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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.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're famous for integrity and responsibility (among other fine qualities).
You're also almost impossible to pry a secret out of -- especially if it belongs to someone else.
Though it's usually not so tough for you to keep things quiet, for some reason you're having difficulty this time.
If it's because you're not sure you'll be doing the right thing by keeping quiet, talk it over with someone you trust.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Gothenburg, Vastra Gotaland, Sweden
Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Ede, Gelderland, Netherlands

as well as Scotland, Brazil, and the United States in such cities as Henniker, Macomb, Mesa, Sugar Land, Lisle and more

Today is Saturday, April 3, the 93rd day of 2010.
There are 272 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:
Pony Express Day,
Tangible Karma Day
Tweed Day

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
April 3, 2009
This is a week of faithful celebration. On Monday and Tuesday nights, Jewish families and friends in the United States and around the world gathered for a Seder to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt and the triumph of hope and perseverance over injustice and oppression.  On Sunday, my family will join other Christians all over the world in marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And while we worship in different ways, we also remember the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all – Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, believers and nonbelievers alike.
Amid the storm of public debate, with our 24/7 media cycle, in a town like Washington that’s consumed with the day-to-day, it can sometimes be easy to lose sight of the eternal. So, on this Easter weekend, let us hold fast to those aspirations we hold in common as brothers and sisters, as members of the same family – the family of man.
All of us know how important work is – not just for the paycheck, but for the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can provide for your family. As Americans, and as human beings, we seek not only the security, but the sense of dignity, the sense of community, that work confers. That is why it was heartening news that last month, for the first time in more than two years, our economy created a substantial number of jobs, instead of losing them. We have begun to reverse the devastating slide, but we have a long way to go to repair the damage from this recession, and that will continue to be my focus every single day.
All of us value our health and the health of our loved ones. All of us have experienced an illness, a loss, a personal tragedy. All of us know that no matter what we’re doing or what else is going on in our lives, if the health of someone we love is endangered, nothing else matters. Our health is the rock upon which our lives are built, for better and for worse.
All of us value education. We know that in an economy as competitive as ours, an education is a prerequisite for success. But we also know that ultimately, education is about something more, something greater. It is about the ability that lies within each of us to rise above any barrier, no matter how high; to pursue any dream, no matter how big; to fulfill our God-given potential.
All of us are striving to make a way in this world; to build a purposeful and fulfilling life in the fleeting time we have here. A dignified life. A healthy life. A life, true to its potential. And a life that serves others. These are aspirations that stretch back through the ages – aspirations at the heart of Judaism, at the heart of Christianity, at the heart of all of the world’s great religions.
The rites of Passover, and the traditions of Easter, have been marked by people in every corner of the planet for thousands of years. They have been marked in times of peace, in times of upheaval, in times of war.
One such war-time service was held on the black sands of Iwo Jima more than sixty years ago. There, in the wake of some of the fiercest fighting of World War II, a chaplain rose to deliver an Easter sermon, consecrating the memory, he said “of American dead – Catholic, Protestant, Jew. Together,” he said, “they huddled in foxholes or crouched in the bloody sands…Together they practiced virtue, patriotism, love of country, love of you and of me.” The chaplain continued, “The heritage they have left us, the vision of a new world, [was] made possible by the common bond that united them…their only hope that this unity will endure.”
Their only hope that this unity will endure.
On this weekend, as Easter begins and Passover comes to a close, let us remain ever mindful of the unity of purpose, the common bond, the love of you and of me, for which they sacrificed all they had; and for which so many others have sacrificed so much. And let us make its pursuit – and fulfillment – our highest aspiration, as individuals and as a nation. Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all those celebrating, here in America, and around the world.

And I Quote

"Every day since I signed the reform law, there’s been another poll or headline that said, 
"Nation still divided on health care reform." "Polls haven’t changed yet." Well, yeah. It just 
happened last week!  It’s only been a week! Can you imagine if some of these reporters were 
working on a farm? You’d planted some seeds and they came out the next day and they looked. 
"Nothing’s happened! There’s no crop! We're gonna starve! Oh no! It’s a disaster!" It’s been 
a week, folks. So before we find out if people like health care reform, we should wait to see what 
happens when we actually put it into place! Just a thought."
~ President Obama, setting FAUX News straight

The repugicans were correct about one thing ...

