Welcome to ...

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, September 15, 2014

The Daily Drift

Hey wingnuts - That is sarcasm (just so you'd know) ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

Odd Hat ... !
Today is  - Felt Hat Day
Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Philomath, Nashua, Islip and Ypsilanti, United States
Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad-Tobago
Montreal, Quebec, Calgary and North York, Canada
Sao Paulo, Londrina, Rio De Janeiro, Pocao De Pedras and Patrocinio, Brazil
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Mexico City and Ecatepec, Mexico
Managua, Nicaragua
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Katowice, Poznan and Wroclaw, Poland
Vinnytsya and Dniproptrovsk, Ukraine
Covilha, Portugal
Milan, Settimo Milanese, Rome, Terlizzi, Ravenna and Ivrea, Italy
Horni Pocernice and Brno, Czech Republic
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Houten and Groningen, Netherlands
Zenica, Mostar and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Widdern, Sulzbach, Nuremberg and Karlsruhe, Germany
Ryazan, Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Dmitrovsk-Orlovsky and Vladivostok, Russia
Rouen, France
Madrid, Spain
Goeteborg, Sweden
Reykjavik, Iceland
Dublin, Ireland
Vienna, Austria
Bucharest, Romania
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Tehran and Tabriz, Iran
Dhanbad, Patna, Kolkata, Jodhpur and Pune, India
Vacoas, Mauritius
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Singapore, Singapore
Bangkok, Thailand
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tokyo, Japan
Semerang, Indonesia
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Male, Maldives
Rabat, Morocco
Cape Town, South Africa
Lagos, Nigeria
Lusaka, Zambia
The Pacific
Sampaloc and Marilao, Philippines
Auckland, New Zealand
Perth, Australia

Today In History

1588 The Spanish Armada, which attempted to invade England, is destroyed by a British fleet.
1776 The British occupy Manhattan.
1788 An alliance between Britain, Prussia and the Netherlands is ratified at the Hague.
1858 The Butterfield Overland Mail Company begins delivering mail from St. Louis to San Francisco. The company's motto is: "Remember, boys, nothing on God's earth must stop the United States mail!"
1862 Confederates capture Harpers Ferry, securing the rear of Robert E. Lee's forces in Maryland.
1891 The Dalton gang holds up a train and takes $2,500 at Wagoner, Oklahoma.
1914 President Woodrow Wilson orders the Punitive Expedition out of Mexico. The Expedition, headed by General John Pershing, had been searching for Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary.
1916 Armored tanks are introduced by the British during the Battle of the Somme.
1928 Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers, by accident, that the mold penicillin has an antibiotic effect.
1935 In Berlin, the Reich under Adolf Hitler adopts the swastika as the national flag.
1937 Prime Minister of England Neville Chamberlain flies to Germany to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia with Adolf Hitler.
1939 The Polish submarine Orzel arrives in Tallinn, Estonia, after escaping the German invasion of Poland.
1950 U.N. Forces, lead by the U.S. Marine Corps, invade occupied Korea at the port of Inchon. Considered the greatest amphibious attack in history, it is the zenith of General Douglas MacArthur's career.
1959 Nikita Khrushchev becomes first Soviet leader to visit the US.
1961 Hurricane Carla comes ashore in Texas, the second-most powerful ever to make landfall in that state.
1963 Four young African-American girls are killed by the bombing of a church in Montgomery, Alabama.
1966 US President Lyndon Johnson urges Congress to adopt gun control legislation in the wake of Charles Whitman's sniper attack from the University of Texas's Texas Tower; in all, Whitman shot and killed 15 people before being shot dead himself by an Austin police officer.
1968 The USSR launches Zond 5, which becomes the first spaceshipt to orbit the moon and reenter Earth's atmosphere.
1971 The environmental group Greenpeace is founded.
1981 Sandra Day O'Connor is unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to become the first female justice on the US Supreme Court.
1983 Menachem Begin resigns as premier of Israel.
1990 France announces it will send 4,000 troops to join those of other nations assembling in the Persian Gulf to protect Saudi Arabia and force Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein to withdraw troops from occupied Kuwait.
1998 MCI WorldCom begins operations after a landmark merger between World Com and MCI Communications.
2004 National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman announces a lockout of the players union.
2008 The largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US history is filed by Lehman Brothers financial services firm.

