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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.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Daily Drift

Never follow the crowd - Always stand out

Some of our readers today have been in:
Kuantan, Malaysia
Cape Town, South Africa
Moscow, Russia
Athens, Greece
Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Lima, Peru
Hamburg, Germany
Kajang, Malaysia
Baghdad, Iraq
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
San Jose, Costa Rica
Seremban, Malaysia
Birmingham, England
Bayan Lepas, Malaysia
Fermont, Canada
Johannesburg, South Africa
Vancouver, Canada
Plymouth, England
Maribor, Slovenia
Chisinau, Molodova
Zagreb, Croatia
Lodz, Poland
Orleans, France
Malang, Indonesia
Krakow, Poland
Makati, Philippines
Belgrade, Serbia
Gdansk, Poland
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Bangkok, Thailand

And across the USA in cities such as:
Barnegat, Closter, Hawley and Shamokin

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

1244 Turks expel the crusaders under Frederick II from Jerusalem.
1305 Scottish patriot William Wallace is hanged, drawn, beheaded, and quartered in London.
1541 Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec on his third voyage to North America.
1711 A British attempt to invade Canada by sea fails.
1775 King George III of England refuses the American colonies' offer of peace and declares them in open rebellion.
1821 After 11 years of war, Spain grants Mexican independence as a constitutional monarchy.
1863 Union batteries cease their first bombardment of Fort Sumter, leaving it a mass of rubble but still unconquered by the Northern besiegers.
1900 Booker T. Washington forms the National Negro Business League in Boston, Massachusetts.
1902 Fanny Farmer, among the first to emphasize the relationship of diet to health, opens her School of Cookery in Boston.
1914 The Emperor of Japan declares war on Germany.
1926 American film star Rudolph Valentino dies, causing world-wide hysteria and a number of suicides.
1927 Immigrant laborers Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed for a robbery they did not commit. Fifty years later, in 1977, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis establishes a memorial in the victims' honor.
1939 Joseph Stalin and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop sign a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, freeing Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin to invade Finland.
1942 German forces begin an assault on the major Soviet industrial city of Stalingrad.
1944 German SS engineers begin placing explosive charges around the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
1950 Up to 77,000 members of the U.S. Army Organized Reserve Corps are called involuntarily to active duty to fight the Korean War.

Non Sequitur


Secret Service Arrests Armed Man for Obama Threat

By Devin Dwyer
  Secret Service Arrests Armed Man for Alleged Obama Threat (ABC News)
Federal agents in Washington state have arrested an armed man accused of making threats against President Obama.
U.S. Secret Service agents and local law enforcement officers knocked on the door of Anton Caluori, 31, in Federal Way, Wash., on Tuesday afternoon, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said.
Caluori came to door with a shotgun, but was taken into custody without injury, Leary added, though Caluori made references to explosives, prompting a call to the bomb squad.
Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bob Kierstead told local ABC News affiliate KOMO that suspicious items found in the man’s apartment – potential explosive devices – prompted a sweep of the entire complex by a bomb squad. No bombs were found.
Obama, who was campaigning in Ohio at the time, did not appear to be in immediate danger.
“A threat against the president was delivered via email to a general FBI inbox,” said Cathy Schrock with the Federal Way Police. “The Secret Service went down to investigate and the defendant was found to be armed when they arrived at the apartment.”
Caluori is currently in federal custody and will have an initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon, sources said. He is accused of threats against the president and assaulting a federal officer.

Did you know ...

Why Washington accepts mass unemployment

About this from gov. Jerry Brown, a new website: climate change - just the facts

That Atheism on the rise in the U.S.

