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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, October 31, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of Carolina Naturally.
Wiccan ...!
 
Carolina Naturally is read in 205 countries around the world daily.   
  
Blessed Samhain ... !
Today is - Samhain

You want the unvarnished truth?
Don't forget to visit: The Truth Be Told
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Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Dominican Republic - Jamaica - Peru - Puerto Rico - United States
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Belgium - Bulgaria - England - France - Germany - Hungary - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Norway  Portugal - Russia - Scotland - Serbia - Slovenia - Ukraine - Wales
Asia
Bangladesh - Brunei Darussalam - Cambodia - India - Israel - Korea - Malaysia - Mauritius 
Pakistan - Singapore - Sri Lanka - Taiwan
Africa
Madagascar - South Africa - Tunisia
The Pacific
Australia
Don't forget to visit our sister blogs Here and Here.

Today in History

1517 Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the cult at Wittenberg in Germany. Luther’s theories and writings inaugurate protestantism, shattering the external structure of the medieval cult and at the same time devolving the religious consciousness of Europe.
1803 Congress ratifies the purchase of the entire Louisiana area in North America, adding territory to the U.S. which will eventually become 13 more states.
1838 A mob of about 200 attacks a mormon camp in Missouri, killing 20 men, women and children.
1864 Nevada becomes the 36th state.
1941 After 14 years of work, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is completed.
1952 The United States explodes the first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific.
1968 The bombing of North Vietnam is halted by the United States.
1971 Saigon begins the release of 1,938 Hanoi POW’s.
1984 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated in New Delhi by two Sikh members of her bodyguard.
1998 Iraq announces it will no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 crashes into Atlantic Ocean killing all 217 people on board.
2000 Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station.
2002 Former Enron Corp. CEO Andrew Fastow convicted on 78 counts of conspiracy, money laundering, obstruction of justice and wire fraud; the Enron collapse cost investors millions and led to new oversight legislation.

Samhain

Samhain (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ SAH-win or /ˈs.ɪn/ SOW-in[1] Irish pronunciation: [sˠaunʲ]) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, Samhain is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Similar festivals are held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall), and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany).
Samhain is believed to have pagan origins and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. The Mound of the Hostages, a Neolithic passage tomb at the Hill of Tara, is aligned with the Samhain sunrise.[2] It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Beltane, special bonfires were lit. These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers and there were rituals involving them.[3] Like Beltane, Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the Aos Sí, the 'spirits' or 'fairies', could more easily come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left outside for them. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, and involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, and disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination rituals and games were also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples. In the late 19th century, Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer suggested that it was the "Celtic New Year", and this view has been repeated by some other scholars.[4]
In the 9th century CE, Western christianity shifted the date of All Saints' Day to 1 November, while 2 November later became All Souls' Day. Over time, Samhain and All Saints'/All Souls' merged to create the modern Halloween.[5] Historians have used the name 'Samhain' to refer to Gaelic 'Halloween' customs up until the 19th century.[6]
Since the latter 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Samhain, or something based on it, as a religious holiday.[7] Neopagans in the Southern Hemisphere often celebrate Samhain at the other end of the year (about 1 May)

22 Horror Movie Facts






Spooky things are happening on the set of the mental_floss List Show. Weird things also happen on the sets of horror films, which you’ll learn about in this episode. Find out which films are based on true stories, which productions were plagued with bad luck, and where horror novelists and screenwriters get their ideas. 

Twenty-Two

What is astonishing, say archaeologists, is not only the number of the shipwrecks but also the diversity of the cargoes.
The unprecedented discovery was concentrated in an area of just 17 square miles.

How To Survive A Free-Falling Elevator

The free falling elevator trope is so overused that audiences know just what to expect when "things go wrong" with an elevator while main characters are on board, but would you know what to expect in real life?
Elevator cables almost never snap in real life, and when they do most commercial elevators have secondary cables, brakes and air pressure on their side to keep the elevator, and its occupants, from going splat.
That being said, it never hurts to discover some new survival tips and tricks, and watching this video from Business Insider might make all the difference if you ever meet with an elevator mishap.

