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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

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Today in History

17   Germanicus of Rome celebrates his victory over the Germans.  
1328   William of Ockham forced to flee from Avignon by Pope John XXII.  
1647   A new law bans Catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts. The penalty is banishment or death for a second offense.  
1670   Charles II and Louis XIV sign a secret treaty in Dover, England, ending hostilities between England and France.  
1691   Jacob Leiser, leader of the popular uprising in support of William and Mary's succession to the throne, is executed for treason.  
1736   British and Chickasaw forces defeat the French at the Battle of Ackia.  
1831   The Russians defeat the Poles at the Battle of Ostrolenska.  
1835   A resolution is passed in the U.S. Congress stating that Congress has no authority over state slavery laws.  
1864   The territory of Montana is organized.  
1865   The last Confederate army surrenders in Shreveport, Louisiana.  
1868   President Andrew Johnson is acquitted of all charges of impeachment.  
1896   The last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, is crowned.  
1938   The House Committee on Un-American Activities begins its work of searching for subversives in the United States.  
1940   The evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk begins.  
1946   A patent is filed in the United States for the H-bomb.
1958   Union Square, San Francisco, becomes a state historical landmark.  
1961   The civil rights activist group, Freedom Ride Coordinating Committee, is established in Atlanta.  
1961   A U.S. Air Force bomber flies across the Atlantic in a record of just over three hours.  
1969   Apollo 10 returns to Earth.  
1977   The movie Star Wars debuts.

Non Sequitur


Council members abstained from voting on resolution to prevent abstention

Three Ypsilanti City Council members in Michigan abstained from voting on a resolution on Tuesday that would have prevented them from taking that very action in the future when considering issues.

Council member Pete Murdock proposed a resolution that would have required council members to only vote yes or no on each issue facing council unless they had a financial or professional conflict of interest.

Mayor Paul Schreiber, Council members Susan Moeller and Brian Robb abstained from the vote to show their disapproval of the resolution brought forth by Murdock.

Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson and Council Member Ricky Jefferson voted no, while Murdock and Council Member Daniel Vogt voted yes. The resolution failed.

Did you know ...

That sexual assault prevention officers aren't getting their own memos

The Washington bridge collapse further proves America's infrastructure is in bad shape

