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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.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Daily Drift

We just knew it  ..!
 
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Today in History

1260 At the Battle of Montaperto in Italy, the Tuscan Ghibellines, who support the emperor, defeat the Florentine Guelfs, who support papal power.
1479 After four years of war, Spain agrees to allow a Portuguese monopoly of trade along Africa's west coast and Portugal acknowledges Spain's rights in the Canary Islands.
1781 Los Angeles, first an Indian village Yangma, is founded by Spanish decree.
1787 Louis XVI of France recalls parliament.
1790 Jacques Necker is forced to resign as finance minister in France.
1804 USS Intrepid explodes while entering Tripoli harbor on a mission to destroy the enemy fleet there during the First Barbary War.
1820 Czar Alexander declares that Russian influence in North America extends as far south as Oregon and closes Alaskan waters to foreigners.
1862 Robert E. Lee's Confederate army invades Maryland, starting the Antietam Campaign.
1870 A republic is proclaimed in Paris and a government of national defense is formed.
1881 The Edison electric lighting system goes into operation as a generator serving 85 paying customers is switched on.
1886 Elusive Apache leader Geronimo surrenders to General Nelson A. Miles at Skeleton Canyon, Ariz.
1893 Beatrix Potter sends a note to her governess' son with the first drawing of Peter Rabbit, Cottontail and others. The Tale of Petter Rabbit is published eight years later.
1915 The U.S. military places Haiti under martial law to quell a rebellion in its capital Port-au-Prince.
1941 German submarine U-652 fires at the U.S. destroyer Greer off Iceland, beginning an undeclared shooting war.
1942 Soviet planes bomb Budapest in the war's first air raid on the Hungarian capital.
1943 Allied troops capture Lae-Salamaua, in New Guinea.
1944 British troops liberate Antwerp, Belgium.
1945 The American flag is raised on Wake Island after surrender ceremonies there.
1951 The first transcontinental television broadcast in America is carried by 94 stations.
1957 Arkansas governor Orval Faubus calls out the National Guard to bar African-American students from entering a Little Rock high school.
1967 Operation Swift begins as US Marines engage North Vietnamese Army troops in Que Son Valley.
1972 Mark Spitz becomes first Olympic competitor to win 7 medals during a single Olympics Games.
1975 Sinai II Agreement between Egypt and Israel pledges that conflicts between the two countries "shall not be resolved by military force but by peaceful means."
1998 Google founded by Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Non Sequitur

http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/1buwXAWQq.4ASg5615blBg--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTE5NTtweW9mZj0wO3E9NzU7dz02MDA-/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ucomics.com/nq140904.gif

"When it comes to human rights, the United States must practice at home what it preaches abroad."

The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has recently concluded its 85th Session during which time it considered seven state reports, including one on the United States.
The report praised many progressive steps the U.S. has taken to ensure equality, including the termination of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, the adoption of the Fair Sentencing Act and the adoption of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
However, the number of issues the report raises is pretty abominable. CERD expressed concern over the following problems:
  • .Lack of a national human rights institution
  • Persistent racial profiling and illegal surveillance
  • Prevalence and under-reporting of racist hate speech and hate crimes
  • Disparate impact of environmental pollution in low income and minority communities
  • Restrictive voter identification laws leading to unequal right to vote
  • Criminalization of homelessness when homeless people are disproportionately minorities
  • Discrimination and segregation in housing
  • De facto racial segregation in education
  • Unequal right to health and access to health care
  • High number of gun-related deaths and "Stand Your Ground" laws, which disproportionately affect members of racial and ethnic minorities
  • Excessive use of force by law enforcement officials
  • Increasingly militarized approach to immigration law enforcement
  • Violence against women occurs disproportionately more frequently for women from racial/ethnic minorities
  • Criminal justice system disproportionately arrests, incarcerates and subjects to harsher sentences people from racial/ethnic minorities
  • Youth from racial/ethnic minorities are disproportionately prosecuted as adults, incarcerated in adult prisons, and sentenced to life without parole
  • Non-citizens are arbitrarily detained in Guantanamo Bay without equal access to the criminal justice system, while at risk of being subjected to torture
  • Unequal access to legal aid
  • Lacking rights of indigenous peoples (the report lists numerous different concerns)
  • Absence of a National Action Plan to combat racial discrimination
In a press conference convened Friday, CERD committee vice chairman Noureddine Amir highlighted the death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown: "The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities is an ongoing issue of concern and particularly in light of the shooting of Michael Brown. This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training and law enforcement officials."
In response to the UN's report, Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said, "When it comes to human rights, the United States must practice at home what it preaches abroad."

