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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.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1531 The catholics defeat the protestants at Kappel during Switzerland's second civil war.
1540 Charles V of Milan puts his son Philip in control.
1727 George II of England crowned.
1795 In graditude for putting down a rebellion in the streets of Paris, France's National Convention appoints Napoleon Bonaparte second in command of the Army of the Interior.
1862 The Confederate Congress in Richmond passes a draft law allowing anyone owning 20 or more slaves to be exempt from military service. This law confirms many southerners opinion that they are in a 'rich man's war and a poor man's fight.'
1877 Outlaw Wild Bill Longley, who killed at least a dozen men, is hanged, but it took two tries; on the first try, the rope slipped and his knees drug the ground.
1899 South African Boers, settler from the Netherlands, declare war on Great Britain.
1906 San Francisco school board orders the segregation of Oriental schoolchildren, inciting Japanese outrage.
1915 Despite international protests, Edith Cavell, an English nurse in Belgium, is executed by Germans for aiding the escape of Allied prisoners.
1942 In the Battle of Cape Esperance, near the Solomon Islands, U.S. cruisers and destroyers decisively defeat a Japanese task force in a night surface encounter.
1945 Negotiations between Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and Communist leader Mao Tse-tung break down. Nationalist and Communist troops are soon engaged in a civil war.
1950 The Federal Communications Commission authorizes the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) to begin commercial color TV broadcasts.
1962 Pope John XXIII opens the 21st Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) with a call for Christian unity. This is the largest gathering of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in history; among delegate-observers are representatives of major Protestant denominations, in itself a sign of sweeping change.
1968 Apollo 7, with three men aboard, is successfully launched from Cape Kennedy.
1972 A French mission in Vietnam is destroyed by a U.S. bombing raid.
1972 Race riot breaks out aboard carrier USS Kitty Hawk off Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.
1975 Saturday Night Live comedy-variety show premiers on NBC, with guest host comedian George Carlin and special guests Janis Ian, Andy Kaufman and Billy Preston; at this writing (2013) the show is still running.
1976 The so-called "Gang of Four," Chairman Mao Tse-tung's widow and three associates, are arrested in Peking, setting in motion an extended period of turmoil in the Chinese Communist Party.
1984 Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan, part of the crew of Space Shuttle Challenger, becomes the first American woman to walk in space.
1987 Operation Pawan by Indian Peace Keeping Force begins in Sri Lanka; thousands of Tamil citizens, along with hundreds of Tamil Tigers militants and Indian Army soldiers will die in the operation.
1991 Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas begin.
2000 NASA launches its 100th Space Shuttle mission.
2001 The Polaroid Corporation, which had provided shutterbugs with photo prints in minutes with its "instant cameras" since 1947, files for bankruptcy.

Why Brits And Americans Spell Differently

Why did Americans drop the 'u' from British words like 'humour' and 'behaviour?' What about 'theater' vs. 'theatre?' Siobhan Thompson explains the spelling divide between the two nations.