Here's a memo to the repugican cabal: stop pretending you care

The truth be told

There’s Not Much That’s Funnier Than a repugican Confronted With Facts

by Allen Clifton  
I’m sure I’m not the only one who, when debating a repugican, walks away thinking, “I wonder what reality is like on their planet?”
Because some of the comments I hear coming from these people would be hilarious if they didn’t actually believe them.  Hell, sometimes I even feel sorry for them.
For instance their hero is President Reagan, someone they call a “true wingnut.”  Except, they can’t tell you exactly how he was a wingnut.  He quadrupled our national debt, something repugicans don’t deny.  Yet they still consider him the epitome of “repugican wingnuttery.”  Then again, both George H. Bush and the shrub grew our national debt, so if Reagan is the example of “repugican wingnuttery,” they followed that example perfectly.
Most sane people know that being “fiscally conservative” doesn’t mean running up giant deficits, so calling Reagan a “wingnut legend” doesn’t make any sense.
Or let’s look at the recession — they actually blame it on President Obama, and the ones that don’t blame it on him say he made it worse.  Which is just about as bad as those who think he caused it, considering our job losses were cut by more than 50% 4 months after he took office.  Only in the world of repugicans can reducing job losses by more than half, quickly, be a bad thing.
Then again, an improving economy is  bad news for repugicans.  Before the election, I always liked asking them whether or not they felt repugican cabal politicians were happy when positive economic numbers came out.  If they answered yes, knowing positive economic numbers meant it was more likely President Obama would win re-election, they were most likely lying.  If they answered no, then they were basically admitting they knew their politicians were doing anything they could to sabotage economic recovery and hurt Americans.
Pointing this out, however, often caused their brain to shut down as they couldn’t come to grips that their party was actively trying to harm the economy, which made them the bad guys.
Last year’s presidential election really brought about the most ridiculous behavior by repugicans.  Nothing quite like a party which had pushed Obama to release 2 different forms of a birth certificate, and some pushing for the release of college transcripts, then saying their presidential candidate had no obligation to show more than 2 years of his tax returns.
What made it even more ironic was that Romney’s own father was the man who set the precedent for a presidential candidate releasing multiple years worth of tax returns.  Then repugicans tried to say Obama was playing politics over tax returns, even though it was during the repugican cabal primaries that fellow repugicans  made Romney’s tax returns an issue.  Just more proof that blaming Obama for something they created is nothing new for wingnuts.
Then when the story resurfaced about Romney tying a family pet to the roof of a car, repugicans came back with Obama eating dog while he was 9 years old living in the Philippines.  They really compared a competent adult with a family to a 9 year old eating what his parents told him to eat in a foreign country.
That doesn’t even go into how Romney said he wasn’t concerned with 47% of Americans, bullied a gay classmate in high school (cutting off his hair), flip-flopped on almost every major issue or how he displayed his ignorance by praising the health care system of countries he visited who have socialized health care (something of which repugicans have fiercely opposed in the United States).  Hit them with that and you’d probably hear about the time in 2008 when Obama once accidentally said there were 57 states, when he obviously meant to say he had visited 47 of the 50 states during his campaign.
Hell, even on election night repugicans were in disbelief Obama had won.  Karl Rove sat on Faux News, making a fool of himself, refusing to say Obama had been re-elected.  He seemed in denial that his side’s efforts to buy the presidency had failed—and failed miserably.  As for wingnut voters, they were most likely genuinely shocked.  After all, Faux News and other wingnut pundits had been lying to them for months about Romney’s chances.  They painted most every poll that showed Obama headed for an easy victory as “liberally biased”, so repugican voters really did believe Romney was headed for a win.
And I can’t forget the “Great Benghazi Conspiracy.”  Well, at least that’s what repugicans wished it was.  For months they’ve pushed and pushed, first hoping to get something on Obama before the election and now hoping to get something on Hillary for 2016.  Except—there’s nothing to it.  In fact, the real “conspiracy” is who edited the “leaked emails” that were initially released to try and create a story that wasn’t there.  You’re telling me that repugicans knew nothing of the emails being edited?  Sure they didn’t.  But if you point this out to a repugican they’ll paint Benghazi as an attack as bad as 9/11 and a “cover up” even more scandalous than Watergate.
No, seriously—repugicans have compared those events to Benghazi.
Honestly, I could write a 5 page dissertation covering the ridiculous statements repugicans have made when confronted with reality which contradicts what they want  to believe.

More proof that repugicans are hypocrites

From Think Progress

Congressman Who Gets Millions In Farm Subsidies Denounces Food Stamps As Stealing 'Other People's Money'

By Aviva Shen

Rep. Stephen Fincher (r-TN) agitated against food aid for poor Americans included in the Farm Bill during last week's House Agricultural Committee debate, accusing the government of stealing "other people's money." Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has already been decimated in both the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill, cutting off nearly 2 million working families, children, and seniors from food assistance.

Fincher invoked the Bible in his defense of the devastating cuts, quoting, "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."

At a Holiday Inn in Memphis over the weekend, Fincher expanded on his version of the christian social gospel: "The role of citizens, of christians, of humanity is to take care of each other, but not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country."

While Fincher interprets food assistance for the needy as "stealing," he has not similarly condemned the Farm Bill's massive agricultural subsidies. In fact, he supported a proposal to expand crop insurance by $9 billion over the next 10 years. Fincher has a great personal stake in maintaining these particular government handouts, as the second most heavily subsidized farmer in Congress and one of the largest subsidy recipients in Tennessee history:

    USDA data collected in EWG's 2013 farm subsidy database update - going live tomorrow -shows that Fincher collected a staggering $3.48 million in "our" money from 1999 to 2012. In 2012 alone, the congressman was cut a government check for a $70,000 direct payment. Direct payments are issued automatically, regardless of need, and go predominantly to the largest, most profitable farm operations in the country.

    Fincher's $70,000 farm subsidy haul in 2012 dwarfs the average 2012 SNAP benefit in Tennessee of $1,586.40, and it is nearly double of Tennessee's median household income. After voting to cut SNAP by more than $20 billion, Fincher joined his colleagues to support a proposal to expand crop insurance subsidies by $9 billion over the next 10 years.

