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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.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Daily Drift

It's bloody HOT around here!

Some of our readers today have been in:
Cape Town, South Africa
Sampaloc, Philippines
Shah Alam, Malaysia
Gdansk, Poland
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fermont, Canada
Warsaw, Poland
Kabul, Afghanistan
Manila. Philippines
Krakow, Poland
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Istanbul, Turkey
Johannesburg, South Africa
Kuantan, Malaysia
Cebu City, Philippines
Moscow, Russia

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Today in History

1298   An army under Albert of Austria defeats forces led by Adolf of Nassua.
1625   The Spanish army takes Breda, Spain, after nearly a year of siege.
1644   Oliver Cromwell crushes the Royalists at the Battle of Marston Moor.
1747   Marshall Saxe leads the French forces to victory over an Anglo-Dutch force under the Duke of Cumberland at the Battle of Lauffeld.
1776   The Continental Congress resolves that the American colonies "are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States."
1822   Denmark Vesey is executed in Charleston, South Carolina, for planning a massive slave revolt.
1858   Czar Alexander II frees the serfs working on imperial lands.
1863   The Union left flank holds at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg.
1881   Charles J. Guiteau fatally wounds President James A. Garfield in Washington, D.C.
1926   Congress establishes the Army Air Corps.
1937   American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappears in the Central Pacific during an attempt to fly around the world.
1961   Novelist Ernest Hemingway commits suicide at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.
1964   President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law.
1967   The U.S. launches Operation Buffalo in Vietnam.
1976   North and South Vietnam are officially reunified.
1980   President Jimmy Carter reinstates draft registration for males 18 years of age.

The truth hurts

Hazlitt on the wingnuts: "If they pause it is to gain time; if they offer terms it is to break them"

It's both music (beautifully written, by one of the now-forgotten geniuses of English prose) and great political wisdom. It prefigures Lincoln's Cooper Union speech.
This is William Hazlitt, writing in the 1820, on the what it's like to deal with the right.
They never give an inch of ground that they can keep; they keep all that they can get;

they make no concessions that can redound to their own discredit; they assume all that makes for them;

if they pause it is to gain time;

if they offer terms it is to break them: they keep no faith with enemies:

if you relax in your exertions, they persevere the more: if you make new efforts, they redouble theirs.
If they pause, it is to gain time. If they offer terms, it is to break them.

See what I mean? This is the Daleks or the Borg, 150 years before either were conceived.

He doesn't rest his pen in dealing with our side. As strong as they behave, we (the left) act from weakness, from nicety:
While they give no quarter, you [the left] stand upon mere ceremony.

While they are cutting your throat, or putting the gag in your mouth, you talk of nothing but liberality, freedom of inquiry, and douce humanité [sweet humanity].

Their object is to destroy you, your object is to spare them—to treat them according to your own fancied dignity.

They have sense and spirit enough to take all advantages that will further their cause ...

It is the difference between the efficient and the inefficient; and this again resolves itself into the difference between a speculative proposition and a practical interest.
This is the enemy, my dithering brethren. While we speculate (discuss), they act in practical interest.

From Hazlitt's mouth to your sweet ear, my progressive brothers and sisters.

Rule 4: Do something. If that doesn't work, do something else. This isn't grad school, folks; it's war. There's an army in the field. Time to deal with it.

Wingnut politician in Switzerland calls for "Kristallnacht for Muslims"

At least he was removed from office, but wow.
Wingnut Swiss politician Alexander Müller is out of a party post as well as his private job after using Twitter to call for “Kristallnacht … this time for mosques.”

The Zurich man also faces a criminal investigation and police searched his home and confiscated his computer, according to media reports and his own blog.

The prosecutor’s office said Müller, 37, admitted tweeting in response to the May acquittal on hate-speech charges of a Muslim man who said it was "Sharia-compliant” for a man to beat his wife if she refused to have sex with him, the newspaper Tages Anzeiger (Daily News) and others said. Otherwise, Aziz Osmanoglu had said, the man might be unfaithful.

Recognize this man?

Josef Stalin 1902

AMA warns of upcoming shortage of doctors

When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 ruling Thursday, the American Medical Association was quick to release a statement in support of the "historic" decision that will give more people access to health coverage.

