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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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Today in History

1155   German-born Frederick I, Barbarossa, is crowned emperor of Rome.  
1667   The Dutch fleet sails up the Thames River and threatens London.  
1778   British troops evacuate Philadelphia.  
1812   The War of 1812 begins when the United States declares war against Great Britain.  
1815   At the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon is defeated by an international army under the Duke of Wellington.  
1863   After repeated acts of insubordination, General Ulysses S. Grant relieves General John McClernand during the siege of Vicksburg.  
1864   At Petersburg, Union General Ulysses S. Grant realizes the town can no longer be taken by assault and settles into a siege.  
1873   Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for attempting to vote for president.
1918   Allied forces on the Western Front begin their largest counter-attack yet against the German army. 1928   Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to cross the Atlantic by airplane.  
1936   Mobster Charles 'Lucky' Luciano is found guilty on 62 counts of compulsory prostitution.  
1942   The U.S. Navy commissions its first black officer, Harvard University medical student Bernard Whitfield Robinson.  
1944   The U.S. First Army breaks through the German lines on the Cotentin Peninsula and cuts off the German-held port of Cherbourg.  
1945   Organized Japanese resistance ends on the island of Mindanao.  
1951   General Vo Nguyen Giap ends his Red River Campaign against the French in Indochina.
1953   South Korean President Syngman Rhee releases Korean non-repatriate POWs against the will of the United Nations.  
1959   A Federal Court annuls the Arkansas law allowing school closings to prevent integration.  
1966   Samuel Nabrit becomes the first African American to serve on the Atomic Energy Commission.  
1979   President Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev sign the Salt II pact to limit nuclear arms.  
1983   Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.

Non Sequitur


Did you know ...

That the repugican cabal  really is committing suicide?

That the real story in the NSA scandal is the collapse of journalism

The wealthy aren't job-creators, middle class workers are

What would it cost to store all of America's phone calls?

The Internet Archive's Brewster Kahle has done the math on building a data-center that could hold all of America's voice-calls, and concluded that this it wouldn't quite fit within the $20M price-tag reported for Prism, though it's not far off.
These estimates show only $27M in capital cost, and $2M in electricity and take less than 5,000 square feet of space to store and process all US phonecalls made in a year.   The NSA seems to be spending $1.7 billion on a 100k square foot datacenter that could easily handle this and much much more.    Therefore, money and technology would not hold back such a project– it would be held back if someone did not have the opportunity or will.
Another study concluded about 4x my data estimates others have suggested the data could be compressed 10:1, and the power bill would be lower in Utah.  
Here's a shared spreadsheet with Kahle's calculations.

Supreme Court Rules Arizona Cannot Require Voters To Prove US Citizenship

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot on their own require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.
People walk past the U.S. Supreme Court building on June 13, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law.
Federal law “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court’s majority.
The court was considering the legality of Arizona’s requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “motor voter” registration law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which doesn’t require such documentation, trumps Arizona’s Proposition 200 passed in 2004.
Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.
“Today’s decision sends a strong message that states cannot block their citizens from registering to vote by superimposing burdensome paperwork requirements on top of federal law,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and lead counsel for the voters who challenged Proposition 200.
“The Supreme Court has affirmed that all U.S. citizens have the right to register to vote using the national postcard, regardless of the state in which they live,” she said.
The case focuses on Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee — have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating such legislation.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented from the court’s ruling.(Of course they did as wingnut hacks they want to limit citizens ability to vote).
The Constitution “authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied,” Thomas said in his dissent.
Opponents of Arizona’s law see it as an attack on vulnerable voter groups such as minorities, immigrants and the elderly. They say they’ve counted more than 31,000 potentially legal voters in Arizona who easily could have registered before Proposition 200 but were blocked initially by the law in the 20 months after it passed in 2004. They say about 20 percent of those thwarted were Latino.
But Arizona officials say they should be able to pass laws to stop illegal immigrants and other noncitizens from getting on their voting rolls. The Arizona voting law was part of a package that also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before voting.
The federal “motor voter” law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration, requires states to offer voter registration when a resident applies for a driver’s license or certain benefits. Another provision of that law — the one at issue before the court — requires states to allow would-be voters to fill out mail-in registration cards and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it doesn’t require them to show proof. Under Proposition 200, Arizona officials require an Arizona driver’s license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document, or the state will reject the federal registration application form.
Arizona can ask the federal government to include the extra documents as a state-specific requirement, Scalia said, and take any decision made by the government on that request back to court.
The case is 12-71, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.