Did you know ...

farmers and who gets the money
disapproval of congress linked to higher turn out at the polls
it's not about terror; it's about the oil
15 maps that explain everything
7 facts that prove white privilege exists
how Americans are duped into eating unhealthy foods
anti-union think tank plans to work on labor day
women are vastly under-represented in silicon valley tech jobs
the necessity of unions
depressed?  try a trapeze
why juvenile incarceration needs to go
stealing cars has gone out of fashion
how the current mass extinction of animals threatens humans
the libertarian agenda: a chart-like chart
6 myths the beef industry wants us to believe
how does your state compare in rate of gun deaths?

5 False Founding Father Quotes That The repugican cabal Can’t Stop Falsely Quoting

by Randa Morris 
Thomas Jefferson Portrait. Image Credit: aroadlesstaken.orgThe repugican cabal misquotes the founding fathers so often it almost seems like there’s a deliberate agenda to rewrite history and misrepresent the historical figures that they claim to so greatly admire.
When you hear one person after another, after another, repeating the same few made up quotes, it almost seems as if the repugican cabal is testing the theory behind another falsely attributed quote:
“If you repeat a lie often enough, the people will come to believe it.”
That quote, which has often been attributed to Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, undoubtedly came from someone within Adolph Hitler’s administration. We know that the quote first originated in Nazi Germany. Yet, there’s no substantiated record that can accurately pinpoint its original author.
These five quotes have been repeated so many times in the past several years, and by so many different repugican cabal and tea party leaders, that many people have no idea that they are completely made up. Especially not your average repugican voters. They have been trained to accept without question every lie that comes out of the mouths of  wingnut politicians and shrieking heads, while rejecting all information that comes from outside of the bubble. Needless to say, fact checking is not a part of their information gathering routine.
1. “The government that governs least, governs best.”
The wingnuts have repeatedly and falsely attributed this quote to Thomas Jefferson. This false attribution has been circulated in memes on social media, repeated at political rallies, even spoken on the floor of federal and state houses across America, by wingnut frauds, dim wits and perpetual liars.
This is a real quote, but its author was not Thomas Jefferson. This quote is from the writings of Henry David Thoreau, beloved author, founder of the transcendental movement, founder of the modern day environmental movement, author of modern civil disobedience techniques, including those practiced by Martin Luther King and Gandhi. Thoreau was a devoted supporter of racial equality, so much so that he went to jail refusing to pay taxes in opposition to legalized slavery and war. Thoreau opposed materialism and all forms of waste. He also despised the capitalist system that the wingnuts worship with all its greedy little heart. He opposed religious dogma and embraced a form of religion that included only “the love of nature,” something wingnut 'christians' clearly do not approve of. The quote appears in Thoreau’s book “Civil Disobedience,” published in 1849.
Obviously the wingnuts changed the attribution, mainly so their uneducated base doesn’t figure out that the quote comes from the writings of someone who would despise everything that they stand for.
But then again, Jefferson would not embrace the modern wingnuts, any more than Thoreau.
Both of these men must roll over in their graves every time someone with the tiny intellect of Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin repeats this quote in an attempt to justify their political extremism. Clearly few repugicans have read anything written by either man.
2. “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Another quote falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson, this false quote has been repeated over and over by all the wingnut rock stars, Michelle Bachmann, Christine O’Donnell, Tim Walberg, Michael Steele, Austin Scott, the list goes on and on.
This quote has also occasionally been attributed to Thomas Paine and at other times to Samuel Adams. The first time this quote was ever attributed to Jefferson  was in 1994. The book that attributed this quote to Jefferson, ‘It’s All In The Game; Butterflies, Mind Control — The Razor’s Edge,’ by Gyeorgos Ceres Hatton, is a typical wingnut fear mongering, conspiracy laden piece of hack journalism, full of erroneous quotes, paranoid fantasies and flat out lies.
