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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Daily Drift

USA wins in World Cup play...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

For those interested: In World Cup play The United States bested Ghana 2- 1: Germany bested Portugal 4 - 0 and Iran and Nigeria played to a 0 - 0 tie in play on the fifth day of the tourney.

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Today  is - Root Beer Day

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Today in History

362 Emperor Julian issues an edict banning christians from teaching in Syria.
1579 Sir Francis Drake claims San Francisco Bay for England.
1775 The British take Bunker Hill outside of Boston, after a costly battle.
1799 Napoleon Bonaparte incorporates Italy into his empire.
1848 Austrian General Alfred Windischgratz crushes a Czech uprising in Prague.
1854 The Red Turban revolt breaks out in Guangdong, China.
1856 The Republican Party opens its first national convention in Philadelphia.
1861 President Abraham Lincoln witnesses Dr. Thaddeus Lowe demonstrate the use of a hot-air balloon.
1863 On the way to Gettysburg, Union and Confederate forces skirmish at Point of Rocks, Maryland.
1872 George M. Hoover begins selling whiskey in Dodge City, Kansas–a town which had previously been "dry."
1876 General George Crook's command is attacked and bested on the Rosebud River by 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Crazy Horse.
1912 The German Zeppelin SZ 111 burns in its hangar in Friedrichshafen.
1913 U.S. Marines set sail from San Diego to protect American interests in Mexico.
1917 The Russian Duma meets in secret session in Petrograd and votes for an immediate Russian offensive against the German Army.
1924 The Fascist militia marches into Rome.
1926 Spain threatens to quit the League of Nations if Germany is allowed to join.
1930 The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill becomes law, placing the highest tariff on imports to the United States.
1931 British authorities in China arrest Indochinese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.
1932 The U.S. Senate defeats the Bonus Bill as 10,000 veterans mass around the Capitol.
1940 The Soviet Union occupies Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
1942 Yank a weekly magazine for the U.S. armed services, begins publication.
1944 French troops land on the island of Elba in the Mediterranean.
1950 Surgeon Richard Lawler performs the first kidney transplant operation in Chicago.
1953 Soviet tanks fight thousands of Berlin workers rioting against the East German government.
1963 The U.S. Supreme Court bans the required reading of the Lord's prayer and Bible in public schools.
1965 27 B-52s hit Viet Cong outposts, but lose two planes in South Vietnam.
1970 North Vietnamese troops cut the last operating rail line in Cambodia.
1972 Five men are arrested for burglarizing Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.
1994 Millions of Americans watch former football player O.J. Simpson–facing murder charges–drive his Ford Bronco through Los Angeles, followed by police.

Non Sequitur


Bill Maher Says What The Media Won’t: The Only Way repugicans Win Is By Cheating

Bill Maher called out repugicans and said what the media won’t. The repugican cabal can only win elections by cheating.
Maher said, “Let’s be honest. repugicans, the only way they win is they cheat. They cheat, and they stop people from voting. I mean, if you’re voting on a Tuesday. It’s a work day. It’s a horrible day to vote. Why can’t we do it on our phone? That’s such an anachronism that we actually have to go to a place on a work day. It’s ridiculous. We bank with our phone. I mean, if you made it easy, this country would look so different.
In the same segment, Maher pointed out that, with the defeat of Eric Cantor, all 278 repugicans in Congress are christians and 277 of them are white. The demographics that make up the repugican cabal are the same reason why repugicans are trying to make it more difficult to vote. The only way they can win is by keeping the electorate small and made up of older white wingnuts.
Making it easier to vote, by allowing people to vote electronically, would render all of the tactics that repugicans are using to suppress Election Day turnout obsolete. If all working people in this country could vote with their phones, turnout would increase exponentially. Younger people are more likely to adopt technology early so electronic voting would cause the turnout among the young to soar. Older Americans who don’t drive, or have physical limitations would no longer have to worry about getting to the polls on Election Day.
One of the great voter suppression efforts that have gone unrecognized is the barriers to voting that disabled Americans are faced with. According to a 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office, 73% of the nation’s polling places have partial or total physical impediments that make voting difficult or impossible for those with disabilities. According to the Census, 56.7 million people, or 19% of the population, has a disability. This means that one in five Americans could be potentially having their vote suppressed because of polling place barriers to voting.
Bill Maher was correct. The country’s politics would look vastly different if it were easier to vote. Some people will not vote no matter how easy it is, but the name of the game for repugicans is making sure that as many people as possible don’t vote.
The media won’t say it, but voter fraud is a myth. The mainstream press likes to discuss the electorate while conveniently ignoring repugican attempts to suppress the vote. The repugicans can’t win unless they cheat, and they will continue to try to shrink the vote until the media stops ignoring the problem.

Random Celebrity Photos

While Clamoring For War, repugicans Ignore Positive Obamacare News

As repugicans once again try to besmirch Obama's foreign policy, they willfully ignored a week full of positive Obamacare news. Is anyone surprised?
As the old repugican saying goes, “No news is good news. Except when there is actual good news, make sure no one hears about it.”

It has been a tried and true formula ever since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Whenever any kind of good news comes up, repugicans immediately either try to 1) disprove it, by using either shoddy or fake statistics combined with anecdotes or 2) immediately find something else to criticize, often times using the term “scandal” in front of the issue even if the issue originated under the shrub junta. Like clockwork, repugicans have employed this strategy and unfortunately for us, the mainstream media has gobbled it up, ignoring any positive news and instead focusing on the multiple wild goose chases that repugicans have led us on over the past five and a half years.