Graham says immigration bill must pass for repugican cabal to survive, weeks after threatening to kill it

The repugican cabal’s biggest drama queen, repugican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, is changing his tune yet again on immigration reform.
Only a few weeks ago, Graham breathlessly claimed that any effort to include gay bi-national couples in the immigration bill would cause him to withdraw his support for the legislation, effectively killing it.  So Democrats threw gays under the bus, yet again refusing to include our number one immigration priority in the so-called “comprehensive” immigration reform bill in order to appease repugicans.
Some of us at the time had been arguing that the repugicans were bluffing; that the repugican cabal is desperate to get immigration reform passed in order to weaken the lock the Democratic party has on the Latino vote (a population on the rise in terms of its percentage of the electorate).  There is no way the repugican cabal is going to risk killing immigration reform for anything.  At least not the Senate repugicans.
And then yesterday, what happened?  Lindsey Graham pivoted on his stilettos and said I was right.  Graham is now claiming that the immigration bill simply must pass, because if it doesn’t pass, repugicans will lose the presidential election in 2016 and beyond.
“If we don’t pass immigration reform, if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn’t matter who we run in 2016,” [Graham] said. “We’re in a demographic death spiral as a cabal.
The only way we can get back in the good graces of the Hispanic community, in my view is pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
A demographic death spiral.  Sounds serious.  Sounds like the imminent demise of the repugican cabal.
So color me confused.  Is the immigration bill so insignificant that Lindsey Graham is going to kill the legislation in order to, among other reasons postulated, convince the tea party that he’s not gay?
Or does Lindsey Graham think that the immigration bill is a dagger pointed at the heart of the repugican cabal, and thus the bill simply must pass for the repugican cabal to survive?
And if the bill must pass for the Grepugican cabal to survive, does that mean that Lindsey Graham was willing to kill his own party in order to bash the gays as some kind of election-year beard?  Doubtful.
At least now we know the truth: Lindsey Graham has been living a lie.  And sadly, Democrats fell for it.
But the good news is that at least now we know we can put gay couples back in the immigration bill, since Lindsey Graham just admitted that without this immigration bill, the repugican cabal effectively dies a horrible death. Which would not be a bad thing.

How the christian Myth Overinflates the Religio-wingnut’s Sense of Self Importance

