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TBR News April 12, 2019

Apr 12 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. April  12, 2019: “Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for April 12:

Here is a precis of a document I recently had to prepare for the President’s staff conference. These points were raised by Bolton and two of his aides:

 

  1. Federal control of all domestic media, the internet, all computerized records, through overview of all domestic fax, mail and telephone conversations,

2 .A national ID card, universal SS cards being mandatory,

  1. Seizure and forced deportation of all illegal aliens, including millions of Mexicans and Central Americans, intensive observation and penetration of Asian groups, especially Indonesian and Chinese,
  2. A re institution of a universal draft (mandatory service at 18 years for all male American youths…based on the German Arbeitsdienst.
  3. Closer coordination of administration views and domestic policies with various approved and régime supportive religious groups,
  4. An enlargement of the planned “no travel” lists drawn up in the Justice Department that would prevents “subversive” elements from flying, (this list to include “peaceniks” and most categories of Muslims)
  5. The automatic death penalty for any proven acts of sedition,
  6. The forbidding of abortion, any use of medical marijuana,
  7. Any public approval of homosexual or lesbian behavior to include magazines, websites, political action groups and soon to be forbidden and punishable.

 

  • Trump administration seeks emergency court order to continue asylum policy
  • The numbers game in the political matrix
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • Trump administration seeks emergency court order to continue asylum policy
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Facebook still tracks you after you deactivate account
  • 6 ways to delete yourself from the internet
  • How to delete your Facebook account once and for all
  • INTERNET as a primary source of domestic surveillance in America
  • Nord Stream 2 pipeline hits 1,000km marker as US fails to talk Europe out of Russian gas supplies
  • Protect your pets’: cats make up one-fifth of coyotes’ diet in Los Angeles

Trump administration seeks emergency court order to continue asylum policy

April 12, 2019

by Tom Hals

Reuters

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – The Trump administration rushed to save its program of sending asylum seekers back to Mexico by filing an emergency motion with a U.S. Court of Appeals, asking it to block an injunction that is set to shut down the policy on Friday afternoon.

The government told the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco the United States faced “a humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border and needed immediate intervention to deal with surging number of refugees.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg ruled the policy was contrary to U.S. immigration law. He issued a nationwide injunction blocking the program and ordered it to take effect at 8 p.m. EDT (midnight GMT).

Melissa Crow, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the groups that brought the case, said the stay should be denied to prevent irreparable harm to asylum seekers who could be unlawfully forced to return to Mexico.

Since January, the administration has sent more than 1,000 asylum seekers, mostly from Central America, back to Mexico to wait the months or years it can take to process claims through an overloaded immigration system.

Seeborg’s ruling also ordered the 11 plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit to be brought back to the United States.

Although it is appealing and the lower court order had yet to take effect, Reuters reporters confirmed that the Trump administration was allowing some asylum seekers from Mexico to return to the United States.

President Donald Trump has bristled at limits on his administration’s ability to detain asylum seekers while they fight deportation, and the administration was in the midst of expanding the program when Seeborg blocked it.

The government’s filing on Thursday night with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked for two stays: a brief administrative stay, which would remain in place until the parties had argued the issue of a longer stay that would block the injunction during the months-long appeals process.

Judy Rabinovitz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union who worked on the case, said there did not appear to be any justification for the request for the administrative stay since asylum seekers were already returning to the United States.

“There’s no urgency,” she said. “They are already complying with the court order.”

The 9th Circuit Court has been a frequent target for Trump’s criticisms of the judicial system, which has blocked his immigration policies on numerous occasions.

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Tom Brown

 

The numbers game in the political matrix

April 12, 2019

by Christian Jürs

There were 56.5 million Hispanics in the United States in 2015, accounting for 17.6% of the total U.S. population.

The Hispanic Mexican population of the United States is projected to grow to 107 million by 2065.

The share of the U.S. population that is Hispanic has been steadily rising over the past half century. In 2015, Hispanics made up 17.6% of the total U.S. population, up from 3.5% in 1960, the origins of the nation’s Hispanic population have diversified as growing numbers of immigrants from other Latin American nations and Puerto Rico settled in the U.S.

For example, between 1930 and 1980, Hispanics from places other than Mexico nearly doubled their representation among U.S. Hispanics, from 22.4% to 40.6%. But with the arrival of large numbers of Mexican immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, the Mexican share among Hispanics grew, rising to a recent peak of 65.7%.

California has the largest legal poplation of Mexicans, 14,013,719. And  California is also home to almost 25% of the country’s undocumented population. California is followed by Texas where 31.14%,(8,500,000) are Mexican, Florida has 4,223,806 Mexicans, Illinois 2,153,000, Arizona,1,895,149, Colorado, 1,136,000 Georgia, 923,000, North Carolina, 890,000, and Washington, 858,000 Mexicans.

Given the fact that President Trump has strong personal dislikes for both Blacks and Latinos, manifest in his recent vicious treatment of Mexican immigrants in their legal attempts to immigrate to the United States, the sheer number of Mexicans now resident in the United States ought to give him, and his far-right Republican Congressional supporters serious pause in their denial of entrance for legal immigrant attempts and the subsequent brutal maltreatment of small children of these immigrants.

If the Mexican voting population of the United States were to organize, like the recent organizing of the black voting population of Alabma in opposition to the fanatical Judge Moore, the results in the November elections could well prove to be a stunning disaster for both Trump and the Republicans.

There are 37,144,530 non-Hispanic blacks resident in the United States, which comprise 12.1% of the population. This number increased to 42 million according to the 2010 United States Census, when including Multiracial African Americans, making up 14% of the total U.S. population.

Numbers certainly count but Trump is obviously unaware of their potential danger, both to him and his right-wing radical supporters. If either, or both, of these groups of eligible American voters organize, they could without question oust Trump from the presidency without recorse to impeachment proceedings in Congress.

