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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.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
There may be some tough bargaining going on right now, with people fighting for plum spots or a higher priority.
But it doesn't have to be a tense situation.
Even if things have an 'all or nothing' feel to them, a compromise is always possible.
You're dealing with people who are willing to work with you, so you should work with them.
Not everyone deserves VIP treatment, and your turn might still be far off.
Be humble when you approach the bargaining table.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Zoetermeer, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Goa, Goa, India
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
London, England, United Kingdom
Vento, Limburg, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Rosairo, Santa Fe, Argentina
Amiens, Picardie, France
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands

as well as Malta, Bulgaria, Israel, Finland, Austria, Norway, Georgia, Mexico, Peru, Kuwait, Serbia, Bangladesh, Latvia, Greece, Scotland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Wales, Iran, Singapore, Poland, Taiwan, Sweden, Afghanistan, Belgium, Tibet, Croatia, Pakistan, Romania, Paraguay, Sudan, Vietnam, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, France, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Brazil, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, China, Iraq, Ecuador, Nigeria, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, Paupa New Guinea, Moldova, Venezuela, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Norway, Finland and in cities across the United States such as Egg Harbor Township, Snohomish, Rutherfordton, Gilroy and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, January 12, the 12th day of 2011.
There are 353 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is: 
There isn't one.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Golden Pond


And I Quote

"As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that
  seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not."
~ Gabrielle Giffords's brother-in-law Scott,
       Commander of the International Space Station,

Do you remember ...

... The 2009 Department of Homeland Security report that warned that something like Tucson would happen in today's extreme climate?

It didn't name any left-wing extremist terrorist groups because there aren't any.

Arizona repugicans resign after Giffords shooting, citing threats from tea partiers

Read the headline, then remember, these are repugicans talking, not the "politicizing" left.

Think Progress:
Just hours after 22-year-old gunman Jared Loughner launched a shooting spree at a Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) constituent event in Tucson on Saturday that left six dead and 14 wounded, Legislative District chairman Anthony Miller, a repugican, announced that he would resign his position. In an email to the state’s repugican chair, Miller cited “constant verbal attacks” after his election last year “and Internet blog posts by some local members with tea party ties made him worry about his family’s safety.” Many of his repugican colleagues followed him out the door[.]
Click through to read the full story on Anthony Miller and his colleagues. By my count, the number of resignations from repugican party positions in that district is four. The repugican state senator from that area, John McComish of Ahwatukee, was asked for comment:
A longtime repugican activist, McComish said contentious battles for local party leadership posts are nothing new, but this one appears to be more extreme[.]
Ya think? 

By the way, this is Anthony Miller, for the record:

Some days I think I've woken from a dream and entered a Sci/Fi-Fantasy novel. Today is one of those days.

I can't stop feeling stunned by the surreality, the absolutely on-the-nose otherworldliness, of a South Carolina gun manufacturer coming out with a line of assault rifle parts commemorating Joe Wilson's infamous "You Lie" sputum. Remember where he said that, and to whom? That would be on the floor of Congress, to our first black president.

South Carolina. Assault rifle parts. Black President. All this, only days after an assassination attempt is made on another federal official, while another is assassinated.

Arizona lawmakers take up funeral protest legislation

The Arizona legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday targeting a Kansas church whose members have announced they plan to picket the funerals of the victims of Saturday's shootings in Tucson. The proposed legislation would make it a misdemeanor to protest within 300 feet of a funeral from one hour before until one hour after a funeral, a spokesman for the state House said.

The action, according to House spokesman Daniel Scarpinato, is in direct response to the Westboro Baptist Cult's announcement that it will picket the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old who was among six people killed during Saturday's attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona.

They just don't get it

Especially this whacked-out batshit crazy dumbass bitch ...
She incites hatred, violence, bigotry and then blames everyone else for doing what she actually does/did - typical repugican wingnut.
In an 8-minute video, the former governor accuses critics of inciting hatred. 

Get this shit

Get this shit the wingnuts are desperately trying to prove Loughner is a liberal.

Dimbulb says Democrats support assassin who shot Rep. Giffords 
Somebody has forgotten to take his medication ...

Once again, the head of the repugican party throws gasoline on an already volatile situation. But his advertisers won't leave, and the repugicans will all continue to go on his show.

Ben Smith has the transcript:
"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that...the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. He's the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America...That smiling mug shot -- this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder - but something lesser."
Dimbulb is insane. This just re-proves it.

Tom Tomorrow Does Tucson


The violence against liberals

Wingnuts would have you believe that the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and those surrounding her in Arizona last week was just one of the random shootings that take place against folks from both sides of the political spectrum, but the evidence suggests otherwise...
"Moreover, what's equally undeniable is that it comes amid a gradually mounting litany of violence directed against "liberal" and government targets, effectively suggesting a fresh onset of domestic terrorism from the extremist American Right.