This week, we saw a prime example of this strategy in action. The early part of the news week was dominated by the stunning defeat of Eric Cantor in his repugican primary. Rather than admit that Cantor was seen as one of the major reasons of the gridlock in Washington, wingnuts immediately piled it on Cantor claiming he was out of touch with the cabal and that his views on immigration were out of line with those of the people in Virginia’s 7th district. Never mind the fact that 72% of the people in Cantor’s district actually support immigration reform, this was the narrative that the wingnut media put out there for all to see. The government shutdown, the multiple votes to defund the Affordable Care Act, and the inability of the House to pass any meaningful legislation had no effect on Cantor’s ousting. Yet his views on immigration, those were clearly the straws that broke the camel’s back.

While that news died down, much to repugicans relief, it was another story that gave them a prime opportunity to attack the President: The recent events in Iraq. As Iraq descends into more and more sectarian violence and massive infighting, repugicans have used the situation to paint President Obama as a weak leader with a disastrous foreign policy. Chief among his critics has been war chickenhawk John McCain who has yet to support any foreign policy issue that didn’t automatically require American boots on the ground. This week, McCain had the gall to suggest that the Obama administration actually pulled defeat from the jaws of victory by withdrawing troops in 2011 and that Obama’s entire national security team should be fired. In John McCain’s fairytale world, the only thing that ensures peace is having a forceful and massive military presence in the country at all times.

Of course, John McCain and his repugican colleagues will never be sending their own children to war so who better than them to make policy decisions for the American soldiers and their families?

With repugicans on the offensive like that, you can only imagine that there must be some kind of positive news that they didn’t want the average American voter to hear about. And it just so happens that that news came out in bunches and happens to involve repugicans’ kryptonite: The Affordable Care Act. We are only halfway into the month of June and yet repugicans have already been given a hearty dose of heartache due to the ACA’s successes this month. In separate reports that came out this week it was revealed that in every state so far, more insurers are asking to participate in state exchanges, it was estimated that roughly 90% of ACA enrollees have paid their first month’s premium, the growth of Medicare was shown to be slowing, and of course the devastating news that 66% of Americans want to keep Obamacare.

All this positive news has gotten repugicans shaking in their boots.

So of course, rather than lick their wounds and cut their losses they continue to attack the President. The repugicans know that the Affordable Care Act will continue to be a huge political success for the Obama Administration. Despite their constant fear-mongering, lies, misinformation, and even a government shutdown, the program has and will continue to help benefit some of the most vulnerable in our society. It is a testament to the fact that government programs can, and should, help everyday Americans in their struggles. Like Social Security and Medicare, people will come to depend upon the Affordable Care Act, especially as our country moves toward a single-payer system.

The problem for repugicans is that they have an entire political cabal who is on record as having not supported the program. You can see it in the initial votes to enact the legislation. You can see it in the repeated attempts to repeal the law. You can see it in a presidential nominee running to abolish the program even though it was his home state that gave a blueprint for the program in the first place. The ACA is a Democratic victory. Every bit of good news is a reflection of a determined President, his administration, and the Democratic Party which needed every single one of its members to support the legislation or else it would have not succeeded. The repugicans were on the wrong side of history once again and rather than own their mistake, they are insisting upon changing the subject in hopes that the American people will forget all about the previous five and a half years. And yet, for repugicans the truth will always be remembered by the American people. They will ultimately be undone by this one simple fact:

No matter how many times they change the subject, repugicans cannot change the past.

The repugicans Blame Obama For Iraq When It Was the shrub Who Signed The Agreement to Leave