Thanks to the repugican cabal, the US Is Without Its Top Doctor as Ebola Spreads

The repugican Caucus Room conspiracy is putting all of our lives at risk.
A hazardous materials crew prepares to enter the Ivy Apartments, where Thomas Duncan, a Liberian man who fell ill with Ebola, was staying with relatives, in Dallas, Oct. 3, 2014. (Photo: Cooper Neill / The New York Times)As the condition of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, continues to worsen (he has since died), and as fears over Ebola spreading in the US continue to grow, the wingnut media is lashing out at the US surgeon general.
So who is the surgeon general?
The surgeon general is the United States' top doc.
He or she gives unbiased information to the American people about health crises and health risks.
It's the surgeon general's responsibility to educate the people and help us understand what we do and don't need to worry about.
The surgeon general helps cut through all of the fear-mongering and misinformation.
But the folks over at Breitbart don't think that the surgeon general is doing his/her job.
In a recent piece, Breitbart points out that, "The official website of the Surgeon General of the United States has nothing to say about Ebola prevention and detection, other than an old press release about relief efforts in Liberia."
Well, there's a good reason for that.
The US doesn't have a surgeon general right now, and it's all because of repugicans' non-stop efforts to sabotage the Obama presidency.
Back in November of last year, President Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy to take over the role of the nation's top doc.
Murthy is more than qualified for the position, but unfortunately, he did something that many in Washington won't: he stood up to the NRA.
In a letter sent to members of Congress in his capacity has co-founder of the health-care advocacy group Doctors for America, Murthy wrote that, "As health care professionals who are confronted with the human cost of gun violence every day, we are unwavering in our belief that strong measures to reduce gun violence must be taken immediately. We strongly urge Congress and the Obama administration to put legislation in place now and develop a comprehensive plan to reduce gun-related injuries and deaths."
Naturally, those strong words against gun violence in the US caught the ire of the NRA, which in turn got its repugican cronies in the Senate, along with some red state blue dogs, to put Murthy's nomination on hold.
For more than a year now, the US has been without a surgeon general.
So, just how big a deal is that, especially in the face of a growing Ebola outbreak?
Well, as former US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin put it, "The surgeon general is America's doctor, delivering information to the American people in a language they can understand. Not having one right now, you don't have that face and that person that the American people can identify with as their doctor who's looking out for them on a large scale."
And as MSNBC's Krystal Ball pointed out in a recent op-ed, "This role is exactly what prior surgeons general have filled in times of heightened public health anxiety. When faced with the threat of bird-flu, for example, the surgeon general at the time, Richard Carmona, talked to the public about prevention, pressured drug makers to ramp up production of effective treatments. He also educated us on risks associated with the disease and kept us updated on its status."
But, thanks to repugicans, the US is without its top doctor, during a time when we need him or her more than ever.
Our lack of a surgeon general traces all the way back to the night of January 20, 2009, the day that President Obama was sworn in as Commander-in-Chief.
At the Caucus Room restaurant in Washington DC, top repugican lawmakers and strategists held a private dinner, where they hatched a plan to sabotage and undermine the Obama presidency.
In fact, they even pledged to use Taliban-like tactics.
In an interview the National Journal back in March of 2009, repugican Pete Sessions said that the repugicans would take a page out of the Taliban playbook.
He said, "Taliban Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban. Insurgency is the way they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban - is an example of how you go about to change a person from their messaging, to their operations, to their front line message. And we need to understand that Insurgency may be required when [dealing with Democrats on] the other side."
The Texas repugican went on to say that -"If they [Democrats] do not give us those options or opportunities then we will then become Insurgency ... I think Insurgency is a mindset and an attitude..."
Thanks to this repugican "insurgency" plan, the US is without its top doctor, while a deadly virus continues to grow and spread.
And, it's that same "insurgency" plan that's keeping repugican governors across the United States, like Texas' Rick Perry, from expanding Medicaid coverage to millions of Americans, a move that would also help our country be better prepared for an epidemic.
So, next time you hear a repugican lawmaker or wingnut shrieking head complaining about how we're not ready to fight Ebola, just remember, they're not really complaining.
They're bragging.
They're getting exactly what they wanted.
At the risk of all the rest of us.

This repugican Is So Scared Of Ebola He Suggests Using Obamacare To Help Stop It

by Stephen D Foster Jr
Well, this is quite an about-face.
For weeks repugicans and wingnut media have been stoking fear over the Ebola virus even though experts have weighed in to put these fears to rest with facts.
But in an interesting twist, it appears all the fear mongering over Ebola has caused at least one repugican congressman to become so scared of the virus that he wants President Obama to use the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to combat it.
Despite voting more than 30 times to repeal Obamacare, repugican Michael Burgess of Texas called upon President Obama to use the law to fight Ebola during a radio appearance on the Mark Davis Show.
GOP Rep. Michael Burgess via Wikimedia
repugican Michael Burgess
It’s section 4002 in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it’s called the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and this is a self-replenishing fund, at the first of the fiscal year every year. Two billion dollars washes into the Secretary’s offices of Health and Human Services for her to use, do whatever she wishes. But how about we take these $2 billion and we fight this darn disease? It’s preposterous that you would continue to use this money for what I would consider non-essential incidentals when you’ve got this fire raging right outside your door.
Of course, as ThinkProgress reports that the $2 billion fund isn’t exactly a pile of money that can be used at the discretion of the Secretary. The money is used “in community and clinical prevention, research, public health infrastructure, immunizations and screenings, tobacco prevention and public health workforce and training.”
Still, the fact that a hardcore wingnut House repugican is setting all his animosity against Obamacare aside is a big deal. The cool thing is that Obamacare is already fighting Ebola in a way. After all, now that more Americans then ever before have health insurance, it won’t be such a big deal for them to seek treatment when they are sick. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in many red states such as Texas, where repugicans are blocking Medicaid expansion. Those in poverty are particularly at risk for contracting viruses and diseases, so Medicaid expansion would be helpful in the prevention and swift treatment of Ebola if more American were to contract it.
It’s sad that it took fear of an epidemic to persuade a Republican to actually support Obamacare, but if the repugican cabal really wants to do something meaningful to make Americans safer, they should expand Medicaid in states that have yet to do so and work to bring affordable healthcare and insurance to those Americans who still need it. When everyone can afford to seek treatment, people are less likely to refuse to do so, which means there is less of an opportunity for viruses and diseases to spread. That’s one of the whole points of providing healthcare to every citizen.

Study Finds the Majority Of The Worst States To Live In Are Controlled By repugicans

According to a new study, seven of the ten worst states to live in are completely controlled by repugicans.
states with worst quality of life republican
Using data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) quality of life study, 24/7 Wall Street compiled a list of the ten states with the worst quality of life. Not surprisingly, states that are completely controlled by repugicans dominated the list.

