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Monday, July 23, 2018

AI Robot Priest in China Can Perform Funerals and Pray For the Dead

China unveiled a robot priest capable of performing funerals and praying for the dead, using artificial intelligence (AI) to meet the needs of a burgeoning funeral market.

The AI robot priest made an appearance at the 8th China International Funeral Expo (CIFE) in Wuhan city, central China's Hubei province, on June 18.

According to a caption from Imaginechina, "This AI Robot priest provides funeral services and can pray for the deceased."

Last year, news outlets covered the debut of a Buddhist robot priest in Japan. The robot — named "Pepper" — emerged at the extremely morbidly named "Life Ending Industry Expo" in Tokyo last August, Reuters reported. Pepper could chant Buddhist incantations while hitting a drum in the traditional manner.

Nissei Eco Company, a plastic molding maker, wrote the chanting software, while SoftBank Group Corp. developed the rest of the robot. With Japan's population aging and shrinking, many Buddhist priests receive less financial support from their communities, prompting some to find part-time work outside their temples.


How Hipster Is My City? The Top Twenty Trendy Kale-Infested Areas in America

As millennials take over more and more of American culture, hipsters are looking for places to move to — and the rest of us would like to know which "trendy" haunts to avoid. A new definitive ranking provides a blueprint for the kale-infested lands in the great U.S. of A.

The Hipster Index combines five data points: the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents. (Why they didn't include craft breweries is anyone's guess.) Combined and weighted, these stats provide a Hipster Index score out of ten for each city.

Some results will surprise you, and others very much will not. Without further ado, here are the top 20 hipster cities in America, according to MoveHub's Frederick O'Brien.

20. Grand Rapids, Michigan Score: 5.9221

Hipsters likely don't love Grand Rapids because it was the home of Gerald Ford and is the home of the DeVos family. But yes, hipsters love the city half-built by Betsy DeVos's family. That's what you'd call ironic.


Dem. Candidate Bankrolled Effort to Curb 'Irresponsible Breeding' and Tax Families With 2+ Kids

A Pennsylvania millionaire running for Congress as a Democrat spent millions bankrolling a population control organization that advocated for taxing families "to the hilt" for "the privilege of irresponsible breeding."

Scott Wallace, a Democrat running in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District against Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the National Organization for Women, has used the Wallace Global Fund to give nearly $7 million to population congeal groups since 1997.

Between 1997 and 2003, Wallace gave $420,000 to Zero Population Growth (ZPG) — now Population Connection — an organization co-founded by "Population Bomb" author Paul Ehrlich, Fox News reported.

From before its inception, ZPG had announced its intentions to tax large families for the "privilege of irresponsible breeding." A 1968 brochure advocated abortion to stabilize population growth and claimed that "no responsible family should have more than two children." Therefore, "irresponsible people who have more than two children should be taxed to the hilt for the privilege of irresponsible breeding."


Donald Trump, Jabberwocky, and the Deep State's Gordian Knot

I'm currently on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, nearing my old home town of Honolulu, but through the miracle of limited-bandwith wifi technology and satellite TV have been able to keep up with the exploding heads back on the mainland. That this is an orchestrated stampede seems beyond question: President Trump's very existence is now regarded as, in and of itself, criminal. His presence in the White House is intolerable. To hell with representative democracy, the Constitution, and the Electoral College: the results of the 2016 election must be overturned by any means necessary.

That such an attitude is fundamentally anti-American fazes the Democrat-Media-Never Complex not one whit. With the Real Inspector Hound continuing to beetle away at the legal dungheap known as the Mueller Investigation, the notion is being implanted in the public's mind that it's perfectly all right to litigate an election ex post facto on grounds that have nothing whatsoever to do with the election itself. That is to say, with exactly zero evidence of "Russian collusion" having so far been found, Mueller is within the unlimited scope of his probe to put Paul Manafort in the Supermax prison for life for allegedly operating exactly the way the Podesta Group and the Clinton Foundation also operated -- and for which they, of course, will skate, because Democrat.


Maxine Waters Suddenly Isn't Fond of Protesting Elected Officials

Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently advocated that people harass every member of the Trump administration, making it virtually impossible for them to live normal lives simply because she disagrees with their politics. The dangers to everyone involved in this kind of thing and the threat to our civil society are obvious.

Well, she apparently couldn't see one step ahead, because she is now being protested at her office -- and she's warning her supporters to stay away. Apparently she's concerned they might do the things she advocated, but to her.

She's also smearing gun owners as violent.

