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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, December 7, 2014

The Daily Drift

The Seventh of our trees of December ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
December 7, 1941 ... !
Today is  - National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

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Today in History

43 BC   Cicero, considered one of the greatest sons of Rome, is assassinated on the orders of Marcus Antonius.
983   Otto III takes the throne after his father's death in Italy. A power struggle between magnates ensues.  
1787   Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
1808   James Madison is elected president in succession of Thomas Jefferson.  
1861   USS Santiago de Cuba, under Commander Daniel B. Ridgely, halts the British schooner Eugenia Smith and captures J.W. Zacharie, a New Orleans merchant and Confederate purchasing agent.
1862   Confederate forces surprise an equal number of Union troops at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.  
1863   Outlaw George Ives, an alleged member of an outlaw gang known as the "Innocents," robs and then kills Nick Thiebalt in the Ruby Valley of what would become Montana.  
1917   The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary with only one dissenting vote in Congress.  
1918   Spartacists call for a German revolution.  
1931   A report indicates that Nazis would ensure "Nordic dominance" by sterilizing certain races.  
1941   Japanese planes raid Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a surprise attack, bringing the US into WWII.
1942   The U.S. Navy launches USS New Jersey, the largest battleship ever built.  
1946   The president of the United Mine Workers, John L. Lewis, orders all striking miners back to work.  
1949   The A.F.L. and the C.I.O. organize a non-Communist international trade union.  
1970   Poland and West Germany sign a pact renouncing the use of force to settle disputes, recognizing the Oder-Neisse River as Poland's western frontier, and acknowledging the transfer to Poland of 40,000 square miles of former German territory.  
1972   The crew of Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the moon, lifts off at Cape Canaveral, Florida.  
1981   The Reagan Administration predicts a record deficit in 1982 of $109 billion.  
1988   An earthquake in Armenia kills an estimated 100,000 people.  
1988   Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat recognizes Israel's right to exist.  
1995   Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter after a 6-year journey.
1999   The Recording Industry Association of America files a copyright infringement suit against the file-sharing website Napster.
2003   A tornado in Kensal Green, North West London, damages about 150 properties.
 2006   An earthquake in Armenia kills an estimated 100,000 people. 

9 Chivalrous Habits Of A True Gentleman That Make Women Melt

Jen Ruizby
chivalryIn a world filled with late-night booty calls, infidelity and a general “hit it and split it” mentality, it’s easy to become jaded by today’s dating scene.
As women, we brace ourselves for the worst, proceeding with extreme caution during the first few months, for fear of falling victim to the aforementioned debauchery in which so many men partake.
It’s a welcome relief, then, when we stumble upon those few true gentlemen. They exude chivalry with even their smallest actions, and remind us that there are still good ones out there.
It doesn’t take a grand gesture or costly display of affection to win a girl over. Often, it just takes a little sincerity and display of genuine romantic interest.
Despite popular opinion, chivalry is not dead — here are 10 everyday gestures of men that prove it:
1. Opening doors
A guy who takes the time to come around and open the car door for you is a keeper, not to mention a commodity this winter.
With certain states getting up to five inches of snow an hour, do you want to be left standing outside in a blizzard while your date gets nice and toasty in the driver’s seat?
Recognize and appreciate a guy who puts your comfort and well-being first, even if it’s just for a few extra seconds.
2. Saving the last bite of food
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So, when he saves the last bite for you, it’s basically him saying he likes you more than whatever meal is in front of him. Which, for the record, is a lot.
3. Spending time with your family
A guy who shows an interest in your baby photos, coaches your little brother on how to throw a football and compliments your mother’s cooking is a guy who’s in it for the long haul. These are small gestures, but they speak volumes about his intentions.
4. Suffering through a girly movie
When a man volunteers to endure a girly show or movie because he knows you’ll enjoy it, he earns major bonus points. (Even more if he does so without complaining or expecting something in return.)
5. Sending flowers
I’m not talking about the $100 bouquet you get on Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about the grocery store assortment he picked up on a random Tuesday while thinking of you. There’s just something about unexpected flowers that makes a girl smile.
6. Walking on the outside of the sidewalk
The first time someone does this, you will probably be confused. But then you’ll start to question how come other men in your life have never been concerned about positioning themselves in such a way that you’d be protected should curbside tragedy strike.
It’s not a must, but it’s certainly nice to have.
7. Kissing your forehead
Sure, if you’re hoping to date someone and he does this, it can be a dreaded sign of sibling-like affection.
But, if you’re in a long-term relationship and your guy does this, it’s a small gesture that can make you feel adored.
8. Filling up your gas tank
Much like walking on the outside of a sidewalk, this gesture will probably surprise you the first time it’s performed.
It’s indicative of a man who was raised right and is generally courteous, which is always a welcome surprise.
9. Putting your jacket on
Women are fully capable of putting their own jackets on, but it’s not a question of ability. It’s gentlemanly and kind for someone to hold out your jacket for you or offer you theirs when it’s cold.
These are little ways men show they care, the same way women have instincts to nurture and protect loved ones.
Chivalry is not dead; men can be everyday knights in shining armor. You just have to learn to spot the subtle, more meaningful gestures.