Easter Island drug Rapamycin raises cognition throughout life span

Cognitive skills such as learning and memory diminish with age in everyone, and the drop-off is steepest in Alzheimer’s disease.
Continue Reading

Man returned used enemas to pharmacy

A Florida man is under investigation for repeatedly returning boxes of used enemas to a CVS pharmacy where workers re-shelved the items, police report. The unidentified suspect, who has not yet been charged in a product tampering probe being led by the federal Food and Drug Administration, was arrested earlier this month on an unrelated outstanding warrant. He is currently locked up. The repulsive probe began earlier this month when a worker told Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputies that the suspect, on four occasions, had purchased ready-to-use saline enemas only to later return the items.
The CVS employee, Dustin McDonald, said that when returning enemas on June 5, “the suspect told him that it was for the suspect’s mother and she no longer needed them,” according to a sheriff’s report. After accepting the enemas for return, the 22-year-old McDonald decided to “check the box of enemas to be sure that they were not tampered with.” When he opened the box, McDonald “observed that all the enemas were used.” Additionally, the pharmacy worker determined that “the unknown white male… re-glued the bottom of the box so that it appeared that it had not been opened.”

McDonald then checked three other six-pack enema boxes on the store’s shelves and found that “all the enemas in each of the 3 boxes were previously used.” As with the first box he examined, McDonald discovered that the three other boxes had been opened from the bottom and re-glued shut. Remarkably, however, despite discovering on June 5 that four boxes of enemas had been returned used, CVS personnel did not immediately contact law enforcement about the tampering. It was not until June 12 -when the male suspect sought to return a fifth box of enemas to the San Jose Boulevard store - that pharmacy employees called the police. On that date, McDonald had told the man that he “could no longer take returns for this item.” McDonald also “contacted his law prevention manager and advised all the area CVS stores about this incident.”

A subsequent review of credit card records and store surveillance tape (which caught the man driving a blue pickup truck) led sheriff’s deputies to identify the suspect, who has not been named. Investigators determined that the man began purchasing the enemas in March and returning them in April. According to a CVS spokesperson, the company believes that, over a two-month period, “as many as 12 enema packages…were possibly used by a customer who then returned them with re-sealed packaging to make the products appear unopened.” The pharmacy added that it was “proactively contacting” 21 customers who bought “any of the potentially impacted enema products” during the period of time that the suspect was carrying out the tampering scheme. As part of the criminal probe, police noted, “Samples were taken of the fluid in the enema bottle and have been sent to the Florida Department of Health for testing. Fecal matter was located on some of the returned enema bottles. The fecal matter has been collected as evidence and submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing.”

JPMorgan's failed risk director retired with $21.5 million

If Washington wants to show some level of serious behavior, they need to force JPMorgan to change this. It's an insult to every American if JPMorgan is allowed to get away with this. Keep in mind that the bankers never had to pay back their years of bonus money that was based on bad deals that were wiped off of their own books.
What other industry in the world will let you lose billions and still walk away with millions in easy money? Bloomberg:
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s decision to let Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew retire four days after the bank disclosed a $2 billion loss in her division allowed her to walk away with about $21.5 million in stock and options.

Drew, who resigned May 14, can keep $17.1 million in unvested restricted shares and about $4.4 million in options that she otherwise would have been required to forfeit if the New York-based bank had terminated her employment “with cause,” according to regulatory filings and estimates from consulting firm Meridian Compensation Partners LLC.

A 30-year JPMorgan veteran, Drew also had accumulated 661,000 unrestricted shares of common stock worth about $23.7 million based on the May 14 closing price, $9.7 million in deferred compensation and $2.6 million in pension pay as of Dec. 31, according to company filings. Altogether, Drew’s stock, pension and deferred pay come to about $57.5 million.

Unemployment Explained

The wingnuts got it all wrong - (of course they always do) - Goats took all the jobs.

The Busy Trap

Hello, Neatoramanauts! Howyadoin'? If you answer "busy" or better yet, "craaazy busy" then welcome to modern life. You're not alone. Most of Americans in the 21st century live in the perpetual state of "busy"-ness.
And that, argues, Tim Kreider, author of We Learn Nothing, is actually trap.
I know, I know. You're busy, but trust me. Take a moment from your busy schedule and read the Busy Trap:
It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”
Notice it isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.

Bend It Like Newton

Scientists have worked out the physics formula for the perfect soccer kick. Forget Beckham, Bend it like Newton:
University of Leicester physics students have published a paper which sets out the optimum way of kicking a football (soccer ball) in order to make it bend into the goal.
The ex-England captain's curling free-kicks became legendary, and even inspired the title of the 2002 film Bend It Like Beckham.
Now, four master's students at the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy believe they have discovered a formula to explain how the football curves when a player puts spin on it.