Senate repugicans Attempt to Sink the Economy by Blocking Their Own Appointees

Any business understands that sound economic policy is crucial to success, and few business owners would put a child in charge of a company’s finances. America is different in that when a repugican is in the White House and the repugican cabal holds majorities in both houses of Congress, their childish economic policy generally leaves a fiscal mess Democrats have to clean up when they are in power. The repugicans have complained that the Senate has not passed a budget for four years, and now that they finally acted, several senate teabaggers are blocking progress on the federal budget and creating a minor rebellion in the Senate between old-guard repugicans and idiots representing the tea party.
In normal times, the Senate appoints members to serve on a conference committee to negotiate with the House to work out the differences between the two budgets each side has passed, but teabaggers Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee are blocking appointees to a conference committee and efforts to craft a federal budget unless the Senate meets demand that prospective conference members refuse to engage in any negotiations that might raise the federal debt limit. Senators John McCain and Susan Collins, both repugicans, lambasted the teabaggers this past week for their unprecedented demands with McCain accusing the teabaggers of not understanding “how business has been done” in Congress, and asserted that most repugican cabal senators agree it is time to stop stalling and go to conference. McCain’s warmonger buddy, Senator Lindsey Graham, backed up the Arizona senator’s claim and said, “I think it’s a good idea to get a commitment not to raise the debt limit, but I trust the normal course of business — that we’re not going to use reconciliation to raise the debt limit, we can have a motion to instruct our conferees not to raise the debt limit so I’m fine with going to conference.”
Inter-party bickering aside, it is Graham, and most repugicans’ comment that a commitment to “not raising the debt limit” informs repugicans are Hell bent on economic terrorism as well as shunning their duty to support the U.S. Constitution. Graham is not a freshman teabagger, and he knows full well that demanding that America defaults on its debts is a violation of Article 4 of the 14th Amendment that clearly says, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, shall not be questioned.” When the shrub and repugicans were piling up debt for two unfunded wars, tax cuts for the rich, and an unfunded Medicare prescription plan to enrich the pharmaceutical industry, repugicans never questioned the debt and raised the limit 19 times to cover their wild spending. Those debts are still adding to the national deficit and did not stop when Barack Obama was sworn in as President because except for the shrub tax cuts for the rich that ended in the waning days of 2012, the wars’ costs and prescription plan are still adding to the deficit.
The idea of not raising the debt limit implies that repugicans want America to default on its debt and go bankrupt, and that is precisely what Boehner and repugicans proposed nearly three weeks ago with an insane debt prioritization bill.  The bill was sold as a means of avoiding an American default, but by prioritizing paying certain debt obligations held by the public as well as Social Security benefits and defaulting on the rest is the definition of a bankruptcy sans a bankruptcy court judge.  President Obama railed on the repugican plan and said, “No one should threaten the default of the United States for any reason, no one should use the default of the United States as a budget path or negotiating tool, American families do not get to choose which bills to pass and which ones not to pay, and the United States Congress cannot either without putting the Nation into default for the first time in its history.” The President also reminded repugicans that “This bill would threaten the full faith and credit of the United States and do damage to the economy. This legislation is unwise, unworkable and unacceptably risky.” It is also childish and economic treason, and yet repugicans are “committed to not raising the debt limit.”
The debt repugicans want to default on is nearly all due to their economic malfeasance including the wars, tax cuts, prescription plan, the stimulus, bank bailouts, and added safety net costs as a result of crashing the economy during the shrub years. If repugicans had not deregulated the banking industry that precipitated the Great Recession, the numerous bailouts and President Obama’s stimulus would have been unnecessary, and the economy would be healthy.  The repugican leadership in both houses of Congress have promised to repeat their 2011 debt limit fiasco, and it portends that the repugican cabal will  follow through on their threat despite President Obama’s warning he will not negotiate the debt ceiling increase again. In 2011 Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told repugicans that “as a negotiating strategy you say: ‘If you don’t do things my way, I’m going to force the United States to default–not pay the legacy of bills accumulated by my predecessors in Congress.’ It’s not a credible negotiating strategy, and it’s not going to happen.” However, it did happen and repugicans are prepared to do it again based on their assertion that budget negotiations are predicated on a “commitment not to raise the debt limit.”
For eight years the shrub repugicans’ economic malfeasance decimated the economy and racked up debt that continues to this day, and they have spent the past four years attempting to finish what they started. For four years they made the American people pay the price with Draconian budget cuts, and despite their efforts, President Obama managed to mastermind a tepid recovery and get Americans back to work. It appears that absent success at completely destroying the economy by obstruction, they intend on causing a default they failed to achieve in 2011, and new Senate and House debt limit threats expose their plan to default on the nation’s debts regardless the consequences to the country’s fiscal health. It is important to remember that just holding the debt limit hostage in 2011 caused a credit downgrade, slowed recovery, and created more economic hardship for Americans, and if they intend on entering budget negotiations with default as condition for a deal, there will be no good outcome for the economy. However, that is the result of economic terrorists intent on violating the Constitution’s directive that “The validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned” because it is repugican debt and a Democrat is President.

