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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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Daily Drift

Word ...!
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Today in History

439 The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage in North Africa.
1216 King John of England dies at Newark and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.
1448 The Ottoman Sultan Murat II defeats Hungarian General Janos Hunyadi at Kosovo, Serbia.
1466 The peace of Torun ends the war between the Teutonic knights and their own disaffected subjects in Prussia.
1739 England declares war on Spain over borderlines in Florida. The War is known as the War of Jenkins' Ear because the Spanish coast guards cut off the ear of British seaman Robert Jenkins.
1781 Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington and Count de Rochambeau at Yorktown, Va. Cornwallis surrenders 7,157 troops, including sick and wounded, and 840 sailors, along with 244 artillery pieces. Losses in this battle had been light on both sides. The Revolutionary War is effectively ended.
1812 Napoleon Bonaparte begins his retreat from Moscow.
1848 John "The Pathfinder" Fremont moves out from near Westport, Missouri, on his fourth Western expedition–a failed attempt to open a trail across the Rocky Mountains along the 38th parallel.
1864 At the Battle of Cedar Creek, Va., a narrow victory helps the Union secure the Shenandoah Valley.
1873 Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Rutgers universities draft the first code of football rules.
1914 The German cruiser Emden captures her thirteenth Allied merchant ship in 24 days.
1917 The first doughnut is fried by Salvation Army volunteer women for American troops in France during World War I.
1942 The Japanese submarine I-36 launches a floatplane for a reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor. The pilot and crew report on the ships in the harbor, after which the aircraft is lost at sea.
1949 The People's Republic of China is formally proclaimed.
1950 The North Korean capital of Pyongyang is captured by U.N. troops.
1954 Egypt and Britain conclude a pact on the Suez Canal, ending 72 years of British military occupation. Britain agrees to withdraw its 80,000-man force within 20 months, and Egypt agrees to maintain freedom of canal navigation.
1960 Canada and the United States agree to undertake a joint Columbia River project to provide hydroelectric power and flood control.
1973 President Richard Nixon rejects an Appeals Court demand to turn over the Watergate tapes.
1987 In retaliation for Iranian attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf, the U. S. navy disables three of Iran's offshore oil platforms.
1988 British government bans TV and radio interviews with members of Irish political group Sinn Fein and 11 paramilitary groups.
1989 The 1975 conviction of the Guilford Four overturned by British courts; the 4 men had been convicted in the 1974 Guilford pub bombings.
2003 Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II for her work among "the poorest of the poor" in India.
2005 Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's trail for crimes against humanity begins in Baghdad.

