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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 1, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
If you're getting frustrated because your latest plans aren't working, just be patient.
More things still have to come together before you'll start to see the results you've been hoping for.
This is not a time to listen to little voices of doubt in your head -- this is a time to put your head down and just keep going.
Simple distractions like friends or even the television are also good ways to drown out negative thoughts.

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
London, England, United Kingdom
Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Berne, Bern, Swizterland
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Delhi, Delhi, India
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

as well as Slovakia, 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, Maldives, 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 Escondido, San Jose, San Clemente, Oakland  and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, October 1, the 274th day of 2011.
There are 91 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Lace Day Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 1, 2011
Hello, everyone.  It’s been almost three weeks since I sent the American Jobs Act to Congress – three weeks since I sent them a bill that would put people back to work and put money in people’s pockets.  This jobs bill is fully paid for.  This jobs bill contains the kinds of proposals that Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past.  And now I want it back.  It is time for Congress to get its act together and pass this jobs bill so I can sign it into law.
Some Republicans in Congress have said that they agree with certain parts of this jobs bill.  If so, it’s time for them to tell me what those proposals are.  And if they’re opposed to this jobs bill, I’d like to know what exactly they’re against.  Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job?  Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools?  Are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in America?
Economists from across the political spectrum have said that this jobs bill would boost the economy and spur hiring.  Why would you be against that?  Especially at a time when so many Americans are struggling and out of work.
This isn’t just about what I think is right.  It’s not just about what a group of economists think is right.  This is about what the American people want.  Everywhere I go, they tell me they want action on jobs.  Every day, I get letters from Americans who expect Washington to do something about the problems we face.
Destiny Wheeler is a sixteen year old from Georgia who wants to go to college.  She wrote to me saying, “Now-a-days it is hard to see myself pushing forward and putting my family in a better position, especially since the economy is rough and my starting situation is so poor.  Yet, the American Jobs act gives me hope that I might start to receive a better education, that one day job opportunities will be open for me to grasp, and that one day my personal American Dream will be reached.”  Destiny needs us to pass this jobs bill.
Alice Johnson is an Oregon native who, along with her husband, has been looking for a job for about two years.  She writes, “I have faithfully applied for work every week…Of the hundreds of applications I have put in, I received interview requests for about 10…I too, am sick of all the fighting in Washington DC.  Please tell the Republicans that people are hurting and are hungry and need help, pass the jobs bill.”  Alice Johnson needs our help.
Cathleen Dixon sent me pictures of the aging bridge she drives under when she takes her kids to school in Chicago every day.  She worries about their safety, and writes, “I am angry that in this country of vast resources we claim that we cannot maintain basic infrastructure.  How can we ever hope to preserve or regain our stature in this world, if we cannot find the will to protect our people and take care of our basic needs?”
I also heard from Kim Faber, who told me about the small carpet business her husband owns in New Jersey.  “We hang on by a shoe String,” she writes, “my husband worries every day about if checks might bounce, he uses our home loan to put money in the business so they will be covered.  Please pass this jobs bill! This is the job creating we need right now! It breaks my husband’s heart when he has to let people go! Pass the bill!”
Kim said it best: Pass the bill.  I know one Republican was quoted as saying that their party shouldn’t pass this jobs bill because it would give me a win.  Well this isn’t about giving me a win, and it’s not about them.  This is about Destiny Wheeler and Alice Johnson. It’s about Cathleen Dixon’s children, and the Fabers’ family business.  These are the people who need a win, and I will be fighting for this jobs bill every day on their behalf.  If anyone watching feels the same way, don’t be shy about letting your Congressman know.  It is time for the politics to end.  Let’s pass this jobs bill.

Super Saturday


Non Sequitur


Week 3 #occupywallst

Hundreds take to lower Manhattan streets to voice their feelings about the corporate world.  



Ethics Investigation Being Called for

Supreme Court Justice Has a Lot of 'Splainin' to Do

Seems that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is in hot water over two issues: Several Democratic politicians want Thomas to be investigated for his failure to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of income.

The investigation stems from Thomas’s wife, Virginia [pictured], who earned over $100,000 a year for several years from the conservative Heritage Foundation. Still, Thomas never indicated in his annual financial disclosure form that she earned any income.

Then we have this story: GEORGIA — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is the target of an ethics examination, investigated by The NY Times, as to whether he misused his “prestige of office” to persuade his friend Harlan Crow to fund a museum in Pin Point, Georgia.

Thomas, who is from Pin Point, introduced residents to Crow, who the Times confirmed is the anonymous donor behind $1.3 million to the museum project set to open this fall.

According to The Huffington Post, this isn’t the first time Crow donated money to projects directly or indirectly honoring Thomas. The Times unraveled a list of gifts and donations given to Thomas, including a $15,000 bust of Abraham Lincoln from a group affiliated with Crow.


A quaint historical museum in Pin Point, Georgia, that is set to open this fall has become the target of an exhaustive ethics examination by the New York Times.

Why would the Times devote almost 3,000 words to a community heritage museum? Pin Point, as it turns out, is also the birthplace of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and it was Thomas who introduced Pin Point residents to his friend Harlan Crow, a Dallas real-estate tycoon and major conservative donor, who would ultimately fund the museum. According to some legal analysts, Thomas's role in Crow's decision to donate may have troubling ethical implications.

Pin Point lies along the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor designated by Congress, a passage of coastal fishing towns settled by the descendants of slaves. Algernon Varn, whose father ran the fishing cannery there, long hoped to save the site from development, but it wasn't until he bumped into Thomas, who was in town promoting his memoir, that the project began to move forward. Thomas introduced Varn to Crow, a longtime friend. Through an exhaustive paper trail review, the Times confirmed that Crow is the anonymous donor behind the $1.3 million restoration of the property and forthcoming museum project. Varn was told to keep Crow's identity anonymous.