Obama’s Rebuild America Jobs Act Might Have Prevented the I-5 Bridge Collapse

Motorists and vehicles were plunged into the cold waters of Skagit River in Washington after witnesses say an 18-wheeler carrying an oversize load hit part of the Interstate Highway 5 bridge, causing the bridge to collapse Thursday evening. Other witnesses say they saw girders falling.
Three people were rescued from the water and no one died, according to officials.
According to the National Bridge Inventory Database, the bridge was deemed “functionally obsolete” as recently as 2010, but this does not necessarily mean it was unsafe. Specifically, they use the designation “to describe a bridge that is no longer by design functionally adequate for its task.” The report indicates that the I-5 Skagit bridge: “Transitions: Does not meet currently acceptable standards.” The bridge was built in 1955.
Accidents happen, and we’re awaiting the official investigation into the bridge failure. But its frightening collapse serves as an urgent reminder that we’ve fallen way behind on infrastructure. Take a look at our public construction spending (TLPBLCONS) as percentage of GDP, via FRED:

According to a policy paper written for the nonpartisan public policy institute New America Foundation in June of 2008:
America’s basic infrastructure is outdated, worn, and in some cases, failing. Most experts agree that it is inadequate for meeting the demands of the 21st-century global economy. If we are to remain competitive, we must invest in capital assets like roads, ports, bridges, mass transit, water systems, and broadband infrastructure. Many other countries-both rich and poor-see investing in infrastructure as imperative for economic survival and success in an increasingly competitive economic environment. But the United States has lagged in infrastructure investment, in both relative and absolute terms. We are spending less than 2 percent of GDP on infrastructure, while China and India are spending 9 percent and 5 percent of GDP, respectively.
So President Obama had what seemed like a pragmatic idea. Why not put Americans to work fixing our outdated infrastructure, thereby creating jobs and aiding our economic survival by staying competitive. On September 8, 2011, before a joint session of Congress, President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act, which would have invested $741.1 million in highway and transit infrastructure in the state of Washington alone, and created 9,600 jobs. It was designed to make immediate investments in infrastructure, modernizing our roads and put hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job. (Read more here.)
On October 11, 2011 it failed to get the 60 votes needed to move anything forward in the Senate, thanks to filibustering repugicans, so Obama broke it down into little pieces.
One of those pieces was the Rebuild America Jobs Act, S. 1769 rebuilding and modernizing America, would have spent $50 billion on transportation infrastructure projects and $10 billion to fund an infrastructure bank. It failed in a 51-49 vote for cloture on November 3, 2011. It was going to be funded with a 0.7% tax on Americans earning more than $1 million per year.
These projects were billed as shovel-ready. It’s possible that one of them would have addressed the issues with the Skagit River bridge (even if those issues didn’t cause the collapse), but if not that bridge, maybe the one in Minnesota, or maybe the next bridge to go. America is crumbling as repugicans refuse to invest any money in her.
The repugicans continue to allow our infrastructure to fall victim to their petty obstructionism tactics. You might be thinking that infrastructure is a Democratic issue, that only Democrats want to drive on safe roads and have bridges that are maintained while putting Americans to work. But that wasn’t always true.
Ironically, the idea of creating a National Infrastructure Bank was proposed in 2007 by former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and then Senator Chuck Hagel (r-NE), to help fund infrastructure via private and public capital.
But you won’t be seeing any bipartisan action on infrastructure, because it’s more important for repugicans to obstruct President Obama than it is to protect our nation’s citizens from failing infrastructure. This means that repugicans are forcibly pushing America to the bottom in ability to compete with other nations, but that too is fine with them – so long as they hamper President Obama. Not because they disagree with him on policy, but because they took a vow to destroy him and dis-empower his presidency before he ever took office.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) should be looking back at the repugican refusal to even consider the American Jobs Act and rethinking yet again his failure to change the filibuster rules in the Senate. It’s not about partisan bickering or gamesmanship, as the beltway media likes to frame it — this is about American lives, and the obstructionism needs to stop.

The new hire ...



Say Hello to Your Ego!

by Terri Cole 
Offended? Say Hello to Your Ego!
How often do you find yourself saying things like, “I can’t believe this person said that to me.” “That person owes me an apology.” or “I’m so pissed that they thought [or said] that.” Do you often feel offended?
First, let’s break down what an offense is. It is your ego’s response to what someone else said.

When you are offended, you are in an ego-driven state, which is, ultimately, dis-empowering and a victim mentality.