9). New Mexico

8). Louisiana

7). South Carolina

6). Oklahoma
5). Tennessee
4). West Virginia
3). Arkansas
2). Alabama

1). Mississippi
Nine of these ten states voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. New Mexico is the lone Obama state on the list. Seven of the ten states have repugican governors and repugican controlled state legislatures. Only one state on the list features a Democratic governor and a Democratic state legislature (West Virginia). In New Mexico, Democrats control the state House while repugicans control the Senate senate and governor. Arkansas has a Democratic governor, but a repugican controlled legislature.
The repugican controlled states on the list feature lower disposable income rates, low voter turnout rates, and high homicide rates. It is ironic that repugicans always campaign on being tough on crime, but their economic policies tend to lead to more poverty and crime.
It is logical that states controlled by a cabal that believes in redistributing wealth to the rich would have widespread poverty, but it is the devastating consequences of these policies on the quality of life for the people who live there that get often overlooked.
These states aren’t just poor. They are difficult places to live in. Existence in these red states is more difficult that it is in places that feature more income and less crime. When ideology is turned into policy, it will have a real, and devastating impact. This data should be an eye opener for the majority of voters in these states, but many of these residents have been voting against their own self-interest for decades.
Proof that this behavior is bad for their health isn’t going to change their repugican voting ways anytime soon.

Scalia Could Destroy All Women’s Reproductive Rights in Texas Abortion Case

The legal battle over reproductive rights is back at the Supreme Court.
Justice Scalia
Last Thursday, the 5th Circuit reinstated the Texas abortion bill resulting in the immediate closure of 80% of the remaining abortion clinics in the Lone Star State.  If the law stands until the appellate process is completed, the closure of those clinics and the damage to women’s ability to exercise their reproductive rights in Texas will be permanent. On Monday, the Center for Reproductive Rights asked the Supreme Court to vacate the lower court’s ruling.
Typically, the Supreme Court considers several factors in its decisions on these applications. So their decisions on these applications offer some clues about the ultimate outcome of a case.  If the court grants this application, it could mean the Court will review the case and it could ultimately reverse a lower court ruling.  The court could also decide to grant a stay if denial of the request would result in an “irreparable harm.”  If, as is likely in this case, the outcome of the case is a close -call, the Court might reach a decision by “balancing the equities.”  That’s just a way of saying it will balance the relative harms to all concerned parties with the public’s interest.
The court’s decision on this application is important for the women of Texas, and potentially women across the country.  For women in Texas, granting the application means the clinics will re-open and continue to serve women throughout the appeals process.  Granting this application doesn’t guarantee that the court will ultimately throw out the fifth circuit’s ruling.  In fact, the odds are against it.  While the four liberal justices are likely to recognize that the constitution protects a woman’s right to choose, the four wingnut judges welcome an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.  That leaves the rights of every women in America in Justice Kennedy’s hands. As David S. Cohen once pointed out, when it comes to women’s reproductive rights, Kennedy is likely to vote with the wingnuts.
Kennedy has been involved in 12 cases addressing abortion restrictions. In those 12 cases, he has voted on whether 21 different abortion restrictions could take effect. We already know that he voted to strike down Pennsylvania’s husband notification requirement. Besides that, how many of the other 20 restrictions has Kennedy voted to block from taking effect? Exactly zero.
Still, it remains possible that Kennedy will conclude the Texas law goes too far and join the liberals, resulting in a favorable ruling.
A favorable ruling would mean that women across the country can be assured that a TRAP law as extreme as the one in Texas won’t be coming to their state.
Definitely, a denial would result in an irreparable harm to the women of Texas, since 80% of Texas abortion clinics have closed.  It means there would only be seven abortion clinics to meet the needs of women throughout Texas. That’s a drastic reduction from the 41 clinics in Texas not that long ago. In practical terms, women will have to travel hundreds of miles to one of the urban centers that still have a clinic. Even then, it is doubtful the remaining clinics can meet demand for their services.  Even if the Court ultimately throws the abortion law out, The Center for Reproductive Rights said this reality would be permanent,
A denial also means the court might not review the case, thus allowing the Fifth Circuit’s ruling to stand.  This is unlikely because the fifth circuit’s ruling contradicts rulings made by other circuits.  In its ruling, the fifth circuit made that very point, almost as if it was daring the Supreme Court to review the case using the Fifth Circuit’s reasoning.
Justice Scalia is considering this application because he handles emergency matters from that geographic area.  He could act by himself or share the application with the rest of the court.  We already know that as a wingnut member of the court, he believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
The joint opinion, following its newly minted variation on stare decisis, retains the outer shell of Roe v. Wade, but beats a wholesale retreat from the substance of that case. We believe that Roe was wrongly decided, and that it can and should be overruled consistently with our traditional approach to stare decisis in constitutional cases. We would adopt the approach of the plurality in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989), and uphold the challenged provisions of the Pennsylvania statute in their entirety.
The Fifth Circuit’s failure to recognize that such severe restrictions cause an undue burden to women who wish to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion is an outrage.  This is as much a violation of women’s rights under the constitution as the Ferguson’s police’s five second rule is a blatant violation of Ferguson protestor’s first amendment rights. Imagine the NRA’s outrage if Texas (or another state) were to pass comparable TRAP laws for gun stores, resulting in the closure of all but a handful.
It’s also pretty obvious that ideology plays a role in the conservative court’s decision making.  Justice Scalia argued that since the constitution does not provide an explicit protection for women seeking abortions, their right to have one doesn’t exist.  Nothing in the constitution specifically allows corporations free speech or “religious freedom.”  But that’s different because corporations are people.

