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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,639

Journal Archives

Man intentionally hit alligator with lawn mower, destroyed active nest, wildlife officials say

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A man operating a tractor mower is accused of dropping the mower blades on a 6-foot alligator and destroying an active gator nest in Daytona Beach, according to investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

FWC was called to the property on North Tomoka Farms Road on June 10 at 11:16 a.m. for an injured alligator.

A witness told wildlife officials he saw a large tractor with a mower attachment clearing brush around a retention pond. The witness stated he saw the driver scare off a 6-foot alligator by hitting the water with the mower blades and then continue on. However, the alligator crawled back onto the bank and the tractor operator then turned around and drove back toward the creature, according to the arrest report.

The witness said the driver again tried to scare the alligator back into the water but when the alligator moved farther up the bank, the driver dropped the mower deck on top of the alligator. The alligator went back into the water where an FWC officer found it suffering from mortal wounds. ...........(more)


Rudy Giuliani: I am not a drunk!!!!

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani addressed his drinking during an interview with WNBC surrounding the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

"At age 77, Giuliani says he's as sharp as ever," Melissa Russo reported. "And he denies claims and published reports and from colleagues that a drinking problem is to blame for the change people perceive in him."

Russo played a clip of the interview.

"Never at all," Giuliani replied. "Never at all."

"Were you drunk during those interviews when they said you were?" she asked.

"Absolutely not," he replied. "I don't think i've ever done an interview drunk."

"I have sometimes -- I mean, I drink normally. I like scotch. I drink scotch," he said. ......(more)


Lauren Boebert: Oops, my bad.....

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., knows a thing or two about not following rules that apply to her. In light of recent reports of Boebert's alleged or apparent violations of House ethics rules, an old interview from February reveals just how blatant her violations were and understood to be, all while acting with apparent impunity from the letter of the law.

According to the FEC, "When candidates use their personal funds for campaign purposes, they are making contributions to their campaigns. Unlike other contributions, these candidate contributions are not subject to any limits. They must, however, be reported." Such rules are meant to apply to all elected officials, independent of party affiliation, but appear to have been ignored in the case of Boebert, who has claimed she walks around Washington strapped with a Glock handgun, which would violate District of Columbia law. The far-right lawmaker brazenly declared in February that she "under-reports" her expenses, stating, "They want to come against me for legitimate expenses, go ahead. I am doing the work of the people. I had to make those connections. And really, I under-reported a lot of stuff."

FEC records reviewed by Salon suggest that Boebert's campaign spent $2.6 million in the 2020 cycle yet only made a total of 147 payments to a total of 32 recipients. Moreover, 40 of those payments made went to the ride-sharing platform Uber in December 2020, around the very same time Boebert attended a "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington. In the maze of FEC filings, seemingly obvious expenses the campaign incurred were not included in those disbursements.

Dating back to November of 2019, Boebert purchased two domain names she used as campaign sites, one of which, www.keepourguns.com, was for sale on a third-party site called Huge Domains, likely with a high price tag attached. Both that domain and the more straightforward www.laurenforcolorado.com were operational by the time Boebert declared her candidacy in Colorado's 3rd congressional district in December 2019. .............(more)


Oakland County welfare check uncovers 100 animals, many dead, in hot, filthy house

(Detroit Free Press) Animal control officers found 100 animals, 16 of which were already dead, at a home in Independence Township on Tuesday.

The surviving animals have been rescued by the Oakland County Animal Shelter and the Pet Adoption Center.

Officers went to the home for a welfare check after receiving a tip and found 82 cats, eight ferrets, five dogs, four rabbits and a bearded dragon living in “highly unsanitary conditions” and reportedly showing signs of illness.

Many of the animals were “in distress” because the house did not have air conditioning and was hotter than 80 degrees, a Thursday news release from the Oakland County Executive said. ................(more)


Mars' weird geology is making Perseverance's job more complicated

Mars' weird geology is making Perseverance's job more complicated
Perseverance took a rock sample that crumbled to dust, confounding scientists. Geologists now know what happened


(Salon) Earlier this month, the Perseverance rover set out to collect some rock samples on Mars. It was supposed to be a key moment in the rover's historic sample-return mission, one in which Perseverance was to collect, store and return Martian rock and soil samples to Earth. (The rocket that will pick up the samples hasn't launched yet, and may not for almost a decade; currently, Perseverance is doing the grunt work of collection.) To date, Perseverance had been highly successful: its risky landing worked perfectly, and Ingenuity, the 4-pound helicopter that hitched a ride to Mars on Perseverance's back, overcame massive barriers to become the first powered-controlled flight on another planet. Compared to those feats, Perseverance's next task — drilling out a finger-sized hole in a rock — seemed simple. But after the drilling, the collection tube came back empty. Mission control was in disbelief.

As Salon previously reported, scientists rushed to figure out why the sample went missing. Did the drill somehow miss? It didn't seem so — images from the Red Planet revealed there was a hole in the rock.

So what happened once the drill came out of the rock?

After some sleuthing, NASA's Perseverance team determined that the rock most likely crumbled into "small fragments" — essentially, a powder. While the pulverization of the rock sample was disappointing to the team, it was also a lesson in Martian geology.

"It's certainly not the first time Mars has surprised us," said Kiersten Siebach, an assistant professor of planetary biology at Rice University and participating scientist on the science and operations team for Perseverance. "A big part of exploration is figuring out what tools to use and how to approach the rocks on Mars." .............(more)


Older cellphones going dead in 2022. Are you prepared for 3G's end?

LANSING – As 3G cellphone networks disappear next year, people using older devices could be left without a lifeline.