Your Ego, or Self, will fall into one of these categories as a way to cope with the loss of empowerment:
  1. High Ego—power hungry; self absorbed; focus on external image; needs validation from others; blames/condemns others in order to boost self
  2. Low Ego—no power; codependency; lost/confused; plays martyr; never feels gets what deserves; over carrying and worrying; always doubting self and putting self down
Interestingly enough, the high and low egos are two sides of the same coin. Both mask their genuine self by looking outside for validation, are overly concerned with the image they are portraying, tend to blame others, and are never satisfied. Can you see how, depending on your reaction, being offended can fall into either your high or low ego? If your response is something like, “Who do they think they are? I deserve an apology.” then you tend to lean toward the High Ego reaction. If you say something like, “Why is that person picking on me? What did I ever do to them?” you lean more toward the Low Ego response. Neither is a healthy functional response, so let’s get to the re-frame!
The cure to being offend-able is to realize that you cannot control others, but you can control how you react and respond to what others say and do.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks. In YOUR life, what matters is what YOU think.
I encourage you to speak your truth, and there is nothing wrong with telling the other person “I did not like that interaction.” or “I feel like we can communicate in a less hostile manner.” something along those lines.
This week (seven whole days), I want you to dial into what your immediate reaction wants to be when someone offends you, whether speaking to you or about you, and see if you can take a step back and not react.

What others think of you is none of YOUR business.

It’s about what you think of you. As long as you think you are worthy and amazing, you don’t need to be offended. It is a waste of your precious time and energy and gives the offender control over you.
I would love to know your thoughts about this. Did it offend you ;-) ? Please share.
I hope you have an amazing week and, as always, take care of you.
Love Love Love

Racist Sheriff Arpaio Guilty Of Racial Profiling

Judge rules against 'America's toughest sheriff' in racial profiling lawsuit 
 Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio addresses the media about a simulated school shooting in Fountain Hills, Arizona, February 9, 2013. REUTERS/Darryl Webb
by Tim Gaynor and David Schwartz
Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio violated the constitutional rights of Latino drivers in his crackdown on illegal immigration, a federal judge found on Friday, and ordered him to stop using race as a factor in law enforcement decisions.
The ruling against the Maricopa County sheriff came in response to a class-action lawsuit brought by Hispanic drivers that tested whether police can target illegal immigrants without racially profiling U.S. citizens and legal residents of Hispanic origin.
U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow ruled that the sheriff's policies violated the drivers' constitutional rights and ordered Arpaio's office to cease using race or ancestry as a grounds to stop, detain or hold occupants of vehicles - some of them in crime sweeps dubbed "saturation patrols."
"The great weight of the evidence is that all types of saturation patrols at issue in this case incorporated race as a consideration into their operations," Snow said in a written ruling.
He added that race had factored into which vehicles the deputies decided to stop, and into who they decided to investigate for immigration violations.
The lawsuit contended that Arpaio, who styles himself "America's toughest sheriff," and his officers violated the constitutional rights of both U.S. citizens and legal immigrants alike in their zeal to crack down on people they believe to be in the country illegally.
The ruling came days after a U.S. Senate panel approved a landmark comprehensive immigration legislation that would usher in the biggest changes in immigration policy in a generation if passed by Congress.
The bill would put 11 million immigrants without legal status on a 13-year path to citizenship while further strengthening security along the porous southwestern border with Mexico.
Arpaio declined to comment on the ruling. An attorney representing the sheriff's office said his clients were "deeply disappointed by the ruling" and would lodge an appeal.
"The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has always held the position that they never have used race and never will use race in making a law enforcement decision," attorney Tim Casey told Reuters.
"We do disagree with the findings and my clients do intend to appeal, but at the same time ... we will work with the court and with the opposing counsel to comply fully with the letter and the spirit of this order," he added.
Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants' Rights Project and plaintiffs' counsel, called the judge's ruling "an important victory that will resound far beyond Maricopa County."
"Singling people out for traffic stops and detentions simply because they're Latino is illegal and just plain un-American," Wang said after the ruling was made public.
"Let this be a warning to anyone who hides behind a badge to wage their own private campaign against Latinos or immigrants that there is no exception in the Constitution for violating people's rights in immigration enforcement."
During testimony in the non-jury trial last year, Arpaio said he was against racial profiling and denied his office arrested people because of the color of their skin.
The sheriff, who won re-election to a sixth term in November, has been a lightning rod for controversy over his aggressive enforcement of immigration laws in the state, which borders Mexico, as well as an investigation into the validity of President Barack Obama's U.S. birth certificate.
The lawsuit was brought against Arpaio and his office on behalf of five Hispanic drivers who said they had been stopped by deputies because of their ethnicity.
The plaintiffs, which include the Somos America immigrants' rights coalition and all Latino drivers stopped by the sheriff's office since 2007, were seeking corrective action but not monetary damages.
Arpaio has been the subject of other probes and lawsuits. In August, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona said it had closed a criminal investigation into accusations of financial misconduct by Arpaio, and it declined to bring charges.
A separate U.S. Justice Department investigation and lawsuit relating to accusations of civil rights abuses by Arpaio's office is ongoing.
Arizona has been at the heart of a bitter national debate over immigration since Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed a 2010 crackdown on illegal immigration.
The federal government challenged the crackdown in court and said the U.S. Constitution gives it sole authority over immigration policy. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, has allowed to stand the part of the law permitting police to question people they stop about their immigration status.
Snow scheduled a hearing in the case for June 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Federal Courthouse in Phoenix.

