Saturday, April 30, 2016

11-YEAR-OLD ALABAMA BOY SHOOTS HOME INVADER

Chris Gaither said the burglar cried like a baby after he shot him in the leg

If you like stories with a happy ending here’s a really good one.

11-year-okd Chris Gaither was home alone in Talladega, Alabama on Wednesday morning when he heard a noise and discovered a burglar inside his home.

Chris grabbed his stepfather’s .9mm pistol and confronted the culprit who was taking off with a clothes hamper. The burglar threatened to kill him as he exited the house. Undaunted, Chris ran after the hamper thief and emptied the gun at him. With his 12th and final shot he hit the burglar in the leg as he was about to jump a fence. Chris said:

“I shot through the hamper he was carrying, it was a full-metal jacket bullet. It went straight through the back of his leg. He started crying like a little baby. When I pulled the gun out on him, I guess he didn't think it was a real gun, because he didn't worry about it he just kept on walking.”

Chris added, “I hope you learn your lesson coming to this house trying to steal stuff.”

The boy’s mother told the cops that the same man had burglarized their home before.

The Talladega police plan to file charges against the burglar when he is released from the hospital.

I am sure that the minute he gets out of jail, that dipshit will strike the Gaither home off of his ‘houses to be burglarized’ list.

STRICT CALIFORNIA GUN-CONTROL MEASURE CLOSE TO MAKING NOVEMBER BALLOT

One part of the initiative requires the confiscation of rifles with magazines that can carry more than 10 cartridges

By Bob Egelko

San Francisco Chronicle
April 28, 2016

Californians will vote in November on far-reaching new restrictions on firearms, including the nation’s first requirement of background checks for buyers of ammunition, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

Declaring a “historic opportunity to recapture our leadership nationwide on this issue,” Newsom said supporters will submit 600,000 signatures on petitions to qualify an initiative that would strengthen California’s gun-control laws, already some of the strictest in the nation. They need 365,880 signatures of registered voters to make the ballot.

Besides the checks for ammunition purchases — like those already in place for guns — the measure would ban possession of large-capacity rifle magazines, require gun owners to notify police when their weapons are lost or stolen, and enact rules for courts to confiscate guns from criminals who are prohibited from possessing them. Other provisions would reclassify possession of a stolen gun as a felony and require California to share its background check information with the FBI.

“We have a chance to vote on the most comprehensive and significant gun-safety measure in decades,” said Newsom, who is sponsoring the initiative while preparing to run for governor in 2018.

The last gun-control measure on the California ballot, a 1982 initiative that would have tightly limited the purchase of new handguns, was defeated by more than a 3-2 majority after an intense and well-funded opposition campaign by the National Rifle Association.

Asked about Newsom’s new initiative, NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter said Thursday that none of the measure’s provisions would promote public safety.

“We will do everything in our power to put an end to this,” Hunter said. But she wouldn’t say whether the organization plans to spend large sums on the campaign.

“Newsom would like to see guns confiscated in California,” Hunter said.

Newsom called that assertion “fictional.”

One part of the initiative, however, would take away one type of firearm, rifles with magazines that can carry more than 10 cartridges, from people who now can legally possess them in most parts of the state. California bans the sale of such weapons but not their possession, though some cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, prohibit possession as well. Federal courts have upheld the local ordinances.

“I don’t know a legitimate hunter who needs a 15-round clip,” said Newsom, who noted that such weapons are often used in mass shootings.

He said the proposed background-check requirement for ammunition purchases was “potentially a game-changer in the gun-safety debate.”

Newsom said a convicted felon who had illegally obtained a gun now “could go down and purchase an unlimited amount of ammunition” from “anyone with a business license,” with no questions asked. He said the initiative would require dealers to be licensed, forbid sales of ammunition to those with histories of serious crimes or mental illness, and — as with guns — require all sales to be face-to-face.

The initiative has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Mayors Ed Lee of San Francisco, Libby Schaaf of Oakland and Sam Liccardo of San Jose. Newsom said supporters had spent more than $3 million for signature-gathering and are prepared to raise whatever they need to win in November.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s why I call it Kookfornia. This measure will not keep criminals from possessing guns, it will not prevent mass murders and it will not make Kookfornians any safer. All it will do is make them feel good by giving them a false sense of security.

WESTERN WEED IS TAKING OVER THE POT MARKET IN FLORIDA

By Francisco Alvarado

VICE News
April 27, 2016

In early April, a couple months after Eladio Hernandez Ponce purchased a two-bedroom ranch-style house south of Pueblo, Colorado, deputies with the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office narcotics special investigation unit executed a search warrant on his new abode. Inside, investigators found nearly 200 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, along with numerous supplies and construction materials they believe were to be used to expand the operation, according to a sheriff's bulletin.

Ponce and fellow residents Anaili Garcia Toledo and Elio Hernandez Delgado told the deputies they were medical-marijuana growers, but they were unable to provide any proof they could legitimately grow pot for patients, the sheriff's office says. A week later, on April 13, deputies arrested the three Cubans, who had recently relocated from Miami, Florida, charging them with felony marijuana cultivation.

It was a familiar scenario for 35-year-old Ponce. Exactly a year ago, he was arrested in Homestead, Florida, on felony charges of manufacturing cannabis with intent to sell and residing in a home used for drug trafficking. But he's not the only former Floridian to get nabbed for illegally growing weed in the legal pot state of Colorado.

Sergeant Jeremy Bacor, who until recently was head of Pueblo's narcotics special investigation unit, tells me 12 people who previously resided in Florida have been arrested in seven separate illegal marijuana grow operations in the county since the end of March. Five of the alleged illegal growers are of Cuban descent, including Ponce and his two cohorts.

"We get people from a lot of states coming to Colorado since marijuana was fully legalized," Bacor explains. "Some are people looking to skew the lines and are growing for the black market. The recent trend has been individuals from Florida."

The influx of illegal pot growers from Florida to places like Pueblo augurs a shift in the black market for indoor, high-grade marijuana in the Sunshine State. The hodgepodge of pot laws nationwide—four states allow regulated access to recreational marijuana, while 23 states, plus Washington, DC, now permit some form of medical marijuana—has offered some old-school pot peddlers like Ponce new opportunities. And despite the pro-legalization argument that easing off prohibition might put shady dealers out of business, the reality is looking a bit more complicated than that.

Marc Kleiman, professor emeritus of public policy for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, says black-market marijuana will continue to thrive until the federal government legalizes the drug. "If there was national legalization, then the illicit market would go away like it did for alcohol," Kleiman tells me. "There's not much moonshining left."

In Florida, where only a non-psychoactive form of cannabis is currently legal for medical use, a new ballot initiative is in the works to legalize more potent marijuana for very sick people. But Kleiman believes a legal medical-marijuana market would only eliminate a fraction of the black-market clientele, and that ending prohibition in piecemeal fashion leaves the door open for growers to take their cannabis across state lines and sell it in black markets up the East Coast. "There is still a black market in Georgia and New York," he explains. "If most of the marijuana grown in Florida is going to New York, legalization won't change anything."

The renewed effort to make Florida the next medical-marijuana state comes at a time when police departments across the peninsula are launching search-and-destroy missions for illegal grow houses, which may just be encouraging importation from other states.

In March, 22 Cubans were arrested on racketeering charges for their involvement in an indoor marijuana-cultivation network that operated ten grow houses across Hillsborough and two neighboring counties in central Florida. During a week's worth of raids, narcotics investigators seized 591 plants weighing 872 pounds and 46 pounds of packaged marijuana worth an estimated $2.3 million on the street.

At a press conference announcing the arrests, Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee said the wholesale prices for a pound of Florida grown indoor weed go between $2,000 to $2,500. "Do the math," he instructed assembled reporters. "There is a tremendous amount of dirty money to be made in this business. It is incredible how big these operations are, especially in Florida."

In a phone interview, Captain Frank Losat, head of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office special investigations division, tells me Cuban growers have been running well-organized indoor grow houses for several years now. "We have to address a multitude of crimes these grow houses bring to the community," he says. "We've had a series of home invasions where grow houses were targeted. You don't know who your neighbors are until the violence occurs."

During the yearlong investigation dubbed "Operation Hydro Hustlers," detectives were able to gather evidence showing the 22 Cubans were involved in a marijuana ring, according to Losat, "We started to link people together," he says. "You would see them at various houses together conducting business."

Detectives tailed the suspects traveling to Garden Hydro Empire, a hydroponic-equipment store owned by Jorge Tellez, one of the Cubans arrested in the racketeering probe, and also watched unload indoor marijuana-growing equipment, including lighting systems and circuit boards used to bypass electric company meters, into the ten houses, Losat says.

"They ran it like a business," the captain adds. "They got up by six or seven in the morning to tend to the houses, making sure the plants were growing, and running errands around town to buy various supplies. They were very well organized."

Mark Santiago, a Miami-based investor and instructor for Cannabis Career Institute, an online and seminar school that teaches pot-industry aspirants how to do business in states that have legalized medical marijuana, says the heat from Florida law enforcement has definitely cut into the state's illegal grow house industry.

"Five years ago, almost all the illicit marijuana in Florida was homegrown," Santiago says. "Nowadays, only thirty to forty percent is Florida bud. Most of it is being brought in from Colorado and California."

The Cubans who continue to operate grow houses in Florida are typically those who have only been in the US for a couple of years, he believes.

According to annual domestic-eradication reports by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), indoor marijuana production in Florida declined between 2012 and 2014. The agency eradicated 382 indoor operations and a combined 20,762 plants in 2014 compared to 540 indoor grow houses and 31,499 plants in 2012.