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

  • Scott Alan Roberts

Ancient aliens did not visit Earth to guide human evolution and lay the foundation for modern civilizations, but Scotty Roberts is one of those who think they did. It is all explained in his book The Rise and Fall of the Nephilim: The Untold Story of Fallen Angels, Giants on the Earth, and Their Extraterrestrial Origins, which is precisely as scholarly and intellectually compelling and rigorous as the title promises. Roberts’s guiding premise is a couple of passages in the Bible and the books of Enoch about Nephilim, giants and angels, which he interprets through an impressively delusional mass of associations and pseudoscience – including numerology – to arrive at the conclusion he had already decided was true, namely (it seems) that angels, which Roberts concludes must be aliens from outer space, begat the Nephilim. The Nephilim then mated with humans to produce a special bloodline of magic beings, and the Great Flood happened to destroy these “demonic hybrids” and remove all traces of alien DNA from the human gene pool. But then, Roberts actually seems to admit that what he is doing is not science or fact but theory and philosophy (he is not actually doing theory or philosophy either), therefore he can apparently also dismiss objections based on fact or science without engaging with them. His educational background apparently consists of a ride on the Bible college circuit

Numerology? Oh yes: “In the occult science of Numerology, the number 33 represents the ultimate attainment of consciousness. Keeping that in mind, it is very interesting to note that the geographic location of Mount Hermon, the very place where the Watchers are said to have descended to the earthly plane, lies on the 33rd parallel, which is a latitude of 33° north of the equator. If you trace the 33rd parallel to the exact geographic global opposite from Mount Hermon, you will find yourself directly on top of the most controversially mythic place in current ufological history: Roswell, New Mexico. Mount Hermon, where the Watchers descended to the earth, and Roswell, New Mexico, are exact polar opposites on the same 33rd degree north latitude. The global coordinates of Mount Hermon and the Roswell crash site are no accident, and speak to some deeper, perhaps secret significance.” Of course, Roswell and Mount Herman are not even remotely global (or “polar”) opposites, but that observation would presumably be precisely the kind of fact in which Roberts is not interested.

Apparently Roberts is not just any kind of whale.to-style whacko with a website, however – he actually seems to enjoy a bit of status on the ancient aliens conspiracy theory scene and has for instance arranged conferences (such as The Paradigm Symposium: Re-visioning our place in the universe; yeah “paradigm”– few things scream “crackpot” like (mis)use of the word “paradigm”) with luminaries like Erich von Däniken, George Noory, and Giorgio A. Tsoukalos. Roberts is also the founder and publisher of Intrepid Magazineand editor-in-chief of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters official publication, TAPS ParaMagazine. His other books include The Secret History of the Reptilians and The Exodus Reality.

Diagnosis: Completely unfettered by the constraints that control the intellectual capacities of the narrow-minded, such as reason, accountability or fact. Probably relatively harmless, but it isa bit disconcerting to note how popular this kind of nonsense actually is.

  • David Roberts

David Roberts is an Ohio-based new age crackpot and woo merchant. His impressive repertoire of pseudoscience and nonsense can be viewed on his website The Game of Time. According to the website Roberts is also a Pleiadian starseed upon whom is bestowed the task of sharing the infinite wisdom of the stars with us mere mortals. We’ve had the opportunity to encounter a number of Pleiadian starseeds before.

Roberts’s website is sometimes a bit challenging to make sense of, but there are at least plenty of New Age ramblings, weird color schemes and 1990s-style clip art (rainbows shooting out of things is a recurring theme). Topics include: the law of attraction, pseudopsychology, subtle energies, quantum woo, pseudoexistentialism, time travel, parallel dimensions, and a variety of impressively misunderstood concepts and ideas from something resembling science, complete with stream-of-consciousness associations and equivocations (“remember that another way say Light is Energy, and another is Matter,” says Roberts, channeling Humpty-Dumpty). Apparently everything is ultimately magic; light is magic, energy is magic, leverage force and gravity are magic (“[o]f its many magical qualities, none are as impressive as the infinite reach of gravity”), magnetism is magic (“[a]nother form of invisible attractive force we don’t understand is magnetism” – yes, f***ing magnets, how do they work; and “[m]agnetism is also related to another form of magic – electricity”), sound is magic (“[s]ound turns out to be a gravitational phenomenon, so by these definitions is already a form of magic” – dare anyone suggest that there might be something off with Roberts’s definitions, then?), as is fire, chemistry, desire, thought, choice, reinterpretation, cooperation, genius, visualization, subconsciousness, fear, love, deception and – not the least – money (“a form of stored magic”).

There are also miracles. “To anyone who is grounded in science and logic like myself, the idea of a miracle can discredit one’s theories,” Roberts admits, but … well, we’ll let him explain it himself: “We find ourselves here in the third dimension, with corresponding rules. Another way to say fourth dimension would be our subconscious world [pretty sure those two expressions are not semantically equivalent]. Yet another would be the universe itself [ditto], thus it seems that our three-dimensional experience extends into the fourth dimension. The fourth dimension is also the realm of possibility. Beyond that lies the fifth dimension and what we might call the beginning of the “spirit world”, where it seems the rules change and new possibilities open up. Beyond the spirit world, rules change once again and eventually, in the tenth dimension, impossible things become possible.” It’s admittedly more of a “claim” than an “explanation”. Here is Roberts’s time theory. Which is more of an incoherent stream of associations than a theory.

If you have money to offload, you can purchase Roberts’s Pleiadian Healing Tarot Cards, which are produced with clip art and allow up to seven people to share their energy – they don’t divine the future, but will rather heal the soul and open your mind up to the different dimensions of existence in the multiverse. Falsify that, you science worshippers! You can also order his pdf books Heal Yourself in Time and 12 Dimensions of Consciousness and Beyond.

Diagnosis: Mostly harmless. But according to his website, he has “worked on this project for eighteen years,” which is profoundly sad.

