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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Daily Drift

Hey wingnuts - get a clue ..!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

Yep, them's weirdos, all right ... !
Today is  - Wonderful Weirdos Day
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Today in History

337 Constantine's three sons, already Caesars, each take the title of Augustus. Constantine II and Constans share the west while Constantius II takes control of the east.
1087 William the Conquerer, Duke of Normandy and King of England, dies in Rouen while conducting a war which began when the French king made fun of him for being fat.
1513 King James IV of Scotland is defeated and killed by English at Flodden.
1585 Pope Sixtus V deprives Henry of Navarre of his rights to the French crown.
1776 The term "United States" is adopted by the Continental Congress to be used instead of the "United Colonies."
1786 George Washington calls for the abolition of slavery.
1791 French Royalists take control of Arles and barricade themselves inside the town.
1834 Parliament passes the Municipal Corporations Act, reforming city and town governments in England.
1850 California, in the midst of a gold rush, enters the Union as the 31st state.
1863 The Union Army of the Cumberland passes through Chattanooga as they chase after the retreating Confederates. The Union troops will soon be repulsed at the Battle of Chickamauga.
1886 The Berne International Copyright Convention takes place.
1911 An airmail route opens between London and Windsor.
1915 A German zeppelin bombs London for the first time, causing little damage.
1926 The Radio Corporation of America creates the National Broadcasting Co.
1942 A Japanese float plane, launched from a submarine, makes its first bombing run on a U.S. forest near Brookings, Oregon.
1943 Allied troops land at Salerno, Italy and encounter strong resistance from German troops.
1948 Kim Il-sung declares the establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
1956 Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show; cameras focus on his upper torso and legs to avoid showing his pelvis gyrations, which many Americans—including Ed Sullivan—thought unfit for a family show.
1965 US Department of Housing and Urban Development established.
1965 Hurricane Betsy, the first hurricane to exceed $1 billion in damages (unadjusted), makes its second landfall, near New Orleans.
1969 Canada's Official Languages Act takes effect, making French equal to English as a language within the nation's government.
1970 U.S. Marines launch Operation Dubois Square, a 10-day search for North Vietnamese troops near DaNang.
1971 Attica Prison Riot; the 4-day riot leaves 39 dead.
1976 Communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung dies in Beijing at age 82.
1990 Sri Lankan Army massacres 184 civilians of the Tamil minority in the Batticaloa District of Sri Lanka.
1991 Tajikstan declares independence from USSR.
1993 The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officially recognizes Israel as a legitimate state.
2001 Two al Qaeda assassins kill Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.
2001 A car bomb explodes outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing 10 people.

Non Sequitur


A vist to Sams' Club

Yesterday I was at Sam's Club, buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Owen , the Wonder Dog and was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had an elephant?

So because I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete, (certified), so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I had stopped to pee on a fire hydrant and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Sam's Club won't let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.

Double Mastectomies

A new study has some surprising findings about the efficacy of a double mastectomy compared to other forms of breast cancer treatment. Tara breaks down the study's results. 

President Obama Hammers repugicans In Congress For Having No Common Sense

On Meet The Press, President Obama called out repugicans in Congress for not having common sense. The president pointed out that the lack of common sense has led repugicans to obstruct everything.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, here’s the issue. I think elections matter. I think votes matter. And given the fact that the punditry overwhelmingly felt that this was going to–

CHUCK TODD: You’re overtly pointing at me.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: That– that this was going to be a good year for Senate repugicans, because the seats that were up were in states that were tilting or significantly with– with significant repugican majorities. If we– if democrats hold the Senate, I think that should get repugicans to once again–
CHUCK TODD: You think that sends a national message?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think what it does is– is to– to send a message to repugicans that people want to get stuff done. Their– their strategy of just obstructing and saying no to every piece of legislation that might help middle class families, that might create ladders of opportunity, that that is an agenda that the American people reject.
And that then gives us room, hopefully, to find some compromises. I’ve– I’ve said this before, Chuck. You know, if you asked me back in August what I want for my birthday, I’d say, “Give me a loyal opposition that has some common sense and is willing to work on some basic issues that didn’t used to be partisan issues.”
It didn’t use to be that building roads, bridges, improving our airports, improving our water systems, reducing traffic, those didn’t used to be partisan issues. They have become partisan issues, because you’ve got a small portion of the repugican cabal that is fixated simply on dismantling government or making sure that we don’t get anything done around here. And that’s why elections matter.