Propaganda Demonizing Islam Is Starting to Infect Public Schools

One does not have to be a student of history to understand the efficacy of Nazi Josef Goebbels’s propaganda tactic of telling “a lie big enough and keep repeating it; people will eventually come to believe it.” Of course, the Nazi’s big lie was that jews were the greatest threat to Germany and it led, what may have been, good Germans to turn on their neighbors and become complicit in a horrific attempt to exterminate an entire people due to their religion. There is a saying that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and a large segment of Americans did learn from Nazi history are deliberately repeating it to incite hatred toward an entire people due to their religion.
Of course the Americans putting Goebbels’s propaganda tactics into practice are Faux News, neo-conservatives, repugicans, and their religio-wingnut sycophants, and their big lie is that the greatest threat to this nation is every person who adheres to the muslim faith. There is no doubt the fundamentalist islamists in ISIL are barbaric and a threat to muslims in the Middle East, but they do not represent all muslims as evidenced by the muslim nations fighting to destroy them. However, that fact is not a valid propaganda message for the christian wingnuts and their neo-con war and fear-mongers whose lies many Americans are beginning to believe as fact.
Michele Bachmann put Goebbels’s propaganda tactic to work and said, “I don’t want to see car bombings and all of the havoc and chaos coming to the United States that we see in Baghdad. Since we have them coming into the United States, we’ll see a wave of car bombings and bombings that occur here in the United States that would begin the process of destabilization to bring them to the point of defeating us here in the United States.”
Recently, in a lunatic fringe media outlet for evangelical and pentecostal 'christians', charisma magazine, an avowed islamophobe, Gary Cass, put out a call for genocide against muslims stating categorically that “every true follower of mohammed wants to subjugate and murder” non-muslims. It’s impossible for christians to live together peacefully with them.” Cass then asks the faithful “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?” Cass’s solution is not unlike Hitler’s Nazis; “either force them all to get sterilized” or “kick them out of America, but then he arrives at the final solution; “really there’s only one solution that is biblical; overwhelming christian just war.”
It is a sad fact of life, but the preponderance of propaganda against muslims over the past thirteen years in general, and the last few months in particular, is finally starting to have the desired effect and is being manifest in, of all places, public schools. The problem is not students, and certainly not school teachers, but religio-wingnut parents watching Faux News and frequenting evangelical websites, as well as school administrators terrified of 'christians' that wield inordinate power over local school districts.
It is likely going on around the nation, and it is certainly occurring in California, where over the past couple of weeks, groups of parents, school board members, and administrators approached and accosted history, mathematics, and science teachers over what they claimed were inappropriate portrayals of Islam in the classrooms. The group informed the history department first that they had heard enough from Faux News, religious websites, and YouTube videos warning parents that textbooks teachers are mandated to use are not revealing the true intent of all muslims to “murder every christian man, woman, and child in America.” The parents claimed that Common Core was not teaching students that, as Michele Bachmann said, American muslims and ISIL children sneaking across America’s southern borders were planting car bombs to kill christians and conquer America.
The history teachers were predictably surprised they were being assailed and reminded the parents and district representatives that they had been using a nine year old “district-chosen” textbook that pre-dated Common Core by several years. They also reminded the group the textbooks were approved by the school board. The group’s spokespersons, two evangelical parents replied, “But that was before we saw Faux and YouTube warning us you all are making muslims look like they aren’t trying to murder us, especially us christians.” For the record, depending on the grade level, basic history class curriculum includes an overview of the world’s major religions; including christianity, judaism, hinduism, buddhism, and islam.
The group then moved on to the mathematics department and warned math teachers to stop making muslims look civilized by telling students that algebra was first devised in the Middle East. It was the same story for the science department that made the un-christian error of showing a portion of the Cosmos episode that revealed some of the greatest scientific discoveries in the ancient world originated in Iraq. The consensus was that if teachers had to reference the Middle East at all, they could either herald the greatness of dog’s chosen people the jews, or warn the students that muslims, all muslims, pose an existential threat to Americans, especially 'christian' Americans.
It is noteworthy that one history teacher reminded the “concerned group” that history textbooks included a brief synopsis of the christian crusades and inquisitions, and it did not portray christianity in a good light. It did not have the effect the teacher intended and elicited praise and encouragement to glorify America’s current christian crusade against the muslims. One among the group said they believe what they saw in a video that since America has been fighting muslims since 9/11, children need know that “total victory doesn’t mean forcing them to convert, it means killing them all” and “if the crusades did their job we’d be safe today.”
Most Americans, whether they are religious fundamentalists or not, likely have no idea of what islam is about, or that it is an abrahamic religion like judaism and christianity. But due to the preponderance of fear-mongering, outright lies, and hateful propaganda from the likes of Faux News, repugican warmongers, and christian fundamentalists, they think all muslims are extremists in the image of ISIL or al-Qaeda and “equally and irredeemably evil.” They also are so ignorant of their own religion that they believe all “real christians” are good and righteous and that the horrors their faith committed on humanity are wholly justified simply because America is christian and on dog’s side.
Subsequently, they believe the propaganda wingnut christians, warmongers, and fear-mongering media spews incessantly and have now taken it on themselves to censor school curriculum and warn school teachers to start portraying islam in the same negative light they see daily on Faux News, evangelical websites, and from repugican fear-mongers who studied Nazi history, learned the lessons of successful propagandizing, and are making Goebbels proud.