Jesus Constitution
Jesus Constitution
We have been seeing a lot lately of the fundamentalist christian self-identity of being a persecuted minority despite their own religion’s long history of persecuting every alternative to itself. Tied in with this persecution complex is an inflated sense of self-importance, which we also see manifested in their demand to have their own beliefs privileged over all others. In Pope Benedict XVI’s words, Truth triumphs over tolerance. How could it not?
Think of the Moral Majority, which was neither moral nor a majority. Think about Rand Paul’s speech this past week at Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to the Majority Conference.
Demographics will tell any discerning observer that there is no road for fundamentalist christianity that will lead to a majority in this country.
Think of the Ten Commandments posted everywhere. Their law code. Not, if you want a really early law code, the Code of Urukagina (c. 2380 BCE), or the Code of Ur-Nammu (c. 2050 BCE), or the well known Code of Hammurabi (c. 1790 BCE) but the Ten Commandments and only the Ten Commandments.
10 Commandments
Just as only their creation myth must be taught in schools. Not any of the older myths concerning the creation of the world. Just as only the bible must be taught in schools, not the quran, not the avesta. Not the sacred writings of any other religion. Science, where it contradicts the Bible, must be denigrated; the bible privileged.
Even over the Constitution.
You get how this works: only their views matter. If we disagree, we are persecuting them.
In the ancient world, of course, this arrogant sense of self-importance meant that everybody had to be persecuting the christians because of their paradigm-shattering arrival on the scene in first century Judaea. But just as with the claims of persecution, nothing could be further from the truth.
The christianity cult would have us believe that their religion exploded like a racehorse out of the gate onto the pages of history. This is not just fundamentalist history talking: this is the traditional tale we are all brought up to believe as christians. It’s the Good News.
How could anyone have ignored it?
It is a comfortable myth. After all, another myth, that of the moral superiority of christianity, depends upon but also justifies this belief. It is a circular argument but it’s the argument the cult has run with since the fourth century and they have gotten a lot of mileage out of it.
They continue to do so.
The more science proves religion unnecessary to morality and ethics, the more strident the claims that without christianity society collapses.
Fundamentalist christians are quite unable to imagine that not only jesus, but Peter and James and especially Paul, all failed to make an immediate and tremendous impact on their world. Surely even Caesar in far away Rome was aware of the monumental changes taking place half a continent away. Surely the foundations of the very empire were shaken by the events taking place half a continent away?
Not so much.
But christians wanted to believe this in the centuries to follow because if their religion was what they claimed it was, it had to be true: thus they invented such nonsense as the Paul-Seneca correspondence and the absurd fable of the emperor Tiberius’ conversion, in order to prove it; As Helmut Koester said, this was “history conforming to system.”
Which, of course, is David Barton’s game today.
The truth is, nobody in the ancient world seems even to have noticed. Philo, writing in nearby Alexandria noticed neither jesus’ ministry nor death, nor the activities of his followers. Pliny the Elder, writing from Rome about Palestine, wrote about the Essenes but does not seem to have been aware at all that Jesus had lived or that his followers were spilling out of Jerusalem like a kicked-over ant hill.
Apologists always turn to the Acts of the Apostles. But one of the problems with accepting Acts with its wildly inflated conversion rates is that any cult growing so rapidly would certainly have attracted the notice of – someone, anyone; and as modern historian of the cult W.H.C. Frend admited, nobody did.
Fortuitously, the first century of our era was full of Roman historians and biographers, not to mention Jewish authors like Josephus. A Roman, Pliny, in his Natural History, written just a generation after jesus died, devotes a section of his book to Palestine without so much as a mention of either jesus or christianity.
But he does make mention of the small sect of Essenes, who were not at all numerous in comparison to the claims made by christianity for itself in Acts (Pliny, Nat. Hist. 5:70 and for mention of Essenes, 5:73).
If it was christianity and not the Essenes who were attracting the thousands of converts Luke claims, why is it that the one attracts the notice of a Roman scholar and the other does not?