The Minitel - truly the first "public" Internet - is gone

The French have pulled the plug on the Minitel, their early experiment (launched in 1982) in creating a public Internet for shopping and other services.
France pulls the plug on the Minitel this weekend, a home-grown precursor of the Internet which brought on-line banking, travel reservations and even sex chats to millions a decade before the World Wide Web.

In a country where resistance to all things “Anglo-Saxon” runs deep, the Minitel evokes both pride at French technological prowess and regret that the country failed to capitalize on the commercial online network, launched in 1982.

By its peak in the late 1990s, some 25 million people in France were using Minitel’s 26,000 services, ranging from checking the weather to buying clothes and booking train tickets.

Asian Sensibility at Newest Luxury Spa in Swiss Alps

The Alpina Gstaad, the newest luxury hotel to open in this Swiss Alpine village in 100 years, will feature a Six Senses Spa.

Very hungry people skip veggies for starches and protein

After going without food for 18 hours, most of us would rather reach for French fries or chicken fingers than ...
Continue Reading

‘Hunger Games’ makes N.C. mill village a star

The Henry River Mill Village was District 12 in the film.

A $4.2 Million Home Is a Tear-Down

Photo: ABC News
People buy houses and tear them down all the time, but most people don't spend millions of dollars on them. Not Clark and Sharon Winslow of Belvedere, Marin County, California. They just bought their neighbor's house for $4.2 million and tore it down so they could have a better view.
Alan Farnham of ABC News has the story: here.

The Actual Girl From Ipanema

Everyone knows that, tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking. But did you know the actual Girl from Ipanema that inspired the Bossa Nova hit?
"It's the oldest story in the world," says Norman Gimbel, who wrote the English lyrics. "The beautiful girl goes by, and men pop out of manholes and fall out of trees and are whistling and going nuts, and she just keeps going by. That's universal."
So reasoned composer Antônio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinícius de Moraes five decades ago. Stalled on a number for a musical called "Blimp," they sought inspiration at the Veloso, a seaside cafe in the Ipanema neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. There they remembered a local teenager, the 5-foot-8-inch, dark-haired, green-eyed Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto, whom they often saw walking to the beach or entering the bar to buy cigarettes for her mother. And so they penned a paean to a vision.
Thomas Vinciguerra of The Wall Street Journal has the story, in honor of the song's 50th year anniversary: More
At 66 years old today, Heloísa is still stunningly beautiful.

Ten Shocking Secrets Of Flight Attendants

Did you know that flight attendants do not get paid until the aircraft pushes away from the gate? That they can be fired for bizarre reasons? Newly hired flight attendants are placed on strict probation for their first six months. During probation, flight attendants can't hem their skirts above a certain length. Afterwards, it's OK to shorten the hem and show a little leg.

Circus Sideshow Acts

Freaky but fascinating these vintage photographs reveal circus sideshow acts in all their glory. Photographer Charles Eisenmann followed performers in the mid-1800s in New York City and offered to shoot their portraits so they could tout for business. The freak show was popular with the lower classes, causing 'dime museums' to spring up in some of the city's most impoverished neighborhoods.

As science improved and led to many of the 'freaks' physical differences being explained as genetic mutation or disease, the sideshow fell into decline as the individuals were treated with compassion and sympathy instead of fear and disgust.

Awesome Pictures

Sunset at Paradise Point Beach in Port Orford, Oregon by Lance & Cromwell (home safe-pictures coming) on Flickr.

Did you know ...

That Uruguay plans to legalize marijuana sales

That members of congress profit from stock trades in companies affected by their legislation

That now, it's not Joe the plumber, it's Joe the perfect printer

That the state of Ohio fights back against fracking

The truth be told

A Law To Visit Your Parents?

Haven't visited your parents in a while? You may be a lawbreaker.
Shocked by a statistics that more than 33% of Chinese people visit their parents but once a year (and nearly 12% haven't visited in many years), lawmakers in China are pondering an amendment to China's elderly rights law that would require children to visit often.
How would that law be enforced is still up in the air, but 42% of people surveyed supported it already.
(And before you get into a tizzy - yes, the illustration is of a Korean, deal with it)

From the Newswire

Foie gras, junk cars, tattoos prompt California laws
Car buyers, ducks and geese, and those in search of tattoos or body piercing all get increased protections under new laws that take effect July 1. All or part of about two-dozen laws are taking effect at midyear, including measures to discourage bullies and encourage low-income seniors to eat healthier.

Crab shortage hits just as the big holiday approaches
And with crab consumption a July Fourth holiday ritual on the Mid-Atlantic coast, crustacean connoisseurs could be in for some disappointment.

