The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Playing golf AGAIN: Obama tees off just 24 hours after being criticized for hitting the course within minutes of solemnly pledging justice for beheaded journalist James Foley | Mail Online

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters could hardly contain his anger Wednesday night on the Fox News Channel as he discussed Obama's reactions to the ISIS terror network's beheading of Foley, an American who had been missing since 2012.

'There is no way the president should be stupid enough to go play golf' after such a somber speech, Peters said.

'Not only did he insult the Foley family; he sent a message to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (the leader of ISIS) and all of the other jihadi terrorist militants – now soldiers of a jihadi army – that he doesn't take it all seriously.'

via www.dailymail.co.uk

I admit, it's a cheap shot. Like taking a gimme on a 3-par or something.

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Japan: Land Of The Setting Sun - WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEARCA:DXJ) | Seeking Alpha

What is informative about Japan is that it represents the front edge of where the entire developed world, including Europe and the US, is heading - into a dangerous cycle with too much debt, aging demographics, and gross overspending supported only by the sheer printing of money. No other major world economy has as much risk of a debt crisis and resulting inflation due to a falling currency as Japan. Despite years of deflation or falling prices, Japan is on an aggressive path to weaken the Yen and spur inflation as part of official policy. Pushed too far, this could spiral into a state of high inflation as investors wake up to the realities that Japan has reached what is referred to as the "Keynesian End Point". This is a point where non-discretionary spending exceeds tax revenues, leading to money printing as the last tool at the disposal of policy makers. According to Hinde Capital “if Japanese yields returned to levels of the mid-1990’s (i.e. 5 year bonds at 6%), the entire tax income of the Japanese Government would be spent on debt servicing”. Japan’s official debt already exceeds 200% of their annual production (gross domestic product). This has only been possible given their extremely low interest rates. Academic research has shown that most countries face funding issues when they approach 100% debt to GDP.

via seekingalpha.com

Obviously these people have not been reading their Krugman. Getting into the kind of fix Japan seems to be getting into is in fact impossible because Keynes or something. I don't really understand it myself, but the Herr Doktor Professor has a Nobel Prize, so there it is.

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Brides in India Ditch New Husbands for Lack of Toilets

(Newser) – At least six newlywed brides in India have left their husbands because their new homes lacked a toilet, reports the Times of India. The six returned to their parents' homes in protest and vow not to go back until their in-laws get proper plumbing. The newspaper describes the women's actions as raising "the banner of revolt," because the issue is anything but trivial in India. The UN recently warned about the widespread problem of open defecation in poor areas, and India's prime minister vowed last week to tackle the issue, notes the BBC.

via www.newser.com

Wouldn't be trivial here, either, I bet.

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Terrifying city-dwelling spiders are bigger and more fertile | www.ajc.com

First, the hot microclimates sustained by a paved-over city makes for an ideal environment for spiders to grow and thrive.

And second, thanks to the massive amount of artificial light in cities, they attract an abnormal amount of insects to the area. Translation: The spiders are never without a plentiful food source.

Now, this may seem like bad news all around for city dwellers. But as gross as spiders are, they're actually good to have around.

They eat insects we consider to be annoying pests, like flies and mosquitoes, and keep their populations down. And they're also an important food source for other creatures, including frogs and toads. Ah, the circle of life.

via www.ajc.com

The spiders of Jamul are a fat lot too.

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

When Will I Die? How I Decided Whether to Test for Early-Onset Alzheimer’s | TIME

My wife and I have little battles over my forgetfulness. She asked me to fix the kink in the hose that runs from the humidifier in our basement to the French drain. A few days later, she gave up and fixed it herself. We had a grill delivered for our backyard, and the flame kept going out on it as soon as we lit it. I was supposed to call about it the next morning, but I’d more or less forgotten that we’d bought a grill in the first place when I heard my wife on the phone with the store. These aren’t terrifying signs in themselves — everyone is a little forgetful occasionally — but they make me pause enough to wonder if the worst is coming.

via time.com

Yeah, probably. I'm the same way, only worse. At the university, they'll probably have to fire me for drooling instead of lecturing, if the cash crunch doesn't end things sooner. But it's harder on those you love than it is on you. Fortunately, I have sons not daughters. And I'm thinking of starting a branch of the Catholic Church that considers self-euthanasia a sacrament. No word yet from the Vatican.