This Is Whiskey-Scented Fabric

Harris Tweed is a renowned fabric made in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Johnnie Walker Scotch whiskey is, similarly, a famous product of Scotland. The companies that produce both are coming together to produce a combined product: tweed that smells like Johnnie Walker.
Researchers at Heriot Watt University developed a process to infuse the fabric with the whiskey smell in such a way that it will continue to smell even after it's cleaned. BBC News reports:
The scent called Aqua Alba has been designed to replicate aromas released from a glass of whiskey, known as the nose of the liquid.
According to Johnnie Walker, the cloth smells of "rich malt, golden vanilla, red fruit and dark chocolate tones". […]
Donald Mackay, who heads the finishing department at the mill, said: "I have worked with aromas in the past but they were only meant to withstand one dry clean.
"The process we have devised for Johnnie Walker means that this scent is layered into the fabric throughout the finishing process and is permanently imbued in the tweed."

No good flu shot ...

One of the dominant flu strains infecting people now is a mutated form that the flu shot may not protect against. 

Faux News Blames Obama for Apartheid, Racist Cops, and repugican cabal Jobs Obstruction

The latest "blame Obama" crusade is reaction to the President's request for funding to train and outfit racist cops with body cameras.…
Fox Racism
Blame is holding an individual responsible for, and making negative statements about, their actions that are allegedly morally irresponsible; in plain language it means the person has done something wrong. In the bizarre world of corporate wingnut media, everything wrong in America is President Barack Obama’s fault regardless that most of the nation’s ills either were, or are, created by past and current repugican policies.
The latest “blame Obama” crusade is reaction to the President’s request for funding to train and outfit racist cops with body cameras. The President’s proposal also calls for a review of, and pledged to tighten, the standards for transferring military equipment from the battlefield to local police in the wake of the Ferguson police’s military response to peaceful African American demonstrators. It is noteworthy that President Obama did not come up with the idea to fund better police training or provide police departments with body cameras unilaterally. He held a series of meetings with law enforcement personnel, civil rights leaders, and Cabinet officials to devise reforms to ease mistrust towards trigger-happy racist cops in predominately minority communities.
Of all the President’s proposals, outfitting racist cops with body cameras is reported by the Department of Justice to be a major tool in reducing the use of force by law enforcement. According to the 2014 DOJ report, in one city alone the “use of force by officers dropped 60 percent, and citizen complaints declined by 88 percent” and that “similar findings applied to other cities with body cameras.” The Justice Department found other benefits such as assisting the resolution of citizen complaints against police, particularly reducing the likelihood of false complaints against law enforcement. In fact, according to UK studies, body cameras reduced the amount of officers’ paperwork, improved their ability to determine whether a crime occurred, and increased the chances of a case ending in a guilty plea instead of a criminal trial. A separate report by the DOJ’s “Community Oriented Policing Services” (COPS) Office, several chiefs of police “heralded the use of body cameras as a means to collect evidence.” However, research and facts are irrelevant to racists in wingnut media and with a convenient Black man to blame, there was no dearth of finger-pointing at President Obama.
According to a concerted wingnut media assault on the President, wingnut shrieking heads claim the President should stop blaming “racist cops” for shooting unarmed African Americans and start focusing on job creation and increased education funding for the African American community.  Seriously, that was the crux of their condemnation of the President’s proposal; he has spent six years not focusing on jobs, or education, and needs to stop criticizing law enforcement or proposing funding for better training for racist police officers.
On his radio hate fest, wingnut Mark Levin assailed the President for not making any effort to address unemployment rates because he is too busy concentrating on the “racist cops” instead of “the desperate socio-economic conditions the President created.” Levin said the President “doesn’t want to fix the situation” because he would rather “lecture the nation on racist cops and white guilt.” Although Levin’s assertion the President has made no effort to create jobs is astonishing even coming from a wingnut, it is his claim that the President created the lingering unemployment resulting from repugican cabal-championed job outsourcing, the shrub-repugican Great Recession, or that the President is responsible for repugicans in Congress blocking each and every one of the Administration’s job creation proposals.
On Faux, the outrage at the President’s request for funding for police training and body cameras was no less absurd than Levin’s. Gretchen Carlson claimed that instead of addressing something as stupid as police accountability, the President “should start a conversation about race relations and the lack of jobs” she said the President “is not really addressing here.” Joining in on Faux was Steve Doocy who said the President should focus on “more pressing issues than police training” such as job creation, education, and the lack of opportunity “instead of trying to guarantee that police are held accountable for their actions.”
According to Bill Kristol, the uber-wingnut who finds everything this President does an abomination portrayed the President’s call for police to wear body cameras “beating up on the cops and a terrible idea.” Instead, Kristol suggested the President’s best course of action to resolve racist cops shooting unarmed African Americans is for “Obama to wear a body camera when he meets in private with civil rights leaders.” There is no printable commentary for that most absurd wingnut 'counsel' to address racist cops to date. Kristol sincerely believes that calling for police accountability to stem the epidemic of gunning down unarmed African Americans is attacking law enforcement.
On Tuesday, the President was blamed again for the racist cops’ actions in Ferguson by another Faux shrieking head, Martha MacCallum, who claimed the President’s reaction to an unarmed African American being murdered was divisive because instead of attacking Michael Brown for being murdered, or condemning the peaceful hands up demonstrators accosted by militarized Ferguson police, he was “pointing the finger of blame at the racist Ferguson police by calling for better police training and funding for body cameras.” MacCallum said, “You see how divisive all of it has been and it looks like race relations have deteriorated in the wake of all of this. I wonder what role President Obama and Eric Holder could have played if he talked about bringing people together in this instead of pointing the finger of blame towards the police.”
No thinking human being ever expects wingnut media to stop blaming President Obama for all the woes of the country because like unarmed murder victims Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and every other victim of racial violence, the President is African American. Because they are the media arm of the racists in the repugican cabal, wingnut media cannot possibly assign even a scintilla of blame to the white racist cops gunning down unarmed African Americans. They also cannot possibly blame the lack of job creation or cuts to education on repugicans because there is a highly-visible Black man in the White House and as every Klan member, white supremacist, and segregationist knows, whenever there is any problem, blame the Black guy for something the white guys did. It was the case with Trayvon, Mike Brown, and for the past six years, it is the case with Barack Obama as evidenced by the racists on Faux and wingnut media outlets around the nation.