Random Photos

Police officer to be honored for saving motorist from ant attack

A California Highway Patrol officer who saved a man from a life-threatening ant attack is to be honored. While officers know to expect the unexpected, the case Dan Garza responded to wasn’t just unusual, it was almost unheard of. “It ranks up there with the craziest ones,” he said. “This is a first for me.”
While on patrol on Interstate 580, he came on a Southern California man named Didrick Johnck who was passing through Tracy on vacation with his family. Didrick had a blown-out tire and asked the officer to stick around on the shoulder and give him a little light. But where Didrick was kneeling happened to be the home of some very angry ants. “He came back to my patrol car and said, ‘Hey officer, I’m sorry this is taking so long, but there’s ants over here they’re crawling up my leg,’” Garza said.
What seemed like a minor inconvenience on that June night nearly turned deadly. “I saw him on the ground reaching out toward my patrol car,” Garza said. He says Didrick was crawling toward his patrol car, gasping for air. “And I could see his eyes were glossed over and red, and at that moment I knew something wasn’t right,” he said. The officer grabbed his first-aid kit for an oxygen mask to keep Didrick breathing after he passed out.

It turns out, the motorist had been bitten by fire ants about 100 times. He also happened to have an extremely rare allergic reaction and went into anaphylactic shock. Weeks later, Garza got an emotional phone call from Didrick, who had fully recovered. “He was thanking me for being there and saving his life, and said if I hadn’t been there, he probably would’ve died,” he said. Didrick, who is currently in Asia, told Garza he’s been all over the world for his work as a photographer and been bitten by many insects. But none gave him the reaction he had that night.
What with all the following posts about bad cops we thought we'd start off with a 'good' cop post.

Police Kick Ferguson Protesters Out Of Council Meeting To Protect Darren Wilson Supporter

council meeting
Demonstrators were escorted by police out of an open St. Louis County Council meeting on Tuesday night after a woman verbally expressed support for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9th. Residents and activists from Ferguson and elsewhere attended the meeting and spoke directly to the council members regarding not just the issues of police brutality and intimidation, but also about the lack of focus by the county on homelessness. A noted Darren Wilson supporter, who has shown up in the past at other Mike Brown demonstrations (typically in Clayton), was at the meeting along with two friends.
After a number of testimonies by people discussing their issues with the police and racial disparity, the woman shouted out, “I support the police! I support the police!” and “We support Darren Wilson!” This led to the protesters chanting, “If we don’t get it, shut it down!” Police on the scene then moved in and asked the protesters to leave the meeting. The Wilson supporters were allowed to remain. As the protesters were leaving, the woman continued chanting her support for Wilson and the police.
Of course, things did not just end there. While the police demanded that the protesters leave, they went over and casually spoke to the Wilson supporter, allowing her to stay until the end of the meeting. Per Sarah Kendzior, a writer for Al Jazeera English who attended the meeting, the supporter and her friends were also allowed to speak with the council members privately after the meeting. One activist, Charles Wade, stayed in the meeting, which was nearing its end. He stated that about a dozen police officers rushed him when he asked why everyone wasn’t being asked to leave if the meeting was over. Wade and another person were then escorted out of the building by a number of officers.
After kicking Wade out of the meeting and locking the doors of the building, a number of officers escorted the Wilson supporter to her car. They said that they were doing this because she was concerned for her safety. As Wade and others pointed out, anyone that entered the meeting was patted down and searched with a metal detector.
After these events, the police officers locked the building doors, claiming it is because the building actually closes at 6 PM local time. Apparently, the one black officer in the group tried to have a calm conversation with the protesters but was told by the other officers to get back inside and lock the door. The irony of the police closing ranks all for the sake of protecting one person was not lost on Wade.
The council meeting convened at the same time as a couple of other events that protesters, activists, leaders and journalists were attending. In Ferguson, a town hall meeting was held, which was only open to residents of Ferguson. Media or residents of other areas were not allowed to attend. This is part of a continuing series of meetings with residents where they are able to discuss situations affecting their town openly. Meanwhile, a number of protesters showed up at the St. Louis Cardinals playoff game to demonstrate. Later this week, things will only get busier in and around Ferguson as a planned weekend of activism, Ferguson October, takes place through Monday. Thousands are expected to attend.