What any of the repugicans blaming Obama for pulling American troops out of Iraq in 2011 should remember, is that in October 2008 the shrub was pretending to be president…
It is too bad repugicans lack any semblance of a memory dating back to before America invaded and conquered Iraq because the shrub junta saw an opportunity to enrich Dick Cheney’s company and kill muslims. If they did, they would see a relatively stable region where Iran was not the dominant force in the area, radical muslims were not attempting to overthrow Syria, Iraqi Sunni and Shia Muslims lived in peace in the same neighborhoods, and the idea of an Iraqi civil war was remote. However, repugicans can hardly remember what they lied about yesterday much less what the shrub did thirteen years ago, so it is typical that they find no issue blaming the current situation in Iraq on President Obama.
What any of the repugicans blaming Obama for pulling American troops out of Iraq in 2011 should remember, is that in October 2008  the shrub was pretending to be president when the Status of Forces Agreement was drafted and ratified by Iraqi lawmakers a month later in November 2008. The pertinent part of the agreement that President Obama honored was that, “All the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011.” Still, repugicans are assailing the President for abandoning Iraq they were fully prepared to continue occupying in perpetuity, and forget that besides the shrub, an ill-advised strategy by former repugican man-god General David Patraeus mishandling of the so-called “surge” that created the militant insurgency threatening to completely tear Iraq apart and finish completely destabilizing the region the shrub’s invasion started eleven years ago.
The sectarian war raging in Iraq today is the result of America’s allegedly successful effort to contain sectarian violence in Iraq through the so-called “surge” that is the reason for what is becoming a devastating and uncontrollable civil war in Iraq. It is important to remember that part and parcel of General David Patraeus’ strategy in the “surge” was arming and paying Iraqi Sunnis to assist Americans on the one hand, and the other allowing Iraqi Shias to cleanse entire neighborhoods of Sunnis who are now waging an insurgent war against government forces. Some of the arms the insurgency is using are holdover “gifts” Patraeus showered on them that were used in Syria and now Iraq. There is a reason Iran supports Iraq’s government forces and called on Shias to fight with Iraq’s national army and put down former Iraqi Sunnis who were attacked viciously by the majority Iraqi Shias during the American occupation. It is true that some of the blame clearly falls on Iraqi leader Maliki for religious sectarianism targeting Sunnis since before the insurgency began in earnest, and now the entire nation is paying a heavy price.
Iraqi leader Maliki, a Shia Muslim, has been heavily criticized for pursuing security policies that alienated ordinary Sunnis, such as sweeps that rounded up hundreds of men, innocent and guilty alike, and the arrest of the wives of suspected militants. According to a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and now a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, James Jeffrey said, “they (Maliki’s army) had lost the support of the people because they had a sectarian policy, and I saw it with my own eyes.” No doubt many of the militants are driven by revenge and retribution for being driven out of their homes and massacred by the government under majority Shia control with assistance from Americans who failed to protect minority Sunnis on orders from Patraeus.
What is happening in Iraq is a continuation of the sectarian religious war, or civil war if it pleases, that began after America invaded and upset the balance that Saddam Hussein presided over. It is true Saddam was a tyrant, but there was relative calm and cooperation between minority Sunnis and Bathists in control of the government and the majority Shia population. After America overthrew Saddam’s government and installed a Shia majority, not only did predominately Shia Iran rise to power, Iraqi Shias embarked on a crusade to eradicate Sunnis and exact retribution against ordinary Sunnis. Now the shoe is on the other foot and seeing the gravity of the situation, Iraq’s Shiite religious authorities issued statements in support of the Shiite-dominated Iraqi army. The top Shiite spiritual leader in the world, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani gave his support to “the sons within the Iraqi security forces,” and a representative for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, urged Shiites to join the security forces to combat Sunni militants.
For their part, the militants are not out to massacre Iraqis and took care to warn off citizens from the danger of impending battles. Residents said when militants entered populated areas, “They greeted us, and when they saw that we were scared they said, ‘We are not here to fight you. Just stay away and do not interfere. We are here to fight Maliki’s army, not you.’”
Whatever is happening, or will happen, in Iraq is a direct and irrefutable result of America’s invasion and poorly administered war of occupation. None of the blame rests with the troops sent to fight and die in a completely unnecessary war of American aggression, any more than it is Barack Obama’s fault for honoring the agreement the shrub brokered in 2008 to withdraw American forces by December 2011.
Saddam Hussein may have been a tyrant, but while he was in power Sunnis and Shias were not involved in a sectarian religious war, Iran was not a regional power, and Syria was not threatened by Islamic extremists and civil war. The repugicans learned absolutely nothing from the Iraq War debacle except that it was not white guy shrub’s fault and like everything else they screwed up during their eight year reign of terror, they blame the African American man in the White House.

Bobby Jindal Signs Latest Blow in War on Women in Louisiana cult

America becomes less America and more Afghanistan with each passing day repugicans remain in control at any level of government.…
So Bobby Jindal not only signed oppressive new abortion restrictions, he signed them in a CULT, signaling not only his alignment in the war on women, but in the war on the United States Constitution.
MSNBC’s Irin Carmoon reported Thursday,
At a baptist cult today, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal signed into law legislation requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The legislation is also expected close several legal abortion clinics.
Amy Irvin, board member of the New Orleans Abortion Fund, which helps low income women access abortion, told msnbc the law would restore a “pre-Roe v. Wade condition.”
So there you go. To paraphrase Davey Crocket, Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court, all you all can go to hell. we’re going to the 1950s.
Oh, and we’re going to use the Constitution as toilet paper.
No, the First Amendment isn’t even a passing fancy in Louisiana. Deborah Foster has already introduced us to the law Jindal signed – HB 388 – which will make Jindal and his cronies accessories to murder, but now the Louisiana governor is thumbing his nose at the First Amendment’s restrictions on the establishment of religion.
Will Red States legislatures start holding their sessions in churches now, just to rub it in against everyone who dares to be something other than fake christians like them?
The pretense of the law, of course, is that it will protect women. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Medical Association (AMA) begs to differ. And they would know, wouldn’t they?
I mean, repugicans are not scientists. Just ask them.
Only an idiot doesn’t see what is really going on here, and what truly motivates these religious terrorists, and it isn’t a concern for women, unless that concern is limited to what women do with their vaginas.
It’s a shame they don’t have a matching concern for what men do with their penises.
And these oppressive Taliban-like laws are spreading. America becomes less America and more Afghanistan with each passing day repugicans remain in control at any level of government.
And they say they’re patriots.
If they were patriots, wouldn’t they avoid casting themselves as Talibangelicals and try harder to be Americans? To actually read the United States Constitution, not just use it as a handy noun? To support the idea every Amendment counts, not just the Second or Tenth, and that those amendments, especially the First, apply to everybody, and not just their conception of christian?
Keep wishing. They have declared war on women, on the U.S. Constitution, on minorities, on children, on education, on the environment – on America itself. They want to turn our country into some pissant backwater, good ole boy old testament theocracy where only one page in ten of the bible is actually read and only one page in ten of that is understood.
And they are doing it. Before our eyes.
The South is just their test case but it’s hardly the only case. We have already been introduced to the idea that judges have to obey so-called “biblical law” rather than the actual law. You know, the United States Constitution.
That’s not to minimize the South’s descent into the 13th century:
As the ACLU explains,
The Louisiana laws are part of a nationwide plan to pass restrictions that will shut down women’s health centers and prevent women from accessing safe and legal abortions. In addition to the Texas law, Mississippi, Alabama, and Wisconsin have recently passed similar laws. Those laws have been challenged. Trial in the Alabama case started on May 19, and the Wisconsin case began on May 27. The Mississippi law, which would force the only remaining clinic in the state to close, was argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 28. The Oklahoma legislature passed and sent a similar admitting privileges bill to the governor.
If they pull this off, Lincoln wasted his time at Gettysburg and the most costly war in American history was all for naught.
And this isn’t the only blow coming the way of Louisiana women, and after them, the women of every state in the Union. As the Times-Picayune reports,
House Bill 305, sponsored by Rep. Frank Hoffman, r-West Monroe, would prohibit abortion providers or their affiliates, including Planned Parenthood, to instruct or distribute information on health related issues, such as sex eduction [sic], at public or charter schools.
Bobby Jindal is proud as he can be of his status of patriarch:
I am proud to sign these bills because they will help us continue to protect women and the life of the unborn in our state. These new laws will give women the health and safety protections they deserve and continue to make Louisiana a state that values individual human life.
Right. Health and safety protections. And the mental hygiene polices – not to mention the feminine hygiene police – in every woman’s vagina. Because, it’s not like Louisiana has any real problems Jindal could be spending his time fixing.
I mean, it’s not like Louisiana ranks 48th on a list of 50 of states most dependent on the federal government or anything. As we all know, Red States are moocher states.
And repugicans want us to subsidize their War on Women.
Jindal and his cronies don’t want their tax dollars spent on abortions but they want our tax dollars spent on them. And he’s using those tax dollars to turn American women into residents of Kabul, while the men party in Las Vegas.