Boston Marathon Bombing Defamation Suit Against Hate Mongering Glenn Beck Clears First Hurdle

Glenn Beck could be the next to bear some consequences for the sort of hate mongering propaganda he was known for on Faux and now on his personal lunacy …
Glenn_Beck_CryingFor years, we have endured a lopsided version of “free speech” in which repugicans made up horrible stuff to feed their hate mongering base and they did it with impunity.  While rare, there are occasions when the purveyors of racism, homophobia, misogyny, slut shaming, poverty shaming and all those other wonderfully “christian” sentiments get theirs.
Elizabeth Lauten showed her “class” by taking to Facebook to attack Sasha and Malia Obama because they rolled their eyes at a turkey pardon. By Monday, Lauten “resigned” her position as a spokesperson for Congressman Steven Fincher and we had the added bonus of learning just how “classy” Lauten was when she was a teenager.
Glenn Beck could be the next to bear some consequences for the sort of hate mongering propaganda he was known for on Faux and now on his personal online hate machine of The Blaze Inc.
Beck is the defendant in a defamation lawsuit brought by a Saudi Arabian student who Beck repeatedly accused of being the “money man” behind the Boston Marathon bombing of last year. According to Reuters, Alharbi v. Beck et al, passed its first hurdle on Tuesday when a Boston Judge concluded that “Abdulrahman Alharbi’s allegations “easily permit an inference” that Beck, his company The Blaze Inc. and a distributor of his radio show were negligent toward him over Beck’s comments.
Alharbi was a spectator who was standing near the finish line at the Marathon.  News reports did mention him and he was the subject of a brief investigation.  Of course, once authorities found out that he had no role in the bombing, they dropped the investigation.
Eventually, the investigation led police to Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Still, Beck continued to tell his radio audience that Alharbi was involved.
Alharbi’s suit claims that Beck repeatedly made false statements about Alharbi including that he helped fund the bombing and Beck continued to make these false statements after the investigation stopped because investigators found that Alharbi had no involvement in the bombing.
Alharbi suit claims that as a consequence of Beck’s repeatedly false statements Alharbi’s reputation was damaged and he was subjected to messages that called him a murderer, child killer and terrorist.
Judge Saris rejected Beck’s attempt to get the suit dismissed because according to Beck, Alharbi was a “limited purpose” or “involuntary” public figured who failed to show that Beck acted with “actual malice” meaning that he lied or recklessly disregarded the truth.
In essence, Beck tried to claim that Alharbi became an “involuntary” public figure because Beck repeatedly lied about him, therefore stripping Alharbi of his “private figure” status.  That makes a difference because in defamation cases, the bar is set higher for public figures, be they voluntary or involuntary.
Fortunately, the judge didn’t buy it. As the Judge said so well,
 Choosing to attend a sporting event as one of thousands of spectators is not the kind of conduct that a reasonable person would expect to result in publicity,
Alharbi’s lawsuit seeks “unspecified damages.” This is only the first hurdle and ultimately, Beck could get off the hook. Still, the chance that he could be held accountable for his version of “reporting” is worth celebrating.
Let’s face it. Beck built his career on malicious falsehoods directed at anyone who falls in the long list of targets of the wingnut hate machine.  This isn’t the first time that Beck went too far, or repeated horrible lies long after they were debunked. Maybe this time he’ll face the consequences.
However, people like Beck and his fellow shrieking heads, and “reporters” at Faux and similar “news outlets” have made a mockery of journalism and of the true value of a free press.