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

San Diego Chaldeans Call For Asylum For Iraqi Christians In March Through El Cajon | KPBS

Hundreds of Iraqi Chaldeans and other community members marched through the streets of El Cajon on Tuesday evening calling on the U.S. to grant asylum to tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians.

via www.kpbs.org

I think we should just open the doors and let them all in. They seem like the classic immigrant group fleeing from persecution. And they're mostly Catholic.

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Before Killing James Foley, ISIS Demanded Ransom From U.S. - NYTimes.com

In fact, until recently, ISIS had a very different list of demands for Mr. Foley: The group pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release, according to a representative of his family and a former hostage held alongside him.

via www.nytimes.com

Of course they did.

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brisket Is Worth the Wait - NYTimes.com

As smoke from the oak-burning barbecue pits swirled around his head, Nestor Laracuente lit a Marlboro Red, inhaled hard and puffed out his own cumulus cloud. A pitmaster at Hometown Bar-B-Que in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Mr. Laracuente says nicotine and heavy metal help him through the marathon graveyard shifts he spends monitoring the combination of heat, meat and smoke that it takes to produce extraordinary barbecued brisket. 

via www.nytimes.com

I don't normally do cooking, but this article was just too yummy. Yummy's not really the word, but you know what I mean.

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

How your boss will run your life in a few years - Yahoo Finance

Consulting firm PwC recently published its outlook for work in 2022, based on interviews with 500 human resources experts and 10,000 others in the United States and several other countries. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that big companies could end up so powerful and influential they morph into “ministates” that fill the void when government is unable to provide essential services. Companies will also use sensors and other gizmos to monitor employees around the clock. And workers will mostly acquiesce to this digital leash, in exchange for job security, decent pay and important benefits.

via finance.yahoo.com

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wolves cooperate but dogs submit, study suggests | Science/AAAS | News

For dog lovers, comparative psychologists Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi have an unsettling conclusion. Many researchers think that as humans domesticated wolves, they selected for a cooperative nature, resulting in animals keen to pitch in on tasks with humans. But when the two scientists at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna studied lab-raised dog and wolf packs, they found that wolves were the tolerant, cooperative ones. The dogs, in contrast, formed strict, linear dominance hierarchies that demand obedience from subordinates, Range explained last week at the Animal Behavior Society meeting at Princeton University. As wolves became dogs, she thinks, they were bred for the ability to follow orders and to be dependent on human masters.

via news.sciencemag.org

I am the alpha dog. Gandalf the bichon is the beta. That's just how it is. Now I have to let him out.

August 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Psychiatrists split on whether to ditch DSM - Future Tense - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

However, critics charge that treating people according to their mental health symptoms makes as much sense as a physician prescribing the same medication to everyone with chest pain, regardless of whether that pain is the result of heartburn, a simple muscle spasm or the beginnings of a massive myocardial infarction.

via www.abc.net.au

August 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to protect celebrities from paparazzi drones - LA Times

Chau's proposal, AB 2306, would delete the reference to "visual or auditory enhancing" devices. Instead, an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit could be brought regardless of the device employed, as long as the three other standards already in the law are met: that the method used to collect the image or recording is "offensive to a reasonable person," that the subject had a "reasonable expectation of privacy," and that gathering the image or recording without the device would have required trespassing. Such a change would allow the law to remain relevant even as new technologies — such as drones — emerge, without extending privacy protections to places where they can't reasonably be claimed. That's a more sensible approach than trying to adapt the law to the latest techniques in celebrity hounding.

via www.latimes.com

Why not let celebrities shoot them down?

