Coppers agree with paranoid stoners who made 911 call — they are dumbasses!

Two self-proclaimed “dumbasses” driving high in Idaho with 20 pounds of marijuana called the police on themselves after they got “spooked” about cops following them.

East Idaho News released audio of a 911 call from last year that led to the drug trafficking arrests of Leland Ayala-Doliente, 22, and Holland Sward, 23, who were apparently so high and paranoid they were certain undercover cops were tailing them.

East Idaho News released audio of a 911 call of Leland Ayala-Doliente, who said he was convinced police were following him.

The two young men were traveling from Las Vegas to Montana on 23 January when they became increasingly concerned that they were going to be arrested after crossing the Idaho border, according to police in Rexburg, a city in eastern Idaho.

Eventually, the men decided to speed up the process of their arrest and called cops – politely requesting that they “just end it”.

While pulled over near a gas station and an Applebee’s restaurant, Ayala-Doliente told a confused Madison County dispatcher: “Hi, uh, we’re the two dumbasses that got caught trying to bring some stuff through your border and all your cops are just driving around us like a bunch of jack wagons, and I’d just really would like for you guys to end it. If you could help me out with that, we would like to just get on with it.”

“You got caught doing what?” the dispatcher replied.

“Ahh, God, OK,” Ayala-Doliente continued. “We kind of got spooked here trying to bring some stuff across your Idaho border. … A bunch of your cops are driving around in a bunch of civilian cars not wanting to pick us up. I don’t know what’s the deal.”

He added: “It’s getting cold out here, man. I just want to get warm.”

When police showed up, the men had their hands behind their heads, and Sward told an officer: “We’re surrendering,” according to court records obtained by East Idaho News…

A Rexburg police captain told the news website that no police officers were following them

Folks tell me today’s hybrid weed is outer space-strong compared to what was around BITD for old hippies like me. Cripes, I quit smoking anything in 1958. Only bumped into a little weed like once every 10 years or so. Last time was over 25 years ago at a “wet” opening at a Santa Fe gallery. Think I had 2 tokes and it took me 3 weeks to drive home.

So, I understand that part of the problem. I don’t think I’d go out of my way, though, to bring any attention to myself from the Man.

Herd Immunity against measles won’t hold as vaccination rates fall

Avoiding or delaying the measles vaccine has left nearly 9 million children in the U.S. vulnerable to the disease, including roughly 2 million children too young to receive the vaccine…

“With the number of outbreaks that we are seeing around the country, with the increase of events of the virus being imported into this country, it really gives the sense that there’s some work to do to make sure that our kids are safe. The whole world is connected on this issue,” Matthew M. Zahn, MD, medical director for epidemiology for Orange County Public Health in California…

Based on data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen, the researchers estimated the number of measles-susceptible children and adolescents, ages 17 and younger, in the U.S. “This allowed us to look at, not only those who had ever gotten a dose of the measles vaccine, but also at children who have gotten doses late because of parents who choose to delay vaccinations,” Robert Bednarczyk, PhD, of Emory University said…

The investigators estimated that 12.5% of U.S. children were at risk for measles, and for children ages 3 and under, that rate of susceptibility could be as high as 24.7%…

Zahn encouraged primary care providers to avoid the mindset that because there is a low rate of measles incidence that it’s acceptable for parents to delay vaccination.

None of the sillyass reasons for skipping vaccination are legitimate. The mindset – all too often – has nothing to do with the effectiveness or safety of vaccination; but, rather myth, unfounded fears, misconception and very often – folks being deliberately misled.

That last reason usually profits someone other than kids and families.

Safe housing for the paranoid

Paraguayan home Caja Oscura, by local architects Javier Corvalán and Laboratorio de Arquitectura, consists of a basement structure, with a manually-operated tilting metal box placed atop. With no natural light available when the box is closed, this unusual dwelling is probably not suitable for those who fear being trapped in a small enclosed space, but it is arguably the perfect place to ride out the Apocalypse …

The property measures 914 sq ft and contains a bedroom and bathroom in the crypt-like basement, with a kitchen and living area located in the metal box above (access is offered via a staircase). This latter area is transformed into a semi-outdoor space once raised with a hand-crank, and the metal box itself is constructed from iron tubes, with a galvanized corrugated metal exterior and MDF interior.

When closed, however, the structure appears to be very robust, safe from prying eyes, and more importantly, virtually impenetrable.

To our minds…it’s obviously envisioned as the perfect post-apocalyptic retreat ready for the inevitable zombie rising

The hideaway was built for about $27,000 which should make it perfect for the average cheapskate survivalist. All you need to add is gun ports for the United States. Sturdier is possible – throwing more dollars at the project; but, if you expect nothing more than zombies this should be adequate.

Is Google buying satellites to spy on you? — gasp!


National Reconnaissance Office — Fifty years of vigilance from above

With the $500 million purchase of Skybox, a startup that shoots high-res photos and video with low-cost satellites, Google can extend its reach far across the offline world. Thanks to its knack for transforming mass quantities of unstructured data into revenue-generating insights, the unprecedented stream of aerial imagery to which the company is gaining access could spark a whole new category of high-altitude insights into the workings of economies, nations, and nature itself.

But this acquisition will also demand assurances from Google that it will incorporate privacy safeguards into its vast new view of the world. Already Google gets a lot of flack for tracking user behavior online. With Skybox’s satellites, Google may gain a window into your everyday life even if you don’t use Google at all.

Not too often do we get the paranoid response BEFORE the technical part of an article.

In a statement, Google has said that, in the short term, it plans to use Skybox’s satellites to keep Google Maps up to date. And, in the future, the company says, it could use them to help spread internet access to remote areas, something that will help improve the reach of its existing services.