Health Care Reform IS Obama’s Waterloo.  
Only, he’s Wellington.

April is Confederate History Month

Confederate Flag
Contrary to 'popular' opinion that African-American men only fought in the War of Northern Aggression wearing Yankee Blue. More fought wearing Gray (officers) and Butternut Brown (enlisted). Note the date of the photo above ... from the outset the Confederate Army had  entire units of African-Americans as well as intermixed units. African-American units in the Confederate Army had African-American officers and were front line units from the beginning whereas the Yankee Army's "Colored" units were only formed late in the war and initially only as 'engineering' and 'mess' (cookhouse) units. Do not get it wrong .... the Confederate Army had their engineering and mess units as well although those tended to be intermixed units. Then there were the 'special ops' units of the day ...

April is Poetry Month

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need. 
Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory 
As he defeated--dying--
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!
Emily Dickinson (1864)

Daily Comic Relief


As The World Turns

As The World Turns
Part of Elton John stage at Mexico's Chichen Itza ruins partially collapses, injuring 3
Part of the stage being set up for a weekend concert by singer Elton John at Mexico's famed Chichen Itza ruins collapsed during construction, injuring three workers, authorities said Thursday.

The British Government has confirmed that selected children will also be required to full-body 'naked' scanning at airports

Following in France’s attempted footsteps, Belgium is on its way to becoming the first country in Europe to ban the burka.

Moscow bomber a teen 'black widow'

Russian investigators say the 17-year-old woman was married to a slain Islamist militant.  

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation

New security checks for air travelers

The strategy is the White House's response to the attempted Christmas bombing.  
Mexican helicopter spotted in Texas ...
The defense department says it is investigating reports of a Mexican military helicopter seen flying in Texas.

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality
Riding the tailwinds of positive economic news, President Barack Obama swept into Charlotte Friday to tout his jobs program and efforts to kindle growth.
 From TV station WCNC: Who is the woman hugging President Obama? 


Governor Bev Perdue's office received a letter from an anti-government group that is calling on sitting governors to resign within three days.

Two different massage parlors in Brunswick County believed to have connections to prostitution and drugs were shut down Thursday night.Deputies and undercover officers raided the Sun Day Spa on Old Georgetown Road and Playmates off Highway 17. Authorities say both places were soliciting prostitution along with selling drugs inside the establishment.
Last June, deputies closed both of these places along with several others, but they were back open within weeks.
A total of five women were taken into custody on drug and prostitution charges.
"We will be seeking an injunction, working closely with the county attorney’s office to permanently shut these places down,” said Sheriff John Ingram. “And we hope to have that in place by next week.”
Authorities say they're also investigating whether two women arrested at the Sun Day Spa were involved in a human trafficking ring.

Butler who served eight presidents dies

Butler who served eight presidents dies

Eugene Allen's rise to the White House inspired people from around the world.  

Stand By Me


Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Thousands of fragments of a disintegrating comet, rather than a single large impact, may have killed off much of North America's animal life, a new study suggests
Growing Bones
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, has solved one of many problems on the way to successful bone implants: how to grow new bones in the anatomical shape of the original.
Dr. Vunjak-Novakovic and her research team have created and nourished two small bones from scratch in their laboratory. The new bones, part of a joint at the back of the jaw, were created with human stem cells. The shape is based on digital images of undamaged bones.
Tissue-engineered bones have many implications, according to a leading figure in the field, Dr. Charles A. Vacanti, director of the laboratories for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He has no connection to the Columbia work. “If your imaging equipment has sufficient high resolution, you can construct virtually any intricate shape you want — for example, the middle ear bone, creating an exact duplicate,” he said. “It’s a splendid example of tissue engineering at its best.”