  • Ana Puig

Ana Puig is a Tea Party Operative who was appointed legislative liaison for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue as part of Governor Tom Corbett’s attempt to turn “Pennsylvania’s state government into a favor mill for campaign supporters.” Puig, previously co-chair of and registered lobbyist for a local group called the Kitchen Table Patriots, had earlier argued that Obama was a Communist in the mold of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, citing her own experience (as a native of Brazil) to argue for a “direct correlation between what’s happening in the United States and what has happened in Brazil and Latin America –  the implementation of 21st Century Marxism. In other words, a camouflaged statement for Communism.” She went on to claim that “21st Century Marxism” – which seems to mean whatever she disagrees with for whatever reason – would be implemented after “a liberal or progressive candidate [like Obama] is introduced to the masses as the messiah that is going to fix all problems imposed to them by evil capitalists.”

Apart from her red scare delusions Puig has been caught defending a Nazi memorabilia enthusiast in her organization as “a historian” and “an extremely smart person,” featured a blog promoting birther conspiracy theories and identified then-president Obama as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood on her group’s website. Not the least, she has spent a lot of warning of the creeping threat of Sharia law in the United States, which, of course, would be inconsistent with a communist takeover, but consistency is, as we all know, a liberal conspiracy. And of course, Puig and her group are climate change deniers, dismissing climate change as “fraud science backed by the mercenary alarmists in the scientific community and the U.N.”

Diagnosis: So predictable, yet so stupid. Ana Puig is, of course, your standard green-ink conspiracy theorist, but for Gov. Corbett what mattered was apparently her ideological commitments and campaign contributions. The really scary thought is that, as long as ideological stance is what matters, it would actually have been difficult for him to find anyone more competent at this point. (Puig herself is, for the record, gone now).

  • John Rabe

John Rabe is a fundamentalist maniac and conspiracy theorist affiliated with Truth in Action Ministries (TiAM), and yes, we could really end this entry right there. Rabe is also a regular cohost, with Carmen Pate, of TiAM’s radio program Truth that Transforms, which is an instance of (the generalized version of) Badger’s Law (https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Badger%27s_Law).

In 2012 Rabe said that idolatry and the worship of government is to blame for the protests and recall movement in Wisconsin over Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s push to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public workers, calling it a “theological issue” (apparently climate science is idolatry, too, according to TiAM – policies targeting climate change could, according to Rabe, lead to the return of communist dictatorships that left “over 100 million people killed”). According to Rabe Wisconsinites who have rallied against Walker’s move are people who have made government “a replacement for God” and moreover that government employees shouldn’t look to government to provide for them. Yeah, it’s not exactly unexpected given the source, but it is worth taking a moment to think about how delusionally insane it is.

Then, of course, there is the anti-gay tirades, including complaints about “activists” with a “harmful agenda” that attack “two thousand years of traditional marriage” by striking down homosexual marriage bans like Proposition 8, as detailed in Rabe’s and Jerry Newcombe’s “documentary” “We the People: Under Attack”. The courts’ discovery of “so-called ‘right to sodomy’ [not so-called by the courts, obviously] in the Constitution” comes of course on top of all their other sins, such as having “silenced voluntary prayer in schools,” which is emphatically not illegal anywhere in the US. Honesty has never been a central virtue for people like John Rabe. As for homosexuality, Rabe has likened it to “bondage” and even “slavery” because it is a communist, liberal un-Godly ploy. Indeed, Marxism and sex seem to be deeply intertwined in the twisted mind of John Rabe, which is why he thinks sex education, for instance, “isn’t just basic biological information; this is really ideological indoctrination form a very liberal standpoint.” He has also claimed that supporters of marriage equality are “unscientific” when it comes to family stability and have “completely ignored” evidence showing that same-sex parenting harms children. Then he lamented the irony that bigots like him often get labeled “unscientific” for their nonsense. The irony is, indeed, fascinatingly many-layered here.

Rabe, who regularly toys with dominionism, is also a fan of the myth of the US as a Christian nation, claiming that “[i]t’s the Christian foundation of our foundation that brought us freedom.” This is, of course, false, but Rabe and TiAM are unsurprisingly not above using fake Founding Father quotes to suggest otherwise.

The decidedly silly commenter chiming in here may or may not be the same John Rabe.

Diagnosis: Yes: bigoted fundie conspiracy theorist. We seem to be repeating ourselves here, but then there is little new or surprising in Rabe’s moronic rants.

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

April 12, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

 

Conversation No. 56

Date: Thursday, January 2, 1997

Commenced: 1:35 PM CST

Concluded: 2:10 PM CST

 

RTC: A New Year, Gregory. Will we see it out, do you think?

GD: Probably. Unless, of course, we have the Rapture and you and I are left behind. Are you particularly religious, Robert? If you are, I will refrain from comment so soon after the celestial birthday.

RTC: Nominal, just nominal. Say what you like.

GD: I don’t know if you want that, Robert. I have very strong views on some aspects of religion.

RTC: A Christmas indulgence from me, Gregory.

GD: Every society needs a moral core. Mostly, Robert, religion supplies this. For the Nazis and the Communists, Hitler and Stalin supplied the religious themes, but not here. Why is America the compost heap that produces, not flies from maggots, but the Christian Jesus freaks out of absolutely nothing but pulp fiction? The Gospels are all forgeries, written a long time after the events depicted in them and they have been constantly changed over the centuries to reflect various political and economic needs. I mean, Robert, that there is not one bloody word in the New Testament depictions of Jesus that could be considered to have even a gram of historical accuracy. I could go on for hours about this subject, but the whole fabric of the Christian conservatives or the rampant Jesus freaks is that their dogma is based on total and very clear fraud. The so-called Battle of Armageddon, for example, is nowhere in the Bible…

RTC: Are you serious?

GD: Look it up, Robert. Revelations 16:16 is the sole mention of it. Just a geographical name, that’s all. No blitzkrieg of Jesus versus the Evil Ones. Nothing at all. It was all pure invention.

RTC: Well, if not in the Bible, who made it up?