Father, white, says he was accused by Walmart security of kidnapping his kids, who are mixed-race

A man in Virginia says he was accused by security guards at a local Walmart of kidnapping his daughters. The father is white. The mother is black. They have been married for about 10 years and have three daughters: a 4-year-old and 2-year-old twins, all of whom are mixed-race. The incident happened last week on Thursday, May 16, and involved a police officer being sent to their home to question them on whether the children were, in fact, their children. The couple says they will never shop at Walmart again.

Feminist faces six months in jail for carrying pepper spray

The lawyer of a Tunisian woman who gained notoriety for posting online topless pictures of herself as a protest says she faces six months in prison for carrying a dangerous object.
Mokhtar Jannene said Friday his client Amina Tyler has been charged with possessing a pen-sized personal protection device containing tear gas or pepper spray. Tyler was arrested after she tried to hold a protest for the rights of women Sunday in the religious centre of Kairouane

Man threatened neighbor with AK-47 in dispute over rabbits

What started with one man shooting at rabbits in his back yard with an air gun turned into a threat by his neighbor with an AK-47, police said. According to the arrest report, the incident began when a man was shooting an air gun from his back porch at rabbits that were damaging his garden in Louisville, Kentucky.

His next-door neighbor, Rodney Wold, saw him shooting at the rabbits, went inside his home and came back out with an AK-47, according to the report. “He loaded the magazine with, I believe it was, 19 rounds and went back outside and pointed it at his neighbor and said, ‘If you want to hunt something, hunt men,’” police spokeswoman Carey Klain said.

When police arrived, Wold let them search his home and the AK-47 was found between the mattress and box spring of a bed. According to police, Wold admitted to arming himself and confronting his neighbor. “This guy has no record whatsoever,” said Klain.

The man's wife witnessed the incident. She said they had previous problems with Wold. Judge Donald Armstrong reduced his bond from $5,000 full cash, allowing him out of jail on his own recognizance, but ordered him not to possess any weapons. “It is never OK to resolve any type of argument with a weapon of any sort, much less a gun,” Klain said.

Crane driver mistake cut power to one-third of Vietnam

A mistake by a crane operator caused a 10-hour blackout over about a third of Vietnam and parts of neighboring Cambodia, officials say. Vietnamese state electricity company EVN said in a statement that the blackout happened on Wednesday when he was in the process of lowering a a 10-meter-long tree into a garden when it struck the cable.

It hit the main north-south high voltage power transmission line. Electricity supplies in Ho Chi Minh City and in Phnom Penh were affected before power was restored on Thursday. About 22 of Vietnam's 63 provinces were blacked out, officials say, and most of the south-east of the country was without power.

Officials say it was one of the worst power cuts in Vietnam's history. Vietnam provides Cambodia with about 40% of its national electricity supplies. Local media in Phnom Penh said that the entire length of the city's popular riverfront area lay in darkness, as crowded restaurants served tourists by candlelight and water supplies - that rely on electricity - began to dry up.

Correspondents say that the outage caused scores of garment and seafood factories to close and exposed the fragility of Vietnam's power grid. In addition there were heavy traffic jams in many other cities and towns as traffic lights failed. Vietnamese state-owned newspaper Thanh Nien reported that the incident cost EVN $700,000 (£465,000) in lost revenue.