One former Miami grower who's now active out West bolsters Santiago's claims. A Cuban who arrived in south Florida in the mid 1980s, the man says he grew illegal marijuana in various houses in Miami-Dade from late 2004 through 2012, when one of his buddies was busted tending plants inside one of their homes. "We had a good run while it lasted," he recalls. "We would only grow twenty-five plants at a time, enough for five pounds. We emphasized quality over quantity."

Since his friend was a first-time offender, the guy pleaded no contest and had to serve two years probation, according to the former grower. Meanwhile the self-avowed cannabis connoisseur made connections in Northern California in an area known as the Emerald Triangle, where an abundance of high-grade marijuana is produced. For the past five years, he's been importing pot to south Florida.

As you might expect, he declines to go into detail about how he transports the weed, but it seems to be resonating back home.

"Most of the stuff we are getting on our front doorstep is West Coast bud," he says. "It has displaced local growing."

EDITOR’S NOTE: Even if the federal government were to legalize marijuana, the black market would still flourish because pot users would want to avoid paying the taxes that come with the legal sale of pot.

LA SHERIFF’S CHIEF OF STAFF UNDER FIRE FOR OFFENSIVE EMAILS

City News Service
April 28, 2016

A top Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department official forwarded emails with jokes containing derogatory stereotypes of Muslims, blacks, Latinos, women and others from his work account during his previous job with the Burbank Police Department, it was reported Wednesday.

Tom Angel, Sheriff Jim McDonnell's chief of staff, sent the emails in 2012 and 2013 when he was the No. 2 police official in Burbank, hired to reform a department reeling from allegations of police brutality, racism and sexual harassment, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing city records.

"I took my Biology exam last Friday," said one of the forwarded emails obtained under the state's public records law, according to the newspaper. "I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently 'Blacks' and 'Mexicans' were NOT the correct answers."

Another email listed 20 reasons "Muslim Terrorists are so quick to commit suicide," including "Towels for hats," "Constant wailing from some idiot in a tower" and "You can't wash off the smell of donkey."

Angel told The Times he did not mean to demean anyone and said it was unfortunate his work emails could be obtained under the state's records laws.
Asked about the "Biology exam" email making light of high incarceration rates
in some minority communities, he described himself as Mexican.

"I apologize if I offended anybody, but the intent was not for the public to have seen these jokes," he told the newspaper.

McDonnell told The Times he was disappointed by the emails but he had no immediate plans to discipline Angel even though "it's a shame the whole
thing happened at all."

After viewing the emails at the request of The Times, local Muslim civil rights advocates criticized Angel, saying the messages perpetuate dangerous biases that all Muslims are terrorists.

In a meeting with McDonnell and Angel on Monday, Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, sought assurances that sheriff's officials are not unfairly targeting Muslim communities. Angel should be disciplined and the Sheriff's Department should meet with community groups and hold cultural awareness seminars for its staff, Al-Marayati said, according to The Times.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I suspect Sheriff McDonnel, instead of being disappointed by Angel’s emails, was mostly pissed off because the media had released them to the public.

SHIPBOARD ROMANCE

James and Nancy met on a cruise ship.....

When they discovered they lived in the same city only a few miles apart James was ecstatic. He immediately started asking her out when they got home.

Within a couple of weeks, James had taken Nancy to dance clubs, restaurants, concerts, movies, and museums. James became convinced that Nancy was indeed his soul mate and true love. Every date seemed better than the last.

On the one-month anniversary of their first dinner on the cruise ship, James took Nancy to a fine restaurant. While having cocktails and waiting for their salad, James said, "I guess you can tell I'm very much in love with you. I'd like a little serious talk before our relationship continues to the next stage. So, before I get a box out of my jacket and ask you a life changing question, it's only fair to warn you, I'm a total golf nut. I play golf, I read about golf, I watch golf on TV. In short, I eat, sleep, and breathe golf. If that's going to be a problem for us, you'd better say so now!"

Nancy took a deep breath and responded, "James, that certainly won't be a problem. I love you as you are and I love golf too; but, since we're being totally honest with each other, you need to know that for the last five years I've been a hooker."

"Oh wow! I see," James replied. He looked down at the table, was quiet for a moment. Deep in serious thought then he added, "You know, it's probably because you're not keeping your wrists straight when you hit the ball."

Friday, April 29, 2016

PERILS OF USING A PORTA-POTTY

A spider bit an Australian man on his fucking cock while he was taking a crap

Dorina Lisson, my dear Aussie friend, sent me this report. Dorina noted in a previous BGB post that I could not remember my prom. She wrote, “I'm pretty sure you would remember very well if something bit you on your penis !!!”

For darling Dorina’s edification, I do seem to remember a few ladies nibbling my dick … or maybe that’s just a desperate attempt at memory recall. Shit, it’s a bitch to get old! The golden years can kiss my ass!!

As for that Aussie spider bite victim, redbacks must be a species of cocksucker spiders.

REDBACK BITES SYDNEY MAN’S PENIS IN PORTALOO

By Tyron Butson

The Daily Telegraph
April 27, 2016

SYDNEY, Australia -- A TRADIE has been taken to hospital after being bitten on the penis by a redback spider, while sitting on the toilet in Sydney’s south.

The man, known only as Jordan, was using a Portaloo on a building site on Civic Ave, Kogarah, when the spider bit him on his genitalia about 8.45am.

Paramedics were initially called to the scene, but a NSW Ambulance spokesman said the bitten man managed to make his own way to hospital for treatment.

“He’s somehow managed to get alternative transport to hospital,” he said.

St George Hospital confirmed a 21-year-old man arrived at the emergency department a short time later.

The injured man remains in a stable condition and is expected to be discharged later today.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In case you haven’t already figured it out, ‘tradie’ is Aussie slang for construction worker.

IT WASN’T THE TOOTH FAIRY, IT WAS THE CHEWING GUM

Jet Blue pilot blames high breathalyzer reading on gum he was chewing

A Jet Blue pilot is no longer a Jet Blue pilot because he flew a couple of flights while pickeled. When he blew two breathalyzer tests, he blamed the high reading on the gum he was chewing.

Nice try, but he might just as well have blamed it on the tooth fairy.

The former airline pilot checked himself into rehab and now works as a substitute school teacher earning $900 a month.

JET BLUE PILOT CHARGED WITH DRUNKEN FLYING ON TRIP FROM FLORIDA TO JFK AIRPORT

By John Marzulli

New York Daily News
April 27, 2016

It was cocktails in the cockpit for a JetBlue pilot busted for flying under the influence of alcohol after taking a planeload of passengers from Florida to Kennedy Airport, authorities said Wednesday.

Dennis Murphy, Jr., was selected for a random alcohol test on April 21, 2015, after his flight No. 584 from Orlando touched down with 151 passengers on board.

Murphy blew a .11 for blood-alcohol content on a breath testing device, according to the criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The 44-year-old pilot from Ramsey, N.J., was administered a second test 15 minutes later and registered a .091 reading, which is not a crime. To face criminal charges under federal law, a commercial pilot has to have blood-alcohol content of 0.10% or higher.

A separate FAA regulation limits pilots’ blood alcohol content to .04.

“During the walk to the onsite testing office at JFK Airport, Murphy’s face was red and he was chewing gum rapidly,” according to the complaint.

After Murphy was informed of the damning test results, he claimed the reading was caused by the gum, the complaint states.

Oddly, he also asked the tester why he was being checked for alcohol and not drugs.

Earlier the same day, Murphy had piloted Flight 583 from JFK to Orlando with 119 passengers on board.

The co-pilot who flew with Murphy that day told the agent the he observed him “drinking an unknown beverage from a cup before and during” both flights, the complaint says.

Murphy, who has been flying for JetBlue since January 2015, was grounded from flying immediately after flunking the breath test. He resigned from JetBlue before he was scheduled to face a disciplinary meeting last May.

A spokeswoman for the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office declined to say why prosecutors waited one year to bust Murphy.

“These are very serious charges,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Haggans said in court, adding that Murphy faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if he’s convicted.

Murphy was released on a $50,000 bond.

Airline spokesman Morgan Johnston said in a statement: “JetBlue has a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy.”

FAA regulations prohibit pilots from flying within eight hours of drinking alcohol or if they have a blood alcohol level of .04 to .09, but the feds do not require sanctions against the pilot. That decision is made by the airline, according to an FAA spokesman.


HOW THE DEMOGRAPHIC REVOLUTION HAS CREATED A NEW AMERICAN MAJORITY

Each day, the United States population increases by more than 8,000 people, and nearly 90 percent of that growth consists of people of color

Excerpted from the book “Brown is the New White”
By Steve Phillips

"People of color now comprise more than 37 percent of the U.S. population, greater than triple the 12 percent in 1965. The two fastest-growing groups have been Latinos and Asian Americans. In 1965 there were fewer than 9 million Latinos in the United States; by 2013 that number had soared to 54 million. During that same forty¬-eight-year span, the Asian American population has grown from 2 mil-lion to more than 18 million people. ...

"The country's demographic revolution over the past fifty years has given birth to a New American Majority. Progressive people of color now comprise 23 percent of all the eligible voters in America, and progressive Whites account for 28 percent of all eligible voters. Together, these constituencies make up 51 percent of the country's citizen voting age population, and that majority is getting bigger every single day. ...

"The New American Majority is growing larger every single day (every minute, actually). Each day, the size of the U.S. population increases by more than 8,000 people, and nearly 90 percent of that growth consists of people of color. To understand this startling reality, one must look at the rate of births and deaths, and the rise in immigration.