Non Sequitur


The Real Threats To America’s Security Are Wingnuts Within Our Borders

The biggest threat to America is not radical Islamists or a foreign power, but homegrown extremists intent on creating an Aryan nation founded on biblical principles. …
Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat or risk to health or life, status and power, security, or in the case of human beings, anything held valuable. The repugicans have made political careers out of inducing fear in the population that became a valuable tool in their crusade against Islam they couched as a war on terror. Although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were becoming extremely unpopular at the end of the shrub’s reign of terror in 2008, repugicans duly picked up the “muslim threat” mantle with the election of Barack Obama as President by claiming that the President is a muslim sympathizer at least, and a likely “jihadist” according to many wingnuts in the teabagger movement.
It is no secret repugicans love sending Americans to war, particularly after 2001 when they lumped all muslims together as an existential threat to this country and embarked on a fear-mongering crusade that America’s greatest enemy was islam. However, Americans will never hear a repugican, or teabagger, issue even a tepid warning about a very real threat to America; heavily-armed and disgruntled wingnuts and white supremacists who harbor as intense a hatred for people of color as they do being part of the United States of America. Coupled with a growing religious extremist and anti-government militia movement, the biggest threat to America is not radical islamists or a foreign power, but homegrown extremists intent on creating an Aryan nation founded on biblical principles.
Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) revealed that a white supremacist wingnut group, the League of the South (LOS), is in the process of training a uniformed, paramilitary unit tasked with advancing a second southern secession by any means necessary after years of “only threatening violence against the United States of America.” According to leaked internal documents and anonymous sources within the LOS, as well as leaked internal communications, the LOS secret paramilitary unit has been dubbed “The Indomitables” replete with white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, and neo-Nazis.
The SPLC reports that “the Indomitables” were “conceptualized” at a LOS national meeting earlier in the year and apparently is growing quickly with a U.S. Army and Navy veteran in charge of training for the coming race war to create an Aryan nation. The ‘veteran’ often boasts about “earning his red bootlaces; an award in skinhead culture for “drawing blood for the movement.” He also dreams of the coming day he can throw “boot parties for enemies” (African Americans) of the LOS. The white supremacist’s signature photo is an image of himself holding an assault rifle.
The League of the South advocates for a new secession and an Aryan society dominated by “European Americans” with a stated goal of creating a “godly” nation ruled by “Anglo-Celtic” (white) elites who establish a christian theocratic state and dominate African Americans and other minorities. The group’s leader, Michael Hill, believes that “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery,” and that returning to a “political and social system based on kith and kin rather than the idea of the universal rights of man. At its core is a European population.” According to Hill, “If the scenario of America being overrun by hordes of non-whites does not appeal to you, then how is this disaster to be averted? By the people who oppose it rising up against their traitorous elite masters and their misanthropic rule. This is both healthy and biblical.
Hill claimed last month that the Second Amendment extends to weapons systems, guerrilla warfare applications, and listed the “primary targets” in the fight for an Aryan nation. Hill wrote in an essay that “The primary targets will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run.” He ended his white supremacist screed by citing the christian bible; “blessed be the lord my strength who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.
Now, every time there is even a mention of the growing threat of white supremacists pushing a race war, which is what the LOS is proposing in creating an Aryan nation, there is a tendency to minimize the threat as a small group of isolated extremists; nothing could be farther from the truth. If Americans have been paying attention to events across the nation, they know there is a simmering hatred for people of color among a larger segment of the population than they want to admit. The events in Ferguson Missouri where a white police officer brutally murdered an unarmed African American teenager, and the subsequent military response to equally unarmed African American protestors should give Americans a clue there is a deep-seated hatred of people of color in America. Don’t believe it?
In New York police are given free rein to stop and frisk African Americans for no other reason than they are not white. In Arizona, repugicans passed a law giving law enforcement the right to demand brown-skinned people prove they are American, and police across the nation are regularly gunning down unarmed African Americans with impunity. The repugicans are crusading to disenfranchise African Americans by restricting their right to vote, including recently in Georgia where a repugican state senator is livid that voting rights advocates made it easier for African Americans to cast ballots and wants to shut down the Black vote. Throughout the 2012 general election campaign and ongoing, repugicans demonized African Americans as takers stealing real American’s (read white people) assets. It was no coincidence that Cliven Bundy is a racist that attracted equally racist militias to wage war against the federal government with an African American man as President.
Many Americans errantly assume that the white supremacists threatening a race war, or advocating for an Aryan nation, are restricted to the former Confederacy and that is a gross error. Every state in the Union has neo-Nazi white supremacist sympathizers who cannot accept, and are furious, that America is a diverse and all-inclusive nation. Subsequently, they are more than willing to engage in a race war to create what the League of the South refers to as  “a godly nation ruled by Anglo-Celtic elites to dominate African Americans and people of color.” This is what teabaggers, repugicans, and their ilk refer to when they scream they want to “take America back;” back to a time before the civil rights movement when people of color “knew their place,” were restricted from voting, and were legally forced into subjection to the will of the white christian elite.
The greatest threat to the security of this country is not from outside its borders, it is from within. There is a good reason repugicans and their wingnut cohorts never warn Americans of the threat from white supremacists and it is because they would expose their base as the greatest threat to America. Remember, it was repugican Lindsey Graham who said “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term,” but it is not for lack of trying. Obviously, his words were a rallying cry for white supremacists to stop dreaming of a race war and begin paramilitary training to wage a race war and create a nation ruled by “angry white guys.”
Many Americans think there are pockets of racists in different parts of the country and although that may be true, it is a safe bet that every person in America knows at least one angry white person. They are the people who hate immigrants, support law enforcement targeting and killing African Americans, refer to every young Black male as a “thug,” or decry people of color “taking their stuff.” They are predominately wingnuts, teabaggers, and more than likely any repugican yearning to take America back to the era when Anglo-Celtic elites dominated African Americans, and since they can hardly accomplish their mission legislatively, they are in training to accomplish it militarily. Tragically, few Americans are paying attention or fear the real threat to national security; angry white guys posing as “real wingnuts” whether they are teabaggers, repugicans, or members of the League of the South.