Neither is there an account of jesus to be found in either Suetonius (c. 75-c.130) or Tacitus (c. 56-c.117). The Stoic philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BCE-65 CE), tutor to Nero, also failed to mention jesus or the movement begun after his death by his disciples.
But we can also look closer to home, to Judaea’s near neighbor, Egypt. Philo, the great Jewish scholar of Alexandria – which must have had an early Christian community since the Apollos of Paul’s letters came from there – knows nothing about the christians.
Yet Philo lived until c. 50 CE, beyond the point at which Paul had begun his missionary travels and long after the point at which any christian community in Alexandria would have been established.
Had half or more of Jerusalem converted Philo would certainly have taken notice!
Instead, like Pliny, he discusses the Essenes and an obscure group called the Therapeutae, and even Pontius Pilate, but makes no mention of jesus – an astounding oversight if we are to believe christian propaganda about its own impact. This impact includes thousands of conversions in Jerusalem – Acts 2:41 gives us three thousand converts, and 21:20 ups the ante to “myriads” of converts among the Jews.
As German scholar Gerd Ludemann has helpfully pointed out, that is one baptism every 15 seconds over a 12-hour day!
Even closer to home, Jewish historian Justus of Tiberias, who lived in the second half of the first century, in surviving fragments of his works, make no mention of Jesus at all, or his followers, even though Justus himself, like jesus, hailed from Galilee. Surely if Justus had mentioned jesus, the early cult, so hard pressed to justify its belief in its savior, would have preserved his writings, or at least quoted the relevant sections.
It did not, and the silence is deafening.
Finally we come to Flavius Josephus (37-100), the famous Jewish historian who was a contemporary of Justus (and his enemy). Josephus is often referred to by christians as providing proof of jesus’ existence, since in his famous Testimonium Flavianum in Antiquities 18.3.3, he mentions jesus. But this passage is much disputed and scholars generally feel that at least part of it, if not the whole thing, is un-genuine.
One of the many (excellent) arguments against the validity of the Testimonium is that no single christian author before Eusebius in the fourth century makes mention of it, no matter how valuable such a resource would have been in making their case before the emperor and Pagan intellectuals like Celsus (who observed, by the way, that “at the start of their movement, they were very few in number”).
This list of silent apologists includes Justin Martyr (d. 165), Irenaeus (d. 202), Clement of Alexandria (d. circa 211-216), Tertullian (d. 230), Origen (d. 251), Cyprian (a well educated former pagan who died in 258), and Arnobius (d. 330). Jerome (d.420) who preserved for us what we have of Arnobius fails to mention him making any use of a Testimonium of Josephus, despite his writing an apology in seven books c. 303.
It is the notoriously unreliable and noted forger Eusebius alone to whom we owe our first reference to the Testimonium. Unsurprisingly, it has been suggested by some scholars that it was Eusebius himself who wrote the Testimonium.
But even if it is assumed to be genuine, Josephus, who otherwise closely examines the various Jewish sects, including the Essenes, Sadducees and Pharisees, presents us with no such study of christianity, which to judge from Acts must have dwarfed both the Sadducees and Essenes in sheer numbers of adherents.
Having grown up in Palestine in this period, one would expect him to have some familiarity with christianity but we get in the Testimonium only a mention of the “tribe of christians.”
Fortunately, scholars tend to deal more with facts that with wishful thinking. The wild claims in Acts (2:14-41 and 3) of conversions of three thousand and five thousand Jews respectively (and 21:20 ups the ante to “myriads” of converts among the Jews) cause Ehrman to quip, “At this rate, there won’t be any non-christians left in town.”
Gerd Ludemann also questions these outrageous claims, citing not only the improbability of 10% of Jerusalem’s population converting in a single day but also the logistics of baptizing so large a number. As Ludemann points out, that is one baptism every 15 seconds over a 12-hour day (Gerd Ludemann, Acts of the Apostles, 56).
Fundamentalist christians need to understand that the world did not begin with them and it will not end with them. In the absence of Mosaic law, the world got along just fine. It will get along just fine without Mosaic law because morality has scientific, not religious, origins. They see themselves as that essential ingredient that not only makes society possible but holds it together and they cannot grasp the possibility of a world without them.
But just as nobody noticed their arrival on the scene, nobody would notice their leaving. Except that it would be a lot quieter. And how nice would that be?

