Lone Wolf domestic terrorism on the rise

As the White House prepares to host a major summit examining the threat of violent extremism…a Southern Poverty Law Center study of domestic terrorism…finds that the vast majority of this violence is coming from “lone wolves” or “leaderless resistance” groups composed of no more than two people.

The report – Age of the Wolf: A Study of the Rise of Lone Wolf and Leaderless Resistance Terrorism (download a PDF)– examines more than 60 domestic terror incidents. Almost three-quarters of the incidents were carried out, or planned, by a lone wolf, a single person acting without accomplices. Ninety percent of the incidents were the work of no more than two persons.

The study, which included violence from both the radical right and homegrown jihadists, also found that a domestic terrorist attack or foiled attack occurred, on average, every 34 days. It covered a period between April 1, 2009 and Feb. 1, 2015, and was based on records maintained by Indiana State University and the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, along with the SPLC’s own roster of apparent domestic terror incidents…

A timeline included with the report details a lengthy list of deadly attacks and plots across the country. They include a 2014 rampage in Nevada by a husband and wife with anti-government views that left two police officers and another man dead, a 2012 attack on a Wisconsin Sikh temple by a long-time neo-Nazi that killed six victims, and a 2010 attack that left an Internal Revenue Service manager dead after a man who had attended radical anti-tax group meetings crashed his single-engine plane into an IRS office in Austin, Texas.

RTFA – and please consider reading the report. The SPLC has been around forever and they are a great source for thoroughly documented reports on the nutballs who constitute a threat to us all.

Tropical virus goes from Zero to 1.24 mIllion cases in the Americas – in 1 year!

In slightly more than a year, the Americas have seen more than 1.24 million cases of chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne disease that causes high fever and debilitating joint pain.

The tropical virus was rare in North, Central, and South America until December 2013, when investigation of suspected dengue virus in the Caribbean island of St. Martin turned up 26 cases of chikungunya, without any sign they had been imported from elsewhere.

As of the end of February 2015, that handful of cases had exploded to 1,247,400 suspected and confirmed cases, affecting almost every country in the hemisphere, according to the Pan-American Health Organization.

Until the end of 2013, chikungunya in the Americas was almost entirely imported from countries in Africa or Asia where the tropical virus was endemic.

In the U.S., most cases are still imported — a cumulative total of some 2,542 since 2013, according to the PAHO, with an additional 11 cases, all in Florida, blamed on local transmission. But most of that transmission now comes from the epidemics raging elsewhere in the region.

The U.S. numbers might be an underestimate…until this year, the virus was not a nationally notifiable disease, so some cases might have been missed.

The virus — the name is pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya — is carried by mosquitoes, mainly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which are widespread in the U.S.

The CDC notes that both species primarily bite in the daytime and urges that travelers take precautions against mosquito bites, including wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, if weather permits, and using insect repellents.

There is no specific treatment for the virus and no vaccine, but its dramatic spread has re-focused the attention of vaccine researchers…

By summertime, some enterprising news-as-entertainment-network will pick up on the fear-factor potential of another disease originating in Africa and take a shot at American Ebola panic to get traffic up on their crappy channel. There have been a few false starts; but, the Philistines haven’t succeeded. Yet.

Meanwhile, support for vaccine studies proceeds at a deliberate pace. Something else for both New Age and Old Testament Luddites to use to up their anti-science game.

The CDC will have – and does have – reasonable safety suggestions. Not unlike the usual sensible practices everywhere insect-borne disease may flourish.

Restaurant honors birthday rule — 101-year-old gets 101% refund!


Looks pretty good for 101

A restaurant’s policy to give customers a percentage off their bill on their birthday actually became a 7-cent refund for man who turned 101.

Joseph Nelson, who celebrated a birthday breakfast at the Belmont Hall and Restaurant in Manchester on Monday, told WMUR-TV he never thought he’d live this long.

The restaurant’s policy is that customers get a percentage taken off the bill on their birthday based on their age. At 101 years old, the restaurant owed Nelson money.

Nelson ate scrambled eggs and ham, topped off with a piece of chocolate cake.

You can’t buy publicity like this – this cheap.