House repugicans STILL Have No Strategy To Avoid a Government Shutdown

John Boehner continues to say that House repugicans will pass a CR that avoids a government shutdown, but behind close doors repugicans still don’t have a strategy to avoid another shutdown.
Roll Call reported,
boehner-faceAnother obstacle for the House repugican leadership team — which has a brand new configuration after the resignation of ex-Majority Leader Eric Cantor — is coming up with a legislative response that actually has the votes to pass, and preferably without too much help from the Democrats. The House was meant to vote on a CR on Thursday, but with Obama’s eleventh hour request for ISIS language, the repugican cabal pulled the measure to re-evaluate options.
Whether adding the Syrian rebel language in the CR would make it harder to pass is still a question with no easy answer.
“Let’s just see what [repugicans] propose, we have no idea what they’ll propose,” said Ways and Means ranking member Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., on Thursday. “We don’t know what’s in the CR … repugicans just don’t seem to make clear what they want to do.”
House repugicans have left themselves four legislative days to pass a CR, and nobody knows what the bill is going to look like.
John Boehner and Harry Reid had agreed to a short-term CR in August, but now that is up in the air, “The stop-gap spending bill that Reid and Boehner had quietly agreed to over the August break would need to be revised to include the new measure and skeptical rank-and-file lawmakers would need to be wooed and whipped, adding new drama to what many in Washington expected would be a sleepy September session.
President Obama wants the authorization for training the Syrian rebels included in the CR, but House repugicans are already expressing reservations that are about voting for anything that the president asks for so close to an election. The fact that repugicans have no strategy isn’t surprising. This is a House majority that has been guided by the whims of the tea party for years.
Another government shutdown would be a disaster for the repugicans. They won't get their act together with outside groups like Heritage Action calling for the government to be shutdown, House repugicans are on the verge of an act of political suicide.
Speaker Boehner criticizes President Obama, but the repugicans don’t even have a plan to avoid another government shutdown.

The repugicans Are Fixated On Using Extortion To Rule America

The truth is that since teabaggers became de facto leaders of the repugican cabal, they have contemplated various schemes to shutdown Washington. …
When an individual or group reaches a state of mind in which they become obsessed with, or inordinately attached to, an idea or a stated goal they are considered by psychologists to be fixated. Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of being close to a person fixated on an idea can attest that nothing will deter the person’s obsession, even if there is a danger to themselves or others. There is a fairly substantial number of conservatives who are obsessed with bringing the federal government to its knees because there is an African American sitting in the Oval Office, and they are fixated on shutting down the government if their efforts are thwarted by the President or Senate Democrats.
The truth is that since teabaggers became de facto leaders of the repugican cabal, they have contemplated various schemes to shutdown Washington. After Ted Cruz took control of the repugican House and masterminded the government shutdown last October, many repugicans complained bitterly about and railed against other repugicans who voted to re-open the government and they have been obsessed with shutting it down again. In fact, their fixation with a shutdown is so overwhelming they have promised that if they gain control of both houses of Congress, their approach to “ruling America” will be predicated on the perpetual threat of closing the government to force President Obama to assist their “bring the government to its knees” obsession.
After the shutdown last October, 18 repugican Senators and 114 House repugicans voted against ending the government shutdown and by all accounts they have not gotten over the fact their efforts failed and they are apparently Hell-bent on forcing another shutdown. One may think the October shutdown was over defunding the Affordable Care Act, but with a new round of excuses to force a shutdown, they obviously just want the government closed if they cannot rule as dictators. The true extent of their obsession is evident in that they have proposed several unrelated “reasons” to shut down the government despite there is a midterm election on the horizon. Since his last government shutdown failed to produce the desired results, Ted Cruz has come up with an idea that one senior Senate Democratic aide called a “Ted Cruz-Sponsored Government  Shutdown 2.0″ because in Cruz’s mind shutting down the government is part of Republicans’ goal of “using every tool at our disposal” against President Obama.
Cruz’s big idea is to attach language abolishing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to the important must-pass continuing resolution that if not passed by September 30, means a shutdown is highly likely. According to Cruz, shutting down the government is a valid legislative ploy to counter the shrub-signed 2008 legislation responsible for Central American children seeking refuge in America. The DACA program has nothing whatsoever to do with the 2008 law, but repugicans claim it is the sole culprit driving the unaccompanied minors coming to America. House repugicans already passed legislation ending the deportation-relief program and demand the Senate take up the measure. Since the Senate is not following Cruz’s repugican House demands, he wants to force a shutdown by including the divisive immigration provision in the continuing resolution.
Cruz’s plan is not the only repugican plot in the works to force a shutdown by any means. Earlier in the year shortly after the President announced the Environmental Protection Agency would seek a reduction in carbon emissions, a rash of repugicans beholden to the Koch brothers and power-generating industry rushed to threaten a shutdown by refusing to fund the government past the September 30th deadline if the EPA dared go forward with the carbon reduction rules. It is part of the “use any and all means necessary” against the President to protect the dirty energy industry.
The other day it was reported that repugicans had a “meltdown” over the President’s “request that authorization to arm the rebels in Syria be added to the continuing resolution.” The President coming to Congress to “request” authorization was apparently too much for repugicans that they had to postpone a scheduled consideration of the continuing resolution with only a few working days left before the September 30th deadline to fund the government.  What is telling, is that House repugicans had to “schedule time to consider” the continuing resolution they were already threatening to block at the request of two wingnut groups.
The political arm of the Heritage Foundation, Heritage Action, and the Club for Growth called on repugicans to vote against funding the government because it includes “harmful provisions” including extending the Export-Import Bank. Heritage threatened to include each repugican vote to fund the government on its legislative scorecard as a threat to kill the CR and shutdown the government. The issue with the Export-Import bank that has repugicans in a rage is that it provides critical support to help American companies compete with their foreign counterparts around the globe that wingnuts claim belongs to Wall Street and private banks. Killing the government aid to American businesses has been a top priority for wingnuts despite major business groups attempts to save it as a “critical support mechanism” for American companies to remain competitive in a global market.” Heritage and Club for Growth wrote a letter to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy demanding he stand by comments he made in June to vehemently “oppose the bank’s continued existence.”
What is apparent is that none of the reasons repugicans are giving for not passing the continuing resolution are even remotely related except they involve the federal government that Mitch McConnell promised the Koch brothers repugicans will “go after” if they control Congress. Using the EPA’s carbon reduction rules, DACA, Export-Import Bank helping American businesses, or authorization to combat the Islamic State are simply, as Cruz asserts, tools to shut down the government if President Obama and Democrats fail to help repugicans dismantle the federal government.
Threatening to shut down the government is not a valid means of governance; it is extortion and repugicans are obsessed with using it to rule, not govern. What reveals their fixation is that despite they accomplished nothing with their last shutdown in October, they began using the extortion threat again in June due to the new carbon emission rules within a few months of the midterm elections. Now, with an extremely short number of days on the job before government funding lapses, and a bit over two months before the midterms, repugicans are ramping up their obsession to fulfill a sick fixation with shutting down the government as a valid means of ruling by extortion.