Don’t Let The repugican Tactic of Suppress and Confuse Steal Your Voice

protect the vote
One of the ironies of court wars over vote suppression laws lies in the fact that proponents of suppressing the vote argue they want to preserve the “status quo” in the name of preventing confusion among voters.
Actually, since repugicans are waging an increasingly aggressive war on voting rights, their desired status quo is confusion, much like the status quo of confusion in 2012.
That is obvious with the last minute efforts to find vote suppression sympathizers in the courts, to uphold laws specifically intended to suppress the vote.
The bottom line is repugicans have a two-pronged approach to stealing the election in 2014 – suppress and confuse.  Aside from repugicans working the legal system, they have help from the Koch Brothers to stir the waves of confusion by sending out false information about registering, voting day and voting requirements.  When they were caught, Americans for Prosperity said oops.  The latest claim is they “accidentally” sent Arkansas voter information to voters in North Carolina. Of course we believe them when they say the objective was to “prevent” confusion and keep the election process “honest.”
If repugicans were so concerned about preventing confusion, they wouldn’t continue to fight court rulings that overturn their unconstitutional vote suppression laws.
The bottom line is repugicans have two objectives this season.  Suppress as many votes as possible and when that fails, create as much confusion as possible.
In some cases, at least the legal battles are over for the purpose of this election because the court battles have reach the Supreme Court.
Voters in Wisconsin will be voting under the same rules that applied in 2012.
Voters in North Carolina will be restricted to voting under the conditions set out in the State’s vote suppression law.
Currently, Texas voters are subject to the restrictions set out in that state’s vote suppression law.  However, this could change since the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to uphold or stay a recent ruling that Greg Abbott called a “victory.”
Since the State Supreme Court in Arkansas struck down that state’s vote suppression law, that decision is likely to hold. The court noted that the state’s constitution identifies specific requirements to vote.  The person must be a citizen of the U.S. and Arkansas.  They must be 18 years old and be lawfully registered. The court said,
These four qualifications set forth in our state’s constitution simply do not include any proof-of-identity requirement,
Unless repugicans take this to Federal Court, the state’s previous law will apply during this year’s election. That means election workers are required to ask for photo ID, but voters do not need to produce it in order to cast a ballot.
In Georgia, the confusion is surrounding the registration status of tens of thousands of voters.  Last week, the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and New Georgia Project filed a suit against Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, and five counties.  The NLCCR asked a judge to make sure over 40,000 people will be able to vote in this election.
On Thursday, Kemp said 40,000 over the voters are “active” and on the rolls. Another 10,000 voters are “pending”. Just the same, considering the source, Georgia voters should independently verify that they are, in fact, registered to vote in this election.
The best way to protect your vote is to cut through the confusion by going to a reliable source. Chances are better of getting accurate information when the source of it doesn’t have an ideological disposition to suppressing your vote. The Election Assistance Commission website is a good one to look at. It provides registration and voting requirements.  It has a FAQ section and provides translated information.
Whatever you do, don’t let the repugican tactic of suppress and confuse steal your voice.

In A Shocking Endorsement Family of repugican Candidate Endorses His Democratic Opponent

In a letter to The Las Vegas Sun, the family of the repugican Attorney General candidate Adam Laxalt endorsed his Democratic opponent.
The family’s letter delivered a powerful endorsement against their own relative,
dead-gop-elephantTherefore, we collectively speak up to support Ross Miller as the most qualified candidate to be our state’s attorney general.
It is our belief that Ross Miller’s documented history of pulling himself up by his own bootstraps and establishing a well-respected career in law and public service while still maintaining a strong sense of family and community constitute the critical characteristics needed for Nevada’s highest legal office.
We ask that our fellow Nevadans follow our lead by speaking up with their own votes during this election season.
Know that our message does not originate from a repugican, Democratic or even family affiliation. It has to do with the most basic question all voters must ask themselves when they step into the voting booth, “Who really is the best qualified candidate for attorney general for the state of Nevada?”
The letter might be the most devastating political endorsement of a candidate ever because of the closing line, which implies that Adam Lexalt is not the most qualified candidate for attorney general.
Lexalt is the fairly recently discovered illegitimate son of former repugican Sen. Pete Domenici, who is trying to leverage his family ties into a political career.
It impossible to see how any candidate can win if their own family is planning on voting for his/her opponent. Lexalt is the grandson of former repugican Sen. Paul Lexalt. The younger Lexalt said that evaluating himself as an outstanding private attorney, but The Las Vegas Sun reported on his performance review, “But his supervisors said his work was “sloppy,” called him a “train wreck” and suggested a salary freeze and “possible termination,” according to notes from Laxalt’s performance review meeting for 2011-12 with the firm Lewis Roca.”
Wingnut media was rallying around Lexalt because he is the embodiment of their ideology. He failed in the private sector, so in their view; he is the perfect fit for a government job.
A trainwreck is just what the repugicans look for in their candidates, so it is no surprise that that are championing the candidacy of Adam Lexalt.

