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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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

German catholics to investigate abuse charges

In a case of the weasel 'investigating' the fox for who's raiding the hen house more:

catholic authorities in Germany announced two major abuse investigations Wednesday — one into the renowned choir once led by pope Benedict XVI's brother and another into what everyone, including the pope, knew about the sexual and physical abuse of students.

Full Story

7-year-old saves family with 911 call

7-year-old saves family with 911 call

When armed attackers broke into his home, a young boy grabbed his sister and sprang into action.

U.S. sales tax rates hit record high

So much for the teabaggers desires ...

U.S. sales tax rates hit record high

Sales taxes are rising across America, with one town charging as much as 12%.

Credit Default Swaps are no more

The so-advanced-nobody-has-any-idea-what-they-are Credit Default Swaps are on their last leg. They won't be missed by anyone other than the snake oil salesmen on Wall Street who cashed in on chaos. Then again, Chuck Prince and Stanley O'Neal are living the good life in retirement so they don't care.

What's interesting here is how active Greek PM Papandreou has been going around the EU and now the US pushing for both reform in the financial sector as well as assistance with Greece's own financial issues. He inherited a serious problem and has been doing a decent job of responding. Taking advantage of the moment to push for much needed reform in the financial industry deserves a lot of credit.

From The Guardian:
The commission announcement came in response to pressure from Merkel, Sarkozy, Juncker and Papandreou, who threatened to take national action against the markets if Brussels balked.

The European crackdown on CDS trading appeared to be the central result of Papandreou's tour of key capitals, a strong political signal aimed at winning time for the Greeks. The apparent determination to regulate the traders as well as the concerted political signals sent today were aimed at relieving the pressure on Greece whose debt and deficit crisis could spiral out of control and undermine the euro.

For the first time Barroso said the eurozone countries were preparing some form of bailout for the Greeks which, nonetheless, would not breach the no-bailout clause in the single currency rulebook.

Bruma bans Suu Kyi from elections

Doesn't look like they're trying to bother with "free and fair" this time either.

Why bother having elections?
Burma's military rulers have barred pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running in upcoming elections and may force her own political party to expel her under a new election law unveiled Wednesday.

The Political Parties Registration Law, published in official newspapers, prohibits anyone convicted by a court of law from joining a political party, making them ineligible to become a candidate.

It also instructs parties to expel members who are "not in conformity with the qualification to be members of a party," a clause that could force Suu Kyi's expulsion. Parties that don't register automatically cease to exist, the law says.
This is a case where a local power such as China could help have a positive influence. But of course, they're too busy rigging their own political system and shutting down respected critics themselves.

Massachusetts court upholds state gun-lock requirement

The highest court in Massachusetts has upheld the constitutionality of a state law that requires gun owners to lock weapons in their homes, a ruling seen as a victory for gun-control advocates.

Massachusetts court upholds state gun-lock requirement

Of course the NRA and the other assorted gun nuts are having fits of apoplexy over this correct decision.

Roberts unsettled by Obama's public criticism of Supreme Court

From the "Cry me a river" Department:
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. told law students Tuesday that he found it "very troubling" to be surrounded by loudly cheering critics at President Obama's State of the Union address.
Here's a clue Roberts ... Get used to it!

Full story

Here's Joe Sudbay's take on this:

Thin-skinned Chief Justice didn't like criticism of campaign finance decision

John Roberts has a very thin skin. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is peeved that the President criticized the Supreme Court's campaign finance decision during the State of the Union:
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts said Tuesday the scene at President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address was "very troubling" and that the annual speech to Congress has "degenerated into a political pep rally."

Responding to a University of Alabama law student's question about the Senate's method of confirming justices, Roberts said senators improperly try to make political points by asking questions they know nominees can't answer because of judicial ethics rules.

"I think the process is broken down," he said.
I think the campaign finance system is broken down after the Citizens United decision. Robert Gibbs explained what is really "very troubling":
"What is troubling is that this decision opened the floodgates for corporations and special interests to pour money into elections — drowning out the voices of average Americans," Gibbs said. "The president has long been committed to reducing the undue influence of special interests and their lobbyists over government. That is why he spoke out to condemn the decision and is working with Congress on a legislative response."
Glenn Greenwald has an excellent take on Roberts' outburst, which concludes:
Supreme Court Justices, in particular, have awesome, unrestrained power. They are guaranteed life tenure, have no authorities who can sanction them except under the most extreme circumstances, and, with the mere sweep of a pen, can radically alter the lives of huge numbers of people or even transform our political system (as five of them, including Roberts, just did, to some degree, in Citizens United). The very idea that it's terrriby wrong, uncouth, and "very troubling" for the President to criticize one of their most significant judicial decisions in a speech while in their majestic presence -- not threaten them, or have them arrested, or incite violence against them, but disagree with their conclusions and call for Congressional remedies (as Art. II, Sec. 3 of the Constitution requires) -- approaches pathological levels of vanity and entitlement. The particular Obama/Roberts/Alito drama is an unimportant distraction, but what this reflects about the mindset of many judges, including (perhaps especially) ones on the Supreme Court and obviously the Chief Justice of that court, is definitely worth considering.