GD: One Charles Fox Parham, that’s who made it up. He was a very nasty type who ran a bi-racial church in Los Angeles around the turn of the century, before he was chased out. And, of course, he did time in jail for defrauding his flock of money and, more entertainingly, buggering little boys in the fundament. Oh my yes, he made up the whole Rapture story and ranted on endlessly about a fictional Battle of Armageddon. It’s like having the Church of the Celestial Easter Bunny or the Divine Santa Claus. At least there really was a Saint Nicholas, but the Easter Bunny is as fictitious as Jesus the Water Walker.

RTC: I don’t recall learning about that as a child at all.

GD: Of course not, you belong to the original Christian church, Robert, not one of the later cults. Neither the Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox people have this silly Rapture business anywhere in their early literature. This was a fiction started up at the beginning of this century by some nut named Blackstone who claimed that Jesus was coming. I think the word ‘rapture’ didn’t come I into use until about 1910. It’s just more nut fringe fiction, nothing more.

RTC: Well, I haven’t had much in the way of contact with these people except to chase off the Jehovah’s Witnesses who bang on my door and try to shove all kinds of pamphlets on me. In the long run, Gregory, you should learn to avoid the lunatics and concentrate on more important issues. There are always nuts. Didn’t they burn witches in Salem?

GD: The same types, only then they were in power. Now they lust after power so they can shove their fictional crap onto the sane part of society.

RTC: Well, then, what about the ones who don’t believe in evolution?

GD: The same types. We have them across the street. Told me yesterday the world was only 6,000 years old and dinosaurs and men commingled in Kansas somewhere. You can’t tell these people anything. They just keep repeating that whatever fiction you go after is in the Bible. When you ask them to show you, they get angry. Nuts always get angry when you puncture their fantasy balloons.

RTC: And Armageddon? I vaguely recall something about a battle between the Antichrist somewhere.

GD: But not in the Bible. The only reference to Armageddon is Revelations 16:16 and it just mentions the name of the place, nothing about a battle, Jesus, Satan, the Antichrist or my cousin Marvin. Nothing. But when you tell the nuts this, they almost froth at the mouth. They’ll tell you the battle is there and when you make them open their chrome-plated Bible and look, they flip back and forth and get more and more upset. Of course it isn’t there so they make faces and later they tell me, with great triumph, that they asked Pastor Tim and he said it was all there. Of course when I ask them for chapter and verse, they don’t have it.

RTC: Gregory, a word of fatherly advice here. Why bother with these idiots? Who cares what they believe? Are they of use to you in some project? If they are, be patient and go along with them. If they aren’t, drop them.

GD: But they are annoying. Robert, if I told you the Japanese attacked Spain in 1941, wouldn’t such stupidity annoy you?

RTC: No, it wouldn’t. When I was in harness, I heard worse than the babbling of the Jesus nuts, believe me. Senior Company people acting like spoiled children because no one listened to their pet theories about this country, that economy, that head of state, that foreign political party and on and on. Sometime…. no, more often than I liked, some rabid lunatic did us all kinds of damage, as witness the Gottleib mind control stupidity. People like that, Gregory, should be taken out for a trip on your boat or a walk in the Pine Barrens and simply shot. What did Joe Stalin say? ‘No man…no problem.” I often had to listen to these boring nuts, but you don’t. I had to make excuses to get away from them, but you don’t have to deal with them in the first place. Most small-minded people fixate on something utterly unimportant and think they have discovered the wheel. Yes, I agree that religious loonies are probably the worst, but, believe me, the political experts are almost as bad. They hop up and down shouting, ‘Listen to me! Listen to me!’ And who gives a damn what they think? No, I agree with you about the Jesus freaks but there are legions, I say, legions of others that are just as fixated, just as crazy, just as annoying, so you would be far better served if you just shut them out of your mind and turned your talents to other matters more important. Take some comfort in the thought that just as their lights go out and the darkness swallows them that they realize in the last second that there is no heaven, no Jesus and nothing but the embalmer’s needle and the worms. Nothing. But then their brains have turned to Jello and they don’t care anymore because they have returned to the dirt that they came from.

GD: I agree, Robert, I agree with you, but I still get annoyed. But these nuts, and you can add the Jewish Holocaust nuts to the pile, demand you do not say this or read that or watch that movie. They aren’t content to live in their basements and talk to themselves or tyrannize over their poor children and wives, so they rush out into the street and issue orders as if anyone cared or worse, as if they really mattered. That I object to strongly. I have waded through tens of thousands of pages of official German papers and I can tell you, without any doubt, that the Germans did not gas millions of Jews. What do these creeps do? They tell the archives to seal the papers that make them out professional liars and attack anyone who dares to question them. The holocausters and the Jesus freaks are cut from the same piece of God’s underwear. I think the dirty parts to be sure.

RTC: (Laughter) Oh, Gregory, such passion for so little. They both think they are really important and that people actually listen to them, and even care about their unimportant obsessions. Ignore the Jews, too, Gregory, like you should ignore the Jesus freaks.

GD: Ah, but the Jews control the media and most of the publishing houses. If you write, you don’t get published. Now if I made up some fantasy that said the Germans burned two hundred million Jewish babies, I would be a best seller, number one on The New York Times book reviews and a great one on the lecture and TV interview circuit. Of course about ten people would read my fictions, but no one would be rude enough to talk about that. Christ, most of the Holocaust books are pure fiction and the rantings about the Rapture are right in with them.

RTC: Well, I can see some sense here and I admit it is difficult to get away from obnoxious Hebrews, but why not try? I find that if you ignore people like this, eventually they will go away and annoy people in public lavatories. Just another step to oblivion.

GD: I really shouldn’t bore you with you with my own obsessions but I do not suffer fools gladly.

RTC: God, there are so many of them.

GD: I remember my grandfather and one of his pet comments to bombastic idiots he encountered at social functions. He would smile and say, ‘I beg your pardon, sir, but are you anybody in particular?’