August 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

VICE documentary on IS

I'm told VICE is the best on this. (Unrelatedly they also cover Fergeson.) You have to adjust for the usual biases.

 

August 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Al Baghdadi wants you

August 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Islamic State Claims Killing of American Journalist James Foley - WSJ

WASHINGTON—Militants from the group Islamic State released a video Tuesday that appeared to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley in an act of retribution for U.S. airstrikes on the group in Iraq.

via online.wsj.com

August 20, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Who Will Stand Up for the Christians? - NYTimes.com

WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.

via mobile.nytimes.com

Indeed.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Kacy Catanzaro changed 'American Ninja Warrior' forever | Inside TV | EW.com

Ex-gymnast Kacy Catanzaro first shattered American Ninja Warrior’s plexiglass ceiling by becoming the first female competitor in six seasons to complete the show’s brutal preliminary obstacle course. Then she completed the show’s near-insane semi-finals course to secure a spot in the upcoming Las Vegas finals. The 24-year-old’s inspiring performance became an online sensation, racking up 8 million views on YouTube alone. (If you’re a woman, it makes you want to go the gym. If you’re a man, it makes you really want to go the gym).

via insidetv.ew.com

H/t TY.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Support grows for Darren Wilson, officer who shot teen - CNN.com

In a first account of its kind, a caller to Radio America's "The Dana Show," who identified herself only as Josie, told listeners a detailed account of Officer Darren Wilson's side. A source with detailed knowledge of the investigation told CNN it accurately matched what the officer has told investigators.

via www.cnn.com

Uh huh.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inequality and Web Search Trends - NYTimes.com

In the hardest places to live – which include large areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon – health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games and religion are all common search topics. The dark side of religion is of special interest: Antichrist has the second-highest correlation with the hardest places, and searches containing “hell” and “rapture” also make the top 10.

To be clear, these aren’t the most common searches in our list of hardest places. They’re the searches with the highest correlation to our index. Searches on some topics, like Oprah Winfrey or the Super Bowl, are popular almost everywhere. The terms on these lists are relatively common subjects for web searches in one kind of place — and rarely a subject in the other.

In the easiest places to live, the Canon Elph and other digital cameras dominate the top of the correlation list. Apparently, people in places where life seems good, including Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and much of the large metropolitan areas of the Northeast and West Coast, want to record their lives in images.

via www.nytimes.com

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Octopus Inspires Color-Changing Camouflage Tech - NBC News.com

Octopuses and squid possess the amazing ability to blend in with their surroundings, but now, researchers have created a man-made system that mimics this form of camouflage.

via www.nbcnews.com

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

40 FBI agents search for 'civil rights' crime in Ferguson that could bring stiff sentence as Eric Holder plans to visit on Wednesday | Mail Online

The Department of Justice has 40 FBI agents canvassing Ferguson, Missouri to learn whether a white police officer should be charged with a 'civil rights' crime for shooting an unarmed black teen, the agency confirmed on Tuesday.

via www.dailymail.co.uk

Ruh roh.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Scottish Independence: Scots Ponder Secession Question in Referendum - WSJ

EDINBURGH—Campaigners for an independent Scotland are struggling to convince voters that their ancient nation will be better off if it leaves the U.K.

via online.wsj.com

Freeeeeeedommmmm! Just thought I would add that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLCEUpIg8rE

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Real Reason We Yawn - WSJ

Researchers are starting to unravel the mystery surrounding the yawn, one of the most common and often embarrassing behaviors. Yawning, they have discovered, is much more complicated than previously thought. Although all yawns look the same, they appear to have many different causes and to serve a variety of functions.

via online.wsj.com

Yeah well one of the functions they serve is to notify the world I'm effing bored out of mind, as at a faculty meeting.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Happens When Police Officers Wear Body Cameras - WSJ

Sometimes, like the moments leading up to when a police officer decides to shoot someone, transparency is an unalloyed good. And especially lately, technology has progressed to a point that it makes this kind of transparency not just possible, but routine.

