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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Daily Drift

A license to be an ass ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

A pair of Yellow Pigs for you ... !
Today is  -  Yellow Pig Day 
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The Pacific
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Cebu City, Philippines

Today in History

1453 France defeats England at Castillon, France, ending the Hundred Years' War.
1762 Peter III of Russia is murdered and his wife, Catherine II, takes the throne.
1785 France limits the importation of goods from Britain.
1791 National Guard troops open fire on a crowd of demonstrators in Paris.
1799 Ottoman forces, supported by the British, capture Aboukir, Egypt from the French.
1801 The U.S. fleet arrives in Tripoli.
1815 Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders to the British at Rochefort, France.
1821 Andrew Jackson becomes the governor of Florida.
1864 Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaces General Joseph E. Johnston with General John Bell Hood in hopes of defeating Union General William T. Sherman outside Atlanta.
1898 U.S. troops under General William R. Shafter take Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
1944 Field Marshall Erwin Rommel is wounded when an Allied fighter strafes his staff car in France.
1946 Chinese communists attack the Nationalist army on the Yangtze River.
1960 American pilot Francis Gary Powers pleads guilty to spying charges in a Moscow court.
1966 Ho Chi Minh orders a partial mobilization of North Vietnam to defend against American airstrikes.
1987 Lt. Col. Oliver North and Rear Adm. John Poindexter begin testifying to Congress regarding the Iran-Contra scandal.

Non Sequitur


Starstruck Kids Post Picture With Paul McCartney and Warren Buffett on Instagram

Spotted on social media: Sir Paul McCartney at an ice cream shop in Omaha, Neb., Sunday night.
Tom White, 12, and his McCartney-obsessed friends bolted to the establishment in Omaha's Dundee neighborhood after seeing a celebrity trail on Instagram. They found the former Beatle sitting on a bench with none other than resident billionaire Warren Buffett.
The boys introduced themselves. Then, Jacob Murray snapped a picture of starstruck White.
"I just turned around and put a thumb up," said White, who posted the pic on Instagram with the caption "Chillin with my homies." Local media outlets picked up the post, and then national sites started sharing it — even McCartney retweeted the photo.
Giddy from the social media buzz, they say the experience has taught them to go for it, cherish every moment, and appreciate the small (and hugely social) things in life. It's a freak-out moment Tom and his pals will remember for the rest of their lives. After all, everything, including "Yesterday," lives forever on the Internet.

Random Photos

Senate To Vote On Bill That Would Reverse Hobby Lobby Decision

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled a vote this week on a bill that would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.
The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act would restore the contraceptive coverage that is guaranteed in the Affordable Care Act and would protect women from employers who want to impose their religious beliefs on them.
Co-sponsor of the bill Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said, “This bicameral legislation will ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care, period. I hope repugicans will join us to revoke this court-issued license to discriminate and return the right of Americans to make their own decisions, about their own health care and their own bodies.”
Co-sponsor Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) said, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives. Coloradans understand that women should never have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control or other critical health services,” said Senator Udall. “My common-sense proposal will keep women’s private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn’t be able to dictate what is best for you and your family.”
Senate Democrats probably won’t have the votes needed to move the bill forward on Wednesday. Democrats will require five repugicans to join them in order to break a repugican cabal filibuster. It is doubtful that Democrats can attract the kind of support they need to advance the bill from the other side of the aisle, but it is important that they try.
Since the Hobby Lobby decision many have adopted a defeatist attitude that nothing can be done, but this is not true. A Democratic congress could easily reverse the Supreme Court’s decision with new legislation. The repugicans won the battle, but they have not won the war. Democrats need to be energized, not defeated. The only way that those who wish to steal fundamental rights from women will win is if their opponents stop fighting.
The bill that will be voted on this week is the first step in that fight. Because of repugican obstruction progress is difficult, but it will be achieved if those who are opposed to this decision keep trying. Instead of throwing in the towel and admitting defeat congressional Democrats are gearing up for a fight, because the war on women is something that repugicans will never win.
Editor's Note: Late Wednesday afternoon 43 repugicans lead by Mitch McConnell voted to block this Bill and leave the erroneously horrid Hobby Lobby decision in place

Harry Reid Rips John Boehner On Senate Floor Says Judge Judy Would Toss Obama Lawsuit

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) unloaded on Speaker of the House John Boehner on the Senate floor. Reid called Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama a joke, a sham, and something that Judge Judy would throw out in a half a second.
Majority Leader Reid spoke on the Senate floor:
Obamacare is helping Democrats, repugicans, and Independents. It is helping residents of blue states, red states and purple states. Just look at Kentucky, the home state of the repugican Leader. Well over 400,000 Kentuckians have signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act. And even repugicans love it. That same Commonwealth Fund survey I referenced earlier found that 74% of newly-insured repugicans are happy with their Obamacare health coverage.
But instead of embracing the good that Obamacare has done, and working with Democrats to address any necessary fixes, repugicans would rather file a frivolous lawsuit. Everybody knows that this lawsuit is a sham – a big show meant to appease the tea party radicals in the House of Representatives. One Yale law professor questioned why the lawsuit is receiving so much media attention, saying: “I see this every day now, being covered as if it’s real, as if it’s somehow not a joke.” Another law professor from Harvard said: “The lawsuit will almost certainly fail, and it should fail, for lack of Congressional standing.”
Just imagine how many lawsuits there would be if House repugicans could sue the President every time they disagreed with him about something! But there is no reasoning with the radical repugicans in the House. House repugicans would rather waste taxpayer dollars than accept the fact that their constituents – their very own neighbors – are benefitting from health care reform.
If a show trial is what House repugicans want, they should go talk to Judge Judy. I think even she would throw this case out in half a second. The United States Congress is no place for inane, politically-motivated litigation.
Enough is enough. The fight over Obamacare is over. The law is here to stay. And more importantly, Americans who are benefitting from the law want it to stay.
The old boxer Harry Reid wasn’t pulling any punches. No one outside of repugican strategists think that this lawsuit has more than a puncher’s chance in court, but a puncher’s chance is what the repugican cabal has been reduced to. They have no record of accomplishments to run on. They have no positive achievements to take back to the voters. They can’t list one productive thing that they have done for the benefit of the American people.
Given the reality that repugicans have created for themselves, all they can do is try to distract the country with fantasy centered around lawsuits and potential impeachment. House repugican leaders don’t want to talk about impeachment, but the people who vote for repugicans in elections do. The repugican voters are craving impeachment, and even if Boehner doesn’t want to go there, we all know that the Speaker is helplessly guided by the extremist breezes that are blowing through his party.
This Boehner lawsuit is a waste of time and taxpayer dollars on a gimmick. It is a publicity stunt that should be laughed out of court. The best way to know what Judge Judy thinks of the suit is to ask her, but I have a difficult time believing that Judge Judy would buy John Boehner peeing on her leg and telling her that it’s raining.

Democrats Demand Accountability for Boehner’s Misuse Of Taxpayer Funds for His Lawsuit

Fired up Democrats are demanding that Speaker Boehner be transparent about the taxpayer funds he intends to use on his political stunt of a lawsuit.…
john boehner
Fired up Democrats are done playing around with repugicans. It only took six years, but apparently they’ve realized that being nice to bullies gets them nowhere. So, Democrats are demanding that Speaker Boehner be transparent about the taxpayer funds he intends to use on what even his side are calling his political “stunt” of a lawsuit.
Committee on House Administration Ranking Member, Robert A. Brady (D-PA) sent the following letter to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, in which he cites “House repugicans’ conduct in the $2.3 million failed effort to defend the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act in the courts” as evidence that they require “strong bipartisan oversight” in any plan to hire outside counsel. Thus, he demands that the Speaker abide by regular order and oversight for his use of taxpayer funds.
It reads:
Within the draft resolution to initiate a lawsuit against the President, we learned that you intend to seek authorization to “employ the services of outside counsel and other experts.” Such authority clearly falls under the jurisdiction of the Committee on House Administration, and as such, I am writing to express my expectation that repugicans will be open and transparent about the use of taxpayer money in pursuing this highly dubious and partisan lawsuit.

As evidenced by House repugicans’ conduct in the $2.3 million failed effort to defend the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, strong bipartisan oversight is clearly necessary in any plan to hire outside counsel. The repugican majority must not be permitted to use taxpayer dollars as a slush fund to award a no-bid contract to high-priced, politically connected repugican lawyers without any transparency or accountability to the House or the American people.

Our opposition to the deeply partisan basis of your lawsuit in no way diminishes the need for normal oversight of the terms of any contract signed by repugican Leadership obligating the House to pay millions of dollars on private attorneys. Therefore, I expect you will honor regular order through my committee, even with this highly irregular lawsuit.
The American people deserve to know how and where their tax dollars are being spent, and House Administration Committee Democrats insist on regular consultation and transparency in the selection criteria and process, cost, and lobbying connections of any counsel or experts hired in the name of the House.
Now that Speaker Boehner has finally landed on an excuse upon which to base his lawsuit, ahem, distraction from his own chamber’s abject failure, Democrats are going to demand transparency.
Like a truffle pig on the hunt, Boehner’s been single-mindedly sniffing for an excuse to sue the President that had not already been claimed (and then debunked by reality) by his repugican colleagues, who were kindly spending time on TV throwing alleged reasons at the wall to see what might stick, only to be humiliated over and over again. Finally, pay dirt. Boehner is suing over the President not immediately implementing a certain aspect of the healthcare law that repugicans are still pretending they will repeal.
Yes. The repugican cabal message is “Obamacare will kill your babies and destroy America! But if President Obama doesn’t implement it all right away, we’re suing!”
Just how much will it cost the American taxpayer for this latest version of repugican Get Out the Vote effort? Time will tell. The repugicans have already socked Americans in the gut with their failed Benghazi conspiracies and their IRS witch hunt that led them right back to their own backdoor, staring Karl Rove’s dirty SuperPAC in the eye while they screeched that things were so unfair for wingnuts. Let’s just say repugicans have the self-pitying, paranoid vote all wrapped up, and you paid for it.
You can bet Democrats will be using these tallies of wasted taxpayer money in their campaign ads, which practically write themselves these days. Vote repugican if you want the government shut down while repugicans hunt for conspiracy theories from the top of Poor Loser Mountain.
Democrats are far from perfect, but they occupy more and more of the political middle in terms of operating as pragmatic problem solvers with reasonable judgment, and they are the only party actually doing their jobs.
Up next: Boehner’s lawsuit continues to fail, but you are still paying for it.

Congressional Candidate Calls On Faux News Host To Resign Over Racial Slur

by Marina Fang
A congressional candidate in California is urging Faux News host Bob Beckel to resign after Beckel used a racial slur on air last week.
While discussing a report on Chinese hackers delving into U.S. government records on Thursday's episode of "The Five," Beckel began ranting about "Chinamen."
"As usual, we bring them over here and we teach a bunch of Chinamen -- er, Chinese people -- how to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us," he said.
California state Sen. Ted Lieu (D) called Beckel's comments "racist" in a statement Saturday.
"We should all be alarmed by the racist, xenophobic comments by Fox News host Bob Beckel," said Lieu. "His comments have no place in America, and this is at least the second time he has used racial slurs. He must resign immediately."
Lieu was referencing another incident last year, when Beckel described his eyes as "Oriental."
"I went swimming. My eyes blew up, and it made me look Oriental," Beckel said.
Lieu, an immigrant from Taiwan and an Air Force veteran, is the Democratic candidate in the race to replace retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D) in California's 33rd district. The district is known for its wealth, as it includes Beverly Hills and Malibu. It also encompasses racially and ethnically diverse Los Angeles suburbs. Torrance, which Lieu represents in the state Senate, has a substantial Asian population. According to the 2010 census, nearly 35 percent of its population is Asian.
I am one of those ‘Chinamen' with 'Oriental' eyes that immigrated to America and majored in computer science. I also served on active duty in the United States Air Force and continue to serve my country in the Reserves," Lieu said in the statement. "And today, as an American and as a California state senator, I call on Mr. Beckel to resign."
UPDATE: Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) also called on Beckel to resign Monday, becoming the first national politician to do so. Honda, who is Japanese American, represents the only Asian American-majority congressional district in the continental United States. Honda's statement:
I am outraged and disgusted by Faux News commentator Bob Beckel’s use of the word “Chinamen” and his other racist and xenophobic comments. I agree with State Senator Ted Lieu, Campbell CA Councilmember Evan Low, and everyone else who has called on Faux News to fire Beckel. The ignorance and hatred in his comments are repugnant. The fact that he has yet to apologize for these comments is inexcusable. As the founder of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, I know that words hurt, and slurs are used to intimidate. Fuax News needs to do the right thing and fire Bob Beckel.

The Truth Be Told


Tennessee: Ayn Rand's vision of paradise

The red state ranks dead last in per capita tax revenue, and its low-income families are paying the price

by Les Leopold

If you're worried about where America is heading, look no further than Tennessee. Its lush mountains and verdant rolling countryside belie a mean-spirited public policy that only makes sense if you believe deeply in the anti-collectivist, anti-altruist philosophy of Ayn Rand. It's what you get when you combine hatred for government with disgust for poor people.
Tennessee starves what little government it has, ranking dead last in per capita tax revenue. To fund its minimalist public sector, it makes sure that low-income residents pay as much as possible through heavily regressive sales taxes, which rank 10th highest among all states as a percent of total tax revenues.
As you would expect, this translates into hard times for its public school systems, which rank 48th in school revenues per student and 45th in teacher salaries. The failure to invest in education also corresponds with poverty: the state has the 40th worst poverty rate (15%) and the 13th highest state percentage of poor children (26%).
Employment opportunities also are extremely poor for the poor. Only 25% have full-time jobs, 45% are employed part-time, and a whopping 30% have no jobs at all.
So what do you do with all those low-income folks who don't have decent jobs? You put a good number of them in jail. In fact, only Louisiana, Georgia and New Mexico have higher jail incarceration rates.

Open-carry agitator: When our arguments fail, we must vote with our guns

by Travis Gettys

A gun nut, anti-government activist who encourages armed resistance to "tyrannical" government forces suggested to a cheering crowd that they should turn their sights - if not their guns - on their fellow American citizens.
Mike Vanderboegh spoke late last month to the Howard County chapter of Open Carry Texas, where he offered a false dichotomy to frame the long-running debate on federalism as a life-and-death struggle between patriots and domestic enemies.(which he has confused - he is the domestic enemy and those opposing him are the patriots)
"We are at present two peoples - two countries, really, living within a common border and sharing mostly a common language, but divided upon the answer to this question: Does the government serve the people or do the people serve the government?" Vanderboegh said.
The co-founder of the wingnut "Three Percenters" cabal told the other gun nut agitators that the Obama administration had violated the Founders' vision of government.
"This administration, this regime, seems to operate ever more increasingly as a lawless gang than not on the rule of law but rather on the rule of men - which is to say the law of the jungle, enforced by the iron fist of government power," Vanderboegh said.
He said such "mutually exclusive" political views could not peacefully coexist, and he said violence was inevitable.

The destructive myth about religion that Americans disproportionately believe

The U.S. is the last remaining highly developed country that hasn't abandoned this problematic belief
by CJ Werleman

This week, Pew Research Center published the results of a survey conducted among 40,080 people in 40 countries between 2011 and 2013. The survey asked a simple question: Is belief in god essential to morality? While clear majorities say it is necessary, the U.S. continues to be an outlier.
In 22 of the 40 countries surveyed, the majority says it is necessary to believe in God in order to be a moral person. "This position is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East," says the report. No surprise there, but Asian and Latin countries such as Indonesia (99 percent), Malaysia (89 percent), the Philippines (99 percent), El Salvador (93 percent), and Brazil (86 percent) all fell in the highest percentile of respondents believing belief in a god is central to having good values.
Interestingly, clear majorities in all highly developed countries do not think belief in god to be necessary for morality, with one exception only: the USA.
Only 15 percent of the French population answered in the affirmative. Spain: 19 percent. Australia: 23 percent. Britain: 20 percent. Italy: 27 percent. Canada: 31 percent. Germany 33 percent. Israel: 37 percent.
So what of the U.S.? A comparatively eye-popping 53 percent of Americans essentially believe atheists and agnostics are living in sin. Despite the fact that a research analyst at the Federal Bureau of Prisons determined that atheists are thoroughly underrepresented in the places where rapists, thieves and murderers invariably end up: prisons. While atheists make upward of 15 percent of the U.S. population, they only make up 0.2 percent of the prison population.

Everyone hates the NSA

A new Pew Study asked people all over the world how they felt about being spied upon by the NSA.
Pretty much everyone hates it. The people most sympathetic to NSA spying are Indians and Nigerians. Americans and South Africans are pretty soft targets, too.

Unruly Legoland guest who squawked that his name was Pterodactyl Tasered by police

Police officers used a Taser in an attempt to stop an unruly visitor at Legoland Florida water park last Wednesday. Richard Campagna, 36, from Port Charlotte, was chased through the water park in an incident that lasted around 30 minutes. When Polk County sheriff's deputies asked him his name, he squawked "Pterodactyl."
The Sheriff's Office said he is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, a felony, for splashing water on a deputy, as well as disorderly conduct and resisting officers without violence. Deputies were called to the park at about noon after Campagna, who appeared drunk and refused to leave the park after being told to by Legoland staff, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Instead, he ran into the park's lazy river, said Carrie Horstman, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. The water course was "occupied by a large number of children," the report said. That is when he splashed water on the deputy. At that point, deputies tried to subdue him with a Taser. But because only one of the probes stuck into Campagna, use of the stun gun was unsuccessful.
He pulled the probe out of his elbow, and it took multiple deputies as well as Legoland staff to chase him down and eventually arrest him, Horstman said. "He was unruly," she said. Despite common misconceptions, the electrical discharge from Taser poses no risk to a person who is in water, Horstman said. Campagna was booked into the Polk County Jail in lieu of $1,750 bail.



Slow Metabolism

Weighty Issue: Stress and High-Fat Meals Combine to Slow Metabolism
Study estimates daily effect could add up to nearly 11 […]
Eating a high-fat meal after a stressful day led to calories burning more slowly, reports a new study.

Common DNA

People unsuspectingly choose friends who share parts of the same DNA, a new genetic analysis finds.

Violent Chicago

With 60 people shot there in one holiday weekend alone, people inside and outside of Chicago are wondering what's behind all the bloodshed.

Victims' Brutal Lives

A collection of 13,000-year-old bones from a northern Sudan cemetery reveal the horrific deaths of the humans in the area.

Awesome Pictures


Tokyo At Night

It should come as no surprise to learn that the world's largest city lights up spectacularly at night. Whether you're in Shinjuku or Ginza, Tokyo changes completely once the sun goes down. Cities often seem more sinister in the dark, but not Tokyo.
People are more relaxed, the atmosphere is more lively, and the illuminated buildings are even more stunning. Following a long day of sight-seeing, there's nothing better than walking home at night... especially after a heavy rainfall, when the air is crisp and the city's lights are reflecting beautifully on the wet pavement.

10 Deserted Places And Why They Were Abandoned

With a total population of over 7 billion people, it's hard to imagine that any place in the world could be abandoned. And yet, they exist, each one with an eerie past and an uncertain future. Here are the tales of 10 abandoned places and how they came to be deserted.

Saturn's Aliens

A strange geometric shape observed on a faraway world. Haven't we seen this movie before? Thankfully, it turns out the shape is likely a product of nature and not the ghost of Stanley Kubrick. Ian O'Neill explains.

Daily Comic Relief


Stone tools from Guangdong may be older than Peking Man

Tools discovered by archaeologists in Guangdong indicate that the apemen who used them could be earlier than Peking Man, one of the earliest human ancestors in China. Archaeologists working in Mount Modao have uncovered more than 350 artifacts, which they believe date to the early phase of the Stone Age, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
“It’s the first time so many artifacts in Guangdong, which are similar to [artifacts of] Peking Man, have been discovered. There is a high possibility that they are older than Peking Man,” Xia Zhengkai, professor at Peking University, told the newspaper.
All the artifacts are stone tools, mostly axes and pickaxes, which experts believe were used by the apemen.
The tools were unearthed after three months of work. Archaeologists from around the country arrived in Guangdong on Wednesday to join discussions on the artifacts.
Archaeologists and anthropologists have yet to decide in what period the Guangdong apemen lived. But an archaeologist from Hunan said it’s possible they lived 700,000 to 800,000 years ago. But archaeologists haven’t yet found any fossils of the apemen, which makes further discussions about early human ancestors in Guangdong difficult – such as what they looked like.
It’s the first discovery of artifacts dating to the early Stone Age in Guangdong. These artifacts serve as stratigraphic evidence of early human activity. Wang Youping, leader of the excavation team at Mount Modao, said the apemen who lived there are ancestors of modern-day Guangdong people.
Peking Man, known from fossils found at Zhoukoudian near Beijing, was identified as a member of the human lineage in 1927. The fossils date from about 770,000 to 230,000 years ago, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Living Fossil Found In China

The Tadpole Shrimp, a living fossil unchanged for over 200 million years, has been found in flooded parts of north China after heavy rains created pools of water big enough to allow the creatures to hatch.
Tadpole Shrimps were already on Earth over 200 million years ago. They live on the bottom of temporary pools and shallow lakes, feeding on microbes and small animals in the water.

Brain-Eating Amoeba

The recent death of a young girl due to a brain-eating amoeba serves as a reminder of this deadly organism, which can infect summer swimmers, neti pot users and others.

Why Pets Make Us Happier

Psychologists at Miami University have found that people who own pets are more conscientious, more social and they have better self-esteem and healthier relationship styles.

Tame and Not So Tame

These 12 seemingly harmless animals show a dangerous side when pestered. 
If an animal has white patches of fur, floppy ears, and a baby-like face, there's a good chance that it's tame and domesticated.

Animal Pictures