The repugicans Are The Number One Disease That Is Killing America

by Steve M. 

As most of you know, I have been in and out of treatment centers for addiction for over 16 years.  I am pretty confident that I can convince you that repugicanism falls into the category of being a disease as much as alcoholism/addiction, cancer, and diabetes.  I mean, lots of us have been saying that the repugicans are sick and that there is something completely wrong with the way they think. Republicans are at the very least, a major part of the mental health problem in America.
Disease: a harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of an organism. A diseased organism commonly exhibits signs or symptoms indicative of its abnormal state. Thus, the normal condition of an organism must be understood in order to recognize the hallmarks of disease. Nevertheless, a sharp.

So according to Encyclopedia Britannica, repugicans fall into being a disease pretty much every day. They are almost always a deviation of the structural and functional state of our great nation. Point in case, the 112th congress (which was controlled by repugs the majority of the time) did everything that they could to make the leader of our country look like an absolute failure. 
From: Definition of DISEASE condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms : sickness, malady a harmful development (as in a social institution) — dis·eased adjective From Merriam Webster we see more evidence that repugicans are a disease on American politics. The repugicans have definitely been practicing impaired "normal" functioning for a great many years now. Here are some examples: Mitt Romney claimed that "47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. … These are people who pay no income tax. … and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." (source)  I could go on for days and months with quotes on how repugicans impair normal functioning in American life. 

These words are from Thesaurus.com and in my opinion most, if not all of these words are synonymous with repugicanism. Ache, attack, blight, breakdown, bug*, cancer, canker, collapse, complaint, condition, contagion, contamination, convulsions, debility, decrepitude, defect, disorder, distemper, endemic, epidemic, feebleness, fever, fit, flu, hemorrhage, ill health, illness, indisposition, infection, infirmity, inflammation, malady, misery, pathosis, plague, sickliness, syndrome, temperature, unhealthiness, unsoundness, upset, virus.
I have been convinced for a long, long time that the repugican cabal is a disease on the American dream. Until these leeches start to see that they are the problem in American politics and start to admit that they are only infecting Americans with their backwards, selfish, greedy agendas, America can't move forward and become the great nation that we have the full potential to be.

The Latest Scandal

The repugicans sabotaging their own cabal

by Thomas Barr
You really have to wonder what’s going through the minds of repugican cabal leaders these days. What would possess a group of elected officials to sink to the depths repugicans have since last year’s election? Sure, they put forth a horrible presidential candidate who suffered a humiliating loss at the polls, but they still maintained most of their power in the House of Representatives and filibuster capabilities in the Senate (thanks, Harry Reid). But instead of using that power to work on bipartisan (excuse my language, I know that’s a dirty word) legislation which would benefit the country they claim to love, they’ve decided to start a mass exodus from reality into a bizarre pseudo-existence.
If you’re a registered repglican or a wingnut who usually votes for repugicans, you should be truly concerned for the sanity and future of your elected officials and your cabal as a whole. You might not know it or even agree with my statement due to Faux News overload on your brain, but take a deep breath and give this some thought. Your cabal has echoed a chorus of Benghazi conspiracies for the past several months, culminating in a supposed bombshell email leak to ABC News which “exposed” administration officials as being concerned only with how they’d look to the public. This, of course, turned out to be fabricated garbage which was fed to ABC by repugicans who maliciously edited the original emails (which have since been released to the public by the White House). So your whole Benghazi conspiracy which has been pushed nonstop for months, turned out to be so full of crap that repugicans felt they needed to fabricate emails to make their case. If you’re a wingnut, you should be disgusted and calling for investigations into that.
So the Benghazi tragedy was spun into political theater by repugicans who had nothing, could find nothing, and ended up having to fabricate “evidence” just to try to make President Obama and the administration look bad. Did they not think the administration still had access to the actual emails? Did they not think the truth would come out? Was one or two days of, “See, I told you he was the boogeyman!” really worth being exposed for the frauds they are? You genuinely should be questioning the sanity of these people who’ve been pushing this nonsense — and the really scary thing is, most of them still are pushing it, even after being exposed.
Now you have them trying desperately to weave new “scandals” in and make them all seem even more serious. The IRS was diligent in reviewing the tax-free status of tea party groups — it’s all Obama’s fault! Funny how these same people seem to have no problem with the Citizen’s United decision and the millions of dollars in shadow money flowing into political campaigns. Where’s the outrage against that coming from the wingnuts? Oh, I know where it is — it’s directed toward people like George Soros who are known to give to liberal organizations and Democratic campaigns, while they’re perfectly fine with the Koch brothers giving far more to wingnut “nonprofits” like Americans for Prosperity. Just look at the last election cycle for proof. Sure, George Soros funneled in a few million, but he was vastly outspent by Charles and David Koch. Even the unknown third Koch brother, William, came close to outspending Soros in a completely legal attempt to buy the election.
Give me a break. Do you honestly expect the average American to care about the IRS being more diligent with your so-called “nonprofits,” when you’ve been unmitigated in your hypocrisy when it comes to political nonprofits and shadow money in politics? The IRS is an easy “boogeyman” to attack, but you’re playing with fire either way because we’re not buying the outrage.
Now the AP records seizure does deserve to be scrutinized, in my opinion, as it poses some real questions as to why the Justice Department couldn’t have handled it more appropriately. But let’s not forget that it was repugicans in the Senate who blocked the shield law which may have prevented it from being legal in the first place, when they filibustered the legislation back in 2008. Golly, repugicans filibustering common sense legislation — who would’ve guessed it?
Then of course we have the utterly ridiculous outrage over “Umbrella-gate,” which quite frankly is so pathetic you’d think it came from The Onion’s vault of stories that didn’t quite make the cut. This epitomizes what it’s like when a political cabal literally has nothing left to attack — their minds have become so deluded from years of fabricated outrage and lies about the President that they’ve completely gone off the deep end. It’s actually gone from being comical to just plain sad how far gone some of these people have become.
You see, the American voting public isn’t buying into this pseudo-outrage, as shown in President Obama’s latest Gallup job approval poll. He hasn’t gone down in approval as the repugican cabal has been ramping up their outrage over the past week — he’s actually gone up 3% and back above 50% overall.
Let me clue repugicans in on something, since they obviously either don’t understand it or don’t want to admit it — most of your constituents care about real issues, not fake outrage. Constantly feeding the scandal jukebox quarter after quarter isn’t going to force us to enjoy your tunes, it only serves to accelerate the process of blocking them out as white noise. Especially when you’re shamelessly disregarding your own hypocrisy, or even worse, blatantly making things up and trying to pass them off as fact.
The repugicans are brazenly sabotaging their own cabal, and if I were a wingnut voter (perish the thought) I would be genuinely outraged. When they’re not busy wasting time and taxpayer money holding symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare, they’ve been busy monotonously beating the scandal drum nonstop in the hopes that it will suddenly resonate with a tired public who’s sick of hearing it. Meanwhile, both President Obama and Hillary Clinton have seen their approval ratings either stay steady or go up significantly. At this rate, repugicans are in danger of not only losing the House in 2014, but not even having a chance at the presidency in 2016. It’s a long way off and pure speculation, but one thing is for certain — repubgicans seem completely content with scripting their own demise. And that is the true “scandal” which should be headlining Faux News.