Indiana repugican: 'No One Has the Guts' to Let the Poor 'Wither and Die'

A repugican in Indiana has once again proven just how much disdain the repugican cabal has for the poor by saying one of the most disgusting things about them that I've ever heard.
During an online discussion about poverty, repugican John Johnston said of the poor, "no one has the guts to just let them wither and die."
But to grasp just how much Johnston hates the poor, you really need to see his comments in their full context.
"For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts," Johnston said. "They have been 'enabled' so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager."
"What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life to them never-the-less," he continued. "No one has the guts to just let them wither and die. No one who wants votes is willing to call a spade a spade. As long as the Dems can get their votes the enabling will continue. The repugicans need their votes and dare not cut the fiscal tether. It is really a political Catch-22."
But Johnston didn't stop there, "The voters are the ones in charge.  However when only 10-11 percent show up to vote, not much will change. People simply are not hurting enough, or simply happy enough that they will do nothing. Consequently the dole continues."

The truth be told

A muslim reporter describes being ridiculed at the Texas repugican cabal convention

A delegate wears a decorated hat during the Texas GOP convention. (Getty, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)The Texas repugican cabal's annual convention ended a week ago, but it’s still managing to make headlines.
The repugican cabal gathering first attracted national attention by fast-tracking a new platform that includes endorsing “reparative therapy” for gays. Some of the repugicans in attendance had hoped to address the matter, but the anti-gay topic was never allowed to come up for debate.
Now, a reporter who was covering the convention says she was targeted and taunted because of her Muslim headdress.
Heba Said, a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington, is the opinion editor of the school paper, The Shorthorn. The 22-year-old said she applied for media credentials and attended the convention hoping to share with her readers what it was like to sit in on panel discussions with delegates.
Instead, Said writes, “I discovered a cult-like hatred that is simply disgusting.” From her report:
As I walked through the halls, people stopped in their tracks and frowned and shook their heads at me. Panelists threw the word “islamist” around as if it were perfectly OK, and one man even asked if I felt alone at a meeting. I was referred to as “you people” and “y’all muslims” more times than I can count. The worst part was the way delegates looked at me, as if I were something to fear when I approached them.
“I did not observe any of this," said Steve Munisteri, Texas repugican cabal chairwimp. “I never heard a single anti-muslim statement, and I never saw any anti-muslim activity.”
Munisteri said to Yahoo News in an interview that this year's meeting drew 10,000 participants, and that everyone was expected to "treat their fellow delegates and guests with respect and civility.”
“Is it possible that some knucklehead said something that was mean-spirited to somebody? Sure,” he said. “Would the state cabal ever condone that? Absolutely not.”
Heba Said on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. (The Shorthorn/Adrian Gandara)
Heba Said on the University of Texas at Arlington campus.

The tea party star Ted Cruz made an appearance and snapped pictures with supporters. Said wanted to capture a few photos of the U.S. senator from Texas as well, but instead she had to worry about being profiled by police.
I found five police officers behind me, hands on holsters watching me intently. Armed with a press badge and an iPhone, I turned to them held up my media credentials and asked if I could help them with something, as my heart tried to escape my chest. They did not respond but broke up into groups of two and continued watching me. If I was the biggest threat at that convention, then I must be seriously underestimating myself.
Said will graduate next year with a degree in political science and a minor in Arabic. She intends on going to either law school or graduate school, and has aspirations to become a political correspondent.
“Because this happened, it means that there’s not enough diversity out there,” Said said. “It’s encouraged me.”
During a session on ways the repugican cabal can bolster efforts to reach religious minority groups, Said finally spoke up and asked about their interest in muslim voters.
After discussing with one candidate whether there were muslim outreach plans, I almost didn’t feel like I was allowed to be American, as if what he said stripped me from my American identity. He asked me where I was from. When I responded, “Texas,” he asked me where I was really from, as if there were no way it could possibly be from Texas.
“On my mom’s side I’m thirteenth generation American,” she said.
The theme for this year’s convention was “Fight to Keep Texas Red.” Based on their reported actions, you have to wonder if a few of the repugicans are now red-faced to boot.