So it is in Rialto, Calif., where an entire police force is wearing so-called body-mounted cameras, no bigger than pagers, that record everything that transpires between officers and citizens. In the first year after the cameras' introduction, the use of force by officers declined 60%, and citizen complaints against police fell 88%.

via online.wsj.com

So all police should wear cameras. Duh.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Many Sides of Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now' - WSJ

After Clay died in 2008, I was devastated. I put on Joni's version with strings from 2000 and heard a deeper voice full of sorrow and wine and cigarettes. Eventually I found my way out of that dark place and dared to love again.

Today, I connect with Joni's line, "Something's lost but something's gained in living every day." I'm looking forward to the next turn in my story line.

via online.wsj.com

JM is only an average guitar player, but is a great songwriter and singer. Cute too.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

TaxProf Blog: Obama's Use of Executive Authority: Could a Republican President Refuse to Enforce the Estate Tax?

New York Magazine:  Obama's Immigration Plan Should Scare Liberals, Too, by Jonathan Chait:

What if a Republican president announced that he would stop enforcing the payment of estate taxes?

The New Republic, The Liberal Fear of Obama's Executive Action Is Irrational, by Brian Beutler:

[L]et’s look at the estate tax. First, it’s important to note that Obama isn’t proposing to “suspend” immigration law. It’s impossible to reconcile Chait’s admission that the action Obama’s considering is legal with the suggestion that he will be suspending the law. He’s rather proposing to direct resources toward enforcing the law against higher-priority offenders. Washington Post reporter Greg Sargent’s expert sources have more here. So the proper comparison isn’t to a Republican president who suspends the estate tax, but to a Republican president who decides to enforce the estate tax against the highest priority offenders—the super-duper rich—rather than the merely exorbitantly wealthy.

via taxprof.typepad.com

Bad news: deeply outrageous. Good news: lots of interesting law to discuss/think about.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How air conditioning remade modern America - Salon.com

Its effect on American urban culture is now taken for granted, to the point of being nearly invisible. We can conjure Arthur Miller’s world only as a jittery 16-millimeter newsreel. But in the mid-century decades, a number of American intellectuals greeted the new climate with cynicism. It was, they felt, a technology that flattened not just temperature differentials but the nuances of American life as well.

Henry Miller, returning to the States in 1941 for a road trip, recounted his caustic appraisal in a book he titled “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare.” “Nowhere else in the world is the divorce between man and nature so complete,” Miller wrote, “Nowhere have I encountered such a dull, monotonous fabric of life as here in America.”

In 1970, four years after Texas became the first state in which more than half the population used air conditioning at home, the New York Times editorial board echoed his sentiments. “Because the air conditioner, the airplane and television have smoothed out harsh differences in climate, nearly abolished distance and homogenized popular taste, Americans are become much less regionally diverse.”

The historian Raymond Arsenault, in a famous 1984 essay, threw the book at air conditioning for its culturally deleterious effects on the American South. ”Air conditioning has changed the southern way of life,” he wrote,

…influencing everything from architecture to sleeping habits. Most important, it has contributed to the erosion of several regional traditions: cultural isolation, agrarianism, poverty, romanticism, historical consciousness, an orientation towards non-technological folk culture, a preoccupation with kinship, neighborliness, a strong sense of place, and a relatively slow pace of life.

via www.salon.com

It a great thing that has absolutely no ill consequences, I suppose. I remember when we first got air conditioning in our modest three bedroom house in Boise, Idaho. I followed the men who installed it around. I remember their snaking what seemed like miles of copper tubing into the ducts and hooking up a monstrous thing in the back yard. Amazingly, the house became cool, which was fine, especially at night. No more sleeping in the living room with all the windows open. We still slept outside sometimes, but that was just for fun. But life became a little harder for the intellectuals,I guess. Air conditioning is less of thing in East County San Diego, as SDG&E prices everyone out of the market.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

EDITORIAL: The president’s inverted logic | Las Vegas Review-Journal

President Barack Obama says it’s “not fair” and “not right” for U.S. companies to set up overseas to avoid taxes. Except when it benefits him politically.