"In terms of births, as of 2011 the majority of babies born in America (50.4 percent) are now people of color. A baby is born every seven seconds, resulting in 12,343 births per day. At the other end of the age spectrum, the racial composition of the over-65 segment of the popula¬tion is quite different. Because of centuries of racially exclusionary im¬migration policies (see Chapter 3), the total U.S. population was nearly 90 percent White as recently as 1950. As a result, the current over-65 population is 78 percent White. Using that figure to estimate the ra¬cial breakdown of the country's deaths -- which occur at a rate of 6,646 per day (once every thirteen seconds) -- it's clear that while a majority of births are people of color, deaths are overwhelmingly White.

"What this means for net population growth, then, is that the White birth number of 6,048 new babies each day (49 percent of the babies born every day) are largely canceled out by the 5,204 White deaths ev¬ery day. For people of color, the 6,295 daily births (51 percent of all births) are only reduced by 1,442 deaths, leaving a net increase of 4,853 people of color every day.

"And then there are the immigration numbers. Implied, feared, but unstated in America's heated immigration debate is a remarkable pop¬ulation statistic -- more than 90 percent of all immigrants to America are people of color. In terms of legal immigration alone, 2,618 people are added to the U.S. population each day, nearly all of them people of color (reflecting the reality that most of the people outside of the United States are people of color). When those numbers are added to the net increase from births and deaths for people of color, the bottom line is that each and every day, 7,261 people of color are added to the U.S. population, in contrast to the White growth of 1,053 people."

EDITOR'S NOTE: It looks as though it won't be too long before whites will know what it is to be a minority.

BEYONCE’S BEEHIVE OF BOMBASTIC BUFFOONS

By Michelle Malkin

Townhall
April 27, 2016

Question: Why aren't liberal celebrities ever held accountable for stoking their unhinged fans' violent threats and stupidity — the same way Republican candidates are called on to disavow every last remote and random act of bad behavior of their supporters?

The double standards are as glaring as a glittering diva's Harry Winston diamonds.

I'm looking at you, Beyonce.

The singer dropped a highly incendiary album over the weekend titled "Lemonade" on her husband Jay-Z's failing music streaming service, Tidal. When last we heard from booty-shaking Beyonce, she was growling and cursing her way half-naked through her Black Panther anthem, "Formation," at the Super Bowl.

But Queen Bey ain't just settling for twerk-punctuated, fist-clenching, cop-bashing radical chic. The Black Lives Matters message is incidental this time to her real beef: cheating hubby Jay Z and his mistress(es?).

"Middle fingers up, put them hands high/ Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye," she rants before jeering that her adulterous partner "better call Becky with the good hair." Wielding a baseball bat, the designer gown-swathed star sashays down the street in a music video obliterating car windows and fire hydrants.

In case she isn't clear enough, she threatens: "Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks." Whack! Thwack! Bam!

Cue the pop star's bloodthirsty mob. Beyonce didn't just toot a dog whistle. She sounded the alarm for her wolf pack. So far, the rabid fans have virtually mauled two women and one teenager in their online witch hunt on Beyonce's behalf.

When fashion designer Rachel Roy took to Instagram to joke about her good hair after "Lemonade's" release, Beyonce's spittle-flecked fans, who call themselves the "Beehive," swarmed onto Roy's social media accounts. They littered Roy's Instagram comments with lemon and bumblebee emojis, for starters. Then, they quickly escalated to nasty death threats calling the ex-wife of entertainment mogul Damon Dash (Jay Z's former business partner) a "b—-h" and a "hoe" who is going to "get f—-ed up."

Stay classy, kids!

Roy was forced to turn her social media accounts private. But that didn't provide any protection for two other innocent bystanders in the Beehive's hysterical onslaught.

Rachel Roy's 16-year-old daughter, Ava, has also been subjected to blistering harassment online. A photo she posted on Instagram with her mom was littered with nasty insults calling her a "whore" and other unprintable vulgarities.

"R.I.P. to your mom," one menace jeered. "Tell your basic mutt face Mother to keep her legs closed to [a] married man," another lashed out (accompanied by 8 lemon emojis, of course).

If that weren't bad enough, Beyonce's low-information buffoons also confused cooking star Rachael Ray for Rachel Roy. Misplaced misogyny and bullying ensued. The chef's pretty Instagram pictures of spring vegetable soup and steak salad were inundated with f-bombs and body-shaming. The Beehivers took to Twitter to label Ray a "30-minute meal hoe" among other diatribes, which continue despite the attackers being told of the mistaken identity.

Ray, Roy. What difference does it make? Watch out, all you Rachel Reys and Rachel Ruys out there. You're next.

The bitter bees show no signs of letting up — and Beyonce's silence about the vicious vendetta of her swarm speaks volumes. Her own personal army of Bernard Goetzes now suspects British singer and former Jay-Z protege Rita Ora of being the other other woman. "Rita Ora must die" and "Rita Ora, I hope you die" are among the sweeter sentiments now clogging her social media accounts.

Twitter recently vowed to improve its policing of hate speech recently. But its commitment is as full of holes as a honeycomb. Loud-mouthed rapper Azaelia Banks got a pass just a few weeks ago after tweeting that former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin should be gang-raped. That tells you all you need to know about whether the politically correct micro-messaging platform will filter out The Queen's filthy minions.

So, the next time sanctimonious Hollywood lefties and social justice warriors in Silicon Valley blame the right for uncivil rhetoric and out-of-control online mobs, point them to Beyonce's raging beehive and tell 'em:

Buzz off.

GIVE ME YOUR HEIGHT AND POSITION

A blonde was flying in a two-seater airplane with her boyfriend. Suddenly her boyfriend, the pilot, has a heart attack and dies. The blonde, frantic, grabs the mike and calls out a May Day.

“May Day! May Day! Help me! Help me! The pilot had a heart attack and is dead and I don't know how to fly. Someone help me! Please help me!”

She then hears a voice on the radio saying: “This is Air Traffic Control and I hear you loud and clear. I will talk you through this and get you back on the ground. I've had a lot of experience with this kind of problem. Now, just take a deep breath, stay calm and everything will be fine! Now give me your height and position.”

She then says, “I'm 5'4" and I support Hillary.”

“Huh? Hmm, now that changes everything,” says the voice on the radio. “Listen carefully and repeat after me: Our Father who art in heaven …..”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

DESPERATELY SCRAPING THE BOTTOM OF THE CANDIDATE BARREL

Ted Cruz chooses Carly Fiorina as his running mate

Talk about scraping the bottom of the candidate barrel, Ted Cruz announced Wednesday that he has chosen Carly Fiorina to be his running mate.

After getting swamped by Trump in Tuesday’s primaries, the selection of Fiorina appears to be a last minute desperate move by Cruz to win over the crucial women’s vote.

Fiorina was a failed political candidate in California. She was a failed Republican candidate for President this primary go-around. Cruz has clearly scraped the bottom of the barrel. The only thing that can be said for Fiorina is that she is two or three times as smart as Sarah Palin, Senator McCain’s former running mate.

Palin didn’t work for John McCain and Fiorina won’t work for Ted Cruz, even though she is much smarter than Palin.

Now you can add ‘Desperate Ted’ to Lying Ted.

YOU KNOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS IN DEEP SHIT WHEN CHARLES KOCH OF THE KOCH BROTHERS SAYS HILLARY CLINTON COULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN DONALD TRUMP OR TED CRUZ

Charles Koch lambasts both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, saying they’re both terrible role models and that he doesn’t know how he and his brother could support either one of them

The multibillionaire Koch Brothers, Charles and David, and their firm Koch Industries, have been longtime supporters of and donors to Republican political causes and candidates. Ah, but not in this election cycle. They are thoroughly disgusted with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Charles Koch even went so far as to say that Hillary Clinton could be a better president than Trump or Cruz.

When ABC news correspondent Jonathan Karl asked Charles Koch whether Hillary would be a better president than another Republican this time around, he replied, “It’s possible.”

When Karl asked, “You couldn't see yourself supporting Hillary Clinton, could you?,” Koch replied, “Well, I -- that -- her -- we would have to believe her actions will be quite different than her rhetoric, let me put it that way.”

Here are some of the other things Koch said during the interview by Karl:

[On Trump’s proposal to put a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States] Well, obviously that's antithetical to our approach, but what was worse was this we'll have them all register. I mean, this isn't Nazi Germany. I mean, that's monstrous as I said at the time. So, obviously we totally oppose that.

[On Cruz’s proposal to defeat ISIS by making the sand glow and carpet bombing] Well, that's gotta be hyperbole, but I mean that a candidate, whether they believe it or not, would think that appeals to the American people. This is frightening.

[Why he probably won't back the GOP nominee] Well, I'll tell you why. We said here are the issues. You've got to be like Ronald Reagan and compete on making the country better rather than tearing down your opponents. And right off the bat, they didn't do it. More of these personal attacks and pitting one person against the other, that's the message you're sending the country. That's the way you should -- you're role models and you're terrible role models. So how -- I don't know how we could support him.

We read-- I read, oh, we've given millions to this one, millions to that one, and millions to oppose Trump. We've done none of that. We haven't put a penny in any of these campaigns, pro or con.


When Charles Koch says such things, you know the Republican Party is in deep shit. In my opinion, Trump and Cruz have destroyed the Republican Party and it will take years for the GOP to recover, that is if it ever does.

SEXUAL EMERGENCY GETS IRAQI ASYLUM SEEKER AT LEAST 10 YEARS IN AUSTRIAN PRISON

Married migrant who raped a ten-year-old boy at a swimming pool because he had not had sex for four months and it was 'a sexual emergency' pleads guilty in Austrian court

By Corey Charlton

Daily Mail
April 27, 2016

An Iraqi asylum seeker has admitted to raping a 10-year-old boy at a public swimming pool because he was having a 'sexual emergency' after being separated from his wife for four months.