The Oath Keepers is a group that advocates for former military and law enforcement to remember their oaths should the government come to confiscate their guns. I'm not a fan; the Oath Keepers have a track record of making a lot of noise and then accomplishing nothing. Their part in the Cliven Bundy situation eventually ended with them running away, citing a supposed drone strike that never came, for example. They are reportedly planning a protest of Waters at her Los Angeles office.


Puerto Rico's prison reforms emphasize rehabilitation

For most of human history, prisons have been a place to punish — not rehabilitate — those who broke the law, and Puerto Rico was no exception. Gov. Ricardo Rossello changed that. In 2017, he tasked me with transforming Puerto Rico’s sprawling, bureaucratic Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and with it, our philosophy toward incarceration. This meant focusing as much on the dignity and rehabilitation of people in the prison system as we did on security.

While fundamental, security and public safety concerns do not negate our responsibility to offer inmates a meaningful, constructive life. This principle drives Puerto Rico’s approach to incarceration, and we are pleased to see it driving Congress’ as well. We support the FIRST STEP Act’s efforts to boost education and rehabilitation programming in federal prisons as a meaningful reform to our country’s prison system, and we urge congress to consider what Puerto Rico has already done as an example of what works.

Under Gov. Rossello’s leadership, we have implemented two reforms to help inmates prepare for release. The first promotes family integration while guaranteeing a safe and secure environment. For example, we now allow inmates to wear jeans and polo shirts during family visits so their children are not distressed by traditional uniforms. In order for prisoners to be recognized by security officials, the polo shirts are colored according to prisoners’ classification within the system. This means we can maintain security while also establishing a more casual environment that fosters family bonding. We have also created parks where prisoners can spend quality time with their children and relatives. Improving the quality of family visits promotes family integration and helps prepare inmates for the world outside bars.


Report: Lisa Page Confirms Trump Is Right, Mueller Probe A Witch Hunt

No basis for special counsel, she says under oath

FBI lawyer Lisa Page has confirmed that there was no basis for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to The Hill’s John Solomon.

The bombshell is based on a text FBI agent Peter Strzok sent to Page last year that read, “There’s no big there there,” suggesting the Russia investigation was baseless.

Investigators wanted to know what that text meant, but were refused an explanation by Stzrok in both closed and public testimony.


Obama attacks wealthy in South Africa before returning to his $8-million home

Barack Obama earned up to $20 million between 2005 and 2016. He lives in an $8-million mansion. Everywhere he goes, he has a coterie of Secret Service agents protecting him – at taxpayer expense.

But that didn't stop him from complaining about how rich people shouldn't eat so much or live in such fine houses.

Washington Free Beacon:

At a recent speech in South Africa, former President Barack Obama criticized wealth inequality, saying those who have more money should share their earnings with the less fortunate.

"Right now, I'm actually surprised by how much money I got," Obama said of the more than $20 million he earned between 2005 and 2016.


Florida shooting over handicapped spot argument was self-defense, cops say

A motorist who shot and killed a man who shoved him to the ground during a heated row over a handicapped parking space likely won't be charged, police have said.

Michael Drejka, 47, was cleared by police in Thursday's shooting of 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton in Clearwater, Florida, where an argument over proper parking etiquette took a deadly turn.

The shooting 'is within the bookends of stand your ground and within the bookends of force being justified,' Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at a recorded press conference on Friday.

'I'm not saying I agree with it, but I don't make that call,' the sheriff added.

Surveillance video of the incident shows that McGlockton was riding in a 2016 Chrysler 2000 driven by his girlfriend Britany Jacobs, 25, when she pulled into the parking lot of the Circle-A Food Store at 3.27pm.


Mother-of-two, 39, dies from E. coli she contracted caring for her dying toddler four years ago

A 39-year-old mother has died four years after contracting a strain of E. coli that killed her young daughter.

Karen Odens' little girl Sophia contracted the bacteria on February 5, 2014, from a mystery source. Despite being rushed to the hospital near their home in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, the four-year-old died days later.

But then, Karen fell ill with the same flu-like symptoms, and was forced to go through kidney dialysis for weeks.

After a month, she was discharged, but battled dangerously fluctuating blood pressure for years, in and out of hospital 30 times.

Eventually, she contracted kidney failure, and died on July 14


Outbreak Alert: McDonald's Salads Infected With Cyclospora Parasite

The FDA and the CDC – along with state and local officials – are investigating a multi-state outbreak of cyclosporiasis illness linked to salads from McDonald’s restaurants.

So far, the reported number of people sickened by the tainted salads is 163 in 10 states. Three of the victims have been hospitalized.