The repugicans Ignore Family’s Pleas Refuse To Take Down Ad That Politicizes James Foley’s Death

john-foleyThe family of slain journalist James Foley called for a wingnut cabal’s ads that feature their son’s beheading deplorable and have asked that the ads be taken down. The group ignored the grieving family’s request.
The wingnut cabal Secure America Now is running an ad in competitive Senate races around the country that features Foley’s beheading by his ISIS captors.
James Foley’s father said, “I think it is deplorable, and I think it should be taken down.” Foley’s mother said, “It makes me very sad that people would use the brutality of our son’s death for their own political purposes.”
The president of Secure America Now, Allen Roth admitted that the cabal didn’t contact the Foley family before making the ad public, and said, “The image has appeared around the world millions of times…We meant no harm, we just took an image that is in the public domain and used it.” Secure America Now refuses to apologize, and claimed that the ad is not controversial.
The ad goes beyond controversial. Is is disrespectful to James Foley. The ad is disrespectful to the family and friends of James Foley. It is also promoting the propaganda of Foley’s ISIS killers. Secure America Now has John Bolton, and Mike Huckabee on its board.
It is a piece of advertising that will only the repugicans that it is trying to help. There is nothing but disrespect behind that ad, and the fact that wingnuts are ignoring the pleas of the grieving family will almost certainly backfire on the repugican candidates that they claim to be helping.
Any repugican Senate candidate that does not immediate condemn the ad deserves to lose. Since wingnuts refuse to listen to the Foley family, voters will have to reject their crass politics at the ballot box on Election Day.

The Truth Hurts

And that's just the way the repugicans want it ...

Democrats Demand Investigation Into repugican Budget Cuts To Ebola Preparedness

Pelosi and House Democrats
Democrats are asking the correct questions and demanding that repugicans hold hearings and investigate whether the CDC and NIH had appropriate funding levels in the areas necessary to combat Ebola.
In a statement, a group of House Democrats said,
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and the other Democratic Members of the Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Appropriations Subcommittee in calling for hearings on the funding levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and related agencies in light of the ongoing public health threat posed by the Ebola virus:
As Francis Collins, head of the NIH, said last week: ‘NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, “Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here.” Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.’
The Appropriations Committee should return to Washington immediately and convene hearings to discuss and debate the issue of funding levels for NIH, CDC and related agencies in light of the public health challenges posed by the Ebola virus. While it is important that the House Homeland Security and Energy & Commerce committees have held hearings, it is not right that the Appropriations committee has not met in accordance with its responsibilities to fund these critical public health agencies.
While repugicans are busy doing their usual blame Obama thing and the media is whipping up needless hysteria over whether or not Ebola will be invading our homes and killing us all, Democrats are asking the important question. How did we get here?
The answer isn’t what repugicans would like you to believe it is. The lackluster Ebola response is not a byproduct of “bad Obama leadership.” Certain simpletons, we like to call these people repugicans, point to the overall funding levels at the CDC and NIH and proclaim that this is all Obama’s fault. Other media simpletons, including a Pinocchio loving grader at the Washington Post, used a similar argument to get repugicans off the hook.
The problem with only looking at overall funding levels is that it misses the point. Over the last few years, the CDC has had billions of dollars taken out of its budget for infectious disease preparedness at the federal, state, and local levels. This means that the CDC started with fewer resources to work with when the Ebola situation started. There is a reason the Congress rushed through an infusion of cash to fight Ebola before they left town. The CDC budget was left short on preparedness.
It isn’t a black and white situation, but the sequester that repugicans love so much has hurt. The focus should be on congressional repugicans, for one simple reason. The president doesn’t make the budget. Obama can make budgetary recommendations, but at the end of the day, as the old saying goes, the House controls the purse strings.
The talk about Obama’s budget is a smokescreen coming from people who don’t want to discuss the real issue. The important question isn’t did the CDC have enough funding. What needs to be investigated is if the CDC was properly funded in the area of preparedness.
House repugicans love to “investigate” any Obama scandal that Faux News can dream up, but it is a safe bet that they won’t investigate the role that their own budgetary choices played in the current situation.