NYPD cops caught on video punching, pistol-whipping teen

by Trymaine Lee
Police stand in the West Village of Manhattan, New York City, July 28, 2014. A couple New York City police officers are under criminal investigation after being caught on surveillance video pistol-whipping a teenage marijuana suspect who appeared to be surrendering with his hands up.
The footage, obtained by DNAinfo New York, shows Kahreem Tribble, 16, at first jogging away from the officers. But as Tribble slowed to a stop, one of the officers is seen punching him in the face. As the teenager stumbles back with his hands up a second officer appears to smash him in the face with his gun.
During the Aug. 29 incident, police found 17 bags of marijuana on Tribble and arrested him for the drugs and for disorderly conduct. Tribble, who suffered cracked teeth and bruises, later pleaded guilty to a violation.
“What’s depicted on this video is troubling and warrants a thorough investigation,” Ken Thompson, the Brooklyn District Attorney, told DNAinfo. Thompson, in addition to the NYPD’s Internal Affair Bureau, has launched a criminal investigation into the case.
“The matter is under internal review,” said Deputy Chief Kim Royster, an NYPD spokeswoman.
The NYPD said that one of the officers involved has been suspended and the other was placed on modified duty and relieved of his gun and badge. The department said it would not identify the officers because they have not been charged with a crime, but DNAinfo has identified the pair as Tyrane Isacc and David Afandor. The website identifies Afandor as the officer seen hitting Tribble in the face with his gun.
A third officer is seen in the video standing by, watching as the two other officers pummel the teen.
“Clearly, Commissioner Bratton has seen the video and reacted very aggressively in the sense of saying there have to be consequences when anything is done the wrong way,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday. “I see these videos as another piece of information that we need to use to improve the relationship between police and community and in many cases to heal the relationship between police and community.”
The recorded pistol-whipping is just one in a long string of recent incidents in New York City and across the country that has inflamed tension between the police and the communities they’ve been sworn to protect and serve.
In July, an officer in Staten Island, New York, choked Eric Garner to death minutes after accosting him on a street corner for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. His death was followed by other high-profile killings by police of unarmed black men in Ohio, Utah and Missouri.
On Aug. 9, a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown after the officer stopped the teen while he was walking with a friend from a nearby convenience store. Several witnesses say Brown was fired on as he attempted to run away from the officer and that the fatal shots came as he was turning with his hands up in surrender. The killing sparked national outrage and protests and rioting locally.
On Monday, an Indiana couple filed a lawsuit against police after officers with the Hammond Police Department pulled their guns, smashed a window of the couple’s car and used a Taser on the unarmed passenger in the car. The couple says they feared for their lives and refused officers orders to exit the vehicle.
 The incident, which began with a traffic stop for an unworn seat belt, was captured on cell phone video by a 14-year-old sitting in the back set.

When a Cop Came Into Her House Without a Warrant, This Grandmother Fought Back

Now the 90-year-old is getting a $95,000 settlement.
Do not mess with Venus Green. 
In July 2009, police entered Green's home looking for her grandson, Tallie. He had come into the house moments before saying he'd been shot at a convenience store, but the officer at Green's door insisted that Green had shot him.
"Police kept questioning him. They wouldn't let the ambulance attendant treat him," Green told WBAL-TV in the video above. "So I got up and said, 'Sir, would you please let the attendants treat him? He's in pain.' "
"You did it," she claimed the officer said, accusing her of shooting Tellie. When police tried to enter the basement, where her grandson lived, she wouldn't let them in because they didn't have a warrant. The officer and Green struggled, he handcuffed her, and then he headed into the basement.
"This was my private home," Green said. She stated that she asserted her rights as a homeowner and a citizen, locking the cop in the basement.
Despite her apparent interference with a law enforcement investigation, the city of Baltimore settled the lawsuit she brought, probably assuming that any jury of Green's peers would sympathize with a 90-year-old woman injured by a cop during an illegal search.
This is just one in a number of police brutality and misconduct cases brought against Baltimore police officers recently. An investigation by The Baltimore Sun found that the city has paid money in more than 100 jury decisions or settlements for excessive force, police brutality, and misconduct claims since 2011. Last week, Baltimore Police Dept. Commissioner Anthony Batts asked the United States Department of Justice to review the department's policies and procedures in light of these settlements.