If that approach is rejected, then you possibly have two years where we can get a whole bunch of stuff done. And the good news is that despite all that obstruction, America’s made progress. You’ve heard me speak on the stump about this, Chuck. The fact of the matter is that on almost every economic index that you can think of, America’s better off now than we were five years ago.
The president hit the nail on the head. The repugican opposition in Congress is so ideological that they lack common sense. Rebuilding and repairing infrastructure is common sense. The repugicans claim that they want to create jobs, but companies and businesses aren’t going to locate in areas, or countries, with poor infrastructure.
Infrastructure is the key to economic growth and development. The repugicans used to understand this, but today they see every taxpayer dollar spent that isn’t a tax cut for a wealthy person or break for a corporation as “big government.” Taking care of our veterans and people who are less fortunate used to be common sense, but the long-term unemployed have been waiting nearly nine months for an extension of their benefits that isn’t coming.
It was less than a decade ago when basic programs were agreed upon as necessary by both political parties. The repugican mindset has completely shifted into a my way or no way approach. Washington isn’t broken. The repugican cabal is broken. The repugican cabal has abandoned the basic values that all Americans agreed on at one time.
If the country gives President Obama a Congress with an ounce of common sense, things will get done before the end of his time in office.

Fumbling Toward War: The repugican cabal’s Foreign Policy of Hate

The repugican foreign policy is a tortured and terrifying admixture of religious dogmatism, political ideology, and corporate thirst for profit…
“Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is the be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
– Lord Palmerston, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Speech to the House of Commons, 1848

If you contrast the wise and pragmatic views of Lord Palmerstone with the rhetoric coming out of the wingnuts of the American political spectrum, you see at once the problems facing America will not be ameliorated by repugican victories in 2014 or, the gods forbid, 2016.
The repugican foreign policy, as we stand at the cusp of the autumn of 2014, can best be described as a tortured and terrifying admixture of religious dogmatism, political ideology, and corporate thirst for profit, an alchemy destined to keep America at war with somebody, somewhere, for any reason that can be conjured, in order to keep the profits flowing.
The repugicans have not always thought this way. Chuck Hagel warned at Foreign Affairs magazine in 2004:
Initiatives to promote political reform should be based on realistic assessments of the needs and dynamics of each country, not on ideological orthodoxy. As Henry Kissinger has noted, “a foreign policy to promote democracy needs to be adapted to local or regional realities, or it will fail. In the pursuit of democracy, policy — as in other realms — is the art of the possible.
In 2005, Hagel attacked the shrub junta over the Iraq War and in 2006 said, chillingly, “There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq.” One 2006 poll showed Hagel to be more popular with Democrats than with repugicans.
It should be noted that Chuck Hagel was afterward nominated by President Barack Obama to be his Secretary of Defense, despite the fact that Hagel supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Obama did not, revealing that Obama was less wedded to ideology than Hagel.
Tellingly, W. James Antlee III wrote at The American wingnut on July 28, 2014,
There is a reason the campaign against Chuck Hagel was so fierce and Jon Huntsman’s inability or unwillingness to appeal to wingnuts was so disappointing. With repugicans like James Baker and Brent Scowcroft aging out of government service, it’s possible that the wingnut foreign-policy establishment could become a realist-free zone.
But at the same time Antlee is condemning a rigid devotion to ideology, he is embracing christian just war theory, arguing that “just war theory is an approach to moralizing foreign policy with a long christian pedigree that is compatible with a strong national defense but actually limits the resort to arms.”
If, as Antlee asserts, “wingnuts who dissent from the reflexively hawkish status quo are presently at a disadvantage,” then embrace of just war theory seems a strange way to rectify the situation. History has taught us that wingnut christians can find ways to justify a unjust war, as when Rick Santorum defended the indefensible, the crusades:
The idea that the crusades and the fight of christendom against islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates christendom.
For Santorum, if you hate on the idea of just war, you hate on christendom itself, and therefore spit in the eye of god.
Or as in when the Iraq War became the latest religious crusade.
The shrub set the tone when on September 16, 2001 he called for a global “crusade” against terrorism, and the idea of a holy war caught on. This idea of a crusade caught on, and many wingnut christians came to see it as a war against the forces of satan, as when Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin told a cult in Oregon that islamic extremists hate the United States “because we’re a christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are judeo-christians. … And the enemy is a guy named satan.”
Much as Americans rail against jihad, they are more than willing to wage the christian equivalent, the crusade. If ISIL is now waging jihad on Americans on behalf of a caliphate real or imagined, it is only because they are dancing to a tune we called.
Though Donald Rumsfeld defending Boykin by saying that the War on Terrorism was “not a war against a religion,” for repugicans, the war on terror has very much become a war against a religion – islam. In the repugican foreign policy lexicon, the word “muslim” is now seen as synonymous with “terrorist.”
You can see the fruits of “just war” theory in the words of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson the other day:
Robertson was promoting his book when Sean Hannity asked “America’s preacher” to weigh in with his foreign policy insight on how America can best respond to radicalized muslims in ISIS. Like a good preacher, Robertson promptly whipped out his trusty christian bible and began citing scripture and verse. He read a passage from 1 John chapter 5 where he claimed god almighty divided the world into “two groups of people; the children of god, or christians, and those under the power of the evil one” he claimed was ISIS and likely all muslims. He also cited god’s words in Proverbs 8:36 that “all who hate me, love death.” The two scriptures led him to conclude that America has a simple foreign policy choice in dealing with the shrub’s spawn; “you either have to convert them, or kill them. One or the other.”
Right out of the bible. Appeal to just war will not get us out of this mess, because it got us into this mess, and rather than moderate a repugican foreign policy, it will inflame it.
Chuck Hagel, if the repugican cabal – which sees war as the answer to every circumstance – does not, would seem to have understood Field Marshal Douglas Haig’s injunction that, “Continuity of policy is not sacrosanct against diversity of circumstance.”
Hagel identifies “Terrorism [as] a historic and existential challenge that redefines traditional notions of security”:
A wise foreign policy recognizes that U.S. leadership is determined as much by our commitment to principle as by our exercise of power. Foreign policy is the bridge between the United States and the world, and between the past, the present, and the future. The United States must grasp the forces of change, including the power of a restless and unpredictable new generation that is coming of age throughout the world. Trust and confidence in U.S. leadership and intentions are critical to shaping a vital global connection with this next generation.
According to Hagel, again in Foreign Affairs,
[A] repugican foreign policy for the twenty-first century will require more than traditional realpolitik and balance-of-power politics. The success of our policies will depend not only on the extent of our power, but also on an appreciation of its limits. History has taught us that foreign policy must not succumb to the distraction of divine mission. It must inspire our allies to share in the enterprise of making a better world. It can do so by remaining true to seven principles.
This sounds more like the Obama foreign policy than anything even remotely possible coming from a repugican. For repugicans today, foreign policy IS a divine mission, with even our national borders established by god. How in the world can the word realpolitik (realistic or practical politics) ever be used in conjunction with any reference to repugican foreign policy?
Though, for example, Minnesota repugican lawmakers criticize President Obama’s foreign policy, repugicans have not only, as The Washington Post puts it, reclaimed “their status as the party of hawks,” but more alarmingly, as MSNBC warns, “potential 2016 repugican caballers lack foreign policy experience.”
There is nothing quite so frightening to the imagination as a bunch of warmongers who don’t know what they’re doing controlling the most powerful military arsenal on earth. What could go wrong? President Obama may have fumbled his way to peace, as some have charged, but how is fumbling your way to war in any way an improvement?

