Profiling mass murderers: Are lone-wolf jihadists different from killers affiliated with ideological groups? A criminologist says yes, and their profile looks like other mass killers who aren't motivated by ideology. The difference matters when investigators attempt to identify potential mass killers.
Trump's foreign policy advisor is under investigation for making backroom deals with Russia, promising to lift sanctions if Trump is elected. If the suspicions are correct, this could be a serious criminal violation of the Logan Act.
U.S. border agents are seeing a significant increase in the number of Europe's Roma people entering the U.S. through Mexico and claiming refugee status.
Sully: Fine performances, engaging story, but no more than 8/10 stars.
Demon: Roaming spirits and demonic possession at a Polish wedding are metaphors in this exploration of a larger Polish society that hasn't collectively dealt with the mass murder of Polish Jews during the Holocaust. See it if you can find it. 95/100 stars
Amid Clinton and Trump’s struggles, the Post-ABC poll finds 58 percent of Americans overall approve of President Obama’s job performance, the highest since July 2009 and continuing the positive movement since December when he stood at 45 percent.
The conventional wisdom, which may in part be correct, is that Obama has benefited from being neither Clinton nor Trump.
Yesterday, in response to a question about Trump's proposal to seize Iraqi oil as spoils of war, Rudy Giuliani told ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "Of course it's legal. It's a war," (laughing) "Until the war is over, anything's legal."
Um... no. Whether or not natural resources can ever be seized, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution makes treaties the law of land. The United States is party to numerous treaties that govern conduct during wars. Moreover, we are not at war with Iraq. While our relationship with the Iraqi government isn't our best international relationship, Iraq is an ally, and the oil in Iraq legally belongs to the nation of Iraq.
If you use Windows 10, you may have already installed the recent massive update. If you haven't installed it yet, don't do it until you've got about 45 minutes free for the update to prepare your machine and install on restart.
One wrinkle you should also prepare for: if you use a local numeric digit login, the update will automatically switch your login to your Microsoft account password without telling you that's what they've done. So when you attempt to login after the update, you'll be told that your password is wrong. Just make sure you know your Microsoft account password before you update, unless you're already using the same password as your local password. Also, under the passcode box, you'll see two icons. The left icon is for numeric login, which may not work, and the icon on the right permits alphanumeric login using your Microsoft password. Be sure to click the right icon, if the left doesn't work.
Why did Microsoft do this? They're trying to get everyone to be all Appley and Cloudy and get everything merged. If you wish to switch back to a local numeric login, you can do so somewhere in settings. I'll probably do that because it's a little more secure, not stored on a remote server, but use a high numeric code. Up to 10 digits is possible.
According to recent sightings of pumpkin spice lattes and orange and black decorations, it's Halloween. If, like me, you're finding it hard to get your spooky on when it's 80 plus degrees outside and the trees are still emerald green, I have the solution for you. It's called "The Living and the Dead," a new TV show from the BBC.
This six-episode series was created by the team that produced the British original of "Life on Mars," also a rather cool show. In "The Living and the Dead," however, they've really outdone themselves. This is by far the most consistently scary and creepy show I've ever seen, while also being excellent, high-quality entertainment. If you are a fan of Victorian/early 20th century ghost stories, particularly the works of M.R. James and Algernon Blackwood, you are in for a rare treat.
The story takes place in the 1890's English countryside. The Victorian obsessions with grief and the supernatural are here, as is the average Victorian's distrust of their increasingly mechanized world. Even the burgeoning fields of photography and psychology are featured; the lead character is a psychologist turned farmer, his wife, a photographer.
Science versus superstition is a theme--while the former psychologist seeks rational explanations for the horrific events unfolding on his farm, his workers, the common folk, never question that black magic is to blame.
Another aspect of the show that I particularly enjoyed was its fidelity to its Victorian ghost story roots. As many other productions seem to become grab-bags of monsters and creatures, this one has no vampires, muck monsters, or zombies. Just ghosts.
Or are they?
Besides the incredibly involving story, the show has two other main ingredients working for it. The lead actors who portray husband and wife Nathan and Charlotte have a great rapport and inspire much sympathy from the viewer. The other is the visual presentation. The stunning costumes, sets, locations, and cinematography blew me away; it's like watching a moving 18th century pastoral painting. Amazing.
Back to the scary: this show had me sitting straight up on my couch and screaming, yes, screaming, at what was being revealed on screen. And I am not a screamer; ask anybody.
The series is a perfect binge-watch. It will immerse you in its world of things that go bump in the night, and never stops asking the question, who is haunting who?
9/10. The show has just concluded on BBC One, but watch for it on streaming sites and DVD/Blueray in the future--in time for ACTUAL Halloween, maybe?
This week, we saw The Hollars and A Tale of Love and Darkness.
In The Hollars, an aspiring comic book artist (John Krasinski) returns to his hometown and a heap of family troubles when his mother is hospitalized with a brain tumor. Dad's plumbing business is on the verge of bankruptcy, Krasinski's resentful brother is stalking an ex-wife, the married ex-girlfriend who dumped him wants him back, and he's struggling with commitment to his rich, adorable, very pregnant girlfriend who loves and supports him unconditionally. The Hollars is a an imperfect, but amusing and touching film, more of an audience pleaser than a critic pleaser. I do think it's worth a watch once it's on Cable/Netflix/Amazon/Hulu. My rating: 7.5/10.
Natalie Portman's directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, is a nuanced, poetic film rendering of Amos Oz's 2011 memoir of the same name. Why on earth did this film garner only a 63% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes? There's much here for the film-goer with a mind and a heart. More in this NY Times review. My rating: 9/10
Antibacterial soaps will likely be banned in the U.S. beginning next year, but you'll still be able to use antibacterial hand sanitizers.
Cybersecurity hackers have a new way to make money off security flaws they uncover. At first glance, it looks creepy, but it may actually be a good thing.
In 2008, President Bush supported massive corporate bailouts known as TARP. The decision triggered a famously nasty rant by Rick Santelli from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, a rant that some would say inspired the Tea Party movement. After his election, President Obama continued the program. So where are we at with the Troubled Asset Relief Program? 97.5% of funds have been repaid to the government, banks saved, many large companies were saved, and the US auto industry is thriving. There's a more nuanced discussion to be had about when and how government intervention to save companies is warranted, if ever, but in terms of Bush and Obama's goals, the program appears to have been a resounding success.
Remember when California was frequently cited as a liberal economic basket-case? Well these days, not so much. State economies are a lot more complicated that simple liberal vs conservative dichotomies.
A hunter in the Everglades saved a young deer from a massive python and certain death.
Why is this not a major national scandal? Trump's nonprofit foundation made a political donation to a PAC supporting the reelection Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who was at the time investigating Trump University for fraud. Nonprofit foundations are legally barred from making such contributions. Trump's foundation hid the donation by listing it in IRS filings as a legal donation to an entirely unrelated Kansas group with a similar name. The IRS fined the Trump foundation and, oh yeah, Bondi dropped the investigation of Trump U shortly after receiving the donation. And I'd still like to know what really went down in the Texas investigation of Trump University.
From the 20th century news archives, a Chicago judge speaks to a murderer at her sentencing: "You forfeited your rights as a woman" -March 17, 1960
Film report: I didn't want to see Southside With You, but was outvoted one to one. The thought of some hagiographic homage to a sitting president was a real turn-off, but it turned out to be surprisingly watchable. We also saw Little Men last night. The critics love this film. It was okay, but I definitely didn't love it. Mia Madre is next on our film bucket list. We may see it later this week.