"Jews Are Poisoning Dogs With Mushroom Spores" Is an Actual Rumor Circulating in Brooklyn Right Now

The woman who lives down the hall from me in my Crown Heights apartment building is a late-middle-age Caribbean islander who spent months telling everyone in my building that I was an undercover K-9 cop sent in by the feds to blend in and gather intelligence on any potential drug dealers who may live in the building. Having lived in the same apartment for the past 30-plus years, she is the queen of the Crown Heights gossip/rumor scene.

That said, I was surprised but not stunned last night when she hit me with this doozie: Brooklyn Jews are peppering the sidewalks with mushroom spores. The reason: to poison the dogs in the neighborhood. 

You might be thinking, "Ahhh -- the ancient, Hebrew mushroom-spores-on-the-sidewalk trick; should have seen that one coming." But we assure you that Brooklyn Jews are not using mushroom spores to poison gentile dogs. However, this is an actual rumor that is circulating in my neighborhood -- as confirmed by two of my neighbor's friends (one of whom is convinced her dog's urinary tract infection was brought on by the poisonous mushrooms) and multiple Orthodox Jews in the neighborhood.

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Quiz: Are You a Soldier in the War on Christmas?

If you are reading this, it means you have withstood the first assault of the War on Christmas. We have taken the words of various talk show hosts and politicians to heart and are currently in our Christmas bunker, waiting for the unrelenting attacks from the sinister pleasantry, "Happy Holidays" to end. Unlike most wars, the War on Christmas is so subtle, people may be participating in it without even being aware. That's why we've made the following quiz, which will help you determine whether or not you are currently fighting in what was Christopher Hitchens' second-favorite war.

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Ray Kelly: the NYPD Could Take Down an Aircraft if Necessary

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly appeared on 60 Minutes last night to talk about New York City's counterterrorism unit, created after 9/11, which now numbers 35,000 uniformed police officers and 15,000 civilian employees. The interview with Scott Pelley includes a look at the NYPD's $3 billion joint operations center, developed over the last 10 years and including representatives from the military, FBI, FEMA, and state and local first responders. Of particular note was this question from Pelley: "Are you satisfied that you've dealt with threats from aircraft, even light planes, model planes, that kind of thing?"

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Mike Bloomberg, Taking the Subway to Work As Usual

As promised, Mayor Bloomberg took the subway this morning in the wake of last night's announcement of a "specific, credible, but unconfirmed" threat of an attack in New York City or Washington D.C. timed to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. There is photographic evidence now, including this picture from the Mayor's own Twitter, with the inspiring message "The best thing we can do to fight terror is to refuse to be intimidated by it." This is true, of course, as true as the expression on Mayor Bloomberg's face -- wary, watchful, slightly bemused? -- is priceless. But wait, there's more!

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Osama Bin Laden Had Been Plotting U.S. Attack for 10th Anniversary of September 11

Osama bin Laden had apparently been gathering a team of militants to orchestrate an attack on the U.S. on September 11 of this year, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The Wall Street Journal reports that this intelligence comes from communications Navy SEALs acquired from Bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan after he was killed on May 1. The plans were "in the discussion phase," say officials, with Bin Laden and operations chief Attiyah Abd al-Rahman talking about who should be on the team and "bin Laden repeatedly rejecting names that Mr. Rahman suggested."

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Wet, Naked Man Could Have Caused a Lot of Problems at JFK If He Knew How

Thumbnail image for McCarran-Airport-Sign.png
In a far too short story, the New York Post informs us of a "dripping-wet, naked man" eventually identified as Greg Rodriguez, 30, who managed to get over an 8-foot-high barbed wire fence at JFK Airport yesterday morning. This put him very, very close to a storage facility housing quite a lot of jet fuel, which would have been worrisome had he actually been up to no good and brilliant and evil instead of just sort of nuts, or in the wrong place at the wrong (naked) time, apparently. While one Port Authority spokeswoman said that Rodriguez was never a threat, another official asked, "If this guy was a former Navy SEAL or someone with special-ops training from another country, do you have any idea the amount of havoc and fear he could have caused?" Rodriguez has been charged with trespassing. At least he wasn't hiding a stun gun. [NYP]

Terrorists Want to Ruin Your Summer Vacation With Body Bombs

That bikini trick may not work this time.
As if you didn't have enough to worry about in life, your TSA pat-downs are about to get even more intimate after new intelligence has revealed that terrorists once again want to put bombs in their own bodies so as to ruin all of our fun this summer. Assholes. Thus, you may expect closer pat-downs, stricter security, more annoying lines, and all the related sturm und drang -- suntan lotion should not be over 3.4 ounces! -- as you await travel away from the tri-state area. There's no specific plot, but, via NBC New York, you must expect the unexpected.

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Charles Schumer Proposes No-Ride List for Trains

It's been a busy couple days in train news, what with the PATH and Second Avenue subway tunnel breaches, plus that mishap on the PATH that injured 30. There's also a new call from Senator Charles Schumer to increase rail security, which comes after reports that Osama Bin Laden may have been planning an attack on U.S. trains. Schumer wants a "no-ride" list, like the "no-fly" list for airplane passengers, which would require Amtrak passengers to show photo ID that would be cross-checked against the name on their tickets and suspected terrorist lists.

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NYPD Conducts Dirty Bomb Drill; Pilot Makes Emergency Landing in Rockaways; How Much Sleep Do You Need?

It's only a drill.
• Today is the start of a five-day terrorism drill for the NYPD. Cops will practice their response to a dirty-bomb scenario in which "radiological material has been stolen by four fake terrorist cells who want to set off a bomb in New York City." This exercise will involve 150 law enforcement and other first responder agencies. The drills will begin at the U.N. and will also be in the Bronx, Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Don't be alarmed: This is only a test. [ABC]

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NYPD to Buy Bullet-Resistant Boat With $5.2 Million From FEMA

A bullet-proof boat!
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced today that the NYPD has plans to buy a bullet-resistant boat. Why would you need a bullet-resistant boat, besides bullet-resistant boats being rather awesome indeed? Via the Daily News, "This will provide for the purchase of a high-speed, ballistic-protected vessel to respond to a suicide or live shooter attack in a port area," Kelly said. "It will also provide for the officer training necessary to deter such threats."

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