Detroit's Cash-Strapped Fire Departments Use Old Soda Cans for Fire Alarms

The economy and government finances of Detroit, Michigan are in awful condition. Fire departments in particular are struggling to address the city's 11,000-12,000 annual fires with little money. There is no centralized fire alert system. Or, rather, there's no modern one. But clever firefighters have found ways to learn about fires so that they can respond quickly.
One common method used in many firehouses throughout the city is a soda can filled with coins. Firefighters balance the can on their firehouse office printer. When a fire alert is faxed in, the paper knocks the can off the printer, making a loud noise. Then firefighters then know that it's time to check the printer and move out.

Fast-Food Workers Arrested In Fight For $15 Minimum Wage

On Thursday, nearly two years after fast-food employees first walked off the job in New York City, workers in dozens of cities around the country are staging a new round of strikes aimed at winning workers a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union. This spate of walk-outs will see a significant escalation in tactics: home healthcare workers will join the day of action, and some workers will engage in civil disobedience. Several have already been arrested.
"On Thursday, we are prepared to take arrests to show our commitment to the growing fight for $15," Terrence Wise, a Kansas City Burger King employee and a member of the fast-food workers' national organizing committee, said in a statement earlier this week.
Employees at restaurant chains including McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Burger King are walking off the job and staging sit-ins in 150 cities nationwide, from Chicago to Oakland, Pittsburg to Seattle. During the last one-day strike in May, workers protested in 150 US cities and 80 foreign cities, forcing several franchises to close for part of the day.
So far, the massive chains have been resistant to bumping up workers' wages. Nevertheless, the movement has dealt some serious setbacks to one of the biggest fast-food employers: McDonald's. The company's public image was tarnished significantly between 2013 and 2014, according to a recent study quantifying companies' reputations. McDonald's sales have fallen over the past year amid ramped up scrutiny from Congress over its poverty wages. And in July, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that McDonald's corporate can be held liable in worker lawsuits over wage-theft and working conditions. (The company had been arguing that it does not exert significant control over its franchises' employment practices.).