Bryan Fischer Melts Down as He Confronts Reality That We Are a Nation of Immigrants

According to Fischer, you're a native American if you're born here but if you're a native American you're an immigrant - or something. He's not sure…
Fischer Evolution

It is no secret the religio-wingnuts detest the idea of immigration reform. After all, borders, they say, are set by dog and should not be crossed without permission. Unless, you know, America has to go kick some ass for dog somewhere in the world. Then it’s okay.
In response, we try to remind them that we are a “nation of immigrants.” This is a point we have made here as well in response to Fischer’s frequent ethnic nationalist rants.
Because we are. All of us, or are parents, or our grandparents or their parents etc, all the way back to the first settlers, came here from somewhere else. This is just a simple, indisputable fact. Some came willingly, some because they were brought here, like African Americans, to be slaves to those who came here willingly (and Fischer has already said the whole slavery thing is islam’s fault.)
Fischer didn’t respond well to the idea that we are a nation of immigrants. In fact, he melted down in a big way trying to wrap his mind around it.
Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
That’s another thing that kinda bothers me about that whole ‘Native American’ thing. You know, this ‘nation of immigrants’ business. You know we’re not – we are not – a nation of immigrants. Eighty-five to 87% of the people that live in the United States were born here. You know what that makes us? It makes us native Americans. We are Americans by birth.
Which only goes to show he is missing the point entirely.
So we are natives, he says. But according to Fischer, Native Americans are not natives. They’re not natives because they immigrated too. Watch him try to wrap his head around this:
You know, National Geographic had this big story. Now some evidence that the Native American tribes, the Indian nations migrated here from Eurasia as well as from Asia. The thinking all along has been that they migrated here from Asia. They came to American soil from Asia. Now they’re saying, well it was also from Eurasia. Well what does that mean? I mean, they don’t even stop to kind of contemplate the significance of that. It means that Native American tribes are immigrants too!
Sure, they arrived here too, from across the Bering Strait, but it was so many thousands of years ago – about 15,000 to be exact – that they had already been here for thousands of years when the first Europeans arrived to settle.
Which brings up the question: if we’re natives because we were born here, as he just said, then why are Native Americans who were born here going back those 15,000 years, not natives? Didn’t he just contradict his own objection of a moment before?
You wonder at this point if Fischer actually wrote any of this down before speaking, or even thought about it, because it almost seems he argued himself into a place no Right Wing crazy wants to find himself: a world of facts. This is the point at which Fischer seems to lose it, having a fit of cognitive dissonance right there for all to see as “realities” collide.
If we’re a nation of immigrants, to use their expression, that has to apply to the Indian Nations that were here when European settlers arrived. Everybody here is an immigrant. Everybody here is a descendant of those who immigrated to these shores.
That’s the point liberals have been repeatedly making as their contribution to the public discourse on the immigration question. Hello? Statue of Liberty? Ellis Island?
Isn’t that game, set match?
Don’t count on it. Fischer and his friends hate Native Americans too. According to repugicans, multiculturalism is “raping” the West, and that’s what this is really about – about protecting right white privilege by rooting out all the “brown people” who make life so difficult for them and cut into their profits. Let’s be clear about that.
After all, isn’t it the Lakota Nation now standing between them and their Keystone XL profits? Money dog want them to have?
As Tom Tancredo has said, “No more of this multiculturalism garbage…the cult of multiculturalism has captured the world [and is] the dagger in the heart [of civilization].”
I guess if civilization is to be defined as white people doing what racist white people already do. If you have any questions about what that is, look to America’s reservation system. Look at Ferguson, Missouri.
But if we are all immigrants, a conclusion Fischer himself just came to, then why are white people the only good immigrants?
And to go back to Fischer’s original argument, if we’re not all immigrants, then how is it that people whose ancestors have been here 15,000 years are NOT natives, and people who are just now arriving are NOT natives, but people whose ancestors have only been here for three or four centuries at most ARE natives?
Fischer has been down this road already, trying to justify his irrational racism:
If…there is a moral and ethical basis for our displacement of native American tribes, and if our westward expansion and settlement are in fact consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations, then Americans have much to be proud of.
So we “Anglo-Saxons” have a right to have immigrated here. Native Americans do not have this divine sanction and so apparently should never have been here and therefore have no right to complain that we took all their land, and today’s Latino immigrants have no right to be here either, because they are now crossing borders created by dog.
Thus there was a “Goldilocks” zone that was just right, when the Chosen People were allowed in. Everything before and after represents a violation of “the law of nations” and “nature’s dog.” (And remember, “natural law” has been used against not just Native Americans and Latino immigrants, but against gays and also against non-christians.) Everyone who doesn’t belong here, who can’t be grandfathered in through some sort of “Goldilocks Exemption” must be “vomited forth,” in the old testament sense (Lev 20.22-25; Jer 3.2-3).
Convert or die or face dog’s wrath. This applies not only to muslims but for Fischer, also to those Native Americans he was having such trouble with.
No need to go to Syria or Iraq to fight ISIL. We have our own here. And we thought they were bad as Talibangelicals. We had no idea. And Fischer has already admitted to being in “theological accord” with ISIL.
This is why it is amusing to see someone like Fischer come up against the world of facts, and this is why his response is an epic rant. It’s no easy matter to make a rational-sounding argument in favor of something that is inherently irrational, as Fischer just found out.
But if we’re stuck with them, they are also stuck with us. Take heart from that, my friends.