Top Ten of the World's Most Dangerous Airports


Gustaf III Airport, Saint Barthélemy
"They say" the odds of dying in a plane crash are minute. Usually a comparison is made to deaths in car accidents, which are much more likely. Supposedly the odds of dying in a plane crash are one in eleven million. That statistic should at least somewhat ease the nerves of anxious flyers. That is, unless they happen to be flying in or out of the airports shown here. Each of them are on a list of the top ten most dangerous airports, and simply seeing pictures of each explains most of the reasons why.
One example, pictured above, is the Gustaf III Airport, located on the French island of Saint Barthelemy in the Carribean. With an area of only 9.7 square miles, the entire surface of St. Bart leaves not much room for any type of mechanical error. Its airport, located mainly on the slope of a hill, allows only for small aircraft that carry up to 20 passengers.
Follow this link to see photos of nine other airports considered by this article to be the world's most dangerous.

Modern art installation cleared away by cleaners who mistook it for rubbish

Cleaning staff at the Museion modern art gallery in Bolzano, Italy, mistakenly cleared up a modern art exhibit they thought was the remnants of the previous night's party. On Friday night, there was a gathering at the gallery and on Saturday morning the cleaning team got to work.
On arrival, they found empty bottles strewn across the floor, cigarette buts, confetti and even shoes and clothes. It looked like it had been quite a night, but the cleaning staff were unfazed and set about restoring order. However, these were not the remnants of the previous night's party but an art exhibition called 'We were going to dance tonight' by Milanese artists Goldschmied & Chiari.
The artistic installment was aimed at satirizing the lavish parties and excesses of the Italian political classes during the 1980s. Yet, clearly it was a case of art imitating life a bit too convincingly. “Of course we warn staff not to clean away art,” gallery curator Letizia Ragaglia said. “We told them just to clean the foyer because that's where the event on Friday night had been.
"Evidently, they mistook the installation for the foyer...” Fortunately, all was not lost. After organizing the 'rubbish' art into separate bin bags for glass and plastic, the cleaners realized their error before they threw out the artworks for good. “We will try to put it back as it was, using photos to help us,” Ragaglia said.

The First Person Ever to Run a Marathon Without Talking About It




"She never mentioned anything... but I started to notice a pattern. Six runs a week. A long run every weekend... suddenly it just hit me: she was going to be the first person to run a marathon without telling anyone about it."
Her husband's mind was blown. How could it be possible for anyone to run a marathon without telling anyone? Watch this fascinating and inspiring footage to understand how this could ever happen.

Marathon runner-up faces fraud charges after sneaking in to just run the final kilometer

A Kenyan man who breezed past exhausted competitors to a second-place marathon finish was arrested by police after they realized he had simply hidden in the crowd and only joined in the final stretch of of the 26-mile race. The man, identified as 28-year-old Julius Njogu, will face fraud charges for cheating his way into second place at Kenya’s Nairobi International Marathon.
Njogu claimed second place in a sprint finish after passing other runners in the final stretch at Nyayo National Stadium. He was in line to claim around $7,000 in prize money before being caught out and disqualified. Officials said they became suspicious because Njogu showed no signs of fatigue and was not sweating when he had supposedly just run 42 kilometers (26 miles).
They discovered that he’d run barely one kilometre after emerging from a bunch of onlookers and joining the leading group of runners just outside the stadium. Through the final few meters, Njogu jogged easily past a weary-looking Shadrack Kiptoo to cross second. Joshua Kipkorir won the men’s race in two hours, 13 minutes and 25 seconds.

Njogu then argued with race officials, even removing his running shoes in an apparent attempt to show organizers blisters on his feet to prove he’d run the entire course. “I followed the leading team from start to finish and I didn’t see him,” said race director Ibrahim Hussein. “He will not be recognized and I’m so disappointed that one can cheat in this modern age. He didn’t finish second.”

Man sent to jail after starting brawl at Monopoly tournament

A man was arrested after officers say he started a brawl during a Monopoly tournament.
After John Litton, 69, arrived at the 7th Annual Stone County OACAC Monopoly Tournament in Branson West, Missouri, on Saturday, event organizers asked him to sit out this year's tournament.
This was due to unsportsmanlike conduct during the 2014 tournament. That's when officers say Litton started fighting with others in the room. No one was seriously injured in the brawl.
Litton now faces five counts of assault (3rd degree), disturbing the peace, and trespassing. He's being held in the Stone County jail without bond.