The first time this quote appeared anywhere in print was in the ‘Barnhill – Tichenor Debate on Socialism‘, published by the Rip-Saw Publishing Company in 1914 (page 34). The author is not any of the founding fathers, but John Basil Barnhill, someone no-one has ever heard of. Of course if the wingnuts simply steal the quote from some dead, unknown person, then attributes it to some famous person, few people will ever be the wiser. By falsely attributing the quote to Jefferson, the repugican cabal hacks know they have a better chance of influencing their base and convincing the idiots that follow them that they really are doing ‘what the founders intended.’
If you want to do what the founders wanted you to do, you might try reading. Jefferson was an avid supporter of education.
As Thomas Jefferson actually did say, on May 6, 1810:
“no one more sincerely wishes the spread of information among mankind than I do, and none has greater confidence in it’s effect towards supporting free & good government.”
Or as he said on April 24, 1816:
“enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body & mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”
And on October 15, 1785:
“what are the objects of an useful American education? classical knowledge, modern languages & chiefly French, Spanish, & Italian; Mathematics; Natural philosophy; Natural History; Civil History; Ethics.”
Remember kids, tyranny and oppressions are the enemy of enlightenment and education.
3. “Most bad government is the result of too much government.”
Thomas Jefferson also did not say this. This quote has been circulated by repugican cabal hacks like Alan West and Joe Scarborough. West himself wrote an entire book that was so full of erroneous founding father quotes it made headlines for its stunning lack of historical accuracy. West’s book included four quotes that were falsely attributed to Jefferson, along with a list of quotes falsely attributed to other historical figures, including Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Patrick Henry and a host of other figures from American history.
It seems to me that if the founding fathers would really support your totally irrational positions then you ought to be able to find some actual quotes to illustrate that. Why constantly make stuff up?
4. “The Constitution is not a tool for government to restrain the people. It’s a tool for people to restrain the government.”
This is a quote that the wingnuts have falsely attributed to Patrick Henry. It got its start on the internet in 2003. According to Patrick Henry biographer, Thomas Kidd of Baylor University in Texas, Patrick Henry never said this. When asked about the quote, Kidd summed up his feelings about the growing number of fake founding father quotes being disseminated on the internet by saying:
“If we admire these people, then I think we should represent what they actually said.”
I agree wholeheartedly. Nothing shows how little you actually respect the founders or value what they said quite like misquoting them time and time again.
5. “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of jesus christ!”
Again a quote attributed to Patrick Henry that is just a flat out fabrication. It first appeared in a 1950′s magazine article, which was a commentary on Henry’s christian faith. It’s been falsely attributed to Patrick Henry by such  wingnut blow-hards as David R. Barton (who retracted it later) and Newt Gingrich (who was content to allow the false attribution to go unchecked.)
Kidd has a new article out which does a good job of debunking more false quotes which have been attributed to Patrick Henry, on Huffington Post.
Whenever you come across a quote on the internet, before you share it, verify it. If the quote does not come with a reference to a particular date or publication, that’s generally a first sign that it’s bogus. On the other hand, some false quotes come complete with false sources, such as the first quote above, attributed to Thomas Jefferson in ‘The Federalist.’ The Federalist was written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. Jefferson had nothing to do with that work. Additionally, the quote does not appear in the Federalist at all.
The wingnuts count on the fact that their base is made up of very low information voters. They can get away with attributing an erroneous Thomas Jefferson quote to a source that wasn’t even written by Thomas Jefferson, confident that their non-reading, education hating base, will happily distribute the bad information far and wide, without ever questioning its authenticity.