While Talking About Wingnut Extremism in Europe, Let’s Not Forget Our Own

It’s interesting that the American mainstream media can report on the rise of wingnut extremism in Europe, or discuss it in terms of radical islam in the Middle East, without connecting it to on our own wingnut extremists.
France has the Front National. Germany the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). Italy the “Forza Nuova” (New Force). Britain the British National Party (and there’s even a move afoot to revive Oswald Moseley’s 1930s fascist movement). The United States has the tea party
In April, CNN’s national security specialist Peter Bergen and David Sterman, a research assistant at the New America Foundation, reported on CNN that U.S. wingnut extremists are more deadly than jihadists. Bergen and Sterman pointed to the problem:
Today in the United States, al Qaeda-type terrorism is the province of individuals with no real connection to foreign terrorists, aside from reading their propaganda online. Given this, it becomes harder to explain, in terms of American national security, why violence by homegrown wingnut extremists receives substantially less attention than does violence by homegrown jihadist militants.
If the media tends to ignore it, the Obama administration does not, and Eric Holder’s move to back the DOJ’s committee on Domestic Terrorism was a wise one. It is only a shame he waited so long. Our wingnut extremists like Tony Perkins, meanwhile, are busy painting liberals as the real terrorists. Perkins, reports Right Wing Watch, recently called Obama “Satan personified” and a “terrorist” who “threatened” House Speaker John Boehner “and his family.”
The European media is certainly aware of the threat posed by wingnut extremism. As The Guardian reported in February, it is an old problem.
[T]he tendency towards violence within the far-right scene has grown in the past year. In the UK, the conviction of terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn and uncertainty about the future of the English Defence League (EDL) without former leader Tommy Robinson have raised new concerns about the potential for violent splinter groups and rogue individuals.
If this sounds like the United States, it is because it is.
In January, The Guardian reports, “EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström publicly stated that wingnut extremists posed the biggest threat to the European Union today.”
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue’s 2014 report, Old Threat, New Approach: Tackling the Far Right Across Europe, was the result of a partnership between the Swedish Ministry of Justice and the ISD, “aiming to enhance understanding of what works in preventing and countering wingnut extremism in 10 countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Sweden, the UK.”
Europe's Right Turn
The report made 10 “key recommendations,” putting, at the top of its list, the requirement that responses to the far right “need to be underpinned by a strong legal framework,” but asserting also that “governments need to put in place national strategies and action plans for tackling the threat from the far right.”
You will remember The Department of Homeland Security’s own report in 2009, Wingnut Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, which warned of the rise of wingnut extremism in the United States. You will no doubt also remember the violent reaction of the wingnuts.
Michelle Malkin called it a “hit job.” According to House Minority Leader John Boehner, the report “Offensive and Unacceptable.” Malkin claimed it “was one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS.” She said she “couldn’t believe it was real.” Newt Gingrich tweeted that “The person who drafted the outrageous homeland security memo smearing veterans and conservatives should be fired.”
Sadly, it was all too real, as were its findings. Far from being the stuff of fantasy, they proved to be the stuff of nightmares, as since then, the United States has sunk to an unprecedented level of wingnut violence. The recent Las Vegas shootings have brought our own problem with homegrown wingnut extremism into sharp focus.
The DHS report was, lamentably, withdrawn with apologies and wingnut extremism continued to escalate. Holder’s recent announcement renewed the storm of protests from the wingnuts but it’s all too obvious now that the threat is real, even if the mainstream media continues to refuse to connect the dots.
The 2009 report’s definition of right wing extremism was on the spot:
Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines ‘rightwing extremism in the United States’ as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.
As was the report’s finding that “disgruntled” war veterans were swelling the ranks of “white power militias.”
As reported on June 6,
The reality is the report was correct. The attack on the Sikh Temple in 2012 was by a Neo-Nazi who was recruited while he was in the army. Then there’s the case of the wingnut radicals from Georgia who organized a lunatic fringe wingnut militia unit while they were in the Army. Eventually they murdered to hide their planned acts of terrorism.
Extremists know where to find recruits and it shows: David Sterman pointed out in The Atlantic, “Wingnut extremists are more likely than violent islamist extremists–or, as they are sometimes called, jihadists–to have military experience. ”
[A] government survey of 17,080 soldiers found that 3.5 percent of them had been contacted in order to recruit them into an extremist wingnut cabal and that 7.1 percent said they knew another soldier who they believed to be part of an extremist wingnut cabal.
Those of us with two brain cells to rub together, thought the reaction alone justified the report. The current reaction to Holder’s announcement is more of the same. Unfortunately, our options are as limited as those of Europe. While those extremist wingnuts have any control over the national dialogue, their role will be downplayed. While they have any control of the government, the government’s ability to defend itself and its people will be limited.
The mainstream media loves to talk about wingnut extremism in Europe while ignoring our own, who are more a threat to us than al Qaeda. Our streets are filling with them. As are our restaurants and stores. Faux News praises them. People are dying and more will die. That has to change. The United States must clean out its own nest of vipers.

Religio-wingnut christians and radical islamic fundamentalists - The Exact Same Animal