Overconfident repugicans Are Planning Their Agenda For When They Control The Senate

The repugicans are already acting like they have won the Senate, by planning and announcing the agenda for when they are in charge.
Mitch McConnell, John CornynThe repugicans are putting together an agenda for the first 100 days of 2015 in case they win control of the Senate.
Authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline, approving “fast-track” trade authority, wiping out proposed environmental regulations and repealing the medical device tax top their list.
“Those would all be positive things. You could come up with a list of very positive things and all of us are thinking about those,” said Sen. Bob Corker (r-Tenn.), who is poised to become chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee under a repugican takeover.
The agenda that they are discussing seems very small. What is insane about it is that Senate repugicans think it will create jobs. One might have thought that they would have learned when they tried this during the Reagan and shrub years that rolling back environmental regulations doesn’t create jobs. Keystone XL is not a job creator either. It is a project that only enrich the oil companies that will sell the oil overseas.
It is arrogant for repugicans to be laying out an agenda for a Senate that they will not win control of. If Democrats in key states needed any more motivation to take this election seriously, the Senate repugicans just gave it to them. The fact is that control of the Senate hinges on several close elections around the country. When the repugicans stumble in one or two contests (and you know they will), they will not be in the majority.
This is not the time to be measuring the drapes. The repugicans will live to regret discussing an agenda that will never be.

Obamacare ‘Death Panel’ Inventor Turns Tail And Runs During ‘Daily Show’ Appearance

betsy mccaugheyedited
On last Thursday night’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Betsy McCaughey, renowned Obamacare critic and inventor of the infamous and fictitious ‘death panels,’ was supposed to make a guest appearance during a correspondent segment on the Affordable Care Act. After she sat down with Jordan Klepper for an interview to be used in the segment, titled ‘The Obamacare Apocalypse,’ she abruptly left after she was asked how do critics respond to all of the good news that has surrounded the law since its implementation and the fact that fewer and fewer people want to see it repealed. Instead of answering Klepper, McCaughey pulled off her microphone and left.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Comedy Central (McCaughey appears about one minute in):
The exchange between McCaughey and Klepper went as follows:
KLEPPER: It’s been a tough road for critics of this law. The people aren’t behind repealing this — are we gonna get them on our side?
MCCAUGHEY: (removes microphone) I wanna just turn this off for a second.
KLEPPER (voiceover): But she was too upset to talk about it.
The rest of the segment consisted of Klepper talking to a nurse who no longer has to run a free clinic because all of her patients were able to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and can see a doctor in a fully-staffed office anytime they want. Klepper also spoke to some of the nurse’s former patients who had nothing but good things to say about the health care law. Overall, the segment was a biting satire about how predictions of doom and ‘death panels’ regarding Obamacare have not come to fruition and critics of the law are now left with nothing to complain about.
As for McCaughey, she is still chugging along, writing uninformative tripe on conservative websites trying to convince the already converted that Obamacare, and pretty much anything Obama does, will be the death of Western Civilization. She writes a weekly hack-piece for Newsmax, wingnut rag. McCaughey also appears now and then on Faux News, particularly when they need someone to spew propaganda against the ACA. However, outside of wingnut circles, her credibility is nil. The ‘death panel’ claim was rated as PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year in 2009. Also, in 2009, Jon Stewart famously skewered her over her claims that the health care law would call for senior citizen review boards where life expectancy would be discussed with patients.
Now, with the health care law fully implemented, and the benefits of it being realized by people on a daily basis, fearmongering about Obamacare fantasies may not be profitable anymore for wingnut shrieking heads. That is bad news for people like McCaughey, but good news for the American public.