Obama Comes Into Scott Walker’s Backyard and Drills repugicans For Opposing Everything

obama-labor-day-wisconsin
President Obama went into Scott Walker’s backyard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and called out repugicans for their failed top-down economic policies, and ripped congressional repugicans for saying no to everything.
Video:
At Laborfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, President Obama said,
Most of the policies I’m talking about have two things in common. They’re going to help more families get ahead, and the repugicans who run our Congress oppose almost all of them…They oppose almost everything. I’m not making that up. I’m just telling the truth. It’s just the facts. In fact, they oppose stuff they used to be for. No, it’s true. I mean, they used to be for building roads, and bridges, and stuff. Now suddenly, no we can’t build roads and bridges. Well, why not? Because you proposed it.
I am just telling the truth. The sky is blue today. Milwaukee brats are delicious. The Brewers are tied for first place, and repugicans in Congress love to say no. Those are just facts. The facts of life. They say no to everything. If we had a Congress that cared about policies that actually helped working people, I promise you we could everything done that we talked about doing. But until we have that Congress, it’s up to us to fight for those policies.
Many of the policies that President Obama talked about in Wisconsin are things that repugican Scott Walker has opposed. The president wasn’t getting involved in the governor’s race, but the similarities between what repugicans in Congress believe and what Walker has done in Wisconsin are unavoidable. Scott Walker implemented the top down Koch philosophy. He tried to bust the public sector unions, and he promised that jobs would come if taxes were cut for the wealthy and corporations.
Walker’s term as governor has been an economic disaster for Wisconsin. Instead of creating the 250,000 new jobs that he promised, Walker’s tax cuts have led to negative job growth. The battle ideological battle in Wisconsin mirrors what is going on in our divided federal government.
The repugicans are saying no to things that work. They continue to oppose anything that could grow the economy and create jobs. The fairy tale that tax cuts for the rich will bring economic prosperity for all has been disproved again.
The repugicans have spent the last six years saying no to President Obama and policies that will grow the economy. This November will be the voters’ chance to say no to them.

Democrats Remind Voters What It Means When repugicans Make Promises: Nothing

As repugicans threaten and promise a government shutdown on one hand and deny it on the other, Democrats are reminding voters of similar broken repugican promises last year.…
mcconnell-boehner
As repugicans teeter drunkenly toward yet another government shutdown, Democrats are on the warpath.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is taking this moment to remind everyone of what the repugicans were saying last year at this time. You know, right before they shut down the government after promising they would not shutdown the government.
The repugicans weren’t going to shut down the government last year because it would hurt people:
Mark Meadows:  “Leadership has a concern, as do I—they don’t want side effects that would hurt people, and a government shutdown could do that.” [Weekly Standard, 9/02/13]
But then they did shutdown the government, knowingly hurting people.
Currently, Mitch McConnell (r-KY) is making shutdown promises if repugicans win the Senate, in what seems like a rather try-hard effort to attract the crazies. McConnell is promising to force the President to do the Koch’s agenda, but even if repugicans win the Senate, McConnell can’t force the President to do anything. The repugican  has even threatened to withhold government funding over the President’s new EPA rules. Apparently nothing gets a repugican down like cutting down on toxins.
Steven King (r-IA) is making public threats to shutdown the government again, because the tea party is absolutely addicted to anarchistic chaos. Even an election year can’t stop the crazy. This is King’s “solution” to President Obama using his authority as President to issue an executive order on immigration, an act Obama is only considering taking because House repugicans are so inept that they haven’t managed to actually address the immigration issue in a realistic way that the Senate would consider.
King thinks that the President signing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is cause for his impeachment, which just goes to show you that King doesn’t know much about government. But you probably already sorted that one out.
This is not a winning strategy for the repugican cabal. The repugicans’ “tattered” public image, in part from last year’s shutdown, might cost them House seats. The repugicans should have been able to gain 25 seats; they aimed for 11, but it looks like they might only pick up 5. They can’t raise any real cash (even from their own members) and the big money left them for the big power in the Senate.
Democrats have a whole list of broken repugican promises from last year that sound a whole heck of a lot like the promises being made this year:

Glenn Thompson: “U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, a former health-care executive, has made it clear that he is no fan of the Affordable Care Act. But Thompson does not think that shutting down the government, or denying funding for the law to halt its implementation, is the way to go.” [Erie Times-News, 9/01/13]
Steve Womack: “Steve Womack, who represents repugican-heavy northwest Arkansas, has also warned colleagues of the political fallout they’d likely suffer over a standoff that he says would certainly trigger a government shutdown. Womack, who was elected in 2010, noted the backlash the repugican cabal faced over partial shutdowns in 1995 and 1996. ‘To me, the risks are not worth the gamble, the gamble being that we somehow cause the Senate to have this epiphany and the president to have this epiphany,’ Womack said.” [Associated Press, 9/01/13]
Larry Bucshon: “Am I in favor of a government shutdown? Absolutely not.” [Tribune Star, 9/01/13
Rodney Davis: "At a Springfield appearance last week, Davis said a shutdown would go against his reason for seeking office. 'I came to Congress to govern,' he said." [State Journal-Register, 8/29/13]
Steve Scalise: “Scalise says he doesn’t want to see government shut down.” [The Advocate, 8/28/13]
Tom Latham:  “I am certainly not for any kind of government shutdown for any reason.” [Des Moines Register, 8/28/13]
Martha Roby: “She said she supports the defunding of the Affordable Care Act, but doesn’t believe repugicans should shut down the government in their attempt to repeal the law. ‘I am not for it (shutdown).’” [Dothan Eagle, 8/27/13]
Bank on that! The repugicans were against a government shutdown last year. No way that was going to happen. After all, they came to Congress to “govern”.
But then that didn’t happen. Actually, repugicans presided over the Do-Nothingest House on record, which is sort of like governing only without any of the responsibilities.
The repugicans are headed for another disaster if they shutdown the government. They know a government shutdown is not responsible, would harm people and would harm their party, but they’re high on hate. So high, that they just might be setting themselves up for the ultimate self-sabotage in 2016.
What does it mean when repugicans make promises? Nothing. Where are the jobs? Exactly.