The 20-year-old, who has a child of his own, reportedly grabbed the youngster and dragged him into a changing cabin before assaulting him at the pools in Vienna.

Afterwards, the man identified only by his first name and initial, Amir A, had carried on with his swim and was practising on the diving board as if nothing had happened when police arrived.

The badly injured youngster however had raised the alarm with a lifeguard, who had in turn called the police and the boy's mother.

After he was arrested, he initially claimed that the teenager who had been acting as a translator for him had encouraged him to have sex with the boy and had told him it was okay.

He also claimed not to know how old his victim really was, Kurier reported.

He reportedly faces 10 years in jail, but the court case was adjourned after it was revealed that the schoolboy was suffering serious psychological problems.

The psychiatric report is now being prepared, and if the serious psychological consequences are confirmed, then the possible jail sentence could be increased to 15 years on a charge of aggravated GBH.

During the court hearing the man said that he still wanted to bring his young wife and child to Austria, even though he was now facing jail and his asylum application had not been granted.

Asked why he had come to Vienna, he admitted it was because he wanted to improve his economic situation.

When the case reopens after the reports have been prepared, it will take place behind closed doors after a request from both the prosecution and the defence.

Prosecutors said they wanted to spare details being revealed that might embarrass the victim, while the defence said they wanted to avoid a public debate over their client’s sexual orientation.

Since his arrest, Amir A. has been held in solitary confinement and under tight security in Vienna’s Josefstadt jail, so as to protect him from other prisoners.

Local media have also reported police looked into his asylum claim and discovered he was the son of a wealthy businessman who had come to Europe because he had heard there was a better life in Sweden.

However, he was unable to get any further than Munich, and after deciding that the conditions in Austria were better, he returned and applied for asylum once he arrived in Vienna.

The court heard his father had booked him a flight from Baghdad to Istanbul, and he had then boarded a ship from Turkey to Greece.

Upon arriving, he had taken a taxi to a refugee centre and then followed the masses heading northwards into Europe.

He said that on the entire journey to Austria he had not been stopped or checked once, even on the Austrian Hungarian border.

He told the court: 'I wanted to build a future for my family. I decided for one week to the next that I would go.

EDITOR’S NOTE: He should have stuck to fucking goats.

SEX-STARVED OHIO MOM FACING UP TO 3.5 YEARS IN PRISON

Mother, 47, pleads guilty to sending nude photos and videos to her daughter's 14-year-old ex-boyfriend and asking him to have sex with her

By Ollie Gillman

Daily Mail
April 27, 2016

A mother has pleaded guilty to sending nude photos and videos of herself to her daughter's 14-year-old ex-boyfriend.

Dodi Wade, 47, admitted sending the lewd messages to the boy's cellphone and asking him to reply with naked pictures of himself.

She also asked the teenager to have sex with her several times during the explicit text message conversations.

Wade, from Akron, Ohio, sent the graphic videos to the boy between November 22 and December 25 last year.

The teenager's mother trawled through the boy's old phone on January 5 and found the sexually explicit messages and videos.

She reported the texts and footage to the police and gave the cell phone to investigators.

Wade was arrested in January and yesterday pleaded guilty to four counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and one count of importuning, Cleveland.com reported.

She will be sentenced on May 31 and could face up to three-and-a-half years in prison.

Wade will have to register as Tier I sex offender, which means she will have to annually report her address to a county sheriff for the next 15 years.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I wonder if the little fart got to diddle Dodi’s daughter?

AMERICA IS SO FUCKED IT CAN’T EVEN NAME A SCHOOL WITHOUT AN ONLINE FIRESTORM

After the Austin, Texas school board wanted to rename the Robert E. Lee Elementary school, 45 people wanted to name the school after Donald Trump, 34 wanted to keep the original name, and eight wanted to call it the "Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance"

By Harry Cheadle

VICE News
April 26, 2016

I think about the ancient Romans sometimes. I wonder when they knew they were fucked. I picture some togaed stereotype waking up in his marbled villa, looking out at the Roman road, the Colosseum squatting in the distance, thinking about the evening's party, whether it will become a wine-lubricated orgy or just sort of peter out into a long political argument over roasted boar. Did our imaginary Roman feel, as he took his customary morning piss into a pot, that things were in decline, that time and fate would grind everything that he sees into dust, and did he think that maybe that was all right because all of it—the bread, the circuses, the intricately decorated vases that, come to think of it, seem rather derivative of last season's intricately decorated vases—was sort of crappy? That maybe Rome had had some good ideas back in the day (the aqueduct, for instance) but now most Romans just sort of lay around arguing about Greek plays or watching slaves from far-off locales getting devoured by lions, and what was the point of it all?

Maybe you feel like that Roman sometimes. Not the bit about the piss-pot, but the sense that things are wrong and can't be fixed, not really, without the aid of some barbarians at the gate. I know I felt like that when I read about Austin's Robert E. Lee Elementary school.

So here's the deal: A school board in Austin decided that it was not a great idea that a place where children gathered was named after a general who fought his own country's military to defend the right to own slaves. This sort of renaming is called "political correctness" and many people are against it, for whatever reason. Anyway, the school board asked for recommendations on a new name, at which point the whole thing just sort of went to hell. Forty-five people wanted to name the school after Donald Trump. Thirty-four wanted to keep the original name. Eight were in favor of calling it the "Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance," "Barack Hussein Obama Elementary School" got three votes, and single-vote suggestions included "Bee Movie," "Bleeding Heart Liberal," "Ayn Rand Elementary," "Boaty McBoatface Elementary," "Schoolie McSchoolface," "Schooly McSchoolerson," "Dwayne Johnson Elementary," "Flava-Flave Elementary," "IGNORANCE IS BLISS ELEMENTARY," "Politically Correct Elementary #1," "Adam Lanza's School of Fun," "Keep Austin Weird," and the list goes on.

The board is going to ignore all of this, of course—they can call it whatever they want, and they'll probably pick a good, middle-of-the-road name because naming a school is not all that difficult. Just call it Abraham Lincoln Elementary, or if there's already an Abraham Lincoln school in town, go with George Washington, Ben Franklin, Frederick Douglas, Dwight Eisenhower, Harriet Tubman, or some shit like that. Or just number the schools to strip them of all potential controversy. But it's 2016, so everything has to be a goddamn argument, complete with contentious community meetings and, according to the local NBC affiliate, increased security at the school. Because of course it's always possible that someone will be so incensed over a school name that they will harm children.

Then of course there's the internet, which turns every local happening of note into sharable content. The short news stories from Austin outlets spawned derivatives with optimized-but-also-wrong-in-some-way headlines ranging from "YUGE backfire? Effort to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary going awry" to "Texans vote to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary after Donald Trump, Hitler and Adam Lanza" to "After School Drops 'Robert E. Lee' Nickname, Voters Pick 'Donald J. Trump' Instead" to "Boaty McBoatface, meet Donald J. Trump, er, or Adolf Hitler Elementary School."

My question is, doesn't this sort of thing wear us all down after a while? The pointless online bickering, the aggregation, the noise that greets us every time we glance at our news feeds. Is there any empty text box that isn't taken as an invitation to spew hate and lame jokes? Is there any debate that is resolved quietly and privately, without the participation of literally every single person in the entire world? Can we just stop broadcasting our every thought about every subject and shut the fuck up for a single second? No?

EDITOR’S NOTE: When it comes to Austin, the Berkeley of Texas, the "Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance" works for me.

The school board in Houston has gone hog wild in erasing any vestige of the Confederacy. Board member Yolanda Jones says:

I stand with the majority of HISD Trustees who voted to re-name all schools in the district tied to the Confederate legacy. ….. As an African American, I’m just as offended by the people these schools are named after as the Confederate flag itself. Moving forward, I would stand up and vote to change the names of these schools again and again because it is the moral and just thing to do.

Jones also says that those who oppose the name changes “expose the ugly racial divide that exists in our country and our community.”

Thus a small minority – African-Americans – are revising American history and, according to Jones, any one opposed is an ugly racist.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

POLITICALLY CORRECT RUSH TO OBLIVION

President Andrew Jackson will disappear from our currency in 2020 rather than in 2030

When it was first announced that President Andrew Jackson would be replaced by a woman on the face of the $20 bill, it was revealed that the new bills would not go into circulation until 2030.

Now it turns out that the new $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman on its face, the new $10 bill featuring Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul on its back, and the new $5 bill featuring Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. on its back will go into circulation in 2020 rather than in 2030.

While the engraving for all three bills may not be completed four years from now, you can bet the new Twenty with Harriet Tubman will be ready by then in time for the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Never mind that slavery abolitionist Harriet Tubman had absolutely nothing to do with the women's suffrage movement.

Andrew Jackson has long been the target of the political correct crowd because he ran the Indians off their lands and because he was a slave owner. If owning slaves is grounds for wiping presidents off of our currency then take a look at this: George Washington owned 317 slaves, while Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson each owned 200 slaves.

If slave ownership is a reason to wipe presidents off of the face of our currency, then why leave Washington on the $1 bill and Jefferson on the $2 bill?

Initially, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wanted to replace Alexander Hamilton with a woman on the $10 bill. Ironically, Hamilton never owned any slaves. He did however marry Elizabeth Schuyler, the member of a prominent New York slaveholding family. I suppose that made him guilty by association. But I think his real reason to get rid of Hamilton was that there are more $10 bills in circulation than Twenties.

In order to justify the changes to our currency, Lew said, “America’s currency makes a statement about who we are and what we stand for as a nation.”

Now I never knew that. I always thought our currency honored prominent Americans like our first president, our first Treasury Secretary (Hamilton) and a great scientist, inventor and statesman (Benjamin Franklin), and not a depiction of who we are and what we stand for as a nation.

