North Dakota is first in the US to authorize weaponized drones for local coppers

❝ Armed drones could be used by police in the US state of North Dakota after local lawmakers legalised their use.

While they will be limited to “less than lethal” weapons, tear gas, tasers, rubber bullets and pepper spray could all be used in theory by the remote controlled flying machines.

❝ In a classic case of unintended consequences, the original sponsor, Republican state representative Rick Becker said he was unhappy with the way legislation turned out.

His original intention was to prevent law enforcement officials from using the unmanned aerial vehicles from conducting surveillance on private property without a warrant.

“In my opinion there should be a nice, red line: Drones should not be weaponised,” he said.

The rest of the idjits in charge of lawmaking in North Dakota quickly moved on.

The state’s police union amended the Bill, limiting any ban to only lethal weapons, meaning that sound cannons or rubber bullets could be used on police drones…

Mr Becker said that he didn’t fight the amendments, telling the Ars Technica website that he wanted “the Bill to pass to at least require warrants.”

❝ At least 39 people have been killed by police tasers in 2015, according to The Guardian.

The fact that a suspect could potentially be tasered by an officer sitting hundreds of miles away will likely add to the concerns of those who are worried about the militarisation of US police departments.

First two thing that occur to me:

1. Another fascist growth industry for America. Armed drones rolling out of factories from Alabama to Arizona. Drone wars on television with the winner getting a contract from the DEA. Hammer wars to determine who can rack up the biggest kill ratio with .50 caliber armament included in Nevada militia versions.

2. Who will be first to hack one of these critters and turn it on the coppers? Or an elementary school?

Air pollution recognized as a risk factor for diabetes


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“Whether the disease becomes manifest and when this occurs is not only due to lifestyle or genetic factors, but also due to traffic-related air pollution,” said Professor Annette Peters, director of the Institute of Epidemiology II at Helmholtz Zentrum München and head of the research area of epidemiology of the DZD.

For the current study, she and her colleagues…analyzed the data of nearly 3,000 participants of the KORA study who live in the city of Augsburg and two adjacent rural counties. All individuals were interviewed and physically examined. Furthermore, the researchers took fasting blood samples, in which they determined various markers for insulin resistance and inflammation. In addition, leptin was examined as adipokine which has been suggested to be associated with insulin resistance. Non-diabetic individuals underwent an oral glucose tolerance test to detect whether their glucose metabolism was impaired.

The researchers compared these data with the concentrations of air pollutants at the place of residence of the participants, which they estimated using predictive models based on repeated measurements at…up to 40 sites…in the city and in the rural counties.

“The results revealed that people who already have an impaired glucose metabolism, so-called pre-diabetic individuals, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution,” said Dr. Kathrin Wolf, lead author of the study. “In these individuals, the association between increases in their blood marker levels and increases in air pollutant concentrations is particularly significant! Thus, over the long term — especially for people with impaired glucose metabolism — air pollution is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.”

The authors are also concerned that the concentrations of air pollutants, though below EU threshold values, are still above the proposed guidelines of the World Health Organization… As a consequence, they demand changes in government policy: “Lowering the threshold for acceptable air pollution levels would be a prudent step,” said Dr. Alexandra Schneider, who was also involved in the study. “We are all exposed to air pollution. An individual reduction by moving away from highly polluted areas is rarely an option.”

Many folks currently focussed on the political battle over climate change have been at it for a long time. The crap air we’re all faced with as “normal” has been anything but normal for decades. Because we’ve moved slightly back from acid rain and a Love Canal in every backyard doesn’t mean we’ve won anything more than individual battles. Though significant, the full extent of poisoning of the Earth’s air breathers, water-drinkers, continues to demand a critical political movement against the polluters and their acolytes.

Catching up with Looney News: Michele Bachmann says this will be the last election if Hillary wins

❝ I believe without a shadow of a doubt this is the last election. This is it. This is the last election. And the reason why I say that…is because it’s a math problem. It’s a math problem of demographics and a changing United States. If you look at the numbers of people who vote and who lives in the country and who Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to bring in to the country, this is the last election when we even have a chance to vote for somebody who will stand up for godly moral principles. This is it.

❝ Hillary Clinton, I’m not judging her spiritually or where she is at but we know where she’s going to come down on Supreme Court justices, she’s pro-Planned Parenthood. She’s for everything I’m against…This isn’t even close between what Donald Trump stands for and espouses and what Hillary Clinton stands for and espouses. People look at Trump and he can be course [sic] and a little crude and all the rest and I say get over it! Get over it because what he is going to do is uphold religious liberty and advance the constitutional republic that our founders gave us.”

“She (Hillary Clinton) has said herself that she is going to grant wholesale amnesty to people from the Third World who are here in the United States and we hear this fake number of 11 million illegal aliens in the United States. Wrong! It’s about 30 to 40 million illegal aliens currently in the United States – 30 to 40 million!”

❝ “What Hillary Clinton’s ultimate goal is is to secure her reelection. The very first thing she will do as President Hillary Clinton is this: she will have a wholesale amnesty so that Republicans will never again have the chance at winning Florida or Texas. If we can’t win Florida or Texas, it’s game over.”…

❝ “God says to every nation for all of time, ‘I set before you life and death, what are you going to choose?’ If you look at the book of Genesis, you don’t even have to get beyond Chapter 3 to see God gives us life. The first thing he gives mankind is life. What does man choose? Death. We choose rebellion and death. You go from Genesis all through the Bible to the book of Revelation; man stupidly makes the same decision over and over again by rejecting life and choosing death. What I’m telling you is that’s what we’re looking at now in this country.”

Sigh. Can anyone have a rational conversation, discussion, with a nutball who rejects evidence-based data? Whose entire analysis of the political economy of the United States requires the governance of a book written in the 14th Century to satisfy the ruling monarchy of England?

Losing an election – as flawed, gerrymandered and restricted as racist Republicans can get away with – so disturbs the mind of True Believers that death appears to be a likely – if not glorious – alternative.