Indiana Jones arrested after high-speed chase

A man is facing charges after Sheriff's deputies said he sped away during a traffic stop on Sunday night.
Indiana Z. Jones of Rushville, New York, was charged with several offenses following a police pursuit that began in the village and ended in the town of Benton. Yates County deputies said the incident began at about 10:30pm following an attempted traffic stop in the village.
Jones is accused of leading a deputy on a pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Deputies successfully deployed “stop sticks” in Benton, which disabled Jones’s tyres. He was taken into custody, arraigned in Potter Town Court and remanded to the Yates County Bail in lieu of unspecified bail.
Jones, 21, was charged with unlawfully fleeing a police officer, obstructing governmental administration, reckless operation, speeding, speed not reasonable and prudent, failure to comply with a lawful order, failure to keep right, moving from lane unsafely, driving an uninspected and unregistered vehicles, improper license plates, driving without insurance and multiple vehicular equipment infractions.

Non Sequitur

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Billionaire-Backed IUD Is Fighting the Republican Cabal War on Women's Bodies

Topless protesters slap Missouri city with lawsuit over ‘decency’ ordinance criminalizing breastfeeding women

Protesters with "Free the Nipple" movement in Springfield, MO (Screenshot/KSPR)
The ordinance has been stirring controversy, and according to the ACLU’s lawsuit, the way it’s worded could render breastfeeding children over 1 year old illegal.

Cornell University Boots Creepy Fox News Goon Off Campus For Hitting On College Girls

Image via Houston Press blogs
O’Reilly’s favorite Fox 'News' goon was thrown out on his ass by Cornell University officials for being annoying and creeping out female students.

This Woman Pretended To Be Drunk To See What Men Will Do

Watch This Woman Pretend To Be Drunk To See What Men Will Do (VIDEO)
This is a huge wake-up call.
Read more 

Shoe

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Instead Of Helping The Homeless, Cop Dresses As Homeless Person To Write Tickets

Instead Of Helping The Homeless, Cop Dresses As Homeless Person To Write Tickets (VIDEO)There are thousands of homeless people on the street daily in Maryland, and these cops used a “homeless guy” disguise to raise some revenue, rather than help solve the problem.

Man arrested after mooning children from roof of Scooby Doo van

In front of "many children," a man pulled down his pants after jumping on top of a Scooby Doo van in a park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to police who arrested the suspect for indecent exposure.
Justin Keneston, a 21-year-old carpenter, was arrested on Saturday evening after police received reports of a disturbance at the oceanfront Plyler Park. When officers located Keneston, he smelled of alcohol and was slurring his speech, according to a police report. Keneston, who was drinking a Budweiser, was initially arrested for public intoxication.
The arresting officers, the report notes, were approached by multiple witnesses who said that Keneston had “jumped onto a Scooby Doo van that was in the middle of the park” and “proceeded to pull down his pants and expose his rear end.” The witnesses added that there were “many children around the park who saw the offender do this.”
In addition to the misdemeanor public intoxication count, Keneston was charged with felony indecent exposure. Keneston was booked into the county jail, where he is being held in lieu of $3,262 bond. The full-sized Mystery Machine was on display in the park as part of Myrtle Beach’s Boardwalk Fright Nights festivities. The vehicle is available for “conventions, birthdays, pick up service, special events, and ghost tours.”

After Denying Same-Sex Couple A Joint Birth Certificate, Utah Must Pay Them $24,000

Jared Fogle’s Never-Before-Heard Recordings Reveal Highly Disturbing Confessions

Jared Fogle’s Never-Before-Heard Recordings Reveal Highly Disturbing Confessions (VIDEO)These are the newly released secret audio recordings of Jared Fogle discussing his sicko ways. HIGHLY DISTURBING. Unbelievable that he was given a plea deal.

