Welcome to ...

The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bank of America seizes wrong house, again

Having this happen once is bad enough.
Twice and it starts to look like a trend.
How many other times has this happened?
The full details of the bank seizure are horrifying.
When you read the story it shows how much authority the banks have in these situations. Shouldn't the burden of proof be on them before they damage property and lose personal belongings?
Charlie and Maria Cardoso are among the millions of Americans who have experienced the misery and embarrassment that come with home foreclosure.

Just one problem: The Massachusetts couple paid for their future retirement home in Spring Hill with cash in 2005, five years before agents for Bank of America seized the house, removed belongings and changed the locks on the doors, according to a lawsuit the couple have filed in federal court.

Early last month, Charlie Cardoso had to drive to Florida to get his home back, the complaint filed in Massachusetts on Jan. 20 states.

Repugican self-delusions

Russ Douthat has a good piece about Daniel Larison.

Who is Daniel Larison you ask?

Well ...

Daniel Larison has been writing a a series of withering posts on repugican self-delusions about this November, and beyond.

Here’s part of the latest one:
Consider what we have been seeing in just the last week. One of the few House Republicans with any coherent policy views, Paul Ryan, made an impressive budget proposal that his own leadership cannot run away from fast enough. In his first Q&A, Scott Brown simply ignored questions that pointed out the contradiction of supporting across-the-board tax cuts and demanding debt reduction, and it is this position of no taxes/no debt/no cuts that Republican leaders have been adopting. [Richard] Shelby’s blanket hold may be something that only insiders and activists notice, but it contributes to the overall picture that the minority party is unreasonable, petty and not fit to govern. This is not a party on the verge of a dramatic return to power.

Professor claims life on earth came from space

chandra wickramasinge

New evidence from astrobiology “overwhelmingly” supports the view that life was seeded from outside Earth, a scientist has claimed.

Prof Chandra Wickramasinghe of Cardiff University says the first microbes were deposited on Earth 3,800m years ago.

The astrobiologist has helped developed the panspermia theory which suggests an extra-terrestrial origin for life.

He argues for a cycle of life as microbes find their way into comets and “multiply and seed other planets”.
In the article, published in the International Journal of Astrobiology, Monday, he argues humans and indeed all life on Earth is of alien origin, brought onto the planet by comets hitting the planet.

Professor’s alien life ’seed’ theory claimed

Surprising savings from coupons

Surprising savings from coupons

Every hour of clipping coupons can yield more than many people earn for a day's work.

Will Year of the Tiger bring you luck?

Will Year of the Tiger bring you luck?

Chinese astrology has good and bad news if you're seeking love or money.

Insurer delays much-criticized rate hike

Insurer delays much-criticized rate hike

Anthem Blue Cross postpones its plan to raise rates for some California residents.

CIA reveals secret submarine hunt

CIA reveals secret submarine hunt

Project Azorian was a brazen high-seas Cold War mission to steal Soviet intelligence.

'Bad' foods that can be good for you

5 'bad' foods that can be good for you

Occasionally eating these five "taboo treats" may actually boost your health.

Rogue waves injure surfing spectators

Rogue waves injure surfing spectators

Two massive waves knock over fans watching the Mavericks contest in California.

Snow in 49 states at one time

Snow in 49 states at one time

These days the red, white, and blue is mostly white — and more might be coming.

New twist to Alabama tragedy

New twist to Alabama tragedy

Police say the suspect fatally shot her brother in 1986 in what was deemed an accident.

The repugicans: Civilian Terror Trials 'dangerous'

The repugicans say plans to hold a civilian trial for Sept. 11 suspects are "unnecessarily dangerous."
In the repugican weekly radio and Internet insult to and assault on normal human beings' intelligence ...

Full Story

The repugicans are wussies.

Bruma frees major opposition leader

In this June 9, 1996 file photo, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, right, speaks to crowds gathered outside the gates of her home as the National League for Democracy Party's Vice Chairman Tin Oo stands at left in Yangon, Burma.

Human Otter

State officials in Maine say witnesses who reported seeing a drowning snowmobiler on a lake were probably looking at an otter enjoying a snack.

Otter mistaken for drowning snowmobiler in Maine

Boy, some people in Maine are a bit myopic ... I mean if they can not tell an otter from a human then they best be getting to the optometrist and get some corrective lenses, for sure.

Also, who rides a snowmobile in a body of water, anyway?

Strange Creatures in Utah

Surprisingly enough they aren't talking about mormons?!

For decades there have been dozens of sightings of the famous creature Bigfoot within the borders of Utah.

Strange Creatures in Utah

Bigfoot is more believable than mormons.

Pork-flavored doughnuts?

Patrick Lin is sure he can succeed where others have failed, and get the Chinese hooked on doughnuts.

A Chinese market beckons

Nazi loyalist and Adolf Hitler's devoted aide: the true story of Eva Braun

For decades she has been seen as a decorative companion to Adolf Hitler, an apolitical "dumb blond" whose attentions served as an occasional diversion for the Führer.
A new biography tells why the serious side to the Führer's 'dumb blond' was hidden to history.

Full Story

Third fire in a week

Firefighters are investigating the latest in a series of suspicious fires in Northwest Charlotte.

3rd Fire In 1 Week; Firefighters Investigate

A lesson in the Physical Laws of Nature

Spraying pepper spray directly into the wind may not have the desired effect.
Japanese whalers who complained of injuries from rancid butter thrown at them by an anti-whaling group were actually suffering from their own pepper spray attack, the protesters said Saturday.

Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd protest vessel Steve Irwin, said in a statement that video of Thursday's incident showed wind blowing the spray into the faces of the Japanese crew who were aiming it at the activists.

The Japanese said Friday three crew members had eye and face injuries from butyric acid, produced from bottles of stinking rancid butter that the activists sometimes aim at the ships. The activists maintain that butyric acid is nontoxic.

Florida Cold Snap Killing Hundreds of Manatees

From Treehugger:

manatee crystal river florida photo

A manatee in Florida's Crystal River. Photo by divemasterking2000 via Flickr.

Unusually harsh winter temperatures in much of the United States have had a tragic effect on one of Florida's most oddly charismatic animals, killing up to 5 percent of the state's endangered West Indies manatees.

How to type hearts on your keyboard

How to type hearts on your keyboard

What's the trick to making heart symbols with the numeric pad keys?

Home projects to lower your energy bills

Home projects to lower your energy bills

Simple, low-tech changes can be a smarter move than replacing major appliances.

Tropical Cyclone Rene hits American Samoa

A strong storm with hurricane-force winds has begun hitting American Samoa, where residents are still recovering from last year's deadly tsunami.

Full Story

Israeli doves hold protest

Israel's battered pro-peace camp is showing signs of life with a weekly Jerusalem protest by a motley collection of anarchists, intellectuals and radical rabbis, but they face a public increasingly hostile to their point of view.

Full Story

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
February 13, 2010

All across America, people work hard to meet their responsibilities. You do your jobs, take care of your families, pay your bills. Sometimes, particularly in tough times like these, you have to make hard choices about where to spend and where to save. That’s what being responsible means. That’s a bedrock value of our country. And that ought to be a value that our government lives up to as well.

Yet, over the past decade, this hasn’t always not been the case. Ten years ago, we had a big budget surplus with projected surpluses far into the future. Ten years later, those surpluses are gone. In fact, when I first walked through the door, the government’s budget deficit stood at $1.3 trillion, with the budget gap over the next decade projected to be $8 trillion.

Partly, the recession is to blame. With millions of people out of work, and millions of families facing hardship, folks are paying less in taxes while seeking more services, like unemployment benefits. Rising health care costs are also to blame. Each year, more and more tax dollars are devoted to Medicare and Medicaid.

But what also made these large deficits possible was the end of a common sense rule called “pay as you go.” It’s pretty simple. It says to Congress, you have to pay as you go. You can’t spend a dollar unless you cut a dollar elsewhere. This is how a responsible family or business manages a budget. And this is how a responsible government manages a budget, as well.

It was this rule that helped lead to balanced budgets in the 1990s, by making clear that we could not increase entitlement spending or cut taxes simply by borrowing more money. And it was the abandonment of this rule that allowed the previous administration and previous congresses to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy and create an expensive new drug program without paying for any of it. Now in a perfect world, Congress would not have needed a law to act responsibly, to remember that every dollar spent would come from taxpayers today – or our children tomorrow.

But this isn’t a perfect world. This is Washington. And while in theory there is bipartisan agreement on moving on balanced budgets, in practice, this responsibility for the future is often overwhelmed by the politics of the moment. It falls prey to the pressure of special interests, to the pull of local concerns, and to a reality familiar to every single American – the fact that it is a lot easier to spend a dollar than save one.

That is why this rule is necessary. And that is why I am pleased that Congress fulfilled my request to restore it. Last night, I signed the “pay as you go” rule into law. Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else.

But that’s not all we must do. Even as we make critical investments to create jobs today and lay a foundation for growth tomorrow – by cutting taxes for small businesses, investing in education, promoting clean energy, and modernizing our roads and railways – we have to continue to go through the budget line by line, looking for ways to save. We have to cut where we can, to afford what we need.

This year, I’ve proposed another $20 billion in budget cuts. And I’ve also called for a freeze in government spending for three years. It won’t affect benefits through Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. And it will not affect national security – including benefits for veterans. But it will affect the rest of the budget.

Finally, I’ve proposed a bipartisan Fiscal Commission to provide recommendations for long-term deficit reduction. Because in the end, solving our fiscal challenge – so many years in the making – will take both parties coming together, putting politics aside, and making some hard choices about what we need to spend, and what we don’t. It will not happen any other way. Unfortunately this proposal – which received the support of a bipartisan majority in the Senate – was recently blocked. So, I will be creating this commission by executive order.

After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility. It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do. Like families across the country, we have to take responsibility for every dollar we spend. And with the return of “pay as you go,” as well as other steps we’ve begun to take, that is exactly what we are doing.


Today is ...

Today is Saturday, February 13, the 44th day of 2010.

There are 321 days left in the year.

Today In History February 13

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:

Madly In Love With Me Day


Get A Different Name Day

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Surat, Gujarat, India
Augsburg, Bayern, Germany
Quezon City, Manila, Philippines
London, England, United Kingdom
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Lincoln, England, United Kingdom
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Prague, Hlavni Mesto Praha, Czech Republic
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia

as well as Poland, Brazil, Spain, and the United States

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

You're already feeling the urge to whisper sweet nothings into your beloved's ear, aren't you?
And there's still a day to go before you can officially get away with it.
Just in case, better come up with a Plan B -- for the sake of discretion, of course.
Say, dinner at your place?
Or theirs?
If you're already together, by the way, it would be quite legal to whip out the Valentine's present at midnight!