Random Celebrity Photo


Raquel Welch
Raquel Welch

Ancient theater of Messene re-opens after 1,700 years

For more than 600 years, the ancient theatre of Messene hosted cultural and political events. Great men of the past found themselves in its spaces, such as the king of Macedonia, Philip V and the skilled general of the Achaean League, Philopoemen from Megalopolis. After 1,700 years of neglect and silence, the ancient theater of Messene re-opens its doors for the public, this summer.
Ancient theatre of Messene re-opens after 1,700 years
The ancient theater of Messene
The restored theater will be inaugurated on August 3rd with an opera gala, organized in the framework of the Greek Festival, performed by Athens State Orchestra, conducted by Giorgos Kouroupos. Soloists Dimitris Platanias and Tselia Kostea will participate. The event is organized in cooperation with the “Diazoma” Association.

The ancient theater of Messene re-opens this year for the first time since 300 AD, when it closed down. After operating for six centuries, the theater was abandoned, it declined and eventually succumbed. Characteristic for the apathy of the residents of the area regarding its fate is the fact that during Byzantine era, they removed many of the seats and used them as building material for temples and houses.

“When we first started the excavations, we found ourselves discouraged. The theater was practically non-existent, the only thing left were some barrier walls and the olive groves surrounding it (…). Huge earth deposits covered the orchestra and the koilon” says Petros Themelis, head of the excavations.

The restoration of the ancient theater lasted more than 20 years. The archaeologists managed to re-unite the scattered pieces and put back to their places more than 2,000 seats.

Works at the koilon (cavea) have not been completed yet. They will continue after the summer. Until August 3rd the theater is expected to be restored up to its 15th row. During the event, 2,500 spectators will be hosted at the theater. After the completion of restoration works, its capacity is estimated to reach 5,000 seats, which is half the capacity it had in antiquity.

Isn’t Petros Themelis worried by the presence of so many people in a theater which has remained closed for centuries? “The only damage is caused by women’s high heels” the archaeologist says. He believes that the purpose of a theater is to be used, not remain closed. “The risk of damages comes through time not people” he adds.

Mr. Themelis’ vision is that the theatre and the ancient city will host lots of events all the time. He argues that if the monument isn’t going to revive, there is no point in excavating. “We want the theater to operate for events, schools, conferences. We want all areas of ancient Messene to operate in a multifaceted manner. We want the whole city to become alive, to be related to society and the institutions” he stresses.

The ancient theater of Messene is located at the northwest of the archaeological site of Messene. Its first building phase is dated to the 3rd century BC. The walls of the scene, the proscenium and the orchestra were repaired during the 1st and 2nd century AD. The theater was used for entertainment events and as a gathering place for political purposes. In the theater of Messene the king of Macedonia Philip V and Aratus of Sicyon met in 214 BC, a day after the riot of the people and the slaughter of the city’s officials and 200 rich citizens. According to Livius, many citizens of Messene gathered at the theater demanding that general Philopoemen from Megalopolis would be brought there in plain sight, after being captured by the Messeneans in 183 BC.

The koilon rests on an artificial deposit made of a strong semicircular retaining wall. The high pointed posterns and the staircases mounting to the highest levels give the impression of a fortress structure. These elements and the fact that the retaining wall was visible and accessible from outside render the theater of Messene unique in its kind and a precursor of the colossal theaters and amphitheaters of the Roman era.

Forensic examination of an ancient Greek warrior

It’s not everyday that an x-ray is done on the remains of a Greek warrior from 4th century BC, but Long Island doctors did just that in an attempt to learn more about how he survived a debilitating war wound.
Forensic examination of an ancient Greek warrior
The 2500 year old bone fragment of the ancient Greek warrior’s forearm, with embedded arrowhead [Credit: North Shore-LIJ]
Anagnostis Agelarakis, a professor and chair of Anthropology at Adelphi University, brought the remains, which are on loan from the Greek Archaeological Service, to North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park the week before Memorial Day.

“This is more rare than finding a diamond,” Agelarakis said of the discovery.  Experts estimate the warrior was wounded in the time of Philip the Second, father of Alexander the Great.

Greek field surgeons could not remove a bronze arrowhead from the warrior’s left ulna, a bone in the forearm, according Dr. Helise Coopersmith, a radiologist from Noth Shore- LIJ, because it would have caused more damage deep to the surface of the wound.

“The X-ray proved the barbed component of the arrowhead that could not have been seen with the naked eye,” Coopersmith noted.

Forensic examination of an ancient Greek warrior
Researchers rendered this drawing of what the ancient Greek warrior looked like based on his skull [Credit: Long Island Press]
According to Agelarakis, the remains were discovered during an archaeological excavation.  He said that the grave was found in the mid 1980s and the remains will be returned to the Archaeology Museum of Kavala in Greece.