Trucker kicked out of seminary for self-circumcision admits to molesting 9 boys at anti-Semitic cult

Kevin Sloniker
Kevin Sloniker, an Idaho long-haul trucker, has been charged with rape and lewd conduct involving two underage boys and is a suspect in the sexual abuse of at least eight other boys.

Fox News 'expert': South Carolina cop who flipped black teen out of her desk was ‘polite’

Fox guest Mark Fuhrman (Screenshot)Fox News 'expert': South Carolina cop who flipped black teen out of her desk was ‘polite’

B.C.

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The sun is brightening ...

The sun is brightening — but not in China
Haze due to weak winds and air pollution is reducing surface solar radiation in China, which has major consequences for the climate, the environment and the economy. These are the findings of a research report now being published in Scientific Reports. An...

As Large Animals Disappear, The Loss of Their Poop Hurts the Planet


Animals eat, wander, then excrete. Their excretions contain essential fertilizers, notably phosphorus. Otherwise, the distribution of phosphorus tends to follow gravity and get washed into the ocean.
There are fewer large animals today then in centuries past, especially fewer wild large animals. Most large domesticated species, such as cattle, are fenced in. This impairs the spread of manure-sourced nutrients. Chris Doughty of Oxford University explained to the Washington Post that this trend could make it harder to find phosphorus in the future:
"Large free-ranging animals are much less abundant than they once were. Today, if scientists were to study the role of animals they would find that it is important but small," Doughty explained. "However, in the past, we hypothesize that it would have been at least an order of magnitude larger than today. Essentially, we have replaced wild free-roaming animals with fenced domestic cattle that cannot move nutrients in the same way."
The loss of whale poop is especially bad:
But today, the researchers estimate, whales only bring 165 million pounds of phosphorus up annually. That's just 23 percent of their previous contribution. Phosphorus movement by birds and fish that come inland after eating in the sea (like salmon, for example) are just 4 percent what they once were.

Who Loves Fall Leaves? Stella the Yellow Lab





Most Labrador retrievers will go to any length to get a ball that's thrown to them, even if one throws the ball all day long. Stella is no different. But this playful pup obviously loves the autumn twist of having the ball thrown into a big pile of leaves. If only dogs could rake and bag them as well as they scatter them!

Dog named Trigger shot owner in the foot

A woman in Indiana is recovering after being shot by her dog in an unusual hunting accident, an environment official says.
The woman, named as Allie Carter, 25, was hunting waterfowl on Saturday in the north of the state, Jonathon Boyd, an Indiana conservation officer said.
She put down her 12-gauge shotgun but her chocolate Labrador stepped on it, shooting her in the foot. To add insult to injury, the dog was named Trigger.
Mr Boyd said she suffered injuries to her left foot and toes and has since been released from hospital. He said Ms Carter had not completed a hunter education course and urged all prospective hunters to do so.

Animal Pictures

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Friday Edition of Carolina Naturally.
It also happens to be Haunted Refrigerator Night ...!
 
Carolina Naturally is read in 205 countries around the world daily.   
  
Sweet Overload ... !
Today is - National Candy Corn Day

You want the unvarnished truth?
Don't forget to visit: The Truth Be Told
Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Costa Rica - Dominican Republic - Jamaica - Mexico 
Nicaragua - Peru - Puerto Rico - United States
Europe
Belgium - Bosnia/Herzegovina - Bulgaria - Czech Republic - England - France - Germany 
Greece - Hungary - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Netherlands - Norway - Portugal - Romania 
Russia - Scotland - Slovenia - Spain - Ukraine - Wales
Asia
Brunei Darussalam - Cambodia - India - Indonesia - Korea - Malaysia - Pakistan 
Singapore - Sri Lanka
Africa
South Africa - Zambia
The Pacific
Australia - Philippines
Don't forget to visit our sister blogs Here and Here.