The Truth Hurts


The Wingnut Hate Fest Continues With Arizona repugican/teabagger cabal Vice Chair’s Call to Sterilize Poor Women

Republican Hate Fest
The repugican/teabagger cabal continues to use hate fests to broaden its base beyond its billionaire investors and people who believe the propaganda on Faux.
Earlier, Georgia's Fran Millar categorically admitted that he hates allowing black people to vote earlier.  Georgia’s Secretary State, Brian Kemp, backed him up.
In closing I just wanted to tell you real quick, after we get through this runoff, you know the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.
The Koch owned repugicans went all out to show their love for women, beginning with a Maryland repugican/teabagger cabal candidate, David Anthony Wiggins. Commenting on an article about Ray Rice, Wiggins said Ray Rice was just giving his wife some equality when he beat her unconscious then dragged her body out of the elevator.
“How is she a victim when she began the assault?” Wiggins replied. “Are you holding her blameless and to a higher standard? Did you watch as she continually assaulted him until he knocked her Jodi Badass out? Quit it with the sexist double standard.”
He demanded that other commenters “stop making excuses for female violence against men,” claiming that Janay Rice “caused her own so-called victimhood by perpetrating violence.”
“Women want equality,” Wiggins continued, and “she got some of it.”
Wiggins, by the way, is campaigning to be the new sheriff in Baltimore.
Russell Pearce, the current Vice Chair of Arizona’s repugican/teabagger cabal, did one better.  Pearce wants to sterilize poor women and drug/alcohol test anyone on public assistance. Can we say class-based eugenics.  As he told a caller to his hate talk radio show, if a poor woman wants a child, she should get a job. “You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”
Pearce’s rant against poor women was not complete without the mandatory anti-government rhetoric. “I know there’s people out there [who] need help, and my heart goes out to them, too, but you know what? That should never be a government role. That’s a role for family, church, and community.”
Naturally, Pearce overlooks several inconvenient facts, during his hate fest on the poor. Many people who are on public assistance have at least one slave wage job. We all know how repugicans feel about the existence of a minimum wage, let alone the prospect of increasing it to a living wage.  He also overlooks the fact that conservatives believe employers should have the right to fire pregnant women because they are pregnant.
Mandatory drug and alcohol testing public assistance recipients is unconstitutional as Florida was told.
There are other facts that discredit Pearce’s repugnant ideas. People on public assistance are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than others. There are tons of studies on this topic, including Florida’s findings  on the subject, as noted in a Federal court ruling on Florida’s drug testing for public assistance law.
“In fact, the study commissioned by the State undermines its argument on this point. In 1998, DCF conducted a study known as the Demonstration Project after the State passed legislation requiring the Demonstration Project to test empirically whether individuals who applied for TANF benefits were likely to abuse drugs and whether such abuse affected employment opportunities.  In the study, researchers found a lower rate of drug usage among TANF applicants than among current estimates of the population of Florida as a whole.”
When you factor in the costs of drug testing, it fails because this really isn’t about costs.  It’s about the pathological hatred repugicans have for poor people.
Of course, Pearce never let the constitution get in the way of a good hate fest.  This is the same guy who was behind Arizona’s unconstitutional “papers please” legislation.
No story involving Pearce is complete without reminding ourselves that Pearce has been a government employee for years and remains so.  He collects a government pension aside from the $85,000 a year he earns as an employee of  Charles “Hos” Hoskins, the Treasurer of Maricopa County.
Here’s the added bonus. While saying government shouldn’t have a role in helping poor people, part of Pearce’s current job description requires him to help promote participation in a county program called the Elderly Assistance Fund.  The program’s purpose is to help low-income seniors reduce their property taxes.