Black teenager pepper-sprayed by police in his own home

Joanna Rothkopfby Joanna Rothkopf
Black teenager pepper-sprayed by police <em>in his own home</em> 18-year-old DeShawn Currie had only been Ricky and Stacy Tyler’s foster child for about a year when neighbors mistook the black teen for a burglar as he entered the family home.
The Tylers, a white family with the exception of DeShawn, had only lived in Fuquay-Varina, N.C. since July, so the neighbors hadn’t gotten to know the family very well. That’s why, when a neighbor saw DeShawn walk into their home early Monday afternoon, that neighbor called 911, mistaking the teen for a burglar.
“They was like, ‘Put your hands on the door,’” said DeShawn in an interview with a local television station. “I was like, ‘For what? This is my house.’ I was like, ‘Why are y’all in here?’”
ABC 11 reports:
DeShawn said he became angry when officers pointed out the pictures of the Tyler’s three younger children on the mantle, assuming he didn’t belong there. An argument ensued and DeShawn said one of the officers pepper-sprayed him in the face.
By the time Stacy came home, EMS were treating DeShawn in the driveway. She cleared up the confusion with the officers, but not with the rest of her family.
“My 5-year-old last night, she looked at me and said, ‘Mama I don’t understand why they hated our brother, and they had to come in and hurt him.’”
“Everything that we’ve worked so hard for in the past years was stripped away yesterday in just a matter of moments,” said Ricky Tyler.
“I’m feeling comfortable,” said DeShawn. “I had moved into my room, and I’m feeling like I’m loved. And then when they come in and just profile me and say that I’m not who I am. And that I do not stay here because there was white kids on the wall, that really made me mad.”

Teenager severely injured during game of mailbox baseball

A teenager in Grants Pass, Oregon, suffered severe head injuries after police said he was involved in a game of "mailbox baseball."
The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said officers were called to Three Rivers Medical Center early on Sunday morning to a report of a 16-year-old male with severe head injuries.
Police later determined the teenager was a passenger in a motor home involved in "mailbox baseball," which is described as smashing mailboxes while the vehicle is in motion with a wooden stick and metal baseball bat. The front seat passenger struck a telephone pole as the two juvenile males in the back of the motor home were watching through a rear window.
The front seat passenger lost grip of the metal baseball bat, which flew backwards and struck the juvenile victim in the head. The victim was stabilized and flown to a Portland hospital. The driver of the motor home and two other adult passengers are being held in Josephine County Jail. A juvenile passenger is being held in juvenile jail. More charges are expected to filed in the case.

Man stabbed 23 times over missing pig

A man was stabbed 23 times over a pig that disappeared two weeks ago from his home in Winfield, Missouri.
A spokesperson for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says the victim and his roommates were raising a pig, but their neighbor, identified as 22-year-old Joshua Alan Finke, wasn't happy about the situation.
Police say about two weeks ago the pig vanished, and the victim and his roommates suspected Finke was involved in the pig's disappearance. Police say the victim confronted Finke at his home. The verbal disagreement turned physical when police say Finke used a screwdriver to stab the victim once in the back of his head and 22 times in his back.
Finke is charged with first-degree assault and held at the Lincoln County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond. The weapon was not recovered at the scene, and the pig's whereabouts is still unknown. The victim was treated at a local hospital and released.

Man celebrating court win ate raw fish from fishbowl while assaulting ex-girlfriend

Police in South Carolina charged a North Myrtle Beach man with attempted murder and kidnapping after, investigators say, he assaulted his ex-girlfriend. The incident happened after Charles Clay Jackson, 44, arrived unannounced to his ex-girlfriend's house on Friday evening to celebrate a court case he managed to win earlier in the day, police said in a report.
Jackson, who is finance manager at Car Mart LLC of Little River, was “having a few drinks” and “ranting about the criminal case” at around 8 pm. During that he then became “agitated” and began to talk about his relationship with the woman. After “hitting a certain point of aggression” the woman asked Jackson to leave, but he attacked her.
Police say Jackson, tied her up for an hour and during that time choked her, hit her with his fist and a belt, and threatened her with a knife. He also poked her in the eye with an oyster knife. During the incident, Jackson also displayed some aggressive behavior towards a fish. Jackson grabbed a fishbowl that contained a fish, took the fish out of the bowl and ate it, chewing it several times before swallowing.
Investigators say the woman managed to get away and had a neighbor call for help. Police found multiple injuries on the woman, including eye damage from possibly being poked with a sharp object. When police arrived, Jackson told them that he was asleep when he was attacked by the woman for no reason. However, police could find little evidence of that. Jackson remains in jail and is being held on $50,000 bond.

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Cancer curing berry found in Queensland, Australia

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An eight-year study led by Dr Glen Boyle, from the QIMR Berghofer medical research institute in Brisbane, found a compound in the berry could kill head and neck tumors as well as melanomas.
An experimental drug derived from the berry, EBC-46, has so far been used on 300 animals, including cats, dogs and horses.
Dr Boyle said in 75 per cent of cases, the tumor disappeared and had not come back.