In a statement about the outbreak published on July 13 and updated today, McDonald’s reported that the company proactively decided to remove the lettuce blend in impacted restaurants and replace it through a different supplier:

We have removed existing lettuce blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers – which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants primarily located in the Midwest. Of the 3,000 restaurants, at least one is located in the following states: IL, IA, IN, WI, MI, OH, MN, NE, SD, MT, ND, KY, WV, and MO.


Father, son sheriff’s deputies jailed in Florida for separate murder, attempted sexual assault cases

A Florida jail is housing a 39-year-old man and his father who were both Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies before getting into trouble with the law in separate cases, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Dad Carlton Nebergall Jr., 61, is awaiting trial in the Feb. 19 murder of his daughter’s estranged husband, according to the paper.

The son, Jason Nebergall, was convicted by a jury July 13 of trying to rape a woman while on duty in 2016.

They are both behind bars at the Palm Beach County Jail, the paper reported.

“It’s sadly and unfortunately coincidental,” defense attorney Michael Salnick told the paper. He represents both men and is working to get them released.


Newly Released FISA Docs Contradict Strzok’s Sworn Claims He Had Nothing to Do With Carter Page FISA Warrant

Obama’s Deep State FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant on Carter Page in October of 2016 and three subsequent renewals in order to spy on Trump’s campaign and transition team.

Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe and Sally Yates all signed the FISA applications even though Hillary’s fraudulent Russia dossier was used as a pretext to obtain the warrants.

Fitton said Saturday evening Judicial Watch received the requested documents and even though they are heavily redacted, they confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the courts.

Obama’s Deep State DOJ and FBI withheld information about Hillary Clinton and the DNC being behind the information used to obtain the FISA warrant.


Refugees From War-Torn Syria Now Fleeing New Jersey Because Of High Taxes And Violence

Syrian refugees recently placed in New Jersey are now leaving the state because of high cost of living, low quality housing, high taxes and safety concerns, reports.

At Ktuf is a Syrian refugee who arrived in the United States in the summer of 2016, and planning on leaving New Jersey for Michigan next month. Ktuf told the reason she is leaving New Jersey for Michigan: “Over there, you can dream of buying a house, but here you can’t. Costs are so high, and taxes are so high.”

Ktuf’s brother in law moved to Dearborn last month, and was able to find a home with four bedrooms, a backyard and a garage for $1,200 a month.

Mohammad Hial is one of seven Syrian refugees telling the paper they are leaving or planning on leaving New Jersey this summer. Hial left New Jersey for Michigan last week. “This state (New Jersey) is very expensive,” Hial stated.


Whoopi Goldberg Hearts MS-13 Killers

Well, at least Whoopi Goldberg didn't hold up a mock severed head representing President Trump, but her verbal equivalent in profanely chastising guest Judge Jeanine Pirro shows how President Trump's greatest accomplishment may be in pulling back the curtain and letting us see what delusional loons have been manipulating public opinion in this country as part of their attempt to fundamentally transform America into something resembling Berkeley, California – a sanctuary country full of defecating homeless people.

Somewhat lost in the virulent exchange was Whoopi's gross distortion of reality, following Saul Alinksy's rule that you don't debate your opponents – you demonize them and make it personal:

'Did you just point at me? I don't have Trump derangement, let me tell you what I have,' Goldberg shot back. 'I am tired of people starting a conversation with, "Mexicans are liars and rapists." ...

Goldberg and Pirro then got into a screaming match, with Pirro declaring: 'You know what's horrible? When people who shouldn't be here end up murdering children of American citizens.'


Democratic socialism surging in the age of Trump

A week ago, Maine Democrat Zak Ringelstein wasn't quite ready to consider himself a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, even if he appreciated the organization's values and endorsement in his bid to become a U.S. senator.

Three days later, he told The Associated Press it was time to join up. He's now the only major-party Senate candidate in the nation to be a dues-paying democratic socialist.

Ringelstein's leap is the latest evidence of a nationwide surge in the strength and popularity of an organization that, until recently, operated on the fringes of the liberal movement's farthest left flank. As Donald Trump's presidency stretches into its second year, democratic socialism has become a significant force in Democratic politics.

Its rise comes as Democrats debate whether moving too far left will turn off voters.


Biden Thinks Trump Immigration Policy ‘One Of The Darkest Moments’ In US History

Former Vice President Joe Biden was in campaign mode Friday night as he described President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy as “one of the darkest moments in our history.”

Biden said in his Phoenix speech, “this administration’s policies that literally rip babies from the arms of their mothers and fathers — one of the darkest moments in our history,” asNBC News reported.

Biden was addressing a congress of the country’s largest Latino activist group, the LULAC. Biden described the Trump administration’s approach to illegal immigration as indicative of its “all-out assault on human dignity.”