The religio-wingnuts Call for Deportation, Sterilization and Holy War on muslims

From the "Pot calling the Kettle ... Black" Department:Islamophobia 
You can’t exactly say that the activities of ISIL have ramped up anti-muslim hatred in this country despite the efforts by the religio-wingnuts to paint all Muslims with a broad brush.
After all, it is still being pointed out by the feckless mainstream media that the supposed threat posed by the “caliphate” to our national security is mostly hype. Rather, ISIL has given anti-muslim forces an excuse to give full vent to their already existing hatred.
We are fairly inundated with lunacy, like the cry of “they want to rule the world!’ Which is funny, because the same is true of christianity (the great commission can be blamed for that). It is hardly a coincidence that a Washington State repugican wants to mandate that all prayers at council meetings be directed to the christian god. Not even a pretense of religious freedom here.
I don’t know about you, but it strikes me that it is not muslims who are the biggest threat to my religious freedom.
And even while WND’s Joseph Farah is claiming that there is no difference between CAIR – the Council on American-Islamic Relations – and ISIL, we see Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson embracing ISIL’s own policy, that muslims must “convert or die.”
Last I checked CAIR, unlike the religio-wingnuts, was not advocating a policy of “convert or die.”
And Larry Klayman, fresh from demanding a holy war against President Obama, is demanding a “holy war” against islam. Klayman also wants an end to immigration of muslims and, and oh by the way, American muslims must be deported because “they have no business in our land.”
This contrasts strongly to the smile that came to my own face yesterday at a muslim mom holding a stop sign at my son’s school crosswalk. I remember thinking, we are truly a diverse country. And nobody seemed to have a problem with her being there, or with making our trip from the building to the parking lot safe. Yes, there is sanity even in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.
We have Gary Cass of the christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) calling for a holy war. As the SPLC notes, a Sept. 4 blog post on the group’s site is almost certainly written by Cass, who says christians must fight back with “overwhelming christian just war.” The title of the post say it all: “I’m islamophobic. Are You?” Cass warns that “every true follower of mohammed wants to…subjugate and murder you. They believe they have been given a mandate by allah (satan) to dominate the world.”
As SPLC’s Leah Nelson points out,
That, of course, is in direct conflict with Cass’s own belief that in fact it is christians who have been given a mandate for dominion. Cass’s mentor, the late D. James Kennedy of the anti-LGBT cult Coral Ridge Ministries (of which Cass is the former executive director), once said, “As the vice regents of god, [christians] are to exercise godly dominion and influence over…every aspect and institution of human society.”
After all, it’s to the christian god Air Force re-enlistees are being required to swear in an unconstitutional oath to defend the Constitution, in order to stay in the Air Force, not allah.
Cass does not, like Klayman, push hard for deportation, though he flirts with the idea of deportation or sterilization as alternatives. This is not out of human kindness or consideration for islam’s Constitutional rights in this country, but simply because, practically speaking, it’s not going to happen. The only thing that “has [been] shown to work,” writes Cass, “is overwhelming christian just war and overwhelming self defense.”
Self defense, I am assuming, as when christian armies marched from France and Germany to sack Jerusalem and kill every living human being in the city, regardless of religion (along with everybody else they met along the way whose religion was suspect, including other christians). Or when the shrub illegally invaded Iraq, shattered the country and its economy, and created through his maladministration, the fertile ground from which ISIL later sprung.
THAT kind of self defense.
Cass writes that,
We have to face the harsh truth that Islam has no place in civilized society. Muslims cannot live in a society based on christian ideals of equality and liberty. They will always seek to harm us. Now the only question is how many more dead bodies will have to pile up at home and abroad before we crush the vicious seed of ishmael in jesus’ name?”
That last line says it all: crush them in jesus’ name.
Wasn’t what jesus himself said more along the lines of “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44) and “turn the other cheek”? (Matthew 5:39). jesus nowhere preached just war. That was Augustine of Hippo, who lived four centuries later. That same guy who loathed the idea of religious freedom for anybody but christians. If the religio-wingnuts were better read, they’d be quoting the hell out of that particular hater.
And then we’ve got Michele Bachmann, still celebrating her own tenuous freedom by attacking the freedom of others. Bachmann was one of a group of repugicans in Congress who, as Right Wing Watch reported, to “join anti-muslim group ACT for America at [a] Capitol Hill briefing.” Also present were Louis Gohmert (r-TX),  Jeff Duncan (r-SC), Peter Roskam (r-IL), and  John Boozman (r-AR).
Ted Cruz (r-TX) was supposed to attend but was presumably too busy trying to find his balls after being booed off stage by listeners at the Middle East’s christian conference in Washington D.C. ACT for America’s Brigitte Gabriel wanted to give the emasculated Ted an award too (Roskam got the “Patriot Award”) but she did manage to give awards to Alabama's Gerald Allen, who opposes Sharia Law in his state even though he doesn’t know what it is and despite the fact that less than half of one percent of Alabamians are actually muslim, and his counterpart from Kansas,  Peggy Mast.
The ever-intellectually-challenged Michele Bachmann opined that, “In the art of war you are to know yourself and the enemy…our president either doesn’t know the enemy or he knows them too well” (I’m pretty sure this makes no sense at all) but she’s not alone: Klayman says that Obama is “a muslim through and through” and Gabriel agrees, saying back in July that Obama is a muslim and that he is “not only pro-islam, he’s pro-jihadist.”
ISIL has been a bonanza for haters. And they have reason to hope. After all, even under a Democratic president ,Japanese-Americans suffered for the sins of Japan when it attacked Pearl Harbor. They probably do not see their own hopes as unreasonable should repugicans win in 2014 and 2016. And you know what? I can’t say they are wrong. Because it CAN happen here. It can happen anywhere.

Bigots Give Themselves Away in Claims muslims Don’t Condemn Beheadings

Muslims against ISIS
Though there are plenty of tests for bigotry, I’d like to add one more: being quick to demand that given members of group condemn wrong-doing by others in that group. Failure to do so is fuel for a “gotcha” scolding in particular and feeds into hatred in general.
We see this happen often in relation to muslims and wrong-doing by al-Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram, and the so-called Islamic State. Here’s an example that bubbled up to the top of a Bing search:
“Neither [Illinois] Governor Pat Quinn nor his muslim American Advisory Council have commented on, or condemned, ISIS’ beheading of American journalist James Foley.”
To be fair, the post, dated August 21, doesn’t quite get to condemning for failure to condemn, but then, it didn’t need to. A reader self-identifying as “Marvin Fox” closed the loop for them: “The muslims who failed to condemn the James Foley beheading are more favorable to the ISIL Caliphate and sharia law than they are the American way of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Why are they being coddled by the governor of Illinois?”
Other examples appear on Answers.Yahoo.com in long threads starting with questions like, “Why aren’t the muslims on here denouncing the beheading of the American journalist, minute by minute?” and more generally, “Why don’t the moderates in muslims speak out against the extremist in Islam?
Thing is, there is a moral failure at the core of demands for condemnation. That moral failure starts with an us/them divide. Non-muslims (us) pronounce that muslims (them) must condemn their own to be on the correct side of rectitude. But that very divide gives short shrift to the idea that we’re all equal as human beings.
The moral failure goes on to presume that some great part of humanity must always cleanse themselves of every stain imposed by wrong-doers on their side of the us/them divide. The problem there is that the stain is the work of wrong-doers on both sides. It’s easy and correct to trace the origin of a stain to a particular sin, in this case, the barbaric beheadings of Americans Steven Foley and Sotloff. But really, and to stretch the metaphor, that sin is only pigment, the raw material of a stain. It becomes a stain on all only when it is thrown onto something. So it goes when bigots in a fit of self-righteousness and ignorance demand that all muslims condemn beheadings or anything else other muslims do. Thus are the innocent tarred with the same brush as the guilty.
Why should that be? Are we truly supposed to think that a muslim approves of beheadings until he or she says otherwise? Aren’t we as Americans supposed to presume someone is innocent until proven guilty? If we’re truly bent on being decent, we cannot set conditions for giving another human being the benefit of the doubt.
Those who have been paying attention know full well that very high-powered muslims have indeed condemned the recent beheadings and self-proclaimed Muslim terrorism. Just in case our readers find someone behind the curve, here are a few Web pages that mention notable instances:
Agence France Press “RIYADH: Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh today blasted Al-Qaeda and Islamic State jihadists as “enemy number one” of islam, in a statement issued in Riyadh.
“The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism… have nothing to do with islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam,” the kingdom’s top cleric said. . . .”
CAIRO, Aug 12 (Reuters) –
Egypt’s top religious authority condemned the armed group Islamic State which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria, describing it on Tuesday as a corrupt, extremist organization that is damaging Islam.
“An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to islam and muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption,” said Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt’s most influential muslim cleric, the state news agency MENA reported. . . .
The grand mufti’s view represents the opinion of Al Azhar, one of the world’s oldest seats of muslim learning, which influences the opinions of muslims worldwide.
‘CAIR Condemns Killing of Journalist Steven Sotloff by ‘Anti-Islamic’ Terror Group ISIS
No words can describe the horror, disgust and sorrow felt by Muslims in America and worldwide at the unconscionable and un-islamic violence perpetrated by the terror group ISIS. The criminal actions of ISIS are antithetical to the faith of islam.
“Such brutal acts must face redoubled efforts by people of all faiths and backgrounds to promote peace and justice and to reject the religious divisions these monstrous acts are designed to create.
“Our hearts go out to Mr. Sotloff’s loved ones and to all the loved ones of those murdered by ISIS.”
Another Anti-muslim talking point bites the dust.