RTC: (Laughter) I don’t suppose any of the gas bags got that.

GD: No, but grandfather did, and so did I. I remember once my mother started yelling at me non-stop because I had come in late from a night with the ladies and the bottle. I listened to her rantings for about an hour and finally, after she ran out of steam, she asked me if I had anything to say and I told her, very politely, that I had been trying to tell her for the longest time that she had some hairpins coming loose just over her right ear.

RTC:(Laughter) My Lord, Gregory, what a put-down. Whatever did she do?

GD: She was so worn out shouting that she just stared at me with her mouth open and before she could get her wind back, I went in my room and locked the door. She stood in front of it yelling that I was disrespectful, until my father came out and made her go back into the house because the lights were going on in the neighbor’s homes. I had a warm and caring family life, Robert, believe it. But I didn’t have to listen to the braying of human donkeys all the time. Just the occasional parental psychotic episode. Now they come up with glazed eye and threads of drool dripping from their mouths while they clutch at you and screech, ‘Jesus, Jesus,’ or ‘six million, six million.’ Oh how I would love to give them lobotomies with a chain saw.

RTC: I don’t think you would have much luck with a lobotomy, Gregory. Most creatures like that don’t have brains.

GD: No, Robert, they don’t. What they do have are knots on the top of their spine to keep their asses from plopping down onto the sidewalk.

 

(Concluded: 2:10 PM CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

Facebook still tracks you after you deactivate account

Deactivation does nothing for your privacy.

April 9, 2019

by Alfred Ng

cnet

I thought deactivating my Facebook account would stop the social network from tracking me online. But Facebook kept tabs on me anyway.

Over the past year, I’ve tried to minimize my presence on Facebook. I deleted a 10-year-old account and replaced it with a dummy account that I use as little as possible. I deleted the app from my phone.

As of January, I started deactivating my dummy account every time I used it, rather than just log out. I couldn’t break up completely with Facebook because I needed it to sign up twice a week for a workshop.

I thought the precautions would reduce how much data Facebook gathered about me. Turns out, I was wasting my time.

Even when your account is deactivated, the social network continues collecting data about your online activities. All that data gets sent back to Facebook and is tied to your account while it’s in this state of limbo. It’s as if you’d changed nothing.

Facebook says it only removes all of your data if you permanently delete your account. Deactivating isn’t as extreme, the company says, and the social network continues collecting your data in case you change your mind and want to return to your profile. Facebook expects deactivated users to return and wants to continue serving them ads relevant to their new interests.

‘A deceptive practice’

On the site, Facebook explains that deactivating is a half-step to complete deletion. But it says little about how data collection works during the period. In its data policy, Facebook suggests deactivation to manage your privacy but doesn’t mention that it still collects data during that period.

The ongoing collection of data from deactivated accounts could be considered misleading, privacy experts warn.

“Most people would expect less or no data collection during a deactivated period,” said Gabriel Weinberg, CEO and founder of private search engine DuckDuckGo. “Deactivated means cease to operate, and you wouldn’t expect all the wheels to be turning.”

The average person would assume that Facebook pauses data collection when your account is deactivated, said Kathleen McGee, the former chief of the New York State attorney general’s Internet Bureau.

People could look at deactivating accounts and mistake it for an opt-out when it isn’t, she explained.

“For consumer transparency purposes, I would be concerned that this is a deceptive practice,” said McGee, now a technology counsel at the Lowenstein Sandler law firm.

The vague disclosure the social network provides is another point of concern about its privacy protections.

In March 2018, Facebook found itself in hot water after Cambridge Analytica, a British consultancy, was collecting information about people on the social network through several personality quizzes. The backlash prompted a campaign encouraging people to delete their Facebook accounts. The Pew Research Center found that 42 percent of Americans have taken a break from the social network at some point during the last year.

Active tracking

Facebook already monitors online activity, including the browsing habits of members who have logged out or people who don’t have accounts. In the latter case, the social network doesn’t have the names of individuals but can still customize ads based on browsing. It does this with tools like Facebook Pixel and plugins such as the Share button on pages.

The social network’s Share button is on 275 million web pages. It collects data allowing advertisers to see what kind of content you’re viewing. That’s why you’re likely to see ads for sports in your Facebook feed if you’ve been visiting a lot of sports websites.

If you aren’t a member, the social network can follow your activity through your browsers and deliver ads using its Facebook Audience Network, the company detailed in 2016. The service uses your browsing habits to target ads as you surf the internet, just as it would if you were on Facebook. Even if you don’t have an account, Facebook is following you.

Facebook said deactivating your account was never intended to be a measure for data privacy but rather for privacy from other people on Facebook.

It makes sense to deactivate your account if you’re trying to hide from people online because other users won’t see your profile, posts and previous comments. You’re essentially invisible to everyone on the social network. Except Facebook. It does nothing to prevent Facebook from collecting data on you.

Your best bet to stop the data collection is to delete your account. You’ll get 30 days to change your mind. During that period, Facebook will continue gathering data about you, the company said.

Weinberg suggested that Facebook either change its data collection for deactivated accounts or explain that caveat better to people.

“Companies should always try to match user expectations to whatever feature they’re providing,” Weinberg said.

Surprising consumers is usually a cause for alarm for regulators, McGee said. With Facebook failing to explicitly explain that your data is still being collected, even when your account is deactivated, the former prosecutor argued, a reasonable consumer is being misled.

“Facebook should remedy this by not collecting information when someone has deactivated their account,” McGee said.

Everything Apple announced: What we know about Apple’s TV content and service, credit card, game subscription service and more.

Apple TV Channel’s streaming service is here: Get ready for another way to watch your shows in an already crowded battle for your views.

 

 

6 ways to delete yourself from the internet

Finally ready to get off the grid? It’s not quite as simple as it should be, but here are a few easy-to-follow steps that should point you in the right direction.