Ingham County 911 Director Barb Davidson said people should prepare as carriers are eliminating 3G cell service in 2022, rendering older phones unable to make calls, even to 911. Davidson said people should start upgrading or updating their devices as it’s only a matter of months until 3G service ends.

“We’re very concerned that the safety net people think they have in place may no longer be there,” Davidson said.

Tracfones, flip phones, Jitterbugs and even older-style smartphones will no longer be able to make calls once the networks are taken down, Davidson said. Many people, especially senior citizens, have kept older model phones they are comfortable using, she said. ..........(more)


Science quietly wins one of the right's longstanding culture wars

(Salon) The bitter culture wars over the teaching of evolution in public schools dominated headlines throughout the 2000s, in large part because of the Bush administration's coziness with evangelicals who rejected the science on evolution. Yet flash forward to 2021 — when the acrimonious battle over science has shifted from evolution to pandemic public health — and few youngsters are apt to have any idea what "intelligent design" even means. Curiously, despite the right seizing on face mask science and immunology as new battlegrounds in the culture war, the fight over evolution is all but forgotten. In fact, for many Americans, it is completely forgotten.

Though it might seem hard to believe, Americans are more scientifically literate than ever in 2021 — so much so that creationism has become a minority opinion. And Americans are likewise been able to identify intelligent design and other forms of creationism as the inherently religious theories that they are.

We know this thanks to a new study published in the journal Public Understanding of Science, one which analyzed surveys of public opinion since 1985 and noticed a trend in attitudes about evolution. As more Americans became highly educated — obtaining university degrees, taking college science courses, displaying rising levels of civi science literacy — acceptance of evolution grew accordingly.

From 1985 until 2010, there had been a statistical dead heat among Americans who were asked if they agreed that "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals." Acceptance then began to increase, becoming a majority position in 2016 and reaching 54 percent in 2019. Even 32 percent of religious fundamentalists accepted evolution as of 2019, a stark contrast from the mere 8 percent who did so in 1988. Eighty-three percent of liberal Democrats said they accept evolution, compared to only 34 percent of conservative Republicans. .............(more)


'Disgusting' T-shirt blasted for mocking Afghans falling from plane in Kabul

The “T” stands for tasteless.

Some online bottom feeders are being blasted for hawking a T-shirt that mocks Afghans who died after falling from a plane in an attempt to flee the Taliban this week.

The offensive tee, which is emblazoned with “Kabul Skydiving Club Est. 2021,” surfaced on several off-brand online clothing stores, including Tee4Sport and TShirtAtLowPrice.com. The appalling top also depicts silhouettes of two people plummeting from a military aircraft.

It was an insensitive shot at multiple individuals — including a 17-year-old boy — who died after falling from a US Air Force jet in Kabul while desperately attempting to flee Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. ...........(more)


Serena Williams' US Open withdrawal latest sign tennis is near end of star-studded era

(ESPN) The US Open begins on Monday, and while many of the world's best players will return to New York after a pandemic-impacted tournament in 2020, as will a near-capacity level of fans in all their rowdy glory, it will be who isn't in attendance that might be felt most of all.

Serena Williams announced Wednesday that she wouldn't be playing in the year's final Grand Slam, joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the star-studded withdrawal list. Williams said her torn hamstring still hasn't fully recovered since Wimbledon, while Federer will need yet another surgery on his right knee and Nadal declared he'll miss the rest of the season with a recurring left foot issue.

It will be the first major where none of the three will participate since the US Open in 1997. If that feels like a lifetime ago, well, it's because it was -- five players currently ranked in the WTA's top 10 weren't yet born.

Since then, the trio have combined for 63 major singles titles -- with Williams adding another 16 in doubles and mixed doubles -- and an astounding 838 weeks atop the world rankings. While Novak Djokovic is considered the third member of the sport's Big Three and could very well ultimately surpass all of them in titles and records, Williams has been the true owner of the distinction for the better part of the past two decades alongside Federer and Nadal. .................(more)


The Supreme Court's sloppiness reveals its radicalism

The Supreme Court's sloppiness reveals its radicalism
So much for "balls and strikes" — Trump's Supreme Court exposes its radicalism with "Remain in Mexico" decision


(Salon) Donald Trump appointed three Supreme Court justices, and progressive America's reaction to the last two — Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — can fairly be described as "Defcon 1." Liberals were terrified that these appointments, meant to replace the occasionally-liberal-on-social-issues Anthony Kennedy and the solid liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg, would give the right exactly what they wanted: The ability to gut any progressive policy, impose their far-right views, and undermine democracy for decades, all without any accountability to the public.

Both Kavanaugh and Barrett denied this intention, of course.

Kavanaugh claimed to be "a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy." Barrett claimed, "I'm just here to apply the law." Needless to say, progressives were not convinced. When Joe Biden was elected, there was even a brief flare-up of discourse about Democrats embracing court-packing to counter the far-right Court with Biden even appointing a commission to study the question.

But it is a truism in mainstream media that progressives are always "overreacting," a truism that persists despite events like the January 6 insurrection, which conclusively proved #resistance folks had a better read on Trump than the "it can't happen here" naysayers. So all it took was the Roberts court issuing a couple of early summer moderate decisions — the biggest saving the Affordable Care Act — and voila! The Beltway media went full bore scolding the left for supposedly overreacting to the Trumpist court.

"The Supreme Court's Newest Justices Produce Some Unexpected Results," declared the New York Times, with a subheadline gushing how "liberals are often on the winning side."


On Tuesday night, in a shockingly incoherent decision, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling by a Trump-appointed far-right judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, forcing the Biden administration to keep Trump's hateful "remain in Mexico" policy towards refugees applying for political asylum. Biden may be the duly elected president, but it appears this Trump appointee-heavy Republican court still thinks Trump should be setting immigration policy. ........(more)


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