Teen ticketed for trash talking and other weird weekend arrests

Photo Source: MGN Online One teen paid the price for foul language, while a handful of others ended up in handcuffs for unusual arrests.
Davoris Ronald Howie from Winston Salem, NC was allegedly yelling ‘get the [expletive] out of my way' from his window while driving down Ocean Blvd, according one police report.
Thirty-year-old Daniel Alexander Buchanan was arrested for the same thing. His arrest report said he was dropping F-bombs from the eighth floor hotel balcony around 3:30 am, in protest to the arrest of his friend.
And when 26-year-old Brett Alan Butler was asked to stop revving his motorcycle engine, the arrest report shows he became loud and began using vulgar language in front of tourists and young children. Now, Butler is facing charges of Disorderly Conduct.
Thirty-year-old Bruce Bernard Chinn was also asked to stop swearing five times, according to his arrest report. Officers were originally responding for a room eviction, but ended up charging Chinn for his profanities.
Being in the roadway is dangerous with all the tourist traffic on Ocean Boulevard. Especially if you are intoxicated. According to an arrest report, that is why 37-year-old Travis Lyle Musselwhite is facing charges for Public Intoxication. An officer saw him standing in the middle of Ocean Blvd asking cars if they had any marijuana.
Just after midnight, another man, 20-year-old Tevin Rashad Horton was arrested after dancing in the roadway. Around the same time, 24 year old Lisa Denise Snubbs was arrested for the same thing.
Stumbling along the strip could make you a danger to yourself. But what about standing still?
Justin King was arrested for refusing to move along and blocking pedestrian traffic, according to another police report. He then seemed to change his mind about moving when police went to arrest him, because he took off running.
Down the block, another man ran from police, but the problem was what he left behind; a naked woman. Twenty-one-year-old Grace Marie McEvoy is facing charges for Disorderly Conduct after police were flagged down in reference to people having sex on the beach, according to the police report. The officer found McEvoy standing on the beach completely naked, but her male half ran off.
This morning, another man was arrested for similar behavior. Nineteen-year-old Devin Drake Cox is facing charges of ‘Public Exposure of Specified Anatomical Parts' after an officer found the North Carolina teen laying in the sand with his pants down, exposing his buttocks.
Just hours after getting out for public intoxication, two men ended up back in the slammer to sober up. Lifeguards called police to say there were heavily intoxicated men surrounded by empty beer cans on the beach, the report says. Nicholas Ray Bailey was passed out drunk on the beach, to the point where the lifeguard supervisor had to use smelling salts to wake him up. The supervisor told police he basically had to carry Bailey off the beach.
Meanwhile, the same report shows Daniel Jacob Ridenhour was making vulgar comments to a patrons' girlfriends and several people approached lifeguards about their behavior.
When police arrived, Bailey begged them not to take him to jail, because he and his friend Ridenhour had been arrested for Public Intoxication the night before and had just been released.
These arrests occurred on Ocean Boulevard within the Myrtle Beach City limits.

LAX TSA officer shames my 15-year-old daughter for her outfit

by Mark Frauenfelder 

This morning, a TSA officer at LAX humiliated and shamed my 15-year-old daughter. She is traveling with a group of high school students on a college tour and we were not with her when he verbally abused her.
Here's what happened, as my daughter described it in text messages to us: she was at the station where the TSA checks IDs. She said the officer was "glaring" at her and mumbling. She said, "Excuse me?" and he said, "You're only 15, COVER YOURSELF!" in a hostile tone. She said she was shaken up by his abusive manner.
I'm including the above photo of the outfit my daughter was wearing when the TSA officer shamed her. It doesn't matter what she was wearing, though, because it's none of his business to tell girls what they should or should not wear. His creepy thoughts are his own problem, and he shouldn't use his position of authority as an excuse to humiliate a girl and blame her for his sick attitude.
Our friend, Maureen Herman, dropped by our house today and we told her what happened. Maureen is the bass player for Babes in Toyland, the executive Director of Project Noise, and a co-founder of A is For, a women's rights advocacy group. She wrote the following response on Facebook, and it neatly sums up why this TSA officer's behavior is very wrong:
Absolutely inappropriate, harassing, aggressive, creepy, unprofessional, and Taliban-y thing that he did. "Cover up" is a dangerous cultural attitude that fuels more than rude comments. It's the foundation of the oppression of women, rape culture ("she was asking for it"), and the drive for reproductive control of women's bodies.
Hillary Clinton puts it well:
"Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn't matter what country they're in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies.
Yes, it is hard to believe but even here at home we have to stand up for women's rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us because America needs to set an example for the entire world."
Well said, Maureen and Hillary.
My wife and I met with the TSA at LAX and they are opening an investigation. The supervising officer we met with, Officer Murphy, was apologetic, concerned, and professional. He cc'd me on his incident report to his manager and it looks like they are taking this seriously, which is good to know.
I'll keep you posted.
UPDATE: Maureen wrote an excellent post about this on the A is For blog.