John McCain joins repugican demands for an Ebola 'czar'

John McCain was on the Sunday news programs this past weekend because OF COURSE HE WAS; this time it was to talk about Ebola and to engage that most time-honored of repugican shrieking point gymnastics, the backwards 180-degree flip with righthand trunk spin. Stick the landing, fella.
John McCain (r-Ariz.) on Sunday called for President Obama to nominate an Ebola "czar" to coordinate the administration's response to the deadly virus.
"I'd like to know who's in charge," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union." [...]
In the past, McCain had been critical of Obama's use of so-called "czars" to name lead officials on particular matters. In 2009, McCain tweeted that Obama had "more czars than the Romanovs - who ruled Russia for 3 centuries."
Thus McCain, as usual, follows in the footsteps of the House crazy person caucus, but now the Republicans demand that Obama institute an "Ebola czar" even after those selfsame repugicans were muttering about abuse of power and tyranny and impeachment over the "czars" the gubbermint already had has been catapulted into the Sunday show orbits of Serious Debate, by mere virtue of Sunday John saying it. We don't have enough czars. We demand more czars! Why isn't Obama leading by appointing czars?
Mind you, why John McCain is on our TVs to talk about Ebola at all is a question unto itself, but since it is an apparent requirement, we might point out that a public health czar is exactly what a Surgeon General would be, except that we do not have one because John McCain's fellow repugican senators refuse to confirm one (the nominee for the position had at one point expressed the medical opinion that getting shot might be dangerous to your health, which was all it took to make him persona non grata to the pro-getting-shot crowd). We might also point out that the repugican insistence on shrinking the public-health duties of our government has led to the intended effect of shrinking the public-health duties of our government, and that the persons in charge of those public-health duties are of the opinion that America is less able to respond to Ebola than we ought to be due to those repugican cuts. Even as John McCain appears on the Sunday shows, his allies continue to block a wider government response.
We are living, in other words, in the precise situation that John McCain and the rest of his caucus demanded we live in. Small government response because a bigger response would Cost Money, with nobody in charge because John McCain's Senate has worked at every turn to prevent anyone from being placed in charge. Oh-and there is also the unfortunate coincidence of the original victim arriving in Texas, one of the repugican states most insistent on blocking expanded national healthcare efforts in order to deny the opposing president the perceived political "win" of having fewer of their own citizens die.

Lush Dimbulb Admits He’s Causing Panic Over Ebola To Help The repugican cabal Win Midterm Elections