We are often led to believe that judges are imbued with some mystical powers of fairness and justice. They're not. They're political appointees. For years, John Roberts was groomed for his job by the repugicans. Make no mistake, Roberts is on the Court to push an ideological agenda. And, that is exactly what he is doing.

Obama had every right to criticize the Citizens United decision.
He would have been wrong not to.
Presidents are allowed to criticize the Supreme Court, and have.
Supreme Court justices, especially the chief justice, are supposed to be objective and above politics. The court isn't supposed to respond to anything at the State of the Union.
For Roberts to be whining about Obama's speech a good month after the SOTU is rather pathetic. If he doesn't like the rules, he can always quit.
Then again, Roberts' style is more to simply overturn rules that don't jive with his political agenda.

Bronx pals face weapons rap after hitting off-duty cop with snowball

Sometimes it is only a snowball ...

Four Bronx buddies are facing a year in jail for criminal possession of a weapon - a snowball that hit an off-duty transit cop. The young men say they were horsing around in the late February storm when an errant snowball smacked Officer Adonis Ramirez in the leg.


Now, if it truly was a errant snowball (and it mostly likely was due to the exuberance of youths in a snowball 'fight' having a good time) the transit cop needs to grow a thicker skin - he should have joined in the fun with a few snowballs of his own - and grow up.

Even deliberate targeting of the off duty cop does not mean malicious intent ... who hasn't walked by a snowball 'fight' and NOT had a snowball head in their direction at least once in their lives?


Readers of Carolina Naturally and her sister blog The Naked, The Nude and The Nekkid know we pull stories from around the world to provide a view of the world to some who otherwise would have a very limited view of the world.

While Carolina Naturally deals with the mundane to the profound in the realm of human, vegetable and mineral and The Naked, the Nude and The Nekkid deals with the more risque mundane and profound in the realm of human, vegetable and mineral we do strive to balance the reality and truth with the not so real.

The political and religious arenas are where most (OK, 99.9%) of the departures from reality occur and we at times post items from those 'departure' sites as they are without comment so that our readers can see for themselves how crazy they really are - not that we shy from skewering them as well. But sometimes it is just too easy to do so ... and they do such a good job of it themselves, so why should we?

Indonesian president says suspected Bali bomb mastermind shot dead by police on Java

Indonesian counterterror authorities won international praise on Wednesday for killing a top-ranked Southeast Asian militant wanted for planning the deadly 2002 Bali bombings.

Bank makes mistake, man is guilty

A man has been convicted of theft for not returning more than $280,000 mistakenly deposited into his bank account.

Bank makes mistake, man is guilty

They're error yet he goes to jail. What can possibly be wrong with this picture?

Man Who Claims Pot As Sacrament Convicted

Now there's a religion for you ...

A Colorado man who says marijuana is a sacrament in his religion has been convicted of misdemeanor drug charges.

Man Who Claims Pot As Sacrament Convicted
Hell, getting stoned or intoxicated by religions has been the cornerstone of the downfall of every civilization of man since time began and they've done it with the use of drugs all along.

Rare black penguin living off the Falklands coast

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology expert Dr Allan Baker, from the University of Toronto, said the Antarctic penguin was black because it had lost control of its pigmentation patterns.

Full Story

World's First Museum Dedicated to Leprechauns Opens in Ireland

Just in time for Paddy's day ...

A museum that claims to be the world's first-ever visitor attraction dedicated to Ireland's mythological mischief maker opened Wednesday in Dublin.

Full Story

Man attacked for Monopoly money drug buy

From the "There is always one" Department:

Kansas authorities said an injured man pulled over during a traffic stop told officers he was beaten for using Monopoly money to purchase drugs.

Full Story

Unemployment Insurance Faces Senate Vote

Legislation extending unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless faces a key test vote in the Senate, its momentum helped by about 60 popular tax breaks for individuals and businesses that expired at the end of last year.

Tornado close encounter caught on tape

Tornado close encounter caught on tape

Storm chasers spotted the twister as it touched down outside an Oklahoma town.

Pre-Dinosaur Era Plant Specimens Brazenly Stolen

From Treehugger:

cycads primitive plant photo

This photo, via The Telegraph, shows just how difficult it is to move one of the large, primitive cycads.