March 27, 2019

by Eric Franklin

cnet

If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely your personal information is available to the public. And by “public” I mean everyone everywhere. So, how can deleting yourself from the internet prevent companies from acquiring your info? Short answer: it can’t. Unfortunately, you can never remove yourself completely from the internet, but there are ways to minimize your online footprint, which would lower the chances of your data getting out there. Here are some ways to do just that.

Be warned, however: removing your information from the internet, as I’ve laid it out below, may adversely affect your ability to communicate with potential employers.

  1. Delete or deactivate your shopping, social network and web service accounts

Think about which social networks you have profiles on. Aside from the big ones, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, do you still have public accounts on sites like Tumblr, Google+ or even MySpace? What about your Reddit account? Which shopping sites have you registered on? Common ones might include information stored on Amazon, Gap.com, Macys.com and others.

To get rid of these accounts, go to your account settings and just look for an option to either deactivate, remove or close your account. Depending on the account, you may find it under Security or Privacy, or something similar.

If you’re having trouble with a particular account, try searching online for “How to delete,” followed by the name of the account you wish to delete. You should be able to find some instruction on how to delete that particular account.

If for some reason you can’t delete an account, change the info in the account to something other than your actual info. Something fake or completely random.

  1. Remove yourself from data collection sites

There are companies out there that collect your information. They’re called data brokers, and they have names like Spokeo, Whitepages.com, PeopleFinder, as well as plenty of others. They collect data from everything you do online and then sell that data to interested parties, mostly in order to more specifically advertise to you and sell you more stuff.

Now you could search for yourself on these sites and then deal with each site individually to get your name removed. Problem is, the procedure for opting out from each site is different and sometimes involves sending faxes and filling out actual physical paperwork. Physical. Paperwork. What year is this, again?

Anyway, an easier way to do it is to use a service like DeleteMe at Abine.com.  For just $129/year, the service will jump through all those monotonous hoops for you. It’ll even check back every few months to make sure your name hasn’t been re-added to these sites.

Be warned:  If you remove yourself from these data broker sites, you’ll also mostly remove yourself from Google search results, therefore making it much harder for people to find you. DeleteMe also gives you a set of DIY guides on how to remove yourself from each individual data broker if you’d like to do the process yourself.

  1. Remove your info directly from website

First, check with your phone company or cell provider to make sure you aren’t listed online and have them remove your name if you are.

If you want to remove an old forum post or an old embarrassing blog you wrote back in the day, you’ll have to contact the webmaster of those sites individually. You can either look at the About us or Contacts section of the site to find the right person to contact or go to www.whois.com and search for the domain name you wish to contact. There you should find information on who exactly to contact.

Unfortunately, private website operators are under no obligation to remove your posts. So, when contacting these sites be polite and clearly state why you want the post removed. Hopefully they’ll actually follow through and remove it.

If they don’t, tip no. 4 is a less effective, but still viable option.

  1. Remove personal info from websites

If someone’s posted sensitive information of yours such as a Social Security number or a bank account number and the webmaster of the site where it was posted won’t remove it, you can send a legal request to Google to have it removed.

  1. Remove outdated search results

Let’s say there’s a webpage with information about you on it you’d like to get rid of. Like your former employer’s staff page, months after you’ve changed jobs. You reach out to get them to update the page. They do, but when you Google your name, the page still shows up in your search results — even though your name isn’t anywhere to be found when you click the link. This means the old version of the page is cached on Google’s servers.

Here’s where this tool comes in. Submit the URL to Google in hopes it’ll update its servers deleting the cached search result so you’re no longer associated with the page. There’s no guarantee Google will remove the cached info for reasons, but it’s worth a try to exorcise as much of your presence as possible from the internet.

  1. And finally, the last step you’ll want to take is to remove your email accounts

Depending on the type of email account you have, the amount of steps this will take will vary.

You’ll have to sign into your account and then find the option to delete or close the account. Some accounts will stay open for a certain amount of time, so if you want to reactivate them you can.

An email address is necessary to complete the previous steps, so make sure this one is your last.

One last thing…

Remember to be patient when going through this process, and don’t expect to complete it in one day. You may also have to accept that there are some things you won’t be able permanently delete from the internet.

 

How to delete your Facebook account once and for all

This is the tough love you were looking for.

March 19, 2018

by Sharon Profis

cnet

You have a gambling addiction. A pretty serious one, actually.

You rise each day and take a trip to Mark Zuckerberg’s bustling casino. You arrive, hoping you might see familiar faces, but all the other gamblers are people you don’t give a crap about. You shrug and head to a slot machine. You crank the lever for the thousandth time, cross your fingers and hope for a win.

Surprise: You’re still a loser. But you’ll be back in an hour — maybe your luck will change.

Whether you realized it on your own or watched a TED talk, Facebook could be taking a toll on your mind, career and friendships. Depending on your age, you’re likely spending 6-7 hours per week swiping through news (fake and real) and baby photos. And last weekend’s news that data analyst firm Cambridge Analytica received misappropriated Facebook data from 50 million profiles might leave you wondering how much you should be sharing.

Here are some other things you could do for an hour per day:

  • Learn a new language
  • Call a few friends or family members
  • Exercise
  • Cook a meal
  • Read a book or the news

If you’re thinking, “I want that! Help!” you’ve come to the right place.

Step 1: Stop over-thinking it

Worried about losing touch with old friends? Don’t. If you were actually friends — not mutual stalkers — you would be chatting over a cup of coffee right now.

What about networking? I get it, you don’t want to talk to someone you met at a work function over the phone. Here are some other modern options for you: texting and email. (Whew, that was a close one.)

And all those groups you’re in? Well, there are simply some things you’re going to have to give up. Think about the trade-off — you’re getting an hour per day (on average) back. That’s 365 hours per year. That’s a lot of hours over the course of a lot of years. You’re welcome.

But I use messenger! Not sure if you’ve heard but most people have a phone number that you can send text messages to. There’s also WhatsApp. (Also, you can deactivate your account and still use Messenger. More on that later.)

