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, March 27, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
It's fine astrological weather to be you, but maybe not so much fun for your less flexible friends.
So while you're totally loving the fact that the last thing on earth you'd ever expect is what's about to happen, they're looking worried -- and not at all happy about it.
Sit them down, chat them up about the virtues of change and talk them into letting go and allowing the universe drive.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Merignac, Aquitaine, France
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Middlebrough, England, United Kingdom
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Gouda, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
London, England, United Kingdom
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Ausburg, Bayern, Germany
Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Mugla, Mugla, Turkey
Forde, Sogn Og Fjordane, Norway
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

as well as Scotland, Brazil, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the United States in such cities as Brook Park, Puyallup, Ellettsville, Parkersburg, Grand Island, San Angelo, Pikeville and more

Today is Saturday, March 27, the 86th day of 2010.
There are 279 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Viagra Day

President Obama's Weekly Address

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
China censoring stories related to Google departure

They really are pathetic. There are even rules for addressing the story. Don't they realize how weak and ridiculous it makes them appear to the outside world?
These are the rules for news outlets - there are also other instructions for "interactive media", blogs and forums that involve careful monitoring and repression of discussion on the topic.

In addition, CDT also lists a series of extra rules.

Outlets are told "do not report about Google exerting pressure on our country via people or events" and that reporters and writers should not provide material that could be used by Google to attack Chinese government policy. A little ironic, then, that it is the government's own instructions on the subject that end up providing grist to the mill.

Whether you think Google's position is right or wrong, selfless or selfish, it's clear that it has irritated the government even more than has already been documented: the government in Beijing is doing its best to quash any signs of conflict.
£270m of treasure kept in derelict Spanish house

For a man with family treasures worth a fortune, Jaume Grau-Pla was somewhat cavalier about security. His 12th-century relics and jewels are worth hundreds of millions of pounds, a dazzling collection that others might have locked away or consigned to a bank vault complete with an expensive insurance policy.

Grau-Pla had an altogether more homespun solution: he stuck all the pieces in a derelict mansion in the Catalan interior and guessed that thieves would never suspect anything of any value was there. He guessed wrong.

It has emerged that treasures worth €300m (£270m) had been stolen from the country house. Fortunately for the wealthy aristocrat, most of the booty was recovered. Two of the three suspected thieves were arrested.

"I keep the house run-down on purpose as a way to camouflage the high-value collection I keep inside," Grau-Pla said. "Only those who had been inside the house knew what was kept there. Many of the things are invaluable. No amount of money could buy them."

Grau-Pla only realised that the collection had gone when he visited one weekend and found the glass cases empty.

Police who detained the thieves were themselves stunned by the tiaras, necklaces, rings and other jewellery that they discovered. They said they were happy to believe the aristocrat's own €300m valuation of the collection.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
Efforts to keep the unique wetlands from dying have been credit crunched, says Jeff Hecht
A raid targeting illegal immigration led to the arrests of 21 Phoenix-area McDonald's workers Friday, and authorities were still seeking 30 other employees as part of their investigation.

And who else but McDonalds - the lowest paying of all - would have a bunch of illegals slaving (I mean working) for them.

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality
One dead in KFC/Taco Bell parking lot on North Tryon street

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are questioning a person they believe shot another person in the parking lot of the KFC/Taco Bell on N. Tryon Street in the University area at dinnertime Friday. People in the restaurant tell us they heard and saw very little.
"We didn't see anything or hear anything. It was really kind of silent," Michael Kahn said. He said a woman came into the restaurant yelling that someone had been shot in the head in the parking lot.
Police arrived to find one person dead in a vehicle. Another person in the vehicle was not hurt.
Officers caught up with the person they believe was the shooter just a block away, running from the scene. CMPD Captain Freda Lester said the incident may have involved a robbery.

The state's annual gang report released this week shows Mecklenburg County has 160 gangs, the most of any North Carolina county.

Click here to read the report.

The second-highest county was Wake, with 97 gangs.

According to the Associated Press, the report "reflects a fuller picture of gang activity by relying more on hard data from police and prison officials."

AP reports the Governor's Crime Commission gave its annual gang report to a legislative panel on Thursday.

The report shows there are nearly 13,700 confirmed gang members and their associates, compared to 10,050 in last year's report.

A search warrant application reveals that Winfred Scott Simpson told deputies "that his wife admitted to having an affair over the past six months."

Husband Of Missing Woman Arrested, Charged With Murder

Religious Quotes

I sacrifice to no god save myself ... And to my belly, greatest of deities. 

~ Euripides

The Beatles have changed their look...

And why wasn't I informed?!

