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Robel Phillipos: Guilty Verdict on Five of Nine Alleged Statements

Robel Phillipos has been found guilty of making five of the nine false statements alleged in the Indictment. The jury found he lied about both false statements charged in Count 1 and three of the nine statements charged in Count 2. He will remain on bond and house arrest through sentencing.

Shorter version: He did not lie about what he saw or heard in the dorm room. He lied about not being in the dorm room at all, and learning afterwards that his friends had taken the backpack from the dorm room. He did not lie when he denied discussing get rid of the backpack with his friends. The jury rejected the FBI's "written confession" by Robel. [More...]

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Canadian Shooting Suspect Zehaf-Bibeau 's Background

Update: Susan Bibeau and Bulgasem Zehaf have made a statement expressing their devastation at their son's actions and their sorrow for the victim, his family and people of Canada. His mother says she grieves for the people, not her son. She spoke with him last week, for the first time in five years.

Susan Bibeau said she was devastated for the victims of the attack. "If I'm crying it's for the people," she said, struggling to hold back tears. "Not for my son."

...."I am mad at my son, I don't understand and part of me wants to hate him at this time."

She said he seemed lost and "and did not fit in."
"I his mother spoke with him last week over lunch, I had not seen him for over five years before that...."So I have very little insight to offer."

[More...]

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Jared Polis: The Most Internet Friendly Congressman

Jared Polis is one of my favorite Congresspersons. (Unfortunately, I don't get to vote for him because he's not in my district.) Kevin Collier of the Kernel and The Daily Dot writes about Jared today:

Jared Polis (D-Colo.) may be the most Internet-friendly congressman in history. He certainly has the credentials: A former Web entrepreneur, he’s the first openly gay parent in congressional history, a proponent of legalizing marijuana, an active redditor, and a League of Legends gamer. He’s also long accepted campaign contributions in Bitcoin, the booming cryptocurrency.

He says Jared has "assembled what is essentially the best Internet freedom voting record possible" and then lists Jared's accomplishments. They are too long too quote, but quite impressive, so please read the article. [More...]

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Happy Birthday, Open Thread

It's that time of year again...this year it's a big one. I should be happy because I'm done with outrageous heath insurance premiums (now it's just Medicare, a supplemental policy, and a drug plan which together cost 1/3 of my monthly health insurance premium last year.)

But aging is never really a happy experience, even when you have good health and a good life. Every day there's a reminder of some part of the face or body that used to be "up to here" and has now shifted "down to there." [More....]

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Joe Biden's 40 Car Entourage Angers Aspen Law Enforcement

Joe Biden went to Aspen this weekend to speak at a private corporate event. Local law enforcement, including the sheriffs of Pitkin County (Aspen) and Garfield County (Glenwood Springs) are justly critical. It cost them thousands of dollars in overtime and security, the Secret Service didn't chip in (either did the corporation), he was only there for 24 hours and his speech wasn't open to the public. On top of that, he had a 40 car motorcade they had to monitor for 70 miles between the Eagle County Airport (near Vail) and Aspen, both for his Friday arrival and Saturday departure.

Helicopters buzzing above Aspen and multiple road closures along Highway 82 and Interstate 70 on Friday and Saturday accompanied Biden’s entourage, which involved a 40-car motorcade and at least nine local law enforcement agencies.

[More...]

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Denver's "Lab Rat Cages" Already Defaced

Colorado is spending $2 million on a campaign called "Don't Be a Lab Rat" to warn teens about possible brain damage from marijuana. As part of the campaign, life size rat cages have been set up at the Denver Public Library and Denver Skate Park (Photo via CBS Denver.) More are planned. The cage at the skateboard park has already been defaced. [More...]

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CO: June Marijuana Sales Up 19%

The Colorado Department of Revenue has released the June, 2014 figures for marijuana sales and tax revenue. The Denver Post reports retail recreational marijuana sales were $24.7 million, the highest since January when sales began. June's figures were 19% higher than May, possibly due to the opening of additional retail stores.

Legal marijuana (both medical and recreational, taxes, licenses and fees) generated $29.8 million in taxes from January to June. [More...]

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CO: Drivers' Licenses Available to Immigrants Regardless of Status

Colorado's recently passed law allowing immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses without regard to their immigration status is now in effect. The process is by appointment only. So far, more than 9,500 appointments have been scheduled.