From: Crooks and Liars ...

Just in the past two and a half years, here's the record of "isolated incidents" amassed so far:
-- July 2008A gunman named Jim David Adkisson, agitated at how "liberals" are "destroying America," walks into a Unitarian Church and opens fire, killing two churchgoers and wounding four others.
-- October 2008Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee in a plot to murder dozens of African-Americans, culminating in the assassination of President Obama.
-- December 2008: A pair of "Patriot" movement radicals -- the father-son team of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who wanted "to attack the political infrastructure" -- threaten a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, with a bomb in the hopes of extorting money that would end their financial difficulties, for which they blamed the government. Instead, the bomb goes off and kills two police officers. The men eventually are convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.
-- December 2008In Belfast, Maine, police discover the makings of a nuclear "dirty bomb" in the basement of a white supremacist shot dead by his wife. The man, who was independently wealthy, reportedly was agitated about the election of President Obama and was crafting a plan to set off the bomb.
-- January 2009A white supremacist named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampage in Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.
-- February 2009: A Marine named Kody Brittingham is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate President Obama. Brittingham also collected white-supremacist material.
-- April 2009A white supremacist named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-violence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.
-- April 2009Another gunman in Okaloosa County, Florida, similarly fearful of Obama's purported gun-grabbing plans, kills two deputies when they come to arrest him in a domestic-violence matter, then is killed himself in a shootout with police.
-- May 2009A "sovereign citizen" named Scott Roeder walks into a church in Wichita, Kansas, and assassinates abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.
-- June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester named James Von Brunn opens fire at the Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard.
-- February 2010An angry tax protester named Joseph Ray Stack flies an airplane into the building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas. (Media are reluctant to label this one "domestic terrorism" too.)
-- March 2010Seven militiamen from the Hutaree Militia in Michigan and Ohio are arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate local police officers with the intent of sparking a new civil war.
-- March 2010An anti-government extremist named John Patrick Bedell walks into the Pentagon and opens fire, wounding two officers before he is himself shot dead.
-- May 2010A "sovereign citizen" from Georgia is arrested in Tennessee and charged with plotting the violent takeover of a local county courthouse.
-- May 2010A still-unidentified white man walks into a Jacksonville, Fla., mosque and sets it afire,simultaneously setting off a pipe bomb.
-- May 2010Two "sovereign citizens" named Jerry and Joe Kane gun down two police officers who pull them over for a traffic violation, and then wound two more officers in a shootout in which both of them are eventually killed.
-- July 2010An agitated right-winger and convict named Byron Williams loads up on weapons and drives to the Bay Area intent on attacking the offices of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, but is intercepted by state patrolmen and engages them in a shootout and armed standoff in which two officers and Williams are wounded.
-- September 2010: A Concord, N.C., man is arrested and charged with plotting to blow up a North Carolina abortion clinic. The man, 26-year--old Justin Carl Moose, referred to himself as the "Christian counterpart to (Osama) bin Laden” in a taped undercover meeting with a federal informant.
The Giffords shooting brings the tally to 19 total cases of domestic-terrorism inspired by right-wing extremism in the past couple of years. Oh, excuse me: I meant to say "isolated incidents". Because that is how each of these cases was treated -- and how they continue to be reported by the mainstream media. And particularly at Faux, which generally does not report on them at all."

Calvin and Hobbs


Odds and Sods

In a scene straight from the movie "A Christmas Story," an 8-year-old Oklahoma boy got his tongue stuck to a metal pole after he licked it on a dare.

Flood video stuns the Web

Amateur footage of cars being swept away by rushing waters captures the devastation.

Random Celebrity Photo


Photo by Richard Avedon

Why blankets beat comforters

Many style gurus have been rethinking the down comforter, or banishing it altogether.  

    Culinary DeLites

    The History Of The TV Dinner

    TV dinners are quite common in today’s world, but many people do not realize just how far back its roots can be traced. Would you believe that the first TV dinner was created in the 1950s? But who made it? Let's take a journey into the past and find out just how this culinary staple was conceived of.

    Serve decadent seafood ravioli or a yummy Indian feast without breaking a sweat ... or the bank.

    Grocery chain's overhaul

    The popular upscale grocery chain rolls out a plan to lure shoppers eager to get healthy.  

    In the park



    Care Bears On Fire

    MLB card used to link crimes

    A 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card helps police in New York unravel a string of burglaries.  

    Pregnant woman forced to rob bank as abductor holds her young son hostage outside

    Police are looking for a man they said abducted a pregnant woman and her young son and forced the woman to rob a Missouri City bank while holding her son at gunpoint outside. According to investigators, Missouri City police responded to a report of a robbery at Wells Fargo Bank, at 2440 Texas Parkway, at 12:14 p.m. Friday. The suspect was described as a pregnant woman in a grey dress.

