an impeachment trial that has—at least nominally—followed codified legal procedures to a coup is tactless, particularly given Brazil's sensitive history and the loaded significance that word carries in the country. On the other hand, to extol Rousseff's ouster as evidence of Brazil's robust rule of law entails glossing over a host of glaring irregularities and the greater context of the impeachment proceedings.


Dilma's administration was marked by a few key wins and quite a few more shows of ineptitude. Lacking the charisma and political wherewithal of her predecessor, Dilma was perhaps the worst imaginable choice to tackle the myriad problems that would soon arise after years of countercyclical economic policy. By the time President Lula's unbridled spending during Brazil commodities bonanza began to show its limitations, he was already out of office, and left to preside over the country's hangover was a timid Rousseff. Instead of swiftly implementing austerity measures to stem Brazil's ballooning fiscal deficit, Dilma displayed a degree of inertia that exacerbated the country's problems and alienated her from opponents and even allies in Congress. By the time she belatedly announced an austerity plan after her re-election, a fiercely antagonistic legislature had rendered her effectively impotent.

It is exceedingly clear that Dilma was not a "good" president, and she had the single-digit approval ratings to prove it. Though the opposition was poised for a smooth victory in the next elections, waiting until 2018 seemed an unappealing prospect when a vote of no confidence could quickly free Brazil from an unpopular administration.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/294012-brazils-flawed-impeachment-of-dilma-rousseff

Who didn't see THIS coming?

Prosecutor of George Zimmerman and Marissa Alexander gets dreaded verdict from voters

Angela Corey, the Florida prosecutor who was lackadaisical about prosecuting George Zimmerman and overzealous about prosecuting Marissa Alexander, was tossed by voters Tuesday. Not only did she lose in the Republican primary for Florida's 4th circuit judicial state attorney, but she lost big. Her challenger got 64 percent of the vote to Corey's 26 percent.

Months before Zimmerman was put on trial for killing Trayvon Martin, I spoke to a Florida journalist who said that Corey didn't have a reputation for fighting for justice for black victims. After Zimmerman was acquitted, an attorney who has worked as a prosecutor and a defense attorney in New Orleans he was sure that Corey's office had deliberately tanked the case. Perhaps not murder, but every prosecutor he had spoken to about the case was sure they could have convicted Zimmerman of a lesser charge.

But when there was an outcry for Corey to go easier on a suspect, the prosecutor instead went full throttle. A week after Marissa Alexander gave birth, she fired a gun inside her house in the presence of her abusive husband and two children. She called it a warning shot. Corey called it aggravated assault. Alexander, who had never even been arrested before, was initially convicted and given three concurrent sentences of 20 years. When she won a new trial, Corey promised to make the three sentences consecutive, which would have meant 60 years. Eventually Alexander pleaded and was sentenced to three years, which she had already served.

But it was primarily her harshness toward juvenile suspects and her fondness for the death penalty that prompted The Nation magazine to ask in its most recent edition, "Is Angela Corey the Cruelest Prosecutor in America?" That story focuses on her decision to charge a 12-year-old with first-degree murder in the death of his 2-year-old brother.

The Nation notes multiple mitigating factors that Corey ignored. The 12-year-old had been born to a 12-year-old who had been impregnated during a rape. Both mother and child had been in foster care – together. One of the mother's boyfriends had molested the boy. The boy had watched as his mother's last boyfriend had shot himself in the head. His life seems to have been invariably traumatic, and, yet, the prosecutor charged him as an adult, which meant he'd be sent to adult prison, which meant that his trauma would continue.

Melissa Nelson, who defeated Corey in the Republican primary Tuesday, was on the team of lawyers that stepped in and took the 12-year-old murder suspect's case away from the public defender. That team negotiated a 7-year sentence in what the magazine calls a "juvenile therapeutic facility."

Elected prosecutors typically enjoy great job security. But Corey is not the first prosecutor to be tossed this year after public outrage of their handling of cases. In March, Cook County's state attorney Anita Alvarez was voted out after she waited more than a year to release video of a Chicago police officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. That same day, voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, voted out Tim McGinty. The person running for district attorney against McGinty criticized him for the way he handled the case of a Cleveland police officer killing Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old in possession of a pellet gun.

And now Corey gets tossed. The cover of The Nation says that Corey doesn't understand why people hate her. Thanks to voters she'll now have time to figure it all out.

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/08/zimmerman_prosecutor.html

FWIW, I was calling the Zimmerman prosecution a tank job from day one

MEANWHILE, in West Palm Beach...

I appreciate the local law enforcement showing the initiative to arrest Putin, but sadly it's the wrong one...




http://cbs12.com/news/local/vladimir-putin-arrested-at-publix
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/30/florida-man-vladimir-putin-arrested-on-trespassing-charges/
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