About the four types of wingnuts

Ohio repugican party chairman says voting laws shouldn't accommodate African Americans

The chairman, Doug Preisse
  The chairman, Doug Preisse 
Ohio has been in the national spotlight in recent weeks because of voter participation laws that have been the topic of a massive national debate. Finally a compromise that left both sides unhappy was reached. Now leaders are speaking out, including a chairman of the Republican party who, in an interview, said he does not believe voting laws should specifically accommodate African American voters. Later in the interview he also used profanity.
Douge Preisse is the chairman of The Franklin County repugican party. During an interview via email with "The Dispatch", a local publication, Preisse said "I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban, read African-American, voter-turnout machine. Let’s be fair and reasonable."
It is odd that Preisse would describe his views as reasonable or fair, as they seem to be anything but that.
When asked about similar charges by other Democratic and progressive leaders Preisse became mildly hostile with his written response and called any allegations of unfairness or impropriety as "bullshit." He also wrote, "Quote me!"
Indeed, that is exactly what we will do.

Another repugican lawmaker: Virtually impossible to get AIDS through heterosexual sex

The parade of idiots continues...how did these people get in public office?!? Even more important is how can they stay there when they clearly slept through grade school?!?
Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (r) falsely claimed on Thursday that it was nearly impossible for someone to contract AIDS through heterosexual contact.

And it continues ...

Akin isn't a glitch, he's a feature of the repugican party

You may recall that repugican Cong. Akin is running for the US Senate from Missouri, and recently made some quite incendiary comments about rape and abortion.

Here's that from Marketwatch:
Akin, a Missouri congressman who is challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, said on Sunday that pregnancy caused by rape is “really rare,” and that in the case of “legitimate rape,” women’s bodies have “ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
And here's the video of him making the comment:

Now the problem for the repugican party: Akin needs to pull out by the end of today or it gets a lot harder, but not impossible, for the repugican party to replace him with someone else.

From CNN:
Missouri election rules allow a candidate to withdraw with little difficulty through Tuesday, which is 11 weeks prior to the Nov. 6 election.
After Tuesday, the candidate must get a court order and pay for any necessary reprinting of ballots. The state repugican party would choose another candidate to run against McCaskill, considered one of the most vulnerable senators in the country.
Good piece by LZ Granderson at CNN about how Akin is only the tip of the iceberg - this is a repugican party-wide problem. Here's a snippet:
The truth is the "legitimate rape" comment made by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin -- as in pregnancy from "legitimate rape" is rare -- is not a repugican party anomaly, but rather another disturbing glimpse into the viewpoint too many social conservatives have about women's health and reproductive rights. And if abortion is not among the "real issues," why is the repugican party platform committee considering adding a ban, with no mention of exceptions, to this year's to-do list?

Last March, in a discussion in the Kansas House about whether women purchase separate abortion-only policies, repugican state Rep. Pete DeGraaf suggested women should plan ahead for rape the way he keeps a spare tire. A few weeks later, Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner, a repugican, said some women might fake being raped in order to get free abortions.

Former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum suggested doctors who perform an abortion on a woman who becomes pregnant from an attack should be thrown in jail and this year suggested rape victims who become pregnant from an attack should be forced to keep the baby and "make the best out of a bad situation."

And we're to believe Akin is just a one-off.


Pat Robertson rushes to Akin's defense

Oh, like that is help
So now we have Robertson. Bryan Fischer of the officially-designated hate group American Family Association, and Tony Perkins of the officially-designated hate group Family Research Council.  That pretty much answers any remaining questions about whether Akin is a bit too extreme.

Why are all the repugican celebrities such nuts?

Hank Williams, who previously compared President Obama to Hitler, now is telling crowds at his concerts that the President is a Muslim who hates the US.  And the crowds roar with delight.
Someone does appear to hate the US, but it's not the President.  (He also hates the truth, but that's typical of the fringe now running the Republican party.  It's the same problem the repugican party hate groups have - a dedication to lying as tactic. Though sometimes I wonder if nuts like Williams, the NRA's Ted Nugent, the FRC's Perkins, don't actually believe the filth they spread?

It's one problem for the repugican party if they're simply liars.  It's an entire other problem for the repugican party if all of their cultural and intellectual leaders - read: Dimbulb - actually believe the garbage they spew. Because in that case, they're not just dishonest, they're fanatics.  And believers - especially crazy ones - are far more dangerous (to us and the repugican party) than liars any day.

At some point the repugican party needs to worry less about "taking back America" and more about taking back its own party.