The republicans shout down Ted Cruz over spending bill

The hyenas are turning on their own (and that is a good thing)
by Robert Schroeder
Ted Cruz is clashing with his fellow repugican senators over plans for a bill that would keep the U.S. government from shutting down next week.
The Texas repugican, and other wingnuts want to derail House repugicans’ plans to keep the government funded past Dec. 11. The Texan said he opposes a plan to pass a bill to keep the government funded through September, revisit Department of Homeland Security funding early next year and pass a proposal disapproving of President Barack Obama’s immigration policy. As Politico reports, some of his Senate colleagues say his plan would result in a government shutdown. “We’re just not going there,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas about revisiting anything like 2013’s shutdown fight, in which Cruz played a large role.
House repugican leaders pushed ahead with the plan Cruz despises. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the House voted Thursday on a bill that would express repugicans’ opposition to Obama’s executive orders on immigration. But the vote will be largely symbolic: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said his chamber won’t consider the measure. Meanwhile, as the Journal says, House repugican cabal leaders are banking on the prospect of help from Democrats to pass the government-funding bill, given the wingnuts’ opposition.

The repugicans say they believe in small government - Except when it comes to marijuana

The repugican cabal's opposition to Washington, D.C.'s new marijuana legalization law has exposed the party's rank hypocrisy on federalism
Treading on D.C.
If there's one principle that animates the bulk of repugican discourse, it's the idea of limits on state power. Government is not the solution, etc. Judges should strictly interpret the laws as written, as well as their original intent. Whenever possible, policy should follow federalist principles, with authority delegated to the states.
It's a nice little principle with deep roots in American history. It's also a crock. The wingnuts don't care about small government. What they care about are certain ideological outcomes, which they set out to achieve by any means necessary, whether it's using the federal government to override state policy or the Supreme Court to strike down legislation passed by Congress.
Look no further than the King vs. Burwell lawsuit, a challenge to ObamaCare that will be up before the Supreme Court this summer. It is perhaps the most blatant case of judicial activism since the shrub vs. Gore. Wingnuts don't like ObamaCare and want it destroyed. How this happens is of little importance. Until they stole a legislative majority, this "Monty Python-esque exercise in extreme tendentiousness," as Jonathan Chait put it, suited just fine.
But perhaps an even better example of this particular repugican hypocrisy can be found in Washington, D.C. In the last election, D.C. voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative legalizing possession of marijuana. Outraged repugicans are trying to use Congress' absolute power over the district to stop the local government from spending any of its own money on legalization, effectively overturning the measure by force.
Now, as German Lopez argues, it's not clear they could actually do this under current rules, since simply legalizing the possession of marijuana wouldn't cost anything (indeed, it would save money, since police would have fewer arrests to make). However, it would prevent the district from implementing any formal legalization regime, as the new mayor Muriel Bowser favors.
Still, just count the howling violations of basic wingnut principles here. First, there's the fact that the law was duly passed at the ballot box. Second, there's the big bad federal government behaving in the most big bad way possible. Finally, there's the larger issue of D.C.'s place in the American political system, a city with more people than Vermont or Wyoming who get no representation in Congress even though they pay federal taxes and obey federal laws. Where are the teabaggers, now?
But never mind. For decades, repugicans have meddled with the local government, screwing up their needle exchange and their handgun ban and their medical marijuana and their abortion policy. Local governance and Saint Reagan-style federalism are supremely important, until they get in the way of lording over a helpless subject population apparently.
To be fair, liberals aren't terribly consistent on principles either. They are somewhat less hypocritical than wingnuts — when they had a huge legislative majority, they sort of re-implemented a bunch of good-government rules, like PAYGO, that repugicans had shredded during the shrub years. But liberals will pick and choose principles, too.
In the end, blatant hypocrisy aside, Democrats could learn a lot from repugicans' dedication to victory by any means necessary. There's no point in only one side playing by the rules.