rush_limbaugh dark
While on the air Thursday, wingnut gasbag Lush Dimbulb took exception with Faux News anchor Shepard Smith’s plea on Wednesday for pundits and politicians to pull back on their hyperbole over the Ebola cases in Texas. Smith utilized a few minutes of air time on Wednesday to provide only the facts on the Ebola virus and point out that America is not dealing with an outbreak. He asked that those in the media be more responsible in their coverage of the story and that radio and television personalities stop fear mongering in an effort to stir up panic for political gain.
Well, this didn’t sit well with El Lushbo on Thursday. Ever since the story broke that a man in Texas had contracted Ebola while in West Africa and carried the disease with him to the United States, Dimbulb has made it his mission to blame President Obama for it and stoke as much fear as possible. While Dimbulb has definitely not been alone in this endeavor, his megaphone is one of the loudest around, as despite sagging ratings, he still has the #1 hate speech radio program in America.
Dimbulb first claimed that he wasn’t trying to cause panic. Instead, he was just displaying concern because of the incompetence of the Obama Administration and other government departments.
Below is from the transcript of The Lush Dimbulb Show:
There is no desire here to spread a panic, and I am not secretly harboring a belief that we have a wide outbreak and they’re not telling us. I don’t believe that. Not yet. My concern is what it always is. One thing you can count on. Whether you’re a new Article here, whether you’re a veteran, one thing you can count on from me is consistency.
If there are people who are fearful of a panic out there, or if there are people who think they’re not being told the truth, it’s because we have a level of incompetence I have yet to see in my life prior to this. The point that I’m trying to make with all of these things I highlight is the utter incompetence of the people that you think are trustworthy in these institutions that everybody counts on.
Dimbulb then proceeded to induce panic in his audience over an upcoming epidemic by claiming the government isn’t going to do anything about it. They won’t try to contain the virus on West Africa. Instead, they will just allow it to spread further. They will continue to reject ideas from good, dog-fearing wingnuts who truly care about America for purely political reasons.
Therefore, per Lush, he is just “trying to alert” the audience in anticipation of the upcoming elections so they choose wisely. They can either stick with the incompetent leaders currently in charge of certain institutions who are going to bring death and destruction to our country via a deadly virus, or they can elect more repugicans who will fix everything.
My point to you is, just like with Obamacare, and just like with a number of other things with this administration, the election coming up in November is crucial, and whatever is really known about this is not going to be shared with us until after that point. But more than that, I’m just trying to alert you to be curious and to question some of these things that you’re hearing, because it’s nonsensical.
I think it’s not too powerful to say it’s tragic that we have such levels of incompetence in positions of leadership that are really important. Now, I know why we have such a high degree of incompetence. It’s because the people that are choosing those to lead these institutions are themselves incompetent and have never really done anything. They’ve not accomplished anything.
Anyway, one other thing, folks, about the criticism here. I just want you to understand, the same people who are illustrating their blatant incompetence in all of this, they’re the same people telling you that there is global warming. They are the same people telling you you’re not paying enough in taxes. The same people that promised you shovel-ready jobs and stimulus spending. These are the same people that told you you could keep your doctor. The same people told you you can keep your insurance plan if you liked it, lied to you about that, same people.
Obviously, Shep Smith touched a nerve with Dimbulb. In Dimbulb’s warped and diseased mind, he sees Faux News as kindred spirits if not direct allies. While he occasionally will criticize the network, he only does so if he feels they aren’t pushing the wingnut false narrative enough regarding a specific subject. When one of the network’s most visible anchors blasts the wingnut entertainment cabal, it feels like a direct betrayal. Sure, Smith is perhaps the only one that has any credibility left at the network, but he still works for Roger Ailes and needs to toe the company line. Dimbulb is essentially telling those at Faux News that Shep needs to be put in his place.
While it was genuinely refreshing to see someone at Faux News, of all places, call out the wingnut noise machine for being irresponsible, it isn’t going to stop Dimbulb and others. It will only embolden them. Expect non-stop fear mongering and Chicken Little declarations for the next three weeks, minimum.

The Truth Be Told

Though it needs not be said we're saying it anyway ...  
repugicans are stupid

42 Walmart Workers and Supporters Arrested While Protesting For Higher Wages

At least 42 Walmart workers and their supporters have been arrested in New York and Washington, D.C. for demanding to be paid a wage that will not force them depend on food stamps.
Via the group OUR Walmart,
walmart-protest-15-croppedTwenty-six Walmart workers and their supporters were arrested today in New York as crowds of workers and supporters block K street in Washington, DC — calling on Walmart’s owners to stop robbing workers of a fair wage and passing the bill on to taxpayers. Without a public commitment from the Waltons to raise pay at Walmart, the group has refused to disperse, shutting down Park Avenue in front of Alice Walton’s new penthouse in New York and the intersection at 18th and K streets in front of the Walton Family Foundation. Last year, Walmart’s former CEO confirmed that the majority of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year.
After more than 2 hours blocking traffic at the intersection in front of the Walton Family Foundation in Washington, DC, 16 people were just arrested.
The unrest over the country’s growing income inequality is manifesting itself in protests such as this one. Walmart is the largest employer in America, and the company’s refusal to pay workers a living wage costs taxpayers $6.2 billion in public assistance a year. Walmart workers are asking to be paid enough so that they don’t have to depend on food stamps in order to eat.
The reason repugicans who don’t support raising the minimum wage are in danger of losing their races for reelection is that the American people get it. They understand that the country can’t be healthy and prosperous if wealth is only concentrated at the top. Economic mobility is the American dream, but that vision and hope for a better future is being crushed a small group of wealthy individuals and corporations who believe the government should only serve their interests.
People are fed up, and they are taking their anger with them to the streets and the ballot boxes. Every eligible American has a chance to make their voice heard by sending a message to Kochs, Waltons, and others in the wingnut billionaire class on November 4th.