Step 2: Disconnect those apps (like Spotify)

You’ve probably used Facebook to log into other apps and services dozens of times. And why not? It makes signing up for new things super fast.

Problem is, those logins inadvertently burrowed you deeper into Facebook’s grasp. It’s reversible, but it’ll require some time to undo. Here’s how:

  • Make a list of all the apps you log into using Facebook. One way to figure this out is to go to Facebook (desktop) > Settings > Apps. Scroll through this list and make note of the apps and websites you still use.
  • One by one, log into those apps. Visit the Settings page and find the option to disconnect from Facebook. This process varies quite a bit, so you might want to Google “disconnect Facebook from [insert app here]” to speed things up.

It was once nearly impossible to disconnect Facebook from Spotify, but the company recently made it much easier. In Spotify, go to Settings and choose the option to disconnect from Facebook. Now log off. In the login window, hit “Reset Password.” Follow the instructions, and you’re golden.

Step 3: Download all your memories

You probably want to keep all your photos, posts, friends and all the other data you accumulated on Facebook. Luckily, saving all that data is really easy.

Go to Facebook (desktop) and head to Settings. In that first window, hit “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” Follow the instructions and wait while Facebook emails you a downloadable file.

Step 4: Delete, deactivate or detach

This is the part where boys become men. Girls become women. Caterpillars become… you get the idea.

You have three options when it comes to quitting Facebook:

  • Permanently delete your account. This is irreversible — all your data will be removed, your profile will disappear and you’ll need to sign up for Facebook again if you want back in.
  • Deactivate your account. This option is for people who know that, eventually, they’ll succumb to their addiction. Deactivating essentially puts your account on hold, so you can restore it to the same state it was in when you left it. This also lets you continue using Facebook Messenger.
  • Detach yourself. I really don’t recommend this one. There are very few people in this world who have enough self-control to forgo deleting or deactivating their account in favor of ignoring Facebook. But if your addiction is mild or you were never really into Facebook anyway, this option could work for you.

To permanently delete your account, go to this page. To deactivate your account, go here. Just be warned, Facebook uses a weird combination of psychology and desperation to try and prevent you from quitting.

If you plan to detach yourself and use self-control to “quit” Facebook, here are some tips:

  • Opt out of Facebook’s email notifications
  • Minimize your profile by making your Timeline, photos and anything else you can private
  • Delete the app from your phone and remove any bookmarks
  • Use an option like Space (for iPhone) to reverse your addiction

 

INTERNET as a primary source of domestic surveillance in America

April 12, 2019

by Christian Jürs

The government intelligence agencies and their allied private contractors now regularly accesses all emails, chats, searches, events, locations, videos, photos, log-ins and any information people post online with a warrant, which the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court always  grants secretly and without being ever made public.

And the revelation of Prism, a secret government program for mining major Internet companies, states that the government now has direct access to Internet companies’ data without a warrant.

Every company impacted – Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype, PalTalk and AOL – publically deny knowing about the program or giving any direct access to their servers. These denials are intented to bolster public confidence in their services because in reality, all of these entities cooperate fully with requests for customer information.

Google is the supplier of the customized core search technology for Intellipedia, a highly-secure online system where 37,000 U.S. domestic and foreign area spies and related personnel share information and collaborate on investigative missions.

And there is absolutely nothing one can commit to the Internet that is private in any sense of the word

In addition, Google is linked to the U.S. spy and military systems through its Google Earth software venture. The technology behind this software was originally developed by Keyhole Inc., a company funded by Q-Tel http://www.iqt.org/ , a venture capital firm which is in turn openly funded and operated on behalf of the CIA.

Google acquired Keyhole Inc. in 2004. The same base technology is currently employed by U.S. military and intelligence systems in their quest, in their own words, for “full-spectrum dominance” of the American, and foreign, political, social and economic spheres.

However, Internet Service Providers and the entertainment industry are now taking Internet monitoring to a whole new level….

If someone download copyrighted software, videos or music, all Internet service providers (ISP)  have the ability to detect this downloading.

The vast majority of computer surveillance involves the monitoring of data and traffic on the Internet. In the United States for example, under the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act, all phone calls and broadband Internet traffic (emails, web traffic, instant messaging, etc.) are required to be available for unimpeded real-time monitoring by Federal law enforcement agencies., to include the FBI, NSA, the CIA and the DHS.

There is far too much data on the Internet for human investigators to manually search through all of it and so automated Internet surveillance computers sift through the vast amount of intercepted Internet traffic and identify and report to human investigators traffic considered interesting by using certain “trigger” words or phrases, visiting certain types of web sites, or communicating via email or chat with suspicious individuals or groups. Billions of dollars per year are spent, by agencies such as the Information Awareness Office, NSA, and the FBI, to develop, purchase, implement, and operate systems such as Carnivore, NarusInsight, and ECHELON to intercept and analyze all of this data, and extract only the information which is useful to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. One flaw with NSA claims that the government needs to be able to suck up Internet data from services such as Skype and Gmail to fight terrorists: Studies show that would-be terrorists don’t use those services. The NSA has to collect the metadata from all of our phone calls because terrorists, right? And the spy agency absolutely must intercept Skypes you conduct with folks out-of-state, or else terrorism. It must sift through your iCloud data and Facebook status updates too, because Al Qaeda.Terrorists are everywhere, they are legion, they are dangerous, and, unfortunately, they don’t really do any of the stuff described above.

Even though the still-growing surveillance state that sprung up in the wake of 9/11 was enacted almost entirely to “fight terrorism,” reports show that the modes of communication that agencies like the NSA are targeting are scarcely used by terrorists at all.

Computers can be a surveillance target because of the personal data stored on them. If someone is able to install software, such as the FBI’s Magic Lantern and CIPAV, on a computer system, they can easily gain unauthorized access to this data. Such software can be, and is   installed physically or remotely. Another form of computer surveillance, known as van Eck phreaking, involves reading electromagnetic emanations from computing devices in order to extract data from them at distances of hundreds of meters. The NSA runs a database known as “Pinwale”, which stores and indexes large numbers of emails of both American citizens and foreigners.