Within their rights my ass

From the "Are they F'ing insane!" Department:
Digby had this to say:
Three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in a case that prompted an incredulous dissent. Malaika Brooks was driving her son to Seattle's African American Academy in 2004 when she was stopped for doing 32 mph in a school zone. She insisted it was the car in front of her that was speeding, and refused to sign the ticket because she thought she'd be admitting guilt.
Rather than give her the ticket and let her go on her way, the officers decided to arrest her. One reached in, turned off her car and dropped the keys on the floor. Brooks stiffened her arms against the steering wheel and told the officers she was pregnant, but refused to get out, even after they threatened to stun her.
The officers — Sgt. Steven Daman, Officer Juan Ornelas and Officer Donald Jones — then stunned her three times, in the thigh, shoulder and neck, and hauled her out of the car, laying her face-down in the street.
Brooks gave birth to a healthy baby two months later, but has permanent scars from the Taser. She sued the officers for violating her constitutional rights, and U.S. District Judge Richard Jones allowed the case to continue. He declined to grant the officers immunity for performing their official duties and said Brooks' rights were clearly violated.
But in a 2-1 ruling Friday, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. Judges Cynthia Holcomb Hall and Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain held that the officers were justified in making an arrest because Brooks was obstructing them and resisting arrest.
The use of force was also justified because of the threat Brooks posed, Hall wrote: "It seems clear that Brooks was not going to be able to harm anyone with her car at a moment's notice. Nonetheless, some threat she might retrieve the keys and drive off erratically remained, particularly given her refusal to leave the car and her state of agitation."
They also noted that the force used wasn't that serious because the Taser was in "touch" mode rather than "dart" mode, which hurts more. They reversed the lower court's opinion and held that the officers were entitled to immunity from the lawsuit.
It's hard to know what to say to something like that. It's always strange to me to think that police officers have a right to electrocute anyone who doesn't present a direct threat to their person, but this rationale is chilling:
"Police officers have to have the ability to compel people to obey their lawful orders," Buck said. That's all the court recognized today. The 9th Circuit just applied the law instead of getting caught up in the otherwise unfortunate factual circumstances."
Except it wasn't a lawful order, unless you define any order a police officer gives as being de facto lawful:
The majority's opinion outraged Judge Marsha Berzon, who called it "off the wall."
"I fail utterly to comprehend how my colleagues are able to conclude that it was objectively reasonable to use any force against Brooks, let alone three activations of a Taser, in response to such a trivial offense," she wrote.
She argued that under Washington law, the officers had no authority to take Brooks into custody: Failure to sign a traffic infraction is not an arrestable offense, and it's not illegal to resist an unlawful arrest.
Berzon said the majority's notion that Brooks obstructed officers was so far-fetched that even the officers themselves didn't make that legal argument. To obstruct an officer, one must obstruct the officer's official duties, and the officers' only duties in this case were to detain Brooks long enough to identify her, check for warrants, write up the citation and give it to her. Brooks' failure to sign did not interfere with those duties, she said.
Oh no, she needed to be electrocuted and arrested because there was a chance that she might drive off erratically. Or shape-shift into a lizard and levitate. You just can't be too careful. In any case, what these judges seem to be saying is that there is no lawful reason that an officer cannot taser a citizen as long as he is barking some order and they fail to comply quickly enough. No reason of any kind, not even the fact that the officers had no right to issue that order at all. That's scary.

BTW: where are all the anti-authoritarian libertarians now? It seems as if they only care about the constitution when it comes to taxes and guns. Someone else's right not to be electrocuted for refusing to sign a traffic ticket? Not their problem.

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe 
Militiaman unapologetic for calls to vandalize offices over health care
The call to arms was issued at 5:55 a.m. last Friday.
"To all modern Sons of Liberty: THIS is your time. Break their windows. Break them NOW."
These were the words of Mike Vanderboegh, a 57-year-old militiaman from Alabama, who took to his blog urging people who opposed the historic health-care reform legislation -- he calls it "Nancy Pelosi's Intolerable Act" -- to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide.

You might be interested to know ...  Vanderboegh said he once worked as a warehouse manager but now lives on government disability checks. He said he receives $1,300 a month because of his congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension.
In other words, he can have 'socialized healthcare' but you can't. Typical wingnut.

Teabaggers don't even like their own:
The Tea Party Express and other wingnut Nevada-based groups are telling self-proclaimed "Tea Party" candidate for the U.S. Senate, Scott Ashjian, to take a hike.


1. A bicycle cannot stand alone; it is two tired.
2. A will is a dead giveaway.
3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
4. A backward poet writes inverse.
5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France and resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.
15. A calendar's days are numbered.
16. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
17. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
18. The short fortune teller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.
19. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end
20. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
21 If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine .
22. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
23. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
24. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
25. Acupuncture: a jab well done.
26. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.
27.. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian ..
28. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
29. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
30. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
31. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
32. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
33. A hole was found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
34. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
35. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to
the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'
36. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
37. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
38. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
39. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
40. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.
41. She was only a cattleman's daughter but all the horse men knew her
Thank goodness!

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health

Spot the secret stressors in your life

Your choice of alarm clock might be one hidden source of anxiety and stress.  

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
Salty, acidic lakes in the Australian outback that resemble the inhospitable conditions on ancient Mars contain bustling microbial communities, a new study suggests.

Upping the cute factor

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid                                                         

Five tips for finding cheaper airfares

Save on your next flight by buying at the right time of week, and don't wait to pay baggage fees.

Expert: Economy will leave some behind

Though the recovery is in full swing, one analyst has some really bad news for the unemployed.

Where housing markets are set to recover

Home values in most of the nation’s metro areas look stagnant — except for these places.  

Religious Quotes

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck. 
~ George Carlin

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
In Cop News

Judge orders California sheriff's department to stop keeping secret names of officers involved in controversial shootings

Connecticut police sergeant demoted 2nd time over ignoring 9-1-1 call

New Hampshire police chief gets four years for embezzling funds from food drive

A Fish Story

This is NOT a fish story!
This is a new record Northern Pike in Canada.
He caught it on Turtle Lake.
Check this out ... the man (in the photos below), was fishing and caught a 36" Pike.
As he was reeling it in a 55" - 56lb Pike tried to eat it!
He landed them both in the same net.

Disorder in the Court

"Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History", by Charles M. Sevilla.

I'm sure you may have seen them before, but what the hell  . . .
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until  the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid.
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?WITNESS: Every year.