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Cave Paintings in Indonesia Redraw Picture of Earliest Art

The dating discovery recasts ancient cave art as a continent-spanning human practice.
A photo of cave paintings in the limestone cave on the Indonesian side of Sulawesi, suspected to date back to 40,000 years ago.
Cave paintings on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi were found more than 50 years ago, but until now the dates of origin were not known. The art shown here has not been dated, but is stylistically similar to other art in the area now found to be around 40,000 years old.
A hand painted in an Indonesian cave dates to at least 39,900 years ago, making it among the oldest such images in the world, archaeologists reported Wednesday in a study that rewrites the history of art.
The discovery on the island of Sulawesi vastly expands the geography of the first cave artists, who were long thought to have appeared in prehistoric Europe around that time. Reported in the journal Nature, the cave art includes stencils of hands and a painting of a babirusa, or "pig-deer," which may be the world's oldest figurative art.
"Overwhelmingly depicted in Europe and Sulawesi were large, and often dangerous, mammal species that possibly played major roles in the belief systems of these people,"  says archaeologist and study leader Maxime Aubert of Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.
The finds from the Maros cave sites on Sulawesi raise the possibility that such art predates the exodus of modern humans from Africa 60,000 or more years ago.
"I predict that even older examples of cave art will be discovered on Sulawesi, and in mainland Asia, and ultimately in our African homeland," says human origins expert Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London, who was not on the study team.
A photo of the oldest hand stencil in the world, dated to 39,000 years ago.
Uranium traces reveal the earliest possible dates for a hand stencil and female babirusa (a hoglike animal also called a pig-deer) painted in Sulawesi's Leang Timpuseng cave.
The oldest dated hand stencil in the world (upper right) and possibly the oldest figurative depiction in cave art—a female babirusa (a hoglike animal also called a pig-deer)—were found in Leang Timpuseng cave in Sulawesi, an island east of Borneo.
Oldest Art
Since the 1950s, scholars have reported hundreds of hand stencils and images of animals in caves on Sulawesi, which were assumed prehistoric but thought to be no more than 12,000 years old, dating to a hunter-gatherer migration to the island.
In the new study, the researchers investigated mineral layers less than 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) thick covering images in seven caves, and in some cases sandwiching them. Trace amounts of radioactive uranium in these mineral layers reveal when water carried the minerals over the cave wall. Finding the ages of these deposits narrows down the time when the images were painted.
The age discovered for the oldest hand stencil in the cave—39,900 years old—is therefore merely the minimum age of the minerals coating the image, meaning the art could be thousands of years older.
A red disk painted in Spain's El Castillo cave is at least 40,800 years old according to the same dating method, making it the oldest known cave art, and a hand stencil there is 37,300 years old. The Sulawesi cave paintings rival these finds in age and appear to belong to a tradition that persisted there as recently as 17,000 years ago.
"We've been shown here that our views have been too 'Euro-centric' about the origins of cave painting," says archaeologist Alistair Pike of the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. "Absolutely this changes our views, and is going to make us ask a lot of questions about the causes rather than the origins of cave art."
A photo of Maxime Aubert and his team instead the limestone cave at Indonesia where they dated a painting on the ceiling.
Maxime Aubert, right, and a team member work inside one of the limestone caves on Sulawesi where ancient cave art was found.
Out of Africa?
In 1880, prehistoric paintings found inside Spain's cave of Altamira galvanized experts and began the study of cave paintings. Hundreds more such sites have turned up in Europe in the past century.
As site after site was found in Europe, the view emerged that modern people must have arrived there from Africa and undergone a cultural shift as they competed with Neanderthals for prey and for caves.
Instead, the newly discovered cave painting suggests that art may have been universal among early modern people, including those who left Africa and traveled across southern Arabia to Indonesia and Australia within the past 50,000 years.
Cave art may have left Africa with early modern humans, the study authors suggest, or possibly it sprang up independently among different groups. The earliest examples of other kinds of art are even older, such as decorative perforated shell beads and pigments that date to more than 75,000 years ago.
"Certainly making hand stencils seems a universal human practice," Pike says. Hands are seen in caves and archaeological sites worldwide, even one in Argentina dating to 9,000 years ago. "Children love to make handprints, even today."
Or art may have served as a kind of social glue. Modern humans migrating out of Africa and facing new habitats, predators, and competition might have needed to travel in larger groups, spurring a need for art as part of the cultural fabric. "One way to display rituals and symbols is with cave art," he says.
A photo of
The Panel of Hands in El Castillo cave in northern Spain contains a red disk, center, that is dated to be older than 40,800 years, making it the oldest cave art in Europe. The hands and red disks were made by blowing or spitting paint onto the wall.

Santa Maria ... No

UN investigators have found proof that a shipwreck found off northern Haiti in 2003 could not be the Santa Maria, the lost flagship from Christopher Columbus' first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
Uncesco said a team of experts who explored the site at the request of the Haitian government determined the wreckage was from a more recent vessel for reasons that included the discovery of copper nails and spikes at the site. The Santa Maria would have used components of iron or wood, the agency said.

Wooden-Handled Flint Knife Found in Denmark

A 3,000-year-old flint knife complete with its wooden handle has been uncovered in southern Zealand. “A dagger of this type has never before been found in Denmark,” Anders Rosendahl of the Lolland-Falster Museum told The Copenhagen Post. The knife dates to the Bronze Age, but when the supply of metal could not keep up with demand, artisans crafted tools from old materials with new designs. Similar knives have been found in Germany. Further study of the rare knife could link the two regions. To read about a recently unearthed Bronze Age ceremonial site, see "4,000-Year-Old Ritual Site Discovered in Poland."

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