But imagine all the other things Google could do turns its artificial intelligence expertise onto a constant stream of images beamed down from above…

One Skybox insider told David Samuels that satellite images alone could be used to estimate any country’s major economic indicators. Take, for example, this Skybox case study of Saudi oil reserves measured from space. Now consider the insights that could come from marrying that visual data with Google’s Knowledge Graph, leveraging all the company’s algorithmic might. Google could learn all kinds of new things about the world.

But it could also learn all kinds of new things about you. Skybox can take photos from 500 miles up with a sub-one-meter resolution of the ground below. That isn’t likely to sit well with privacy activists who already don’t trust Google. What does the right to be forgotten mean when Google can always see you anyway?

Skybox’s pedigree likely won’t help assuage anyone who likes a good conspiracy theory. According to Samuels, one of the company’s co-founders, John Fenwick, had previously worked as as a liaison in Congress for the National Reconnaissance Office, “the ultrasecret spy agency that manages much of America’s most exotic space toys.” A major investor had worked as an intelligence officer in the French army, while its CEO held previous jobs that brought him into close contact with the Department of Defense…

Yes, these worries are legitimate. As legitimate as worrying about your DirecTV DVR listening in on conversation in the living room – or Microsoft Link turning over travel information in your new car to the NSA.

If Google finds ways of using these satellites that ends up making users’ lives more interesting and convenient, most people are unlikely to object, just like revelations of NSA surveillance haven’t exactly dented Gmail’s market share. But people may find the idea of Google looking down from the heavens on their physical selves more discomfiting than peering through their browsers at their virtual personas. After all, putting an all-seeing Google eye in space gives a whole new meaning to “do not track.”

It’s not the paranoia that I question. It’s the ignorance. Apparently, ignorance about how long governments have had this capability in spades. I learned both Soviet and American spy satellites were capable of reading the license plate on my car – in 1965. The US project started in 1957. I doubt that David Samuels or Marcus Wohlsen were born yet.

I don’t doubt Skybox has advanced beyond the software and hardware pioneered by Itek and whoever did Soviet satellite optics. But, if you think the alphabet soup of federally-funded spies and snoops haven’t been updating and upgrading – with a lot more moolah than a startup less than a decade in the air – you’re kidding yourself.

I don’t doubt there are or will be the occasional near-Earth project that’s cheap enough to attract Uncle Sugar’s spooks. Maybe there might be a view of something snapped at just the right place and time. I just don’t think relying on conspiracy theory to explain a half-billion$ purchase – especially when the spies who it for a living have a half-century head start. And all the taxpayers in the country to fund their work.

Maybe folks are primarily worried about Google spying for its own end…”imagine all the other things Google could do” could be all this is about. But, it’s still a heckuva lot cheaper to lease time or buy info from eyes in the sky than to acquire your own NASA. Unless, um, maybe you’d like to sell Android satphones to half the folks in Africa or South Asia and the Middle East.

Republican nutballs fear global assistance for the disabled


38 Republicans walked by wheelchair-bound Bob Dole and voted against the treaty

Any suspicion that the political right, after suffering a defeat on the debt ceiling and facing threats from business donors, is losing its clout can be dismissed by the fight over the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The treaty has been ratified by 141 countries. It is backed by the White House, former President George H.W. Bush, the major U.S. disability and veterans advocacy groups, and American businesses.

Senate Republicans, however, already defeated the treaty in 2012, and it now faces an uphill slog to get the two-thirds vote needed for ratification. Right-wing critics, led by former Senator Rick Santorum, the Heritage Foundation and home-schoolers, charge that adopting it would allow global enforcers to dictate the treatment of Americans with disabilities or the permissibility of home schooling, and ease access to abortion.

In reality, the treaty is modeled on the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. It states that nations must ensure that people with disabilities get the same rights and are treated with same dignity as all others. It might well pressure other countries to adopt U.S. standards.

The inevitable conflict between ignorance and stupidity – with a dash of paranoia added, not uncommon in today’s American conservatism.

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Dimwit Republicans in Congress who think they are tobacco farmers in 1782 trying to hide profits from the slave trade

A group of Republicans are cooking up legislation that could give President Barack Obama an unintentional assist with disagreeable unemployment numbers — by eliminating the key economic statistic altogether.

The bill, introduced…by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), would bar the U.S. Census Bureau from conducting nearly all surveys except for a decennial population count. Such a step that would end the government’s ability to provide reliable estimates of the employment rate. Indeed, the government would not be able to produce any of the major economic indices that move markets every month, said multiple statistics experts, who were aghast at the proposal.

“They simply wouldn’t exist. We won’t have an unemployment rate,” said Ken Prewitt, the former director of the U.S. Census who is now a professor of public affairs at Columbia University.

“I don’t know how the market reacts if there is suddenly no unemployment rate at the start of the month,” Prewitt said. “How does the market react if we don’t have a GDP?…”

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Wonder how damned dumb people are? 1 in 7 thinks the world will end in their lifetime. 1 in 10 thinks it ends this year!


Oops!

Nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012, according to a new poll…

“Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.

Responses to the international poll of 16,262 people in more than 20 countries varied widely with only six percent of French residents believing in an impending Armageddon in their lifetime, compared to 22 percent in Turkey and the United States and slightly less in South Africa and Argentina…

About one in 10 people globally also said they were experiencing fear or anxiety about the impending end of the world in 2012. The greatest numbers were in Russia and Poland, the fewest in Great Britain.

Gottfried also said that people with lower education or household income levels, as well as those under 35 years old, were more likely to believe in an apocalypse during their lifetime or in 2012, or have anxiety over the prospect.

RTFA for a list of countries polled. I don’t need to know which religions had the lead in apocalyptic paranoia. I still have problems dealing with the fact that these people get to vote.