Today in History

1270 The Seventh Crusade ends by the Treaty of Barbary.
1485 Henry VII of England crowned.
1697 The Treaty of Ryswick ends the war between France and the Grand Alliance.
1838 Oberlin Collegiate Institute in Lorian County, Ohio becomes the first college in the U.S. to admit female students.
1899 Two battalions of British troops are cut off, surrounded and forced to surrender to General Petrus Joubert’s Boers at Nicholson’s Nek.
1905 The czar of Russia issues the October Manisfesto, granting civil liberties and elections in an attempt to avert the burgeonng supprot for revolution.
1918 The Italians capture Vittorio Veneto and rout the Austro-Hungarian army.
1918 Turkey signs an armistice with the Allies, agreeing to end hostilities at noon, October 31.
1922 Mussolini sends his black shirts into Rome. The Fascist takeover is almost without bloodshed. The next day, Mussolini is made prime minister. Mussolini centralized all power in himself as leader of the Fascist party and attempted to create an Italian empire, ultimately in alliance with Hitler’s Germany.
1925 Scotsman John L. Baird performs first TV broadcast of moving objects.
1938 H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds is broadcast over the radio by Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre. Many panic believing it is an actual newscast about a Martian invasion.
1941 The U.S. destroyer Reuben James, on convoy duty off Iceland, is sunk by a German U-boat with the loss of 96 Americans.
1950 The First Marine Division is ordered to replace the entire South Korean I Corps at the Chosin Reservoir area.
1953 US Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower formally approves a top secret document to maintain and expand the country’s nuclear arsenal.
1961 The USSR detonates "Tsar Bomba," a 50-megaton hydrogen bomb; it is still (2013) the largest explosive device of any kind over detonated.
1965 US Marines repeal multiple-wave attacks by Viet Cong within a few miles of Da Nang where the Marines were based; a sketch of Marine positions was found on the body of a 13-year-old boy who had been selling the Americans drinks the previous day.
1973 The Bosphorus Bridge is completed at Istanbul, Turkey, connecting Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus Strait.
1974 The "Rumble in the Jungle," a boxing match in Zaire that many regard as the greatest sporting event of the 20th century, saw challenger Muhammad Ali knock out previously undefeated World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman.
1975 Prince Juan Carlos becomes acting head of state in Spain, replacing the ailing dictator Gen. Francisco Franco.
1985 Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off for its final successful mission.
1991 BET Holdings Inc., becomes the first African-American company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
2005 The rebuilt Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) that was destroyed during the firebombing of Dresden in WWII is rededicated.

Obama Tells It Like It Is ...

‘Playing Like A Girl Means You’re A Badass’ 
Watch Obama Tell It Like It Is: ‘Playing Like A Girl Means You’re A Badass’ (VIDEO)
Just when you thought you couldn’t love him more…
Read more 

This Store Just Canceled Black Friday

How Long Would it Take for Vampires to Annihilate Humanity?

If a vampire must feed on human blood, how long would it take a certain number of vampires to wipe out the human population? And if those human victims then turned to vampires, how soon would vampires outnumber humans? Mathematical modeling turned to the world of the supernatural as a surprising number of researchers have tackled the complexities of human and vampire coexistence. A 1982 paper by Richard Hartl and Alexander Mehlmann titled "The Transylvanian Problem of Renewable Resources" took a look at how vampires would affect the human population.
In doing so, they divided vampires into three categories: the "asymptotically satiated vampire," the "blood maximizing vampire," and the "unsatiable vampire." Regardless of the type of vampire, though, they found that bloodsuckers can't help but face diminishing resources:

    "[W]e are facing a typical consumption-resource trade off. The vampire society derives utility from consumption of blood but in sucking the blood of a human being and in turning him to a vampire the resource of human beings is reduced whereas the number of vampires is increased. Both of these effects diminish the resource of humans per vampire curtailing future possibilities of consumption."
However, a 2007 article modeled a vampire apocalypse and concluded that “vampires would eliminate humans within three years.” Which provoked a refutation in 2008. More research has been done, but the results vary according to which vampire mythology one ascribes to. Are the vampires in Bram Stoker’s universe more dangerous than those in Anne Rice’s universe? What about the vampires in the worlds of Twilight or The Historian? Read an overview of the available research at Atlas Obscura.