by Allen Clifton
Though I don’t talk about it much, I find it kind of interesting that the primary “enemy” of the religio-wingnut fundamentalist “christian” is a radical "islamic" fundamentalist.
Think about it.  Both of these groups of people live their lives based on hand-picked sections of their religious books.  Neither follows every rule written inside because it’s essentially impossible to do so.  And even within each of these faiths there are many denominations created by humans who basically interpret parts of each of these books by how they feel they should be followed.
They both believe that they’re right and everyone else will surely burn in hell.  They both tend to want to force their views on others – even if those others don’t agree with what they believe in.  Each of these groups, if they had their way, would have theocratic governments based on their religions.
Both religio-wingnut christians and islamic radicals feel women should be subservient to men, abortion is murder and homosexuality is an abomination and should be illegal.  They both believe education should be based on their delusions instead of science.  Neither group supports contraceptives.
They’re both completely intolerant of those who believe differently than they do and only believe that their religion should be given autonomy from lawful persecution while other beliefs should be oppressed.
And while many terrorist organizations are linked to radical islamic fundamentalists, religio-wingnut “christian” radicals frequently brag about their arsenal of weapons and willingness to “rise up against” the federal government if they should ever feel inclined to do so.  In fact, it’s only our more advanced system of government (and the fact that we’re in a modern society) which has kept these religio-wingnut radical “christians” from behaving  exactly like radical islamic fundamentalists.
Hell, neither religio-wingnut radical “christians” or radical islamic fundamentalists trust the American government at all.
The core of what each of these groups want is the same?
Because when I say that I know of a group of people who:
  • Oppose equal rights for homosexuals.
  • Don’t trust the United States government.
  • Believe abortion is murder.
  • Want a nation based on theocracy.
  • Believe women should be subservient to men.
  • Think our education system should be based on delusion instead of science.
  • Want to oppress the religious freedoms for every religion besides theirs.
  • Oppose access to contraceptives.
  • Aren’t opposed to a violent overthrow of the federal government.
I’m not talking about radical islamic fundamentalists – I’m talking about the delusions of religio-wingnut “christians.”

There 939 hate groups are currently active in the United States.

Find out who they are and where they live on our hate map: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map
They forgot to list the repugican cabal and it's various covens so the actual number of hate groups is higher than 939.

Canadian Supreme Court's landmark privacy ruling

The Supreme Court of Canada's ruling in R. v. Spencer sets an amazing precedent for privacy that not only reforms the worst practices of Canadian ISPs and telcos; it also annihilates the Tories' plans to weaken Canadian privacy law into insignificance. The Supremes unanimously held that the longstanding practice of carriers voluntarily handing over subscriber data to cops and government agencies without a warrant was unconstitutional.
The court's decision, written by Harper appointed Justice Thomas Cromwell, takes a nuanced view of privacy, and upholds the importance of anonymity as part of the protected right to privacy.
The Harper government is currently pushing two surveillance bills, C-13 and S-4, which would radically expand the practice of "voluntary" disclosure of subscriber data without a warrant. As Michael Geist writes in an excellent explainer, these bills are almost certainly unconstitutional under this ruling and are likely to die or be substantially reformed.
There are several important implications that flow from this decision. First, with a finding that police need a warrant for subscriber information (except in exigent circumstances), the practice of obtaining information on a voluntary basis should come to an end.
Second, the government's plans for expanded voluntary, warrantless disclosure under Bill C-13 must surely be reformed as it is unconstitutional. Just yesterday, Conservative MP Bob Dechert relied on R. v. Ward to support the C-13 approach with respect to immunity for voluntary disclosure. The court has effectively rejected the Ward decision and Dechert's defence of the provision no longer stands.
Third, the government should remove the expansion of voluntary disclosure in S-4. With the Supreme Court emphasizing the privacy importance of subscriber information, the government should not be seeking to expand warrantless disclosures. In fact, immediate reports indicate that the Senate has delayed debate on the bill to consider the ruling.
Fourth, Internet providers need radical reform of their current approach to disclosure of subscriber information. The Supreme Court examined Shaw's terms of service policy and found it provided "a confusing and unclear picture of what Shaw would do when faced with a police request for subscriber information." The same can be said for virtually every ISP in Canada. While ISPs have been regularly disclosing this information hundreds of thousands of times, the Court ruled:
Given that the purpose of PIPEDA is to establish rules governing, among other things, disclosure “of personal information in a manner that recognizes the right of privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information” (s. 3), it would be reasonable for an Internet user to expect that a simple request by police would not trigger an obligation to disclose personal information or defeat PIPEDA’s general prohibition on the disclosure of personal information without consent.