It appears to me as though Lew is rushing Andrew Jackson to oblivion because by having the new Harriet Tubman $20 bill ready for circulation in four years instead of 14 years, it reduces the chances for Congress to reverse this politically correct nonsense.

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST FORMER FORT WORTH OFFICER

By Mitch Mitchell

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
April 22, 2016

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Tarrant County district attorney's office has dropped charges against a former Fort Worth police officer who was accused of sexually assaulting prostitutes in 2013.

Douglas V. Campbell, 36, of Fort Worth found out Wednesday that prosecutors will not pursue the case, said Jim Lane, Campbell's attorney.

"He was relieved to find out that the cases had been dropped," Lane said. "His reputation had been smeared and now the system has cleared him. He told everyone from the beginning that he did not do this crime and the criminal justice system has agreed."

Campbell was accused of sexually assaulting a prostitute, threatening another that he would take her to jail if she did not engage in sexual activity, and stealing $2 from an abandoned vehicle.

Campbell, who joined the department in 2007, was fired by then-Chief Jeff Halstead in January 2014.

"Prosecutors determined current evidentiary issues in this case do not support the decision to proceed with these charges at this time," said Eric Nickols, a Tarrant County prosecutor.

Campbell did plead guilty to theft of property under $50 by a public servant/elderly, court records show, and was sentenced to a year of deferred adjudication probation. If he completes the terms of his probation, the theft charge will not appear on his record.

In the theft case, investigators were conducting surveillance on Campbell as he was dispatched to a stranded vehicle blocking traffic.

They saw him talk with a woman who drove up to the scene and then take $2 from the stranded vehicle and give it to her, an arrest warrant affidavit stated. Police said Campbell told investigators he was sexually involved with the woman.

"He was man enough to say, 'Yeah, I took the $2,' " Lane said. "He gave the money to a woman who had a carload of kids with her so that she could take them to McDonald's. Had he not been in uniform, it would have been like getting a traffic ticket."

Lane said the state's case against Campbell rested on the accusations made by the two prostitutes police interviewed. According to court records, two fellow officers alerted the special investigations unit in August 2013 that an officer was rumored to be having sex with prostitutes in and around the 2100 block of South Riverside Drive.

Investigators began conducting surveillance on Campbell and interviewing women with whom he had contact.

Two women who accused Campbell were not consistent with their stories, Lane said.

"I think the prosecutor realized that he could not prove this case," Lane said. "It became pretty apparent that if something happened to these two women, it was not Douglas Campbell who did it."

Campbell will try to get his job back, Lane said.

"I'm sorry it took more than two years for Campbell to get his name cleared," Lane said.

THE ‘NINJA BURGLAR’ IS HEADED TO PRISON AFTER A CAREER OF RAPE AND ROBBERY

By Allie Conti

VICE News
April 22, 2016

Robert Costanzo worked at night. He dressed in all black, covering everything except for his eyes, and slipped into upscale homes with the aid of a ladder. Often, he robbed people as they slept, tip-toeing into their bedrooms and pocketing their valuables with a deftness that earned him a nickname: the "Ninja Burglar."

This month, the 46-year-old confessed to more than 100 burglaries around the tri-state area to the tune of $4 million. And while Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon took care to point out his"reign of terror" was finally over, what the prosecutor revealed about Costanzo during a Wednesday press conference was far more terrifying than mere thievery. Apparently, the man who's been lurking in people's houses since 2007, and has now struck a plea deal with authorities, is a real-life boogeyman and serial rapist.

"This is not the case of Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief," McMahon said in a press conference Wednesday.

Costanzo's first known crime was sexual assault. More specifically, when he was 19, he attacked a Staten Island grandmother at knifepoint before fleeing with her valuables. After that, he got a job near Orlando, Florida, as a Toyota salesman. During his flirtation with legitimate employment, which lasted about a year, he raped four more women during burglaries, the DA said. In one instance, he left enough physical evidence that a cop called his job asking questions, and he fled again––this time to New York.

He didn't exactly clean up his act there, according to the Daily Beast. In 1991, during a drug deal gone wrong, Costanzo got into a shootout with police. That's how he was busted for the rapes, although he was only convicted of one, because the confession he made was deemed largely inadmissible. He got lucky again when he was sentenced to a maximum of 19 years in prison but managed parole after just 12.

It was in 2007 that Constanzo started the streak that earned him his moniker. The man was suspected of 14 robberies before he met Phil Chiolo, the Staten Island resident who made him famous. The two had a confrontation mid-break-in, and Constanzo hit the man with nunchucks. The frightened homeowner struck back with a steak knife and lived to tell the tale. "The remarkable thing was that he did not display any physical pain," he told the Staten Island Register. "And the handle [of the knife] went all the way down."

From then on, residents of the wealthy enclaves of New York's outer borough were on edge, to say the least. Community meetings were held, security patrols set up, and cameras recorded cars going in and out of neighborhoods. Investigators in New York and New Jersey started to piece together the possibility that seemingly separate spates of crimes in their respective jurisdictions were the work of the same criminal.

But the Ninja Burglar never felt behind a single fingerprint or footprint that might help prove that theory. And typically, when the ever-cautious Costanzo saw a safe inside someone's house, he would come back later with the tools to open it. That is, until one night in April 2014, when he roused a 66-year-old Connecticut woman from her sleep and tried to get her to open a vault containing $75,000 worth of jewelry. At some point during the 20-minute ordeal, he made a crucial error in the form of a phone call. Police later checked nearby cell towers and tracked down a getaway driver who picked Costanzo up––and eventually gave him up to cops.

About six months later, police brought the burglar in on an unrelated charge of assaulting a police officer. They took his DNA sample and matched it to some evidence he'd left behind when robbing the Connecticut woman's safe. From there, Costanzo was turned over to authorities in New York, and the confessions started rolling out.

Just as he did with the rapes, Costanzo got lucky again. Despite his so-called reign of terror, he was charged with a mere three counts of second-degree burglary on Wednesday as part of a plea deal (and because of statutes of limitations).

At the time of his arrest, the man with a prolific history of raping and robbing was living the domestic high life on Staten Island with a woman and a kid. "I love you," Costanzo mouthed to three women and a man as he was leaving the courtroom after pleading guilty Thursday. He'll be sentenced on June 14 and faces 25 years in prison with five years of supervised release.

MARINE INFAMOUS FOR URINATING ON TALIBAN CORPSES HELPS FOIL GIRLFRIEND’S ALLEGED HIT-MAN PLOT

By Travis M. Andrews

The Washington Post
April 25, 2016

In 2012, a Marine Corps staff sergeant was court-martialed for being among a group of snipers who urinated on the fresh corpses of Taliban soldiers. In 2016, police in Tennessee say he saved a three-year-old from being fatherless.

What might seem like the redemption plot from a Hollywood drama is the story of Joseph Chamblin, the former Marine who worked with the Tennessee police to foil an alleged attempted murder.

The story is complicated. It involves an attractive young woman trying to get custody of her son, her alleged search for a hit man and a staged death.

Chamblin's career had been going well in 2011, the Military Times reported. He was chosen by the leaders of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines to be the scout sniper platoon commander in Afghanistan. The next January, it seemed likely he would be promoted to gunnery sergeant. Then, a video surfaced. In it, he and three other scout snipers stand over corpses of Taliban soldiers, and they're urinating on the bodies.

The footage sparked outrage around the world. The Atlantic suggested that "The Afghan video is of particular concern because it has the possibility of becoming one of the dominant images of the war."

"This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms," former Afghan president Hamid Karzai told the New York Times.

In an interview with WSOC, Chamblin said he did it as a means of psychological warfare, implying that they defiled the carcasses so the soldiers wouldn't reap any rewards of the afterlife.

"Because of their cultural belief that if an infidel touches the bodies, they're not going to Mecca or going to paradise," Chamblin said. "So now these insurgents see what happens when they mess with us."

When asked if he would do it again, he didn't pause.

"Yep."

The Marine Corps said Chamblin pleaded guilty to wrongful desecration, failure to properly supervise junior Marines and posing for photos with battlefield casualties. Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, who oversaw the Chamblin case, agreed before the court-martial to limit his punishment to the loss of $500 in pay and reduction in rank by one grade.

Seven other Marines faced similar ramifications. According to the blog of Sharyl Attkisson, former CBS and CNN correspondent and author of the bestselling "Stonewalled," former Staff Sgt. Edward Deptola pleaded guilty of taking photos of the desecration and was reduced in rank. Former Sgt. Derek Mages pleaded guilty to urinating on human remains and received a less than honorable discharge. Capt. James Clement, who was manning the radio thus not present for the video recording, received an honorable discharge. Former Cpl. Matthew Bostrom was reduced in rank. Former Sgt. Jacob Pope pled guilty to urinating on human remains and received a letter of reprimand. Several days after the video was recorded, he lost his leg, which allowed him to medically retire.

One, former Sgt. Robert Richards, pleaded guilty and was demoted to corporal before being granted a medical retirement with an honorable discharge. In 2014, he was found dead in his house in Jacksonville, N.C., the New York Times reported. He was 28. The cause of death was an accidental overdose on Opana, which caused oxymorphone toxicity, the Marine Corps Times reported. After being court-martialed, Chamblin left the Marines and co-authored a book titled "Into Infamy: A Marine Sniper's War" with fellow former Marine Milo Afong about both his experience in the war and with the video.

Following the media firestorms over the video and his book, meeting Laura Buckingham must have felt like a fresh start, a breath of air. Buckingham was attractive, educated and ran her own bakery. Her customers and her town loved her. After all, she was something of a local celebrity in New Albany, Ind. -- just last fall, she was on the cover of Southern Indiana Living with her son. She was also a veteran who could understand Chamblin's experiences. The two fell for each other, and soon Buckingham was pregnant again.