via www.reviewjournal.com

Yup.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Rick Perry May Be Out of Luck - The New Yorker

So Perry may have a point, but he also has a problem. Prosecutors have wide, almost unlimited, latitude to decide which cases to bring. The reason is obvious: there is simply no way that the government could prosecute every violation of law it sees. Think about tax evasion, marijuana use, speeding, jay-walking—we’d live in a police state if the government went after every one of these cases. (Indeed, virtually all plea bargaining, which is an ubiquitous practice, amounts to an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.) As a result, courts give prosecutors virtual carte blanche to bring some cases and ignore others. But, once they do bring them, courts respond to the argument that “everyone does it” more or less the same way that your mother did. It’s no excuse. So if Perry’s behavior fits within the technical definition of the two statutes under which he’s charged, which it well might, he’s probably out of luck.

via www.newyorker.com

This is lame. I thought maybe Jeffrey had something, but no. Has he always been this political?

If prosecutorial discretion includes the power to prosecute every veto you don't like, it swallows up the constitutional value of checks and balances. I doubt that is possible, even in Texas. It might have to get to the Texas Supreme Court if the Democrats want to push it that far. It's a dumb indictment.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

CNN Source: Story Corroborating Officer's Account Is Accurate | Video | RealClearPolitics

And then he says all the sudden he just started to bum rush him. He just started coming at him full speed, and so he just started shooting, and he just kept coming. So he really thinks he was on something, because he just kept coming. It was unbelievable. And then so he finally ended up, the final shot was in the forehead, and then he fell about two to three feet in front of the officer.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

Sounds plausible. Could also be made up.

August 19, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Michael Brown’s robbery would be admissible at a federal criminal trial - The Washington Post

As Jonathan recently noted, Ken White at Popehat has a post covering some of the ways in which Michael Brown’s robbery does and does not matter legally.  While White’s analysis is interesting, I think he is far too skeptical about whether the evidence would ultimately be admitted in federal civil rights prosecution.  In my view, the evidence almost surely would come in, along with any additional evidence about Michael Brown’s bad character (should such evidence exist).

via www.washingtonpost.com

Paul Cassell, known mainly as famous blogger yours truly's brother in law, is a former assistant US attorney and federal district court judge, and is now a professor at the University of Utah.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ferguson Missouri Prosecutor: Does He Have Too Much Power? | New Republic

Police officers investigate cases and make arrests, but the decision to charge a person with a crime is totally within the discretion of the prosecutor. A prosecutor is never required to file criminal charges against a person, even if she is firmly convinced that she can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt (the legal standard for proving guilt in a criminal trial). Prosecutors frequently decline to bring charges, even when they are convinced of the person’s guilt. Perhaps it’s a minor offense and the suspect is a first offender. Maybe the victim is not interested in prosecution. Or maybe the prosecutor doesn’t believe she can secure a conviction. But the bottom line is that prosecutors are not required to justify their charging decisions to anyone, and there is much potential for abuse. Prosecutors have almost limitless discretion in making these decisions, and a series of Supreme Court decisions has made it almost impossible for anyone to challenge them. Some states have a grand jury process, but the grand jury is controlled entirely by the prosecutor. Neither the defendant nor his attorney is allowed to be present during grand jury hearings, and prosecutors almost always decide which witnesses to present. 

via www.newrepublic.com

Angela Davis (the authoress) is kind of an expert on murder.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obama squeezes in another round of golf | TheHill

According to pool reporter traveling with the president, Obama golfed at the Farm Neck Golf Club with former NBA star Alonzo Mourning and Marvin Nicholson and Joe Paulsen, who are members of the White House trip planning team.

via thehill.com

Well, is all this golf making the Prez any better? What is his handicap anyway? Inquiring minds want to know. God knows little else is getting done, though I guess that's a good thing.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Hillary speaking-circuit demands include private jet and … cone of silence? « Hot Air