Potty-mouthed man who attacked neighbor who'd let him use toilet suffered retaliation injury

A Florida man who let his locked-out neighbor use his bathroom was repaid by being threatened and attacked with a crowbar, according to a sheriff’s report. Norman Newkirk was badly in need of a bathroom at about 7pm on Friday, but found he had locked himself out of his New Smyrna Beach apartment.
The 50-year-old went to his neighbor who agreed to let Newkirk use his bathroom. It is not clear what sparked what came next. Neighbor Howard Williams told Volusia County sheriff’s investigators that shortly after he allowed Newkirk to use the toilet, he heard Newkirk yelling from the bathroom that he would “smear (expletive)” all over Williams, the report states.
Newkirk came out into the living room, got into Williams’ face and punched him in the nose, deputies said. Newkirk then grabbed a crowbar and threatened to hit Williams. As Williams, 59, tried to grab a wooden club to defend himself, Newkirk struck him in the back with the crowbar, deputies said. Williams then hit Newkirk in the head several times with the wooden club.
A drunken Newkirk said he was upset that he had locked himself out of his apartment. Along with the 12 stitches Newkirk needed to have his head patched, he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery. After being cleared from Bert Fish Medical Center, Newkirk was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail sporting a bandage on his head. He is being held on $5,500 bail.

Family Dollar Store Manager Tells Mother To Leave Her Disabled Toddler In Her Car While She Shops On A Hot Day

by Stephen D Foster Jr
A Louisiana woman is furious after a Family Dollar store manager demanded that she leave her disabled three-year-old son in her hot car while she shops.
Jessica Margiotta stopped at the discount store over the weekend to shop for diapers for her five month old daughter in Marrero, Louisiana but the store manager had a problem with her three-year-old son, who was in a stroller because of a muscle deficiency that makes walking difficult. The manager told Margiotta to leave her son in her vehicle while she shops. Needless to say, Margiotta was shocked by the demand and, of course, refused because the temperature outside was 90 degrees and the inside of the car would have been even higher after only a few minutes. Her son could have easily died.
“I would never leave my kids in the vehicle,” she said. “Ever. Cold or hot outside. They’re going to come with me.”
According to Margiotta, she has shopped at the store on multiple occasions and had never before been told she couldn’t use a stroller inside. The manager claimed that store policy prohibits the use of strollers but a representative of Family Dollar told WDSU that the store has no such policy and is investigating the incident.
Here’s the video:
Just this year alone, 28 children have died because parents have irresponsibly left them in a car. Doing such a thing is child abuse and that’s exactly what the Family Dollar store manager wanted Margiotta to do. He gave her two choices; commit child abuse by leaving her son in a hot car, or carry him and his sister around the store to pick up the items she needed. This is the kind of thing that should result in the firing of the store manager. No mother should have to face such treatment from a business for simply trying to care for her kids. This should outrage every parent and should lead to significant backlash against the store.