Chamblin must have felt like a fresh start for Buckingham, too. In July 2013, she had finally opened bakery named Bread and Breakfast in downtown New Albany, after years of selling baked goods at farmers' markets and from roadside stands. Six hundred people attended the grand opening, and she wrote on the bakery's Facebook page, "The bread has been flying directly out of the oven, our gluten free crowd is expanding and the word is out about our bacon cinnamon rolls. We have a dream team here at the bakery."

But that same month, she ended her relationship with Bradley Sutherland, her son's father, the Military Times reported. It had been a rocky relationship, and a rocky time in Buckingham's life. She allegedly hit Sutherland, giving him a black eye. The two became engaged anyway.

Much like her bakery, Chamblin felt like a calm patch on a rough sea. Even Sutherland, then removed from the relationship, liked him.

"She told me, 'I've been dating this guy for a little while now and I want to introduce him to [our son],'" Sutherland told the Daily Beast. "From the get-go, I liked him . . . I trusted him."

So, with them together, she focused on her work and shared custody of her son.

After returning from her second tour in Iraq in 2008 -- earning a Good Conduct Medal and an Iraq Campaign Medal -- kneading dough became an outlet, a relief. She baked it for family members while working on her second degree, this one in anthropology, from the University of Louisville. When she became pregnant with her son, she baked even more.

"When I was pregnant with my son I had an insane nesting instinct," she told the Courier-Journal. "I was baking, cooking and cleaning every minute. It never went away. I have obsessively baked ever since."

Then, when preparing to move her bakery into a bigger space, she vanished. "When she closed the doors, she didn't tell her employees," Brittany Enoch, the owner of Classic Cuts barber shop, a neighboring business, told WLKY. "They just heard from a text message, and she was gone."

She had gone off to Tennessee with Chamblin, leaving everything at home, including her three-year-old son, the Daily Beast reported. While she still made weekly trips to see the boy, she was scared of losing custody. The trips, which took hours each way, were wearing on her anyhow, the Military Times reported.

While she wasn't baking fresh loaves of bread, she was busy -- busy allegedly trying to find someone to murder Sutherland.

The first person she allegedly turned to was Chamblin.

At first, when she allegedly asked him at the beginning of the year to make Sutherland "go away," Chamblin thought she was kidding. A dark joke, no doubt, but a joke nonetheless. Slowly, though, her requests allegedly grew more detailed as she wondered aloud about the specifics -- Where would it happen? How could Sutherland be killed? -- and he began secretly recording their conversations, the Military Times reported.

Asking Chamblin might have seemed sensible, given his background in the military. In fact, Roane County Deputy Sheriff Tim Phillips told the Daily Beast, "She knew he'd been in the military in the past, that he was a Marine Corps sniper, and she felt that maybe he had friends that he had served with and would make [Sutherland] disappear."

Chamblin brought those recordings to the Louisville police, who had a plan in mind.

Days later, Buckingham sat with a stranger and allegedly haggled over the price of murdering her ex-boyfriend.

"I want him gone," she said, according to the Daily Beast, quoting the tapes. "I want him out of the picture."

Was she sure? Yes. Did she want it look like an accident, because that's going to cost a little more? Yes. Was she sure she was sure? Yes, she allegedly said.

Her alleged mistake was a grave one -- the man she spoke with wasn't a hit man, but an undercover agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The police immediately contacted Sutherland.

"When they brought me down to the police station and told me about this, the first thing I said is, "I'm being punked,'" Sutherland told the Daily Beast.

Beyond the simple fact that his wife wanted to kill him, what she was willing to pay stuck a nerve. (Most outlets report that price at $3,000, though the Courier-Journal reports it as $30,000.)

"My life's only worth $3,000?" he told the Daily Beast in an interview. "It's like a (expletive) used car lot. Like bring us your tax check and we'll get you a car -- only this is more like bring us your tax check, and we'll assassinate your ex-fiancee."

But that isn't what hurt the most.

The police decided to stage Sutherland's death, fooling Buckingham into thinking the plan had gone off without a hitch, so she would pay the remainder of the fee.

"When the guy went to show the photos of my dead body -- my son's right there," Sutherland said. "The fact that she would let a hired killer into the house while my son is there hurts me more than taking an attempt on my life."

On Feb. 24, Buckingham was arrested and brought to jail in Roane County, Tenn., which is about 40 miles west of Knoxville. She was charged with criminal intent to commit first-degree murder, and her bail was set at $150,000, according to a press release from the sheriff's office and the local prosecutor.

Sutherland claims his ex-girlfriend and alleged would-be killer suffered from PTSD, from her time in the battlefield. He said one time he received a call from Buckingham's mother, Debra, who told him that Buckingham had destroyed the apartment, "and there was a shotgun and chairs everywhere," according to the Daily Beast. He also told Military Times that she was "dealing with some demons" after her time in the Marines.

Because of Chamblin's actions, his former girlfriend, Laura Buckingham, is due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 2.

Her son remains in New Albany with Sutherland.

"I would like her to be in jail for a while for my personal comfort," Sutherland said. "I haven't slept much."

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looks like Sutherland, the intended victim, is trying to get Buckingham off by claiming she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

As for pissing on the Taliban corpses, Chamblin’s biggest mistake was letting the incident be videotaped. During WW2, Japanese corpses were often defiled by pissed off GIs. Those incidents were just not recorded and no one was punished for it.

As for this story, it seems like a great plot for a Hollywood or TV movie.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: PRESIDENT OBAMA IS LAST MAN WE SHOULD HEED

Obama displayed contempt for British voters and left little doubt that he sees the special relationship with Britain as a one-way street

Daily Mail
April 23, 2016

The tone was patronising, the language menacing – and the message not only hypocritical but, frankly, insulting.

Certainly, Barack Obama has every right to say he thinks it’s in America’s best interests for Britain to remain in the EU, if that is what he believes.

But he has no business to come here and preach that submission to Brussels is good for the people of the UK.

By arguing that a Britain outside the EU would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a trade deal, to Number 10’s delight, Mr Obama displayed contempt for voters and left little doubt that he sees the special relationship as a one-way street.

Has he forgotten he leads a nation founded to proclaim independence from overseas control, whose citizens died for the right to make their own laws?

Will he not admit that the US wouldn’t agree in a million years to join a body like the EU, putting the Supreme Court in Washington under the thumb of foreign judges? Or that freedom-loving America wouldn’t tolerate for a second the statist edicts spewing daily from Brussels?

Why, then, does he abuse the UK’s hospitality by urging Britons to remain in a relationship his own people would never countenance?

Mr Obama’s grasp of history is shaky, too, if he believes the EU can take credit for seven decades of relative peace.

Yes, a new spirit of friendship between European nations sprang up after 1945. But this had far more to do with memories of the horrors of two world wars than with any Brussels institution.

No, the true peacekeeper has surely been Nato, whose shield protected the continent from the Soviet Union’s might during the Cold War – while our intelligence-sharing arrangements, on which our security from terrorism depend, have nothing to do with the EU.

Which brings us to Mr Obama’s own sorry record as Commander-in-Chief and architect of America’s foreign policy.

This is the man who made way for the rise of IS by his reckless withdrawal from Iraq. He has failed even to honour his pledge to close Guantanamo Bay. And his chief foreign policy ‘success’ has been a deal with terrorist-sponsoring Iran.

In the spirit of ‘friends who have no fear of each other’, to borrow his words, aren’t we entitled to ask why Britain should take advice from this President on how to conduct our own affairs?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just another Obama foreign policy blunder. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the leaders of nations allied with the U.S. talk about our president behind his back.

TOWN POLICE FORCE QUITS

By Bob Walsh

Ok, I grant you, the police force of the teeming metropolis of Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, consists of one appointed Marshall and three part-time volunteer officers, but still it is worthy of note.

They resigned immediately before the new mayor, Jane Newberry, was sworn in. The resignations allegedly were caused by policy differences with the incoming mayor. The mayor denies that allegation.

The town of 700 will, however, not be totally unprotected. Both the El Paso County and Teller County S O will provide police services until a new town Marshall can be appointed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This tiny town reminds me of Cabazon, California which in the 1960’s consisted of a poker palace and several dozen residents. It had two cops, a chief and a sergeant.

On one occasion, the two were at the scene of a homicide in one of the homes. Not only were the chief and the sergeant standing over the corpse, but just about everyone who lived in Cabazon was there beside them. Suddenly the chief gets a call of a drunk at the poker palace. He and the sergeant rushed out of the house to answer the drunk call, leaving the town’s residents at the now contaminated crime scene gawking at the body.

On another occasion, I was passing through a ticket-taking entrance of the Los Angeles Coliseum. I had gone there for a championship boxing match. I noticed somewhat of a disturbance over by a nearby ticket-taker. It was the Cabazon police chief with his khaki uniform and four stars on each epaulette, trying to con his way in free. I watched for a while, laughing out loud, as were a bunch of other people. I don’t know whether he was finally able to mooch his way in or not, but I sort of doubt it because the ticket-taker was not the least bit impressed by the uniform, police badge and glittering stars.

So when a one or two-man police force quits, it's probably no consequential loss!

WOMAN STRIPS NAKED ON DOWNTOWN L.A. STREET AFTER MULTI-COUNTY POLICE PURSUIT

By Tracy Bloom and Erin Myers

KTLA 5
April 23, 2016

A female driver accused of leading police and CHP officers on a wild pursuit through Los Angeles and Ventura counties Friday night was arrested after stripping off her clothes when the chase ended, authorities said.