Bachmann 2012 state campaign chair pleads guilty on obstruction of justice charge

Oops, did we do that?
Former Iowa state Senator Kent Sorenson, who was Michele Bachmann's Iowa state campaign chair before abruptly and very publicly switching loyalties to Ron Paul, has pleaded guilty over charges that he solicited and got secret payments from the Bachmann campaign in exchange for his support.
In the plea agreement, Sorenson admitted receiving and lying about monthly payments of roughly $8,000 from October to December 2011, when he was still named Bachmann's state chairman.
His resignation came just hours after Mark Weinhardt, a special prosecutor asked to investigate whether Sorenson had broken Iowa Senate rules, released a report saying it was "manifestly clear" Sorenson negotiated payments in 2011 in exchange for his work as Bachmann's Iowa campaign chair.
Sorenson pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and to "causing a campaign to falsely report expenditures."

Study Blows The Lid Off The repugican cabal’s Big Lie By Revealing Citizens United Helps repugicans 'Win'

we-the-corporations-citizens-united
According to a new study, Citizens United is helping repugicans 'win' state legislative elections by increasing their likelihood of victory.
The Washington Post reported on the study,
The advantage isn’t large, but it is statistically significant: The researchers found the ruling, in Citizens United v. FEC, was associated with a six percentage-point increase in the likelihood that a repugican candidate would 'win' a state legislative race.
And in six of the most affected states — Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee — the probability that a repuhican would be 'elected' to a state legislative seat increased by 10 percentage points or more.
In five other states — Colorado, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming — repugican candidates were seven percentage points more likely to 'win'.
The findings of the study are significant because it debunks the claim of repugicans that Citizens United is not influencing the outcomes of elections. State legislative races are fertile ground for wingnut big spenders because state legislatures have a big influence on policy, and they draw the congressional district maps every ten years.
The wave of voter suppression and anti-choice legislation is coming from repugican run state legislatures that were backed by Citizens United money. The movement to destroy public sector unions is being pushed by the unlimited dark money that was legalized in the Citizens United decision.
The model for what the Koch brothers and other wingnut billionaires and cabals want to do to the federal government can be found in state legislatures all across the country. The repugicans and their billionaires haven’t figured out how to make Citizens United money work in Senate and presidential elections yet, but they are working on it.
The repugican claim that the billionaire dollars are just free speech is not true. The millions of ad dollars spent by the wingnut interests in state legislative elections pay immediate dividends. The flood of negative ads gives repugicans a substantial advantage in elections where the Democratic candidate is underfunded and largely unknown.
The threat to our elections and representative democracy is real, and this study shows why repealing Citizens United should be a top priority for Americans who wants their government back.