Random Photo


Adriana Lima

Colombia lowers alert over volcano's eruption

Colombian officials have downgraded the alert level for an eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, and some airports in the area have resumed operations.

Toxic Seas Spurred Mass Die-Offs

Man doesn't need to hurry it along!
Earth is perfectly capable of concocting a toxic brew all on its own.
Read more 
Toxic Seas Spurred Mass Die-Offs

The Kardashians vs. Ocean Acidification

No comment.

From a report on ocean acidification at Media Matters for America,

'Stunted' pot plants cannot grow

MRI scans of potted sugarbeet and barley (c) Hendrik Poorter'Stunted' pot plants cannot grow

Plant pots of any size prevent plants from reaching their full potential, under-soil images reveal. BBC Nature

Cute Photo


Philippine croc is largest in captivity

Guinness World Records has declared that a huge crocodile blamed for deadly attacks in the southern Philippines is the largest in captivity in the world.

Now, that is something you don't see everyday

New York, An Encounter Near Times Square, 1957 © Inge Morath / Magnum Photos 

Happy’s Tail

Horse sanctuaries have taken in more horses than ever lately due to the economy. One of the horses at Hope Pastures Horse and Donkey Sanctuary in Leeds, England, is Happy, a 20-year-old former show-jumping horse, who recently got a new tail and a new home. Happy’s original tail had to be removed due to melanoma.
New owner Anita Elcome said: “The tail helps keep the flies away and not having one can also have a psychological impact.
“They swish their tails when they are angry or flick them when they are happy and not having one really does affect them.
“I think Happy will really enjoy having a tail back.”
The tail, made of horse hair, normally costs around £70 but has been donated to Happy for free by Stockport-based company Horse Hair Extensions.
She added: “I saw his story on the website and just really liked the look of him.
“The fact that Happy didn’t have a tail didn’t put me off at all.
Happy’s new horsetail will soon be woven into his remaining hair. The accompanying photo shows where not to stand around a horse.

Ten Ways to Eat Your Dog in China

Sure, there are some dogs that are purely house pets, but a large number of canines in China are just a meal waiting to happen.

Stabbing after man accused of feeding dog peanut butter

Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives arrested John William Vargo, 35, for stabbing a man who accused him of feeding his dog peanut butter.
Vargo said he threw the empty plastic peanut butter container at the victim and the victim punched him in the head. Vargo said the man got a baseball bat in the home and came out yelling at him. Vargo and his girlfriend then walked down the street and he called the CCSO at 3:26 a.m. to report a man chased him with a baseball bat.

When deputies arrived at Gladis Avenue and Harbor Boulevard, Vargo said he and his girlfriend were at a friend's house where the victim rents a room. While talking to Vargo a deputy noticed a pickup truck leave the home; he immediately followed and made a traffic stop. Deputies observed the victim in the pickup with a stab wound; he was transported by EMS to Peace River Regional Medical Center.

Deputies began searching Vargo and a curved blade pocket knife fell out of his pants. At that time, Vargo said he did not feel well and requested EMS who transported him to Fawcett Memorial Hospital. The victim said Vargo stabbed him in the chest and then they walked away from the house. However, Vargo's girlfriend told detectives that Vargo stabbed the victim before the victim went into the house and grabbed a baseball bat. Vargo was released from the hospital and transported to the Charlotte County Jail where he remain on no bond on a charge of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon; his fourth booking.

The Puppy Lemon Law

If you bought a car that turned out to be a lemon, you can return it to the dealership for a refund. But what about a dog? Turns out, you can if you buy a sick dog from a California seller:
The law, officially known as the Pet Breeder Warranty Act, applies to cases in which the purchased dog gets sick due to an illness or disease that existed within 15 days of purchase. It also applies if problems arise in the first year after the sale because of a congenital or hereditary condition.
If you want to keep the dog, the law entitles you get your money back from the seller plus up to an additional 50% of the purchase price for veterinary costs.
The law also allows you to return the dog, like a piece of merchandise, and get a refund or a different dog of equivalent value. Still, you'd be entitled to reimbursement of "reasonable" veterinary costs.

Where Is The Snow?

Looking up to the clear blue skies, penguins on South Georgia Island in the southern Atlantic Ocean think there is something amiss. Pictures taken on the island, a well-known breeding colony for royal penguins, show there's no snow. The naturally curious animals look so out of place that they are almost cartoon-like to watch in what seems to be outside of their natural environment.

But it's not unusual for the islands not to have snow. In fact, June marks the start of their winter and the more familiar white-covered landscape should return within the next couple of weeks when temperatures usually reach -5°C.

Animal Pictures

Daniel Hébert