Meet the NRA's sexist, bigoted, vulgar, birther board member Todd Rathner

First Ted Nugent and now this guy. Does the NRA have any normal board members?
Anti-Muslim bigotry.
Again, not exactly bipartisan, and a little extremist.
Parrotting GOP lies.
Hard not to take the Hussein thing as racist,
and the socialism accusation is typical GOP extremism.
Sexist, about Obama campaign spokeswoman.
Vulgar, about Senator Harry Reid.
Not exactly bipartisan.

Ayn Rand

How everyone’s favorite spouse-swapping, godless pulp novelist and dorm-room doyenne became the Tea Party’s new mascot
One of my favorite artists -- Drew Friedman -- draws two of my least favorite people -- Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand. It appears on today's cover of the NY Observer.

Jump on the Rand Wagon! How Ryan Resurrected Ayn

The truth hurts

RBS the latest bank under investigation for business with Iran

Doing deals with Iran is nothing compared to the trillions they blew away during the peak of the banking crisis or even the Libor ripoff. That said, this is an industry that thumbs its nose at the law because it is the law. The banking industry can rest comfortably knowing that it's easy enough to write a few checks to pay a few fines and nobody will bother them tomorrow.

The Guardian:
US authorities are investigating Royal Bank of Scotland for possible violations of sanctions with Iran, the Financial Times reports.

The Federal Reserve and department of justice are conducting the investigation, the paper said, citing several people close to the situation. The investigation comes after the British bank volunteered information to US and UK regulators 18 months ago, the Financial Times said.

Ed Canaday, a spokesman for RBS, declined comment.

But in its quarterly report filed on 8 August, RBS said it had "initiated discussions with UK and US authorities to discuss its historical compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including US economic sanctions regulations". The bank said it could not predict the outcome of those discussions.
Outside of maybe the "defense industry" no other industry can so often and so blatantly flout the law and get away with a light tap on the wrist. In the case of the much larger banking crisis, they didn't even have to pay back the bogus bonus money they had received for years.

And I Quote

Ten Fantastic Comedies Based on True Stories

posterWhile truth is stranger than fiction, it can also be ridiculous. Some of the strangest premises for comedies came from actual stories, like the film It Could Happen to You.
Originally titled “Cop Tips Waitress $2M,” in the style of the New York tabloids that became fascinated by the tale, Andrew Bergman’s 1994 romantic comedy was based on the story of Robert Cunningham and Phyllis Penzo, a cop and waitress (respectively) who split a New York lotto prize after cop Cunningham gave waitress Penzo half of his ticket in lieu of a tip. In the movie, that act is the first step towards a tender romance between the pair. In real life, not so much; both parties were happily married and stayed that way, telling Entertainment Weekly, “Except for the part about us winning, it’s totally fiction.”
Comedies have been made from serious news as well, like Arsenic and Old Lace. Read about ten comedy films based (sometimes very loosely) on true stories at Flavorwire

Hyperrealistic Ball Point Pen Drawings

This stunning portrait of a fiery redheaded girl is by Samuel Silva, an illustrator who really knows his way around a ball point pen!
Samuel's use of color elevates his works above the standard realistic portraits rendered in black ink, and adds to the realism and warmth of each piece.

The World's Last Ninja

Ninja63-year old Jinichi Kawakami began his training when he was just 6 years old:
Kawakami said training ranged from physical and mental skills to studies of chemicals, weather and psychology.
"I call ninjutsu comprehensive survival techniques," though it originated in war skills such as espionage and guerrilla attacks, he said.
"For concentration, I looked at the wick of a candle until I got the feeling that I was actually inside it. I also practised hearing the sound of a needle dropping on the floor," he said.
He climbed walls, jumped from heights and learned how to mix chemicals to cause explosions and smoke.
According to some people, the tradition will die with Kawakami because he is the world's last ninja:
As the 21st head of the Ban clan, a line of ninjas that can trace its history back some 500 years, Kawakami is considered by some to be the last living guardian of Japan's secret spies.
"I think I'm called (the last ninja) as there is probably no other person who learned all the skills that were directly" handed down from ninja masters over the last five centuries, he said.