Reza Aslan on the Islamic State: There's no diplomacy, they have to be destroyed

Religious scholar Reza Aslan said Monday that Islamic State jihadists needed to be destroyed with military might, and disputed characterizations of Islam as a religion of violence - or a religion of peace.
"I think from what we understand about what the president's going to say, the threefold structure of his plan of attack is the right one," Aslan, a professor at the University of California, Riverside, told CNN. "Number one, you do have to respond militarily to ISIS soldiers and fighters. These guys are fighting a war of the imagination, a war that they think is happening between the forces of good and evil. There is no negotiation. There's no diplomacy. There's nothing to talk about with these guys. They have to be destroyed."
"What makes ISIS so powerful and potent is that they have managed to use grievances that a lot of Iraqis have, that a lot of Syrians have, frankly, that a lot of Muslims around the world have had, to draw people to their cause," Aslan added. "And unless those grievances can be addressed, the appeal of a group like ISIS isn't going to work. And then, finally, of course, you have got to deal with the mess in Syria eventually."
"Well, Islam isn't a violent religion or a peaceful religion," he said. "It's just a religion. And like all religions, it is absolutely dependent on the interpretation of whomever follows it."



Benjamin Nutter arrested with marijuana all over his face when stopped by police

Police officers in Florida tried to pull over a driver for more than 2 miles when dispatchers got a surprising phone call from that driver.

How the Star Wars' laser gun sounds were created

International Commission: Decriminalize Drugs Everywhere

The global War on Drugs has been a long, sustained, incredibly expensive and destructive failure. A major new report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy says: it's time to give it up.
The report, out today, is not by some liberal fringe group. It is by a group of world leaders (lots of former presidents), written in preparation for the UN's special session on drugs, scheduled for 2016. It amounts to a very high level admission that treating drugs as a criminal problem has definitively proven to be a failed strategy. From the report's executive summary:
The Global Commission proposes five pathways to improve the global drug policy regime. After putting people's health and safety at the center of the picture, governments are urged to ensure access to essential medicines and pain control. The Commissioners call for an end to the criminalization and incarceration of users together with targeted prevention, harm reduction and treatment strategies for dependent users.
In order to reduce drug related harms and undermine the power and profits of organized crime, the Commission recommends that governments regulate drug markets and adapt their enforcement strategies to target the most violent and disruptive criminal groups rather than punish low level players. The Global Commission's proposals are complimentary and comprehensive. They call on governments to rethink the problem, do what can and should be done immediately, and not to shy away from the transformative potential of regulation.
Decriminalize and regulate drugs, and treat their negative effects as a health problem. This is the substance of this commission's recommendations. How is this for a breath of fresh air? "Stop criminalizing people for drug use and possession - and stop imposing "compulsory treatment" on people whose only offense is drug use or possession." Words like that coming from any body remotely connected to a government come as a pleasant shock to Americans raised in the "Just Say No" era.

U.N. Scientists See Largest CO2 Increase In 30 Years: 'We Are Running Out Of Time'

More carbon dioxide was emitted into our atmosphere between 2012 and 2013 than in any other year since 1984, putting humans on the fast track toward irreversible global warming, the United Nation's weather agency said in a report released Tuesday.The World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that the increase of atmospheric CO2 from 2012 to 2013 was 2.9 parts per million (ppm), the largest year-to-year increase in 30 years. Because of that growth, the average amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 396 ppm - just 9 ppm away from an average level some scientists believe could cause enough sea level rise, drought, and severe weather to significantly harm human populations across the globe.
"The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that, far from falling, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years," WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud said in a statement. "We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board. We are running out of time."