The incident began about 10:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of Loma Vista Avenue in Pasadena when authorities received an assault with a deadly weapon call, according to Lt. Vasken Gourdikan of the Pasadena Police Department.

“She also vandalized some property at the residence,” he told reporters at a Saturday morning news conference. "Apparently, she perhaps rammed a few of the cars that were parked on the property and broke her parent's house window with a brick."

Officers arrived at the location and found that a woman in a verbal altercation with her parents had allegedly attempted to run over at least one of them, according to Gourdikan. She missed, and neither parent was injured.

The woman briefly fled the scene in the family's SUV before returning to the home. She was spotted by Pasadena police officers, who initiated the pursuit, according to Gourdikan.

The female driver entered the freeway on the westbound 134 Freeway at the 101 interchange, at which time police called off the pursuit, he said.

Gourdikan added they decided to stop the chase "due to the fact that we knew who we were pursing, we had a named suspect."

Her vehicle was later spotted on the 101 Freeway by a California Highway Patrol officer, who began pursuing her.

The chase went down the 101 and into Ventura County. After heading through Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley, she made her way back to L.A. County.

The driver eventually stopped her vehicle in downtown L.A. in the area of Third and Main streets, where she tried to get into a bar, according to Gourdikan.

The Los Angeles Police Department was called in to assist.

LAPD officers responded to the 100 block of Third Street and detained the driver. By that point, she had removed her clothing, according to LAPD Lt. Lozano.

Video from the scene showed the naked woman, with her clothes apparently on the sidewalk. She was barefoot.

The driver was then taken into custody by Pasadena police, Lozano said.

She was later identified by Gourdikan as 32-year-old Simone Gonzalez, a resident of Pasadena.

Gonzalez was arrested on a number of felony charges including assault with a deadly weapon, evading and reckless driving, he said. Police Lt. Jesse Carrillo later said the suspect was also
facing a vandalism charge.

Gonzalez was booked by Pasadena police just before 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Her bail was set at $75,000 bail, L.A. County inmate records.

No injuries were reported.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This reminds me of a call I received in the middle of the night of a naked woman in the esplanade on Broadway when I was a Galveston police officer around 1950. I never realized there were so many police in the Galveston area. Every Galveston police car showed up. Every sheriff’s unit showed up. Two DPS troopers and a county constable arrived. And a Texas City police unit showed up from about 20 miles away. Several units arrived with emergency lights on and siren blaring. A Galveston fire truck showed up with every firefighter on duty that night hanging on.

Someone joked that if we gave them enough time, a couple of Houston police units would probably arrive from some 50 miles away.

The best part was that we never found any naked woman.

RAISING A PHONY ISSUE OF WHITE COPS VERSUS BLACKS OVER THE TRAGIC DEATH OF TAMIR RICE

12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot by a white cop not because he was black, but because he was pointing what the officer thought was a real gun at him

When two Cleveland cops responded to a high-priority call of a boy pointing a gun at people in a park, they came to a screeching halt just in front of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Rookie officer Timothy Loehmann fired at the boy immediately upon exiting the cop car. What Loehmann saw was a boy pointing a gun at him. Unfortunately, the ‘gun’ turned out to be a plastic pellet gun.

The citizen who called 911 told the call-taker that a young boy was pointing a gun at people and that the gun might be a toy gun. However, the dispatcher failed to mention that to Loehmann and his partner.

The city of Cleveland has now settled a wrongful death suit for the shooting of Tamir to the tune of $6 million. I will not criticize that. The dispatcher should have told the officers that the gun might be a toy gun. Furthermore the officers used a terrible tactic when they stopped their car right in front of Tamir. Had they taken care in their approach, they probably could have handled the situation without resorting to deadly force even if the gun had been a real one.

That tragic November 2014 shooting has been exploited as an example of white cops routinely shooting blacks. You can bet that under the same circumstances, had Tamir been white, Loehmann would have shot him just as quickly.

Shame, shame on those who are raising a phony issue of white cops versus blacks over the tragic death of Tamir Rice. And shame on the media for fueling the flames of hatred against the police by continually reminding us that it was a white cop who shot a 12-year-old black boy. Why can’t the media just say that a cop shot a 12-year-old boy?

CLEVELAND SETTLES LAWSUIT OVER TAMIR RICE SHOOTING FOR $6M

By Mark Gillispie

Associated Press
April 25, 2016

The city on Monday reached a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit over the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy shot by a white police officer while playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center.

An order filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland said the city will pay out $3 million this year and $3 million the next. There was no admission of wrongdoing in the settlement.

Family attorney Subodh Chandra called the settlement historic but added: "The resolution is nothing to celebrate because a 12-year-old child needlessly lost his life."

The wrongful death suit filed by his family and estate against the city and officers and dispatchers who were involved alleged police acted recklessly when they confronted the boy on Nov. 22, 2014.

Video of the encounter shows a cruiser skidding to a stop and rookie patrolman Timothy Loehmann firing within two seconds of opening the car door. Tamir, who lived across the street from the rec center and played there almost every day, wasn't given first aid until about four minutes later, when an FBI agent trained as a paramedic arrived. The boy died the next day.

A grand jury declined to bring charges against the officers, and a federal civil rights investigation is pending. The shooting raised questions about how police treat blacks, spurred protests around Cleveland and helped spark the creation of a state police standards board to lay out rules about use of deadly force in law enforcement.

Samaria Rice had alleged that police failed to immediately provide first aid for her son and caused intentional infliction of emotional distress in how they treated her and her daughter after the shooting.

The officers had asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. Loehmann's attorney has said he bears a heavy burden and must live with what happened.

Tamir's estate has been assigned $5.5 million of the settlement amount. A Cuyahoga County probate judge will decide how the amount will be divided. Samaria Rice, Tamir's mother, will receive $250,000. Claims against Tamir's estate account for the remaining $250,000. Tamir's father, Leonard Warner, was dismissed in February as a party to the lawsuit.

Chandra said Samaria Rice would not have a comment and she and the rest of her family remain in mourning over Tamir's death.

"The state criminal justice process cheated them out of true justice," Chandra said.

The officers had responded to a 911 call in which a man drinking a beer and waiting for a bus outside Cudell Recreation Center reported that a man was waving a gun and pointing it at people. The man told the call taker that the person holding the gun was likely a juvenile and the weapon probably wasn't real, but the call taker never passed that information to the dispatcher who gave Loehmann and Garmback the high-priority call.

Tamir was carrying a plastic airsoft gun that shoots nonlethal plastic pellets. He'd borrowed it that morning from a friend who warned him to be careful because the gun looked real. It was missing its telltale orange tip.

The settlement comes two years after the city settled another lawsuit connected to the killings of two unarmed black people in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire at the end of a 2012 car chase. Cleveland settled a lawsuit brought by the victims' families for a total of $3 million.

IS PREDICTIVE POLICING THE LAW ENFORCEMENT TACTIC OF THE FUTURE?

A Johns Hopkins professor says it helps reduce crime and police profiling. An attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation says it will lead to more bias

The Wall Street Journal
April 24, 2016

As big data transforms industries ranging from retailing to health care, it’s also becoming a more important tool for police departments, which are turning to data and analysis in an effort to boost their effectiveness.

Known as predictive policing, the practice involves analyzing data on the time, location and nature of past crimes, along with things such as geography and the weather, to gain insight into where and when future crime is most likely to occur and try to deter it before it happens.

Jennifer Bachner, director of the master of science in government analytics program at Johns Hopkins University, says giving police the ability to make data-driven decisions will help reduce biases that result in unfair discrimination, resulting in better relations between police and the communities they serve. Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says predictive policing is flawed and will only serve to focus more law-enforcement surveillance on communities that are already overpoliced.

YES: Police Can Be in the Right Place at the Right Time
By Jennifer Bachner

In an era of tight budgets, police departments across the country are being asked to do more with less. They must protect the public, but often have to do it with limited personnel, equipment and training resources.

To address this problem, law-enforcement agencies increasingly are turning to data and analytics to improve their ability to fight crime without substantial increases in operating costs. Known as predictive policing, these technologies and techniques empower police officers to take a more proactive approach to both preventing crime and solving open cases.

Predictive policing involves crunching data on past crimes, along with information such as the weather, the time of day and the presence of escape routes, to forecast where and when future crime is most likely to occur. In cities such as Santa Cruz, Calif., officers have access to maps outlining “hot spots,” or geographic areas most vulnerable to crime at a future point in time, and they are encouraged to use the information along with their knowledge of the community to decide where to allocate the most resources on a given shift.

The theory isn’t complicated—being in the right place at the right time deters crime—and the approach has proved effective, particularly in places such as Santa Cruz, where the population is dispersed over a large area.

Some in law enforcement say predictive policing is particularly helpful when it comes to identifying and halting repeat criminals.

The Baltimore County Police Department says it used predictive methods to halt a string of convenience-store robberies. Police had information about the locations of the robberies and a suspected model of car used by the elusive offender, but no obvious next target. By plotting the robbed locations on a map and employing an iterative algorithm, police identified a suspected point of origin. Police then analyzed the streets that would likely have been used to reach the crime locations and detected one specific street that the offender had likely used frequently (and would probably use again) to travel to crime scenes. Officers staked out that street, rather than patrolling numerous convenience stores, and were able to apprehend the suspect.

Some critics say that because not all crime is reported, predictive models based on past crime data might miss future crimes that don’t fit historical patterns. But today’s predictive models aren’t based solely on past crime data—they also take into account some of the same things potential criminals do when planning crimes, such as geographic information.

To achieve positive results with predictive policing, some upfront costs are required: Law-enforcement agencies must make an initial investment not only in software, but also in training officers to understand the proper scope and limitations of data-driven policing.