The repugicans are worried

boehner-pelosi-gavelThe repugicans have moved beyond nervousness and into flat out worry as the nation heads into the homestretch of the 2014 election. At the House level, repugicans are being outspent and their candidates are underperforming compared to 2010.
Politico interviewed a dozen Democratic strategists and repugican hacks who all agreed that at best repugicans will pick up five seats in the House.
The strategists also agreed on other main points,
The repugicans are convinced they’ll be significantly outspent by Democrats — in contrast to the 2010 midterm election when the repugican cabal overwhelmed their opponents with an avalanche of cash.
The rpugican cabal hacks are particularly worried about the performance of a handful of candidates who are well positioned to win but seen as running poor campaigns. Three candidates are mentioned repeatedly: Florida Rep. Steve Southerland, Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry and Virginia repugican Barbara Comstock.
Nearly a year after the government shutdown, repugicans privately say the cabal’s tattered public image is dragging down candidates in key races.
House repugicans are struggling to raise money, and the outside groups that they depend on are focused on the Senate races. Historically, the party out of power has gained 25 seats in the House during the president’s sixth year in office. The repugicans set a more modest goal of 11 seats, but it appears that they may not reach half of that number.
It was vital for repugicans to expand their House majority this year because in 2016, there could be a Hillary wave coming, and in 2020 districts will be redrawn again. Newly redrawn districts could mean the end of the current gerrymandered House.
The repugican establishment also desperately wants to give John Boehner enough of a majority to form a tea party buffer. The internal goal has been to reduce the tea party’s power in the House, but that is looking less and less likely to happen.
The best outcome for Democrats would be a small gain in the House. Democrats can talk about taking back the House, but unless repugicans do something incredibly stupid, like shutting down the government, it isn’t going to happen.
There will not be a repugican wave this year, and the nation could be watching the first steps towards a future Democratic takeover of the House.

Assault-Rifle Sales Plummet As Scare Over Gun Control Fades

Bad business for gun manufacturers may be good news for those rooting against new gun control legislation in the aftermath of high-profile shootings like Newtown, Connecticut.

Random Photos

NASA will pay you to stay in bed

Do you like to stay in bed as long as you can? NASA will pay you for that to the tune of $170 per day. But there is a catch. You'll have to be there 24/7 for 70 days, most of the time, with your head tilted down and your feet up. You can play on your phone, read, play with your cat, whatever - as long as you don't get up.
It's part of NASA's 'Bed rest studies,' which mimics the effect of space travel in a gravity-free environment. Results of the study will help with understanding which mission tasks might be affected by changes in physiology during space flight; how physiological changes map to a person's ability to do a particular task, and design countermeasures to prevent or minimize impairment to these physiological systems.

Teens and the DT's

Cannabis withdrawal symptoms common among teens


More than 80 percent of participants met criteria for cannabis […]

10 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

The ten most expensive paintings ever sold include three of Picasso's works. All three works were sold for more than $100 million at auctions. Currently the world's most expensive painting record holder is by Paul C├ęzanne’s 'The Card Players' which was sold for $259 million to the Royal Family of Qatar.

Take a look at the world's most expensive paintings that cost more than $100 million each.

Impatient would-be robber failed to get any money after twice being told to wait

Police are searching for a man who attempted to rob two stores in West Valley City, Utah, on Saturday morning. A man entered a Subway restaurant just after 9am, demanded money from the employee and indicated that he had a weapon, West Valley City Police said.
During the holdup, the employee asked the suspect to wait and walked to the back of the store. When the worker didn't return, the suspect became impatient and left. Witnesses told officers they saw the suspect leave the area in a white car driven by another person. Police said the suspect then entered a Family Dollar store and attempted another robbery.
There, the bandit again demanded money - and again, the cashier asked the suspect to wait while they finished assisting other customers. The suspect became agitated and left the store, according to police. While the suspect did not get any money in either holdup, police reiterated that it's safer for store employees to comply with robbery suspects.
"The employees have to follow their own set policies, but we recommend not agitating people in these situations," said Sgt. Jeff Congor of the West Valley City Police Dept. Authorities describe the robbery suspect as an adult male with a thin build, wearing a red hooded-sweatshirt with the word "Utah" on the front. Police are working to obtain store surveillance video and said they will release it when it's available.

People power lifted bus off trapped motorcyclists

A crowd of more than 50 people came together in Pune, India, on Friday to lift a bus and free two students who were trapped underneath. The speeding bus ran over the two students who were on a motorcycle, and then collided with a traffic signal post before coming to a stop.

In the ensuing commotion, over 50 onlookers rushed to the spot and realised that the two young men were still trapped underneath the bus. The onlookers lifted the bus with their bare hands and extricated them. Fire brigade officials rushed to the spot, and lifted the bus using a crane. The bus was moved to the Shivajinagar Police Station, while the injured were rushed to the Poona Hospital in Sadashiv Peth. The students have been identified as Ashwin Doshi and Siddharth Dudu. Both are said to be out of danger.
The driver of the bus, identified as Manik Waghmode, 51, said, "There was a brake failure, and I lost control of bus. I have done five trips on the route and was on my sixth trip when accident occurred." Police Inspector Hiraman Shirsath of the Shivajinagar Police Station, confirmed that a brake failure was the likely cause of the problem. "The air pressure on the gauge was showing, but things can only be confirmed once we finish our investigation.