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid

10 most common tax-filing mistakes

One of these all-too-easy errors could result in a larger tax bill or a delayed refund.
162,000 jobs added in March. 
Unemployment rate still at 9.7%
This is finally movement in the right direction on jobs:
Employers added 162,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 9.7 percent for the third straight month. The payrolls increase was the largest since March 2007, and also reflected temporary hiring for the census.

Payroll figures for January were revised to show a 14,000 gain, while February was adjusted to show only a loss of 14,000.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls to rise 190,000 last month and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 9.7 percent. The median projection from the 20 economists who have forecast payrolls most accurately over the past year predicted 200,000 jobs were created in March.
Images via Climate Progress
You've likely heard the big news today that 162,000 new US jobs were added in March, which marks the biggest gain in employment in 3 years. Some 40,000 of those were attributed to the Census, but the rest was true private sector growth. Since the boilerplate (but untrue) talking points opponents of energy reform use was that it would kill jobs and burden the fragile economy, and now we're finally seeing distinct job growth again, is there a better chance that the beleaguered clean energy and jobs bill will become law?
Article continues: Jobs Are Coming Back. Will Energy Reform Come With Them?

Why the jobless rate refuses to budge

The U.S. economy added 162,000 more workers in March, yet unemployment is unchanged.  

Notable jobs that pay less than you think

Despite their celebrity status, local TV newscasters often make surprisingly little.  

Downturn means 'bargain' mansions

For those who can still afford them, lots of luxury homes are priced to sell. 

Interesting In General

Interesting In General
Chef does double-take over 9-legged octopus

Nineopus. Novopus. Freak of nature.
Whatever you want to call it, the nine-legged octopus probably had a leg up on all the other creatures in the Gulf of Mexico - until it was caught and found its way to Hellas Bakery and Restaurant in Florida.
Town gets $150K for salamander crossing

Future generations of salamanders in one Vermont town are going to be getting some help crossing the road.

Tainted drywall homes should be gutted

Tainted drywall homes should be gutted

A federal agency has drastic advice for thousands of U.S. homeowners affected by Chinese drywall.  

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe 

Repugicans to pay high price for scandal

The political fallout from an explosive nightclub outing could hit the repugicans where it hurts most.
Repugicans lied about IRS hiring more agents to handle health care reform
And this is news, how?
From FactCheck.org:
Q: Will the IRS hire 16,500 new agents to enforce the health care law?

A: No. The law requires the IRS mostly to hand out tax credits, not collect penalties. The claim of 16,500 new agents stems from a partisan analysis based on guesswork and false assumptions, and compounded by outright misrepresentation.
 Liars and Fools
Guest host on Glen Brick's radio program pushes fears that health care will be rationed by race
It was before reform - now everyone can get it, not just 'white' people.

Wingnut media from New York Post to Washington Times stand up for radical, gun nut militia
Treason pure and simple.

Faux's Swill O'Really re-stokes baseless fears that Obama administration will ban guns
Couldn't think of any new lies there Swill?

OK, now that is from outer space right passed the moron galaxy.

Maybe in your twisted alternate universe ... but here in reality - no.

Guest host on Glen Brick's radio program asks if Obama's only enemies are "white guys and capitalism"
Wrong, only idiots and morons

Faux's Stuart Varney accuses Obama of creating an "un-American, almost anti-American mentality". 
Nope, that 'mentality' is all yours there Stuart.

If only that were true ....

Guest host on Glen Brick's radio program says Obama's agenda is "overturning the American values that this country was formed upon". 
Wrong, that was the shrub and the cabal. We corrected that.

Paul Broun (reptile-Georgia) says health care reform is a "pig" that should be "shot" and "buried"
Speaking into the mirror again I see, Paul.
Ignoring Hippocratic Oath, Dr. Refuses To Treat Obama Supporters
A Florida doctor has decided he doesn't want to treat Democrats, at least those who voted for Barack Obama. Florida urologist Jack Cassell posted a sign on his office door telling those voters to go away.
He should not be allowed to practice and should surrender his license forthwith!

