Floriduh! Woman: Concealed Carry Edition

I don’t think this is allowed even with a valid Florida Concealed Weapons License!

Take it away WNDU!

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) – Officials say a Florida woman who pulled a small alligator from her yoga pants during a traffic stop and illegally possessed numerous other wild animals has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to four charges.

Florida prosecutors say a Charlotte County sheriff’s deputy stopped a pickup truck in May after it ran a stop sign. The driver, 22-year-old driver Michael Clemons, told the deputy he and his 25-year-old passenger, Ariel Machan-Le Quire, were collecting frogs and snakes under an overpass. He gave the deputy permission to search bags in the truck.

When the deputy found 41 3-stripe turtles in a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” backpack, he asked if Machan-Le Quire had anything else. She pulled the 1-foot gator from her pants.

Officials say the Clemons case is pending.

I hope she was at least using a holster!

Open thread!








I’ve Been A Terrible Blog Host

I have been busy in meat space doing people things. Here is a video of Seth’s kittens to make up for my absence:

Also, this has been a great summer for birds. I went to the fern today to take a picture of you all, and the third bird harvest had already been completed and they were gone! Grand total of 11 birbs hatched on the front porch this summer. Not bad.








Orville and Wilbur Update

Apparently the cat bleg for Orville and Wilbur was successful. Here are the details from Robin:

HUGE thanks to you and the Balloon Juice community, Adam! My daughter and I just dropped Orv and Willy off with Jenny and her daughter-in-law. We met up in St. Louis and the boys are Topeka bound!

Reid, you did it!

You guys housed my cats!!!

They’re Kansas kitties now.

Seriously, thank you so much.

I cannot thank you enough!

Robin

I’m not sure if the adopter is a commenter or a lurker, but hopefully they’ll sound of in the comments and let us know how things are going.

Here are the pictures Robin sent across.

Open thread!








Open Thread: Moscow Mitch / Massacre Mitch

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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Adam K. Raymond, in NYMag“How ‘Moscow Mitch’ Is Helping Democrats”:

Wednesday marks two weeks since the KDP began selling its line of Moscow Mitch merch, headlined by a red T-shirt with the slogan “Just say nyet to Moscow Mitch.” In that time, the party, which is also selling beer koozies, shot glasses, and Cossack-style hats, has brought in $500,000 on 13,526 unique sales. Each of those is a donation to the KDP, and more than 90 percent have come from people like Weedon who have never before given to the state party.

“We knew he was underwater, but this really gave us an indication of how angry the people are,” said Nicole Erwin, communications director for the KDP. She added that the Moscow Mitch items are the largest merch campaign the party has ever done. “It blows everything else out of the water,” she said.

Erwin traced the idea for the Moscow Mitch merch back to Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony last month. The former special counsel warned of the Russian government’s continued “efforts to interfere in our election,” and McConnell, who had infamously stopped the Obama administration from making a bipartisan condemnation of Russian election interference in 2016, responded by blocking two pieces of election-security legislation in the Senate…

“We felt like the KDP was in a really unique position to hold the Senate majority leader accountable,” Erwin said. “We’ve really seen the sales take off, and we feel like it’s largely because we have this warning that we need to do something to ramp up election security. And even though bipartisan election security has been proposed, Mitch McConnell refuses to take a stand.”…

(Jeff Danziger via GoComics.com)
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Disinformation Watch: The Open Skies Treaty

 

Some weird stuff has popped up in my Twitter feed this week. Fortunately, I follow experts who are trying to figure it out.

Steffan Watkins is a Canadian who follows ships and planes via the internet. If you like that sort of thing, I recommend you follow him. He is also very sensitive to disinformation and occasionally given to lectures about it. He is very knowledgeable about the Open Skies Treaty.

The Open Skies Treaty (text, fact sheet) allows the nations that have signed it to fly observation planes over other signatories’ territory. It’s an arms control treaty in that it allows nations to follow up on suspicions or just keep an eye on each other. It says nothing about numbers of weapons. The simple fact that nations are open to each other in this way builds trust, which is needed to negotiate on more difficult subjects.

Every arms control treaty has an information side to it: inspections may be requested, or numbers and types of weapons are reported to the other parties regularly. When the US government abrogates a treaty, we lose a window into what the other side is doing. Of course, they get to see the equivalent of what we’re doing.

The Open Skies Treaty, like all well-made treaties, has very specific provisions for what kinds of aircraft, cameras, and routes may be flown. Arrangements must be made to schedule the flights. For flights over the United States, the airplane must be inspected by Americans, an American is on board, and the photos are shared after the flight. Other nations have the same rights for flights over their territory.

Russia does several flights a year over the US, and we reciprocate with flights over Russia. Watkins follows those flights and others that interest him. Last year and this, he told me when the Russian plane was in my area. I think I saw it last year, but this year it didn’t come close enough to Santa Fe.

This week, Michael Carpenter tweeted that the Russians were up to nefarious activities, FLYING OVER CHICAGO AND TAKING PICTURES! This is precisely the kind of thing Watkins likes to debunk, and he did, with places and times for the Open Skies flight. What is surprising is that Carpenter was in charge of the Open Skies program under President Barack Obama and is associated with the Penn-Biden Center. When he was questioned by Watkins and others knowledgeable about the program, he insulted them and cited an old New York Times article containing Republican propaganda. Republicans don’t like this treaty, along with all other arms control treaties. Watkins debunked that article here.

Tom Moore also got into the act. He is a former professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations committee. He didn’t believe what Carpenter was tweeting either.

Here’s Carpenter retweeting his first tweet that got the reaction.

And Moore’s reply

There’s more in the thread with others chiming in.

And this morning,

That’s RT, the Russian propaganda network, gloating that Americans are overreacting to an agreed flight. Watkins also identified Russian bots that were pushing Carpenter’s claims.

It’s not clear to me why Carpenter would do this. It’s the kind of thing that can be exploited by Russian propaganda all too easily, and they are going with it. They are both happy to spread Carpenter’s misinformation and to sneer at American overreaction.

So if you run into someone claiming that the Russians are sending spy flights in, now you know how to debunk that. And please do. The disinformation is only going to get worse in the leadup to the election.

Top photo: Defense One

Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner