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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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Non Sequitur

The Daily Drift

 True dat ..!
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Today in History

991 Danes under Olaf Tryggvason kill Ealdorman Brihtnoth and defeat the Saxons at Maldon.
1492 Rodrigo Borgia is elected to the papacy as Pope Alexander VI.
1792 A revolutionary commune is formed in Paris, France.
1856 A band of rampaging settlers in California kill four Yokut Indians. The settlers had heard unproven rumors of Yokut atrocities.
1862 President Abraham Lincoln appoints Union General Henry Halleck to the position of general in chief of the Union Army.
1904 German General Lothar von Trotha defeats the Hereros tribe near Waterberg, South Africa.
1906 In France, Eugene Lauste receives the first patent for a talking film.
1908 Britain's King Edward VII meets with Kaiser Wilhelm II to protest the growth of the German navy.
1912 Moroccan Sultan Mulai Hafid abdicates his throne in the face of internal dissent.
1916 The Russia army takes Stanislau, Poland, from the Germans.
1929 Babe Ruth hits his 500th major league home run against the Cleveland Indians.
1941 Soviet bombers raid Berlin but cause little damage.
1942 The German submarine U-73 attacks a Malta-bound British convoy and sinks HMS Eagle, one of the world's first aircraft carriers.
1944 German troops abandon Florence, Italy, as Allied troops close in on the historic city.
1965 A small clash between the California Highway Patrol and two black youths sets off six days of rioting in the Watts area of Los Angeles.
1972 The last U.S. ground forces withdraw from Vietnam.
1975 US vetoes admission of North and South Vietnam to UN.
1978 Funeral of Pope Paul VI.
1984 Carl Lewis wins four Olympic gold medals, tying the record Jesse Owens set in 1936.
1988 Al Qaeda formed at a meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan.
1989 Voyager 2 discovers two partial rings around Neptune.
1990 Troops from Egypt and Morocco arrive in Saudi Arabia as part of the international operation to prevent Iraq from invading.
1999 A tornado in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, kills one person.
2003 Temperatures rise to 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius); over 140 people die in the heat wave.
2003 NATO assumes command of the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, its first major operation outside Europe.

Medical marijuana patients suing San Diego as driving to dispensaries will increase air pollution

Marijuana patients have claimed in court that San Diego and the California Coastal Commission will foul the air, snarl traffic and force people to grow marijuana indoors, wasting energy and increasing global warming, because of their wrongheaded decision to allow no more than 36 marijuana co-ops in the city. The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients sued the Coastal Commission and San Diego on August 1, in San Diego County Court.
The rather technical complaint challenges the Coastal Commission's June 11 approval of a San Diego city ordinance of March 25, which authorized medical marijuana co-ops in the city. The zoning-oriented ordinance allows medical marijuana co-ops only in certain industrial and commercial zones, and requires buffer zones between co-ops and residential areas. "The ordinance caps the total number of cooperatives at 36 and places a limit of four per Council District," the Los Angeles-based Union of Medical Marijuana Patients says in the lawsuit.
But because of the zoning restrictions, the union says, only 30 pot stores are "even possible" under the law. This "extremely restrictive approach" will require "thousands of patients to drive across the City of San Diego to obtain their medicine because cooperatives are only allowed in certain limited places in the city, which will create traffic and air pollution," the lawsuit states. It claims that the Coastal Commission, which had to approve the City Council ordinance under the California Environmental Quality Act, "failed to analyze the reasonably foreseeable consequences of increased indoor cultivation of medical marijuana" because of the restrictive zoning.
The union claims that it is "reasonably foreseeable" that indoor pot gardens will increase due to the restrictive ordinance. This will increase wastewater, biowaste and electrical consumption, environmental impacts "which the Commission failed to appreciate." The union also claims the defendants failed to conduct an adequate environmental assessment of their plan, which is required by CEQA, and it wants the approval of the plan set aside until it complies with CEQA, and costs.

Given mankind's body of knowledge, ignorance is a choice

Debunking the myths about immigration: Ronald Reagan, Central America and everything Ted Cruz doesn't understand

If we want to understand the immigration crisis, we need to revisit Reagan and the violence we brought the region 
There seems to be a general consensus that we should be addressing not only the symptoms, but also the "root causes" of rising emigration from Central America. But what are they? On the right, the influx of children from the region is said to be the predictable result of our allegedly lenient immigration policy; mass deportation, therefore, is supposedly the obvious solution. "[I]mmediately deport these families, these children," demands Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, in "plane loads," specifies Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Closer to the center, the causes of immigration from the region are typically said to be rising gang violence, the drug trade and the drug war and - to a lesser extent - poverty.
With the exception of our immigration policy, it's obvious these factors are playing a major role in encouraging emigration from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. But if we are to speak of true "root causes," we have to look deeper still: first, to the gross inequality from which these social maladies arise, and second, to the political forces that have maintained and enforced this economic status quo, decade after decade. The implications of Thomas Piketty's "Capital" for the developed world have been much discussed, but the meaning of inequality for poor countries is no less: The crisis of Central American immigration, I would argue, is a crisis of inequality, tragically manifested.
Clearly, inequality in Central America has been, to some degree, the brutal legacy of colonialism. Yet even today, the countries of Central America are among the most unequal not only in the hemisphere, but also on the globe: Honduras is the eighth most unequal country worldwide, and Guatemala isn't far behind. Income distribution aside, Central American nations are also the most impoverished in Latin America. Using a multidimensional index, the U.N. estimates that 79.9% of children in Guatemala, 78.9% in El Salvador and 63.1% in Honduras live in poverty (compared to 31.8% in Venezuela and 15.7% in Chile). In Honduras, rates of malnutrition reach 48.5% in rural areas, while almost half of Guatemalan children are moderately or severely stunted in growth. Superimposed on this poverty has been a devastating wave of gang violence. El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have some of the highest homicide rates in the world.
But why is the region so underdeveloped, why is poverty so entrenched, and why has the colonial legacy of inequality proven so resistant to social and political change? Though the situation is admittedly complex, the dismal state of affairs in Central America is in no small part the result of the failure of social democratic and left-of-center governments to maintain power and enact socioeconomic change; this failure, in turn, is sadly (in part) the consequence of the ironic "success" of U.S. foreign policy.

The 4th Amendment - who is REALLY interpreting it

The Fourth Amendment to the constitution of the United States of America reads: 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized



Gerrymandering ...

... not the original intent for our democracy

From Founding Father Quotes
The Government ought to possess not only 1st the force but 2nd the mind or sense of the people at large. The Legislature ought to be the most exact transcript of the whole Society. Representation is made necessary only because it is impossible for the people to act collectively. The opposition was to be expected he said from the Governments, not from the Citizens of the States.
James Wilson, as recorded in James Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Convention, June 6, 1787
When one party wins the popular vote for the House of Representatives by over a million votes, but the other party still ends up with a majority, do we have the most exact transcription of the whole society?

School teacher has been absent for 23 years of her 24-year career

An Indian state school says one of its teachers has been absent for 23 years of her 24-year career. Sangeeta Kashyap was recruited as a biology teacher in the central state of Madhya Pradesh in 1990. School authorities say they do not know when she was last paid a salary, but she is still listed as an employee.
State education officials said the teacher would be removed her from the post. She is thought to have set an Indian record for staff absenteeism. Ms Kashyap spent her first year teaching in a school in the town of Dewas, after which she took three years of leave. In 1994, she was transferred to a school in the city of Indore but then applied for maternity leave and has never turned up for work.
Letters sent by the school to her address have remained unanswered, Sushma Vaishya, principal of the Government Ahilya Ashram School in Indore, said. An education department official said they had written to education authorities in the state capital, Bhopal, to have Ms Kashyap removed from her post. "I have no idea why nothing was done. We are writing to them again to remove her," Sanjay Goel said.
The school is allowed to have three biology teachers, but only two are filled - with the third held by the absentee teacher. Absenteeism is a pervasive problem in government-run schools in India. A World Bank study in 2004 found that 25% of teachers were absent from school, and only about half were present during unannounced visits to government primary schools. Ms Kashyap's whereabouts remain unknown. It is also not clear why she did not return to work or if she has been working elsewhere.