More Wingnuts!
Guardians of the free Republics: Could threats spark violence?
More than 30 US governors have received subtly threatening letters from a group called Guardians of the free Republics.
Subtle threats against dozens of US governors by a Texas-based group called Guardians of the free Republics could be enough to spark violence in a tense and polarized country, the FBI says. This week's threats against at least 30 governors are another example of antigovernment sentiments making waves in the United States in recent months.
Bachmann says Teabaggers, who have repeatedly used the n-word about blacks, are not racist
There's video of a Teabagger spitting on a black congressman, and of a Teabagger leader holding a sign with the word n-word on it. Clearly, the Teabagger's racism and violent emotions are becoming a liability to the the repugicans if even crazy Bachmann is now out there defending them.
Remind the number one rule for repugicans, if they deny it, it's true.

Abortion doc's killer sentenced to life

Should have been DEATH!

Abortion doc's killer sentenced to life

A still-defiant Scott Roeder lashes out at the court during his sentencing hearing.  
Typical wingnut ... blames everyone but himself for his actions

Criminal Sex

Just like the catholics to blame someone else for their criminality

Abuse criticism likened to anti-Semitism

The pope's preacher says accusations echo the "collective violence" faced by Jews.

Endangered Whale Birth Photographed for First Time!

From Treehugger:
baby right whale photo
Photo via NRDC
It's a rare thing to see a whale birth in the wild, and even rarer to see that of an endangered species. But just last week, researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington witnessed a North Atlantic right whale - one of the rarest whales on earth - give birth to a calf. Unfortunately, it was born in a dangerous area - right next to military sonar testing, which is known to kill whales. Check out photos of the bouncing newborn after the jump.
Article continues: Endangered Whale Birth Photographed for First Time!

Otter friends pass away together

Two zoo otters who were always together have died of heart attacks on the same night.

Staff at Nelson's Natureland zoo, New Zealand, were reeling from the shock of their deaths last week, operations manager Gail Sutton said. However, they were also relieved that they had gone together.

Daz, 19, and Chip, 16, were elderly, as an otter's average lifespan was 13 to 15 years, she said. They had been unwell for two weeks and had spent a week in a quarantine area.

After completing treatment, they were due to return to their enclosure the next day but died that night. Autopsy results indicated that they suffered heart attacks, she said. Pathology reports were expected to determine what caused the attacks.

"It seems the stress of one having a heart attack was enough to trigger the other heart attack," Ms Sutton said. "They were always so close and never apart. They always cuddled together. Both went together, and that's a blessing for them."

The otters, which were popular with Natureland visitors, lived there for 15 years and helped to raise awareness about the threats facing otters in the wild.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health

Health dangers lurk in New England waters

Raw sewage, garbage, and oil are swirling in the muddy Northeast waters from the floods.  

Badu charged with disorderly conduct

Badu charged with disorderly conduct

Singer Erykah Badu gets a citation from Dallas police for removing her clothes during a video shoot.

And the winner is ...

Lucky number costs Pennsylvania lottery a bundle

Officials pay out millions more than they take in for the drawing after picking a very popular number.  

Keer Cleap

Council workmen have been left red-faced after mixing up their letters on a 'Keep Clear' road marking by spelling it 'Keer Cleap'.

Embarrassed officials from Hertfordshire Highways were forced to switch the 'P'and 'R' around after residents on Garden Walk in Royston spotted the blunder.

Plumber Paul Brett, 39, was the first to notice the mistake - despite the fact he is dyslexic and struggles with spelling.

He said: 'It's quite amusing because I suffer from dyslexia and spotted it before my wife Denise did.'

Mother-of-two Denise, 37, an administrator, said the 2ft high and 5ft wide road markings directly outside their house had kept the whole family entertained. She said: 'They must have been quite embarrassed by the whole thing.

'My husband, who is not the greatest speller, noticed the mistake yesterday and we are still chuckling about it.'

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
Muggers caught when returning for car
The people who witnessed a robbery attempt at an Oregon convenience store didn't need to describe the muggers.
In Cop News

A British man who put up a homemade sign warning of potholes on the road outside of his house said police ordered him to take it down.