Man seeking damages after waking up from colonoscopy exam wearing pink panties

A Delaware man woke up after a colonoscopy wearing pink women's underwear, placed on his body while he was under sedation, he claims in court. Andrew Walls, of Magnolia, says he was not wearing pink women's underwear when he presented himself for a colonoscopy at the Delaware Surgery Center in Dover on Oct. 12, 2012. The complaint filed on Friday in New Castle County Superior Court names the center as a defendant along with Eden Hill Surgical Group. Walls says he "was placed under anesthesia" to facilitate the procedure. "When the plaintiff recovered from the effects of the anesthesia administered by defendants, he awoke to realize that while he was unconscious pink women's underwear had been placed on his body." Walls adds that "at no time did [he] voluntarily, knowingly, or intentionally place the pink women's underwear upon himself." "Defendants' extreme and outrageous conduct went beyond all possible bounds of decency," the lawsuit later states.
In addition to experiencing "shame, embarrassment and personal humiliation" because of "the inappropriate undergarment," Walls says "severe emotional distress" caused him to lose his job. Walls blames the "extreme and outrageous conduct" of defendants for his troubles, saying they failed "to maintain proper policies and procedures for the care of patients with respect to not engaging in extreme and outrageous conduct which caused the plaintiff severe emotional distress."
Though Jennifer Anderson, the director of Delaware Surgery Center LLC, ultimately declined to comment in an interview, she first gave some possible context to the suit. "Andrew D. Walls was an employee," Anderson said. "We have not seen the complaint yet." Anderson would not comment on whether Walls was the victim of a practical joke, given his apparent employment by Delaware Surgery Center. The complaint seeks punitive damages for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Random Photos

Maybe they'll listen next time.

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An A To Z Of Noah Webster's Finest Forgotten Words

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A French Soldier’s Room Unchanged 96 Years After His Death in World War I

Hubert Rochereau dutifully marched off to war from his home in the village of Bélâbre, France. He served as a second lieutenant in the 15th Dragoons. Rochereau died of his wounds sustained in battle against the Germans in Loker, Belgium on April 26, 1918. For his courage under fire and his sacrifice, France bestowed on him the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor.
Rochereau’s parents were heartbroken. They kept his room in their house the way that he had left it. When they moved in 1935, their stipulated in the sales contract that his room must remain as it was for at least 500 years.
The requirement was legally dubious, but the new owners respected the wishes of the mourning couple. So did current owner, who inherited the house from her grandparents. It is a unique look into the past. Anne Penketh writes for The Guardian:
The room contains the spurs of the cavalry officer, his sword and a fencing helmet, and a collection of pistols. A flag is propped up beside the wall. His pipes are on his desk and the stale smell of English tobacco comes from a cigarette packet. […]
On Rochereau’s desk is a vial on which, in keeping with tradition, a label records that it contains “the soil of Flanders on which our dear child fell and which has kept his remains for four years”.

Cache Of Historic Newspapers Unveils The Mysteries Of Old New Orleans

It typically takes a lifetime to build an admirable collection, years spent scouring flea markets, garage sales, and auction houses for each new addition. But for Joseph Makkos, his prized collection appeared all at once - in the form of a Craigslist ad offering thousands of historic New Orleans newspapers. For free.
Makkos' collection offers an amazingly detailed view of the city's storied past: Its politics, food, sporting events, local businesses, architecture, tragedies, and celebrations.

1934 Had Worst Drought of Last Thousand Years

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Dark outpourings of lava gave the “man in the moon”

Faraway Ice Giant

300px-1e7m_comparison_Uranus_Neptune_Sirius_B_Earth_VenusAstronomers Spot Faraway Uranus-Like Planet

First “ice giant” planet found in another solar system Our […]

Man Walks in South American Rainforest at Night, Sees Spider the Size of a Small Puppy

In a story that will haunt my dreams, entomologist Piotr Naskrecki was walking through the rainforest of Guyana at night in search of katydids, as that is what he was studying. He says that typically in his field research, he walks slowly and quietly, so as not to disturb anything. He wears a headlamp, but turns it off on occasion, which he says helps him zone in on the sounds around him. Naskrecki was listening for the distinctive sounds of katydid wings when instead he heard something moving, crushing dry leaves under its feet. In his peripheral vision, he saw what he thought was a large, hairy rodent.
It wasn't a large, hairy rodent, however. Instead, it was my very worst nightmare: the largest spider in the world. A South American goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), to be exact. This big, hairy bowl of wrong has legs up to a foot in length, with feet that have hard tips and make clicking sounds as they move along. Its huge fangs are capable of puncturing the skull of a rodent with one clutch. Its size was compared to that of a newborn pup.
Naskrecki said that not only did the spider make a hissing sound, rear its front legs and flex its monstrous fangs, but it rubbed its legs against its abdomen, producing a hairy cloud that made Piotr's eyes tear up and burn for several days afterward. (As I've written this and uploaded the images, I've stopped to take deep breaths several times and once glanced at a world map to remind myself how far that species is from me.)
Read more about Naskrecki's close encounter with Satan's housepet here.