Important specimens from one of the world´s oldest and rarest species of plant were stolen last weekend, covert ops style, from a botanical garden in South Africa. The species, cycads, is so old, in fact, that their broad leaves were casting shadows even before there walked any dinosaur to appreciate the shade. For some time, cycads were abundant and could be found across the globe, but today they are so rare, one large plant can fetch as much as $10,000. The brazen theft of the rare species has botanists concerned that some endangered plants may be lost before being recognized by the scientific community.

Shooting at Ohio State kills 1, wounds 2

A shooting at an Ohio State University campus maintenance building left one employee dead and two others wounded, the university said Tuesday.

Full Story

The unmistakable stench of burning rubber and patchouli

Los Angeles police say all they needed to find marijuana growing in a Van Nuys warehouse was a sense of smell.

Odor leads police to 200 pot plants

Pringles recalled over salmonella risk

Look for your tubes: those tube-based potato chips are having a recall.
A Pringles recall was announced on Tuesday, based on that old, familiar risk: salmonella.

Full Story

North Korean leaders' lavish sprees

North Korean leaders' lavish sprees

Kim Jong-il and predecessor Kim Il-sung put special agents in Europe just to buy fancy items.

Lightning-fast Internet could be reality

Lightning-fast Internet could be reality

A new device from Cisco can stream every movie ever made in less than four minutes.

Why two airlines want special treatment

Why two airlines want special treatment

JetBlue and Delta want exemptions from a new tarmac rule that limits the time passengers can be held.


Japan confirms 'secret' U.S. nuclear pacts

Japan confirms 'secret' U.S. nuclear pacts

The Cold War-era agreements violated principles Tokyo established after World War II.

Anti-fraud service misled consumers

Anti-fraud service misled consumers

Lifelock settles charges that its famous ads oversold its identity-theft protection.

Irish Police Arrest 7 Plotting to Murder Swedish Cartoonist

Local media reports said the target was Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who drew a cartoon of the Muslim prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog in 2007, prompting al Qaeda to offer $100,000 to anyone who killed him -- plus an extra $50,000 if the killer slits his throat.

Full Story


Swedish Papers Publish Prophet Muhammad Drawing

At least three Swedish newspapers on Wednesday published a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog after an alleged plot to murder the artist who created it was uncovered in Ireland.

Pennsylvania woman accused of recruiting jihadists online

A suburban woman "desperate to do something" to help suffering Muslims has been accused of using the Internet to recruit jihadist fighters and help terrorists overseas, even agreeing to move to Europe to try to kill a Swedish artist, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Authorities said the case shows how terror groups are looking to recruit Americans to carry out their goals.

A federal indictment charges that Colleen R. LaRose, who called herself JihadJane and Fatima LaRose online, agreed to kill the Swede on orders from the unnamed terrorists and traveled to Europe to carry out the killing. It doesn't say whether the Swede was killed, but LaRose was not charged with murder.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman wouldn't confirm the case is related to a group of people arrested in Ireland earlier Tuesday on suspicion of plotting against Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.

U.S. weighing China Internet censorship case

The United States is studying whether it can legally challenge Chinese Internet restrictions that hurt Google and other U.S. companies operating in China, but direct talks with Beijing might yield faster results, the top U.S. trade official said on Tuesday.

"We are still dialoguing not just with Google, but with other Internet providers, to make sure we fully understand what is happening in China," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in remarks at the National Press Club.

At the same time, U.S. trade officials are "trying to make our own determination whether we believe in fact this is not WTO compliant and if the best resolution is to go forward and file an appeal," Kirk said.

A case challenging censorship practices that affect Google and other Internet providers who operate in China would be the first of its kind at the WTO.

A U.S. free speech group known as the First Amendment Coalition had been urging such a case for years before Google threatened to leave China in January due to hacking incidents and Web restrictions.

Kirk said trying to resolve the issue through bilateral forums such as the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade was "much more preferable than the uncertain path of what can be a two-, three-, four-year legal battle in the WTO."

U.S. companies can not wait that long for a solution in the current economic environment, although the United States will not hesitate to go to the WTO when that is the only solution it has left, Kirk said.

Kirk noted Google and China have been in "very intense negotiations" since the company's threat to leave.

Horned Lady

If she was an American who'd have to say she was a repugican!

Zhang Ruifang, 101, of Henan province in China, appears to have a horn growing on the left side of her forehead. Another is reportedly sprouting on the right side.

HorndailymaillllllAlthough, it is unknown what the protrusion is on Mrs Zhang's head, it resembles a cutaneous horn.

This is a funnel-shaped growth and although most are only a few millimetres in length, some can extend a number of inches from the skin.

Cutaneous horns are made up of compacted keratin, which is the same protein we have in our hair and nails, and forms horns, wool and feathers in animals.