Random Photos

Changing pot laws prompt child-endangerment review

In this April 29, 2014 photo, mother of a child with cancer Sierra Riddle plays with her son Landon, age 4, left, and Landon's friend Dahlia, age 3, who also has cancer, during a play date at Dahlia's home in Colorado Springs. Landon and Dahlia's parents, frustrated with mainstream medical treatments and facing the possibility of intervention by child protective authorities, moved to Colorado to treat their children using what some describe as cutting edge cannabis medication. Hundreds of parents in similar situations find themselves at the center of a debate about how far government can and should reach when parents push against legal boundaries to save their childrens' lives. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
A Colorado man loses custody of his children after getting a medical marijuana card. The daughter of a Michigan couple growing legal medicinal pot is taken by child-protection authorities after an ex-husband says their plants endangered kids.
And police officers in New Jersey visit a home after a 9-year-old mentions his mother's hemp advocacy at school.
While the cases were eventually decided in favor of the parents, the incidents underscore a growing dilemma: While a pot plant in the basement may not bring criminal charges in many states, the same plant can become a piece of evidence in child custody or abuse cases.
"The legal standard is always the best interest of the children, and you can imagine how subjective that can get," said Jess Cochrane, who helped found Boston-based Family Law & Cannabis Alliance after finding child-abuse laws have been slow to catch up with pot policy.
No data exist to show how often pot use comes up in custody disputes, or how often child-welfare workers intervene in homes where marijuana is used.
But in dozens of interviews with lawyers and officials who work in this area, along with activists who counsel parents on marijuana and child endangerment, the consensus is clear: Pot's growing acceptance is complicating the task of determining when kids are in danger.
Colorado considers adult marijuana use legal, but pot is still treated like heroin and other Schedule I substances as they are under federal law. As a result, when it comes to defining a drug-endangered child, pot can't legally be in a home where children reside.
Two Democratic lawmakers tried to update the law by saying that marijuana must also be shown to be a harm or risk to children to constitute abuse.
But the effort led to angry opposition from both sides — pot-using parents who feared the law could still be used to take their children, and marijuana-legalization opponents who argued that pot remains illegal under federal law and that its very presence in a home threatens kids.
After hours of emotional testimony, lawmakers abandoned the effort as too complicated. Among the teary-eyed moms at the hearing was Moriah Barnhart, who moved to the Denver area from Tampa, Florida, in search of a cannabis-based treatment for a daughter with brain cancer.
Supporters vow to try again to give law enforcement some definitions about when the presence of drugs could harm children, even if the kids don't use it.
"There are people who are very reckless with what they're doing, leaving marijuana brownies on the coffee table or doing hash oil extraction that might blow the place up. Too often with law enforcement, they're just looking at the legality of the behavior and not how it is affecting the children," said Jim Gerhardt of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association, which supported the bill.
Colorado courts are wading into the question of when adult pot use endangers kids. The state Court of Appeals in 2010 sided with a marijuana-using dad who lost visitation rights though he never used the drug around his daughter.
The court reversed a county court's decision that the father couldn't have unsupervised visitation until passing a drug test, saying that a parent's marijuana use when away from his or her children doesn't suggest any risk of child harm.
But child-endangerment standards remain murky in Colorado, with wide disparities in how local child-protection officers and law enforcement approach pot, said Rob Corry, a Denver lawyer who successfully argued the father's custody appeal.
Corry, who helped Colorado's 2012 campaign to legalize recreational marijuana, said the main thrust of the effort was to treat pot like alcohol.
"Think of brewing beer. You've got a constitutional right to do it. There's nothing wrong with it. Marijuana should be just as simple — you just keep it on a high shelf, right next to your vodka. But in practice, this is not how law enforcement treats marijuana," he said.
In the absence of legal guidelines, a growing network of blogs counsel parents in how to deal with police or child-protection agencies concerned about parental marijuana use, including one, Ladybud, run by legal-pot activist Diane Fornbacher.
She said she moved to Colorado this year after child-protection workers visited her family in New Jersey after a teacher alerted officials when her son mentioned hemp — pot's non-hallucinogenic cousin — at school.
The need for better standards about when marijuana endangers kids is growing by the day, said Maria Green, a Lansing, Michigan, mother who lost custody of her infant daughter for three months last year.
Green grows pot to treat her husband's epilepsy, and though Michigan's medical marijuana law states parents shall not be denied custody or visitation with a child for following the statute, a legal dispute with her ex-husband led to her daughter being placed with a grandparent until it was resolved.
The ex-husband who brought the complaint declined an interview until talking with his lawyer.
"I never in a million years thought that they were going to take my daughter," Green said. "I know that there's a place for child protection, but I would love to see it used to protect kids from being actually hurt."

Flight Attendant Forces Child To Urinate In Seat

Flight Attendant Forces Child To Urinate In Seat
A grumpy flight attendant demonstrated her lack of parenting skills when she forced a child to urinate in her seat.
Jennifer Deveraux was travelling with her two daughters when the exceptional customer service occurred on a JetBlue flight. Flight 518 was delayed on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport in N.Y. on Monday, waiting to fly to Boston, CBS Boston reports.
One of Deveraux’s daughters, Summers, needed to use the bathroom, and began to cry. When her mother tried to help her to the bathroom, a flight attendant refused to let them stand up, forcing the child to urinate on herself and the seat.
“She snapped at me, ‘No sit down,’” Deveraux said.
Deveraux attempted to stand up again to clean up the mess, and the flight attendant yelled at her a second time. “And I said, ‘please give me a break. My daughter had an accident because you wouldn’t let me take her to the bathroom. After I clean it up I will sit down.’ She turned around and reported it to the pilot,” Deveraux said.
The pilot then turned the plane around and took it back to the gate, announcing over the intercom that there was a non-compliant passenger on board, and they would be brought to security.
Thankfully, an off-duty pilot sitting two seats in front of Deveraux realized how ridiculous the situation was and convinced the crew to let her stay.
Deveraux wrote to JetBlue to inform them of the phenomenal service. “I want an apology and I don’t want them to do this to any other family. I want this behavior to be stopped,” she said.
“It wasn’t about bad customer service at that point, it was about bad human decency. My daughter was sitting in a pool of urine and I couldn’t do anything about it,” Deveraux said. “And as a mom it just broke my heart.”



Would-be thief discovers that pouring acid onto an ATM doesn't gain you access to the cash

A man in full hazmat gear poured some kind of acid on an ATM in Boulder, Colorado, and returned later to try to get the cash. He was caught on camera on May 29 at 2:30am at the Center for Community on campus, according to the University of Colorado Police Department.
The man was first caught on video wearing a plastic suit, gloves and a protective helmet. He returned later in street clothes and poured the contents of two water bottles on the machine. He checked the machine again in the morning but could not remove any cash.
After a customer suffered chemical burns when they attempted to use the machine, police discovered the robbery attempt. The student suffering from chemical burns did not seek medical help. "I am concerned what the suspect would have done to anyone who surprised him during his attempt to break into the ATM," said Detective Sgt. Michael Lowry.

"The suspect caused significant damage to the ATM and we are hopeful the public will assist us in identifying him." The machine was damaged beyond repair and the replacement cost is estimated at $50,000. If arrested, the suspect would face felony charges of Criminal Mischief and Attempted Burglary.

Patient's vision impaired after nurse tried to remove healthy eye instead of prosthetic one

A patient's vision was impaired after a nurse in southern Sweden tried to remove a healthy eye instead of the patient's prosthetic one. The incident occurred in Småland, when the nurse was supposed to be removing the patient's prosthetic eye for cleaning.
However, the nurse, who has 20 years' experience in healthcare, used a suction device on the wrong eye and left the patient's vision damaged in their only good eye. The nurse said the patient had given inaccurate information about which side had the prosthetic, information that became apparent after the nurse tried twice to remove the healthy eye.
The botched efforts left the patient's eye bloody. While the patient's eyesight has been impaired, a doctor noted that the damage was not especially serious and that a specialist had been called in for consultation. The incident has been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare.