"We have sent the driver for a medical test to check whether he was drunk at the time of the incident," Shirsath said. Waghmode has been booked under sections 279 (rash driving on a public way), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 339 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code, and also the Motor Vehicle Act 184.

There's a raw video of the incident here.

Ziggy

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9 Lines In The Sand

Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain, begun in AD 122 during the rule of emperor Hadrian. In addition to its military role, gates through the wall served as customs posts. A significant portion of the wall still exists and can be followed on foot along the Hadrian's Wall Path.
Borders, fences, fortifications, demarcations, there are a lot of dividing lines in history. Here are some of the most famous.

The Mighty Fortress Of Chittorgarh In Rajasthan, India

The Chittorgarh Fort is located in the town of Chittorgarh in southern Rajasthan, a desert state in the western part of India. The fort is the largest fort in India. It's foundation dates are a bit murky, but by most estimates, it was constructed somewhere in the 7th century CE by a king in India’s Maurya dynasty, Chitrangda Mori.

The Guano Covered Island Of Grassholm

Grassholm is a small uninhabited island off the southwestern Pembrokeshire coast in Wales. This tiny island is home to one of the largest colonies of gannets. During the breeding season, from April to September, some 39,000 pairs of birds nest on the northern side of the island.
Consequently, this side of the island is covered with a thick layer of bird droppings, also known as guano, giving Grassholm its characteristic off-white color. From afar, the island looks very much like a bun sitting on the ocean with icing sugar on top.

Daily Comic Relief

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Brain Eating Bacteria

A deadly brain-eating bacteria has been found thriving in a Louisiana parish water supply serving more than 12,000 people. More

Asian camel crickets now common in US homes


With their long, spiky legs and their propensity for eating […]

Radioactive wild boar are roaming the forests of Germany

Twenty-eight years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, its effects are still being felt as far away as Germany in the form of radioactive wild boars. Wild boars still roam the forests of Germany, where they are hunted for their meat, which is sold as a delicacy. But in recent tests by the state government of Saxony, more than one in three boars were found to give off such high levels of radiation that they are unfit for human consumption. They are believed to be a legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, when a reactor at a nuclear power plant in then Soviet-ruled Ukraine exploded, releasing a massive quantity of radioactive particles into the atmosphere. Even though Saxony lies some 700 miles from Chernobyl, wind and rain carried the radioactivity across western Europe, and soil contamination was found even further away, in France.
Wild boar are thought to be particularly affected because they root through the soil for food, and feed on mushrooms and underground truffles that store radiation. Many mushrooms from the affected areas are also believed to be unfit for human consumption. Since 2012, it has been compulsory for hunters to have wild boar they kill in Saxony tested for radiation. Carcasses that exceed the safe limit of 600 becquerels per kg have to be destroyed.
In a single year, 297 out of 752 boar tested in Saxony have been over the limit, and there have been cases in Germany of boar testing dozens of times over the limit. The radioactivity causes economic problems as well. Many hunters sell the boar as game, and across Germany hundreds of thousands of euros are paid out each year out in government compensation to hunters whose kills have to be destroyed. "It doesn't cover the loss from game sales, but at least it covers the cost of disposal," Steffen Richter, the head of the Saxon State Hunters Association said. Germany's radioactive boar problem is not expected to go away any time soon. With the levels of contamination still showing in tests, experts predict it could be around for another 50 years.

Robin Hood monkey showered people with stolen banknotes

A monkey in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has rained down banknotes on people. Surprised people in the pine forest of Shimla, the state capital, ran around, collecting the falling notes for nearly an hour on Sunday, eyewitnesses said. Reports said the simian stole 10,000 rupees ($165; £100) from a nearby home.
The monkey had entered the house to look for food, but when it did not find anything to eat, it took the money. There are some 300,000 monkeys in the state and Shimla has long been a haven for the animals. Macaque monkeys are considered sacred by Hindus, who often feed them. But in recent years, the animals have been coming increasingly in conflict with humans, destroying crops, attacking people for food and biting children.
And authorities in Himachal Pradesh have declared monkeys a menace. The cash-dispensing simian was first spotted sitting on a tin roof with a bundle of currency notes before it playfully started throwing them down one-by-one. As people began collecting notes of various denominations, the monkey moved on to a tree. But as it continued to distribute money, many people rushed there to pick up the falling notes.
"Surprised by the attention it was attracting, the cash loaded monkey then decided to move into the thick pine trees. But as it continued to shower notes, the money collectors naturally followed it," said Amit Kanwar who witnessed the entire scene. This is the second such incident in Shimla this year. In February, a monkey stole a wad of currency notes from a home and distributed it among people on a crowded street.