He plans to later publish his findings.

The professor’s wife, Argie Agelarakis, who’s also an Adelphi faculty member, joined with second-year Adelphi student Kimberly Lombardi to create a facial reconstruction of the ancient warrior.

The warrior lived with the embedded arrowhead until the age of 58 to 62 years causing him pain similar to severe carpal tunnel.  Argie Agelarakis said that he survived the injury with the care he was given and by keeping the wound clean.

The Northern Lights, as seen from the Shetland Islands

Keane Beamish shot this wonderful photograph of the Aurora Borealis in Unst, in the Shetland Islands to the north of Scotland. There are more northern lights photos, and wonderful landscape shots, in his photo set, here.

The Troll's Tongue

Trolltunga is an odd rock protrusion jutting out over Ringedalsvatnet, a lake in southern Norway. The name means "the troll's tongue." Would you be willing to sit on the end? He promises not to eat you.

The Twelve Highest Waterfalls In The World

One of the most stunning sights on earth is the endless, incredibly loud wonder of literally tons of water falling over the edge of a rock face every second, in a veritable kaleidoscope of rainbow colors that can take away your breath. Here are the highest waterfalls in the world, measured by the highest drops.

Fifteen Famous Living Trees

There are probably hundreds of famous living trees in the world. They are mostly known because of its location, age, size, unusual appearance, connections with some historical events or because of strange uses by humans. Most of these trees are visited by tens of thousands of tourists from around the world each year.


Good question.

The Cockroach Evolved to Hate Sweets

Sugar isn't always sweet, especially when Darwin's involved. Entomologists at North Carolina State University showed that when glucose is used in roach-bait poison, cockroaches evolve to dislike sweets:
Glucose sets off bitter receptors in roach taste buds, causing roaches to avoid foods that bring on this taste-bud reaction. This aversion has a genetic basis and it eventually spreads to offspring, resulting in increasingly large groups of cockroaches that reject glucose and any baits made with it.
In normal German cockroaches, glucose elicits activity in sugar gustatory receptor neurons, which react when exposed to sugars like glucose and fructose – components of corn syrup, a common roach-bait ingredient. Generally, roaches have a sweet tooth for these sugars. [...]
Glucose-averse roaches that were forced to taste glucose refused to ingest the sugar, akin to a child who spits out her bitter-tasting food.

Surgeons removed 4-pound hairball from 400-pound tiger

A 28-stone tiger has gone under the knife in Florida to remove a 4lb hairball. Veterinary surgeons in Tampa Bay were called in after Ty the tiger failed to cough up the monster obstruction all by himself.

Understandably, the 17-year-old big cat had been off his food for nearly two weeks. The vets initially performed an ultrasound and took X-rays before using a endoscope with a camera to gauge the size of the hairball.

But it was so big, they determined there was no chance of retrieving it that way and an operation would be needed. Ty is cared for by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Seminole. "He's sort of like my biggest baby. This is my kid. This tiger means more to me than any cat that I have," founder Vernon Yates said.

"I'm very thankful that we found what it is. That it's not some tumor, cancerous ... because he'll recover from this and I can't thank enough the surgeon and doctors from BluePearl that's worked on him," he added. The non-profit animal rescue group generally assists Florida law enforcement with animals that have been seized.

Happy Birthday, Cassius the Croc!

Om nom! Cassius the Croc, the world's largest crocodile in captivity, turned 110 this week. Just be thankful that you are not the cake:
Far North Queensland keepers of the world's largest saltwater crocodile in captivity sang the old croc Happy Birthday before giving him the 20kg meat cake topped with candles.
"He destroyed it in about 30 seconds," Marineland Melanesia croc wrangler Billy Craig said. "It's one of the biggest meals he's had - we decided to spoil him."
Cleo Fraser of NT News has the story: Here.

Dachshund Milo Is Lion's Best Friend - And Dentist

Milo is an 11-pound dachshund and Bonedigger is a 500-pound lion. But that didn't stop these two from becoming the best of friends. The 5-year-olds go way back. Joe Schreibvogel, an animal expert at the Garold Wayne Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma first introduced his four dachshund puppies to Bonedigger when the lion was just a 4-week-old cub.

A metabolic bone disease rendered Bonedigger mildly disabled, and Schreibvogel thinks that might have something to do with the friendly connection the animals formed.

Animal Pictures


Coyote and Pups by Doug Dance Nature Photography on Flickr.