Thief with a conscience sent $2 and handwritten letter of apology for taking extra piece of chicken

In his 39 years in the chicken business, it was a first for Rocky Rasmussen, owner of KFC in North Platte, Nebraska. The letter in the envelope containing $2 mailed to his restaurant was unsigned. “This $2 is for the piece of chicken I brought home with me on Tuesday,” the letter read. “That’s stealing. Sorry!”
“It seems as if her conscience got the best of her,” Rasmussen said. “There was no return address on the envelope. I really wish I knew who it was. I would buy them a few meals.” The handwriting is a bit spidery, perhaps indicating that the writer is older and probably female. “I took more on my plate than I could eat and I knew it would get thrown away there because it couldn’t get put back on the buffet, so I put it in my purse and brought it home,” the letter read.
“I do love your chicken!” Rasmussen is used to people trying to take advantage of the buffet. “People don’t pay for everyone in the family or will fill the last plate and it goes into a plastic bag in a purse,” he said. “It’s an ongoing problem.” To have someone own up to the theft demonstrated that there are good and honest people in the world, he said.
“It just makes your faith in people come back a little more,” Rasmussen said. “Whoever it was probably doesn’t have a lot of money. To send a couple bucks back to us is pretty remarkable. It’s very touching.” The writer admitted to a crisis of faith over the piece of chicken. “Anyway,” the letter reads. “God has forgiven me and I hope you will too. I will not be so quick to take so much next time.”

Man arrested after directing traffic while doing the robot

An man from Evansville, Indiana, was arrested on Saturday night after police said he tried to direct traffic with the art of dance.
An Evansville Police Department officer watched at around 6pm as 39-year-old Sylvester Clark ran into traffic on Green River Road near the Lloyd Expressway, according to an arrest report.
Traffic was heavy and was thrown into “chaos” when Clark ran into the road, according to police. In the middle of the traffic, Clark stopped and began performing the “robot,” while “vehicles were moving all around him,” according to police.
Clark then started to direct the traffic while doing the “robot.” He was arrested and booked into the Vanderburgh County Jail on preliminary charges of disorderly conduct. Bail was set at $50. According to police, Clark did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Man fined for pretending to be ghost in cemetery

A man has been fined for pretending to be a ghost in a cemetery. Anthony Stallard, 24, had been out drinking when he went to Kingston Cemetery in Portsmouth, Hampshire. While there with friend Martin Collingwood, Stallard was seen kicking a football at graves before making ghostly noises within earshot of people visiting graves. He was reported to police, who arrested him and charged him with using threatening or abusive words or behavior likely to cause distress. Prosecuting at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, Tim Concannon said: "While the football was going on they were shouting and this defendant was effectively singing loudly and being disrespectful in among the graves. He was throwing himself backwards, waving his arms about and going 'wooooooo'. I’m assuming he was pretending to be a ghost." Stallard accepted at a previous hearing that his behavior could cause distress to grieving relatives and had pleaded guilty.
Defending Denise Saunders said: "He has accepted that his behavior, if it had been outside of a cemetery would not have been inappropriate, but inside a cemetery while people are grieving for their loved ones it might be." She added: "He is apologetic as demonstrated by his early guilty plea." The court heard that Stallard had committed the offense while subject to a 12-month conditional discharge, which he had received for a charge of harassment in January. He was also in breach of a suspended sentence for an offense of assault, which he had committed in August last year.
Ms Saunders argued that Stallard had complied well with his previous sentence of supervision and he was being tested for autism, which could have meant he did not understand the consequences of his actions. Stallard, of Southsea, was fined £35 and made to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £20 in court costs. An extra three months was added to his suspended sentence, which will now run for 15 months instead of the previous 12. If he commits a further offense that breaches this suspended sentence, he will face 12 weeks imprisonment. Charges of causing damage to the gravestones caused when the pair were playing football were dismissed due to lack of evidence when neither witness showed at court. The case against Mr Collingwood, 36, of Portsmouth, was discontinued.