    As officers arrived and began speaking to witnesses, Missouri City police dispatch received a 911 call from a woman who said she had been present during the robbery. When police responded at Eastfield and Meadowview, she told an officer that she had been forced to commit the robbery, said Detective Russell Terry.

    The woman told police she is eight months pregnant, said she and her son, whom Terry said was 3 or 4, had been approached by a man in the parking lot of Fiesta Mart, in the 1500 block of Independence Boulevard. She told police the man forced them at gunpoint into her SUV and ordered them to drive to the bank.

    The gunman kept the woman's son in the car while she entered the bank, approached a teller and demanded money, investigators said. Police did not disclose the amount taken. The gunman then told her to drive to Meadowview and Eastfield, she told police, where he fled, and she called police. The man was described as a 6-foot-tall black male wearing a stocking cap and a white and black shirt.

    What hurts a credit score

    The CEO of the FICO rating firm reveals two personal disasters to avoid at all costs.  

      Contract With The Devil

      An attorney was sitting in his office late one night, when the Devil appeared before him.

      The Devil told the lawyer, "I have a proposition for you. You can win every case you try, for the rest of your life. Your clients will adore you, your colleagues will stand in awe of you, and you will make embarrassing sums of money. All I want in exchange is your soul, your wife's soul, your children's souls, the souls of your parents, grandparents, and parents-in-law, and the souls of all of your friends and law partners."

      The lawyer thought about this for a moment, then asked, "So, what's the catch?"

      Dirty Debt Collectors Sued Under RICO Act

      A judge has set an interesting precedent, by allowing a pack of sleazy debt collectors to be sued under the RICO act, the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization law.

      The RICO act allows for increased criminal penalties and civil action against members and entities working together in a criminal enterprise. It was created to prosecute the Mafia but has been expanded to be used against the Hells Angels, Major League Baseball, and health insurance.

      In this case a debt-purchasing company, law firm and process-serving company are accused of working together to snag borrowers with "sewer service." This is where the process servers tell the courts they've given notice to the clients, but actually haven't. Because that would give them more of a chance to fight back.
      Since the clients usually don't show up, it's easy to get default judgments against them.

      The class action, Monique Sykes vs. Mel Harris, is a case to watch in the battle against robosigners of all stripes.

      Banks Lose Foreclosure Case Over Bad Documents

      In a potential foreshadowing of things to come, Massachusetts's Supreme Court upheld the voiding of two home seizures this week because the banks couldn't prove they owned the mortgages at the time they foreclosed.

      Five reasons to start a business

      If you've ever wanted to be your own boss, waiting until 2012 or later may be a big mistake. 

      Easy ways to save money

      Cut your electric bill by unplugging computers and TVs you're not using.  

      Get cash for old electronics

      A used iPad in perfect condition can bring up to $354 at one recycling site.

      Long-distance moves dwindle

      New census data reveals that many are shunning long-distance moves.

      Unemployment rates vs. education

      Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the last two decades.  Comparable data for the years 2007-2009 are graphed in an interactive chart at the New York Times; at the link you can see your own cohort sorted by race, sex, age, and educational attainment.

      The following comments re the chart above are from Scenarios and Strategy:
      Clearly, from an individual’s point-of-view, it’s still smarter to get more education than less.  But the perturbations of past periods remind us that the gearing between between academic degrees and financial success isn’t always perfectly tight…  Indeed, those with sharply-defined professional credentials in fields– e.g, finance– that are unlikely even in the intermediate term (if ever) to recover their bubble-fueled growth rates, may find their advanced degrees at best unhelpful; at worst, downright prejudicial...

      All of which underlines for your correspondent the extraordinary value of a liberal arts education. When one is faced with a “working adulthood” that is one transitional challenge after another, no skill is more valuable than the capacity to adapt. And no capability is more central to that adaptation than the ability effectively and efficiently to learn.

      This is precisely what, at its core, a liberal arts education is about: learning to learn...
      It might not be the college degree per se that allows one to retain a job or find a new one during a downturn.  It might be, rather, that people who have the motivation, intelligence, and economic resources that allow them to achieve a college degree are the ones who will adapt and succeed.

      On The Job

      Employers watch what you're doing online, and many act on what they find. 
      To find work, members barter their skills and hold each other accountable.  
      A TV network's job description says that "looking delicious in a wetsuit" is a plus.  