Mother unhappy about police chief decapitating her young son's pet chicken

A Minnesota woman has filed a formal complaint against the Atwater Police Chief for trespassing on her property and killing her young son’s pet chicken, leaving the hen’s decapitated head just feet from the backyard chicken coop. Ashley Turnbull said she knows she violated the city’s ordinance that prohibits fowl and acknowledges she was told Aug. 7 by police to remove the three chickens and two ducks. But she said Police Chief Trevor Berger went too far when he came onto her property about a week later, when nobody was home, and clubbed, killed and decapitated a small red hen, which belonged to her five-year-old son, Phoenix, with a shovel. “The chicken was like a puppy dog to my son,” said Turnbull. “You wouldn’t do that to a puppy.”
Berger said he was simply enforcing the city ordinance that has been on the books since 1960 and was responding to a “frustrated’ neighbour’s repeated complaints, including a report on Aug. 16 that one of Turnbull’s chickens was running loose in the residential area near the elementary school. “I’m sorry it had to happen that way,” said Berger, adding that he didn’t intend to leave the severed chicken head in the yard to send a message to the homeowners. Berger said he thought the head was still attached to the chicken when he carried the carcass away. Berger said killing the chicken was justified. “It’s against city ordinance for a chicken to be in the city and running around in people’s yards,” he said.
Turnbull said Berger didn’t handle the situation professionally. “I still feel he owes my son an apology and he owes us a chicken, said Turnbull, who filed a written complaint with the Atwater Police Commissioner on Aug. 20. Berger said when he got the call on Aug. 16, he saw the chicken in a yard next to Turnbull’s house. He said he tried for 10-15 minutes to catch the chicken or chase it back into the pen. “I feel like I made a good effort to get it back in,” he said. But when the other two chickens and two ducks in the fenced pen started to get out, Berger said he closed the door that he’d opened, grabbed a shovel leaning against Turnbull’s garage and “dispatched” the chicken. Since there were children playing in the adjacent yard, Berger said he didn’t want to use his gun to kill the chicken and the shovel was the “safest way to dispatch it.”
When asked why it was necessary to kill the young chicken instead of letting it be, Berger said the family was “not supposed to have them in the first place” and that he wanted to give the aggrieved neighbour “some results.” It was the same process he would use if there was a report of a skunk, he said. “I guess I don’t regret it, because it’s like taking care of any rodent in town,” he said. Turnbull said she doesn’t understand that logic. “I couldn’t perceive a chicken being a threat to anybody,” she said. Turnbull’s neighbour, Jason Shoutz, said he saw Berger walk up to the chicken by the coop and swing the shovel “up and down.” His young daughter was in the yard at the time and saw the officer kill the chicken. Berger said he left no note on the door and although he intended to initiate contact the family after killing the chicken, he did not. Turnbull has not yet heard a response, but the issue is expected to be addressed on Wednesday during the Atwater City Council meeting when, ironically, Berger said he intends to present a proposed ordinance to allow chickens in the city, that the council asked him to prepare earlier this year.

Bear with airbag stuck on head finally freed

A bear nicknamed “The Bucket Bear” has been rescued in Clarion County, Pennsylvania.
The bear has been roaming around the Perry Township area for several weeks with a bucket-like airbag stuck on its head. This weekend, a group of people headed out to see if they could find the bear and help free it from the airbag.
Dean Hornberger, Jeff Kriebel, Kaitlyn Lakin, Eric Kriebel and Shawn Balcita searched the woods and brush for two hours before spotting the young black bear along a road.

They hopped into action to help save the bear. Balcita held the bear down while Jeff and Eric started sawing away at the airbag. It took them 30 to 40 minutes to eventually free the bear. After being cut free, the bear promptly ran back off into the woods.

Animal Pictures