Chewbacca Arrested


The elections in Ukraine are contentious enough between the pro-Russian and anti-Russian factions, but now they’ve gone and arrested Chewbacca! The Wookiee was accompanying mayoral candidate Darth Vader to a polling place. 
The Star Wars character Chewbacca has been dragged before a court in Odessa, in perhaps the most surreal episode in local elections across Ukraine that have been both hotly contested and rife with dirty tricks. The man inside the costume was fined 170 hryvnia (£5) for the “administrative offense” of not being able to produce identification documents.

A statement posted on the official Instagram account of the Ukrainian police read: “Nothing unusual here, just Chewbacca detained for being without documents while driving Darth Vader to the elections in Odessa. The Sith Lord has already claimed this was illegal as Chewbacca is his pet and general servant and thus does not require documents.”
Police had earlier dragged “Chewbacca” from a polling station and put him in a van after accusing him of disrupting proceedings. The person in the costume said he had been there to support Darth Vader, who was attempting to vote.
Other sources report that the offense was campaigning on election day. This Darth Vader is one of several people who have campaigned under the name while running for office under Ukraine’s Internet Party in the past few years. Some races have included Padme Amidala, Yoda, and Chewbacca. The party is also responsible for the new Darth Vader statue in Odessa.

We're dis-investing in infrastructure, and it's going to hurt us big-time

From Robert Reich
Today I talked to a friend who just moved into a rental unit that's eating 40 percent of his paycheck. He says he has no choice. It's the smallest apartment he could find within ten miles of where he works.
My friend isn't alone. Since 2001, the median monthly rental price in the US has climbed much faster than inflation, while the typical renter’s pretax income has fallen 11 percent. Result: The typical renter is now paying way more than 30 percent of his or her income for rent, and that percentage is rising. In some cities – San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, New York – it’s 40 to 50 percent. What’s the solution? Part of it is better public transportation – so people can live further away from where they work, in affordable housing. But rather than invest more in public transportation, America is disinvesting. We're spending a smaller percentage of our GDP on public transit now than at any time since World War II. Why? Ask Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures.

Study finds $2 million of Indiana charter school funds squandered

A national group released a study Wednesday finding that more than $2 million out of almost $20 million in federal charter school funds was squandered in Indiana.Specifically, the Center for Media and Democracy said several public charter schools that received planning and implementation grants have closed due to poor performance or never opened.
Some of these charters have failed and badly. The federal injection of money in accord with the program objective of incentivizing states where charter schools are exempt from most statutes and regulations has wasted monies on charters that failed in not unforeseeable ways, the report said.
Erin Sweitzer, spokes woman for the Institute for Quality Education, said “We are grateful for federal programs like CSP that help so many Indiana charter schools flourish and serve an increasing number of students. CSP works to foster charter school start-up and innovation, and to see that 90% of their Indiana-directed funds went to schools that opened and stayed open is a tremendous success."
She added that it is always difficult to see a school close due to poor academic performance but it is the right thing to do and is evidence that the charter accountability system is working.
The Center for Media and Democracy is a Wisconsin-based liberal think tank group that conducts investigations into corruption and the undue influence of corporations on media and democracy.
Its most recent report used public records requests under federal and state laws to see how much federal Charter Schools Program funding was given to state agencies for charters, and details of how that money was spent in 12 states including Indiana.
The group also said public information about funds received and spent by charters is severely lacking.
Unlike truly public schools, which have to account for prospective and past spending in public budgets provided to democratically elected school boards, charter spending is largely a black hole, the report said.
Indiana received the least amount of funding under the federal CSP grants for expanding the number of high quality charters among the 12 states in the investigation.
Indiana began allowing charters in 2002, starting with 11 such schools. As of the 2013 school year, Indiana had 75 authorized charter schools with more than 34,000 school children enrolled.
Here are a few troubled charters cited by the study:
- Andrew Academy in Indianapolis received $700,000 in planning and implementation grants. The charter was forced to close in 2015 because of poor student performance.
- Padua Academy in Indianapolis lost its charter in 2014 and converted to a private religious school, but not before receiving $702,000 in federal seed money.
- The Indiana Cyber Charter School opened in 2012 with a $420,000 implementation grant. Dogged by financial problems and poor student results the charter was revoked and it closed in 2015, leaving 1,100 students in the lurch.
- Via Charter School was awarded a $193,000 planning grant, but never opened.