Were you aware ...

France was still executing people by guillotine when Star Wars came out.
Unbelievable...These 23 Mind Blowing Facts Will DESTROY Your Understanding Of Time - France was still executing people by guillotine when Star Wars came out.
Star Wars premiered in theaters in May 1977. The last execution by guillotine took place September 10th of the same year.

Swimming Masks

A Mildly Terrifying 1920s Full Faced Swimming Mask

Why Did We Invent Pants?

These days, pants are our garment of choice. But for years, our ancestors draped themselves in tunics, robes, and gowns, until someone decided they were tired of having the wind up their skirt. So, what prompted the change? When, exactly, did two-legged trousers become a thing?

Daily Comic Relief


Mirrored Cabin in Scotland is Part of the Scenery

I'll never forget seeing the lush, green beauty of Scotland for the first time. It was view after stunning view. It makes sense that the best idea for a shelter in scenic Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park would be one that blends perfectly into the landscape.
This enticing, stainless steel structure was designed and built as a thesis project by Strathclyde University architecture students Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler, who named it "The Lookout." The clever design won funding from the Scottish government for construction of the $8,500 structure, built mostly by hand. The mirrored surface camouflages a two-seat, wooden bench, and on another side, a smaller seat for one. The slatted, Japanese-style benches are built in locations that frame selected views for their occupants.
Read about The Lookout in detail at Dezeen.

Man stored lawnmower horse on balcony so it wouldn't be stolen

A Polish man who borrowed his friend's horse to cut the grass when he found that his lawnmower had broken down stored the animal on his balcony when he had finished.
Borys Kozlowski, from Grajewo, a town in north-eastern Poland, said: "I didn't want anybody to steal the horse. It did a great job on the lawn, and I wouldn't leave the lawnmower lying around either." When Borys, 48, finally got around to cutting the overgrown grass he discovered that the lawnmower had given up the ghost.
He said: "I saw a pal of mine while I was trying to fix it, and he told me I should forget the lawnmower and power up his horse, Dolina. I thought it seemed like a good idea, and as the horse was only a short way away anyway. We went and fetched it and then he left me with the horse tethered in the garden eating the grass. As well as short grass, I got some fertilizer as well.
"Afterwards he hadn't come back and I didn't want anyone to pinch the animal, so I took it upstairs and through my flat and left on the balcony." The horse's owner Jakob Pancesky collected the animal a short while later, saying: "He is a bit of a character. He has never been frightened of anything in his life - you can fire a starting pistol next to him and he would only turn and look at you. I guess a flight of steps was no big deal to him."

5-Million-Year-Old Arctic Fox Ancestor Found in Tibet

5-Million-Year-Old Arctic Fox Ancestor Found in Tibet
The Zanda Basin in Tibet.
The fossilized jawbone and teeth of a 5-million-year-old fox have been unearthed in Tibet.
The fox, Vulpes qiuzhudingi, is probably the ancestor of modern Arctic foxes. The discovery, along with several other fossils from cold-loving mammals, buttress the Out of Tibet hypothesis: That iconic ice-age mammals such as woolly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and giant sloths first evolved for the cold weather in Tibet before fanning out over the steppes of Central Asia and into North America.
Out of Tibet
Several years ago, paleontologists excavating the Zanda Basin in Tibet unearthed a 3.7-million-year-old woolly rhino fossil that not only was older than all other fossils of the species, but also was found much farther south than those prior specimens. At that time, the Arctic was much warmer than it is today, whereas the snowy, high Tibetan plateau was just a touch warmer, said study co-author Zhijie Jack Tseng, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
That led the researchers to propose that the frigid, high-altitude climate of Tibet was a staging ground where many of the shaggy-coated, cold-loving megafauna first adapted to the cold. When Earth's temperatures plunged at the onset of the last ice age about 2.6 million years ago, these cold-loving creatures emerged from the Tibetan plateau to colonize most of the Arctic and colder portions of North America.
Living relative
In 2006, the researchers also found a single tooth in the Zanda Basin, but couldn't match it to a specific animal species. Over the next several years, they went on to find two other fossils that revealed the lower jaw and some of the teeth from ancient predatory foxes, allowing them to identify the original tooth as well.
The fox fossils ranged from 3.6 million to 5 million years old, and the teeth looked a lot like those of the modern Arctic fox, which now lives across the Arctic, from Scandinavia and Russia in the west all the way to Greenland and Iceland.
"The arrangement of the cusps on the tooth are more or less in a straight line and pretty sharp," Tseng said. "That meant that the fox was using that tooth for cutting and shearing meat," just as the Arctic fox does today.
The discovery marks the first time that an older predecessor to a modern Arctic creature has been found in Tibet, buttressing the Out of Tibet hypothesis, Tseng said.
The team has also found other fossils from archaic, cold-adapted mammals throughout Tibet, such as ancient snow leopards, wolf-sized dogs and hyenas. And, just like modern Arctic species that must subsist mainly on meat during the long, frosty winter months when plant-based food is almost nonexistent, these ancient animals were more carnivorous than similar animals that live in more temperate climates, Tseng said.
The findings were published Tuesday (June 10) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B

The Surprising World of Sea Squirts

Sea squirts look like sponges or plants, but they're marine invertebrates, and some -- especially those that are bioluminous -- can be a stunning underwater find.

Animal Pictures