Deep math of the folded pizza slice

Why does a flat pizza slice flop over unless you bend it into a curve? Thank Gaussian curvature, the 19th century mathematical principle that underpins everything from corrugated cardboard to eggshells to Pringles chips.
Wired's Aatish Bhatia uses the pizza-slice as a jumping-off point to explain one of the most elegant and fascinating parts of geometry, and once you read his work, you'll never be able to look at a curved surface again:
Well, the pizza slice was flat before you picked it up (in math speak, it has zero Gaussian curvature). Gauss’s remarkable theorem assures us that one direction of the slice must always remain flat — no matter how you bend it, the pizza must retain a trace of its original flatness. When the slice flops over, the flat direction (shown in red below) is pointed sideways, which isn’t helpful for eating it. But by folding the pizza slice sideways, you’re forcing it to become flat in the other direction – the one that points towards your mouth. Theorema egregium, indeed.
By curving a sheet in one direction, you force it to become stiff in the other direction. Once you recognize this idea, you start seeing it everywhere. Look closely at a blade of grass. It’s often folded along its central vein, which adds stiffness and prevents it from flopping over. Engineers frequently use curvature to add strength to structures. In the Zarzuela race track in Madrid, the Spanish structural engineer Eduardo Torroja designed an innovative concrete roof that stretches out from the stadium, covering a large area while remaining just a few inches thick. It’s the pizza trick in disguise.

Website Dedicated To Secret Menus At Fast Food Restaurants

Some fast food chains have always had secret menus, while others have recently come around to the idea thanks to In-N-Out’s success with their secret menu, which makes customers feel like they've really mastered the art of eating out.
You used to have to search around online for posts detailing the contents of these secret menus, but now there’s a website dedicated to these deluxe dishes, and they're doing their best to gather every secret menu in one place- Hack The Menu.
They've collected 15 menus so far, for places ranging from Jamba Juice to Sonic, and they've even put together a list of healthy secret menu options, in case you're looking for some guilt free drive thru.

Argument over stolen meatball led to stabbing

A dispute between two employees of a business in Fallston, Maryland, over a stolen meatball led to a stabbing on Thursday, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies were called to the business at around 11:10am, where they learned there had been an altercation over one employee eating the other's meatball from his lunch, Sheriff's Office spokesperson Cristie Kahler said.
An argument ensued and the employee who had eaten the meatball was stabbed in the arm by the employee whose lunch he had taken the meatball from, Kahler said.
The assailant, a 31-year-old Edgewood man, fled the scene. The victim, a 36-year-old Aberdeen man, was taken to a local hospital and later discharged. Charges are pending, Kahler said.

Man upset about residents parking on the street egged their cars

Police in Clermont, Florida, arrested a man on Thursday they said egged several vehicles in his neighborhood over the last month.

Steven Rosa, 58, has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief. Police said Rosa was upset with some of the residents for parking on the street, so he threw eggs at vehicles.
One of the victims caught Rosa on Thursday morning on video passing her vehicles and throwing the eggs out of his car. The victim claims the numerous incidents caused nearly $2,000 damage to her cars.

The victim also told police it wasn't the first time her cars were egged . She said it happened a few times before she installed home video surveillance cameras to catch the culprit.

Ticking package that caused evacuation of government building was box of clocks

A suspicious ticking box that prompted the shutdown of a Los Angeles County building across the street from the Hall of Justice on Friday was discovered to be a box of clocks and other presents for retirees.
The package was left unattended on the third floor of the Hall of Administration building, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. An employee found the package addressed to someone in her office and placed it on a desk.
After hearing beeping coming from the package, she notified deputies and security inside the building. Five K-9 units with explosives-detecting dogs and the LASD Arson Explosives Detail responded to the scene.
The second, third and fourth floors were evacuated until investigators were able to assess the danger. An X-ray photo revealed the box's contents: retirement award pens, pencils, watches and clocks.

Drunk driver hospitalized after using perfume as breath freshener

A high-range drunk driver tried to dupe police in Queensland, Australia, by quaffing a bottle of perfume, police say. The man's attempt to beat the odds meant he didn't go directly to jail - instead he took a detour to the hospital before being charged.
Police say the man, 30, had a blood alcohol reading of 0.293 - almost six times the legal limit - when he was pulled over for speeding on the Pacific Motorway at Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane's south at about 6am on Saturday.
"It's alleged when police were speaking to him, he drank perfume as a breath freshener to attempt to mask the scent of alcohol," a police spokeswoman said. He was then taken to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital for treatment. He's since been charged with exceeding the speed limit and drink driving.