U.S. judge moves closer to action against Arizona sheriff

A U.S. judge moved a step closer to pursuing possible contempt charges against Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio on Thursday, accusing the Maricopa County sheriff of failing to follow court mandates in a 2007 racial-profiling case.
Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Murray Snow ruled that deputies working for Arpaio, an 82-year-old who bills himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff," racially profiled Latino drivers and held them for too long during traffic stops.
Snow ordered that they stop, and he also appointed a court monitor to oversee the operations of the sheriff's office.
On Thursday, the judge ordered that attorneys for Arpaio, Maricopa County, and the plaintiffs file court papers by Jan. 8 on the issue of civil and criminal charges that could be leveled against the sheriff.
"I have some deep concerns," Snow told a hearing in federal court in downtown Phoenix, citing instances where deputies were not told of the court's order, and where material was not turned over to Latino drivers' lawyers.
"I believe there have been some serious violations. ... There are a lot of matters that are of concern," Snow said.
In May 2013 the judge issued his ruling in response to a class-action lawsuit filed by Latino plaintiffs who argued their constitutional rights had been violated because deputies singled them out for traffic stops based on their race.
Arpaio, who attended Thursday's hearing with a criminal defense attorney, has denied any racial profiling and has appealed Snow's ruling from last year.
The sheriff declined to comment following the session.

Justice is dead ...


Woman Arrested for Xanax Is Your New Hottest Mugshot Girl

Woman Arrested for Xanax Is Your New Hottest Mugshot Girl: Twitter

If you’re going to get arrested and look good while doing it, you will probably become an Internet sensation.
TwitterJeremy Meeks’ mugshot started the hot mugshot craze earlier this year when the convicted felon’s mugshot went super viral, ostensibly because the Internet was unable to wrap its collective mind around the fact that beautiful people are just as capable of committing crimes as anyone.
18-year-old Alysa Bathrick is the latest woman to get the digital perp walk treatment. Check her out:
Bathrick was arrested in Raleigh, NC earlier this week after cops found her in possession of Xanax without a prescription and intent to sell it, according to Elite Daily.Shortly after her release from the big house, Bathrick Tweeted that her mugshot was cute, accompanied by the hashtag #ftp (which means Fuck The Police).
If you want to know why in the fuck someone would become a Xanax dealer, you can hit her up on Twitter. Along with the thousands of other guys who have been Tweeting at her since the mugshot went viral.

Amanda Miranda Panda and accomplice charged with shoplifting and burglary

Two Idaho teenagers face burglary charges on suspicion of shoplifting from multiple Boise businesses and stealing from two cars, Boise Police Department officials have said.
Amanda Miranda Panda and Tristen Bubba Parsons, both 18, each face three counts of burglary. Parsons is also charged with resisting and obstructing officers. At about 4pm on Monday officers responded to reports of a shoplifting and stealing from parked cars.
When officers arrived, they spotted Parsons checking parked cars for unlocked doors. When they tried to speak to him, he fled on foot, and was arrested after a foot chase.
Panda was arrested without incident. In the suspects' vehicle, officers found multiple clothing items from four different stores, as well as recently-purchased items that appeared to have been stolen from other vehicles. Both were booked into the Ada County jail.

Man assaulted wife with McChicken sandwich

A man was jailed on Tuesday for reportedly using a McDonald's McChicken sandwich as a weapon against his pregnant wife, according to a police report. Marvin Tramaine Hill II, 21, admitted to police that he threw the sandwich at his wife "because he doesn't like them."
Hill was arrested for simple domestic assault and taken to the Polk County Jail. Police in Des Moines, Iowa, met with Hill at the couple's home. Hill told police it was actually his wife who assaulted him. Hill said his wife woke him up at around 1pm with a McChicken in hand.
He admitted to police that he became upset and threw the sandwich at her,then picked up some of the bun, throwing it at her again. The woman went to the bathroom to clean herself up but Hill followed her and began recording her using his cellphone, which he later shared with police. In the video, police saw the woman knock the phone out of his hands.
Hill's wife had mayonnaise on her shirt and face when officers located her. According to the woman, Hill had forcefully smashed the bun into her face. Police noted that the woman's nose was swollen and believed Hill was trying to entice the woman into knocking the phone out of his hands to make her appear aggressive, the report stated. Hill was arrested and his weapons permit was confiscated. He remains in custody at the Polk County Jail.

Car thief tried to flee on skateboard after police chase

It started out like an average police chase in California, but ended with a skateboard, and a TV reality star. A stolen BMW was driving in the wrong lane against traffic in Van Nuys, doing 90 miles an hour at one point. And then, “He just crashed”
The alleged car thief then ran across three lanes of traffic clutching the longboard. For five seconds the suspect tried to skateboard away from officers in hot pursuit on foot. Back on foot, he ran into trouble when a red pick-up tried to block his path.
He went around it. And then as police were closing in, the same red pick-up cut him off and practically pinned him. The driver of the pick-up turned out to be the former star of a now-cancelled reality show.