      Poker-faced professions take toll on employees

      Employees who have to maintain a neutral disposition while they are on the clock tend to spend more energy to meet that requirement; therefore, they have less energy to devote to work tasks, according to new research from Rice University …

      Red Lights

      Care Bears On Fire

      Five Surprising Cold/Flu Remedies

      From listening to good music to beefing up your sex life, doctors say there are a number of unexpected ways to boost your immune system and help ward off illness this winter.

      Scientific evidence supports effectiveness of Chinese drug for cataracts

      Scientists are reporting a scientific basis for the long-standing belief that a widely used non-prescription drug in China and certain other countries can prevent and treat cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye that is a leading cause of vision loss …

      ‘Thirdhand smoke’ may be bigger health hazard than previously believed

      Scientists are reporting that so-called “thirdhand smoke” — the invisible remains of cigarette smoke that deposits on carpeting, clothing, furniture and other surfaces — may be even more of a health hazard than previously believed.



      Arlington burial sought

      Vang Pao led a CIA-backed campaign against communists during the Vietnam War.

      'Ozzie and Harriet' son dies

      David Nelson, who played himself on the popular TV show in the 1950s and '60s, was 74. 

      Awesome Pictures


      British Artist Creates Stunning 'Inksplosions'

      These incredible 'inksploding' liquid artworks are the brainchild of a British artist who blends her work with cutting-edge science. The images, which have been compared to visions of alien worlds, have been produced by Pery Burge.

      She has devoted many hours to perfecting her technique, since she began exploring ink in water forms in 2006, having abandoned paining because she developed repetitive strain injury from traditional brushwork.

      Hauling your Dinosaur


Spared no expense
      Spared no expense I see.

      The castle built on skid row

      A $1.3 million French mansion with turrets is in a desolate Albuquerque, N.M., neighborhood.  

      Vegetarian butchers shop opens in the Netherlands

      Vegans living in The Hague are buying food from a butcher. De Vegetarische Slager —aka The Vegetarian Butcher — is Europe’s, and possibly the world’s, first meat-free butcher shop.

      Jaap Korteweg, one of the shop’s owners and an eighth-generation lupin seed farmer, opened the store to provide a protein-rich, sustainable alternative to meat while reducing the environmental impact of the extensive soy industry in South America.

      Products available at De Vegetarische Slager include traditional meat-free options such as BBQ tofu and quinoa, as well as the shop’s own brand of lupin products like croquettes and sandwich patties.

      Lupin is a legume native to the Mediterranean region and similar in taste to a fava bean.

      Nine Developments That Prove We Really Are Living In The Future

      There is little doubt that as time marches on, the sheer amount of impressive
      technology that each of us has access to will grow exponentially. After all it
      was only 20 years ago that the thought of home computing was a novel and futuristic
      concept, whereas today, the thought of not having immediate access to some kind of
      computer is a scary and disconcerting one.

      Technology has gotten to the point where all of those fantastic visions of the future we grew up with have come true in some form or another. We currently are living in the sci-fi future so frequently imagined in the past.

      World's largest statue ... almost

      If it's ever finished, this enormous monument will stand taller than any other.  



      The Lost and Found Frogs of Haiti

      One year ago today, a devastating earthquake shook Haiti. An expedition from Conservation International went to Haiti in October to see how the forest ecosystem was affected. Amphibian Conservation Officer Dr. Robin Moore and Dr. Blair Hedges from Pennsylvania State University led the search for endangered species, particularly for the La Selle grass frog, which hadn’t been seen since 1985.
      Although they didn’t find the “lost” frog in question, the week-long expedition did unearth 23 of Haiti’s 49 known native frog species — six of which hadn’t been seen in 19 years. Among the rediscoveries: the ventriloquial landfrog (Eleutherodactylus dolomedes), which was previously only known from a few specimens. As its name implies, this species can project its voice to sound as if it’s coming from somewhere else, making it extremely difficult to locate. Moore and the other researchers spent hours trying to home in on one individual.
      During the survey, individuals from 10 Critically Endangered species were collected for a captive breeding program at the Philadelphia Zoo. This captive population will preserve the species (and allow for possible reintroduction) if the wild populations are wiped out — an assured outcome if deforestation is allowed to continue.
      “The biodiversity of Haiti, including its frogs, is approaching a mass extinction event caused by massive and nearly complete deforestation,” said Dr. Blair Hedges. “Unless the global community comes up with a solution soon, we will lose many unique species forever.”
      At the Conservation International website, you can hear the sounds of the ventriloqual frog and the Macaya burrowing frog shown here, and see pictures of all the rediscovered amphibians.

      Asian Carp Study Largest Since Reversal of Chicago River

      photo asian carp great lakes mississippi mouth 
      This $2 million project, funded mostly with private money, is billed as the most comprehensive look at the Chicago waterway system since the reversal of the Chicago River more than 100 years ago. This time, the threat is Asian carp, rather than pesky sewage.

      Animal Pictures