Inebriated lady yelling obscenities arrested after refusing to get off neighbor's trampoline

A woman from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is accused of yelling obscenities while lying on a neighbor's trampoline.
When police officers asked her to leave, she refused. Spartanburg County deputies were called to a home at about 5:45am on Friday where neighbors complained that Debbie Robinson was disrupting them.
The homeowner told deputies Robinson shouted expletives and knocked on her door before lying down on the trampoline, according to the sheriff's office report.
The report said Robinson continued to yell out so neighbors could hear and admitted to deputies she had been drinking. Deputies said Robinson refused to get off the trampoline and go inside her home , so she was placed under arrest and charged with public disorderly conduct.

Intruder held at gunpoint by homeowner offered to mow his lawn in exchange for freedom

A Florida homeowner held a burglar at gunpoint on Wednesday morning, and while the man waited in his house for police to arrive, the intruder made a proposition. In exchange for his freedom, the burglar offered to mow the man's lawn. The incident began when Joseph Cihak woke to use the bathroom at about 4:30am.
He carried his handgun with him because less than a week before, someone had broken into his home in St. Petersburg. He and his wife made a plan to carry a gun any time they left their bedroom at night. On his way to the bathroom, Cihak heard a rustling noise coming from the living room, police said. There, he found a man rifling through his belongings. The burglar rushed Cihak, police said, and the homeowner fired two shots.
Then the gun jammed. The burglar ran toward the kitchen, trying to find a way out, and police said Cihak ran for another gun. Cihak came back to the kitchen to find Bryan Remley, 25, lying on the floor, police said. He was uninjured. Cihak's wife, Colleen Traversa, heard her husband confront the man and called police. As they waited for police to arrive, Remley asked Cihak to let him go and promised to come back to mow the lawn, police said.
"That probably would have done it for me," joked police spokesman Mike Puetz, "but for this particular guy, he wanted to wait for the cops." Police said Remley had a 4-inch knife in a holster with him. He was charged with armed burglary and violation of probation, and he had an outstanding warrant from Seminole County on a petty theft charge.



The Days When Thousands of Cables Crowded The Skies

Before most cables ran underground, all electrical, telephone and telegraph wires were suspended from high poles, creating strange and crowded streetscapes. Here are some typical views of late-19th century Boston, New York, Stockholm, and other wire-filled cities.

Suicide Tourism

This is a growing industry?

40 Maps That Explain The Roman Empire

Two thousand years ago, on August 19, 14 AD, Caesar Augustus died. He was Rome's first emperor, having won a civil war more than 40 years earlier that transformed the dysfunctional Roman Republic into an empire. Under Augustus and his successors, the empire experienced 200 years of relative peace and prosperity.
Here are 40 maps that explain the Roman Empire - its rise and fall, its culture and economy, and how it laid the foundations of the modern world.

Afghanistan is worth $1 trillion

Despite being one of the poorest nations in the world, Afghanistan may be sitting on one of the richest troves of minerals in the world.

Don Juan Pond

The Saltiest Body Of Water On Earth
Don Juan Pond is a small, ankle-deep lake located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. With a salinity level of over 40%, it is the saltiest known body of water on earth. The pond is 18 times saltier than the ocean.
Even though it's situated in one of the coldest region in Antarctica, Don Juan Pond is so salty that it never freezes even in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius.

New Land Tsunami

A new volcanic island growing 600 miles south of Tokyo is still growing, and scientists worry it could collapse and cause a tsunami, or else explode.

Daily Comic Relief


Aurora: Picture Perfect

In recent weeks, the International Space Station crew have been treated some some mind-blowing auroral displays. Here are some of our favorite moments.

Can you hear me, now?

You know the slick "Whoosh" you hear from spacecraft zooming through the cosmos in Hollywood Sci-Fi movies? Yeah, that just isn't happening. Trace explains what happens to sound in the vacuum of space. 

Watching the Clouds

In a recent series of images sent back from the Red Planet, the six-wheeled rover tracked a formation of clouds drift overhead, blown by high altitude winds. 

Cattle Rustling in Russia

Completely oblivious to the security camera pointed right at them, a group of men in a small car take the opportunity to swipe a cow. Yeah, I said “group” of men. There’s even one in the back seat, which I’m sure was a pleasant experience during the getaway trip. The question remains: Is it still called “cattle rustling” when it’s just one cow?

Animal Pictures