The question of ethics violations comes down to whether Thomas misused "the prestige of office" to persuade Crow to take on the project, said Raymond J. McKoski, a retired state judge in Illinois. (Supreme Court justices are not explicitly bound to the complex code of conduct for federal judges because it is enforced by lower ranking judges. That's right, they are literally above the law -- though the Times points to several justices who said they adhere to it regardless.)

"Some of it depends on the conversations that took place," McKoski told the Times of the ethical quandary. "Who brought up the idea? How willing was Mr. Crow to do it? What exact questions were asked by Justice Thomas?"

This isn't the first time Crow has donated to projects directly or indirectly honoring Thomas. (According to the federal ethics code, judges are not supposed to know who makes a donation in their honor.) The Times gathers an exhaustive list of shady gifts and donations, including Mr. Crow's financing of a Savannah library dedicated to Justice Thomas and his gift of a bible that once belonged to Frederick Douglass. Thomas also received a $15,000 bust of Abraham Lincoln from a group affiliated with Crow.

So, after all this commotion, what will the museum actually look like? The modest, almost astonishingly unglamorous-sounding Pin Point Heritage Museum will be housed in the A.S. Varn & Son Factory, a former seafood cannery that was the economic backbone of Pin Point -- and where Thomas's mother worked as a crab picker -- until it closed in 1985.

Each structure on the property -- including the oyster factory, can storage building, and marshfront dock -- will be stabilized and restored. A patio area will host live demonstrations of crabbing, canning, and shrimp net making. Inside, 3,000 square feet of exhibition space -- modest by museum standards -- will house educational exhibits, live demonstrations, interactive displays, and a 30-minute documentary film, all devoted to the generations of residents in Pin Point.

Alabama Judge Consolidates 3 Immigration Lawsuits

Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state's tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration.

Bashful benefactor leaves 10 million yen ($130,000) in Japanese toilet for tsunami victims

An anonymous donor has left 10 million yen ($130,000) in cash in a public toilet in Japan with instructions that it be used to help victims of this year's earthquake and tsunami.

The bundles of cash were found in a plastic shopping bag in a disabled toilet in the city hall of Sakado, a town north of Tokyo. Also inside was a note reading: "I am all alone. I have no future so let the people in Tohoku use it."

Tohoku is the region devastated by the March earthquake and tsunami which left 20,000 dead. A city official says the the money will be handed over to the Red Cross if the anonymous donor does not reclaim it within three months.

"There was no witness to the act and we cannot guess what kind of person has been involved," city spokeswoman Masumi Sekiguchi said. "We were really surprised. We also feel thankful for such kindness."

Three views of Amanda Knox

Portrayals of the woman convicted of murder vary quite dramatically in Italy, Britain, and the U.S.  

China vows to punish posters of Internet rumors

China is renewing threats to punish people who post falsehoods on the Internet as the government tries to rein in a medium that has become a source of lively debate and criticism.

Plane crashes into Ferris wheel

The accident at an Australian festival traps two children at the top of the wheel for 90 minutes.  

Crabby Road


Sports women watch most

The Super Bowl is the far-and-away winner, but the second event might come as a bit of a surprise.

Rocker's $270 mil business

Hartley Peavey was a lousy musician, but he found a talent that paid off big.  

Daily Comic Relief


Ditch your debit card?

As banks slap fees on the cards and scrap rewards programs, consider these alternatives.

How debt collectors think

They may seem sympathetic, but any excuses they hear are just summed up as "HLS."  

Trouble for Friendly's

Tough times at the ice cream and burger chain could lead to a bankruptcy auction.  

Recession: Unavoidable

An analyst known for spot-on predictions explains why he is so pessimistic.  

Backseat Driving School


Pursue a new career

These education programs can prepare you to switch fields in two years or less.

From 9-5 to an ice cream truck

Natasha Case and Freya Estreller left their 9-5 jobs to reinvent the ice cream truck.

Foods that keep you awake at night

Certain meats, spices, and even tea can act as stimulants and leave you tossing and turning.  

Listeria victims' scary tales

People who led normal lives are facing sudden anguish after eating tainted cantaloupes. 



Best bed-and-breakfasts

Sample homemade specialties at a Southern mansion, Spanish-style inn, or farmhouse.

America's oddest museums

Imagine 16,000 square feet devoted to the most infamous mystery meat.  

So, what happened?


Dutch city's shops closed to most cannabis tourists

Coffee shops in the Dutch city of Maastricht have banned foreign tourists, except those from Germany and Belgium, from entering their premises from Saturday, according to the local association of coffee shops.

Single Dose of Hallucinogen May Create Lasting Personality Change

A single high dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called “magic mushrooms,” was enough to bring about a measureable personality change lasting at least a year in [...]
Full Story

Awesome Pictures


Electric blue surf lures crowds

Stunning rare waves appear to glow in the dark off the Southern California coast.

Galaxy caught blowing bubbles

heic1114aThe intricate glowing shells of gas in Holmberg II were created by the energetic lifecycles of many generations of stars. High-mass stars form in dense regions of gas, and later [...]
Full Story



Teddy Bears



Nobody move!
I lost my contact lens!

Upping the cute factor


Hairy, crazy ants invade from TX to MS

It sounds like a horror movie: Biting ants invade by the millions.
A camper's metal walls bulge from the pressure of ants nesting behind them.

Animal Pictures