EMAIL

The government agencies have been fully capable to look at any and all emails.

A warrant can easily grant access to email sent within 180 days. Older emails are available with an easier-to-get subpoena and prior notice.

Government officials also are fully capable of reading all the ingoing and outgoing emails on an account in real time with a specific type of wiretap warrant, which is granted with probable cause for specific crimes such as terrorism.

Google received 122,503 user data requests involving 2,375,434 users from the U.S. government in 2016. It granted about 98 percent of those requests.

Microsoft, with its Outlook/Hotmail email service, received 61,538 requests involving 52,291 users, at least partially granting 92  percent of those requests.

 

Nord Stream 2 pipeline hits 1,000km marker as US fails to talk Europe out of Russian gas supplies

April 12, 2019

RT

The operator of the Nord Stream 2 project has announced that 1,000km of the gas pipeline now stretches across the Baltic seafloor through Finnish, Swedish and German waters.

The new milestone was reached as some 20 vessels are currently engaged in the project, with nearly 1,300 people working on board the pipelay, pipe supply and survey vessels, Nord Stream 2 said on Thursday. The gas pipeline is now being installed in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone by two Allseas pipelay vessels, ‘Solitaire,’ and the world’s largest construction vessel, ‘Pioneering Spirit.’

The news about progress with Nord Stream 2 almost coincided with a statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in which he admitted that Washington’s efforts to turn the EU against building the pipeline have been fruitless so far.

“The Germans appear intent on continuing to build that pipeline… We had done just about all we can to discourage the Europeans, primarily Germans, from building Nord Stream 2 and we’ve done that without success today,” Pompeo said at Wednesday’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing.

He was responding to a question from Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), who echoed Donald Trump’s previous rhetoric against the project, calling it “Putin’s pipeline” and a “trap” for Germans.

 

Protect your pets’: cats make up one-fifth of coyotes’ diet in Los Angeles

A study of coyote scat found the animals are attracted to fruit in urban gardens, where they are also finding cats and small dogs

April 12, 2019

by Katharine Gammon in Los Angeles

Reuters

Doug McIntyre let his cat, Junior, out of the house on a sunny summer morning last June.

As Junior walked down the path and into the world, he paid special attention. “I had a funny feeling … just an odd sensation that something was off,” McIntyre, a journalist and radio host, recalled in a column at the time.

Junior, a beloved part of the family, had been found five years before living in the parking lot of a Los Angeles radio station, covered with fleas and suffering from a blood infection. All day, McIntyre waited for Junior to return, to no avail. The next morning, as he and his wife were putting up missing pet flyers, they ran into a neighbor who said her husband had seen Junior in the mouth of a coyote.

It’s a common story in southern California, and one now backed up by research: a new study by the National Parks Service has found that 20% of urban coyotes’ diets is made up of cats.

Once restricted to the western plains, coyote populations are surging in cities across the US. They are master adapters who have learned to survive in urban environments – a recent study found coyotes present in 96 out of 105 cities surveyed. But many communities are struggling to figure out new ways to deal with predators in their neighborhoods.

In Los Angeles there were 16 coyote attacks on humans in 2016, up from two in 2011. For small pets, the danger is even greater. Reports of coyotes attacking cats in the daytime – even in Hollywood – have popped up on social media. A neighborhood in Culver City recorded 40 pet deaths from coyotes in just six months last year. “Coyotes are the top – besides us – in urban landscapes,” says Justin Brown, a biologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area who conducted the study.

The NPS’s findings come from a new investigation of coyote’s poop. Brown – along with a team of volunteers – dissected more than 30,000 specimens of scat collected from two different sites over the course of two and a half years. They found a number of strange things: work gloves, rubber bands, condoms, even a piece of a computer keyboard.

One of the most startling findings has been that people’s gardening choices could be contributing to the problem of disappearing pets. A quarter of coyotes’ diet was found to be ornamental fruit, including fruit from palm trees, small red berries called pyracantha, and grapes found around people’s homes. These trees attract coyotes, who – once in the neighborhood – are also finding cats and small dogs. “We are subsidizing the coyotes with these gardens,” says Brown.

All this rings true to Niamh Quinn, a human wildlife interactions adviser at the University of California at Irvine, who has done similar studies at her lab. Quinn, who is not involved in the park service research, has done DNA analysis on the stomachs of more than 300 coyotes that became roadkill.

It’s a bit of a grisly process: first the researchers use a sieve to sift out the stomach contents, looking for hard parts like fur. “We have found baseballs, shoes, furniture, bedazzled jewels,” she adds. Then the contents are put into a blender, whirled around and placed into a machine for DNA extraction. Her latest research, yet to be published, has used DNA to confirm that cats form at least a fifth, if not more, of coyotes’ diet.

All this raises the question: are coyotes getting more populous, or more bold? While the city and state do not track numbers, anecdotal evidence suggests both realities could be at play. McIntyre recalls how he only used to see coyotes at night a decade ago; now he catches them sunbathing on his back patio. “It was sitting on the patio furniture, just like a dog, taking in the morning rays,” he says, recalling an incident last week. “That never used to happen.”

In light of all this, some are developing tools to help pet owners better manage their relationship with the new neighbors. Quinn, the DNA analyst, has created the Coyote Catcher app, a crowd-sourcing tool that allows people to report coyote attacks or near-misses in their area. In 2018, the app recorded 135 cat deaths by coyote attack, and 58 dog deaths.

Brown advises people to keep their pets safe by reducing food sources like fruit trees, pet food, cat colonies, trash left around. Fruit should be harvested and trash covered. “That’s the easiest way to protect your pets – just reduce food sources available,” he says.

These days, McIntyre has two cats. But he’s keeping them both indoors

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