Luis “Lou” Pizarro used to run around dramatizing car repossessions, so it seemed natural to help real police officers get their man. Pizarro said, “It’s just instinct, just to block the guy off.” 33-year-old Jesus Zamora was charged with auto theft. Police recovered the skateboard, presumably for evidence.

Missing Brains

Thieves target a vast collection of human brains stored in jars at the University of Texas at Austin.

Royalty, Espionage, and Erotica: Secrets of the World's Tiniest Photographs

Almost as soon as photography was invented, the first microphotographs followed -to demonstrate the power of a microscope. These tiny pictures became popular among the general public when the Stanhope lens, a tiny magnifying glass, was developed. Beginning in the mid-19th century, the photographs and lenses were embedded into everyday objects that people could peek at privately anytime they wanted. Family portraits were a popular subject, but landmark images made into souvenirs sold like crazy, since the postcard had yet to be invented. Then there were the nude microphotographs, which were easily hidden.  
Dubious press coverage at the time claimed that the English preferred Stanhopes with photos of calendars or banknotes, the Italians wanted religious imagery, and the Germans wanted more risqué fare. In fact, erotic Stanhopes were popular everywhere, typically built into objects expected to remain within a circle of male viewers. “Usually the most erotic ones are in smokers’ equipment because that wouldn’t have been used by women,” says Scott. “Since they were so tiny, nobody else would have noticed them.” Melnick points out that a nude photo in a sewing tool or scent bottle is often a sign that the Stanhope isn’t authentic.

One of the largest collections of erotic Stanhope lenses is housed at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Indiana. Melnick has worked closely with the Kinsey collection—donating Stanhope objects, repairing lenses, and preparing items for display. Most of their Stanhope archive was made up of loose lenses never inserted into objects. These Stanhopes arrived as a single donation in the 1920s, when they were confiscated in the mail as pornography presumably on their way from a lens manufacturer to a client making novelty items. “There were thousands, with 30-some different images,” Melnick says. “Some are actresses with clothes on, but mostly they’re stylized nudes doing poses amid weird props or things like that.” Combining their small size and secretive placement, Stanhopes were perfect for hiding erotic imagery in plain sight.
Jean Scott, author of the book Stanhopes: A Closer View, tells us the history of these early microphotographs, which are highly collectible now, at Collectors Weekly.

DNA Questions

Genetic analysis of the remains of Richard III reveals a break in the male line that could question the royal lineage of the Tudors, including England's current queen.

For Sale on Craigslist: Cursed Sword

Would you like to own a sword? Of course you do! Everyone wants—shoot, everyone needs—at least one sword. This lady in the Austin, Texas area owns over 100 of them. She wants to part with this beauty because it’s haunted:
This sword is from the 1700s. I got it at an antique store in my memaw's home town back in 1984. The person who sold it to me told me to be careful because there is a 90+% chance that it is cursed. Since it's been in my house my life has descended into pure chaos. My knitting group came over and they all said they could feel a strange energy in my sword room (I have a collection of over 100 swords. This is my only haunted sword). Since i got this sword, about 3 times a week a crucifix will fall off of my wall for no reason. I am 76 years old. I cannot have this cursed item in my house anymore. Please take it off my hands!!
It’s not that bad, but she’s tired of having to perform Constitution saving rolls every 10 rounds.

Roman and Pictish Silver Hoard Discovered in Scotland

More than 100 pieces of silver, including coins and jewelry, have been unearthed in northeastern Scotland. “It is a hugely important discovery being Europe’s most northerly Late Roman hacksilver hoard, and also containing otherwise unique Pictish silver,” Martin Goldberg of the National Museums Scotland told The Herald Scotland. Silver objects that had been chopped up into bullion, called hacksilver, were used as payment, bribes, tribute, and rewards, according to Gordon Noble of the University of Aberdeen. “The new finds include late Roman coins, pieces of late Roman silver vessels, bracelet and brooch fragments, and other objects that would have been highly prized objects in their day,” he explained. The research team is investigating the interaction between the Picts and the Late Roman world. To read about a similar recent discovery, see "The Dovedale Hoard."

Cancer Identified in 4,500-Year-Old Skeleton

Holes in the well-preserved bones of a man who died in Siberia 4,500 years ago show that he suffered from lung or prostate cancer that had spread throughout his body from his hip to his head. “This is one of [the oldest]—if not the oldest—absolute cases of cancer that we can be really, really confident saying that it’s cancer,” bioarchaeologist Angela Lieverse of the University of Sasketchewan told CBC News. She speculates that the hunter-gatherer may have developed lung cancer from inhaling smoke from wood fires, and other non-environmental factors. Unlike other men in his community, this man had been buried in the fetal position in a circular pit with an intricately carved bone spoon. “It’s a tragic story. It breaks your heart to think of what he went through,” she said. To read about another ancient cancer case in Siberia, see "MRI Shows 'Princess Ukok' Suffered From Cancer."