They usually develop in fair-skinned elderly adults who have a history of significant sun exposure but it is extremely unusual to see it form protrusions of this size.

The growths are most common in elderly people, aged between 60 and the mid-70s. They can sometimes be cancerous but more than half of cases are benign.

"Chinese grandmother, 101, grows mystery horn on forehead"
The repugicans try to keep their horns hidden.

Bank of America wrongly repossess yet another house?

Not again. Is anyone in control there?
This seems to happen more than it should.
A Pittsburgh-area woman is suing Bank of America, claiming it wrongfully repossessed her home and saying that a bank contractor trashed the house and took her parrot.

Forty-six-year-old Angela Iannelli sued Bank of America in Allegheny County on Monday. She claims her mortgage payments were on time when the contractor damaged furniture, took her pet parrot and padlocked the door to her Allison Park home in October.

Health Care News

Obama to repugicans: 'You had ten years'Tell it like it is ...

Quake moved Chilean city 10 feet

Quake moved Chilean city 10 feet

ConcepciĆ³n wasn't the only city shifted by the massive 8.8 magnitude temblor.


Thanks to your local repugican:

Science News

From BBC-Science:
Deforestation has revealed what could be a giant impact crater in Central Africa, according to Italian scientists.

The eggshells of long-dead and extinct species are a particularly good source to find preserved DNA, researchers say.

For the white supremacist child who has everything

Hand painted head, hand sewn outfit.
Dark green leather overcoat.
Field Gray jacket with all official emblems and medals as worn by Hitler.
Cloth field gray officers cap with gold braiding and die cast emblems.
Limited to 2000 pieces worldwide!
THIS Figure is rare and very hard to find!
Comes new in box!

Having trouble finding the 'right' gift for the racists on you list then look no further - In The Past Toys has all your NAZI needs ... just ask Glen Brick, Swill O'Really, Lush Dimbulb, Shyawn Handjob, Sayrah Pal-lyn, and the rest of Faux News.

Lush wants to live in a country with high quality (socialized) medicine

Lush Dimbulb said he's leaving the United States if the health care reform bill passes.
Think Progress has the audio, but here's the key line:
I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and it’s five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented — I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica.
My first thought, like most, is: okay, go.

But I did a little research. It's no wonder Lush wants to live in Costa Rica. To say the least, Lush isn't the healthiest specimen around. He's overweight, has addiction issues and heart problems. Costa Rica has an excellent health care system called "Caja." Sure, it's socialized medicine. But, it works for the people of Costa Rica and visitors alike:
It's been more than 65 years since this small country of 4.6 million people introduced a public health care system. Spending $6,000 less per capita than the United States on health today, Costa Rica boasts a longer life expectancy and an infant mortality rate nearly equal to that of the U.S.

With a reputation for high quality and low prices, the country has even fashioned an industry out of health care, attracting hundreds of visitors each year who take advantage of medical tourism.

“What we don't understand is how we are able to work with this,” said Rosa Climent, medical director of the Costa Rican Social Security System, pointing to a chart that shows employers pay 9.25 percent and workers pay 5.50 percent of their salaries into the system, which covers “all our health needs. And how the U.S. pays so much more and doesn't cover its citizens.”

Not only do Costa Ricans have an 86.8 percent coverage rate, but the public health system serves residents who live miles from cities.

“How does a small country with a medium investment like ours achieve full cover age for all of its citizens?” asked Climent. “It's a big accomplishment.”
It is a big accomplishment. The United States should be so fortunate. Lush could extend his life expectancy by living in Costa Rica. And, health care, while excellent, is cheaper.

Today is ...

Today is Wednesday, March 10, the 69th day of 2010.

There are 296 days left in the year.

Today In History March 10

Today's Unusual holidays and celebrations are:

Learn What Your Name Means Day


International Day of Awesomeness

It should also be noted that on March 10, 1876, the first successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell's telephone took place in Boston as his assistant heard Bell say, "Mr. Watson -- come here -- I want to see you."
And women and teenagers have been on the phone ever since.

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Kottayam, Kerala, India
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
London, England, United Kingdom

as well as Scotland, Italy, Brazil, Wales, and the United States in such cities as Orem, Burlingame, Penfield, Ketchikan, Anahiem, Riverview, Aurora and more

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

You're feeling especially industrious at the moment, which means you'll be totally unable to sit still.
Sure, you can pop in that movie and sit down next to your best bud on the couch while it's on -- but you'll be doing your bills, cleaning out a junk drawer (which you've pulled out and plunked onto the coffee table) or folding laundry.
And let's not even talk about trying to sleep.
Better quit the coffee early, or even swear it off for the day.
You won't need it.

Tea will do.