Curse of Pendle Witches strikes on 400th anniversary of trials?

The 1612 sign on the side of Pendle Hill that has been vandalised. The 1612 sign on the side of Pendle Hill that has been vandalized.
Just days after a dramatic 1612 appeared on the side of Pendle Hill ... the curse of the Pendle Witches has struck.
The number one has mysteriously disappeared from the huge numbers, which marked the 400th anniversary of the infamous Pendle Witch trials.
Is it the curse of the witches ... or do you know what’s happened the the artwork?

Random Celebrity Photo


Woman found murdered two days after calling 911 for help

Obviously it wasn't an emergency!

Police in Dallas are conducting an internal investigation after discovering that a 32-year-old woman who was found in her bathtub dead two days after calling 911.
Woman found murdered two days after calling 911 for help

Workers charged over 'toddler fightclub'

Workers charged over toddler fightclub 
Three childcare workers have been charged over a 'toddler fight club', in which they allegedly watched on and filmed as children in their care fought each other.
The three workers from Delaware have been charged with assault and other offenses after police obtained video of the fights.
It's alleged the three workers laughed as they filmed the three-year-olds, who were clearly not having fun, pummeling each other.
"Clearly one of the children is crying and does not want to continue on and he is pushed back into the fray by one of the adults," Dover Police Captain Tim Stump told local media.
The childcare center in question has had its license cancelled.
Parents at the center were shocked when they learned of the charges.
"That pissed me off just because I feel if my daughter is around anything, I should have known," Crystal Slack told AP.

Shoplifter caught red-handed and red-eyed after eating haul of Scotch Bonnet chillies

A shoplifter was caught red-handed and red-eyed when he discovered his stolen goods were much hotter than he expected. Marcus Banwell made the mistake of eating his haul of Scotch Bonnet chilli peppers from Singh Stores in St Paul's, Bristol, before making his escape. Bristol magistrates heard that within a matter of seconds the 39-year-old was doubled over, coughing and being sick as the fiery food took effect.
The owner of the shop was alerted to the commotion on August 4 and followed Banwell outside, where he was arrested by police a short while later. The heat of a chilli pepper is measured using the Scoville scale. The Scotch Bonnet, also known as Boabs Bonnet or Caribbean red pepper, is named for its resemblance to a Tam o'Shanter hat. Most Scotch Bonnets have a heat rating of 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units. This compares to the rating of most jalapeño peppers, which is 2,500 to 8,000.

Prosecutor May Li said when officers searched Banwell they found another four chilli peppers in his pocket, a stolen milkshake and fruit juice, and a clarinet stashed in his waistband, which was missing from a music shop. Police also found paper wraps containing a small amount of crack cocaine and a small amount of heroin. Mitigating, Emily Evans said her client had serious issues with drugs and alcohol that he wanted to address. She said since he had been remanded in custody he had been to a number of classes and courses designed to address addiction.

Ms Evans said Banwell had not been receiving his benefits since March and had stolen food and drink to feed himself, not for any financial gain. Presiding magistrate Rachel Simmons told him: "You have continued to offend while subject to your license and other court orders, so we really do not have any other option but to make a further custodial sentence." The magistrates imposed a total of six weeks' custody for the new offenses, to run consecutively with an eight-week sentence for breaching the terms of his license, making a total of 14 weeks.

Gnome firm was cover for cannabis factory

A man who turned to growing cannabis at his garden gnome business after it started to struggle has been jailed for two years. Jason Lee, 42, aroused suspicion after a £70,000 electricity bill went to his landlords, Flintshire council, instead. Lee, of Rhyl, Denbighshire, admitted producing cannabis worth nearly £100,000, at Mold Crown Court. The judge, Mr Recorder John Jenkins QC, accepted Lee regretted his actions but said his operation was "sophisticated". The court heard council officials were already suspicious about Lee's garden ornaments business due to the locks, security lighting and CCTV he had installed.