By Friday, the president had continued to comply with the court-ordered reunification of migrant children and parents.


New slogan: Whom are the Democrats really for?

It isn't for the people who will never see the outside of the womb, because Democrats love abortion.

It isn't for the people who believe that marriage between one man and one woman is all that God ordained, because Democrats hate God.

It isn't for the people who know that boys can only become men and girls can only become women, because Democrats have mainstreamed mental madness.

It isn't for the people who believe that their elected officials should represent only them, because Democrats will represent any potential vote, constituents or not, legal or not.

It isn't for the American poor, because Democrats care for only poor homeless illegal aliens.


"Truth Was Irrelevant" WSJ Asks: Was Brennan's Action The Real "Treason"?

The Wall Street Journal continues to counter the liberal mainstream media's Trump Derangement Syndrome, dropping uncomfortable truth-bombs and refusing to back off its intense pressure to get to the truth and hold those responsible, accountable (in a forum that is hard for the establishment to shrug off as 'Alt-Right' or 'Nazi' or be 'punished' by search- and social-media-giants).

And once again Kimberley Strassel - who by now has become the focus of social media attacks for her truth-seeking reporting - does it again this morning, as she points out - after his 'treasonous' outbursts, that Obama's CIA Director John Brennan acknowledges that it was him egging on the FBI's probe of Trump and Russia.


Pirro: Whoopi Goldberg ‘Got in My Face,’ Yelling ‘Get the F**K out of Here’

Jeanine Pirro said she was told to “get the f**k out of here” by ABC’s Whoopi Goldberg following her Thursday appearance as a guest on The View, recalling how she was berated on-air by the show’s most senior host.

Pirro, host of Fox News Channel’s Justice with Judge Jeanine and author of Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy, joined Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with co-hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

Pirro recounted, “As I was exiting the stage, [Whoopi Goldberg] was already off, and she said, ‘F you. F you,’ and then I said, ‘Whoopi, I can’t believe it. I have fought for victims my whole life.’ She got in my face to the point where she was actually spitting at me and she said, ‘Get the f out of here. Get the f out of this building,’ and she’s pointing to the door. It was almost as though I was a dog, and she cursed me out and said, ‘get the f out of this building.'”

Pirro added, “I have to tell you guys, as a prosecutor and judge and a DA, I can go toe-to-toe with the best of them. Well, I have never been treated like this in my life. They invited me on The View. I didn’t ask to go on, and people said, ‘Don’t’ go on it.’ I said, ‘You know what? As far as I’m concerned, I can defend my book.’ I wrote it. I’ve got hundreds of footnotes. I’m going to go on. I like them. I don’t have a problem with them. They were gunning for me.”


Rubio, Scott Lead Assault on Conservative Judge, Take Down ‘Qualified’ Nominee

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Tim Scott torpedoed a conservative nominee to the Ninth Circuit appeals court on Thursday whom even liberals called qualified for the bench, citing college-era political comments, energizing Democrats, and creating a new line of attack against the confirmations of dozens of other judicial picks, including Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

Ryan Bounds, an Oregon federal prosecutor who clerked for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain on the Ninth Circuit, had an impressive array of credentials that impressed people on the left and the right. Even the left-wing American Bar Association (ABA) unanimously voted to rate Bounds as “qualified” for the Ninth Circuit after they reviewed his full record, showing that even those firmly aligned with liberal priorities acknowledge that college-era political riffs do not disqualify someone from a federal judgeship.

But what should have been a historic moment for the Trump administration and the Republican Party to nominate a qualified judge ended in a failed nomination due to Rubio and Scott’s efforts to take down a conservative judge due to misgivings about the nominee’s writings in a college newspaper.


Fox News’ Eboni Williams backs National Anthem Protest

Friday while debating the NFL’s currently suspended new National Anthem policy that requires players to either stand on the field or remain in the locker room, Fox News anchor and Fox Sports 1 “Undisputed” moderator Eboni Williams questioned those who oppose the timing of the anthem protests, asking when a better time would be than when everyone’s eyes are on them.

“What you cannot do in this country, to my knowledge, is tell free, grown folks what they will or will not do, particularly when, like [Jurrell] Casey, they are willing to pay the cost of disrupting that process,” Williams stated.


In Defense of the Right

The Ash Wednesday massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, seems to have broken more hearts than similar tragedies that preceded it. It was no more senseless than other American school shootings, but there is something about the innocence and bravery and eloquence of the youthful survivors that has touched the souls of Americans deeply.

After burying their dead, the survivors have mobilized into a mighty political force that loosely seeks more laws to regulate the right to keep and bear arms. The young people, traumatized and terrified with memories of unspeakable horror that will not fade, somehow think that a person bent on murder will obey gun laws.