Koch Brothers’ Plot To Privatize Education Has Already Stolen $3.7 Billion From Taxpayers

by Shannon Argueta
For years the Koch Brothers and their Republican puppets have been trying to dismantle the American public education system in favor of privatization. They, along with their nefarious advocacy group Americans For Prosperity, have poured millions of dollars into charter schools, school board elections and a number of other programs aimed to privatize education. Now, we are learning that our country has lost billions of dollars in taxpayer money that has been given to charter schools over the last two decades.
The Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy released the findings of a year-long investigation into private schools in the country. The study is the most comprehensive look we have had into how our tax dollars have been “invested” the Kochs’ dreams of privatized public schools. The Center filed more than fifty public information requests and looked at twenty years of federal authorizations of charter school funding; they found that our government has spent $3.7 billion on charters and much of that money has vanished into thin air. According to the report as states continues [sic] to waste money on private schools and decrease funding for public schools, it’s becoming more difficult to find out where the money is going:
“Unlike truly public schools that have to account for prospective and past spending in public budgets provided to democratically elected school boards, charter spending of tax monies is too often a black hole.”
The reason for this “black hole” is that charter school supporters believe in “flexibility”:
“That flexibility has allowed an epidemic of fraud, waste, and mismanagement that would not be tolerated in public schools,” CMD states, noting that charters “are often policed—if they are really policed at all—by charter proponents, both within government agencies and within private entities tasked with oversight.”
At public schools, the funding comes from the state to the local school boards and then out to the schools. The funds have to all be accounted for and if they are not, they could face millions in dollars of fines from the federal government. Charter schools are not subjected to such constraints, because the people in charge of them are often those who are in favor of privatizing education anyway. Executive Director of CMD, Lisa Graves, explained:
“Neither the federal government nor the states require charters to publish that information on their websites and neither the federal or state governments we examined publish that information themselves.Even aside from serious questions about academic performance by charters—especially online charters—the lack of real accountability remains a real problem for kids and families, as more and more people and corporations have sought to get a piece of the pie, a revenue stream from taxpayer money, to operate or assist charters.”
This is why they said the money goes into a “black hole.” Many of the schools have been accused of tampering with grades, test scores, embezzling tax dollars and other illegal activities. The report found:
  • More than $4.9 million went to California charters that closed within a few years.
  • Indiana cannot account for more than $2.2 million in funds and also have “heavily segregated” the charter schools where 27 percent of African-American students attend “severely segregated” schools. And the state’s charter schools often test worse than the traditional public schools.
  • In 2011 and 2012, $3.7 million in federal taxpayer money was awarded to 25 Michigan “ghost” schools that never even opened to students. Also “more than 100 charters have closed. Many of them have closed due to lack of ‘academic viability’ (poor results) while other have closed due to lack of ‘financial viability.'”
  • $4.6 million went to charter schools in Ohio that either closed or never opened. Ohio, however, was given “the biggest one-year grant “by far” in the 2015 competition for federal funding—$32.6 million—thanks in part to a glowing endorsement from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), which CMD notes had previously referred to the charter system in Ohio as ‘broken.'”
  • Texas has been given $41 million for charter schools even though multiple schools have closed due to fraud, poor results, mismanagement and other reasons.
These are only a few of the states who have given money to these Koch-backed for-profit education organizations and then seen the money disappear. Billions of our tax dollars are being wasted on this Republican crusade to destroy public education and more often than not, it is a complete waste of money. If these funds were directed towards public schools across the country, our students would have smaller classrooms, new books, perhaps arts programs could be reintroduced where they were lost. The benefits would be astronomical, but Republicans would rather send that money to schools for wealthy children and let the rest of our youth go without opportunity or education.

After Cop Threw Student Across The Room, One Girl Came To Her Defense – And Was Arrested Too

After Cop Threw Student Across The Room, One Girl Came To Her Defense – And Was Arrested Too (VIDEO)This guy can bench press 605 pounds, and he threw that tiny girl across the room. And the one they arrest is the girl who was brave enough to stand up to him.

The Number of Male Domestic Abuse Victims Is Shockingly High ...