The Murderous, Sometimes Sexy History of the Mermaid

For many people, the idea of a mermaid is shaped by the 1989 Disney movie The Little Mermaid, or possibly the 1984 Tom Hanks film Splash. The myth of a half human-half fish creature wasn’t always as delightful. They were originally considered gods along with other strange chimeras. In the Odyssey, mermaids were deadly sirens that lured men to their deaths.
And so mermaids entered European mythology with conflicting personalities: Sometimes they were portrayed as beautiful, seductive maidens—almost goddesses like Atargatis—greatly desired by lonely sailors, while also being cast as siren-esque beasts that dragged men into the inky-black depths. But whatever the portrayal, mermaids wound their way deep into the nautical lore of the Middle Ages onward.

Really, it was best to avoid mermaids and mermen, just to be sure. Olaus Magnus, the 16th century writer and cartographer whose seminal map Carta Marina obsessively cataloged the many monsters of the seas around Scandinavia, noted that fishermen maintain that if you reel in a mermaid or merman, “and do not presently let them go, such a cruel tempest will arise, and such a horrid lamentation of that sort of men comes with it, and of some other monsters joining with them, that you would think the sky should fall.” Sea-people, it was widely held, were terribly bad luck to see or snag.
Plenty of seafarers saw mermaids, because the sea is full of strange unidentified creatures that are difficult to describe. You can read about quite a few of these sightings over the centuries that added to our mermaid myths at Wired.

Bats: Wonders of the Night

Twenty million bats in one cave! Can you imagine being there and not knowing that until it happens? And did you know that a bat’s hearing has to be ignored while it uses its sonar trick, lest it drive them batty? This video from the PBS YouTube series It's Okay To Be Smart has all kinds of fascinating facts about the 1300 or so species of bats on earth. By the time you finish this, you’ll have a new respect of those fearful flying Halloween symbols. Read more about bats at Bat Conservation International, or any of the other links about bats you’ll find at the YouTube page.

Adam the dog is allergic to people

Some people are allergic to dogs, but one special dog is allergic to people. Robin Herman said she and her small staff at the Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue in Indianapolis had never heard of a dog with such a unique condition before. When a black lab named Adam came across her desk, she was ready to help. "I saw his picture on the rescue list and it was heartbreaking, so I said, 'Sure, we will take him,'" she said.
"We feed him the best food possible, got him flea free, gave him baths twice a week, special baths from the vet," she said. Little by little, Adam started looking better but not progressing as well as Herman had hoped. "We still couldn't figure out what was wrong, so we took him in for a blood test," she said. The test revealed he had allergies but the source was something Herman couldn't believe.
"Humans? I thought (the veterinarian) was kidding", she said. "Just like we can be allergic to dogs, he's allergic to human dander," Herman said. While many people may have written Adam off, Herman said she still just sees a puppy in need of help. "He's smart, he learns, knows a bunch of commands, he's a great dog.

"It's not his fault. We raised as much money as we can and we're not going to stop until he's better," she said. Thanks to the diagnosis, that day may be coming soon. Herman has high hopes for the next treatment. "The vet seems to think we can fix him. They put a serum together just like with kids allergies, and he starts on allergy shots this week," Herman said.
There's more information about Adam here.

How Birds Weather Turbulence

When a bird hits turbulence while flying, it can't turn on the 'fasten seatbelt' sign. Instead, new research shows that it tucks its wings to stabilize its flight.
Scientists were studying the flight of a captive Eurasian steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) when they noticed a curious behavior. While soaring, the bird would often briefly fold its wings before resuming its normal flight.

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