The law, SB 251, was passed last year. The official announcement is here. It applies to the undocumented, and those with only temporary legal status. There are five offices set up to issue the licenses: Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Grand Junction. The requirements:

[The undocumented] must present documents like a utility bill to prove they've lived in Colorado the previous two years, in addition to an identification number they've used to pay taxes. They must also show a passport or other identification from their home country. [More...]

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Colorado: New Rules for Marijuana Edible Packaging

Colorado is enacting new rules for recreational marijuana edibles, designed to address the problem some people (like Maureen Dowd) have determining how much to ingest.

The rules will not be "tougher" with respect to the quantity of THC contained in edibles. Colorado's current rules specify each "serving" of recreational pot edibles can contain up to 10 mg of THC. [More...]

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My First Tornado

I was driving to the ICE detention facility in Aurora today when looking off to the left, I saw what I assumed was a fire. I considered for a brief second it could be a tornado, but it wasn't raining and it didn't seem to be twirling, it just looked like dirty smoke. So I kept going.

Within a minute there was lightening. Then I could hear a little bit of hail fall on the roof of my car, then a siren went off in my car (my cell phone was plugged into the stereo, and the siren was as loud as the radio when the volume is turned up really high. I didn't even have the radio on, let alone set at high volume.) It was an emergency alert -- which I hadn't signed up for but appreciated -- telling me to get out the area, a tornado had been spotted "in rotation" on radar. I had no idea what "in rotation" meant, but I understood I should get out of the area.

Within seconds, I was in the midst of a torrential downpour and the streets were flooded. By now I was only about 5 blocks from the jail, but the jail was in the direction of the brown blob of smoke I had seen, which was not a fire, but a tornado that had touched down. [More...]

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Another Complaint About Auto-Play News Videos

It is getting harder to find news sources on just about any topic that don't have intrusive, time-wasting auto-play videos. Lately, more and more major news sites have them. I refuse to link to them, and it takes a ridiculously long amount of time to click through several sources on any topic hoping to find one without a video and popup ads and surveys.

Here's a post I wrote a year ago on how to disable them. But it's still not an ideal solution.

I'd like to start a list of major sites that have the auto-play videos so readers know to avoid clicking on them when they see them elsewhere. I'll update this post with specific sites later tonight, but feel free to name the media sites with them in comments (no links please, I want to avoid giving them traffic.)

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Colorado Recreational Marijuana Laws Enter Second Phase

A big change went into effect for Colorado marijuana businesses yesterday. Effective July 1, 2014, recreational marijuana business licenses are no longer restricted to those with existing medical marijuana licenses. Now, if you are a Colorado resident and meet the other requirements, you can apply for a recreational marijuana business license. Even better, you don't have to grow in order to be licensed to sell, and vice-versa. As the Denver Post reports:

[W]hen these new businesses begin opening in October, all recreational marijuana companies will be allowed to specialize — as wholesale growers without a storefront, for instance, or as stand-alone stores that don't grow their supply. The only requirement is that owners be Colorado residents.

Legal recreational marijuana is now at the 6 month mark. It contributed $11 million in retail sales taxes to the state's coffers in the first four months. According to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance:[More...]

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ISIS Makes New Friends, Gives Hints of What's to Come

ISIS supporters say they now have the support of other al Qaida groups in the region, including Ansar al-Islam in Kirkuk and Ramadi, and at least some members of Jabhat al-Nusra. It's holding another celebratory parade in Haweija.

Syria, on the other hand, is not making friends with its air strikes. More than 50 civilians, including children were killed. Nor is Malaki, who says he supports Syria's efforts. At least the U.S. has expressed its displeasure.

ISIS/al-Qaida supporters hint the group won't be targeting Jordan or Saudi Arabia. It's next move will be in Lebanon. [More...]

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Colorado: Undercover Cops Fail to Get Pot Shops to Sell to Minors

Those who feared Colorado marijuana stores would sell to minors should take a deep breath and relax. The Denver Post reports:

Authorities in Denver and Pueblo, working with regulators from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, have conducted 20 undercover stings in which they see whether a store will sell pot to someone under 21. Sixteen of the compliance checks have occurred in Denver, home to most of the state's recreational marijuana stores.

So far, no store has sold to someone under 21 in the checks.

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Hershey Sues Edible Company Over Look-a-like Candies

Hershey Chocolates has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against TinctureBelle LLC and TinctureBelle Marijuanka LLC, a Colorado company that makes marijuana-infused candy.

Hershey claims the packaging for the edibles too closely mimics its trademarked products. It also objects to TinctureBelle's online advertising. The complaint (Case No. 14-cv-01564-WYD, District of Colorado) includes photos of the alleged infringing products. [More...]

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