... So Why Don’t We Hear About Them? 
 by Jenna Birch
When you think of a victim of domestic abuse, who comes to mind?
If you’re being honest, it’s probably a woman. After all, domestic violence against men isn’t a theme of many Hollywood movies.
Yet in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data from its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey — and one of the most shocking statistics wasn’t just the sheer total of victims of physical violence but also how those numbers broke down by gender.
According to the CDC’s statistics — estimates based on more than 18,000  telephone-survey responses in the United States — roughly 5,365,000 men had been victims of intimate partner physical violence in the previous 12 months, compared with 4,741,000 women. By the study’s definition, physical violence includes slapping, pushing, and shoving. 
More severe threats like being beaten, burned, choked, kicked, slammed with a heavy object, or hit with a fist were also tracked. Roughly 40 percent of the victims of severe physical violence were men. The CDC repeated the survey in 2011, the results of which were published in 2014, and found almost identical numbers — with the percentage of male severe physical violence victims slightly rising.
“Reports are also showing a decline of the number of women and an increase in the number of men reporting” abuse, says counselor and psychologist Karla Ivankovich, PhD, an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Springfield.
Ivankovich says there isn’t much buzz about these numbers or their implications, because we don’t know how to handle intimate partner violence against men. “Society supports that men should not hit women, by virtue — but the same is not true for the reverse,” she explains. “The fact is, it’s simply not acceptable to hit anyone.”
Yet, woman-on-man violence is often turned into onscreen amusement, like on a slew of reality shows — or the punch line of a larger, depressing narrative, says Anne P. Mitchell, a retired professor of family law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose (Calif.) and one of the first fathers’-rights lawyers in the country.
She points to the case of John and Lorena Bobbitt, which made national news more than 20 years ago when Lorena cut off her husband’s penis. The aftermath turned into a circus, and details would go on to reveal a volatile marriage, but Mitchell says the initial response of many radio and talk shows was just to laugh at the incident. “If something remotely similar had happened to a woman, there would have been a very different response,” Mitchell tells Yahoo Health.
Mitchell, who has legally represented numerous male victims of domestic violence, says abuse is typically difficult for men to process, let alone seek help for. “Men are brought up to believe it’s not OK to hit a woman or even hit back in self-defense,” she explains. “It is their job to protect her. Add in that you’d be a laughingstock if you said your woman hit you. So in the situation of the battered husband, they don’t know how to feel. They know it’s shameful. They do not want her to get in trouble. So they do not say anything.”
What abuse of men looks like
Physical violence carried out against men is often similar to physical violence against women, Ivankovich says, though it can differ. “Abusive women have been known to abuse in ways similar to men, including punching, kicking, biting, [and] spitting,” she says. “In some instances, to make up for the differences in physical strength, women might use weapons including bats, guns, or knives.”

The ‘war on women’ is not a war — it’s an assault

It is wingnut men, drunk on power, calling women sluts and then rolling up their sleeves and knocking us back into place.

Hobby Lobby’s 'christian' owners under federal investigation for importing looted bible artifacts from Iraq

U.S. Customs agents seized up to 300 small clay tablets shipped from Israel in 2011 to the 'christian' business owners’ headquarters in Oklahoma City.

Colorado deputy admits to raping acquaintance while on duty ...

Prosecutors in Adams County, Colorado have said they will not press charges against a 25-year-old sheriff’s deputy who confessed to committing a sexual assault while on duty.

The cult of sleep deprivation ...

Night eruption at volcano Stromboli (Shutterstock)
L. Ron Hubbard’s immensely powerful, immensely secretive religion is powered by a workforce of sleep-deprived “ministers.” And that's not the worst of it.

Musicians' Brains Are Different

Musicians get more out of music because their brain waves are better able to synchronize with musical rhythms.

Wood instead of oil ...

Wood instead of oil: Making chemical substances solely from renewable resources
Petroleum might well be replaced by wood soon when it comes to manufacturing chemical substances. Research has now made significant progress towards using sustainable biomass, like wood, as an alternative raw material for chemical production. Scientists at Johannes...

Bikini Refuge

About 1,000 displaced residents of the Bikinia Atoll want to relocate to the United States due to rising sea level.