Every time I watch these beautiful young people, I wince, because in their understandable sadness is the potential for madness — “madness” being defined as the passionate and stubborn refusal to accept reason. This often happens after tragedy. After watching the government railroad Abraham Lincoln’s killer’s conspirators — and even some folks who had nothing to do with the assassination — the poet Herman Melville wrote: “Beware the People weeping. When they bare the iron hand.”


The REAL U.S. Election Meddling: Nationwide Voter Fraud, Importation of Voters

As the establishment media, GOP, and Democrats fret over the influence foreign countries have on U.S. elections, the leading threats to the American electorate remain nationwide voter fraud and mass immigration.

Though President Trump’s administration sought to thoroughly investigate voter fraud through the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, the board was handed off to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to bypass obstruction from national Democrats who refused to turn over voter data.

The number of convictions against voter fraud continues to rise, with now nearly 940 criminal convictions on the books across the U.S., according to the latest data from the Heritage Foundation.

Likewise, the number of cases of voter fraud has risen. Heritage’s Voter Fraud Database now features 1,071 cases of voter fraud that spans across 47 states.

In the most recent study by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) on voter fraud, the think tank found 8,471 high-likelihood cases of double voting. About 7,271 of those cases were inter-state double voting, while the remaining 1,200 cases were of intra-state double voting.

“The probability of correctly matching two records with the same name, birth date, and social security number is close to 100 percent,” the GAI report noted.

Kansas Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach is fighting in his state to enforce voting laws that would mandate voters prove their U.S. citizenship. This effort has currently been halted by the left-wing ACLU organization and a circuit judge who recently claimed that it was unconstitutional for a state to demand voters provide their U.S. citizenship records. Years ago, proof of citizenship voting laws were upheld as fully constitutional.

More here

Xanax could be driving America's next drug epidemic

America is on track for an epidemic of addiction and overdoses from anti-anxiety medication, a top clinician warns.

With the nation's attention on prescription painkillers, there has been scant conversation about the climbing rate of people being prescribed benzodiazepines, potent drugs like Xanax and Valium designed to alleviate anxiety and panic attacks on a short term basis.

Dr Anna Lembke, a psychiatry professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and author of Drug Dealer MD, warns 'benzos' are being consumed and distributed in a way that eerily echoes the lead-up to the opioid epidemic.

Crucially, she warns, more and more patients are finding it impossible to reduce their dose or quit the drugs even after one prescription, paving the way to either an excruciating battle with withdrawal symptoms or a lifetime of addiction.


Report finds surprisingly high rate of slavery in the world

North Korea and Eritrea have the world’s highest rates of enslaved people.

And, while slavery is far more prevalent in the developing world, powerhouse economies in the developed world have surprisingly high rates of forced labour, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index, published by the human rights group Walk Free Foundation.

The global survey, released on Thursday, focuses on the roles of conflict and government repression in modern slavery.

In addition to North Korea and Eritrea, the central African nation of Burundi also has a high prevalence of slavery.

"Each of these three countries has state-sponsored forced labour, where their government puts its own people to work for its own benefit," said Fiona David, research chair of the Minderoo Foundation, which led the data collection.

More than 40-million people were enslaved around the world in 2016, according to an estimate by the Walk Free Foundation and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

More here

Recovery, Recession, Or Depression? The State Of Americans' Livers Exposes Reality

"Never been better" is how President Trump and the mainstream would describe the economy with its multi-decade low unemployment, record high share prices, and more job openings than applicants.

However, judging by a new study by BMJ, "never been worse" may be a better description of America.

As Statista's Sarah Feldman notes, alcohol related liver deaths have been rising in the U.S over the past 7 years. In the decade preceding this uptick, these deaths were on the mend, raising the question - if everything is so awesome, why are Americans drinking themselves to death in record numbers?

You will find more infographics at Statista

Southern and western states have had the greatest change in alcohol related liver deaths.

Other demographic groups also carry a higher burden of this spike. Young people ages 25 to 34 years old-- particularly young men-- seem to be driving the upward trend in alcohol related liver deaths.

Liver failure usually takes years to develop and become deadly, which is why middle-aged men have historically been the face of the disease. The progressed cases of alcohol related liver deaths happening to a young age group signal that the alcohol abuse these people are engaging in is very severe.

Advanced alcohol abuse is linked to depression, particularly for young men but not older people or women. The authors correlate the worsening trend in alcohol related liver deaths—particularly among young men-- with the 2008 financial recession.