The Keyboard's Strange Impact On Your Baby's Name

Parenthood is filled with emotional, semi-rational decisions, and none of these is more visceral than naming a baby. Today's most popular names have a weird commonality - they're mostly written with the right hand on a typical keyboard.
For the past few years, researchers have been developing theories about the QWERTY effect, where letters typed with the right hand are considered more positive than those typed with the left hand. That has an impact on the names we choose for babies.

Random Celebrity Photos

The 23 Most Scenic Train Rides In The World

Train rides are the most laidback style of travel. You can just sit back and enjoy the view. And every rail buff needs to ride aboard one of these 23 train rides at least once.

Missing passenger train traced after 17 days

A train which went missing from one railway division in Bihar, northern India, was finally traced on Thursday after 17 long days from another division, senior officials said.
The Gorakhpur-Muzaffarpur passenger train "went missing" from Hajipur on the night of August 25 after the derailment of a goods train led to the diversion of several trains on other routes.
As this train began taking a new route, passengers quickly got off and the train was reported "missing", Arun Malik, divisional manager in the Samastipur railway division said. "We finally traced it today at a railway station in another division," he said.
Malik said no police case was registered regarding the "missing" train since the railways were themselves looking for it. He added that the driver of the train also made no contact with the concerned division, adding to the mystery.

Incredible Historical Coincidences

Robert Lincoln was the oldest of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln's four sons. Edwin Booth was the brother of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. The Booths were a family of actors; father Junius was considered to be one of the top Shakespearean actors of the day. Although John Wilkes was a decent actor, his brother Edwin was far more well known and highly acclaimed. Edwin was famous for playing Hamlet, a role he played in more performances than any other actor since.
Edwin (with his daughter in the photo at left) and John Wilkes were estranged, as they did not see eye-to-eye, especially on political matters. Edwin was a Unionist who supported president Lincoln, and John was an extremist in favor of secession.
In 1864, Edwin Booth and Robert Lincoln were both at a train station in Jersey City, New Jersey. Robert, on break from Harvard University, was traveling to Washington, D.C. The following is Lincoln's account of an incident that occurred at the train station:
"A group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor, and there was of course a narrow space between the platform and the car body.

There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name."
Thus, that day at the train station, Edwin Booth saved Robert Lincoln from bodily harm or possibly death. A year later, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln at Ford's Theater.

Read about eight additional incredible historical coincidences here.


Fashionably black teeth
Ohaguro is the custom of dyeing one's teeth black. It was most popular in Japan until the Meiji era. Tooth painting was also known and practiced in the southeastern parts of China and Southeast Asia. Dyeing was mainly done by married women, though occasionally men did it as well. It was also beneficial, as it prevented tooth decay, in a similar fashion to modern dental sealants.
In 1873, the empress of Japan made a radical beauty statement, appearing in public with white teeth. For centuries, tooth blackening, known as ohaguro, signified wealth and sexual maturity especially for women in Japanese society, and they would drink an iron-based black dye tempered with cinnamon and other aromatic spices to achieve the lacquered look. 

Daily Comic Relief


The Hórreo

The Singular Symbol Of Spain
A hórreo is a typical granary from the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, built in wood or stone, raised from the ground by pillars ending in flat staddle stones to avoid the access of rodents.
If you travel through north eastern Spain the chances are that you will see some of these structures. Although they have now been superseded, the hórreo of Spain are a reminder that a good idea can persist for a great deal of time.

Once-Majestic Cities That Sank Beneath The Ocean

No great metropolis stands forever. Eventually, every city falls. Some due to war, others to disaster. But the saddest and most poignant ruined cities might be the ones which have been swept under the ocean. Here are some of the most beautiful submerged cities.

Deceased tiger at side of road turned out to be stuffed toy

An Arkansas police department received a disturbing call this week that someone had spotted a dead tiger on the side of the road.
Bryant Police said on Sept. 8 they received a call that someone spotted a dead tiger on a service road near the town.
The caller said she stopped to take pictures of the animal, but she was too scared to get near it.
A Bryant officer went out to locate the tiger, and instead found an abandoned stuffed toy. The officer was kind enough to give the tiger a ride back to the station.

Cat saved family from deadly snake following four day ordeal

A mother from Brisbane, Australia, has described how her family finally managed to corner a deadly snake by trapping it in a toy oven. Christy Thomas from Joyner in Brisbane's north said they first saw the venomous Eastern Brown snake almost two weeks ago, but it took four days to find it again and catch it. Ms Thomas said she hardly slept for four nights, terrified about where the snake was.
Snake catcher David Farrimond couldn't find the reptile during two visits to the home, despite searching for hours. "The snake catcher tore the place apart looking for the snake, which was fine with me," Ms Thomas said. The family cat came to the rescue, spotting the snake inside a child's toy oven, four days after it first appeared. Ms Thomas held a crutch against the oven door to keep the reptile inside while she waited for David to arrive.
"I knew I had to just stay there until he got here, it was awful," Ms Thomas said. Mr Farrimond said he had to entice the snake to launch itself at him so he could get it out of the mini oven. "It was very aggressive snake, very hard to catch," he said. "That's why I wear them a bit loose so they can get a mouth full of the glove instead of you," Mr Farrimond said. He released the snake away from homes, near a creek in the next suburb.

The Eastern Brown Snake is the second deadliest in the world, and they're attracted to suburban areas where they find  mice and lizards. David Farrimond says they kill more people Australia wide than just about all other species put together. He says if anyone comes across one of these snakes they should not try to kill it, but keep an eye on it and call a professional for help. Ms Thomas is just pleased it's over and none of her children were hurt.

Animal Pictures