Men in Toronto Mayor Rob Ford photo arrested in gang sweep

Toronto police carried out a series of dramatic raids on alleged gang-members across the city in Friday. They raided 15 Windsor Rd, a run-down and notorious bungalow that is also noteworthy for providing the backdrop against which Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford was photographed, arms around three men -- two of whom were arrested in the sweep, the third of whom was murdered in an apparent drug-related slaying. The photo of Ford was provided by the now-unlocatable gentlemen who offered to sell the Toronto Star and Gawker a video of the mayor allegedly smoking crack.
The mayor reportedly told his staff that he knew where the video was, and gave an address in a high rise in the suburb of Etobicoke (that unit was also raided in the sweeps), but insisted to the press that the video didn't exist at all. Many have speculated that the mayor or his representatives arranged to have the video deleted. However, given that at least one computer was seized in the raids, it's possible that the may yet surface.
In the meantime, we're left with the mayor palling around with men whom the police consider to be members of organised crime; a Globe and Mail investigation that accused the mayor's brother, Councillor Doug Ford, of having served as one of Toronto's top drug dealers in the 1980s, and a mayor who refuses to directly address important questions about his conduct:
Kassim, 20, was arrested in the raids Thursday and has been charged with trafficking in weapons and drugs (cocaine and marijuana) for the benefit of a criminal organization. He also faces charges of conspiracy to commit unauthorized possession of a firearm, breach of house arrest, and theft under $5,000.
His longtime friend, Muhammad Khattak, also flanking the mayor in the photo, was charged with participating in cocaine trafficking for the benefit of a criminal organization and trafficking in marijuana.
Police officers carried evidence bags, including what appeared to be a Toshiba laptop, out of the 19-year-old’s home on Mercury Rd. Thursday.
Khattak was wounded in the same March shooting that killed the third man in the photo, Anthony Smith.

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How 8 Famous Writers Chose Their Pen Names

Some pen names are fairly well-known for what they are. Most people know that Mark Twain was the alias of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The outing of Richard Bachman as a pen name used by Stephen King was well-publicized and inspired King's novel, The Dark Half.

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Is Spaghetti and Meatballs an Italian Dish?

It seems like a silly question, as we tend to think of spaghetti and meatballs as an Italian feast. But like many Chinese-American recipes, what we eat in the U.S. is quite different from what you'll find in the old country.
If you go to Italy, you will not find a dish called spaghetti and meatballs. And if you do, it is probably to satisfy the palate of the American tourist. So if not Italy, where does this dish come from? Meatballs in general have multiple creation stories all across the world from köttbullars in Sweden to the various köftes in Turkey. Yes, Italy has its version of meatballs called polpettes, but they differ from their American counterpart in multiple ways. They are primarily eaten as a meal itself (plain) or in soups and made with any meat from turkey to fish. Often, they are no bigger in size than golf balls; in the region of Abruzzo, they can be no bigger in size than marbles and called polpettines.
So there are meatballs in Italy. And marinara sauce. And spaghetti noodles. But combining them was a process made in America. Read about how Italians immigrants in the U.S. developed the spaghetti and meatballs we grew up on. More

Daily Comic Relief

Monday, June 17

Global cooling as significant as global warming

A “cold snap” 116 million years ago triggered a similar marine ecosystem crisis to those witnessed in the past as a result of global warming, according to research published today in Nature Geoscience. The international [...]

Building Block for Life Found in Mars Meteorite

Scientists have found a potential building block for life in a Martian meteorite recovered from Antarctica.

The Crash of Yuri Gagarin

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Controllers sever all communications with Europe's billion-euro Herschel space telescope, formally bringing to a close the observation phase of the mission.

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Monday, June 17

'Indestructible' Animal Inspires Safest House

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The Lost World

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