Ohio restaurant cancels Sunday church discount after outrage from atheists

A seemingly harmless discount to parishioners who wanted a good meal after church backfired on a Ohio restaurant after a secular organization cried foul.

The owners of the Starters Cafe in Cheviot, Ohio, offered a 10-percent discount to those who presented that morning's church bulletin at Sunday brunch.

"What we did was make an offer on social media to give a 10-percent discount to anyone that gave a church bulletin to us on Sunday for brunch," Justin Watson said to WKRC.

"We've had an outstanding response from the local community. There's been a lot of support," Watson said.

Then Watson said he received a negative Yelp review from a woman regarding the promotion, and a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) threatening legal action.

"We are shocked that there is such little understanding of the Civil Rights Act and that there could be this kind of confusion, naivete that you can reward some customers for their religious beliefs and penalize others," Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-president of the FFRF, told WKRC.


"What's Next, Air?" - NJ Dems Weighing Water Tax To Help Fix Pensions

With its reserve fund depleted, and its last-minute budget agreement featuring several unappetizing tax hikes on corporations and the wealthiest people living in the state (as well as taxes on e-cigarettes and Airbnb) New Jersey lawmakers and state officials are considering yet another tax - on tap water - that would purportedly be used to fix a crumbling water delivery infrastructure, according toFox 5.

State Sen. Bob Smith proposed the tax, which he posed as a "user fee" based on volume, saying it would add 10 cents for every 1,000 gallons of water used. Smith said that it would only add $32 a year to the "average" bill. For the record, the state already charges a public utility franchise tax on water system operators of $0.01 per 1,000 gallons. That tax, which went into effect in 1984, is supposed to "ensure clean drinking water in New Jersey."


Uncle Sam cracks down on bogus veterans charities

For many donors, Help the Vets sounded like a great cause: The group said contributions would benefit disabled veterans by helping pay for medical care, assist with suicide prevention, even fund family retreats.

As it turned out, however, Help the Vets was a “sham charity” that primarily benefited its founder and president, Neil G. “Paul” Paulson, who raised $11 million over three years by misleading soft-hearted contributors, according to a complaint filed Wednesday by federal and state authorities.

Fed up with charitable scams that exploit public sympathy for veterans, the Federal Trade Commission struck back Thursday by unveiling Operation Donate with Honor, a sweeping campaign aimed at exposing scammers who tug at donors’ heartstrings with false promises of helping military personnel.

The public-relations effort was organized with the National Association of State Charity Officials and coordinated with law enforcement and charitable regulators in every state as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

More here

Ever heard of ‘deep fake’ technology?

On June 7, during a training exercise in the Baltics, four U.S. Army Stryker vehicles driving along a road between Kaunas and Prienai, Lithuania, collided when the lead vehicle braked too hard for a obstacle on the roadway. Not long after the incident, a blog post made to look like a popular Lithuanian news outlet claimed the Americans had killed a local child in the collision.

A doctored image was posted showing unconcerned soldiers near a crushed bicycle and child’s corpse.

“This is a very typical example of the hostile information, and proves we are already being watched,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said of the fabricated event during a June 8 meeting with NATO officials. “We have no doubt that this was a deliberate and coordinated attempt aiming to raise general society’s condemnation to our allies, as well as discredit the exercises and our joint efforts on defense strengthening.”

In this case, the phony image and news article were quickly refuted, but what happens when it’s not so easy to tell truth from fiction?

The ability to distort reality is expected to reach new heights with the development of so-called “deep fake" technology: manufactured audio recordings and video footage that could fool even digital forensic experts.

More here

Doctors Give Patients 11 Seconds To Explain Reason For Visit

Ever feel like your doctor is in a rush to get you out the door when you come in for a visit? You’re not just imagining things. A new study finds physicians give a patient an average of just 11 seconds to describe their issue before cutting them off.

Researchers from the University of Florida determined that for all the waiting we do after we arrive at a medical practitioner’s office, its the doctors who seem to have the least amount of patience. The study showed that just a third of physicians give patients adequate time to explain why they’re there.

Our results suggest that we are far from achieving patient-centered care,” says study co-author Naykky Singh Ospina in a release, adding that medicals specialists proved to be in the biggest hurry, compared to primary care physicians.

Singh Ospina, who led the research team, sought to examine the flow of conversation between clinicians and patients, and more importantly, see how viable it was for the most important person in the room — the patient, of course — to lead the discussion. Her researchers secured videos of consultations that were filmed in clinics across the U.S. as training sessions for the physicians between 2008 and 2015.


Steve Bannon to create populist nonprofit foundation in Europe

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is moving to Europe to set up a populist foundation he will call "The Movement."