Climate Change in the Ancient Southwest

Archaeologist Tim Kohler and researcher Kyle Bocinsky of Washington State University have used tree-ring data, the temperature and water requirements of growing maize, and computer programs to produce a map of the ideal growing regions of the American Southwest for the past 2,000 years. How did the ancestral Pueblo people of southwest Colorado react to climate change in the late 1200s? The data suggest that some 40,000 people left Mesa Verde when drought made it difficult to grow the staple crop, at the same time that there was a population spike at the Pajarito Plateau of the northern Rio Grande, where conditions had become ideal. “People are generally going to try and find ways to keep on keeping on, to do what they’ve been doing before changing their technological strategy,” Bocinsky explained to Science Daily. To read about investigations into another ancient Southwestern culture, see "On the Trail of the Mimbres."

Another Mars mystery: What's that circular 'island' in its lava flows?

Scientists are studying a fascinating image of an unusual circular formation on Mars and trying to work out how it got there.
by Amanda Kooser
Mars mystery island
At least we know it's not Gilligan's Island.
Mars has a history of offering up unusual formations for humans to marvel at, speculate about and scratch their heads over. We've famously had the face on Mars (Elvis, is that you?) and more recently a jelly doughnut-shaped rock and an object vaguely shaped like a human femur bone. The latest find is a formation that looks a bit like a deformed waffle.An image captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter looked down onto what NASA describes as an "enigmatic landform." The 1.2-mile wide feature is circular and sits in the Athabasca region of Mars, home to some of the planet's youngest lava flows. The smooth areas around it are those lava flows.
Overzealous alien theorists might see the photo as evidence of intelligent breakfast on Mars, but NASA scientists are offering up a more probable explanation: "Perhaps lava has intruded underneath this mound and pushed it up from beneath. It looks as if material is missing from the mound, so it is also possible that there was a significant amount of ice in the mound that was driven out by the heat of the lava."
NASA goes on to note that there are many features like this one in the region that are still puzzling to scientists. The search for a complete explanation is still ongoing.
As we wait for the scientists to study this image and others of the surrounding area, I would like to offer up my own whacked-out, completely fictional theory: If the "Face on Mars" really is Elvis, then this circular formation could be proof that Elvis is hungry. After all, a Google search for "Elvis waffles" returns 407,000 results, so there must be some sort of correlation there, right?

Poison Frogs and Fire Ants

frog141201Using Poison-Frog Compounds to Control Fire Ants

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their collaborators have found that naturally occurring compounds—alkaloids—that are found on the skin of certain poison frogs can incapacitate and kill fire ants. […]

Delivered from death ...

The good Samaritans noticed movement in the shark's belly and bravely cut her open to rescue the pups.

This Giant Stick Insect Is over a Foot Long

This is Phryganistria heusii yentuensis, a newly-documented stick insect native to Vietnam. It's 32 centimeters long or 54 centimeters when stretched out. These dimensions make it the second largest insect in the world.
The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences found it in Vietnam. The researchers found the insect by placing a sheet around a bush, then hitting the bush with a stick until the insect fell out. They observed a pair for a few days, including their mating habits, and cataloged their findings. The researchers plan to continue searching Vietnam for other stick insects that have not yet been documented.

In Japan, Capybaras Get Treated to Yearly Hot Tubs

In Japan, an "onsen" is a hot spring; the term is also used to describe the resorts that are built around hot springs. Who would have thought that onsens and capybaras would collide? According to one source, the two ideas were linked when over thirty years ago, a Japanese zookeeper noticed that the rodents were gathered around a puddle of hot water in an effort to warm themselves during the cold winter. The scene evolved and became an attraction.
Izu Shaboten Park has been indulging their capybaras in hot baths for thirty-two years. The bath is complete with citrus to make it a more pleasant sensory experience. At least twenty other Japanese zoos have capybara onsens as well. These events are always held in the winter to keep the animals warm. There's even a Japanese hashtag #カピバラ露天風呂 that, translated, means “capybara outdoor bath.” (If you like capybaras, check out the hashtag link. It's full of wonderful photos!)
They have hot tubs, they have hashtags, Twitter users are creating likenesses of them in bowls of soup — these Japanese capybaras are riding high!

Overly-curious polar bear tranquilized before being airlifted far away by helicopter

A two-year-old female polar bear paid for her curiosity when she was shot with a tranquillizer dart after constantly showing up at an oil depot facility looking for food.
The 200-kilogram (440-pound) animal was transported away via helicopter on Monday from the Toboyskoye oil field in the Nenets Autonomous Region of the Russian Arctic. The polar bear had been carried away three times previously but kept returning in the hope she would be given further milk and canned meat.
She is now likely to end up in a zoo or on another island away from the oil field. “The bear was shooed away towards the coastline. Regrettably, four hours later she was back at the same production facility,” said oil worker Vadim Svishchev.

About 2,500 polar bears are believed to inhabit the Nenets Autonomous Region, and their population has continued to grow since Russia banned polar bear hunting in 1957.

Animal Pictures