French tourists in Sri Lanka receive suspended jail terms for pretending to kiss Buddha statue

Three tourists from France (two women and a man) took photos of themselves posing with Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. At least one of the photos showed the tourists pretending to kiss one of the Buddha statues. When the tourists went to a photo lab to make prints, the owner of the photo lab called the police.
On Tuesday a magistrate sentenced the trio to six months in prison with hard labor, suspended for five years - which means they will not actually serve any time in jail. The court also levied a small fine on them.
They were convicted under a section of the Penal Code which outlaws deeds intended to wound or insult "the religious feelings of any class of persons" through acts committed in, upon or near sacred objects or places of worship.

Random Photo

'Alarming Increase' in West Nile Cases

So far there have been more than 1,100 cases reported through the middle of August.

Health News

Court: Texas can cut off Planned Parenthood funds
A federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that Texas can cut off funding for Planned Parenthood clinics that provide health services to low-income women before a trial over a new law that bans state money from going to organizations tied to abortion providers.

With Medicare taking front and center in the presidential race in recent days, a new Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday indicates that repugican proposals to privatize the system remain unpopular among the general public.

When Rosie O'Donnell wrote about her recent heart attack on her blog, she mentioned several symptoms that she ignored before going to her cardiologist.

Bacon found at NY Muslim celebration probed as possible hate crime

For some unknown reason the original post here caused some troll to whine and it had to be removed.
It was only a link to a news article.
This is a growing problem with the web - Trolls with nothing better to do than to harass any and everyone.
Wingnuts are particularly bad about this. 

N.C. apple crop takes a big hit

By Kathleen Purvis
glo7vp89North Carolina’s mountain farmers may have lost 80 percent of the apple crop, usually worth $24 million to the state. Official numbers won’t be available until the end of the month.

Americans Waste Half of Their Food

Did you throw away that uneaten leftover and wilted groceries that sat too long in the fridge? You're not alone - Americans throw out nearly half of their food every year, to the tune of $165 billion annually:
"As a country, we're essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path. That's money and precious resources down the drain," said Dana Gunders, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council's food and agriculture program.
The NRDC report said Americans discard 40 percent of the food supply every year, and the average American family of four ends up throwing away an equivalent of up to $2,275 annually in food.

The nation is in a giant pickle ...

... and here's photographic proof!

Caribbean Islands Heading for the Atlantic

Sometimes even a Caribbean island wants to get away from it all.  
Read more
Caribbean Islands Heading for the Atlantic

The Bodélé Depression

The Amazon rainforest with all its plant and animal life, and all its astounding biodiversity could not exist as we know it without a patch of African desert. The soil the rainforest is producing isn't very nutrient rich. All the minerals and nutrients that fertilize the rainforest have to come from someplace else.

Scientists have known for a while that this natural fertilizer is crossing the Atlantic in the form of dust storms, but science writer Colin Schultz ran across a 2006 paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters that not only produces evidence for a much larger trans-oceanic transfer of dust than was previously assumed... it also pinpoints the exact (and astoundingly small) location where all the fertilizer in the Amazon is coming from.

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Dinosaur Footprint Found at NASA Center

NASA may be looking to the heavens to better understand our place in the universe, a fascinating piece of Earth history has been found literally under their feet. Read more
Dinosaur Footprint Found at NASA Center

Oldest Panda Dies in Berlin

The Berlin Zoo's panda, Bao Bao was 34-years-old. He was gifted to West Germany in 1980 as part of "panda diplomacy."
The Berlin Zoo's panda, Bao Bao was 34-years-old. He was gifted to West Germany in 1980 as part of

Humpback whale startles kayakers

A woman kayaking in the middle of a California bay has captured the moment a massive whale unexpectedly jumped out of the water just meters away from her daughter.

Rhonda Burmeister was out paddling with her daughter at Port San Luis at the weekend when a swarm of seagulls started diving into a nearby patch of water.

Moments later a humpback whale jumped out of the water right beside them. While she admits the up close encounter could have ended badly, Ms Burmeister said it was one of the best experiences of her life.

A nearby couple weren't so lucky, according to Ms Burmeister, who said they were knocked out of the kayak by the whale.

Animal Pictures