The foundation will aim to help elect right-leaning nationalist candidates during the 2019 election season. It will conduct polling, advise politicians on messaging, and provide analysis.

The Movement is intended to provide a right-leaning alternative to rival the Open Society Foundation, a liberal organization founded and funded by billionaire investor George Soros, Bannon told the Daily Beast. It will be headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

More here

Who Owns the Moon? A Space Lawyer Answers

Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a national flag in another part of the world still amounted to claiming that territory for the fatherland. Did the Stars and Stripes on the moon signify the establishment of an American colony?

When people hear for the first time that I am a lawyer practicing and teaching something called "space law," the question they ask most frequently, often with a big smile or a twinkle in the eye, is: "So tell me, who owns the moon?" [Moon Master: An Easy Quiz for Lunatics]

Of course, claiming new national territories had been very much a European habit, applied to non-European parts of the world. In particular the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the French and the English created huge colonial empires. But while their attitude was very Europe-centric, the legal notion that planting a flag was an act of establishing sovereignty quickly stuck and became accepted worldwide as part and parcel of the law of nations.

More here

Trump Responds To "Inconceivable, Perhaps Illegal" Cohen Tape Revelation

Having withheld his comments all day Friday to the NYT revelation that his former lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded one of their conversations before the 2016 election dicussing a payment over the story of a former Playboy model's alleged affair with Trump, Trump broke his silence on Saturday morning using his favorite medium.

"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!" Trump tweeted.

Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!


McConnell Calls Dems’ Bluff, Threatens Election Eve Vote on Kavanaugh

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is threatening to tee up a November vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh if Democrats do not drop their extensive request for records, according to a Friday Politico report.

Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), are demanding documents, perhaps up to one million pages of them, spanning Kavanaugh’s career in the George W. Bush White House as he comes up for Senate consideration. Breitbart News’s Senior Legal Editor Ken Klukowski opined Friday that Schumer’s move was “merely an obstructionist tactic to push his confirmation into 2019 to harm Republicans in the midterms, and hoping to retake Senate control so they can keep the Supreme Court seat open until 2021, after the next presidential election.”


End Times at the DC Corral

Personally, I believe that the plodding, implacable Robert Mueller, white knight of the Deep State, will flush the Golden Golem of Greatness out of office, probably on some sort of money-laundering rap having nothing to do with “Russian meddling.” Anderson Cooper will have a multiple orgasm. Rachel Maddow will don a yellow hard-hat and chain-saw a scale model of Mar-a-Lago to the glee of her worshippers. The #Resistance will dance in the streets. And then what?

I doubt that Mr. Trump will go gracefully. Rather he’ll dig in and fight even if it means fomenting a constitutional crisis. He’ll challenge Mr. Mueller on veering into matters unrelated to alleged Russian pranks in the 2016 election. He may well attempt the self-pardoning gambit. He will have a lot of support out in the Deplorable gloaming. But, at some point, I expect a bipartisan consensus to emerge in Congress that the guy has got to go. He’s making it impossible to conduct even the routines of bribery and domestic collusion that Washington exists for. Nobody is getting paid — at least not the bonuses they’re accustomed to seeing.

The 25th amendment is still the best tool for the job. Unlike impeachment, it doesn’t require much in the way of standards of evidence or any Mickey Mouse niceties of due process. It doesn’t take months and months of tiresome legal gamesmanship, no committees or reports. You just get a small number of cabinet members and congressional leaders to agree that the President is “unfit” — which can mean anything, really — and he’s chopped. General Kelly may be enlisted to pry Mr. Trump’s smallish fingers from the doorjamb and shove him into the waiting limo in the porte cochère for the long sad ride up the Jersey Turnpike.


Trump: I Could Be Putin’s ‘Worst Enemy’ if Relationship Doesn’t Work Out

President Donald Trump, under fire for being too cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he could be Putin's "worst enemy" if their relationship deteriorates and called predecessor Barack Obama a "patsy for Russia."

Trump told CNBC in an interview airing Friday he had been "far tougher on Russia" than possibly any U.S. president, ever, pointing to his recent attack on Germany for their proposed second natural gas pipeline deal with Russia.

"Look at the sanctions I've put on. Look at the diplomats I threw out," Trump said. "Look at all of the things that I've done. Nobody else did what I've done. Obama didn't do it. Obama was a patsy for Russia. He was a total patsy."

Trump referenced Obama's hot mic moment in 2012 where he told then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more "flexibility" after his election was over, calling Obama's statement "stupid."

"Getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia is a positive, not a negative," Trump said. "With that being said, if that doesn't work out, I'll be the worst enemy he's ever had. The worst he's ever had. I think he knows that, though. I'll be his worst nightmare, but I don't think it'll be that way. I actually think we'll have a good relationship."