Hillary Clinton has come under fire this summer for her speaking fees, including some charged for events at universities and colleges where many students put themselves deep in debt to get their education. Clinton and her defenders insist that those fees get paid out by donors, not the schools themselves, and that some of those fees get donated to the Clintons’ charitable foundation rather than into her pocket. Those pockets get a pretty cushy ride back and forth to these events, though, as the contract for her UNLV speech uncovered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal details

via hotair.com

God won't permit Hillary to become President. At least I hope not.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Police tell Detroiters to buy guns in city riven by race issues and crime | Money | theguardian.com

Detroit police chief James Craig – nicknamed “Hollywood” for his years spent in the LAPD and his seeming love of being in front of the camera – has repeatedly called on “good” and “law-abiding” Detroiters to arm themselves against criminals in the city.

via www.theguardian.com

I lived in Detroit, I'd own more guns. Now I just have the Springfield XD Tactical .40. I like it, but it's lonely. It needs a semi-auto 12 gauge to keep it company. Someday.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The human screwfly solution: Column

So you may or may not like the new world of sex robots, but at least they probably won't wipe out humanity. And we can have robot nannies to raise the kids, too. But if we combine the two roles in one machine, would that be creepy? Or just "Mom"? Welcome to the 21st century.

via www.usatoday.com

Glenn goes out on a limb.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Common Enemy in Iraq

The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham controls thirty-five thousand square miles of land, an area the size of Jordan. The self-proclaimed caliphate stretches from the newly conquered towns along the Syrian-Turkish border, through its de-facto capital of Raqqa, in northern Syria, across the obliterated Iraqi border into Mosul, Tikrit, and Falluja, down to the farming towns south of Baghdad—roughly a third of the territory of both countries. It is exploiting almost every oil and gas field in Syria; it has seized Iraq’s largest refinery, in Baiji, and its biggest dam, north of Mosul, which provides water and electricity for much of the country and could, if destroyed, submerge Baghdad. ISIS funds its operations by selling oil and electricity, emptying captured banks, and extorting money through kidnappings and “taxation.” Its highly skilled army fights with billions of dollars’ worth of stolen American- and Russian-made armored vehicles and heavy weapons. According to Janine Davidson, a former Pentagon official, “ISIS now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations.”

via www.newyorker.com

George Packer in the NYer.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mom creates 'Ignore No More' app to get teens to return calls - Parents - TODAY.com

Getting the silent treatment from your kids? A new app lets you lock their phone until they respond.

The “Ignore No More” app was created by Sharon Standifird, a Houston mom who describes herself as a school teacher turned entrepreneur.

via www.today.com

Now that's a good idea.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alabama hunters haul in 1,000-pound alligator - Telegraph

A group of Alabama hunters is celebrating the catch of a lifetime: a 15ft-long alligator weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

via www.telegraph.co.uk

That's a lot of wallets.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Giant Rats Trained to Sniff Out Tuberculosis in Africa

Tariq is no scientist, though. He's a lab rat—an African giant pouched rat, to be exact. Every weekday, the trained rodent and eight of his brethren take turns in a glass-sided cage at Eduardo Mondlane University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Underneath the cage floor, a removable tray with ten samples of human mucus is inserted. Tariq walks the length of the cage, scratching the floor when he suspects that a sample is positive for tuberculosis, an airborne bacterial disease.

via news.nationalgeographic.com

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Suitcase Murder Suspect Heather Lois Mack Complains About Bali Prison - NBC News.com

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A pregnant American teen charged with murdering her mother and stuffing her body in a suitcase has complained about the prison food and her treatment as she awaits trial, police said Monday. Officers on the Indonesian resort island of Bali also revealed that Heather Lois Mack, 19, and her 21-year-old boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, who is also charged with murder, could be taken to the United States to stand trial. "Heather complains about the food and that she is not being well-treated in jail nevertheless police treat the prisoners all the same," said Djoko Hari Utomo, chief of police for the Balinese capital Denpasar.

via www.nbcnews.com

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Wonderful, Weird Economy of Burning Man - The Atlantic

The busiest time of year for the Reno-Tahoe International Airport is not Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or any of the other major national holidays. It’s Burning Man.  

via www.theatlantic.com

I grew up in Boise, not far as things go from Reno, and I know what August is like in the Great Basin. Why anyone would go out for a "big family picnic" in the middle of the desert in the middle of the summer is beyond me. A recipe for a really bad hangover and a really bad sunburn.

