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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, July 31, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Some folks in your circle are mumbling stuff that basically amounts to fighting words.
You'd recognize the sound anywhere, but you're not really intimidated.
In fact, you may already be thinking about how to mop up once it's over.
You know you're going to win if you're dragged into the argument.
You probably even know how exactly how long it should take to completely outfox the competition.
Don't feel guilty -- it's not your fault you're better at this than they are!

Today is:
Today is Saturday, July 31, the 212th day of 2010.
There are 153 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There is none.

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President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address
The White House
July 24, 2010
This week, I signed into law a Wall Street reform bill that will protect consumers and our entire economy from the recklessness and irresponsibility that led to the worst recession of our lifetime.  It’s reform that will help put a stop to the abusive practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies.  It will end taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street firms.  And it will finally bring the shadowy deals that caused the financial crisis into the light of day.
Wall Street reform is a key pillar of an overall economic plan we’ve put in place to dig ourselves out of this recession and build an economy for the long run – an economy that makes America more competitive and our middle-class more secure.  It’s a plan based on the Main Street values of hard work and responsibility – and one that demands new accountability from Wall Street to Washington.
Instead of giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, we want to give tax breaks to small business owners who are creating jobs right here in America.  Already, we’ve given small businesses eight new tax cuts, and have expanded lending to more than 60,000 small business owners.
We’re also investing in a homegrown, clean energy industry – because I don’t want to see new solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars manufactured in some other country.  I want to see them made in America, by American workers.  So far, we’ve provided new tax credits, loan guarantees, and investments that will lead to more than 800,000 clean energy jobs by 2012.  And throughout America, communities are being rebuilt by people working in hundreds of thousands of new private sector jobs repairing our roads, bridges, and railways.
Our economic plan is also aimed at strengthening the middle-class.  That’s why we’ve cut taxes for 95% of working families.  That’s why we’ve offered tax credits that have made college more affordable for millions of students, and why we’re making a new commitment to our community colleges.  And that’s why we passed health insurance reform that will stop insurance companies from dropping or denying coverage based on an illness or pre-existing condition.
This is our economic plan – smart investments in America’s small businesses, America’s clean energy industry, and America’s middle-class.  Now, I can’t tell you that this plan will bring back all the jobs we lost and restore our economy to full strength overnight.  The truth is, it took nearly a decade of failed economic policies to create this mess, and it will take years to fully repair the damage.  But I am confident that we are finally headed in the right direction.  We are moving forward.  And what we can’t afford right now is to go back to the same ideas that created this mess in the first place.
Unfortunately, those are the ideas we keep hearing from our friends in the other party.  This week, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives offered his plan to create jobs.  It’s a plan that’s surprisingly short, and sadly familiar.
First, he would repeal health insurance reform, which would take away tax credits from millions of small business owners, and take us back to the days when insurance companies had free rein to drop coverage and jack up premiums.   Second, he would say no to new investments in clean energy, after his party already voted against the clean energy tax credits and loans that are creating thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new businesses.  And third, even though his party voted against tax cuts for middle-class families, he would permanently keep in place the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans – the same tax cuts that have added hundreds of billions to our debt.
These are not new ideas.  They are the same policies that led us into this recession.  They will not create jobs, they will kill them.  They will not reduce our deficit, they will add $1 trillion to our deficit.  They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward.
I know times are tough.  I know that the progress we’ve made isn’t good enough for the millions of Americans who are still out of work or struggling to pay the bills.  But I also know the character of this nation.  I know that in times of great challenge and difficulty, we don’t fear the future – we shape the future.  We harness the skills and ingenuity of the most dynamic country on Earth to reach a better day.  We do it with optimism, and we do it with confidence.  That’s the spirit we need right now, and that’s the future I know we can build together.  Thank you.

Lite Reading

Just a few lite reading posts today - We've had a birthday party for a friend today. 
It's not everyday a young girl turns 18 so we did it up right.

Ten English words with foreign origins

A few are interesting, others quite obvious (poltergeist is German, duh). 
But who knew that "berserk" came from the Vikings? (I did, I did)

Acupuncture patient locked inside clinic with needles in her back

An acupuncture patient was found locked in a Bellingham Clinic Tuesday night after she told police she had been left on the treatment table with needles still in her back. Bellingham police said the woman called 911 and was found by officers locked inside Discovering Health at 1513 E. Street.

Police say the clinic's employees had apparently forgot about her and gone home for the night. The 47 year old woman told officers she pulled the needles out of her own back and tried to leave but the door was locked from the outside.

She tripped the motion sensor security system inside the business. The woman was pulled from the business unharmed. "We are not investigating this. This was just a call for service for us", says Police spokesman Mark Young.

Police are not releasing the woman's name. Discovering Health would not comment on the incident. The Department of Health says it will investigate if a complaint is made.

Film a cop, face 16 years in jail

That's what a Maryland man is looking at — 16 years if convicted, for filming police at his own traffic stop and then posting the video on YouTube. All of this according to Ray Sanchez of ABC News.

The arrestee is charged with violating the state's anti-wiretapping laws. The ABC News story is here. The YouTube video is here. (Don't let the Maryland police catch you watching it.)

Sanchez says these arrests are more and more common, with an obvious purpose:
"The message is clearly, 'Don't criticize the police,'" said David Rocah, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland who is part of Graber's defense team. "With these charges, anyone who would even think to record the police is now justifiably in fear that they will also be criminally charged."
Click through to the news story; there are lots of other instances. Horton agrees this is a "growing trend." He concludes:
This is an extreme example of the arrogance of power, in which a Maryland cop exercised bad judgment, was embarrassed when he was publicly exposed, and got his colleagues and prosecutors to exercise still worse judgment.

As Aristotle teaches us, in a democracy the people are entitled to throw light on the dealings of public officials to keep them honest, whereas the private dealings of the people are to be sheltered from unreasonable intrusion. In a tyranny, the officials of the government are enshrouded in secrecy but constantly invade the privacy of the common citizens. Which model does this bring the people of Maryland closer to?

Jailed drug dealer with cocaine up his arse held on for thirteen days, while police waited

A drug dealer who tried to hide a stash of cocaine up his backside has been jailed after police had to wait thirteen days for the evidence to drop.

Officers had to obtain three extensions from Lancashire Magistrates as they waited patiently for Anthony Mason to 'reveal' the drugs they felt sure he was hiding. Mason was stopped by cops in Galgate, Lancaster on April 1, after police spotted him acting suspiciously.

The 32-year-old of Chalice Way, Liverpool, initially denied he was storing an illegal haul.

When the drugs finally did make an appearance a presumably red-faced but ultimately relieved Mason admitted possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply. He was jailed for five years at Preston Crown Court.