The use of data, like the use of any tool, leaves openings for misuse, but police departments can take steps to protect civil liberties. There is a big difference, for example, between predicting where crime is most likely to occur and developing lists of potential future offenders without probable cause, a practice that certainly raises serious ethical and legal concerns.

Policy makers also must grapple with the proper scope of data collection, retention and use and be able to explain to the community how data is being used to enhance public safety. That is why departments that adopt predictive-policing programs must at the same time re-emphasize their commitment to community policing. Officers won’t achieve substantial reductions in crime by holing up in patrol cars, generating real-time hot-spot maps. Effective policing still requires that officers build trust with the communities they serve.

With proper implementation, monitoring and transparency, the trend toward evidence-based policing should ultimately enhance the relationship between communities and police officers. That’s because data-driven decision making is a step away from decisions based on biases that can result in unfair discrimination. Predictive models grounded in relevant data, including everything from past crime to the weather, limit the influence of prejudice or profiling by officers.

The stakes are high, but predictive policing offers an opportunity to make significant advances toward a safer and more just society.

NO: It Is Ineffective and Will Increase Police Bias
By Jennifer Lynch

Proponents of predictive policing claim it will lead to unbiased policing and reduced crime. But in reality, it will only further focus police surveillance on communities that already are overpoliced and could threaten our constitutional protections and fundamental human rights.

There is little data to back up claims by makers of predictive-policing systems that their products actually work. In fact, one of the few independent studies available—by Rand Corp.—found that predicting technology used in Shreveport, La., was ineffective at reducing crime.

This is likely due to the way predictive systems work. All predictive-policing systems analyze historical crime data to predict where crimes are likely to occur in the future. Some also rely on weather data, consumer financial data, property records and even information about family members or gathered from social-media posts to predict who is likely to be involved in future crimes. But these systems aren’t clairvoyant. Because algorithm-training models must rely on data about known past crimes, they can only predict future incidents that resemble the nature, time and location of prior crimes.

That means predictive-policing systems will miss at least 50% of crime because we only have data on about half of the crime that occurs in the U.S., according to government estimates; the other half is never reported. The result is that systems will miss crimes that don’t fit patterns from the past, and law-enforcement agencies will devote more resources to looking for crimes they would already have found the old-fashioned way and less on crimes that require longer and deeper investigations.

Predictive-policing systems also are vulnerable to a feedback-loop problem: As data on arrests and criminal activity reported as a result of predictive policing are fed back into the system, they will justify initial crime prediction and ensure police will continue to look for crime in the same places as they always have.

Putting aside concerns about effectiveness, using past crime as a model for predicting future crime has a deeper problem: It will perpetuate police bias. All of us commit crime, yet only some crimes are selected for enforcement. This is due partly to departmental priorities but also to well-documented racially biased policing.

Police bias informs crime data fed into predictive-policing systems, reinforcing existing inequalities in which neighborhoods and racial groups are most targeted by police. This makes decisions to focus on certain areas or groups appear impartial because the algorithm itself can’t be racist. It also allows intentional racism to be disguised as an unintentional byproduct of the system.

Predictive-policing systems that rely on information from social-media posts to predict whether a person may be more likely to engage in crime or escalate the dangerousness of a situation also raise free-speech issues. People limit what they say when they know they are being watched, so models that rely on people’s speech have the very real potential to chill free expression.

Ultimately, we are fundamentally uncomfortable with the notion that an algorithm can predict what we will do before we even decide to do it—and tell the police about it. A system that takes incomplete, unreliable and biased data and spits out a conclusion that a particular person will commit a crime—or that crime will occur in a particular community—doesn’t give people the opportunity to choose a different path. Instead, by increasing police focus on certain people and areas, the prediction that someone will commit crime or that some communities will have more crime almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because when the number of police is increased in a given area, it almost always results in more arrests.

Rather than relying on predictive models to find crime, analytics could be used to address underlying societal factors that can lead to criminal behavior. A pilot program in Los Angeles, for example, is using predictive models to find the most at-risk children in the child-welfare system and provide them with services designed to help them stay out of the juvenile-justice system. With appropriate resources, these kinds of programs could do more to change the cycle of crime than using yet another technology to put people behind bars.

Monday, April 25, 2016

RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA USE ADDLES THE BRAINS OF YOUNG ADULTS

A Harvard and Northwestern study showed that recreational pot use is harmful to young adults, contrary to what its defenders assert

As I was returning from the supermarket Sunday, I heard a Methodist Hospital commercial on the car radio which warned that the recreational use of marijuana was harmful to the brains of young adults. It mentioned a study by Harvard and Northwestern universities.

When I got home, I googled up a report on this study from a 2014 issue of Time which stated that 18 to 25-year-olds who smoke marijuana - even just recreationally - had marked abnormalities in areas of their brains that regulate emotion and motivation.

Before that study we heard only that heavy use of pot by young teens arrests the development of their brains. This study involved young adults, not teems, and showed that even light use of marijuana is harmful to their brains.

I’ve always maintained that marijuana addles the user’s brain. That Harvard and Northwestern study pretty well refutes the assertion by marijuana’s defenders that pot is a harmless substance. By considering that study alone, any reasonably minded person would have to agree that legalizing marijuana is a big mistake.

Here is that Time report:

RECREATIONAL POT USE HARMFUL TO YOUNG PEOPLE’S BRAINS
A new study from medical researchers at Harvard and Northwestern shows that 18- to 25-year-olds who smoke marijuana—even just recreationally!—had marked abnormalities in areas of their brains that regulate emotion and motivation


By Randye Hoder

Time
April 15, 2014

For those young people — and their parents — who think that smoking pot in moderation isn’t harmful, it’s time to think again.

A study released this week by researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School has found that 18- to 25-year-olds who smoke marijuana only recreationally showed significant abnormalities in the brain.

“There is this general perspective out there that using marijuana recreationally is not a problem — that it is a safe drug,” says Anne Blood, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the co-senior author of the study, which is being published in the Journal of Neuroscience. “We are seeing that this is not the case.”

The scientists say theirs is the first study to examine the relationship between casual use of marijuana in young people and pot’s effects on two parts of the brain that regulate emotion and motivation. As such, it is sure to challenge many people’s assumptions that smoking a joint or two on the weekends is no big deal.

It has certainly challenged mine. In a piece earlier this year, based on other research from Northwestern on the effects of heavy marijuana use, I suggested that young people should hold off on smoking pot as long as possible because their brains are still developing and the earlier the drug is taken up, the worse the effects. That remains good advice. Yet the truth is, I’ve not only been telling my own 16-year-old son to hold off, I’ve also been counseling him that should he ever decide to use pot, he should do so with temperance.

This “everything in moderation” mantra has always struck me as more realistic than preaching total abstinence. Baked into my message, meanwhile, has been the implicit belief that smoking a little weed on the weekends is no worse than having a few beers — a notion that many Americans apparently share.

A nationwide NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted last month found that only 8% of adults think that marijuana is the most harmful substance to a person’s overall health when lined up against tobacco, alcohol and sugar. In contrast, 49% of those surveyed rated tobacco as the most harmful on the list, while 24% mentioned alcohol. Notably, even sugar — at 15% — was considered more harmful than pot.

The new Northwestern-Harvard study punches a hole in this conventional wisdom. Through three different methods of neuroimaging analysis, the scientists examined the brains of 40 young adult students from Boston-area colleges: 20 who smoked marijuana casually — four times a week on average — and 20 who didn’t use pot at all.

Each group consisted of nine males and 11 females. The pot users underwent a psychiatric interview to confirm that they were not heavy or dependent marijuana users.

“We looked specifically at people who have no adverse impacts from marijuana — no problems with work, school, the law, relationships, no addiction issues,” says Hans Breiter, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Feinberg School and co–senior author of the study.

The scientists examined two key parts of the brain — the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala, which together help control whether people judge things to be rewarding or aversive and, in turn, whether they experience pleasure or pain from them. It is the development of these regions of the brain, Breiter says, that allows young people to expand their horizons, helping them appreciate and enjoy new foods, music, books and relationships.

“This is a part of the brain that you absolutely never ever want to touch,” Breiter asserts. “I don’t want to say that these are magical parts of the brain — they are all important. But these are fundamental in terms of what people find pleasurable in the world and assessing that against the bad things.”

Breiter and his colleagues found that among all 20 casual marijuana smokers in their study — even the seven who smoked just one joint per week — the nucleus accumbens and amygdala showed changes in density, volume and shape. The scientists also discovered that the more pot the young people smoked, the greater the abnormalities.

The researchers acknowledge that their sample size was small and their study preliminary. More work, they say, needs to be done to understand the relationship between the changes to the brain they found and their impact on the day-to-day lives of young people who smoke marijuana casually.

“The next important step is to investigate how structural abnormalities relate to functional outcomes,” says Jodi Gilman, an instructor at Harvard Medical School who collaborated on the study.

This is especially important, she and her colleagues add, in light of the growing push to legalize recreational marijuana use across America. “People think a little marijuana shouldn’t cause a problem if someone is doing O.K. with work or school,” Breiter says. “Our data directly says this is not so.”

I DON’T REMEMBER PROM BEING THIS DANGEROUS

By Bob Walsh

Last night (04-23) there was a shooting in the parking lot at the high school in Antigo, Wisconsin. This is a smallish city north of Milwaukee.

Jacob E. Wagner, 18, opened fire on a group of students exiting the prom, wounding two. There were cops in the parking lot and they engaged the shooter, wounding and capturing him. (Maybe it is now normal to have a police presence at school dances. I don’t remember that either. Times change.)

The two prom attendees will almost certainly survive. The shooter did not.

The cops did not offer up any information on a motive for the shooting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Shit, Bob, I can’t remember my prom at all.