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lawyer: Autopsy shows unarmed teen repeatedly shot - seattlepi.com

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri teenager fatally shot by police suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may have occurred when he put his hands up or while his back was turned to the shooter, "but we don't know," a pathologist hired by the teen's family said Monday.

via www.seattlepi.com

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Perry Indictment’s Predecessor | National Review Online

Boiled down, the indictment contends that Perry tried to coerce Lehmberg into resigning after her conviction on drunken-driving charges. Even liberal partisans are divided over whether it crosses the line into criminalizing political behavior. Former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina couldn’t contain his glee: “Here’s to suddenly loving the Texas legal process: Rick Perry indicted.” But David Axelrod, President Obama’s former top strategist, had a different take: “Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy.” Several noted liberal legal scholars, ranging from Alan Dershowitz to Jonathan Turley, are also troubled by the vague and mushy charges.

via www.nationalreview.com

August 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Queen Victoria’s Secret Scottish Sex Castle - The Daily Beast

Victoria’s own libido was, it turns out, just as vigorous. Obviously the idea of the randy Queen ran counter to the supposed moral constraints of the age named after her, and it’s only recently, thanks to newly discovered letters (one for example referring to “heavenly lovemaking”) that Victoria’s secret has finally been documented. There is also a ravishing portrait of the young Victoria in 1843, given to her by Albert, and later buried in the extensive royal art collection, showing her almost post-orgasmic, bare-shouldered, silken haired and with bedroom eyes, that was discovered and disclosed in 2011 by the BBC.

via www.thedailybeast.com

my my.

August 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why they hate Israel - NY Daily News

By the prolonged indoctrination of anti-Semitic hatred in its schools and media, by its public celebrations of terrorists who have massacred Jewish women and children, and by its contempt for every two-state initiative from Israel, the Palestinian leadership has managed to convince Israelis and much of the international community that the goal of the Palestinians is to delegitimize the Jewish state and not to live alongside it.

via www.nydailynews.com

Must be hard to be a Jewish lefty in the US, but maybe not.

August 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Leo Strauss' Political Philosophy: Reviled But Redeemed | RealClearPolitics

“Always assume that there is one silent student in your class who is by far superior to you in head and in heart.” This is the counsel Leo Strauss, among the most consequential teachers and scholars of political philosophy in the 20th century, offered an advanced graduate student who had asked for a general rule about teaching.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

Maybe if you're at UChicago.

August 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Obama tests the bounds of lame-duckery - LA Times

On that count, to his critics, Obama is a lame duck on a rampage.

via www.latimes.com

Interesting image.

August 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brendan O'Neill: It's Britain, So the Anti-Semitism Is More Refined - WSJ

What has been most striking about the British response to the Gaza conflict is the extent to which all the things that were once said about Jews are now said about Israel. Everywhere, from the spittle-flecked newspaper commentary to angry street protests, the old view of Jews as infanticidal masterminds of global affairs has been cut-and-pasted onto Israel.

via online.wsj.com

August 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Judge orders IRS to come up with better explanation of missing Lerner e-mails « Hot Air

“ORDERED.” “Must.” “Speak under oath.” These are not really requests, and the time frame isn’t an expression of curiosity, either. Giving the IRS a single week to meet these demands after months of wrangling over Judicial Watch’s challenge implies that (a) Sullivan’s pretty convinced the IRS has these answers, which then suggests that  (b) Sullivan’s getting angry over the IRS’ intransigence and opacity in dealing with the court. Either Judge Sullivan has run out of patience, or he wants the IRS to think he has.

via hotair.com

August 16, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)