Daily Comic Relief


Motorist killed and passenger wounded when hunter mistook their car for a wild boar

A short-sighted hunter who shot a car driver dead and wounded his passenger after mistaking them for wild pigs is facing 5 years in jail.
Zbigniew Kowalski, 60, from the town of Leczyca in central Poland, had been out hunting in a nearby forest when he spotted the car containing victims Lukasz Nowakowski, 21, who survived, and Josef Kuchar, 23, who later died. Mistaking the car for a wild boar he had let off a volley of shots, hitting Kuchar in the neck and Nowakowski in the chest.
Prosecutor Krzystof Kopania said: "The two men were wounded, but the driver Josef Kuchar, who later died, managed to drive them both to his home where his parents immediately called an ambulance. "But by the time he got to hospital it was too late. We identified the hunter, he was immediately detained and he confirmed that he had mistakenly shot at the car.
"He realized his mistake when the 'wild boar' started its engine and drove off, but because whoever had driven off had clearly been alive he assumed he had missed the vehicle." Kowalsk later said he had not called police as a result and had carried on hunting. It was only when police cars turned up that and he was questioned by officers did he realize he had indeed hit somebody in the car. Police confirmed that he will now be charged with manslaughter.

Elderly lady injured in mishap with pony-drawn wheelchair

An 87-year-old woman was injured on Tuesday after hitching her wheelchair to the back of a pony in Bavaria, Germany.
The owner of the pony, a 52-year-old acquaintance of the injured woman is now facing legal proceedings after the illegal tour of Schwarzenbach am Wald, police said on Wednesday. The woman in the wheelchair had been hitched up to the pony using a standard carriage harness, but instead of a carriage, it was hooked on to the wheelchair.
The trio of pony owner, senior and pony then toured the Bavarian town without incident until they stopped to take a photo. It was then that the pony spooked, took off, dragging the hapless octogenarian behind it. The terrifying ride came to an end when the animal jumped a kerb, throwing the woman out of her wheelchair. She was taken to hospital and discharged after being given treatment for a head injury.

Police spokesman Harald Schnabel said that the incident is now before the courts, as it is considered a traffic accident, "with, of course, an unusual sort of vehicle". It has not been decided yet what action will be taken against the pony owner for the illegal carriage ride. The woman is now back at home recovering. Schnabel added: "She will probably stay away from the back end of horses for the rest of her life." The pony was uninjured in the incident.

Crocodile vs Shark

Tourists on a wildlife cruise exploring Australia’s Adelaide River on Monday were stunned to see a crocodile chomping down on a large bull shark.

Mother and daughter in fear of their lives after violent murder of rock and roll dancing rabbit

A mother and daughter are living in fear after intruders broke into their home in the Paralowie suburb of Adelaide, Australia, and killed their pet rabbit in a callous attack. June Dyer says she fears further attacks after her nine-year old daughter found their pet bunny Roxy crumpled with a broken neck and paws in the back yard of her home last Friday. “We came home and I said to my daughter, we’ve got some spare strawberries, go give some to Roxy, and next minute I just heard a deathly scream, she just called out ‘Mum, come out here’,” Ms Dyer said.
“I came out and saw what had happened and started crying and said straight away ‘oh no, we’re next’, that’s what came straight to my mind. My daughter went straight into a rage because it was her baby, Roxy was the first pet that she’s had in her life.” Ms Dyer said her daughter would take Roxy for walks to school on a lead and the one-year old bunny was popular among members of the rock and roll club she was a member of. “We taught it to dance, you put the music on and it would dance around your feet, it was such an intelligent little thing,” she said.
“He was the only rabbit I know in Adelaide that walked on a lead and danced to rock and roll music.” Ms Dyer said Roxy had been trained to use a kitty-litter tray and slept on her daughter’s bed some nights. She said her daughter and other students had undergone counseling over the devastating attack. “We are scared for our lives, my daughter has to sleep in my bed and she has been diagnosed as suffering depression,” she said. Ms Dyer said she had received death threats and harassing phone calls over the past year but was unsure of who would go to such lengths to target her.
“It must be someone that’s very sick in their mind, because I work in mental health I would have to say that person is delusional and totally dangerous, if you’re going to kill an innocent rabbit, what is next? Why would you do that to an innocent animal, it’s just totally wrong.” Ms Dyer and her daughter buried Roxy in a small grave in their back yard, and said they were planning on adopting another baby rabbit to train. She said her home had been the subject of vandal attacks in recent months, but was shocked that anyone would go to such violent lengths to target her. A spokesman for SA Police said investigations into the matter were continuing and urged anyone with information them.

Old Sharks

Nuclear bomb testing from the 50s and 60s had at least one perk: it's enabling scientists now to learn that many sharks are much older.

Animal Pictures