Hillary Clinton claims US has suffered a 'successful cyber attack on our electoral system'

Hillary Clinton has weighed in on the latest White House controversies, blasting President Donald Trump over his meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Clinton spoke on Saturday evening at OZY Fest in New York's Central Park, where the digital magazine's investor Laurene Powell Jobs quizzed her for her take on current events and trends.

Jobs, the widow of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, asked Clinton about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's latest indictment, of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for their alleged role in leaking stolen Democratic National Committee emails.

'What does all this mean? It's fair to say that it means that this was a very wrong, and unfortunately successful, cyber attack on our electoral system,' the former Democrat presidential candidate replied.


Opens August 3rd at Regal in Salisbury

Republican governor of Maryland says he'd REJECT an NRA endorsement

Maryland's Republican governor told a group of students from a school where a teen fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and then himself that he'd reject a National Rifle Association endorsement if it were offered.

Gov. Larry Hogan made the statement while meeting with students on Thursday, sharing a photo tagged as having been taken in Annapolis.

The students met with Hogan following the March 20 attack against their fellow classmate, Jaelynn Willey, 16, who died two days after being shot in the head by 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins, who later took his own life.

The bullet that Rollins fired at Willey, which eventually killed her, also struck Desmond Barnes, 14, in the leg.

The NRA endorsed Hogan in 2014 and he's now seeking a second term.


Baltimore mayor sues over climate change after de Blasio's case gets thrown out

As one climate lawsuit gets thrown out of court in New York, another one takes its place in Baltimore.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the lawsuit Friday in joining about a dozen other cities and states in suing fossil fuel firms for their role in causing global warming.

"The East Coast’s 5th largest city today joined a growing number of communities that are trying to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for knowingly contributing to what one of the industry’s own experts described as the 'potentially catastrophic' consequences of climate change," the mayor's office said in a statement.

The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court of Baltimore, targets many of the energy firms that dot the landscape around Charm City. Most notably, Consol Energy's coal export terminal, the only one like it on the East Coast, that handles much of the U.S. coal industry's shipments abroad.

The lawsuit also targets oil giants BP, Marathon, Chevron, Exxon, ConocoPhillips, Citgo, and many others.

The lawsuit was filed about 24 hours after a court in New York rejected a similar lawsuit in New York filed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.


First Liquor Trade Group in the Country Endorses Marijuana Legalization

It has been reiterated many times by many people that a legal cannabis industry is going to challenge the dominance of an old and established liquor operations. Alcohol businesses are aware of this threat and hence they often found lobbying against the legalization measures in different states.

However, with the evolving cannabis landscape, it seems like the alcohol industry is also gradually accepting the legitimacy of the strain. Recently, the first alcohol trade group in the country has recognized the states’ right to legalize cannabis.

The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), a body that represents 80 percent of the alcohol wholesale market of the country, have a drastic change in its policy. It has demanded the federal government to not interfere in the states’ matter of legalization. The press release issued by the group mentions that the collective legal cannabis operations of the country generated the economic activity of seven billion dollars in 2016.

WSWA’s executive vice president of external affairs, Dawson Hobbs, has compared the budding cannabis industry to the struggling alcohol economy of the 1930s. He thinks that cannabis right now is facing the same challenges faced by the alcohol industry in the era of prohibition.


Julian Assange to be handed over to UK officials: Report

Ecuador officials are planning to withdraw asylum protection for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and hand him over to British authorities.

Lenin Moreno, Ecuador's president, met with British officials in London Friday to finalize the agreement, according to the Intercept.

Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 and will be handed over to the British government within a few weeks. He may be kicked out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London as early as this week, the Intercept's Glenn Greenwald reported.


It's Time For Ocean City Maryland To Start Recycling

It makes absolutely no sense for this resort town to allow such mass pollution. 

I am calling out the Mayor and Council in Ocean City, start recycling now. We need your leadership on this matter. Wicomico County is doing an incredible job and MAKING MONEY doing so. This helps relieve taxpayers on tax increases and it just makes sense.

Same Paper, Same Dates, Different Markets. What did you just learn? Feeling Manipulated Yet?

Breaking News: President Trump threatened Iran on Twitter, warning in capital letters of severe "consequences," after a speech by the country's president

President Trump threatened Iran late Sunday, warning of severe “consequences,” as rhetoric between the two countries’ presidents escalated dramatically.

Mr. Trump, in an all-caps message on Twitter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, wrote that the country would face “CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED” if he continued to threaten the United States.

Liberalism 2018


Caption This Photo 7-23-18

Daughter To Father


Good Question